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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.
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on 11 May 2010
We had become addicted to the Settlers original game playing the game almost every evening so we decided to purchase one of the expansion packs. It took a while to get to grips with the new rules for Cities and Knights as it is very different to the original but we are now equally addicted to this. My son loves this (10 years old) and we play it at least 3 times a week. The new game takes about 90 minutes to play, is great for 3 players and it will cause arguements but it is easily the best board game we have played for a long time. Try it and see.
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on 18 September 2010
I have owned and played theThe Settlers of Catan (New Edition) for a couple of years now and so far I have not met anyone who has played it and not enjoyed it, it truly is a game for everyone.

However, the same cannot be said of Cities and Knights. Personally I love this expansion to the game and very much enjoy the expanded opportunities it offers, but there are people who don't agree. One reason for this is the increased playing time, meaning it can be easy to become bored before the end of the game. Another reason is that once a player gains a lead it is very hard for anyone else to catch up, if someone gets an early advantage, especially with regards to commodities, then the game is all but over already, leaving players to wait for an hour or so with no hope of gaining victory.

Physically the pieces are high quality and durable, being made of wood and thick card. One issue I had was with the flip charts which were of a much lower quality than I expected and occasionally the card comes right off the spiral binding, not ideal.

Overall a good addition to any Catan fan's game cupboard but maybe only play this version some of the time just to keep things fresh.
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on 9 March 2008
If you've got the "standard" Settlers of Catan game and are getting quite good- this is one to throw a spanner in the works. Its probably about twice as complicated as the original (although you do pick it up quicker as you know the basics already) and also lasts longer. However along with that goes the increased challenge and its therefore just as much fun - if not more so. You now have to persuade the rest of the players to work more closely with you, in order to defeat the barbarian ship, but also have more tools and opportunities to hold your fellow players back by stealing their cards, their knights and generally making life difficult for them. Highly recommended if you've begun to get a bit bored of the standard game but don't forget you need the original as well as this is only an expansion.
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on 10 January 2010
Have only played twice so far. interesting addition to other settlers games, takes a while to grasp the new rules, you realise after a game that you hadn't quite understood it all correctly. Overall though WE LOVE SETTLERS, and don't quite know why its not more mainstream. we also love the seafarers expansion pack.
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on 9 December 2010
I've been playing SoC & SF for a while now and like the different flavours. I am often split between the short/up-close-and-personal game of the original and the long/strategic/room-to-move game of SeaFarers. I like Cities and Knights for not only making the smaller board a lot more complicated (read: involving, fun, vicious, but NOT difficult) but adding more play-time to the game. (Sometimes I think things are just starting in a basic game, and then they go and finish...and then you have to start over...)

I do think that for the full price (I got it reduced - so am happy with the value) that it is a big box for what you actually get, but then again, the game-satisfaction-multiplication factor is worth it. Just don't expect lots of extra new bits to make bigger maps or change what you have on the map; the main (crucial) bits are the event die, flip-charts and the new cards - all the other bits seem a bit 'lack-lustre'. (I really don't think I'll get the 5-6 player expansion pack - but will do some home-growing for the bits.) Once you have everything unpacked, you realise that the only thing you couldn't easily (and cheaply) make for yourself, are the card decks and the flip-charts....which is where I think the value for money element tarnishes the 5* grade down to a 4*.

The game dynamic will certainly appeal to most - but as the game is almost 'a different game with the same board pieces', and this may make you unsure of whether or not to buy it, check out the online game first.

All that said - I do love this variant of the game and am content at the (reduced) price.
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on 2 April 2012
We started with Settlers, got Seafarers and now this (which can be used in conjunction with either of those or both!).

It really does make it a different game with the constant threat of an outside force and you do have to work together at least a little bit to deal with that. The introduction of commodities, progress cards (different packs of development cards effectively) and the whole concept of building levels makes it a really excellent extension and is now my preferred way to play either the basic or Seafarers versions. It takes quite a bit of getting used to because there are so many new concepts (and some are unlikely to ever use, at least with 2 players), but after the first game it's a lot easier.

Highly recommended if you liked the other Catan games.
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on 28 September 2011
Board games can be a great excuse for quality time between friends; or they can be an absolute bore. Cities and Knights needs no review from me to assert its quality. It is an expansion to the great quality Settlers of Catan game.

I like the expanded C&K a lot more than the original Catan. C&K adds a few avenues towards victory, whereas the original Catan is largely defined by startup positions (those are an art, too). The different victory paths create a more engaging mid-game, where it is not always clear who is in the lead (and is therefore the target to take down).

The only drawback, when compared to the original Catan is that game times are longer. For four seasoned players, one game lasts almost 45min., whereas the original Catan can be played on the inside of 30min.
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on 21 January 2012
It got to us amazingly quick - 3 or 4 days in the week before Christmas - amazing from amazon. The game is pretty tough to get your head around at first - making the first playing rather boring - especially for the kids (9 and 12) who love basic Catan. But after a few goes they got into it. 4 player lasts for ages, 3 player is a bit more dynamic. If you're a Catan lover, you'll love this when you get into it.
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on 31 January 2012
Catan is such a great game in the first place, but this expansion pack is great. Even though it's slightly more complicated and certainly takes longer to play, it makes the game more exciting and it's great fun! I would definitely recommend it!
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