Of course if you have cards to buy a settlement you can buy a road, but I want to buy a settlement first in case my cards get stolen by another player. Can I buy the settlement first and not place it anywhere until I have a road network that would allow me to place it in accordance to the distance rule?

2 Answers 2


No, you may not.

As per the rulebook, under "Build" (on page 4) it says:

Take the appropriate number of roads, settlements, and/or cities from your supply and place them on the game board.

An explicit part of the building process is putting the built items onto the board, so no, you can't buy it and place it later.


The rules never talk about buying a settlement, they always talk about building a settlement, and there is no mention of being able to hold a settlement in reserve after paying for it. On the basis that the rules tell you specifically what you can do, then when you build a settlement you must place it on the board.

  • That is what I mean, I can't find anywhere any ruling on if you can or cannot do this. Doesn't state that you must have the appropriate roads built before you can buy and build a new settlement. There has been occasions where I bought a settlement and realised I can't put it anywhere on the board due to the distance rule and not having the roads. Then what do I do, get a refund from the bank?
    – IronFin
    Jun 29, 2016 at 1:40
  • 4
    Game rules always tell you what you can do within the context of the game, and by elimination what they don't tell you you can do, you can't. If there was some means to pay the resources and delay the actual placement of the settlement, the rules would explain the means to do so. See also game designer Donald X Vaccarino on whether the rules to Dominion let you keep track of score by writing in your own blood
    – ConMan
    Jun 29, 2016 at 1:41

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