Possible Duplicate:
Take Back Turns / Forgotten Privileges

I recently played and during my final turn, I placed five roads to reclaim the Longest Road. However, I quickly realized that I could place two roads and a settlement elsewhere which would break up the Longest Road, let me reclaim Longest Road, and give me the additional one point for the settlement that I needed for victory. So - I rerouted two of my roads, took back three brick and three lumber from the bank, and made a settlement. 10 points - victory. Was this legit, or is a road laid a road played? I assume from my guilt that it is not legit, but wanted to check with the pros. I didn't pass the dice and then realize my mistake. This was all pretty immediate. Had I only done it to begin with, there wouldn't be the guilt.

  • 2
    I upvoted and voted to close by the way, as I think it's a good question, but we probably don't need one instance of this question for every game out there under then sun! I don't there's anything special about Settlers that means the question of taking back moves isn't the same as the aforementioned generic one. Nov 3, 2011 at 9:01

3 Answers 3


I tend to take a pragmatic view of taking moves back, in casual gaming: did you gain any immoral extra information between the initial move and the improved move? If you play a move in chess and your then opponent reaches for the piece that will take your queen, it's obviously extremely dodgy to ask for a takeback...

In your own situation, if you genuinely were just thinking through your move and realised the better one while going through the motions of playing the first one, I wouldn't have a problem with the takeback in such an situation. That's far better than forcing players to sit there in a state of silent "analysis paralysis" for 5 minutes each time, scared to start playing a move until they are absolutely sure that no better move exists.

On the other hand, you could have gained information in this scenario. When you started playing out your roads, did another player breathe a sigh of relief or even just relax in their chair? If they did, and you noticed this, then your takeback is much less conscionable. That's why in tournament situations, once you start playing a move, that's it. In a casual setting it's a question of your own sense of honour. But hopefully you are good friends in your gaming group and all trust each other!


Its best to determine how this sort of thing is to be handled among your gaming group. The rule that I use is that it's okay to rewind state as long as the rewind is short enough that everyone has good confidence that it was done correctly (unanimously). If any random event has occurred (e.g. a die roll), and I want to 'go back' before the role, I ask if it's okay. Usually, as long as its clear that the die roll would not have affected the decision before the roll this is allowed. In Catan, because of the robber, this is likely not true, so my group wouldn't allow it in Catan.

If you want some other viewpoints, consider this discussion on BGG:

Acceptable/Unacceptable Behavior Requesting a Rewind

Hope that helps!


This is not a question that can be decided by the rules of the game: it depends on the "meta-rules" that your group decides. This is something you need to discuss before starting the game itself; some options are discussed in this question.

  • @Rebecca I agree, the most important question you have to ask yourself is: are we playing to win or to have fun? If I was playing with you, I'd say such a great move must be played, even if it means I don't win. I'm sure you know better than us how your friends react when you do something like that.
    – SteeveDroz
    Nov 3, 2011 at 7:30

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .