Devin Kelley
United States
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Settlers of Catan: Cities and Knights Variant Rules
By Warrior Poet

Rules that may help expedite game play:

1.) Jump-start production and building earlier in the game. During setup players acquire Resources for their Settlement, and Commodities for their City, doubling their potential starting wealth.

2.) Straggling Barbarian raiders are not yet present on the island, so Resource amounts exceeding the capacity of a player’s ability to store them are not yet in jeopardy of being stolen. Therefore, rolling a 7 before the Barbarians first attack does not result in a loss of Cards, and is re-rolled.

3.) Resource amounts below the max capacity of a player’s ability to store them are inaccessible to raiders, and so aren’t at risk. When a 7 is rolled the Robber only takes as many cards as a player has in excess of available capacity instead of half (e.g. a player with 9 cards would lose 2).

4.) Walls protect Cities, raising the value of having a Wall by allowing it to take the hit instead of the City, which helps sustain existing infrastructure. Players lose a Wall in lieu of a City if the Barbarians win.

5.) Materials used for Road infrastructure can be economized, thereby helping players conserve resources. Players may relocate a Road segment for the cost of a Wheat for labor.

6.) The Barbarians have a longer distance to travel, reducing the number of times they can hit the island. This allows players to focus more on advancement and expansion. The Barbarian ship is only moved when rolling Black if the Red die is higher than the Yellow.

7.) Catan has its very own economic stimulus package, encouraging progress and expansion (only in this case it doesn’t result in accrued national debt). All players acquire one Resource per turn based on the result of the Yellow die during its normal roll: 1 - Lumber, 2 - Brick, 3 - Grain, 4 - Wool, 5 - Ore, 6 - Nothing.

Rules that may lengthen game play:

1.) Knights may move off their Road 1 intersection at a time. However, they cannot be upgraded unless they are on a Road owned by the player, and they cannot move along Roads or through buildings owned by another player. They may, however, cross or insert themselves between two of another player’s Road segments, which effectively blocks that player from building there or moving a Knight along it (although the blocked player’s Knight can stop there if it has the strength to displace the Knight blocking it).

2.) Knights of greater strength do not automatically displace Knights of lesser strength. Each player rolls 1 die and adds double its Knight’s value to it, with the highest total winning (e.g. a Mighty Knight with a value of 3 attempting to displace a Knight with a strength of 1 would not succeed if he rolled a 1, which is a total of 2 X 3 + 1 = 7 and the defender rolled a 6, which is a total of 2 X 1 + 6 = 8). The losing Knight is removed.

3.) Knights may attack Roads, Settlements and Cities. The attacking player rolls one die and adds the strength of his Knight to it. To destroy a Road the player must achieve a total of 5 or more, and a 7 or higher is needed for a Settlement or City. Cities are reduced to Settlements when successfully attacked, meaning a subsequent assault on the Settlement is needed in order to completely wipe it out, while Settlements and Roads are removed from the board. When removing a destroyed piece the Knight takes its place, but for Cities being reduced to Settlements the Knight remains one intersection away.

4.) Metropolises are not immune to attack by the Barbarians (or Knights, if using the above rule) and can be reduced to a City if affected. A player who has already achieved a Metropolis that has not yet been acquired by another player after losing it can rebuild it at half the cost (e.g. for 2 Commodity cards of the appropriate type). However, if he loses his Metropolis and another player builds it, he’s out of luck (or, can try to destroy it if rule 3 above is in play).
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