The other night the family went to our local game center and after munching on some food, decided to try out a version of Catan that we’ve never tried before. We chose the Cities and Knights edition, and after a lot longer than it should have taken, had the game set up and ready to play.
The main difference in this version of Catan is that when you start building cities, you can get bonus cards, based on the level of development you’ve reached. If you’ve ever played 7 Wonders, it’s similar, in that you pay resources to advance your society in one of three areas. Each of these advancements gives you a chance at collecting a special cards that can help you as the game progresses.
This is all complicated by the fact that there are barbarians that are on their way to attack the island. Therefore, in addition building up your city in new ways, you also have to create knights to help fight off invasions, and each other. There’s a whole system for activating knights, and ensuring they are ready to fight off invaders, at just the right time.
All of these elements add a great amount of diversity to the game, especially when you get further along. However, just like original Catan, I felt like it still took a long time to get your resources moving to the point where you could build all these other cool things. Despite the fact that we were having fun, we never ended up finishing the game, and called it after 70-80 minutes. I feel like we’d could have a good time with this, but we needed a bit more time to get used to the changes. Towards the end we all knew what we were doing, and that made things move smoother.
I’m interested to try the seafarers edition as well, as I think adding in some ocean going might be fun as well. Supposedly, both of these editions can work together to create a larger edition. Despite our initial slowness, it was a lot of fun and I’d recommend this if you’re a fan of Catan.