Pyramid Review: The Cities and Knights of Catan (for The Settlers of Catan)

Pyramid Review

The Cities and Knights of Catan (an expansion for The Settlers of Catan)

Published by Mayfair Games

Designed by Klaus Teuber

Boxed set; $38.00

In 1995, Klaus Teuber's board game The Settlers of Catan won Germany's most prestigious game award, the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year). Mayfair Games' English translation of the game won the American Game of the Year Award the following year. The game is widely regarded as being responsible for American interest in other "German" games, such as those published (in English) by Rio Grande Games. Now, Mayfair has given us Klaus Teuber's newest expansion to the game, The Cities and Knights of Catan. Cities and Knights is a wonderful addition to an already classic game, and adds strategic depth without sacrificing any of the basic game's simplicity.

The first thing you'll notice about Cities and Knights is the presence of the Barbarian Horde tile. This special double-hex tile replaces one of the standard water hexes at the edge of the island, and is used to track the progress of the barbarian fleet as it approaches Catan. Every time the special Event die comes up with the black ship (three of the six faces), the barbarians move a little bit closer to Catan.

To combat the barbarians, players must build up a force of Knights. When the barbarians reach Catan, the strength of their attack (equal to the number of cities) is compared to the strength of the Knights' defense. If the barbarians are stronger . . .

This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.

Article publication date: January 12, 2001

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