Catan Cities Knights Expansion Official Rules

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Catan Cities & Knights Expansion: An Adventure Awaits!

Welcome, fellow adventurers! Are you ready for an exciting journey through the world of Catan? Join me as we dive into the official rules for the Cities & Knights Expansion. Get ready to strategize, trade, and build your way to victory!

So, what is the Cities & Knights Expansion? It’s an add-on for the classic Catan game that takes the experience to a whole new level. In this expansion, you’ll be facing new challenges and opportunities as you strive to become the most powerful force in Catan.

The Basics:

If you’re familiar with the original Catan game, you’ll find that some elements of Cities & Knights are similar, but there are also key differences that set it apart. In this expansion, you’ll still be collecting resources, trading with your fellow players, and building settlements and cities. However, you’ll also be facing the threat of barbarians who are ready to attack your precious cities.

One of the major changes in this expansion is the addition of three new commodities: paper, cloth, and coin. These commodities can be used to develop your cities and gain special abilities. Keep an eye out for opportunities to collect and trade these valuable resources!

Another exciting feature of Cities & Knights is the introduction of progress cards. These cards can be played during your turn to give you an advantage or disrupt your opponents’ plans. They provide new strategies and tactics that will keep you on your toes throughout the game.

Exploring the Progress of the Game:

The development of your cities plays a crucial role in Cities & Knights. By investing in your cities, you’ll gain access to special abilities and resources that will give you an edge over your opponents. Each city can be developed through three different aspects: science, politics, and commerce. By focusing on these aspects, you’ll be able to customize your strategy and adapt to the changing landscape of the game.

However, it’s important to note that the expansion also introduces the threat of barbarians. These fierce invaders will attack your cities, and it’s up to you and your fellow players to defend against them. If you fail to protect your cities, you may face devastating consequences.

Victory Awaits:

The goal of Cities & Knights is to accumulate victory points. You can earn these points by various means, such as building improvements in your cities, collecting progress cards, or successfully defending against the barbarian attacks. The player with the most victory points at the end of the game is declared the winner and the true champion of Catan!

Now that you’re familiar with the Cities & Knights Expansion, it’s time to embark on your own Catan adventure. Gather your friends, study the rules carefully, and may the best adventurer prevail! Good luck!

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The Cities and Knights of Catan is an expansion for the board game Settlers of Catan. It adds new elements to the game and allows for three to four players to participate. If you have the Settlers and Cities and Knights five to six player expansions, you can even play with up to six players.

This expansion focuses on city development and the use of knights. Knights can be used to attack other players or defend against common enemies. It brings a new level of strategy to the game.

If you have the Seafarers of Catan expansion, you can combine it with Cities and Knights. However, it is not recommended to use the Cities and Knights rules in scenarios where exploration is a key gameplay element.

The introduction of Cities and Knights brought new gameplay elements that have made the game more exciting and challenging. As a result, players now aim to achieve a higher number of victory points in order to win.


One of the major additions in this expansion is the introduction of commodities. These act as secondary resources that can only be produced by cities, not settlements. Similar to resources, commodities are linked to specific types of terrain and can be stolen by the robber (or the pirate in the Seafarers expansion). However, commodities also have some limitations – they can count towards the resource hand limit, and players cannot collect commodities if the robber is on the terrain.

In the game, players have the option to trade resources for commodities and vice versa. Commodities can then be used to construct city improvements, which offer additional benefits and advantages. However, in order to build city improvements, players must have at least one city in their possession.

The items that you can collect in the game include paper, coin, and cloth. Paper is made from forest terrain, coin is obtained from mountain terrain, and cloth is produced from pasture terrain.

Now, when you combine the Cities and Knights expansion with the Seafarers expansion, there are some unclear rules regarding the collection of commodities. Specifically, it’s not clear if commodities should be collected along with the regular resources when you collect from a Gold River tile. Additionally, it’s not clear if you can collect commodities directly from Gold River tiles.

In the base Settlers game, if you have a city on a wheat or clay tile, you can collect 2 of each resource. This remains the same when playing with the Cities and Knights expansion. However, instead of collecting sheep, ore, and wood, you will collect cloth, coin, and paper, respectively. Wheat and clay serve special functions in the game. Wheat activates knights, while clay allows you to build a city wall.

Improving Your Cities

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When you have a city, you can use commodities to make city improvements. These improvements give you some advantages. There are five levels of city improvements, divided into three categories. Each category requires a different commodity, and higher levels need more cards of that commodity. When you reach the third level, you get a special ability.

If you’re the first player to reach the fourth level, you can choose any of your cities and make it a metropolis. A metropolis is worth two extra points.

Each type of improvement has only one metropolis. A city can’t be a metropolis for two different types of improvements. Because of this, if you only have metropolises and settlements, you can’t make improvements beyond the third level. But if you’re the first player to reach the final level, you can take the metropolis from its current owner.

Ancient Knights: Warriors of the Past

Have you ever wondered about the life of a knight? I sure have! Knights were a fascinating group of warriors that roamed the lands in ancient times, and their stories still captivate us today. Let’s delve into the world of knights and discover what made them so special.

Knights were known for their bravery and skill in battle. They were highly trained warriors who dedicated their lives to protecting their lords and upholding a code of honor. As a knight, you would be part of an elite group, respected and admired by many.

But being a knight wasn’t just about swinging a sword and charging into battle. It was a way of life, filled with chivalry and noble deeds. Knights were expected to treat others with respect and kindness, always striving to do what was right.

To become a knight, you had to prove yourself worthy. It wasn’t an easy task. The path to knighthood was long and arduous, requiring years of training and devotion. Aspiring knights had to undergo rigorous physical and mental challenges, honing their skills in combat, horsemanship, and strategy.

Knights also had a strong sense of duty towards their lords. They swore an oath of loyalty and obedience, serving their lords with unwavering dedication. This loyalty often extended beyond the battlefield, as knights performed various tasks for their lords, such as managing estates and resolving disputes.

In battle, knights were a force to be reckoned with. Clad in armor, they were virtually invulnerable to most weapons of the time. This allowed them to charge into the heart of the enemy’s ranks, inspiring fear and confusion among their foes. The sight of a knight on horseback, lance in hand, was enough to strike terror into the hearts of their adversaries.

But the life of a knight wasn’t all glory and triumph. It was also filled with danger and sacrifice. Knights faced the constant threat of injury and death on the battlefield. They had to endure harsh conditions and long periods of separation from their loved ones.

Knighthood was a lifelong commitment. Once you became a knight, there was no going back. It was a responsibility that lasted until the end of your days. But for those who embraced the knightly code, it was a life of honor and prestige.

So, the next time you see a knight in a movie or read a story about their adventures, remember the sacrifices they made and the values they upheld. Knights were more than just warriors. They were the embodiment of courage, chivalry, and honor.

Catan Cities Knights Expansion Official Rules UltraFoodMess

In Cities and Knights, one of the important concepts is the introduction of knights, which replace soldiers and the largest army. Knights are units that require ongoing maintenance through activation, but they have a wide range of functions.

Knights can be promoted to three different ranks, with the final rank being a special ability granted by a city improvement.

Similar to settlements, knights are placed on the game board and can be used to block opposing roads, whether active or not. However, in order for knights to perform other functions, they must first be activated, which deactivates them immediately.

Keep in mind that knights cannot perform actions on the same turn they are activated, but they can be reactivated in the same turn after performing an action. Some of the actions that knights can perform include:

    I’m moving along a road, watching a line of ships sailing with Seafarers. I love the feeling of power when I dispel opposing knights of a lower rank. It forces them to retreat, making me the victor. And if the robber is nearby, I can also dispel it with Seafarers, feeling like a pirate in control.

    Being promoted or forced to retreat doesn’t change the active status of a knight.

    Now, let’s talk about Barbarian Attacks.

    Catan Cities Knights Expansion Official Rules UltraFoodMess

    Cities and Knights bring in a new die called the event die. It has two purposes, one of which relates to the barbarians, an occasional enemy that requires all players to work together to protect against.

    The barbarians appear as a ship on a track made up of special “double-hexes” that represent the distance between the ship and Catan (the board). Every time the event die shows a black ship, the barbarian ship moves one step closer to Catan.

    Once the barbarians reach Catan, a special phase begins before any other actions take place (like resource collection). In this phase, the barbarians’ attack strength, which is based on the combined number of cities and metropolises held by all players, is compared to Catan’s defense strength, determined by the combined levels of all activated knights in play.

    Imagine you’re in a game, and there’s a barbarian attack coming your way. If the attackers are stronger than your defenses, someone in your group has to give up a city and make it a settlement. However, it’s not as simple as that. The player who contributed the least amount of defensive points gets hit first.

    If there’s a tie for the lowest contribution, then all the players who tied have to reduce a city to a settlement. But what happens if the lowest contributors only have metropolises? In that case, the next-lowest contributors have to make the sacrifice.

    Now, there might be a situation where players tie for the lowest contribution but some of them don’t have cities to reduce. Those players are off the hook. There’s also the possibility that all players end up with only settlements and metropolises. If that happens, nothing changes.

    Imagine this: you’re playing a board game called Catan. In this game, you build settlements, cities, and roads to expand your territory and collect resources. But what happens when you have too many cities? Well, if you end up with six settlements when you’re only supposed to have five, you can turn one of them into a city by flipping the city token on its side.

    Now, let’s talk about defending Catan. If you successfully defend the island from the barbarians, you’ll be rewarded with a special card called the Defender of Catan. This card is worth an extra victory point, which can give you an advantage in the game. But here’s the catch: no matter the outcome of the defense, all the knights are immediately deactivated, and the barbarian ship goes back to where it started.

    Speaking of barbarians, they can be a real threat in Catan. Under the Cities and Knights expansion, the robber (and the pirate in the Seafarers expansion) doesn’t move until the first barbarian attack. This means that until that point, your knights can’t move the robber around the board.

    Progress Cards

    Did you know that the event die serves another important purpose? It’s all about Progress cards, which are a replacement for development cards. The mechanics of Progress cards are interesting because they involve one of the two white dice being replaced by a red die.

    Progress cards are divided into three categories, each corresponding to a different type of improvement. When the event die shows a castle, you can draw progress cards of that particular type, depending on what number comes up on the red die. The more advanced your improvements are, the higher the chance of drawing progress cards, and if you have the highest level of improvement, you can draw progress cards no matter what number is on the red die.

    When you play a game of Catan, you have access to progress cards that bring a new level of strategy to the game. These cards have some unique features that set them apart from the development cards they replace.

    One important thing to note is that progress cards can be played as soon as you draw them. Unlike development cards, you don’t have to wait for your next turn. This gives you more flexibility and opportunities to use them to your advantage.

    However, there is a catch. Most progress cards can only be played after you roll the dice. This means that you have to wait until after the outcome of the dice roll is determined before you can use your progress card. There are a few exceptions, though. Victory point cards can be played immediately, regardless of whose turn it is. These cards instantly give you victory points, which can be crucial for securing a win.

    Another unique progress card is the Alchemist card. This card allows you to predict the outcome of the white and red dice before rolling them. To take advantage of this card, you have to play it before rolling the dice. This gives you the ability to strategize and make informed decisions based on the outcome you want.

    In terms of storage, you can hold up to four progress cards (or up to five if you’re playing with five to six players). If you draw any additional cards beyond this limit, you have two choices. You can either discard the extra cards right away or, if it’s your turn, you can choose to play one of them immediately. The decision will depend on your game plan and the current state of the board.

    So, imagine this – a wild barbarian attack happens, but none of us really stand out as the ultimate defenders of Catan. It’s a tie among all the players who contributed the most. In this case, nobody gets to be called a Defender of Catan. Instead, each of us gets to draw a progress card of our choice. Pretty fair, right?

    But here’s the thing – what if there are no Defender of Catan cards left? Well, no worries! We can still draw a progress card instead. So, it’s not the end of the world if we don’t get that fancy title.

    Now, let’s talk about City Walls.

    City walls are like a nice little extra in the Cities and Knights expansion. They allow us to hold on to more resource and commodity cards before we have to discard any when the dreaded 7 is rolled. That’s pretty handy, right?

    But hold on, there’s a catch. These walls don’t actually protect us from the robber. Nope, sorry! If that sneaky little thief is lurking on one of our hexes, we still can’t produce any resources or commodities from that hex. Only cities and metropolises are allowed to have walls, and each city or metropolis can only have one wall. We’re capped at three walls per player, though, so no fortress cities for us!

    If the barbarians attack and conquer your city, they will not only plunder its resources but also demolish the city wall. This means you will have to take down the city wall if your city falls to the barbarians.

    A Trader’s Tale

    Catan Cities Knights Expansion Official Rules UltraFoodMess

    Hey there! Let’s talk about the merchant in Cities and Knights. The merchant is pretty cool – kind of like the robber, but with a twist. Instead of causing trouble, the merchant actually helps you out!

    You can only bring out the merchant by playing a special card called the Merchant progress card. There are six of these cards in the game. When you play one, you can put the merchant on a land hex that’s next to one of your cities or settlements.

    So, what can you do with the merchant? Well, the player who controls the merchant gets a special trade advantage. They can trade one resource (not a commodity) at a two-to-one rate. It’s like having your own personal two-to-one harbor!

    But that’s not all – controlling the merchant also earns you a victory point. Yep, you heard me right! It’s a sweet little bonus that gives you an extra point towards winning the game. However, if another player takes control of the merchant, you lose both the victory point and the trade privilege.

    The rules for the game are not clear when it comes to placing the merchant and the robber on the same hex. It’s uncertain whether having the robber on the same hex as the merchant disables the trading privilege or the victory point. The rules are also unclear when playing with Seafarers about whether the merchant can be placed on a Gold River hex and if trading can occur with two resources of different types.

    Let’s talk about the different types of cards in the game. There are Commerce Cards and Politics Cards. Commerce Cards involve actions like Wedding Irrigation, where you gain 2 wheat for every settlement or city on a wheat chit. Mining is another Commerce Card, where you gain 2 ore for every settlement or city on an ore chit.

    The rules could use some clarification to avoid confusion, but overall, understanding the different types of cards adds depth to the game.

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