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Subject: 3-Players rss

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Timotheus
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CITIES AND KNIGHTS - Game #1

This was about the 5th game of C&K that I had played, while the two I was playing with (my brother Andrew, and my sister-in-law Rebecca) had never played this particular expansion before.

I was pleased that the learning curve wasn't hard for them at all, and that the teaching time was minimal. That's an especially a good thing for me, since I always seem to get a sore throat after playing a game that I have to teach - I did get one after this game, but it wasn't too bad.

I'll say right here that I really like C&K over the base Catan game. It adds so many interesting paths to victory, and there is a lot more variety. (as well as re-playability value)

Setup: I normally like to make a prediction in my head about what position everyone is going to finish once everyone has set up their inital settlement and city. (I'm probably currently @ 75%) This time, I got all 3 right.

C&K is one game where I don't mind if people take an exceptionally long time with their first couple turns. (setup) (In fact, I don't like it when people try to rush it)

Regular Catan is a lot more forgiving if you make a mistake when setting up your 2 settlements, but with the addition of the commodities, you have to be very careful where you place your city, or you could be stuck in a rut the entire game!

So anyways, Andrew went first, then Rebecca, and then myself.

Gameplay:

After the initial setup, Rebecca's resource pool looked like it would be pretty sparce, and it was. She never really had many cards in her hand, and was lacking some pretty vital stuff.

Andrew didn't look like he was in a bad position to get a good variety of resources, and he also did well in building city improvements. Rebecca was even better in the city improvement area of things, and was even able to take the Agricultural Metropolis in the late game. Thankfully for me, they weren't able to destroy me by using all the progress cards the acquired from their metros.

Andrew and Rebecca were also the ones that had all the knights. They ended up with at least a couple of the "Protector of Catan" card apiece.

The only real commodity that I was able to get was paper, but I did end up with the Green Metro.

My approach: I built new settlements so fast that I spread out to basically every number that could be rolled. I had lots of cards in my hand all the time (and lots of city walls to protect them). I was too behind when it came to knights though, and I was only able to get one type of commodity. (I could have upgraded certain settlements to cities, but I wanted the resources over the commodities) When I did build cities, I made sure to put them in places that wouldn't take away from my resource production. So basically, I was playing regular Catan; the Xtended version. lol


End Game:

It wasn't till the last few minutes before the game was over, that I actually had reason to be a bit nervous. Rebecca wasn't going anywhere fast in terms of VPs, but Andrew made a little bit of a run, and was only a point or so as I closed on 13 VPs. He had the longest road, a few cities, and at least one Progress Card VPs, in addition to his "Protector" VPs.

Happily, the barbarian ship moved a little slower towards the end, which kept him from getting too many more of these "Protector" VPs.

Final Score:

Rebecca: 8 (I would never have guessed she would have got so many points based on her starting position)

Andrew: 9 or 10 (I took away his longest road at the very end, thereby propelling myself to victory)

Myself: 13

p.s. This is the first game I have wrote a session report on, that I have actually won.






 
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How do you not know how many victory point cards he had? In C&K, once they are drawn they are flipped up so everyone can see. Otherwise they can crowd the four card hand down too small to be useful.

Building settlements quickly can be very effective, but it negates the advantage of building up the green path (other than the two point for the metropolis).

Congratulations! It sounds like it was a fun game.
 
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Timotheus
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I just forgot the amount of VP cards he had since I didn't think I would be writing a session report about this particular game.

That is interesting about purposely limiting the expansion of your settlements so you can take full advantage of the aqueduct. I never really thought of that.
 
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It is more a matter of choosing to expand to areas with numbers that you already have elsewhere. Along with focusing on building cities rather than more settlements. Brick and wood can then be diverted to trading for wheat, sheep, and ore along with commodities to improve cities and build knights.

This only really works in the 3 or 5 player games. There are fewer choices on the crowded boards of the 4 and 6 player games. It is a matter of getting a specific resource when the number gets rolled versus getting the resource you need. It also tends to be the less common numbers that get left out (2, 12, 3, or 11) since the others tend get built on early.

We also use the inventor for this purpose. We still try to get the best numbers we can (5s and 9s), but we try to get rid of a number we are only producing one resource on. Otherwise the aquaduct becomes useless as your colonies expand to fill almost every number.

Even with this, we still find the aquaduct to be most useful early rather than late. By the end game, most people are generating 2-5 cards on many rolls, and the one card gained by the aquaduct is generally overwhelmed by shear numbers.

Also, I noticed that the barbarians invade a lot more in your games than in ours. We often have ended the game before the robber invades the fifth time leading to only two or three Defender points in the game. We also only generally see two of the metropolises unless we are playing with five or six players. I haven't figured out why our games go so fast, but I have found that a lot of people ahve games that last much longer than ours.
 
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