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Subject: Expansion Idea: The Principalities of Catan (Catan: Principalities) rss

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Derek Whaley
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For a few years now I have had an idea for an expansion to Settlers of Catan that would be act as its own expansion and complete Cities & Knights of Catan. After much thought and planning, here are my initial ideas for the expansion. The details of the Progress Cards are still pending.

Components
36 Commodity Cards
— 12 Incense (from Deserts)
— 12 Bread (from Fields)
— 12 Ceramics (from Hills)
54 Progress Cards
— 18 Culture (White)
— 18 Wealth (Red)
— 18 Agriculture (Orange)
3 Wooden Metropolis Pieces (White, Red, Orange)
4 Development Flip Charts
16 Wooden Fief Pieces (4 x 4 colors)
3 Trading Post tiles
1 Wooden King piece
1 Event Die (3 sides showing white, red, and orange metropolises, 1 tribute, 1 charity, 1 year of plenty)
1 Extra Number Chit (A "2/12" hybrid chit)
1 Largest Fief Bonus Victory Point Card
1 Games Rules & Almanac

Setup
Follow normal setup procedures but remove one Pasture from the game and replace it and the Desert with the Trading Post tiles. These should be across the board from each other and should be rotated randomly. Mix the number chits together and place one on each tile (including the Trading Posts), ensuring that no red numbers are adjacent to one another.

Shuffle the three separate Progress Card decks and set them beside the board. Add three new piles for each of the new Commodities.

Players set up their settlements as per Settlers of Catan. During the second round of placement, players place a city instead of a settlement.

The Robber and the Largest Army card will not be used this game.

Additional Rules
All the normal rules of Settlers of Catan are followed except where mentioned below:

Event Die = At the beginning of each turn, roll the Event Die with the Red and White normal dies. Resolve any Event before distributing Resources.
— White, Red, or Orange Metropolis: Players receive a Progress Card if the white die number is visible on their Progress Flip-Chart. Cards are distributed clockwise beginning with the current player.
— Tribute & Charity (see below)
— Year of Plenty: Each player receives one (1) Resource (not Commodity) of their choice from the supply, beginning in clockwise order with the current player.

The King = The player who placed their city first receives the King piece. Each turn, a player receives the King as a visitor to their principality. During that turn, that player may purchase one (1) item or upgrade using cards provided by the King. A combination of player cards and King cards can be used. If the King has no cards, or none of the cards are useful to the current player, the player is not required to use the King cards. Additionally, when the King is in a player's principality, that player is not required to pay Tribute if the Tribute symbol is rolled on the Event Die. Limit one (1) item or upgrade using the King cards. King cards can only be traded to to the bank or via a harbor, and only if used to purchase an item or upgrade. When the player has finished their turn, they must pass the King to the player on their right.

Fiefs (3 x player) = May be placed around Number Chit by player. Player collects one (1) Resource of that tile's type whenever that number is rolled. Costs 1 Brick, 1 Ore, and 1 Sheep. Tiles without chits (e.g., Ocean tiles in Seafarers) cannot be claimed with by a Fief.

Tribute = When the Tribute symbol is rolled, players must give one card to the player holding the King piece of each type of hex that they have a Fief built under. If a player is unable to pay for a Fief, the Fief is forfeited and the wooden marker is returned to the player. Deserts are immune to Tribute. (Seafarers: Players with a Fief on a Gold Field may choose which type of Resource or Commodity to give in Tribute.)

Charity = All cards held by the King are distributed randomly to each player in clockwise order, beginning with the player holding the King.

Trading Posts = The deserts have become a Trading Posts. Also, rumors of incense in the deep desert abound. Building on the new "Trading Post" tiles yield the Commodity Incense, which can be used to progress the Wealth Calendar. Additionally, trading posts along the edge of the Desert provide 2 for 1 trades of each Commodity. A third tile is provided when playing with Catan: Cities & Knights showing Coin, Cloth, and Paper.

Largest Fief = The player with the most Fiefs (starting with the player who builds the first Fief) receives the Largest Fief bonus victory point card. They retain this until a player exceeds their total number of Fiefs. It is worth 2 Victory Points at the end of the game.

From Cities & Knights
Calendar Bonuses
Each level adds a dice number to the possible Event Die rolls. At the fourth level, a metropolis is earned but can be stolen. At the fifth and highest level, a metropolis is secured. A metropolis adds 2 points to a city's value. In addition:
Wealth (Incense) = 3rd level earns a Victory Point
Culture (Ceramics) = 3rd level allows player to build two items using King
Farming (Bread) = 3rd level allows player to receive two Resources from Year of Plenty Event Die roll

Progress Cards
Progress cards have not been determined yet, but Wealth will be the most valuable since it is the hardest to obtain, while the other two will balance personal bonuses and group bonuses.

Game End
The game ends when the first player ends their turn with 13 or more Victory Points.

---------------------
See below for one final addition: Keeps.

This expansion is designed to be completely compatible without contradiction with Cities & Knights while also acting as a stand-alone expansion.

Please give me your comments, suggestions, and any playtest reports if anyone goes so far as to test it. I've only played with some of the concepts here, the others being long-discussed ideas. I will begin working on a more formal-looking version after I've played it a few times and tweaked parts.
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Roy Romasanta
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This looks very interesting Derek! I like that the white die is used to generate the desert, brick and fields progress cards (instead of the red die for C&K).

Could I have a copy of the Almanac/Rules? Can't wait to try it out with my gaming group.

It's not clear what the "King cards" are, though. Are they the resource cards collected during tax rolls? Are they kept with the king (instead of the player) between each player's turn?

Are resources only collected if a player has a fief or do fiefs give players an additional resource when the number is rolled? Are the fiefs stackable (can more than one player claim the same number chit on the board)?

What's missing? Might I suggest adding some sort of "harmful" aspect of the game? Since you've taken out the robber and without C&K there isn't a barbarian invasion/politics progress cards (Saboteur, Spy, etc.), the principalities can grow without check (your components don't list whether the pirate or gold fields are required, yet gold fields are referenced in the rules?). Admittedly, the "tribute" and "tax" hurts a bit. Or are more harmful elements expressed within the new progress cards?

In the German fan expansions, Kirche, Glaube & Reformation (Fan expansion to Catan: Cities and Knights) and Hexen, Zauberer & Drachen (Fan expansion to Catan: Cities and Knights), there are the Inquisitor (beer/bread) and Wizard (magic crystals) pieces, respectively. Your King piece is analagous to these, yet not attached to any specific commodity. Maybe a piece to represent the new commodities? Maybe a desert raider (ala Aladdin's father) or spice/incense merchant, a bakery that allows for better bread production (say, 2x the normal?), or artisan (for ceramics) that creates works of art that then raises the amount of taxes, maybe?

Again, this looks great!
 
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Derek Whaley
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Thanks for the comments, rrromasanta. Here's some clarifications:

Tribute and taxes are the same. I wrote half the information above using taxes before deciding on Tribute, which was more thematic.

Fiefs are provide additional Resources (never Commodities) when their numbers are rolled. They still collect for Settlements and Cities. Fiefs are not stackable. Only one player can claim a fief (though they can suddenly go vacant if a player can't pay the King!).

Yes, the King cards are the cards collected from Tribute rolls. They remain with the King regardless of which player holds the King. That means sometimes a player will have a lot of new cards to choose from while other times they may have a piddly amount.

I should add that the Desert can be claimed as a Fief, but there currently is nothing to be gained by such a move. I may try to alter that to make it worthwhile. I think I will add a Most Fiefs card, though the limit due to pieces is only four.

Regarding the harmful aspects of the expansion, with the Tribute option I feel that there will be a significant outflow of cards, but I agree that I need some more negative things. I don't really like the ideas from the German fan expansions which attack specific types of hoarders. I prefer more universal attacks that especially attack the leaders (though not overwhelmingly so).
 
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Jörg Baumgartner
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I like the commodity ceramics for hills a lot better than the magic resource in the German version, and incense is a very inspired commodity for desert (or now trading post) tiles.

I think what is missing in the standalone version is the common threat the barbarians provide in C&K, and the implied obligation to build and feed the knights. The Tribute event with its 1 in 6 chance crops up twice as often than the barbarian raid, but it doesn't provide the same threat level, nor does it provide an extra victory point option other than the largest fief card. Tribute is a form of maintenance cost, with a "do or die" cost.

Getting the king marks the active player. Right now, it is all benefit and no cost... perhaps placing the king next to one settlement or city places any one rolled resource for that settlement/city in the king card stack? Place the king before you roll. You can still access the resource(s) when using the king cards, provided you can build something requiring this resource.


Does the standalone game still use the basic game development cards, or do you have another method of chasing the robber away (e.g. placing the king on an affected hex, or progress cards)?

Rather than a single robber, there could be an increasing number or strength of rebelling nobles the king has to hunt off the lands? With the active player providing the royal army in the shape of knight cards?

(There might even be a chance that the king loses to the rebel, and that there will be a new king, with some consequences. Players might be able to sponsor (one of) the rebel(s) rather than the king, and be awarded extra fiefs, or lose some.)

The commodity "incense" is earned by building a city on a desert/trading post hex? A settlement only provides the trading option?

A fief on a desert/trading post hex doesn't provide any income, but gives an untaxable fief?

Will the city walls from C&K be used in this expansion, or will there be another way of holding extra cards? (This might be some theme for the wealth progress cards?)

With the basic game, you now need 19 number chips. Which additional number should be placed on the extra hex?


One common problem I see with additional progress cards is that the categories and special buildings compressed into one of the three categories often would be better placed in another category. E.g. Irrigation, which would be an agriculture achievement.


 
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Derek Whaley
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jorganos wrote:
I like the commodity ceramics for hills a lot better than the magic resource in the German version, and incense is a very inspired commodity for desert (or now trading post) tiles.

I think what is missing in the standalone version is the common threat the barbarians provide in C&K, and the implied obligation to build and feed the knights. The Tribute event with its 1 in 6 chance crops up twice as often than the barbarian raid, but it doesn't provide the same threat level, nor does it provide an extra victory point option other than the largest fief card. Tribute is a form of maintenance cost, with a "do or die" cost.

I agree. I've been considering some form of Plague or Famine as a mechanic, though I wanted to find something less predictable than the Barbarians as the mechanism.

Quote:
Getting the king marks the active player. Right now, it is all benefit and no cost... perhaps placing the king next to one settlement or city places any one rolled resource for that settlement/city in the king card stack? Place the king before you roll. You can still access the resource(s) when using the king cards, provided you can build something requiring this resource.

Not a bad idea, though it becomes a bit finicky. I already limit the player to building only one item using the King cards. I'll try this technique after working with the current ruling.

Quote:
Does the standalone game still use the basic game development cards, or do you have another method of chasing the robber away (e.g. placing the king on an affected hex, or progress cards)?

There is no Robber. It's noted above under "Setup". The Robber doesn't really work in Cities & Knights, so I wanted to keep that consistent with this expansion. No Development Cards either, though I forgot to note that. The Progress Cards work to replace most of the functions of the Development Cards.

Quote:
Rather than a single robber, there could be an increasing number or strength of rebelling nobles the king has to hunt off the lands? With the active player providing the royal army in the shape of knight cards?

(There might even be a chance that the king loses to the rebel, and that there will be a new king, with some consequences. Players might be able to sponsor (one of) the rebel(s) rather than the king, and be awarded extra fiefs, or lose some.)

No Knights. Period. Again, it conflicts with Cities & Knights too much. I like the idea of rebellious nobles, though. The problem with that is thematically each player is a "prince" vying for power. If I have nobles as well, it could get confusing. Still, good concept and I will look into it.

Quote:
The commodity "incense" is earned by building a city on a desert/trading post hex? A settlement only provides the trading option?

Yup. It's a trade off. The settlement provides nothing except a 2 for 1 trade of commodities (which may be more helpful when playing with C&K than just Principalities). But if you upgrade to a city, you get incense. The Progress Deck for Incense is going to have 6 Victory Point cards in it. That's 1/3 of the entire deck. The other 12 cards will all be beneficial too.

Quote:
A fief on a desert/trading post hex doesn't provide any income, but gives an untaxable fief?

Yes, though this is largely unnecessary. It was one of the reasons I decided to add the Largest Fief card, to give a slight reason for claiming the desert. Of all the choices, though, it is probably not the best.

Quote:
Will the city walls from C&K be used in this expansion, or will there be another way of holding extra cards? (This might be some theme for the wealth progress cards?)[/q
Yes, I've been thinking about this one too. I agree that some of the Progress Cards may have to carry the load of protecting cards. I grab some cards from Rivals for Catan that show books on them and turn them into hand-boosters. I don't want to undermine the power of the walls, obviously, since the two expansions are suppose to work together, but I do need a way to increase hand size.

[q]With the basic game, you now need 19 number chips. Which additional number should be placed on the extra hex?

I covered that in "Components" and "Setup" above, but I made a mistake. Upon further thought, I think I'll add a custom 2/12 chit (like the old Wizard's Castle hex once had) and place it on one of the trading posts. The other TP will probably have a "10" placed on it. Still not decided on this, partially because I always play random setup.

Quote:
One common problem I see with additional progress cards is that the categories and special buildings compressed into one of the three categories often would be better placed in another category. E.g. Irrigation, which would be an agriculture achievement.

Yes, that is a problem of lack of foresight by KOSMOS in creating C&K without an idea for a future expansion that could piggy-back off it (despite it being designed so obviously with that ability). If this expansion could ever be produced by KOSMOS, I'd assume that a future edition of C&K could change the names of some of the cards around to better suit separate categories. As it stands, I will try not to duplicate Progress Cards or, perhaps, will use the same card in multiple categories with the same function. I doubt many people would dislike having easier access to duplicates of popular cards from C&K.

Thanks for the notes and advice. I think I'll develop the Plague/Famine mechanic as my negative to keep card counts down and require a bit of protection. Grain Silos anyone?
 
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Derek Whaley
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Rules update:

New Component:
8 Keep (2 x 4 colors)

New Rules:
Keeps — Quantity: 2; Cost: 1 Ore, 1 Brick, 1 Wood.

A Keep can be used to claim an intersection on the board that is not connected to a player's road network. As long as the Keep is on that intersection, no other player may build a settlement within two intersections of the site (as per normal settlement placement rules). When built at a trade site, the player receives the trade advantage.

A Keep protects two (2) additional cards in a player's hand when a "7" is rolled. Two Keeps protect four (4) total cards, resulting in a player being able to safely hold 11 cards. (These bonuses are cumulative with City Walls from Cities & Knights.)

Once connected to the road network, a Keep may be upgraded to a settlement for only 1 Wheat and 1 Sheep.

Keeps require upkeep (pun intended) and are prone to famine. When a player rolls the "Famine" symbol (which replaces the Year of Plenty symbol), every player with a Keep must pay 1 Sheep or 1 Grain to ensure the Keep remains. If a player is unable to pay, the Keep is returned to that player's supply.

Also, the third round Flip-Chart bonus for Farming has been changed to read: "Player may upgrade one Keep to a Settlement for free."

---------------

Please submit your critiques, opinions, and suggestions. Thanks!
 
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Jörg Baumgartner
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Whaleyland wrote:
jorganos wrote:

I think what is missing in the standalone version is the common threat the barbarians provide in C&K, and the implied obligation to build and feed the knights. The Tribute event with its 1 in 6 chance crops up twice as often than the barbarian raid, but it doesn't provide the same threat level, nor does it provide an extra victory point option other than the largest fief card. Tribute is a form of maintenance cost, with a "do or die" cost.

I agree. I've been considering some form of Plague or Famine as a mechanic, though I wanted to find something less predictable than the Barbarians as the mechanism.


Less predictable, but roughly the same frequency?

Quote:
Quote:
Getting the king marks the active player. Right now, it is all benefit and no cost... perhaps placing the king next to one settlement or city places any one rolled resource for that settlement/city in the king card stack? Place the king before you roll. You can still access the resource(s) when using the king cards, provided you can build something requiring this resource.

Not a bad idea, though it becomes a bit finicky. I already limit the player to building only one item using the King cards. I'll try this technique after working with the current ruling.


The limit of one item can be overcome with the third stage of the culture progress, which would be as eagerly sought after as the third stage of knowledge progress in C&K. Some progress cards might offer another bonus use of the king's cards (or block it).

(Absence of Robber and Development Cards)
Quote:

There is no Robber. It's noted above under "Setup". The Robber doesn't really work in Cities & Knights, so I wanted to keep that consistent with this expansion. No Development Cards either, though I forgot to note that. The Progress Cards work to replace most of the functions of the Development Cards.


C&K balances the income loss of sheep and ore with making the purchased knights' sheep and ore cost permanent.

In this game, brick and grain revenues are reduced, while ore, sheep and lumber remain at large.

Brick finds another use in the fiefs and keeps - maybe use lumber or sheep instead?

Quote:
Quote:
Rather than a single robber, there could be an increasing number or strength of rebelling nobles the king has to hunt off the lands? With the active player providing the royal army in the shape of knight cards?

(There might even be a chance that the king loses to the rebel, and that there will be a new king, with some consequences. Players might be able to sponsor (one of) the rebel(s) rather than the king, and be awarded extra fiefs, or lose some.)

No Knights. Period. Again, it conflicts with Cities & Knights too much.

Apart from their use to drive away the robber (or rather place the robber in more competitive gaming style), the knight development cards work as a prestige component leading to the 2 victory points for greatest army.

I'm not quite convinced that the "most fiefs" with the upper limit of three fiefs per player will fill the same role. The possibility of losing an unsupported fief will also create many situations where the holder of the "most fiefs" card will lose one fief, and more than one player may hold the most fiefs afterwards. The Encyclopedia Catanica tells that in the comparable case of a lost longest road, the extra victory points are removed from the game until a single player holds the longest road. With only three fiefs that can be built, there is some likelihood that the card remains out of the game.

Quote:
I like the idea of rebellious nobles, though. The problem with that is thematically each player is a "prince" vying for power. If I have nobles as well, it could get confusing. Still, good concept and I will look into it.


I've been reading up on the Frankish kingdoms lately (up to mediaeval Germany and France), and the migratory king theme fits perfectly into this era. A typical element from this era was the eligibility of only a limited royal house (first the Merowing kings, later the Karolingian kings) as the new king, with powerful families vieing to be the power behind the throne (the maiordomus, a position similar to the shogunate of Japan). Any rival candidate for the crown had to be a member of an appropriate bloodline (and required the backing of powerful non-royal houses - the players). This would keep the rivalling princes NPC pieces only temporarily controlled by a player.


Quote:
Quote:
Will the city walls from C&K be used in this expansion, or will there be another way of holding extra cards? (This might be some theme for the wealth progress cards?)

Yes, I've been thinking about this one too. I agree that some of the Progress Cards may have to carry the load of protecting cards. I grab some cards from Rivals for Catan that show books on them and turn them into hand-boosters. I don't want to undermine the power of the walls, obviously, since the two expansions are suppose to work together, but I do need a way to increase hand size.


You did with the introduction of the keeps. In general, I like the concept, but there ought to be a limit how far away from a road network a keep may be placed, or some cost to be paid for additional distance.

Quote:
Quote:
With the basic game, you now need 19 number chips. Which additional number should be placed on the extra hex?

I covered that in "Components" and "Setup" above, but I made a mistake. Upon further thought, I think I'll add a custom 2/12 chit (like the old Wizard's Castle hex once had) and place it on one of the trading posts. The other TP will probably have a "10" placed on it. Still not decided on this, partially because I always play random setup.

In random setup, the desert is excepted from getting a number chip. By allocating the special chip (or one each of 2 and 12 chips from e.g. Seafarers) first, you can do the standard random setup routine.


Quote:
Quote:
One common problem I see with additional progress cards is that the categories and special buildings compressed into one of the three categories often would be better placed in another category. E.g. Irrigation, which would be an agriculture achievement.

Yes, that is a problem of lack of foresight by KOSMOS in creating C&K without an idea for a future expansion that could piggy-back off it (despite it being designed so obviously with that ability). If this expansion could ever be produced by KOSMOS, I'd assume that a future edition of C&K could change the names of some of the cards around to better suit separate categories. As it stands, I will try not to duplicate Progress Cards or, perhaps, will use the same card in multiple categories with the same function. I doubt many people would dislike having easier access to duplicates of popular cards from C&K.

Most expansions are created in the "least effort" approach, keeping the C&K cards and names unchanged. I've been toying with altering those decks and calendars for specific combinations, but I guess that's a thread for C&K variants rather than this forum.

Quote:
Thanks for the notes and advice. I think I'll develop the Plague/Famine mechanic as my negative to keep card counts down and require a bit of protection. Grain Silos anyone?


A plague scenario slowly spreading across the gameboard would be creepy. There is one German C&K variation - http://adelpestundluxusgueter.de/ - which has included some plague mechanics, but I haven't looked at it too deeply, it being the third of C&K expansions which appear to build on one another.
 
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Derek Whaley
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I'm hoping to get a better written document up in the next few days, and perhaps some playtesting done for this expansion. But just as an update, the Robber is staying after all. I need to find a Knight-replacement mechanic to get the Robber off of certain territories. Also, I'm still thinking about adding a Plague mechanic, and I think the trigger may be when a player rolls both a "7" and the Famine Event die side. In any case, Robber is back in the game (it would have undermined one of the Knights' abilities in Cities & Knights otherwise).
 
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Knight Mechanic for chasing the Robber:

Sherwood Forest


Expend a knight to chase the Robber off any terrain tile. Robber randomly (1x die roll) moves to an adjoining terrain hex.

?
 
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Derek Whaley
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markgravitygood wrote:
Knight Mechanic for chasing the Robber:

Sherwood Forest


Expend a knight to chase the Robber off any terrain tile. Robber randomly (1x die roll) moves to an adjoining terrain hex.

?


I believe that is already the Cities & Knights concept minus the random roll, and I need to find a way to replace the "move-Robber" mechanic in Principalities, not add an extra option for the Knights (there are no Knights if just playing Principalities).
 
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Jörg Baumgartner
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Let me repeat my earlier proposal:

If the king is placed on a hex containing the robber (only possible if that hex has a building belonging to the active player), the robber may be moved to another hex. Any card robbed at the new position goes to the king's stack.

The king should be moved before the die roll, if the rolled result is to go to the king's deck. The active player would only gain indirect access to any resources from this hex.

If a seven is rolled, the robber may be moved again, this time with the spoils for the active gamer rather than the king.

This may move the robber around quite a bit.

Alternatively, all the king does is send the robber back home to a neutral hex (like in the event in Nuernberg).
 
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jorganos wrote:
Let me repeat my earlier proposal:

If the king is placed on a hex containing the robber (only possible if that hex has a building belonging to the active player), the robber may be moved to another hex. Any card robbed at the new position goes to the king's stack.

The king should be moved before the die roll, if the rolled result is to go to the king's deck. The active player would only gain indirect access to any resources from this hex.

If a seven is rolled, the robber may be moved again, this time with the spoils for the active gamer rather than the king.

This may move the robber around quite a bit.

Alternatively, all the king does is send the robber back home to a neutral hex (like in the event in Nuernberg).


The King won't be going on the board. I feel that would be too confusing. I also won't be splitting where the Robber's gains go for the same reason.

I've decided that the player entertaining the King automatically exiles the Robber off the board if the Robber is on one of their number chits when it's their turn. This occurs before rolling dice and is not an option. That will clear the board of the Robber periodically. There will be no stealing resources when this is done.

Likewise, there will be two Progress Cards in each deck that tell players where to move the Robber to (player with most VP [or next highest if you], off the board, and player with most structures adjacent to red number chits). There will also be two cards in each deck that allow the player to move the King out of sequence. These mixed with the King's exile rule should help calm the power of the King down a bit.
 
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Jörg Baumgartner
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Working on my overview over all the C&K variants I can find, I returned to this project in order to include it.


The economics of fiefs

Playing a fief is statistically a risky zero-sum bargain wrt resource income. Depending on the production number, the likelihood of earning a resource on that hex is 5/36 for a 6 or 8, 4/36 for a 5 or 9, 3/36 for a 4 or 10, 2/36 for a 3 or 11 or 2/12 combination. The likelihood to have to pay tribute is 1/6 *(number of players-1)/(number of players), 1/6*2/3 for 3 players, 1/6*3/4 for 4 players.
So, in a 3 player game, there is a 4/36 chance that you have to pay a resource from your fief hex, which makes only 6 and 8 somewhat profitable and 5 or 9 theoretically a zero sum investment.
In a 4 player game, there is a 9/72 chance that you have to pay the resource of your fief hex, and only 6 and 8 with their 10/72 chance of gain don't make you pay more than you earn.

Things aren't all that bleak - the active player gets to use one of the resources in the treasury. However, there is a high chance that the treasury will be empty or contain some perfectly useless resources when you get access to it.

There might be a different method to trigger a tribute: the fact that the treasury is empty. If an active player inherits an empty treasury, he may roll a d6. If he is the first to have an empty treasury, he needs to roll a 1 to trigger the tribute. If he is the second, a tribute will be triggered on a roll of 1 or 2, and so on.

Other events might trigger a tribute, or deposit cards in the treasury - e.g. whenever a player holds more than 7 cards and has to discard half of them, some of these cards might end up in the treasury.

Some beneficient progress cards might yield resource or commodity cards for the treasury as well as for the player playing them.

There might be a progress card "extracurricular tribute" or "tax inspector" that could be played on another player, possibly with the usual limitations like "has more VP than you" or "has as many fiefs as you, or more". (or both, with the tax inspector allowing a saving throw to prove the paperwork for each fief affected.)


The economics above make a fief on a desert actually a safe bet towards the victory point card "most fiefs". Given the volatile situation where you can win and lose fiefs, perhaps a negative VP card "least fiefs" could be awarded as well, as in T&B:The Rivers.

Keeps

Quote:
New Component:
8 Keep (2 x 4 colors)

New Rules:
Keeps — Quantity: 2; Cost: 1 Ore, 1 Brick, 1 Wood.

Brick again - already a scarce resource.

This variant will feel completely different when played with the Seafarers expansion - easy access to routes using sheep instead of bricks. Some road building abilities (e.g. "replace up to 2 bricks for road building with ") should be included in the culture progress stack to counterbalance this effect.


Quote:
A Keep can be used to claim an intersection on the board that is not connected to a player's road network. As long as the Keep is on that intersection, no other player may build a settlement within two intersections of the site (as per normal settlement placement rules). When built at a trade site, the player receives the trade advantage.

This is quite powerful, and a lucky player might block off an entire section of the board by placing two early keeps at critical intersections.

Does a keep prevent another player from building roads past it? If so, some analogon to the blue Intrigue progress card might be required to get rid of an opponent's keep.

Quote:
Keeps require upkeep (pun intended) and are prone to famine. When a player rolls the "Famine" symbol (which replaces the Year of Plenty symbol), every player with a Keep must pay 1 Sheep or 1 Grain to ensure the Keep remains. If a player is unable to pay, the Keep is returned to that player's supply.

This is the only mechanic for famine so far. I suppose you have more?

Quote:
Also, the third round Flip-Chart bonus for Farming has been changed to read: "Player may upgrade one Keep to a Settlement for free."

The third stages of the C&K progress tracks all provide an ability that can be used for the rest of the game. I'm not sure these non-recurring benefits are as much of a motivation to trade for those commodities you are lacking as the recurring benefits.

If this upgrade can also be done for a keep unconnected to the road network, this would be a powerful ability - even if the usual price, or the full price of a settlement, has to be paid.


The same goes for the wealth progress track. 1 VP isn't that much - that's what a randomly drawn VP card offers. How about this:
"From now on you may now purchase 1 VP by spending 3 (or 4?) spice commodity cards, plus another spice commodity card for every VP you already bought that way." The first player to get 4 spice commodities to spend will most likely spend them on the metropolis, later contenders can decide not to try and outbid him. The players bidding for the metropolis still get better access to the progress cards.

Spice commodity cards are rare, but other commodities may be traded 2:1 whenever a trading post is rolled. Especially with the option to place a keep there, this may be a common ability.


Which brings me to the rules anomaly that players may perform a trade outside of their turn whenever the trading post is rolled. Once this barreer has been tackled, other applications of such a rule suggest themselves...
 
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James Reineke
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This is my first time viewing this expansion suggestion, but I find it to be an excellent idea.

Is there any idea what the next expansion may be after Explorers and Pirates?
 
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Jörg Baumgartner
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Kiel
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james24eagle wrote:
Is there any idea what the next expansion may be after Explorers and Pirates?


I don't think that there are current plans to produce another expansion right now. A logical next step would be to carry the theme of mobile units transporting settlers and wares back to the land.

I'll put further speculations in my Catan blog, in order to stay on topic here.
 
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K Katanianos
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This expansion has some very interesting ideas!

However, I do not think that the new commodities proposed have to be used with the same mechanics as the commodities in the C&K expansion.
Perhaps the new commodities and, as a consequence, some sort of city upgrades can be used to have a more "protective" function. For example bread can be associated with fighting famine.

Also let me point out that desert hexes can also produce precious stones (Edelstein) as it is the case in The Colonies anniverasry scenario. There is even a nice graphic
 
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K Katanianos
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I understand that the Keeps are more general to the Grain Silos that you mentioned earlier, but I just wanted to point out that in the Rivals of Catan expansion The Age of Enlightenment there is a building called the Granary, which I presume is a place to store grain for times of famine.
 
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