Settlers of Catan is a strategy classic that helped kick off the era of the modern board game. Developed in Germany, the game falls into the euro-strategy genre usually meaning with minimal luck, with a lack of player elimination and indirect conflict. The game is one of the top gateway games for board gaming, people who don't even like the hobby fall in love via Settlers of Catan. Players are each trying to build up their civilization in hopes of getting to 10 victory points first. The board is made of hexes filled with five different resources (wheat, ore, clay, wood and sheep) with random 2 - 12 numbers assigned to them. You build settlements and cities on the hex intersections, every turn the dice are rolled and if your number is hit you get that resource. More resources means building more stuff and then getting even bigger and badder stuff.
Settlers of Catan was designed by Klaus Teuber, a well known German game designer who was a 2003 Origins Awards Hall of Fame inductee. He is held is very high esteem because Catan was so revolutionary.
Settlers of Catan is one of the most popular games in the world. It has sold more than 22m copies in more than 30 languages. If you look at 1995 to 2020, that is roughly 2500 copies per day, every day, for 25 years.
There are many editions of Catan. There are 9 different expansions and countless entertainment spin-offs like Game of Thrones and Star Trek. Most recently Seafarers was released, a reimagining of the game in space.
Only the Knight card, but yes, they can be played either before or after the dice roll. Other development cards all have to be played after the dice roll.
The book says the oldest person as a default, but you should rotate.
No. You could open by placing on one of the water port tiles (touching only two tiles) just fine.
During your turn you can buy as many improvements as you can afford, you are not limited to one. What you are limited to is the number of pieces you have. You cannot build five cities because you only have four total.
Once someone has one of the bonus cards, it is theirs until they are beaten, not tied. If a player gets the longest road at 5 roads, it is their's until another player gets to 6 roads. The ownership changes instantly and automatically at that point.