Catan is a wonderful example of game-balance in both strategy and game objects.
The holy grail of game-balance in terms of strategy is that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy, and this is certainly the case in Catan. Since each board can look really different, there isn’t a single way to play the game. Rather, strategy must be adapted based on the board texture and the player’s position in the game. Therefore, Catan is still a heavily skill-based game and one that is incredibly balanced, one where the ever-changing dynamics allow for new challenges. Despite the hefty hand of luck on the game, players that can quickly find an optimal strategy are way more likely to win.
Additionally, the internal economy of Catan is well-balanced. Every resource has its own utility, and the resources that are arguably more powerful (wheat) are generally more available (four titles instead of three). Additionally, the component of allowing 4:1 trades and 3:1 or 2:1 trades if you get to certain ports is a beautiful example of game balance that helps especially if people are unable to obtain certain resources (and people at the table aren’t willing to trade).
Overall, from a game-balance perspective, Catan is beautiful. The way the game-balance influences the dynamic between skill and luck is also flawless. It’s one of my favorite games for a reason!!!