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Subject: Knatsch (Knights) "Katalog edition 1" - Review rss

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Gustavo Vazquez
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(on the left the new "Victory condition card", on the right the new special card)

What is this?

Michael Schatch, the designer of Knatsch, created six "bonus card" for Knatsch - those are the first two.

How can I get them?

By dowloading and printing them! They can be found here:

In the original game there were five blank cards - you can paste the new cards in them. As you can see from the picture, you can't distinguish them from behind.

(pick one, take a guess...)

What do they do?

We have two interrelated cards here. The first is a new "Victory Condition": if anyone gets 6 times the 6, he wins the game! arrrh

For those of you that don't know the rules, in Knatsch you play dices to win cards that represent castles, special powers and tournaments. You play the 6 dices 3 times, keeping the best combinations. You try to get pairs, triples, quadruples, etc. of the same number. The higher the number, the better. But... the 6 is useless! Every time you get a 6, you loose that dice for the remaining throwings.

(I should add that you don't play "Victory condition" cards - they stay at the table to remind the players how they can win the game...)

An example: You play the 6 dices and get 2,2,3,4,5 and 6. You keep the 2's, remove the 6 and play the remaining 3 dices. Then you get 3,6 and another 6. You remove the two 6's and play the last dice, trying to turn your pair into a triple of 2's.

So, in the old days every any 6 would be bad. With the expansion things change!

As you have a chance to win the game getting 6 6's, altough the 6's still are useless to conquer castles and so on, they still give you some hope. Your bad luck can lead you to victory... In the example above, you could throw your hard-conquered 2 again to try to get 6 6's...

And the other card of the expansion?

The other card is similar to the "always add a 1 to your dices" (or 2, 3, etc.) from the original game, but this time you can add a 6. There's just one use: if you get five 6's, you win the game (5 + 1 of the card). It makes for one player (there's just one of these cards on the deck) a lot easier to win the game in the "back luck way".

Do those cards make the game better?

For sure! The greatest change is making every throwing important. Suppose we're having a tournament and you already have four 4 - it would be hard to beat. My first result is a 1,4,5,5,6 and 6. I remove the 6's and keep the 5's, hoping I could get two more in the remaining two dices. I throw them and I get a 3 and a 6. In those circunstances it would be impossible to beat you, so my turn would be over. But wait! With the new rule, I could try to get 3 more 6's and win the game! arrrh

Okay, the chances aren't big, but when usually you would be passing your turn without even playing the last throw, now you will try to satisfy this "Victory condition". And there's always a player in a rush of bad luck, without castles, without special cards, feeling miserable... and this rule could give him hope.

Doesn't this rule change the purpose of the game upside-down? I mean, winning by getting the worst number...

I don't believe so. I'm not good at maths, but I think the chance of getting 6 times 6 (throwing 3 times) is something around 1:1200. With the "6" card, 1:120 (someone better with math could do the exact calculation...) So, it won't happen so frequently.

And the fun! Imagine you almost winning the game, and one player gets five 6's and has one last throw for the remaining dice...

Besides, this is a free expansion - just print them and try. If you don't like, just set them aside.

Final conclusions

For me this is the best of the three mini-expansion, one I'll use every time I play. It's fun, it's free, and gives you a lot of excitement! cool

Thank you, mr. Schacht!

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