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Before you read this article, you will need to know the following terms and definitions:
|Game(-s):||Noun. Singular or Plural. A standalone version of Settlers of Catan, which can be played right out of the box without making additional purchases. There is only one standalone (base) game of Catan.|
|Expansion(-s):||Noun. Singular or Plural. An Catan game that cannot be played by itself. It must be used in conjunction with a standalone (base) game. The 5 & 6-player expansions are a good example of this.|
|Scenario(-s):||Noun. Singular or Plural. A small set of playing pieces and instructions that can be added to normal Catan gameplay. It cannot be played by itself--it must be used in conjunction with a standalone (base) game. The "Oil Springs" scenario is a good example of this.|
|Variant(-s):||Noun. Singular or Plural. A set of instructions for using the pieces from a Catan game or expansion in a new way. Most variants are fan-generated and require printing and cutting out new pieces.|
Eager for loot, the barbarians are landing on the shores of Catan. At first, their mere presence spreads fear and terror. But as more and more barbarians cross the ocean, they begin to occupy coastal hexes and block resource production. The barbarians even threaten to capture coastal buildings! To survive, the Catanians must prepare their knights at the Castles and—demonstrating never-before-seen unity—send them into battle against the barbarian hordes.
There are five different types of Knights, each with a corresponding amount of strength:
- Crew Member (Strength of One )
- Strong Knights on Horseback (Strength of Two )
- Basic Knight (Strength of One )
- Strong Knight (Strength of Two )
- Mighty Knight (Strength of Three )
Basic, Strong, and Mighty Knights
Basic, Strong, and Mighty Knights are represented by round wooden tokens. Each knight token is labeled on both sides. One side—showing the symbol of a knight’s helmet in black and white—is the inactive side. An inactive round knight may not perform any actions. The other side of the token, which depicts the helmet in color, is the active side. The type of helmet and the number of rings indicate the strength of the round knight.
Reminder: See Illustration H. The open-faced helmet and single ring denotes a “Basic Knight” with a Strength of One (1). The full helmet surrounded by a pair of rings indicates a “Strong Knight” with a Strength of Two (2). The great-helm adorned with the glowing sun and trio of rings represents a “Mighty Knight” with a Strength of Three (3).
If you wish to “hire” a round knight, you must pay 1 Wool resource and 1 Ore resource to the bank. This allows you to take a Basic Knight (open helmet/one ring) and place it on the board. When purchasing a new knight, it must always be a Basic Knight. Newly-placed round knights are always placed with the inactive (colorless) side up. You may place your knight on any unoccupied intersection connected to your trade routes (even on sea hexes). There are 2 special purchases you can make once you have a Basic Knight:
Activating a Round Knight:
In order for a round knight to take an action, he must first be activated. To activate a round knight, you must pay 1 Grain resource to the bank. Then, you may turn the round knight token over to the active side, which depicts the helmet in color. The strength of the round knight (Basic, Strong, or Mighty) does not affect the cost to activate it. It costs only 1 Grain resource, regardless of whether it is a Basic Knight, Strong Knight, or a Mighty Knight. A round knight may be activated on the same turn he was built or promoted; however, the round knight may not perform an action on that same turn.
Promoting a Knight:
You can increase the strength and effectiveness of your round knights by paying additional resources. The cost to promote a Basic Knight to a Strong Knight (or a Strong Knight to a Mighty Knight) is 1 Wool resource and 1 Ore resource. When you promote a round knight, return the old round knight token (which may be repurchased later) and replace it with a token showing the next-higher strength level. The new, stronger round knight must be place in the same location as the round knight you have promoted. The status of the round knight, active or inactive, is not changed when you promote the round knight. You may promote a round knight on the same turn that he was originally built, or on any later turn. A round knight may only be promoted once per turn. A round knight may be activated on the same turn that he was promoted. However, a round knight that has been promoted may not perform an action on that same turn. You may only promote a Strong Knight to a Mighty Knight after you have purchased the third level of the Politics (blue) building improvement (the “Fortress”). You may only promote any single round knight 1 level per turn.
Strong Knights on Horseback
Strong Knights on Horseback may not be directly purchased. However, by purchasing a Barbarian Attack Development Card, you may be able to play a card that allows you to place a Strong Knight on Horseback on the board. Strong Knights on Horseback have a Strength of Two (2).
Strong Knights on Horseback travel only on paths, not intersections. They may move on their own, or on board a ship. Each time you play a “Knighthood” or a “Black Knight” Development Card, you may place a Strong Knight on Horseback on 1 of the 6 paths adjacent to a castle hex. However, you must have at least one building on that castle’s island before you may place one of your Strong Knights on Horseback next to that castle. That path may not already be occupied by another Strong Knight on Horseback (or two Crew Members). Similarly, when you play a “Black Knight” Development Card, place 1 of your Strong Knights on Horseback on any path not occupied by another knight.
Crew Members (Marines?)
Crew members represent specialists that can ride on your ships or move around the board on their own. They may only travel on paths, not intersections. You use them to perform various tasks. Depending on the mission you are trying to complete, Crew members can be merchants, warriors, or both!
- A crew member costs the same as a Basic Knight: 1 Ore resource and 1 Wool resource. They also have the same strength as a Basic Knight: Strength of One (1).
- To build a crew member, pay the building costs and place the crew member in one of the following three locations:
- On an overland or coastal path adjacent to either one of your Mills or Sea Ports. Crew Members occupy only ½ of a path, so you may place 2 of them on the same path.
- In a free space in the basin of one of your Sea Ports. Crew Members occupy ½ of a basin, so you may place 2 of them in the same basin.
- In a free space in the hold of one of your ships on a sea or coastal route adjacent to one of your Mills or Sea Ports. Crew Members occupy ½ of a Cargo Hold, so you may place 2 of them in the same Cargo Hold.
- If you place the crew member in the basin of a Sea Port during Phase __: Trade and Purchase, you can move the crew member during the “Move Knights” phase. You may pick up the crew member with a ship, transport it to a destination, and unload it there during the “move Ships” phase.
- You can accommodate up to 2 crew members in an empty basin or empty ship.
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