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Catan: Traders & Barbarians» Forums » Rules

Subject: Blocking fishing hexes in Fishermen rss

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Eric Kwei
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I realize that the rules specify that fish tiles cannot be taken but that doesn't seem to prohibit robber placements on the fishing hexes.

With that in mind:
1. Can the robber be placed on a fishing hex?
2. What about placing the robber on the 2-3-11-12 fishing hex (which replaces the desert, where the robber can be placed by 4th ed. Mayfair rules)?
3. Does the robber start the game on the 2-3-11-12 fishing hex? Would it block production there at the beginning of the game?
 
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Scott Metzger
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To place the robber on the lake fishing hex would require him to be standing in water, so common sense would say he couldn't be placed there. The pirate could be there except it is a lake and he couldn't travel there. In my circle we play that spot as immune to the robber. We also play that the robber starts off the board and is put off the board if two fishes are payed. This seems like a logical interpretation of the rules.
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Eric Kwei
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With the great odds of getting a fish at the lake and the given fish trade-in values, this makes the lake hex essentially an unblockable Seafarers Gold hex with a 4 or 5 chit on it, along with being adjacent to two other resources--frankly, I don't see why at least two people wouldn't place a settlement on the lake at the beginning of every game.

This really changes Settlers without adding much complexity--I like it.
 
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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The lake is NOT immune! You may place the robber on the lake as you can on any other hexfield. The rules do not forbid it, so it is allowed as per the official robber rules (robber may be placed on any producing hexfield or the desert).
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Eric Kwei
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Ponton wrote:
The lake is NOT immune! You may place the robber on the lake as you can on any other hexfield. The rules do not forbid it, so it is allowed as per the official robber rules (robber may be placed on any producing hexfield or the desert).


Would you say that the coastal fishing tiles can also be blocked?
 
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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No, they are no hexes. So, they can't be blocked. Also, the coastal fishing tiles are on water and the robber can't be placed on water.
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Eric Kwei
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Hmm, but the lake isn't a water hex?
 
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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No, it isn't.
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Derek Whaley
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I beg to differ. Just because hex is landlocked does not mean it isn't water. Lakes, both saline and fresh, are considered water and thus, and thus the robber should not go on them. Furthermore, fish are not technically a resource as they do not produce resource/commodity cards. I believe that is the implied definition of a resource by Kosmos/Mayfair, thus the lake is not a resource-producing hex. But that is only my interpretation. One other thing, unless you are playing with special rules, the Robber can't actually return to the desert, only start there.
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Scott Nowack-Thompson
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My group actually does not play with the lake hex in the middle of the board but rather out in the open ocean and we play that if you have a boat along any edge of the hex then you receive fish tokens. Although we only limit it to one fish token... thus there is no benefit to having 6 boats around the fish hex and a few people can get into the action. As well we play that the pirate can block the fish hex in the open ocean and if placed along the coast line adjacent to a fish chevron. If you were using the lake you could put it along the edge of the board and thus the pirate ship could block the hex otherwise I tend to agree that you could not place the robber or pirate ship on the lake hex if it is land locked.
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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Whaleyland wrote:
I beg to differ. Just because hex is landlocked does not mean it isn't water. Lakes, both saline and fresh, are considered water and thus, and thus the robber should not go on them. Furthermore, fish are not technically a resource as they do not produce resource/commodity cards. I believe that is the implied definition of a resource by Kosmos/Mayfair, thus the lake is not a resource-producing hex. But that is only my interpretation. One other thing, unless you are playing with special rules, the Robber can't actually return to the desert, only start there.


You're free to believe whatever you like, but Klaus Teuber says that the robber can be put on the lake, so he can. Of course, you're free to house-rule it however you like.

http://www.siedeln.de/faq/462_1314_de.html (GERMAN)

Also, the robber MAY return to the desert. This is since 1995 when Settlers first came out in German. I know Mayfair messed up with this, but read their official FAQ and you'll see that the robber may return to the desert, even in the Mayfair edition. I also think, this was fixed with the 4th edition.

http://www.siedeln.de/faq/192_354_de.html (GERMAN)
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Scott Metzger
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Common Sense. The robber blocks resource production in the hex that he is robbing from. Essentially, when that number is rolled, the robber takes the resource before it can be taken by the owner. But when placing the robber you can't steal fish. Therefore the robber can't steal fish. It makes no sense to protect the fish from being stolen if he can steal them that way. If the robber can be placed on the fish, fish should be able to be stolen. And, as has been stated, its water, robbers don't sit in the middle of a lake to steal. Maybe that's what Teuber said, but I can't read German, and what translators I find aren't saying anything concrete about it. Oh, and Kobiela, you said that the fish on the shore weren't hexes, I beg to differ, they are hexes that produce on only 3 corners. I think I remember seeing that you said elsewhere that the pirate couldn't be put on the edge pieces because they weren't hexes. They are hexes that are connected together to make setup easier, 3rd edition they are hexes so why should that change in the 4th? No rule has been added that I've seen. So by this reasoning, the robber should be allowed to be placed anywhere even on water, side tiles that have fish.
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Brent Pollock
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Okay...German English dictionary deployed...

I make the first one to be:
Q. May the Robber be placed on the Lake?

Short A. Yes

Long A. On what basis can the Robber attack the fishing boats after they've caught fish? The Robber can catch them by surprise when they get back to shore (ha-ha).

The second one looks like:
Q. Once the game has commenced, may the Robber be sent back to the Desert?

Short A. Yes

Long A. The Robber may be moved to the Desert, even though there is no number chip on it.

Ponton wrote:

You're free to believe whatever you like, but Klaus Teuber says that the robber can be put on the lake, so he can. Of course, you're free to house-rule it however you like.

http://www.siedeln.de/faq/462_1314_de.html (GERMAN)

Also, the robber MAY return to the desert. This is since 1995 when Settlers first came out in German. I know Mayfair messed up with this, but read their official FAQ and you'll see that the robber may return to the desert, even in the Mayfair edition. I also think, this was fixed with the 4th edition.

http://www.siedeln.de/faq/192_354_de.html (GERMAN)


Here is the list of Fishermen questions I sent yesterday to rulesguru@mayfair.com:
Special Preparation, 4th bullet point: do you also get a fish token if your second settlement is placed by the lake (i.e. does it count as a ‘fishing ground tile’)?

May the Robber be placed on the lake to prevent the acquisition of fish tokens?

May the Robber be placed on a fishing ground tile to prevent the acquisition of fish tokens?

When may the Fish Card actions be performed:
- at any time in your turn, even before rolling the dice/drawing the event card?
- only during trading or building?

May the 5 fish free road be used to repair the Earthquake event?
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Nathan Cornelius
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Whaleyland wrote:
Lakes, both saline and fresh, are considered water and thus, and thus the robber should not go on them. Furthermore, fish are not technically a resource as they do not produce resource/commodity cards. I believe that is the implied definition of a resource by Kosmos/Mayfair, thus the lake is not a resource-producing hex. But that is only my interpretation. One other thing, unless you are playing with special rules, the Robber can't actually return to the desert, only start there.
It seems to me there is way too much focus on rules technicalities in this thread, which is sad considering I'm typically the rules lawyer. It doesn't really matter whether it's technically a resource or not - it's ultimately a house rule to be agreed upon by those playing.

And it makes no difference whatsoever where the robber piece is physically located (off the board or on the desert) while he's not effecting the game!


spmetz wrote:
To place the robber on the lake fishing hex would require him to be standing in water, so common sense would say he couldn't be placed there.
spmetz wrote:
Common Sense. The robber blocks resource production in the hex that he is robbing from. Essentially, when that number is rolled, the robber takes the resource before it can be taken by the owner. But when placing the robber you can't steal fish. Therefore the robber can't steal fish. It makes no sense to protect the fish from being stolen if he can steal them that way. If the robber can be placed on the fish, fish should be able to be stolen. And, as has been stated, its water, robbers don't sit in the middle of a lake to steal.
From a logical perspective, fisherman either fish from the shore or on a boat. The robber could effectively steal from fisherman along the shore or lie in wait for those returning with their boat. He could also even hijack another boat to go out on the lake and steal from someone there.

More importantly from a game perspective, as Eric Kwei indicated, the lake hex has the potential to be quite powerful. To make it immune to the robber adds to the power it already holds and can easily create an imbalance in the game.

Furthermore, simply because one cannot "steal" fish does not negate the concept of the robber being placed on a lake. This essentially implies that every time you place the robber on a forest hex, for example, you will steal lumber from an opponent - which is not the case. And the robber is still effectively blocking production from that tile, the same as he would on any other tile.


spmetz wrote:
Kobiela, you said that the fish on the shore weren't hexes, I beg to differ, they are hexes that produce on only 3 corners. I think I remember seeing that you said elsewhere that the pirate couldn't be put on the edge pieces because they weren't hexes. They are hexes that are connected together to make setup easier,

The fish "chevrons" are hexagons in the mathmatical sense, but they are not regular hexagons as is typically meant by the common use of "hex" within game contexts. Thus in that sense, they indeed are not hexes. I usually play that the pirate (if applicable in the given game) can block these (as well as harbors).

The border frame pieces are not hexes either mathmatically or logically. They are simply a means to contain the board and keep it from sliding around. Again though, this could easily be changed via an agreed upon house rule.
 
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Preston Derosier
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Whether or not it makes "logical" sense, the answer is Yes. You may place the Robber on the Lake hex. Here is the official English translation on the Catan website "Traders & Barbarians FAQ" page:

http://www.catan.com/faqs/97?page=1



If it helps, just imagine that the Robber is either sitting in a boat, or standing along the shore to steal your catch.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS:
(These I can't find an official answer to)

Q. In Seafarers, does the Pirate stop fish production when placed on a coastal water hex with a Chevron fish tile?

Q. In Seafarers, can the Robber be placed upon a coastal water hex with a Chevron fish tile?

Anyone know?
 
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