This is the question and it comes from Catan. The first question under discussion was the relative merits of trading goods with severe restrictions at a 2 to 1 ratio, versus with fewer restrictions at a 3 to 1 ratio.

The second question, was about the relative merits of trading goods freely at a 4 to 1 ratio versus "severe restrictions" at the 2 to 1 ratio. What makes this question different from the previous one is that you can trade goods "straight up" at the 4 to 1 ratio, whereas you need to build a harbor settlement to trade at either the 3 to 1 or 2 to 1 ratios. Building a harbor settlement is a non-trivial task, and it is this requirement (lack thereof actually), that distinguishes the otherwise unfavorable 4 to 1 ratio from the two others.

So is this a sufficient distinction to make the second question NOT a duplicate of the first? Because the first question didn't address the lack of a port requirement for the 4 to 1 ratio.

In chart form, the questions might look like this:

Ratio Favorability of Terms? How Many Goods Traded? Needs port?
2 to 1 Most favorable Just one good traded Needs port
3 to 1 Less favorable All goods are traded Needs port
4 to 1 Least favorable All goods are traded No port needed

Question 1 asked for a comparison of 2 to 1 and 3 to 1 (rows 1 and 2). Question 2 asked for a comparison of 2 to 1 and 4 to 1 (rows 1 and 3).


The best option might actually be to create a third, comprehensive question, comparing the three trading options all in one place, and if possible consolidating the best answers from the existing questions before closing both of the original questions as duplicates of this new, more complete, version.

If there's concerns about rep for doing so, the new question can always be marked community wiki.


After looking at the questions it seems to me that both of them can be answered in the same answer as the reasoning behind the answers will be the same. There might just have to be some minor modifications to the original post to include that information.

I think they are fine as duplicates.

  • How can they both be answered the same way? The 2 to 1 and 3 to 1 cases both require ports, and the 4 to 1 case does not. An answer that covers the question covering the first two cases will not address the "savings" of not needing a port in the second question regarding the 4 to 1 case vs. the 2 to 1 case. – Tom Au Jan 4 at 18:20
  • 2
    @TomAu Both are a matter of resource conversion and in the end it doesn't matter that you need a port to do one but not the other. – Joe W Jan 4 at 18:34

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