Catan – Cities & Knights Expansion
Flourishing trade brings prosperity to Catan. However, all this wealth also attracts barbarians. The knights of Catan are needed! The expansion can also be combined with “Seafarers” and “Traders & Barbarians.”
Requires the Base Game to play.
About the game
What Is It About?
Use the hexes of the Catan Base Game to assemble Catan within the provided frame. Each player has just built a settlement and a city, when dark clouds gather over the peaceful island of Catan. Wild barbarians, attracted by the wealth of Catan, sail toward the island's shores. There is still enough time to prepare for confronting the intruders, though. The strength of the hostile barbarian army always corresponds to the number of cities on Catan. In order to successfully defend Catan, the knights of all players combined must be at least as strong as the barbarian army.
Knights are not being used in the form of cards; instead, they are represented by wooden tokens that are placed on free intersections. Each token has an “active” side depicting a black-and-white knight helmet and an “inactive” side depicting a knight helmet in color. A knight can only fight after he is activated; activation costs one grain. After paying said grain, the player turns the knight token over to its active side. Each ring on the token counts as one strength point.
If the knights of all players combined have enough strength points to defeat the barbarian army, the danger is averted for the moment. However, if the Catanian knights are too weak, a city will be raided and downgraded to a settlement.
This unfortunate event always affects the player who contributed the least amount of knight strength. Besides defending Catan, knights can also be used to chase away the robber or to displace another player’s knight.
When the players are not busy defending Catan, they are competing for the metropolises, which represent two additional victory points. In order to establish a metropolis (which is placed on top of a city), the players first need to improve their cities.
The construction of city buildings, such as the Library, Market, Abbey, or Town Hall, is indicated on development flip-charts.
The players pay for city improvements with commodities such as coins, cloth, or books. How do you get commodities? Instead of two resources, cities adjacent to mountains, pasture, and forest hexes produce only one resource but also one commodity derived from the respective type of resource.
With increasing city improvements, the odds become more favorable for players to obtain new progress cards. Cards such as “Mining,” “Irrigation,” or “Building Crane” allow for faster settlement activities. Cards such as “Merchant,” “Merchant Fleet,” “Trade Monopoly,” or “Resource Monopoly” create advantages with regards to trade. On the other hand, one can irritate stronger players with cards such as the “Deserter,” “Spy,” or “Diplomat.”
Get used to a tougher life on Catan – and a longer but also more exciting game. The first player to reach 13 victory points is the winner.
In “Cities & Knights,” a player rolls 3 dice at the beginning of his turn: 2 production dice and 1 event die. 3 sides of the event die show the barbarian ship. This means, there is a 50% chance per turn for the barbarian ship to come one step closer to Catan. Considering this circumstance, it may take only 3 or 4 turns until the barbarian ship lands on Catan.
Therefore, it is important to start building knights early in the game and to activate them. Such preparation will help to avoid being the target of the barbarian army, i.e., losing a city. Grain is very important in terms of defending Catan. Knights are of no use as long as you don't have grain to activate them.
There are certain “house rules” that may soften the impact of the barbarian attack at the beginning of the game. You can, for instance, declare the first barbarian attack void or allow each player to have one activated knight at the beginning of the game.
Personally, I am not a big fan of such variants. One major appeal of the game is attributable precisely to the threat of the barbarian army, which players have to prepare for as early as possible in the game and include in their strategic planning.
|Cities & Knights – Game Rules & Almanac (3-4 Players) (3.41 MB)|