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Catan: Traders & Barbarians» Forums » Rules

Subject: Fishermen of Catan - Replenishing the fish stock rss

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Edward Haag
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I picked up the Traders & Barbarians expansion last week, and had the chance to try it out for the first time last night. We played a four player game using the Fishermen and the Harbormaster variants.

During the game, a situation came up where multiple people got fish at once. IIRC, a three was rolled while there were 2 cities and a settlement surrounding the lake, thus handing out 5 tokens to various players. However, there were only 3 chits left in the fish stock at the time. I had read in the rules that when the stock is depleted, you flip over all the previously spent fish to make a new stock, so what we did was hand out the 3 remaining chits, then flipped over the stack of spent fish, mixed them up, and then handed out the other two from that.

It wasn't until several turns later that I noticed the statement in the rules that says something to the effect of, "if there aren't enough fish to hand out to all players, then nobody gets any." This seems to contradict with the previous rule mentioned that states you reshuffle the discards when you run out.

I checked catan.com's FAQ page, but didn't find anything covering this situation, so I'd like to know if anyone knows the proper ruling.
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Jupklass Jupklass2
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we had never finish the fishes
if so we play with the shuffle option
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Neil J.
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I don't have the rulebook on me at the moment to verify, but I don't believe there is a contradiction here. If the draw pile of fish tiles is depleted, shuffle the remaining discarded fish tiles and start a new draw pile. In the specific case that there are no discarded fish tiles (or not enough to simultaneously give to all recipients), then no one gets any fish tiles.

I believe the intent is to entice players to spend there fish tokens (and not hoard them).
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Brent Pollock
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No conflict. You only restock if you run out EXACTLY. It could be that this might never happen, if there is no possible match between the resource numbers and how many fish chits get pulled when it is rolled. The lesson here: Overfishing is bad.
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Reiner Dr. Düren
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There are 29 fish tokens and each player may not hold more than 7 fish tokens. When 4 players hold their 7 fish tokens one fish token will be in the supply. In this case the first player who would get one can exchange one of his tokens with this last one, then the next player. Therefore this rule would never apply that there are not enough in the supply, although the chance to get a better one for the second and maybe third player will be zero.
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Edward Haag
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Yes, if you go by the assumption that everyone is just accumulating fish and never spending them, which I can assure you was not the case. At the time the situation I described came up, there were a good 18 or 19 fish tokens in the discard pile.

As for the original question, there was a (mild) argument at the time between the four players as to what the proper ruling should be. The two posts already made (by Neil and Brent) were the two sides of the discussion, and we never did reach an agreement (although we finished the game using Neil's ruling, as that's what we did the first time, and everyone agreed that it wouldn't be a good idea to change the rules halfway through the game).
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Shawn Harriman
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I have played the fisherman a handful of times & interpret the rule this way:
If there are not enough fish tiles for everyone to get theirs, nobody gets any that turn (we call the skipped turn "bad fishing")& we then replenish the stock & proceed.
Once we needed exactly what was left so we payed out & then replenished & there was no "bad fishing" turn.
I think the fish are such a strong advantage that a skipped production turn once (maybe twice) a game helps balance.
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Sebastian Rapp
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Sorry, I don't get the problem.

If there are not enough unused fish token to hand out everybody their fish production, the used fish tokens are shuffled with the remaining tokens in stock and then everybody receives their production.
Why should there be a break between production and replenishing where nobody receives fish??

If there are still not enough fish token to give everybody their complete fish production, nobody receives any fish tokens this turn.

But this should be a very rare case.

Sebastian Rapp / Kosmos
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Laura "lelo" D. Arrowsmith Deddens Gerard
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My copy of the rules says:

"If there are not enough fish tokens to fulfill everyone's production, no one receives any fish tokens that turn."

and:

"When the last face-down fish token is drawn, turn over all the used fish tokens and mix them up again to form a new supply."

There are a number of points to consider.

1) "not enough fish tokens" Do they mean in the supply only? or in the supply and the spent token pile all-together? Seems like we need an FAQ or else a house interpretation of the rule.

2) "the last face-down fish token is drawn" Seems like you can't restock unless someone draws the last token in the supply however you otherwise decide to do it.

3) Deadlock. If they mean the supply only then when there are too few in the supply nobody gets tokens and you don't restock because the last token hasn't been drawn. This could happen repeatedly indefinitely and you would never restock. I don't like that so assume they mean all-together.

4)The Old Boot. The second rule requires that the supply be depleted before restocking thus forcing someone to get The Old Boot before restocking. But consider if there are not enough fish tokens in the supply for the current production, nobody has The Old Boot yet so it musts be one of the ones in the supply, and there are plenty of fish in the spent pile. Who has to draw that last fish token, The Old Boot, thus triggering the restock and who gets to wait and draw from the restocked supply and be assured of getting fish?

5)Fish Quantity. Even if The Old Boot is out, there is still the issue that a near empty supply will likely have mostly One-Fish Tokens and few if any Three-Fish Tokens because when you have 7 tokens, you can exchange your One-Fish Tokens in hopes of getting a Two- or Three-Fish Token. So whoever draws from the dwindling supply is at a disadvantage to the person who draws from the newly restocked supply. Or the other way around if for some unknown reason all the spent fish are One-Fish Tokens.

Suggested Solution: If there aren't enough fish tokens all-together in the supply and the spent pile, nobody gets one. Otherwise, draw starting with the person whose turn it is and continue clockwise around the table until the supply is depleted at which point you restock and continue around the table.

Comments? Better or other ideas?
 
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James Newton
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rainbowrose wrote:
Seems like we need an FAQ or else a house interpretation of the rule.

Comments? Better or other ideas?


Why not just use the interpretation of the rule provided by a representative of the original publisher of the game? That is as official an answer as one can get.

Sebastian Rapp wrote:
Sorry, I don't get the problem.

If there are not enough unused fish token to hand out everybody their fish production, the used fish tokens are shuffled with the remaining tokens in stock and then everybody receives their production.
Why should there be a break between production and replenishing where nobody receives fish??

If there are still not enough fish token to give everybody their complete fish production, nobody receives any fish tokens this turn.

But this should be a very rare case.

Sebastian Rapp / Kosmos
 
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Laura "lelo" D. Arrowsmith Deddens Gerard
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churchmouse wrote:
Why not just use the interpretation of the rule provided by a representative of the original publisher of the game? That is as official an answer as one can get.

Sebastian Rapp wrote:
Sorry, I don't get the problem.


I will assume your question is not sarcastic (although I think it is and if so I forgive you) and answer it.

He, Sebastian Rapp, the representative of the original publisher (Kosmos) of the game who is probably a native German speaker, said he did not get the problem. So I, native American English speaker reading 4th Edition Mayfair English Rules, tried to explain what my difficulty is as I read and understand it so that he can help address it.

If he had said that the rules were confusing but please revise them as explained then I would go with the answer. But as it is, I think he is adding to the instructions, not revising them. He does not acknowledge that there is a problem with the rules so he is not addressing the issues.

By explaining the issues in more detail, perhaps he will understand my confusion and that can better help him find a way to more effectively help me with my problem.

He does not address the issue of who has to draw The Old Boot if it's the only fish token left.

He said that he didn't get it. When I say that I don't get it, I mean "explain it to me." I explained. Perhaps something is getting lost in translation but I'm sure we, he and I and the helpful people around here, can work it out.

Perhaps I should have said much of this in the first place, but the post was getting long and I didn't want to tangle it up with non-essentials.

I could have pointed out, to answer the question he asks, that some people like a house rule of bad fishing because they think that fishing is too powerful and want to rein it in. But that aside, I would like someone to address the issue when the last token is The Old Boot.

Thanks.
 
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