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Subject: How I almost won Cities and Knights: A tale of two brothers. rss

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Kevin Douglass
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   My wife and I just played our first game of Catan: Cities and Knights with my brother and his wife, who had only played the game once a few years back. After an excruciating lecture on the rules by my brother, verbatim from the rulebook, we chose our starting positions and the game was on.

   The first hour or so progressed in what I'm sure was pretty standard play for the expansion. My wife and sister-in-law got off to a fast start with some help from the dice, which seemed to favor an outcome of 10 for about half of the rolls, a number which didn't benefit either my brother or myself. Of course, this couldn't go on forever, and we caught up without too much trouble. I even ended up dominating a delightful brick tile hosting one of the 11s, which loaded my hand with bricks on more than one occasion.



   Fast-forward to half-way through the game. During one of his turns, my brother played a progress card that allowed him to remove an opponent's road. Since I had the longest road, he chose to remove one of mine, putting my status as the owner of the longest road in jeopardy. In the same turn, he recruited two soldiers, activated them, and used a progress card to upgrade them for free. It was a big turn for him. However, when my turn came back around I used two progress cards that let me remove those two soldiers from the board and replace them with two of my own. Following that, I hit him with the same card he had just used on me, which let me remove one of his roads from the board.

   I felt that at least one of the moves on his soldiers was justified since his placing of those soldiers had given him more defensive power than I had at the time, which gave him the opportunity to gain a victory point in the chance of a successful defense against the invading barbarians. He had no chance at the longest road, though, as his settlements and cities were scattered across the board. I removed his road in an act of what I considered poetic justice. It would have been a better move to remove one of my wife's roads, though, as she was the one battling me for the longest road. Indeed, I was reminded at the end of the game that forgoing good strategy for good stories is not a good way to increase my chance of winning.

   Fast-forward to the final few rounds. I had positioned myself so that I had 12 points and would win if I either drew a victory point from one of the progress card piles or if the barbarians attacked, since my defensive power was the highest among the players. The barbarian counter was in the position immediately before an attack, too, so any roll of the barbarians on the special die would seal my victory. My closest opponent, my wife, was at 9 points. I controlled the longest road, and wasn't in a position to build any new settlements.

   Every dice roll came with a rush of adrenaline as I hoped to see the barbarians show, my best chance of winning. My wife rolled. Nope. I rolled. Nope. My sister-in-law rolled. Nope. My brother rolled. Still no barbarians. The one progress card I was able to draw during this time wasn't a victory point either. During his turn, my brother enacted revenge on my earlier attack. He connected his road network to mine and used one of his soldiers to displace one of mine, which sent the control of the longest road to my wife, who then had 11 points to my 10. I thought I still had a good chance of winning, though, since I would still get a victory point from the invading barbarians if they were rolled and could displace my brother's soldier on my next turn. Only my wife's turn stood between me and what I thought was sure victory. I made sure to let him know that, too.

   My wife rolled the barbarians on the special die and I got the victory point I needed. "Huzzah!", I thought. My wife had her own plans to win, though. It turned out that she was holding on to two paper commodity cards and had already upgraded her green city upgrade track three times. She traded my sister-in-law for a paper commodity card, traded in three sheep for another, and purchased the fourth upgrade to her green city upgrade track. This move gained her the metropolis token and the two points she needed for victory.

   I can't say for sure that my brother wouldn't have displaced my soldier in his final turn if I hadn't of removed two of his soldiers and one of his roads on that fateful earlier turn. But I sure can guess that it helped make his mind up!

   I had a lot of fun playing with the Cities and Knights expansion and look forward to including it in many of my future Catan games.
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Matthew Cordeiro
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Catan: Cities & Knights » Forums » Sessions
Re: How I almost won Cities and Knights: A tale of two brothers.
Great session report. Sometimes, revenge on a player who did you wrong is as satisfying as the win. I've seen many players go down in flames with revenge moves but still enjoyed the experience.

In Settlers, it ain't over 'til it's over. Those "variable" points are never a sure thing. I just played a game recently where I built 6 roads in one turn for longest road and the win. Nobody saw that coming. And that Merchant in Cities and Knights is a fickle fellow.

Also, I couldn't tell if you were aware of this rule or not, but it ain't over 'til it's you're turn. I've seen games where someone reaches 10 points (in regular Settlers) and then has points taken away before it comes back around to their turn.
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Kevin Douglass
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cordeiro wrote:
Also, I couldn't tell if you were aware of this rule or not, but it ain't over 'til it's you're turn. I've seen games where someone reaches 10 points (in regular Settlers) and then has points taken away before it comes back around to their turn.


I don't have the rulebook for Cities and Knights, but I just checked the one for regular Settlers. It reads that the game ends when a player reaches 10 points on his turn. I couldn't find where it states that they have to keep 10 points until their next turn. Do you know where I could find this rule?
 
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Matthew Cordeiro
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aartdouglass wrote:
cordeiro wrote:
Also, I couldn't tell if you were aware of this rule or not, but it ain't over 'til it's you're turn. I've seen games where someone reaches 10 points (in regular Settlers) and then has points taken away before it comes back around to their turn.


I don't have the rulebook for Cities and Knights, but I just checked the one for regular Settlers. It reads that the game ends when a player reaches 10 points on his turn. I couldn't find where it states that they have to keep 10 points until their next turn. Do you know where I could find this rule?

Sorry for the lack of clarity. I meant that if you reach the winning condition on someone else's turn (or between turns in a 5-6 player game), you have to wait until it's actually your turn to declare victory. So, for example, if the barbarians attack and you get the defender point on your brother's turn, and that's your 13th point, you still have to wait until your own turn to win.
 
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Kevin Douglass
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cordeiro wrote:
Sorry for the lack of clarity. I meant that if you reach the winning condition on someone else's turn (or between turns in a 5-6 player game), you have to wait until it's actually your turn to declare victory. So, for example, if the barbarians attack and you get the defender point on your brother's turn, and that's your 13th point, you still have to wait until your own turn to win.


Oh, duh! That makes sense.
 
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