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Subject: Can you trade development cards? rss

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Rich Hims
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Having had my rool book nicked by a departing housemate, I've only got the almanac to go on, and it doesn't quite address this point:

Can you trade development cards?

I've read plenty on the forums about "following the spirit of the game", and since that's all about your viewpoint, I can imagine some variety of opinion on this question, but all relevant arguments are welcome.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Stefanie Kethers
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If I remember correctly, the original German rules explicitly forbid this.
 
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Joe Grundy
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English rules likewise are explicit. The Almanac only says (specifically) you may trade resource cards. Resource cards are clearly defined.
 
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Josh Cappel
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The version I own (2003 Mayfair) actually says that you can trade resources with other players, not specifically resource cards.

One might define Development Cards in hand as "resources" available to the player, and therefore tradable.

We had a discussion or two about this when we first purchased the game, with me firmly on the "not a chance, lance" side of the argument. Trading development cards makes it FAR too easy to gang up on a player. (I'll give you 2 soldiers for 1 wheat, Jim. Oh, tough luck, Bob.)

No, I don't think Development Cards should be traded.

However, we DO allow trades for futures on resources cards in our group - (I'll give you 1 sheep now if you give me the next ore you collect, etc.) Perhaps this was anticipated and is why the wording is the way it is in the rulebook.

~Josh
 
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Steve Oliver
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Outside Lime wrote:
However, we DO allow trades for futures on resources cards in our group - (I'll give you 1 sheep now if you give me the next ore you collect, etc.) Perhaps this was anticipated and is why the wording is the way it is in the rulebook.


Both players must trade at least 1 resource card in every trade. You cannot simply give away resource cards. See the FAQ at http://www.universityofcatan.com/faq/faqq48304.html

And you are right that you cannot trade Development cards (per the FAQ): http://www.universityofcatan.com/faq/faqq48302.html
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J C Lawrence
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steveoliverc wrote:
Both players must trade at least 1 resource card in every trade. You cannot simply give away resource cards. See the FAQ at http://www.universityofcatan.com/faq/faqq48304.html


Really? I'll give you a wood for a rock and a wood. Seems like you just gave me a rock.

Then there's the whole debate over Extortion Settlers, a method of play that fits entirely within the rules by merely relying on non-binding trade agreements negotiated during thief placement.
 
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Chris Jones
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Outside Lime wrote:
One might define Development Cards in hand as "resources" available to the player, and therefore tradable.


This is not alllowed and breaks the rules. Development cards are not resources as they are not produced by land hexes. They are thus not tradable and their trade is forbidden under all version of the rules.

CHROS
 
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Josh Cappel
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There is also another method by which cards can be legally "given" to another player utilizing a clever sequence of trades.

Say I have 2 Wood and you have 1 Ore. I want to give you 1 Wood. The sequence to accomplish this within the rules is:

Me: 2 Wood. You: 1 Ore

a) I trade you one Wood for your Ore.

Me: 1 Wood, 1 Ore. You: 1 Wood.

b) I trade you both of my cards for your Wood.

Me: 1 Wood. You: 1 Ore, 1 Wood.

Voila. I have "given" you 1 Wood card, all within the parameters of the game.

~Josh
 
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Edward
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Outside Lime wrote:
There is also another method by which cards can be legally "given" to another player utilizing a clever sequence of trades.

Say I have 2 Wood and you have 1 Ore. I want to give you 1 Wood. The sequence to accomplish this within the rules is:

Me: 2 Wood. You: 1 Ore

a) I trade you one Wood for your Ore.

Me: 1 Wood, 1 Ore. You: 1 Wood.

b) I trade you both of my cards for your Wood.

Me: 1 Wood. You: 1 Ore, 1 Wood.

Voila. I have "given" you 1 Wood card, all within the parameters of the game.

Yes, my friends and I have done this. Note, however, that this is not an atomic operation. Within the parameters of the game, it's considered two separate trades, so it requires trust in between steps a and b. Once step a is completed, there is nothing obligating you to continue with step b (other than a healthy fear of retribution).
 
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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Quote:
There is also another method by which cards can be legally "given" to another player utilizing a clever sequence of trades.

Say I have 2 Wood and you have 1 Ore. I want to give you 1 Wood. The sequence to accomplish this within the rules is:

Me: 2 Wood. You: 1 Ore

a) I trade you one Wood for your Ore.

Me: 1 Wood, 1 Ore. You: 1 Wood.

b) I trade you both of my cards for your Wood.

Me: 1 Wood. You: 1 Ore, 1 Wood.

Voila. I have "given" you 1 Wood card, all within the parameters of the game.

~Josh


A trade like this is not allowed. You may not trade a resource for the same one. In your example you are giving wood (and ore, but this doesn't matter) for wood. The following is also officially forbidden:

A: ore, wood - B: grain

trade 1: ore and wood for grain

A: grain - B: ore, wood

trade 2: grain for wood

A: wood - B: ore, grain

Although there are two seperate trades, you were effectively giving an ore for nothing. This case is answered in the FAQ (siedeln.de/faq) after contacting Klaus Teuber - the designer.
 
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Simon Lundström
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Any reason WHY trading so that you are giving away something for nothing is forbidden? It gives an advantage to a guy with 8 cards to give away 1, to avoid a chance of the robber, but it gives the other player a card… risk management for a card? I don't see why this should _ruin_ the game…
 
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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It's not forbidden to give a card away, you ARE allowed to trade 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, ... with your opponents, but not in such a way that the sole effect is that you lost one card. Both players must have different resources after the trade. A trade like described above does not result in different resources for A as he still has wood, but gave away his ore.

Why the rule? Catan is designed as a game of giving and receiving - you give something and at the same time you receive something. By giving presents you are not receiving anything and your opponent is not giving anything away.

Also, it prevents king-making and/or partner play. In my view it is a vital rule for the game.
 
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Simon Lundström
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Ponton wrote:
Also, it prevents king-making and/or partner play. In my view it is a vital rule for the game.

This would be the reason for this rule that makes sense. For all other cases, giving away a card never benefits you, unless you would want to avoid the robber. And in that case, I find giving away a card being perfectly legitimate - both give and take: The giver of the card lowers his risk, and the reciever of the card gets a card in return for offering to lower the giver's risk of losing more.

But as for preventing partner play, to be honest, that's the unwritten rule for most board games and I feel that having rules designed solely for preventing partnerplay in Catan is like having coffee cups in a café attached to strings "in order to prevent people from beating each other up with them". Like duh, that's not what they're for…

So I still don't see the idea of strictly forbidding giving away cards. As long as all play to benefit themselves
 
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dev cards may NOT be traded under any circumstances. They may not be discarded in place of resource cards when u roll a 7, nor can they be stolen either. That's what makes dev cards so special. Once a player buys 'em, they're his forever. They're also potentially very powerful as well, easily turning what would've been a loss into a win. Of course, they do have their own drawbacks to balance things out, like being able to play only one per turn not on the same turn bought, except for VPs.
 
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