Tag Archive: cities and knights


my family and friends have always played a lot of games [except for my dad, he hates games with a passion, his favourite is sitting in the lounge reading his newspaper while the rest of the family plays trivial pursuit and shouting out all the answers, but that’s about the closest he gets]

but my mom and my sisters love games, and the large majority of friends in my and now our friend ship circles are games players to a certain extent – it is a great way to relax and vibe and hopefully chill together around a table with a bunch of mates…

growing up there was monopoly [only to be pulled out at sleepovers really cos tended to be an all nighter] and risk [which i played a crazy amount – we adapted a two player game and my friend ferdi and i played best of ten matches with one or two games almost daily at one point] and cluedo [‘clue’ to the americanese] and scrabble which were all good and fine and well and all…

but then we discovered Rage which is a special card deck game for up to ten players where you bid on how many tricks you are going to get and then try and get them… and life changed forever [especially at our church student house called ‘Highbury’ where we would play through the night on occasion, because after all, what is the difference between 1.15am and 1.45am?]

and then a good mate of mine introduced me to Settlers of Catan [or more accurately, the german version, called ‘Die Siedler von Catan’] and i had to trust his translations of all the german cards and wonder why he kept beating me, but then later we discovered the english version and it became a firm favourite.

what made it better was the expansion pack known as ‘cities and knights’ which added a whole lot of new dimensions to an already great game and the record for playing that stands at something crazy like seven and a half hours [largely due to one of the players – you know who you are deane – playing reeeeeeally slowly] and once we’d played that we rarely went back [except to introduce someone new to ‘settlers’]

after that came ‘carcassonne’ which i call ‘kucky sahn’ and which my friend coe [who hates it] calls ‘shaka khan’ which was a settlerish type game [in that the game board is not constant but created differently each game which is a huge part of the attraction] but one that took 45 minutes to an hour as opposed to 2 to 3 hours…

all that to say there are a LOT of games out there and a bunch of them are REALLY a lot of good fun – we have discovered a small bunch more and i will give some reviews of the newer ones we play so that if any of you are looking for a new game to try, you might find something here… and i would love to hear what your favourite games to play with a group of friends are…

the latest we have been playing, or are just about to, include Seven Wonders, Jambo, Flash Point [played for the first time last night] and Forbidden Island [yet to play, still in packaging] – reviews to follow…

for The Settlers of Catan click here

so you’ve played Settlers of Catan now and you’re looking for something more challenging, even more invigorating… is it even possible?

why yes it is, settlers of catan: cities and knights – takes all the brilliance, variety, strategy and intrigue of Settlers and then sends it up a notch (or a couple of notches)

there are a bunch of expansion packs for settlers of catan and i haven’t tried them all (heard too many disparaging remarks about seafarers to even warrant trying it) but for me cities and knights stands shoulders above them all – takes the basic game that is Settlers and adds a bunch of new dimensions to it so instead of just collecting resources (brick, wheat, ore, wood, sheep), when your city is touching a card whose number gets rolled you can now pick up the commodities of coin (ore),book (wood), and cloth (sheep) which allow you to improve your cities and add a range of new special effects and bonuses.

but that’s not all, you had better build up your knight population and make sure they are activated (i guess they make bread from the wheat which keeps them active) for when that barbarian ship attacks the land – a successful defence could see you one victory point closer to victory, but being the weakest defender in a failed defence could see one of your cities being downgraded to a settlement – a huge backward step in the game…

settlers is a great game with maybe two or three strategies which will hopefully lead you to victory, if the are accompanied by good settlement placement and favourable dice… but cities is so great cos once again you have a game board which changes every game but now there are a bunch of different strategies to pursue, while being aware of what those around you are trying to do and so requires a lot more careful strategy and plotting…

once you’ve played cities and knights, you will struggle to return to just basic settlers so if you’ve never played it, do yourself a favour…

to see my next review of the very cool Carcossane game click here

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