# Is it possible to lose Catan to a player with fewer points than you?

So let's say you are playing a 6-person game. You have 9 points. During Special Building Phase, you reach 11 points. However, you have not won yet because it is not your turn yet.

In the meantime, another player reaches 10 points on her turn. She has beaten you, even though you have more points that her.

From the official Catan FAQ:

Victory Conditions: Can I win during the special building phase?

Based on this FAQ, I'd have to believe the answer is yes, but it's the first time I realized it's possible.

I suppose it could also happen during a 4 player game: Let's say you have 9 points. During someone else's turn, the Longest Road is broken up and is transferred to you, putting you at 11 points. However, you have not yet won yet, because it's not your turn. In the meantime, another player reaches 10 points on his turn.

• I have to say that not being allowed to win except on your own go seems extremely arbitrary to me. I wasn't aware of this rule, and as a house rule I, personally, would probably ignore it. Oct 12, 2015 at 14:59
• Wow, I never considered this before. This is really good to know.
– John
Oct 12, 2015 at 15:01

Yes, as it says in the rules you quoted you can only win on your turn

Victory Conditions: Can I win during the special building phase?

So yes if you reach 11 points and it is not your turn it doesn't matter and someone else will still win if they reach 10 points on their turn and it is before your next turn. In Catan it isn't just about reaching 10 points to win but to do it on your turn as there is a chance you could lose some points before your next turn.

You can lose to an opponent with less points than you.

From the Catan 5th Edition Rules:

Ending the Game

If you have 10 or more victory points during your turn, the game ends and you are the winner! If you reach 10 points when it is not your turn, the game continues until any player (including you) has 10 points on his turn.

The rule does not say you have to have the most points. It states that you must have 10 or more points, and it must be your turn. If you meet those two conditions, you win.

Yes

The victory condition is not "who has the most points."

The victory condition is "who has gotten ten (or more points) on their turn." That is to say, the issue is one of "winning a race for a high score," not one of the "highest score."

If your opponents' actions take you to, or over 10, and its not your turn, you haven't (yet) fulfilled the victory condition. After all, some other opponent could take some action to nullify your advantage.

If no one decreases your point count, and no one reaches ten before your turn, you win. If someone does reach ten on a turn prior to yours, they have won the "race." That's true even if you have the same, or larger number of points than their ten.

This can happen even in vanilla Catan. Imagine 4, players, A, B, C, and D. You are A and have 9 points. D has the longest road.

On B's turn, B builds a settlement that breaks up D's longest road, giving you the longest road. Now you have 11 points, but it's not your turn. Then C goes, gets a 10th point and wins, even though you have 11 points.

There are imaginable scenarios where this could happen in 3 person Catan too.