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Let's say my opponent (o) has a road network:

o - - - - - o


as x, can I:

o - - -x- - o


And break his already existing road?

My question is not whether or not this will break his road; my question is if it is legal for me to build there and break an already-established road.

At a previous game, there was considerable controversy as to whether this was a legal place to build a settlement.

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I don't understand the question. You're clearly familiar with the rule about breaking roads; this seems to be the textbook example for how to break a road. For what reason might this not be legal? – AlexC Oct 28 '10 at 8:52
@AlexC In games in the past, I've run into considerable controversy about this, with players saying, "You can't build a settlement there, because there is already another player's road there." – Justin L. Oct 28 '10 at 22:24
In which case I guess the thing to do is point them at the bit in the rules about breaking an opponent's road, and say "Since the rules say you can do that, you must be able to build a settlement there." – AlexC Oct 29 '10 at 8:12
up vote 40 down vote accepted

If you build a settlement on his road, you disrupt it yes.

See also: catan-longest-road-clarification.

You can build on any place if:

  1. You can reach it by road or ship
  2. The vacant spot has no neighbouring settlements or cities. (There must be at least one empty spot between two settlements/cities)
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I'm sorry, my question was a bit unclear. I have updated it :) – Justin L. Oct 28 '10 at 8:39
@Justin L, answer adapted – Toon Krijthe Oct 28 '10 at 8:46
Absolutely correct. The presence of an other player's road does not prevent you from build a settlement there... – Kempeth Oct 28 '10 at 12:36
Basically, you can break an opponent's road if you can build a road to his road, and put your settlement at the intersection, right? – Tom Au Oct 7 '12 at 23:20
@TomAu: that is right. – Toon Krijthe Oct 8 '12 at 8:45

Yes it is a legal move you can find an example on page 11 of the Almanac. Essentially as long as a road has a connection to a city it can be broken up.

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