# Can I build a settlement if I don't have the building piece for it?

Each player has 5 settlement tokens in hand at the beginning of the game. After placing the 5th settlement, considering I have not built a single city, can I build a 6th settlement?

• This question makes me irrationally angry. Nov 10 '15 at 18:37
• The way to place it on the board is a city on its side, but you can't build like that. It can only happen if a city gets reduced. Nov 10 '15 at 19:38

This is super clear in the rules.

Under Build in the Game Rules section:

You cannot build more pieces than what is available in your pool—a maximum of 5 settlements, 4 cities, and 15 roads.

Then, later, under Build (Building) in the Almanac:

You can build as many items and buy as many cards as you desire—as long as you have enough resources to “pay” for them and they are still available in the supply. [...] Each player has a supply of 15 roads, 5 settlements, and 4 cities.

and again later, under Settlements:

Note: If you have built all 5 of your settlements, you must upgrade 1 of your settlements to a city before you can build another settlement. You will then have the settlement in your supply, so you can build another settlement.

No.

Supplies are finite. If you need more settlements, you have to upgrade some to cities. As soon as you upgrade one settlement to a city, the settlement returns to your supply.

The same goes for roads and cities, they too run out. As such, the longest possible road has length 15 (or 30 if you include ships from the Seafarers expansion).

• And, for completeness, for cities too — you can't upgrade 5 settlements. Nov 10 '15 at 20:27
• @mattdm: Huh? Our understanding was there was no need for the fifth city counter because that nets 10 points which wins the game immediately. Nov 10 '15 at 22:49
• @Joshua Maybe that's deserving of its own question and answer, then, but again I think the rules are pretty clear. See the quotes in my answer: you cannot build more than 4 cities. (So, you can't win that way — which, by the way, makes the end game a lot more interesting!) Nov 10 '15 at 23:04
• @Joshua In my experience, 10-point games end too fast. We usually play to 12. Nov 10 '15 at 23:56
• For three players, 12 is good. For four, it can make the endgame very boring and arbitrary, essentially betting against a particular roll of the dice that will give the lead player the last of a resource he needs for that one final point. Nov 13 '15 at 18:55

No, unless you have lost a settlement. Check the contents list of the game to see if you have every settlement pawn for that color.