I. Play, Builds, Placements
How exactly does trading with a harbor work? Do you have to give 3 identical resources of the same type to the bank, or can they be different types?
When a player uses maritime trade to trade resources with the bank, he must always trade identical resources. Usually, this trade requires 4 identical resources to get one of another resource. If you have a harbor, then you may be able to use a better exchange rate. At a “?” harbor, you may trade 3 identical resources instead of 4. The only advantage of the harbor is the better trade rate, but the resources still have to be identical.
During my turn, can I build as many roads, settlements, and cities as I want, or can I only build one piece per turn?
During your turn, you can build as many pieces as you can afford to pay for. As long as you have resources, you can continue to build as long as you want.
Can you buy a settlement and city all in one turn, at the same time (if you have enough resource cards)?
Yes. You may buy a new settlement and immediately upgrade it to a city on the same turn. You must be able to pay the full cost for both the settlement and the city.
Once the game has started, is it possible to buy a settlement and a road on your turn and place it anywhere on the island (disconnected from your other roads) just like at the start of the game if they are placed together?
No. During the setup phase, there are two rounds during which each player is allowed to place a settlement and a road anywhere on the island. After the setup phase is over, the normal building rules apply for the rest of the game. These rules are described on page 5 of the rules. New roads may only be built if they connect to an existing road, settlement, or city belonging to the building player.
New settlements may only be built if they are connected to an existing road. So, after the setup phase, you may not build a new settlement and new road and place them anywhere on the island, only on a part of the island where you have an existing road network.
What happens when you run out of roads to place on the hexes? Can you use something else or are you only allowed to place those 15 roads and that's it?
All the pieces in Settlers are a strict limit on what you are allowed to build. So, if you build all 15 roads of your color, you are not allowed to build any more roads during the game. Similarly, you are limited to 5 settlements (though if you upgrade one to a city, you could later rebuild it) and 4 cities. Every player should have exactly that mix of pieces at the start of the game.
If Player A has a road that is 5 pieces long, and player B then builds a road that's 5 long, who gets the Longest Road bonus? To interpret the rules literally, it would seem that player A keeps the bonus tile until someone else builds a LONGER road (i.e., 6 or more), which would reward the player who has not just the longest road, but the first-and-longest road. Is this correct? Or does the bonus go away when 2 or more players have the same length longest road?
If a player has the longest road, he retains the longest road card and it's two victory points until another player builds a road that is longer than his. So, player B would have to build a road of 6 segments in order to take the longest road card from player A. Of course, player A can make his road longer, so that player B would have to build even more segments before he takes it away.
The longest road card is retained by it's current owner until one of two things happen:
Another player builds a road that is then longer than the longest road of the current card-holder. In this case, the new longest road owner takes the longest road card.
The longest road is broken by the placement of a settlement along its length (remember to obey the 2-step rule). In this case, everyone must check to see who has the longest road. If any single player has the longest road (note that it could be the same as the old player with the longest road) than that player takes the card and the two points. If more than one player has the longest road, or if no player has a road of at least 5 segments, then no one gets the longest road card and it is set aside. As soon as any player builds a longest road of at least 5 segments, then he may claim the card as normal.
Do settlements of other colors break up other colors roads?
Yes, settlements do break up other player's roads. If the blue player has a road that is six segments long, and the red player builds a settlement between two of the blue roads, than we say that the blue player's road is “broken”. A broken road can not be counted for the Longest Road card. So, if the red player built his settlement between the fourth and fifth blue road, then the blue player would only be able to count his longest road as 4. Since four is not long enough for the Longest Road card, he would have to give it back.
But, a broken road can still be used for building. So, the blue player could still build a settlement at the end of his sixth road, even though the red player broke his road (he still has to obey the distance rule, of course).
If you have a road that has been broken because someone has put a settlement on your road, can you still continue to build (i.e. a settlement or road) at the end of your trade route even though someone has broken it in the middle?
Yes. You may build new roads or settlements anywhere that you have already built to. You do not need to be able to trace a route back to where you began the game. While a broken road makes your route shorter for purposes of the Longest Road card, you are not prohibited from building on either side of the break.
Note: If your road is blocked by an opposing settlement, you can not build a road on the other side of that settlement, if no road has been built there. Only if you had road on both sides of the settlement before it was built are you able to continue building on both sides of the break in your Road.
Can a player win the game when it is not her turn? For instance, during another player's turn, the player remembers that she has a victory point card and that card along with other points that she accumulated gives her 10 points. Can she win during another player's turn or does she have to wait her turn to play the victory point card and declare herself the winner?
You can only win during your turn. If somehow you earn enough points to win during another player's turn (such as getting Longest Road because another player broke the longest road, or because you remember your victory point card) you must still wait until your turn. However, you can win at any point during your turn, even before you roll the dice. On the other hand, if another player earns 10 points before your turn, that player will be the winner even though you had 10 points first!
When trying to determine who has the longest road, can you just pick any segment of road, and then travel away from it in any direction you choose? This is only important if you have an entire hex surrounded by road, and then 1 segment of road leading off the hex. Would that mean that you have a longest road of 7? My friends are trying to tell me that once your road closes a loop, it can no longer be counted because it's not a straight line, only a BIG fork.
When counting the longest road, you get to count the longest possible branch. So, if you have a loop of 6 segments, you can count it as six, but only if it is at an end of your road. Consider two examples: The example you describe would be counted as 7 roads. This is a loop with a single leg sticking out of it.
You could then increase the length of the leg, thereby increasing the length of your longest road. If you had a loop with two legs, then you could only count around the circle in one direction or the other. You could count the longer of the two directions, but you would not be able to count all six of the segments in the loop. The longest road does not have to be straight.
It is free to wander back and forth and double back as much as it likes. You may always count the longest possible fork when determining the length of your road.
If you roll a “7”, and move the robber, do you have to give up half your cards if you have eight or more?
Yes, when a "7" is rolled, all players must check the number of cards in their hand. Even if it is the player who is moving the robber, anyone who has more than 7 resource cards must discard half of them to the bank.
Does the robber block the use of a port to trade cards (with settlement of course) in addition to blocking production for that hex?
The robber does not block the use of harbors to get the better trade ratio. He only blocks the production from the hex that he is in.
If I play a Soldier card to move the Robber, does everyone with more than 7 cards have to discard, or does that only occur if someone rolls a 7?
You only have to discard half your hand when a “7” is rolled. The soldier card merely allows you to move the robber and rob another player. The soldier card does not force players to discard if they have more than seven cards.
Can I give cards away? Or trade them in exchange for another player doing something I want (such as not moving the robber next to my city)?
A legal trade must include an exchange of Resource cards between two players. Each player must receive at least one card in the exchange, or it is not a trade. You can not give Resource cards away. You must get something for them. Similarly, you cannot give another player Resource cards as a bribe, because you would not receive any Resource cards in exchange.
Player A offers Player B (who owns a 2:1 sheep port) a resource of his choice if he agrees to exchange two sheep for a resource he needs. Is this a legal trade?
The answer to your question depends entirely on whose turn it is. B player may only use a harbor on his own turn. So, in your example, if it is player A's turn, then player B can not use his port to trade the 2 sheep for the desired resource. However, if it was player B's turn, he could use the port to transform the 2 sheep into the desired commodity.
Are players allowed to suggest trades when it is not their turn?
Yes. The rules state that you may only trade if the player who is taking his turn is included in the trade, but there is no rule that states that you can not negotiate a trade when it is not your turn.
IV. Turn sequencing
At the beginning of your turn, do you have to roll the dice first? Or can you do some trading and buying first and then roll? This becomes an issue if a player has more than 7 cards and would like to decrease the number of resource cards in his hand prior to potentially rolling a 7?
No, you must follow this order during your turn:
- A. Roll dice for production/resolve a "7" if rolled
- B. Trade and Build
You may not do any trading or building before you roll the dice. However: You may choose to play 1 and only 1 Development card at any time during your turn. So, you may elect to play a Development card before you roll the dice for production. It is very popular to play a soldier card and chase away the robber before rolling when the robber pawn is placed on one of your important hexes.
There is a rule that only one development card is played at any one time. If I purchase a development card, i. e. Monopoly (and by the rules must play it immediately) can I on the same turn play Soldier card to move the robber?
There is no rule that states that you must play a Monopoly card as soon as you draw it. In fact, you may not play any Development card on the turn that you drew it (exception: victory point cards may always be played on the same turn they are drawn). Also, you may only play one Development card per turn (again exception: victory point cards can be played regardless of other Development cards played the same turn). So, if you play a Monopoly card, you may not also play a Soldier card on the same turn.
Can the Road Building card be played before I roll the dice for my turn? On page 18 of the Settlers' Almanac, question 5, it reads in italics: Development cards may be played any time during the player's turn, even before rolling the dice. It doesn't stipulate that there are any restrictions even though the rules also say that you can only build after you have finished trading.
Yes, you may play any Development card before you roll the dice. There is no limit on the type of Development card you can play. When you play a Development card, you must use its ability right away. Using a Development card never counts as trading or building.
In the basic Settlers of Catan game, the rules say that you have to complete all your trading before building anything, but in all the expansions you are allowed to do this in any order. Was the original turn sequence in the basic game a typo? Are you allowed to trade or build in any order in the basic game?
The rules for Settlers require you to do all of your trading before you do any building. However, later versions of the game, such as the Cities & Knights of Catan, are longer games. To help speed along play, the game designer decided to alter the rules to allow building and trading in any order. If the rules for the expansion you are playing do not allow trading and building in any order, then you must complete all trading before you do any building.
V. Resource & Development Card
If the bank has some of a resource left, but not enough to provide for everyone who should receive it, what occurs? Do players get resources in turn order starting with the current roller? Or does no one get any resources?
If there are not enough resource cards left in the bank to pay all of the players all of the resources that they are due, then no player gets any resources.
Is it true that the number of cards in your hand is always open and available information? Specifically, should it be readily apparent how many development cards you have, but have not yet played? Or can you hide the resource cards under the table or in your pocket so that no one can see how many cards you have?
Yes. The quantity of cards you have in your hand is public information. But the identity of those cards is not. If another player asks, for example, how may resource cards do you have, right before he moves the robber, you must tell him truthfully the number of resource cards you have in your hand. The same goes for Development or Progress cards. The number of each type of card (resource, development, etc.) that you have is public knowledge at all times. (But, not the specific cards, i.e. wood, sheep, rock…)
In the Game Settlers of Catan, are you allowed to hide your resource cards under the table, so that no one can see how many cards you have? I would be grateful if you could answer my question.
No, you can not hide your cards under the table (or in your pocket, the next room, under the board, etc.) The number of cards you have in your hand is always public knowledge. Only the type of cards may be hidden.
What do you do if you use up the entire Development deck? Do you shuffle the cards that have already been played? Or do you continue the game without them?
In the unlikely event that all of the cards in the Development deck are purchased, no player may buy any additional Development cards. It is the same as when you build all fifteen of your road segments. The game continues, you just can't build any more roads. Usually some player will have won by the time all of the Development cards are drawn, so this shouldn't happen in too many of your games.
If a player receives a development card that he cannot use, (i.e. Road Building but no road segments left), can he trade it to another player for resources?
Development cards can never be traded for any reason. In the unlikely event that you draw a development card that is truly worthless, then I am afraid that it is just bad luck.
When I play a Solder card, is it discarded or does it continue to have some effect on the game? In other words, when you purchase a Soldier card and do not play it (to move the robber) does that card count toward the largest army? Or do only played Soldier cards count?
Only soldier cards that you have played count towards the Largest Army. Cards in your hand do not count! When you play a Soldier card, you should keep it face up in front of you so all players can see how many Soldier cards you have played. That way, it is easy to see who is competing for the Largest Army!
When I play the Monopoly card and name a resource, all players give me all their resource cards of that type. Does the monopoly card stay face-up for the rest of the game, and do the other players continue to give me their resources of that type (i.e. I control all wood on the island from now on)? Or does the card take effect once and then go away?
The Monopoly card has its effect only once, when you first play it. After that it is left face up so that everyone knows that the card has been played. Settlers is not intended to be a "card-counting" game, so all the information about cards that have been played is public. Sadly, you do not get to continue collecting from your monopoly after it is first played.
If I receive a victory point from a Development card, do I have to show the victory point card to everyone face up, or can I keep it face down (so nobody really knows how many total victory points I have)?
Victory Point Development cards may be kept secret or played. There is really no reason to play them, however, until you have enough points to win. These cards give you secret victory points that you can hide from your opponents until you have enough points to win.
I know that I can play as many victory point cards as I want during my turn. My question is if I play another type of Development card, (such as a Soldier card) can I still play my victory point cards in the same turn?
Yes, you may play any number of victory point cards in addition to playing your one Development card on your turn.