Top positive review
22 people found this helpful
Excellent Expansion - makes the game even better!
on 28 May 2009
This is an excellent expansion to Settlers of Catan. I enjoy it much more than the original but that may be because I tend to win this version much more.
I think it is better as it offers much more ways of winning. The scoring is similar to Catan in that you have to build up victory points by building settlements, cities and roads (well, the longest road). There is no largest army but there is the addition of victory point cards and metropolis points. It is possible to win cities and knights through building up your victory point cards and metropolises. You must have cities in order to build up a metropolis. I felt that in Catan you often needed the longest road to win, or at least, it helped. In this version you have more options, although the longest road always helps.
There is also more going on in this game, making it more interesting. In addition to the normal resources of wood, brick, wheat, iron ore and sheep, you must collect commodities such as coins, paper and cloth. These are used to build up your cities and with city improvements comes more power and options. These include collecting a resource card of your choice even when you are not adjacent to the number rolled on the dice, exchanging commodities at 2:1 and promoting your knights to the highest level. You also improve your chances of getting progress cards. These are an addition to the game and allow you to do lots more actions such as demanding resources from your opponents, building roads for free, making people loose half their resource cards etc. So, as the game progresses you have more to do on your turn and have are less likely to be frustrated by not being able to do anything.
The last main addition is, as the title suggests, the presence of knights. You use resources to buy, promote and activate knights. These are an invaluable part of the games as they protect your cities from invading barbarians. If you are not pulling your weight with the defense of Catan, then you are sure to loose a city and this can take a long time to build up again. You'll quickly realise that sheep, ore and wheat have never been in such big demand so early on in the game. If you contribute the most to the defense of Catan then you'll be rewarded with a victory point for your efforts. Knights can also move around the board, displace the robber and displace other opponents' knights from the game.
If you're a big fan of Catan then you'll surely love this expansion and if you like Catan but seem to like it less than others then this expansion will make you love it more.