GTM #215 - Catan: Cities & Knights Expansion
by Catan Studio, LLC

Have you mastered Catan? Are you curious about the culture of the greater Catan civilization? If so, expand your direct involvement in Catan’s development and defense with the City & Knights Expansion!

With City & Knights, you control your domain’s progress from a collection of settlements, to cities, and ultimately to great metropolises. But, with such splendor comes conflict! Your Knights must now actively protect Catan from raiding barbarians.

City & Knights replaces the Catan base game’s development cards with barbarian attacks, knight tokens, development flip-charts, and a progress card that tracks politics, trade, and science. This requires a number of new mechanisms.

The Event Die

Each time you roll the production dice, you also roll the event die, which will either advance the barbarian ship along its track or produce commodities. When the barbarian ship reaches the end of its track, the barbarians attack the cities in play. Unless protected by knights, some cities may be reduced to settlements.

Knight Tokens

For one (1) ore and one (1) wool, you can build a basic knight token or promote an existing knight to increase its strength. For one (1) grain, you can activate a knight to either drive off the robber or fight the barbarians. If a barbarian raid is defeated, the player with the strongest group of knights is named a “Defender of Catan” and gets a victory point.

City Walls

You can build a city wall for two (2) bricks. These will increase the cards you can hold by one when a “7” is rolled.

Commodities & Improvements

There are three new types of goods called commodities, produced by cities on forests, mountains, and pastures. Commodities are used to purchase city improvements. Cities can now be improved by spending commodities for three types of buildings — yellow represents trade, green represents science, and blue represents politics. City improvements produce Progress cards and grant special abilities. When you improve to 4th level, your city becomes a metropolis.

Progress Cards

There’s one deck of progress cards for each category — trade, science, and politics. Science cards offer free resources or discount items, political cards hinder opponents, and commerce cards control the Merchant and enhance trading.

The Merchant

The Merchant token moves to any hex adjacent to one of your settlements or cities. The merchant is worth one victory point, and it allows you to trade 2:1 for the resource associated with that hex.

Basic Strategy

Most of the basic Catan strategies are also applicable to City & Knights —increase your production as much as fast as possible, watch out for opponents blocking you from prime building sites, etc. However, cities are crucial. You can only get city improvements if you have a city. Be patient until you have enough knights to protect it. After all, you can’t lose a city you don’t have.