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Before you read this article, you will need to know the following terms and definitions:
|Pyrrhic Victory:||Noun. Singular. A win or success that comes with such devastating losses that it is minimally better than losing, and if repeated would result in total defeat.|
|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.|
There are multiple ways to "achieve" a Pyrrhic Victory (it's an achievement because there is a winner, but not much of one to be proud of). The game ends as soon as any one (1) of the following end-game conditions occur:
- The Oil Springs Disaster Track Board is completely filled with Production Tokens. When playing with 3-4 players, five (5) Production Tokens on the Disaster Track are required to completely fill the Disaster Track Board. When playing with 5-6 players, eight (8) Production Tokens on the Disaster Track are required to completely fill the Disaster Track Board. The Oil Springs Disaster Track Board keeps track of environmental disasters that occur due to the overuse of oil. If the Oil Springs Disaster Track Board is completely filled with Production Tokens, flooding has overwhelmed Catan and its surrounding islands, and all inhabitants are forced to abandon their home, thus ending the game. For further information regarding the Oil Springs scenario, refer to article 1.4.8, entitled "Oil Tokens" and article 126.96.36.199, entitled "Oil Springs Tiles" and article 188.8.131.52, entitled "Redeem Oil Tokens," which describe the full instructions regarding setting up, harvesting, using, and sequestering Oil Springs Production Tokens. While no player truly wins in ending #1, the player who currently holds the "Champion of the Environment" token achieves a “Pyrrhic Victory.” That player is recognized by the international community for his/her efforts to mitigate climate change and is granted the most attractive land on a neighboring island to resettle.
Even with international assistance to resettle to a new land, no Catanian can view the inundation of the island as a true victory.
- More than half of the game board's revealed fields hexes no longer contain crop tokens. This may change as additional fields hexes are revealed throughout the game, but only fields hexes with Production Numbers count for this total.
- Two (2) of the five (5) plant species are extinct. For further information regarding the Crop Trust scenario, refer to article 184.108.40.206.5, entitled "Field Hex Production," and article 220.127.116.11, entitled "Redeem Crop Tokens."
While no player truly wins in endings #2 and #3, the player who currently holds the most crop tokens on their crop storage record achieves a "Pyrrhic Victory." That player is recognized by the international community for contributing the most to conserving plant diversity. In case one or more players tie for the most crop tokens on their crop storage record, the tied player who has the most Victory Points wins. If the tie persists (because they have the same number of Victory Points), all of the players who are tied achieve the "Pyrrhic Victory" together. IMPORTANT NOTE: If, during the production phase, a player removes a crop token from a fields hex, thereby causing either of the Crop Trust end game conditions to occur, that player loses the game--even if they have the most crop tokens on their crop storage record. In this case, the player with the second (2nd)-most crop tokens on their crop storage record wins. IMPORTANT NOTE: If, during the build phase, a player reaches the required number of Victory Points necessary for a True Victory (see article 3.9.2, entitled "True Victory," for further details) but is forced to reveal an event token, and this event token causes either of the Crop Trust end game conditions to occur, that player may still win the game, if they have the most crop tokens on their crop storage record (as described above).
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