TEXARKANA, Texas -- CATAN players can take the first step toward a world championship Saturday at local game shop and playing space MeepleCity.
MeepleCity will host an official CATAN qualifier tournament, and the winner will be guaranteed a seat in the U.S. National Championship tournament later this year. The national winner will advance to the 2024 World Championship.
More than 20 competitors had registered as of Tuesday morning, MeepleCity co-owner Alicia Nield said. The shop had to order additional game sets to accommodate so many entrants.
MeepleCity will award the tournament winner a $100 gift card to help cover travel expenses to the nationals. Prizes for other contenders include CATAN-related merchandise such as special game sets.
All tournament games will have four players. Contestants will play three first-round games, to be followed by semifinal and final rounds. MeepleCity staff will serve as judges in the event of a dispute.
The game's maker, Catan GmbH, was easy to work with in organizing the event, Nield said.
"They walked us through what we would need to do, how the space would need to be set up, the information we would need. ... So super great to work with on exactly what we should expect and how to promote it," she said.
Spectators are welcome but will have to stand while watching games unfold.
"They can come and have a look and watch if they want, or sit in our back area and play games on their own," Nield said.
Players of the popular board game gather, trade and spend resources to develop societies on the fictional island of Catan. Effective strategy is important, but even the best planning can be fruitless if dice rolls result in the wrong numbers.
The game was originally called The Settlers of Catan when introduced in 1995. It has sold tens of millions of copies and is available in more than 40 languages, the Associated Press reported in an obituary for the game's creator, Klaus Teuber, who died April 1. CATAN has spawned dozens of spin-offs and new editions, including electronic versions, not to mention products related to the game.
(The CATAN United States National Championship Qualifier Tournament is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at MeepleCity, 1801 N. Robison Road, Suite 2. The entry fee is $10. Visit bestcoastpairings.com/event/aangnr11 to register.)