CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Catan: Cities & Knights Game Expansion 4th Edition
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- High Quality
- Proprietary design
- Exceptional performance
- This expansion requires the Settlers of Catan game
- Adds depth and complexity
- Tons of replay value
- Compatible with all other expansions as long as the base game is used
- Full Color Rules Book
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From the Manufacturer
Dark clouds gather over the once peaceful landscape. Wild barbarians, lured by Catan's wealth and power, maneuver to attack. Their massive warships loom against the orange horizon. You must be strong. Barbarians attack the weakest targets, and the victim of their onslaught will be the player who contributes the least to the defense of Catan. Don't take any chances. Field your knights. In The Cities and Knights of Catan, you engage in the defense of Catan and compete to build the three great metropolises of Catan. Each of these magnificent centers are even more valuable than cities and are safe from the barbarians. You must invest in city improvements, which you acquire using commodities of trade: Coin, Paper, and Cloth. If you improve your culture, muster your knights, and enrich your cities, you will be the master of the great realm of Catan. This edition features all new artwork, and an insert tray to hold game components for up to 6 players
Top customer reviews
1) Instead of the development deck, you now have three progress decks (sciences, trade, and politics) which offer a broader selection of usable cards than the development deck and it's 90% knights and 10% events/actions. These decks correspond to three possible areas of improvement (see next item) and have some interesting effects (everything from allowing you to take cards from another player to pulling resources for free).
2) Cities can now be improved. You get a set of flip cards that you flip as you purchase city improvements. There are two benefits to city improvements: a) when you achieve the 3rd level of improvements you gain some bonus like the ability to trade two of any commodity for one resource or commodity (note: as commented on, this is not like the harbor benefit of 2:1 resources which limit you to trading resources for resources; however, it still comes in handy despite the limitation), and b) each improvement increases the changes you'll get to pull from one of the three progress decks.
3) The addition of an event die that you roll along with the standard 2d6. The event die will either move the barbarians closer (50% chance) or trigger a chance to pull from the progress decks (16% chance). As mentioned, city improvements increase your chances of scoring a card when one of the progress areas are rolled (i.e. if you get a 1 or 2 on the red die and a blue icon on the event die and you have the first city improvement in the science area, you can draw a card).
4) barbarians have been added on top of the robber that still plays as it does in the original game; the barbarians show up after the barbarian icon shows up on the event die (which is more often than not). When the barbarians reach Catan and if there aren't enough knights in play to protect Catan, then the weakest player (in terms of knights) who has a city will lose that city (it gets downgraded to a settlement) as it gets razed by the barbarians.
5) knights are now pieces in play rather than a drawn card; they can bump other knights and the roober and play a crucial role in dealing with barbarians: if the number of knights who are active exceeds the number of barbarians (= number of cities in Catan), then the players win and the player that contributed the most will receive a special Defender of Catan card (ties result in progress card draws) which gives you a victory point.
6) Lastly, to make things interesting, there are commodities now, coin, paper, and cloth (which correspond to iron, wood, and wool resources) which are primarily used to buy city improvements. You get them if you have cities (i.e. instead of getting 2 iron if you have a city next to an iron spot, you get 1 iron and 1 coin).
Yes, it's definitely more complicated than the original rules but it offers a choice for anyone who wants that complexity (me!). It makes the game deeper and in some respects fixes issues I had with the previous game (like the knights being way too easy to pull up off the development deck given their numbers).
Once you get used to the rules (one or two games will usually do it), things move along and tides can turn pretty quickly (like when you were unable to active your knights before the barbarians came and you end up losing a city...or when Catan still wins but you just handed your opponent a Defender of Catan card which secured another victory point).
All in all, if you liked the original game and are either bored with the simpler rules or want to mix up the game a bit more, then I highly recommend this expansion. The added rules and expanded progress cards and city improvements really evolve the game in a good way and bring out the best of this game.
Oh, and note that you need to use this with the 4th edition (Amazon made sure to label these with that big "New 4th Edition!!!!" tag...). I never had the original versions so it didn't matter to me but some reviewers seemed to have an issue with getting the wrong edition so...
How it makes the game different:
1) city walls: allow you to add +2 to your hand limit when a 7 is rolled. There are a total of 3 city walls for each player, so if you play them all, your hand size limit will be 13
2) in addition to the 5 resources, there are now 3 commodities: paper, cloth, and coin. If you have a city on a wood number, you will produce one wood and one paper. If you have a city on a sheep number, you will produce one sheep and one cloth. If you have your city on an ore number, you will produce and ore and a coin. Wheat and brick produce per normal.
3) with these 3 new commodities, you can buy upgrades to your buildings, which give you special abilities, and also allow you to win cards for free with certain dice rolls. The cards are much, much better than development cards! a LOT more powerful.
4) development cards are not used, rather they are replaced by 3 stacks of new cards, each one corresponding to the new commodities paper, cloth, and coin.
5) each player also gets 6 knights to play on the board. The knights have many abilities. a) they can chase away a robber as if a 7 was rolled. you can then place the robber anywhere you want, stealing cards from EVERYONE who is adjacent to that hex. b) the robber can block other people in a race to get a road placed. c) they can fight away the barbarians (to be explained later). knights move along your own roads taking actions when they are active.
6. there are barbarians who slowly make their way toward catan. When they reach Catan, the barbarians fight all activated knights on the board. all players fight together against the barbarians. The player's total score is the total number of activated knight points. The barbarians score is total number of cities on the board. If there are more cities than activated knights on the board, the barbarians win and the person with the fewest knights fighting has to lose a city and replace it with a settlement. If there are more activated knights than cities on the board, the players win. The player with the most knights wins a victory point. If there is a tie for most knights, each player gets a powerful card for free.
7. It is also possible to earn a metropolis. This is placed over one of your cities, and counts as 4 points total. This also makes your city indestructible in case of a loss to the barbarians.
8. Victory is achieved at 13 points.
As you can see, this really changes the game. It takes a game that used to be really good (but got overplayed) and really refreshes it, giving it so much more to think about. There are many options, a lot to consider. I will ALWAYS play the game with this expansion. It just adds so much depth to the game. If you used to love catan but got burnt out on it, this may renew that first love you had for the game. If you currently still love catan, then this is a great addition. It still feels like catan. It is just SOOOO much better! SEAFARERS of catan is just ok. it doesn't change the feel of the game much at all. But this one is GREAT. BUY IT!
One thing to know: The currently available version is 4th edition. The backs of the cards do not have any difference compared to 3rd edition. So they are *compatible*. The artwork in the flip books are a little different, but still recognizable (I have posted pictures). However, the basic 3rd edition has two 'natural' dices. The expansion needs a 'colored' red dice to decide the development card acquisition using the event dice. *UPDATE*: I contacted Mayfair customer service and they said they will ship a red dice 'free' to customers on request!