In Catan, can I trade my own resources to "take over" another player's Settlement, City, or Road?

For example, can I offer 5 Bricks and 3 Ore to another player to have them convert one of their already placed Road pieces from their (e.g. blue) piece to my (e.g. red) piece? i.e. They would no longer have the Road that they had played along the edge of a hex, I would have it instead.

  • 1
    Do you mean the actual game piece (which has their color), or just the resources to buy one yourself?
    – steenbergh
    Nov 13, 2017 at 12:29
  • This really should be asked as 2 separate questions.
    – GendoIkari
    Nov 13, 2017 at 14:19
  • @AndyT how do they conflict with each other? The second one overrides the first one.
    – user22345
    Nov 14, 2017 at 21:34
  • @steenbergh edited. Hope it's a bit more clear.
    – user22345
    Nov 15, 2017 at 8:44
  • @AndyT convert one of their pieces. Sorry if it's not specific enough. I will edit again.
    – user22345
    Nov 15, 2017 at 10:10

3 Answers 3


No, you may not trade game pieces.

The rules have this on trading:

  1. Trade Afterwards you may trade freely (using either or both types of trades below) to gain needed Resource Cards:

a) Domestic Trade

On your turn, you can trade Resource Cards with any of the other players. You can announce which resources you need and what you are willing to trade for them. The other players can also make their own proposals and counter offers. Important: Players may only trade with the player whose turn it is. The other players may not trade among themselves.

b) Maritime Trade

You can also trade without the other players! During your turn, you can always trade at 4:1 by putting 4 identical Resource Cards back in their stack and taking any 1 Resource Card of your choice for it. If you have a settlement or city on a harbor, you can trade with the bank more favorably: at either a 3:1 ratio or in special harbors (trading the resource type shown) at 2:1. Important: The 4:1 trade is always possible, even if you do not have a settlement on a harbor.

It is allowed to trade the resources for a road for some other resources, with this restriction: You are not allowed to trade the same goods. This means you cannot exchange brick for brick, or in this case 4 bricks for a brick and a wood. I believe handing over entire roads, settlements and/or cities worth of resources is tactically a dubious move for your opponents under most circumstances, but it is allowed.

You may not trade like resources (e.g., 2 wool for 1 wool).

  • Ah sorry, I meant the actual piece that has their color. So they have a blue Settlement. Can I offer to buy it from them for a number of Resource cards?
    – user22345
    Nov 14, 2017 at 2:14
  • @SupremeGrandRuler Then the first part of my answer still stands: You can only trade resources, not development cards and definitely not game pieces.
    – steenbergh
    Nov 14, 2017 at 6:54

Regarding trading future cards -

When you make a trade, both parties must give at least 1 resource card. You are not allowed to give a resource card and not receive one in return. A promise to get one later does not count as "a card", so you cannot do this if the promised card would be the only one traded.

However, people are allowed to say whatever they want as part of negotiating a trade. So there is nothing stopping a player from promising something in the future as part of a trade now; but there's 3 important factors:

  • The current trade still must involve both parties getting a card right now.
  • The promised thing must also involve both parties getting a card at the same time.
  • There is nothing in the rules that will force a player to follow through with what he promised. A player can simply go back on his word.

No, you can only trade in resource card with other players.

You also cannot promise future cards as part of a trade. You can only trade the cards you currently have.

  • Can you point me to where it states that you can't promise future cards? Because AFAIK it only states "resource cards" (which promised ones could be too) which is ambiguous (and thus badly written). Nov 13, 2017 at 11:18
  • 3
    "Resource cards" absolutely cannot include promised ones too; there's no ambiguity here. If you read a game rule that states "It costs $5 to buy a new upgrade", do you wonder if you can buy the upgrade if you only have $2, if you promise to pay the other $3 later?
    – GendoIkari
    Nov 13, 2017 at 14:18
  • No, because "buying" and "trading" are two very different things. Trading includes negotiations, promises, deals, diplomacy, bargaining, bluffing, etc. while buying is an immediate change of goods vs. money. Nov 15, 2017 at 14:47

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