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What happens when you run out of Developments Cards in Catan?

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Have you been faced with running out of Development Cards while playing Catan? In the Catan game, developments cards are limited in number, and once the developments cards run out, a player cannot buy them any longer. 

In general, running out of cards such as settlements or resources are rarely happening in the Catan game. Especially, since development cards are played by a player only when they need to. 

What happens when you run out of development cards in Catan? Development cards are very elemental to the gameplay, and can be paid for in the player’s turn. The moment they decide to play them, the player must roll the dice.

However, the player can’t buy them once the development cards run out. If there are not enough development cards for all players after each turn or roll, then nobody gets any. 

In Catan game, there are only 25 development cards in the Catan deck so a player can get direct victory points. However, there is a need for a player to gain the largest army to make conquering others achievable. 

It is possible to run out of developments cards since there are few in the game. Therefore, players should avoid the situation by buying more development cards whenever they get low, provided they have enough resources to buy more. 

Players can buy only one development card per turn. Remember, a player cannot play a development card on the turn the player bought it, and they will have to wait until the next turn to play the Development Card. 

Development cards can only be purchased but can never be traded or given from one player to another. 

If you have been struggling when shortage of development cards, we’ve got the solutions in this article. Answered below are frequently asked questions about running out of development cards and what to do when that happens, let’s dive in.

How many development cards are in Catan?

In total, there are 25 development cards in Catan. Each player can only play one development card per turn. 

These development cards can be purchased during their turn. The cost is one ore, one wool, and one grain to ensure they don’t run out of development cards.

On the other hand, a player cannot play a development card bought on the turn they were purchased in, instead they are uses on the next turn. The development cards played in turn by a player can either be a knight, progress card, or a victory card.

When a player plays a knight card in turn, they move a robber, thus stealing a resource from any owner of a city and a settlement next to the robber’s hex. 

A progressive development card such as Road Building will help the player place roads as if they have built them or Year of Plenty enables the player to draw two resource cards in that turn from the Bank. 

Finally, it can be a monopoly that gives the player the privilege of demanding all the resource cards that belong to a specific declared group.

Ultimately, if the player decides to play a victory point card as a development card, the player gets an advantage of one additional victory score to be added to the total player point. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean the player wins automatically.

Can you reuse development cards in Catan?

No, you cannot reuse development cards in Catan. Development cards are only used once in a game. 

However, the only time a player is allowed to flip a development card again in the same turn is when one of those cards is the player’s final point to win the game.

Only one development card is allowed to play per turn. Once played, it cannot be replayed again unless it’s a victory point, and the additional points earned from it will make the player win the game. 

If the development card is bought from the supply, a player cannot play the card in the same turn it was purchased. The player has to wait for the next turn to play it.

Do you reshuffle development cards?

No, you cannot reshuffle used development card. In fact, it is not allowed to reshuffle developments cards in Catan according to the official game rules. 

Several development cards are used in a specific game, and once they are depleted from the deck, they cannot be returned to the game to be reused. Therefore, reshuffling is not necessary because there will be no reason for that. 

Development cards such as progress cards are not reshuffled because there is no discarding pile for cards. Thus, once played, the progress cards are placed on their respective supply loads, so they get recycled back into the game instead of reshuffled from the deck. 

Logically, players don’t have to reshuffle developments cards from the discarding pile. Because theoretically, a player can win a Catan game by using only development card victory points.

However, in some circumstances, players may have already gone through all the Victory Point developments cards, or there are already in a player’s hand. 

The game may involve multiple players who have few scores each. In such a situation, players may recycle back their progress cards because the knights are already played.

Development card rules

Development cards are limited resources in Catan and require to purchase consciously to prevent from running out. Once these cards are no longer available, no one can get the card so you must continue playing without them. 

In order to prevent the shortage and figuring out what to do, here are easy to understand Development Card rules that we’ve collected for you to review:

  • Cannot trade or give away a development card to another player.
  • Only play one development card per turn.
  • Not allowed to play a development card that has been purchased on the same turn. Instead, the player has to wait until the next turn to play that card.
  • Depleted development cards from the deck cannot be reshuffled.
  • Used once in a game per turn unless it’s a victory points card, and additional points the card is going to add can help the player win the game.
  • Can play development card any time, even before a player rolls the dice.
  • Purchase a development card with one wool, one ore, and one grain in the supply.
  • Reveals a victory point card when they are sure that the card can take them up beyond ten points.
Can you run out of developments cards in Catan

Running Out of Development Cards in Catan: Conclusion

Development cards have massive assistance to a player regardless of the player’s game objective. In addition, the cards are a bit flexible, which puts them in a position to play all types of roles.

In Catan gameplay, the deck has 25 development cards grouped into 14 knights, five victory points, and six progress cards. These individual cards indicate different actions to be taken and provide an easy way for a player to earn points.

Players can only buy development card during their turn, and one development card costs one grain, one ore and one wool of sheep. A player buys the developments cards from the supply only when it is available to players.

Development cards are not allowed to reuse nor reshuffle in the deck because there is no discarding pile like any other boardgames. Once the development cards are used, they are placed on the supply loads. 

However, once the development card runs out, the game continues without them and no other player can purchase any more. In addition, players cannot trade nor give away development cards in every game.

Now that you know that Development Cards can run out, it is best to conserve and use them wisely. With a better understand of how development cards work in the gameplay, it is easier to become victorious!