# In Settlers of Catan, is it possible to avoid "losing a won game?"

Here's the kind of sequence I'm talking about. You finished your last turn with eight victory points (VP)s. Between then and your current turn, one opponent interrupted another opponent's longest road, and you now have longest road and ten VPs at the beginning of your turn. If you have the required VPs at the end of your turn, you win.

Is it true (in some variants), that you might possibly draw a card that increases your VP requirement from 10 to 11 so that you don't win at the end of the turn?

If the above is true, is there an antidote for this? Is it possible for you to follow a course of action that doesn't prevent you from having the requisite victory points at the end of your turn? Or does every course of action (in a particular variant) have a chance (however slight) of derailing your victory?

• ... How would you drawing a development card disrupt your victory points, anyway? You're not forced to play any of the dev cards (in fact, you can't play any except the VP ones on the turn that you draw them). None of the dev cards have the ability to destroy or reduce your own stuff. Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 17:37
• @AlexP: I'm a bit confused myself. But my understanding (in some variants of the game) is that you can draw a development card that increases your VP requirement by one from 10 to 11 points. So if you have 10 points at the beginning of the turn and draw such a card, you've "thrown away" your win. Then my question was, "can you be 'headed off at the pass?'" Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 17:39
• You mean The Boot? IIRC. it's not a dev card, it's a "fish" card. Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 17:41
• @AlexP: I think that's what I meant. Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 17:42
• Thanks for clarifying, Tom. I think I found the rules relevant to your example. Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 17:51

# 10 Points On Your Own Turn = You Win!

If you have 10 or more points at any time during your turn, you win the game outright immediately.

From the University of Catan FAQ (emphasis added):

Q: 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?

A: 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!

# Fear the Boot

So, there's a particular mini-expansion called Fishermen of Catan. You can find the rules online (PDF link). This expansion contains the "Old Shoe." Every time your fisheries produce resources, there's a chance you'll draw the Old Shoe card, which can turn your 10/10 VP into 10/11 VP. Oh noes!

Here's a rules quote (emphasis added):

# D. That Old Shoe

One of the tokens shows an "old shoe" that you might accidentally draw while collecting a fish token. If you draw the old shoe, you must reveal it immediately! Keep the old shoe face up in front of you. As long as the old shoe is in your possession, you will need 1 additional victory point to win the game! So, you would need 11 victory points to win the basic Settlers game!

There is good news, however! During your turn after rolling the dice, you can give the old shoe away! You can give the shoe to any other player who has the same or more victory points than you. But, if you alone have the most points, you must keep the old shoe for yourself!

So, it looks like the Old Shoe can, in fact, "turn a win into a loss" if this scenario happens:

1. You get 10 VPs on some other player's turn (per the Longest Road example in the question).
2. Then another player's roll generates resources for you, and you end up with the Old Shoe.
3. You can't win on your turn because of your new VP threshold.
4. Another player goes after you, gets to 10 VP, and wins.

However, if an opponent already has a lot of VP on the board just like you, you can do this on your turn:

1. (same) You get 10 VPs on some other player's turn (per the Longest Road example in the question).
2. (same) Then another player's roll generates resources for you, and you end up with the Old Shoe.
3. You roll the dice, then give the Old Shoe away.
4. Claim your victory immediately (as above)!

This is yet another case where it's useful to hide your +VP dev cards in your hand until the exact moment you claim the win (sine it makes it easier to dump the Shoe).

• OK, so even though I have 10 points, I don't win until it's my turn, because someone else could get 10 points on their turn. And even though I got 10 points first, they had their (10 point) TURN first. Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 17:36
• @TomAu Correct! Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 17:39
• You can win on anyone's turn in 5/6 player settlers though, as you can build at the end of anyone's turn and win by getting to 10 points that way.
– Nick
Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 21:19
• @Nick Can you also claim the win anytime in 5-6 player Settlers? Commented Sep 18, 2013 at 17:19
• @AlexP Yes, I believe so. There is a strict order to building though in order from the current player around in turn order.
– Nick
Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 8:58