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Memphis Geek Club Message Board › Catan Maritime Trade Clarification

Catan Maritime Trade Clarification

A former member
I have done some investigation on how maritime trade works in Catan. I found a good answer on Boardgame geek I wish to share. I specifically think Example b is the most important. I'm not saying this has ever happened at one of our game sessions, but just to be sure, you can never give away cards. I actually found a sentence in the rule book that states this. I'm all for house rules for a game when they are used to clear up grey areas, but I'm not for house rules that cause a game to become imbalanced because that is not fair to all players at the table. Catan is pretty clear on the rules so there should not be much bending going on. Here is the clarification of maritime trading:

A player may only use their own harbour, and only on their own turn.
Each trade should be self-contained and resorces should flow both ways.

Example a:
Player A (active) is on a sheep harbour and has 3 wood. Player B has 3 sheep and would like a rock. Player a could offer a wood for the 3 sheep, then offer to trade back the wood for the rock he can buy with 2 of the sheep. He finishes 1 sheep up, and player B gets his rock.

Example b:
Player A (active) is on a sheep harbour and has no cards. Player B has 3 sheep and would like a rock. Player A could not offer to use his harbour as he has nothing to offer for the initial sheep. This would violate the "something for nothing" rule, even though both players would end up with something eventually.

The 5-6 player expansion does not change the trading phase. It simply allows for an extra "all player" build phase after the active player finishes building. So, in this phase, a non-active player can not use a sheep harbour to build a road with a brick and two sheep.

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