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SoC for 2 Players – With Cities & Knights

1. Placing Knights

If you are one of the two active players, and you place a Knight, then – in compliance with the rules – you also place a Knight of the same level for one of the neutral players.

If you place several Knights at once, you also place the same number of Knights for either of the two neutral players/parties. When you place several Knights, you may alternate between the two colors of the neutral parties.

If a Knight cannot be placed compliantly for neither of the neutral parties (one of the neutral parties has no free building site for a Knight / none of the two neutral players’ inventories contains a corresponding Knight of the same level), you must place a road for one of the two neutral players instead (or several roads, if you place several Knights at once). It is not permitted to (alternatively) place a settlement.

The Knights belonging to the two neutral parties can not be activated and do not count for defense against the barbarian army – just as in the Basic Game, their function is to block an opponent’s building sites. Therefore, if an active player builds a city or city wall or activates one of his Knights, this has no consequences regarding the neutral parties.

2) Promoting Knights

If you promote one of your Knights, you must equally promote one of the Knights of the neutral parties. However, the highest level Knights of the neutral parties can be promoted to is “Strong Knight” (2 flags); promoting Knights of the neutral parties to “Mighty Knights” (3 flags) is not possible.

If promoting a Knight of the neutral party is impossible (there is no Knight on the game board that could be promoted to the respective level / all Knights of the neutral parties have already been promoted to “Strong Knights”), no neutral Knight is promoted, and no action is taken in exchange.

If you promote several Knights at once, you may alternate between the two neutral parties when promoting the corresponding number of neutral Knights (similar to what was already mentioned above regarding the placement of Knights) – it might even be necessary to alternate in this fashion.

3) Actions Performed by Knights

In principle, the different actions possible for Knights are determined by the basic rules for C&K (you can move your own Knight / your Knight can drive away an opponent’s Knight / a Knight can drive away a Robber).

For Knights of the neutral parties, the following applies: The two active players can use the Knights they have placed and activated to drive away neutral Knights as indicated by the rule (a weaker Knight can only be driven away by a stronger Knight) and thus free up occupied building sites.

If a neutral Knight that has been driven away cannot compliantly be placed again on the neutral player’s road, the Knight is removed from the game board (as required in the basic set of rules).

4) Replenishing the Trade Tokens

  1. You get 2 trade tokens for building a settlement adjacent to the desert (as in the Basic Game).
  2. You get 1 trade token for building a settlement on the coast (as in the Basic Game).
  3. If you remove a Knight from the game board, you receive:
    • 1 trade token for a Basic Knight (1 flag).
    • 2 trade tokens for a Strong Knight (2 flags).
    • 3 trade tokens for a Mighty Knight (3 flags).

It doesn’t matter if a Knight is activated or not when removed from the game board – you can remove active and/or passive Knights in exchange for trade tokens.

Note: You receive trade tokens only if you intentionally remove a Knight from the game board – if one of your own Knights falls victim to an “Intrigue” card, a “Deserter” card (see below), or any other action performed by an opponent’s Knight and hence must be removed from the game board, you don’t receive any trade tokens.

In case the supply of trade tokens (20) is depleted and no more trade tokens can be given out, replenishment is only possible via trade tokens that are played and thus returned to the supply.

5) Actions with Trade Tokens

The possible actions (forced trade, or sending the Robber back to the desert) as well as the corresponding costs in terms of trade tokens (see basic set of rules) remain unchanged.

For the forced trade with resources only, you must discard the customary number of trade tokens (see set of rules / Basic Game for 2 players).
In order to perform this forced trade with resources only, your opponent separates out his Commodity Cards and momentarily puts them aside, face down, before you draw 2 cards from his hand. The 2 cards you give back to your opponent afterwards must also be Resource Cards, not Commodity Cards. For a forced trade including all cards from your opponent’s hand, that is, including resources as well as commodities (your opponent keeps all the cards in his hand when you draw from him), you have to discard twice the number of trade tokens. In this case, you can also give commodities when returning 2 cards to your opponent.

The player who performs forced trade must first announce if it will include resources only or resources and commodities. The rule indicating that each player may perform only one action with trade tokens per turn (regardless in which phase of the turn) remains unchanged.

6) Rolling the Dice

As is customary, each player rolls the dice two times when beginning his turn; for this, all three dice from C&K are used (white die / red die / Event Die). If the second dice roll gives the same result as the first roll, the second roll is repeated – but only the two number dice are used, without the Event Die. The Event Die result is resolved immediately. Therefore, even though you may have to roll the number dice more than two times, the number of Event Die rolls is limited to two.

7) Adaptations/Changes to the Progress Cards (PC)

  • Deserter (PC Politics/Blue Color): Can also be played against a Knight of the two neutral parties. If you play the “Deserter” card against one of the neutral parties, you must select the party from which a Knight shall desert. However, you must take the weakest Knight of that neutral party – in case all its Knights have the same strength, you may choose which Knight to remove. If you have played the “Deserter” and removed a foreign Knight (it doesn’t matter whether it belongs to your opponent or to one of the neutral parties), and you place one of your own Knights, the neutral parties are not affected by this – i.e., no Knight is placed on their terrain.
  • Diplomat (PC Politics/Blue Color): Do not build a road for the neutral parties if you relocate one of your own roads – relocating is not equivalent to building as such.
  • Intrigue (PC Politics/Blue Color): You also may drive away a Knight of a neutral party according to the standard rules.

  • Alchemist (PC Science/Green Color): You can only play the “Alchemist” only before the first of the two dice rolls – not before the second dice roll.

  • Smith (PC Science/Green Color): If you use the “Smith” to promote your own Knights, it also entails a promotion of the neutral parties’ Knights – provided that this is possible, i.e. the Knights would not be promoted to a level higher than level 2 (“Strong Knight” / 2 flags). In case a compliant promotion is not possible (no corresponding Knight(s) of the neutral parties is/are present on the game board / all Knights of the neutral parties have already been promoted to “Strong Knights”), no neutral Knight is promoted, and no action is taken in exchange (as is customary in such a case; see section 2: Promoting Knights).
  • Road Building (PC Science/Green Color): 2 roads are built for the neutral parties as well. In so doing, you can alternate between the two neutral parties as usual (i.e., you can build one road for each neutral party or both roads for one neutral party).

8) End of the Game

The game ends when a player has attained 13 Victory Points (no changes here).

Brief note: Some of you might ask themselves why it is possible to remove both passive and active Knights from the game board, in exchange for trade tokens – that is, why the Knight’s activation state doesn’t matter. Test games have shown that removing a Knight from the game board in exchange for a trade token is only rarely used for getting trade tokens – it is as uncommon as returning a Knight Card in exchange for trade tokens when playing the Basic Game; in both cases, Knights are considered too “valuable and essential.”

Therefore, if in C&K only activated Knights could be removed from the game board, players would likely not use the possibility of removing Knights at all; even now it is almost an “exception,” applied only if it “fits well” in the case of a particular move. For this reason, we have decided to allow the exchange of Knights for trade tokens regardless of the activation state of those Knights, and also because we wanted to include a third element that “makes up” for the lack of Knight Cards from the Basic Game and allows to obtain trade tokens other than through the building of settlements next to desert and coastal hexes... Anyway, you will find that this option occurs only on rare occasions.

We would also like to emphasize that this set of rules is based on the comments/suggestions and proposals in this forum ( – and thus is a kind of “joint brainchild!”

This variant is a joint effort of forum members at With the collaboration of Andreas Egeler (Egi), Grzegorz Kobiela (Grzegorz), Karl Frank (kilrah), Helmut Mader (pi8ch), Jonas Milke (Catanist), Dr. Reiner Düren (RedPiranha) and Alain Miltgen (milli). This document was written by Alain Miltgen.