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Before you read this article, you will need to know the following terms and definitions:
|Game(-s):||Noun. Singular or Plural. A standalone version of Settlers of Catan, which can be played right out of the box without making additional purchases. There is only one standalone (base) game of Catan.|
|Expansion(-s):||Noun. Singular or Plural. An Catan game that cannot be played by itself. It must be used in conjunction with a standalone (base) game. The 5 & 6-player expansions are a good example of this.|
|Scenario(-s):||Noun. Singular or Plural. A small set of playing pieces and instructions that can be added to normal Catan gameplay. It cannot be played by itself--it must be used in conjunction with a standalone (base) game. The "Oil Springs" scenario is a good example of this.|
|Variant(-s):||Noun. Singular or Plural. A set of instructions for using the pieces from a Catan game or expansion in a new way. Most variants are fan-generated and require printing and cutting out new pieces.|
Phase __: Resolve Special Purchases
The Special Building Phase follows immediately after a player finishes his turn or after a Disaster Phase if it took place. The Special Building Phase is resolved as described in the SOC 5-6 player extension. Note: The player whose turn has just ended cannot build in the Special Building phase. Furthermore, the following applies:
- Oil cannot be converted into other resources.
- Oil cannot be sequestered.
- During the Special Building Phase, oil can be used, but only to build metropolises, and only if this action does not cause the Disaster Track marker on the Disaster Track to move beyond 5.
- If a disaster is triggered during the Special Building Phase, this is resolved immediately after the phase is completed.
After you finish your turn, starting with the player to your left, each of your opponents may now perform special purchases. In clockwise order, each player takes a special purchase turn. The Special Building Phase is an opportunity for all the other players (not the player whose turn has just ended) to purchase trade routes, settlements, towns, cities, city upgrades, military forces, ships, and Progress and Development Cards.
During the Special Building Phase, you may purchase anything that you are able to create with your resource cards, resource tokens, commodity cards, commodity tokens. You may only use the resources and commodities in front of you. You may do any of the following during this phase:
- Build trade routes: roads, boats, and bridges
- Construct buildings: Settlers, Settlements, Towns, Cities, and Metropolises
- Improve your Military: Build, upgrade, promote, and activate Knights and Crews
- Add fortifications: Walls,
- Buy cards: Development and Progress Cards (may not be played immediately)
- Upgrade: Building improvements, Baggage Train Cards
You may not do any of the following during this phase:
- Trade resources with your opponents or the bank
- Redeem Favor Tokens
- Move your Ships or Knights
- Purchase anything with gold
- Play progress or development cards
- Use a special power or Helper
- Perform actions with your Ships or Knights
Strategy Hint: For this reason, you are encouraged to trade as much, and as advantageously, as possible with the bank and other players during your (and their) trade phase. This could give you the resources and commodities you need to build during the special build phase.
Example 5: Special Building Phase in action.
Cathy has just finished her turn. Before play passes to the player on her left, she asks her opponents whether someone want to perform a special purchase. If only one player says “yes,” that player may purchase immediately. If more than one player says “yes,” their purchases must be performed in normal clockwise order. Once all of the special purchases are complete, Cathy passes the dice to the player on her left. That player now begins his or her normal turn.
- In Catan for 5 or 6 players, the inter-turn Special Purchase Phase is considered a "turn". That means that a knight activation or development/progress card purchase done during the Special Purchase Phase can be utilized immediately upon that player's next turn. A player can win during the interturn Special Purchase Phase, even though it is not immediately his turn. For example, achieving the longest road, building a new construction, or revealing a Victory Point card may put the player up to or over the winning VP score. Note that progress cards can only be "played" during the player's actual turn, but Victory Point cards earned outside of the player's turn can be used immediately, making Phase ___: Conduct Special Purchases of significant importance.
- In the 5-6 player expansion rules, Phase ___: Conduct Special Purchases is defined as occurring at the end of a player's turn. Therefore, at the start of each game the first possible Special Purchase Phase occurs after the first player completes his turn. No building is possible before the first person rolls the dice. When playing Settlers or Seafarers, if a player purchases a normal development card on his turn, and it is a Victory Point, and it gives the player "game" points, then it may be played immediately and the player wins the game. Any other development cards must be retained until the player's next turn, unless they state otherwise, or come from the Barbarian Attack deck of development cards.
- During Phase ___: Conduct Special Purchases, oil can be used, but only to build metropolises, and only if this action does not cause the Disaster Track marker on the Disaster Track to move beyond 5.
- If a disaster is triggered during the Special Purchase Phase, this is resolved immediately after the phase is completed.
Activation of Knights
Normally, a knights may not perform any actions on the turn that he has been activated. However, a knight can be activated during this special purchases phase. Since the special purchases phase is the last part of a turn, the activated knight can then perform an action during his controlling player’s next turn.
Example: Anna’s turn ends, and a special purchases phase follows. During this phase, in clockwise order (starting with the player next to Anna), each of Anna’s opponents may build, using the resource/commodity cards/tokens in their personal supply. Leif spends a Grain resource card to activate 1 of his Strong Knights. After the special purchases phase has concluded, it is Leif’s turn. After drawing the top Event Card and resolving the events and production number for his turn, Leif may take an action with the Strong Knight he activated during the special build phase.
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