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Let's set up a simple example to illustrate what I'm getting at:

  • A player has a city bordering an ore tile, and they are the only player with a settlement bordering an ore tile.
  • There is only 1 ore resource card left in the "bank".
  • Someone rolls for resource production and it causes the ore tile to produce 2 ore for the city owned by the player in question.

Do they get the 1 remaining ore resource card?

Personally, I would assume no. The rules do state that if there are not enough resources of a given type to distribute, nobody gets anything. But this situation is a little different just because there is only one player receiving resources.

I'll note that I've never actually had this happen, but am working on a computer based simulation and am trying to be precise.

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3 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Yes, the lone player gets the cards.

The Official FAQ at catan.com answers this directly.

Resource Cards - In case not enough Resource Cards of a certain type are available, does a player get nothing even if he is the only one to receive this resource?

No. In this case, he receives all available Resource Cards of this type.

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The rules that I have state that you first give cards to whoever is getting the most of that resource. So if you have only one player getting cards, they get all the cards. If one player should get 4 cards, and one 2 cards and there are 3 cards left, the first player gets all 3 and second gets nothing.

This is >10 year old edition of the game though.

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Mine says player order, ending with the player who rolled the dice. Again, older edition. –  aramis Jul 18 '13 at 18:51
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Just from a Rules-As-Written reading, it literally says "nobody" which should mean nobody.

From a spirit-of-the-rules view, I believe that rule is intended not to give unfair advantage to certain players at the cost of other players, but in this case there's no cost to other players, so no unfair advantage would be gained.

Either way, as you pointed out, it is an extremely narrow edge case.

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