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In this scenario, you are given the following mission:

First, locate the gold fields in the unexplored areas. They are all occupied by pirate lairs. Second, build crews and send them to defeat the pirate lairs and capture the gold fields.


Assembling the Game Board Frame

If you have the board from scenario 1 already set up, extend the frame used in scenario 1 by adding the B1 frame pieces.

Use sea hex E to fill the gap between sea hex D1 and sea hex piece F1. Otherwise, build the board exactly as shown in the example below.

Creating the Starting Island

Place the terrain hexes and number tokens of the base Catan game in the starting island area, as shown.

Hint: When you play the scenario a second time, if you want to make the game more variable, you should shuffle the terrain hexes face down and randomly place them in the starting island area. However, the position of the number tokens should never change.

Assembling the Unexplored Areas

Open the "Pirate Lairs" mission bag.

Shuffle the 3 green moon-backed gold field hexes together with the green moon-backed standard hexes and place them face down in the northern unexplored area as shown.

Do the same with the orange sunbacked gold field hexes and standard hexes, placing them in the southern unexplored area. Place the green moon and orange sun number tokens in separate face-down stacks as shown in example.


Each player takes pieces as shown below.

For this scenario, you also need the game components included in the "Pirate Lairs" bag. Place the "Pirate Lairs" mission card and the corresponding VP card beside the game board. Each player places a marker on the "S" space of the mission card.

Shuffle the 6 pirate lair tokens with their number side face down and place them as a stack beside the board.

Set-up Phase

Free Set-up

Using the turn order described in base Catan, each player places a harbor settlement first and a regular settlement second on the starting island (each without a road). Your harbor settlement must be placed on one of the intersections marked with a circle ( ) in the example above.

The regular settlement may be placed on any intersection, including those marked with a circle. You must, of course, observe the distance rule when building all harbor settlements and regular settlements. Your starting resources are 1 card from each terrain hex adjacent to your starting settlement (not harbor settlement).

The last player to place a settlement is the first to place a road adjacent to that settlement. That same player then places a settler ship (ship + settler) on one of the sea routes adjacent to his or her harbor settlement. The other players follow clockwise. Once everyone has placed their pieces, the starting player begins the game by rolling the dice.

Deploying Neutral Game Pieces in a 2-Player Game

After both players have placed their respective harbor settlement, beginning with the starting player, each player places a harbor settlement of a neutral, non-chosen color.

Once both players have placed their neutral harbor settlements, using the same turn order, they each place a settlement of the neutral color.

Encountering Pirate Lairs

Discovering Pirate Lairs

If you discover a gold field hex, it is always occupied by a pirate lair. You immediately receive 2 gold for the discovery as shown in example A (below). You then take a pirate lair token from the supply stack (example B) and place it (without turning it over) on the pirate lair (example C).

Important: As long as there is a pirate lair on a gold field hex, it is referred to as a pirate lair hex. You cannot build a road on its paths (edges) or a settlement on its intersections (corners). Once the pirate lair is captured, you may build on the gold field normally.

Capturing Pirate Lairs

Placing Crews

During pirate missions your crews can become warriors. If your ship has 1 or 2 crews on board, and one end of the ship points toward an intersection of a pirate lair hex, you may place these crews directly on the pirate lair token if you wish. A maximum of 3 crews may stand on a pirate lair.

Important: You can only place crews on specific destinations (an active pirate lair token in this scenario). You are never allowed to place crews on any hex that does not contain a destination.


As soon as you place the 3rd crew piece on a pirate lair (all 3 crews do not have to be your own, see example below), the lair is captured. After you finish your movement phase, the results of the pirate lair capture are resolved as described below.

Each player who participated in the capture immediately receives 2 gold as a reward. In addition, each participating player moves his or her marker forward 1 space on the mission card's victory point scoring track (mission progress). The player whose turn it is begins; the other players follow in clockwise order.

Determining Heroes

Each participating player rolls 1 die. Add to your result the number of your crews placed on the pirate lair. If your sum total is the largest, you are the hero of the battle. Move your marker forward 1 space on the "Pirate Lairs" mission card. At the same time, you must remove 1 of your crews and return it to your supply.

If there is a tie, the player who placed more crews is the hero.

If there is still a tie, the tying players repeat the die roll. If you capture a pirate lair all by yourself, you automatically move your marker forward 1 space. You also lose 1 of your crews.

After the Capture

Turning the Pirate Lair Token Over

To indicate that a pirate lair was captured, the pirate lair token is flipped over so that its number side faces up. For that purpose, slide the remaining crews aside and place them next to the flipped token. You may pick up your crews with a ship on a subsequent turn.

Gold Production at Gold Field Hexes

You may now build roads on the edges of the liberated gold field.

You may also build settlements and harbor settlements on its intersections.

If a gold field's number is rolled during a production roll, each player receives 2 gold per settlement or harbor settlement they have on an intersection bordering that gold field.

End of the Game

You win "Pirate Lairs" if you have 12 VPs on your turn.

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