Helpers of Catan comes in quite a few forms

The Helpers of Catan is a mini-expansion that was originally released in German in 2010.

It is a small addition to the game that can have a big effect. Most importantly it can help balance the game for those who the dice is not favouring.

It is also one of the few scenarios that has been carried over to appear in some Catan spin-offs too. In fact the first time many English players saw Helpers in any form was as the support crew in the original 2012 release of Catan: Star Trek. The English version of helpers was released for the standard game a year later in 2013.

Most commonly a set of 10 cards, the Helpers have appeared in other variants too. More recently in 2022, "Helpers of Catan" was rebranded to become "The Helpers" and released with new artwork and 12 character cards. This new version may have altered a few ways to help, but the basic use of the cards remains the same as the original.

Below I have brought together the different versions (and editions) so that they can all be seen together. The first sets are the different versions for the base game. After this I have the different versions from different spin-off Catan games. Click on an image to view a larger version.

 01 Catan: Helpers of Catan - Mayfair 2013

This is a sealed set from my collection, but a set of these original cards is still the ones I use today and is part of my Catan travelling briefcase.

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 02 Catan: Helpers of Catan - Catan Studio 2019 - 2nd edition

Originally used as a prize at tournamanets and sometimes as a giveaway to shows this copy is hard to find. Even more so as it was replaced by the new version in 2022.

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 03 Catan: 25th Edition 2020

The cards were released as part of the 25th special edition of Catan in 2020. While the cards remain the same as the earlier releases, I have included them here as a record of the first time Helpers of Catan was bundled with the base game in English. This had been done before with International Big Box editions, but never with the English version.

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 04 Catan: Deluxe Edition 2021

The Deluxe edition was a special release of the game for the retailer !ndigo. While they set was largely a copy of the 25th edition set, unusually the Jelps cards were a redesign featuring artwork that visually displays the action of the card as well as including the text. These are probably my favourite version of the Helpers cards and I keep meaning to take the set from my Deluxe set and include it in my own play set.

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 05 Catan: The Helpers 2022

The 2022 rebrand and redesign of "Catan: Helpers of Catan" led to this new set simply called "Catan: The Helpers." Now with 12 cards instead of 10, I do accept the argument that more cards gives more variety and, quite possible, more strategy. However it feels to me that the new cards are focused on players of the base game only and also I have to admit I do not like the artwork.

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 The Helpers have also appeard in Catan spin-offs too:

06 Catan: Star Trek 2012 and 2019

As mentioned the first time the Helpers appeared in English was as the support crew in this 2012 release. This has always been a favourite game of mine as a keen Star Trek fan. So much so that my daughter has to live with the name of my favourite Trek character. It is also one of these spin-offs where I was keen to own a copy in each language.

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 07 Catan: Ancient Egypt 2014

The set was knows as Help from the Gods and was one of three scenarios contained in the 2014 Catan: Ancient Egypt Collectors Edition. It is my favourite spin-off of the Catan series and the one that goes with us when camping or trips away.

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 08 Catan Geographies: Rickshaw Run 2015

An unusual way of releasing the Helpers this card set was released to promote a charity rickshaw race held in India to support the Childaid Network. With a custom map of India and with special rules the Helpers cards aided the players on their journey.

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 09 Catan: Minor Houses of the North 2017

This set of 6 cards were released as a giveaway at events. Unlike the German version it was not made available as a Catan shop purchase. Sadly this has meant it can be a hard set to source, A shame as it does add value to the game. Two even rarer promotional cards (Hodor and Bran Stark) can also fit within the Helpers family of cards.

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got branstark2019 got hodor2019

 10 Catan: Legends of the Sea Robbers 2017

These Friend cards are part of the Legends of the Sea Robbers, a Catan expansion for Seafarers released in 2017. While similar in use to the other helper cards this expansion requires you to earn the support of a helper by completing a task.

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 11 Catan: High Priests of the Inkas 2018

This mini-scenario consists of five cards each with a priest that offers a game advantage. I really cannot comment on these as I have only played Inka a couple of times. It did not really appeal to me, however I have used some of the custom resource more often as parts of large boards in the standard game.

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