The Cities & Knights of Catan
English language edition
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from 35 customer reviews
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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 & 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!
Yes, sometimes you can get broadsided by the barbarian hoardes early on and loose a city, thus creating a real challenge to get back into the running, but this CAN be overcome. My son is the penultimate strategist and can come back from obscurity to destroy his opponents, so I know it can be done.
I'm the mom in this gaming trio, but believe me, when we play Cities and Knights, no one shows me any mercy!
A great game has the ability to engage its players in a new way with every play. That's what Cities and Knights does in spades. I will play Settlers with newbies and once in a while with others in my family who don't play games often, but when I want a real challenge, I reach for Cities and Knights!
I am ever on the lookout for other games that are as good, but so far, none has engaged us the way Cities and Knights does.
I finally had the time to play Settlers with this expansion a few times recently, and it greatly increased my satisfaction with Settlers as a whole. To tell you the truth, I have always found Settlers to be somewhat repititve, though I indeed liked it. With Cities and Knights, however, it really brings a variety of new elements into the game, and increases the interaction. For instance, the Knights alone add a whole new dimension, as they can be moved and used to block other players for slicing up your roads. They also give you more of a reason to build continguously, as the knights can move around only within a single system of roads and settlements.
Cities, howevever, are the main focus, and the ways in which this Expansion changes their focus and role are too many to disucss here.
The only drawback is that if you have 3 players (like we did), the time needed to play this gfame is at least 3 hours. That's hard to come by if you're busy, but it's definitely worth it.
Cities & Knights makes Settlers a longer and more detailed game. With six players, our games do tend to take 3+ hours, and sometimes I feel like that's time we could have spent playing Settlers and Puerto Rico, or Settlers and Princes of Florence. But those games can't be played with six anyway, so when we are six we always play Cities & Knights, unless we have newbies, in which case we play Settlers twice. With Settlers veterans, I find that nothing is more satisfying than a six-player game of Cities & Knights.
The rules for this expansion are exceptionally well-balanced. There are more different types of cards, making it less likely that with seven or fewer cards you'll have the four necessary to build a settlement, so you now have the option of building city walls, which increase the number of cards you can safely hold. Also, in a longer game, it becomes more necessary to leader-bash, so in Cities & Knights, there are cards which allow you to for example steal two cards from any player with more points than you. It all fits together really well.