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Subject: Giving Resources to Prevent Other Player from Winning rss

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Jason Herring
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Four player game, player A has 9 points and a longest road, and will be able to win next turn. Player B has 8 points. Player C and D are both at 5 points, and D has the second longest road. C gives materials to D so that he can expand on his road and take away the longest road card. A sour situation ensues.

1. Is 'giving' resources allowed? Would the situation be any different if the resources were traded for, say, one sheep?
2. Would you consider this bad sportsmanship or strategic play?

Player B ended up winning.
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Brook Gentlestream
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I don't consider it bad sportsmanship at all, but it is against the rules to "gift" resources. So long as an actual trade occured ("I'll give you two brick and two wood for one sheep!"), then I think it was well-played.

Player B acted in his best interest to attempt to win the game. Player D wasn't necessarily trying to help Player B -- he was also acting in his own best interest, to acquire victory points. I don't see anything even remotely unsportsmanlike here.

Even if they weren't, there's nothing wrong with a player who is not winning to attempt to stop the leader from ending the game so he can win. As long as its all done legally and each player is actively trying to win, it's good. (If player D was deliberately trying to help Player B win the game, for some odd reason, then I might be more likely to call foul.)
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James W
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You cannot give resources for nothing.

Anything within the rules is fair play. There will always be players who only play to win. If they lose to "cheese" or "dirty" strategies, instead of being a sore loser and blaming everyone else for their loss, they should reflect on the loss and learn how to beat those strategies should they come up again.
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Cheezdude wrote:
Four player game, player A has 9 points and a longest road, and will be able to win next turn. Player B has 8 points. Player C and D are both at 5 points, and D has the second longest road. C gives materials to D so that he can expand on his road and take away the longest road card. A sour situation ensues.

1. Is 'giving' resources allowed? Would the situation be any different if the resources were traded for, say, one sheep?
2. Would you consider this bad sportsmanship or strategic play?

Player B ended up winning.


1- already answered.... this according to Mayfair 3rd and 4th edition copies of the game

2- I consider it legit. Prolonging the game did give pC and pD to catch up, even though pB was closest after that "trade". It's understood that if pC or pD could win, they would do so and leave pB in the dust along with everyone else.

However, collusion or throwing the game woudl NOT be in the spirit of the game (and this can be subjective and hard to determine).... pC or pD just does a outrageous trade with pB so he can win the game and get it over with... we're talking something like trading for 1 sheep and trading away 4 ore, 3 wheat, and 4 wood. That's FAAAR too lopsided. Even a more practical example would still have a far off ratio. In one online community, a "player judge" would have to review logs and try to objectively as possible determine if there were these allegations.
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Geert Vinaskov
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How to give resources for nothing, without breaking the rules.

Player A has Sheep and Wood.
Player B has Brick.

Player A wants to give Player B Wood.

Player A trades away Sheep and Wood for Brick. Then, Player B trades away his Sheep for the Brick.

Player A now has Sheep,
Player B has Brick and Wood.

Voila, resource given away for nothing. (this is possible if both players have at least one resource, and you must trust eachother when doing this)
 
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Matthew Cordeiro
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Geert Vinaskov wrote:
How to give resources for nothing, without breaking the rules.

Player A has Sheep and Wood.
Player B has Brick.

Player A wants to give Player B Wood.

Player A trades away Sheep and Wood for Brick. Then, Player B trades away his Sheep for the Brick.

Player A now has Sheep,
Player B has Brick and Wood.

Voila, resource given away for nothing. (this is possible if both players have at least one resource, and you must trust eachother when doing this)


This is only possible if the player trying to "give" a resource has MORE than one resource (Player A in this example). That player still has to finish the "gift" trading with a resource in hand. You also can't give away the same resource you're receiving. So, slightly changing the example above, Player A would not be able to trade 2 woods for Player B's 1 wood. That's the same as giving away a resource.

Regarding the original questions, you can't give away resources for nothing in return. You can certainly give away lots of resources for just one resource in return.

I think the sportsmanship question could be broken out into 2 scenarios (using the player positions provided by the original post).

Scenario 1 (as originally asked): If Player C "gave" the resources to Player D, I'm fine with this. Player D would be at 7 points if able to claim longest road, knocking Player A down to 7 points as well. While this doesn't improve Player C's position (in fact it puts him in a worse position by doing an unfavorable trade), it does buy more time for a come-from-behind win. However improbable a 4th place to 1st place comeback may seem, it's still a better chance at winning than doing nothing and letting Player A win next turn.

Scenario 2 (a slight alteration on the original post but important to distinguish in my opinion): Player C gives resources to Player B so that Player B can take the longest road, knocking Player A down to 7 points but bumping Player B up to 10 points and the win. I would consider this bad sportsmanship. Player C is simply assisting another player to win the game and not in any way improving his own chances of winning.
 
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Brook Gentlestream
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When someone tries to come up with elaborate means of doing something the rules specifically say you can not do, that's when we get into questions of sportsmanship. Plus its a waste of everyone's time.

I completely agree with your other points.
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