Settlers of Catan FAQ - Turn sequencing
Q: At the beginning of your turn, do you have to roll the dice first? Or can you do some trading and buying first and then roll? This becomes an issue if a player has more than 7 cards and would like to decrease the number of resource cards in his hand prior to potentially rolling a 7?
A: No, you must follow this order during your turn:

A. Roll dice for production/resolve a "7" if rolled

B. Trade and Build

You may not do any trading or building before you roll the dice. However: You may choose to play 1 and only 1 Development card at any time during your turn. So, you may elect to play a Development card before you roll the dice for production. It is very popular to play a soldier card and chase away the robber before rolling when the robber pawn is placed on one of your important hexes.

Q: There is a rule that only one development card is played at any one time. If I purchase a development card, i. e. Monopoly (and by the rules must play it immediately) can I on the same turn play Soldier card to move the robber?
A: There is no rule that states that you must play a Monopoly card as soon as you draw it. In fact, you may not play any Development card on the turn that you drew it (exception: victory point cards may always be played on the same turn they are drawn). Also, you may only play one Development card per turn (again exception: victory point cards can be played regardless of other Development cards played the same turn). So, if you play a Monopoly card, you may not also play a Soldier card on the same turn.
Q: Can the Road Building card be played before I roll the dice for my turn? On page 18 of the Settlers' Almanac, question 5, it reads in italics: Development cards may be played any time during the player's turn, even before rolling the dice. It doesn't stipulate that there are any restrictions even though the rules also say that you can only build after you have finished trading.
A: Yes, you may play any Development card before you roll the dice. There is no limit on the type of Development card you can play. When you play a Development card, you must use its ability right away. Using a Development card never counts as trading or building.
Q: In the basic Settlers of Catan game, the rules say that you have to complete all your trading before building anything, but in all the expansions you are allowed to do this in any order. Was the original turn sequence in the basic game a typo? Are you allowed to trade or build in any order in the basic game?
A: The rules for Settlers require you to do all of your trading before you do any building. However, later versions of the game, such as the Cities & Knights of Catan, are longer games. To help speed along play, the game designer decided to alter the rules to allow building and trading in any order. If the rules for the expansion you are playing do not allow trading and building in any order, then you must complete all trading before you do any building.
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Copyright Wednesday, June 05, 2002 Mayfair Games, Inc.