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What happens in Catan when resources run out?

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Anything can happen while playing Catan, which includes running out of settlement or development cards. There are various scenario that can result this from happening, so let’s explore the issues even deeper.

The number of resource cards are limited in the Catan Deck. Limitation of the resource cards has nothing to do with game mechanics, but instead the physical limitation of the card themselves.

What happens in Catan when resources run out? When there are insufficient resource cards in the supply to meet every player’s demand for production, no player receives a resource card when their turn arrives. 

However, the player may decide to offer the resources available in the player’s cache to another player in exchange for a resource of their choice. 

The player may give two wool coins for them to choose another resource from the game stockpile. The trade is based on the ratio of the player’s choice. 

For instance, a ratio of 2:1 implies that in every two wool coins, a player gets one resource card from another player that suits their needs. When the player makes the trade, even though they get an additional resource card, the other player typically benefits more than the player initiating the trade. 

Running out of resource cards during the game can impact the game’s outcome since a player with extra cards gets a better chance to win the game. 

When the Catan game is played with as much as five or six players, there is a need for an expansion resource card deck to ensure the Bank does not run out of resources cards quickly. Separate resource cards from the development cards from the base game of a lesser player game.

In this article, we are going to review the basic rules for running out of resources in Catan. Answered below are frequently asked questions so you won’t face any shortage whether playing with large group of players or lengthier gameplay with a 2 to 4 players. 

How many resource cards are in Catan?

There are five resource cards of a different kind from a Catan deck of 110 cards, including an ore denoted as A, grain, brick, wool, and lumber. 

Resource cards are beneficial in performing some actions in the Catan game, including building cards for settlement, city, and roads. Therefore, every player needs resource cards to build and make improvements. 

For instance, if a player wants to build a road, it would cost one lumber and brick from their stockpile. If a player wants to make a knight, a player will incur one ore, one grain, and one wool.

After a player has played a resource card, the player places a corresponding building card in front of them. However, additional resource cards can be traded between a player to another when they get depleted. 

On a player’s turn, they can trade one or more resource cards from their hand. 

Both Goldfield hexes and seafarers in the Catan game are considered resource hexes. They allow a player to choose which resource they would like to receive during their turn. 

But on the other hand, Explorers and Pirates have not resourced hexes because they produce gold coins that can never be used as a resource in the game.

Do you keep your resources hidden in Catan?

Yes, according to Catan rules each player should keep their resources hidden in their complex during the game. 

However, some players decide to play Catan using house rules, allowing them to display resource cards face-up for other players to see. 

In general, no offense is played if the resource cards are shown to the other players. This is because the opponent players can know exactly how many resources a player has by counting the resources spent and how many remain. 

In contrast, players hiding the resources make it difficult for the others to determine what defenses are available. In addition, the robber does not become more powerful, and the monopoly has a hard time being used.

Opponents can track a player’s resource cards, which can prove no need for them to be hidden, but random elements make it difficult for other players to track unless the player wants to make that information public to others.

Catan Resource Rules

In order to react what to do when resource cards are  no longer available, we highly recommend reviewing the game rules prior to beginning to play. 

Here is a guide to Catan resource rules for you to review and easily understand the basics:

  • Given five different types of resources card at the start of the game in a face-up position includes one forest to produce lumber, one Field to make the Grain coin, one Hill to give Brick coin, one pasture to give Wool and a mountain to give Ore.
  • The number that a player has rolled determines which resource hex will produce a resource card.
  • Use resource cards to build settlements, roads, and cities.
  • Trade resources with another player at an agreed-upon ratio. For instance, 2:1 implies two wool coins for one resource card of the player’s choice.
  • Settlements that border a resource hex marked using a number after rolling the dice usually receive a resource card that the particular resource hex produces.
  • Have cities that border the marked number from the roll resource hex receive two of the resource cards produced by that hex.
  • Two or more settlements or cities that border a resource hex usually receive one resource card in every adjacent settlement and two resource cards in every adjacent city.

What to do when resource cards run out in Catan?

Resources cards consist of bricks, lumber, wool, grain, and ore. On every turn, each player gathers resources by rolling both dice and then use a combination of those five resources to build various items such as roads, settlements, cities, and development cards. 

However, it is possible to run out of resource cards during the Catan game.

No player should be receiving a resource card during their turn if there are insufficient number of resource cards in the supply stockpile that cannot fulfill every player’s production.

However, if the player is out of resource cards that they need, they can trade with other players using an agreed upon ratio. For instance, if a player gives up two coins of wool from their cache, they can get one resource card of their own choice.

What happened in Catan when resources run out

Running Out of Resource Cards in Catan: Conclusion

Catan board game requires resource cards to build any necessary items you need to win the game. In fact, each player needs resource cards to build cities settlement and roads. 

Hiding resources cards may not be necessary because players may track how much resources the player has spent and traded with others. 

When the game involves more players, for instance 5 to 6 players, a resource expansion may be necessary to provide additional resources cards to ensure the Bank doesn’t run out too quickly.

In general, the resource cards are limited in the deck. No matter the number of players, eventually the capped amount does affect the gameplay.

There are five resource card types for each player to select from. Collect the resources by rolling both dice and sum together to determine which terrain produce resources.

The most important resources are both Ore and Wheat because all players will need eventually need to get the victory points to win. 

When the resource cards run out in the middle of game, there are two ways to resolve it.

During the player’s turn, no one will receiving a resource card. Otherwise, it is allowed to trade with other players by agreeing upon a fair ratio for successful trading. 

Use these tips and game rules to gather resource cards to build settlements, roads, and cities to increase your chance of winning the Catan game. When all the resource cards are used up, now you know what to do!