10

Consider the following Catan scenario:

  • Player A has 3 wheat. Wants ore.
  • Player B has 1 wheat + 1 ore. Wants brick.

Question: Is there any official rule which would explicitly explain if the following trade is legal or not?

  • Player B agrees to give 1 wheat + 1 ore, if he gets 1 brick in return.
  • Player A doesn't have brick yet, but he gets his fourth wheat from player B. Immediately exchanges 4 wheat to 1 brick in bank. Gives brick to B.

Note, that this is not equivalent to:

  • Player A gives 3 wheat for 1 ore.

...because, in this case, player B ends up with 4 wheat, not 1 ore. (He may still exchange wheat for ore in his turn, but until such time, he has more resources.)

19

No, this is not legal as written. This is really a series of three separate trades (one of them being with the bank), and two of them are giving a resource for free, which is forbidden by the rules.

The problem is that a trade can only involve 2 people, so a "triangular trade" must be done as separate trades. From the FAQ:

Trade - Is a “triangular trade” permitted? On player A’s turn, are player B and player C allowed to trade with each other if afterwards one of them uses the obtained resource for trading with player A?

No. Not only is a triangular trade forbidden, it is also unnecessary, because player B and player C each trades individually with player A and, thus, may trade whatever resource he has – provided that it meets the requirements of player A.

And:

Trade - May I give away resources or buy services with them, for example, to avoid being bothered by the robber?

No. On Catan, a trade always involves giving and taking resources. Consequently, Catan’s trade law does not contain a “trade” of something for nothing or for immaterial goods such as services.

If they really want to do this, and they trust each other, they can do the following trades:

  1. A gives 3 wheat and gets 1 ore
  2. B gives 4 wheat and gets 1 ore
  3. A trades 4 wheat to the bank for 1 brick
  4. A gives 1 brick and gets 1 ore

Those are 4 separate, legal trades that have the same result. But there's nothing stopping either player from choosing to stop after any given step; though doing so will hurt their chances of being trusted in future trades and even future games.

  • Thanks! This is what I suspected after I read the "triangular trade" entry in the FAQ. However, I was only 99% sure. I guess I would be more confident if the FAQ would include an explicit sentence saying "Same applies to trading with the bank." – wrygiel Apr 23 '17 at 19:40
  • 2
    @wrygiel Good point. But to the best of my knowledge, there is no rules differentiation between trading with the bank and trading with another player; any rules that apply to trading apply to both. The bank just acts as a player who is always willing to make a specific kind of trade. – GendoIkari Apr 23 '17 at 20:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.