Colonist Lobby

Cities & Knights

1. New Game Pieces

Red and Event dice
Commodity cards
Cities & Knights city improvement chartCity Improvements
Progress Cards (replace Development Cards)
City Walls

2. Initial Placements

On your second initial placement, place a city instead of a settlement.

3. Types of Dice

There are 3 types of dice: regular, red, and event dice.

The red die determines if players earn a progress card based on the players’ city improvement levels. For detailed information about Progress card distribution and its relation with the red die, click here.
The Event die has 3 Barbarian ships, and 3 Castles representing a progress card type.

Barbarian ship - A ship on the Event die means the barbarian ship moves forward 1 space on the barbarian tracker
Castle - Distributes Progress Cards based on the castle’s color, the value of the Red die, and the player’s city improvement levels.

4. Collecting Commodities

Cities placed on sheep, wood, or ore produce 1 resource & 1 commodity.

+=Sheep & Cloth
+=Ore & Coin
+=Wood & Paper

Important things to know about commodities:

  1. Only cities can produce commodities
  2. Commodities count towards robber discard limit
  3. Commodities can be traded like any other resource
  4. Commodities can only be used to buy city improvements as long as you have at least 1 city on the board

5. Barbarians

Cities & Knights barbarian tracker example

When a Barbarian ship is rolled on the Event die, barbarians move one space forward on the track. Barbarian strength is equal to the sum of all cities on the board.

+ + = 3 Barbarian strength

6. Knights

Purchasing a knight

=1 Knight costs 1 wool and 1 ore.
Cities & Knights placing knights
  • Can be placed anywhere at the end of or in between roads
  • Can break another player’s road length when placed in between their roads

Activating a knight

=Activating a knight costs 1 wheat.

You CAN place a knight & activate it on the same turn.
You CANNOT place a knight, activate a knight, and take a knight action.

Attack power

Each player can have 2 Basic knights, 2 Strong knights, and 2 Mighty knights.

Level 1 (Basic knight)
1 strength

Level 2 (Strong knight)
2 strength

Level 3 (Mighty knight)
3 strength

Upgrading knights

=Upgrading a knight costs 1 wool and 1 ore.

Upgraded knights will remain active or inactive.
You CAN place a level 1 knight & upgrade it on the same turn.
You CANNOT upgrade a knight twice on the same turn.
You can ONLY upgrade to level 3 knights after you reach the third level in Politic City Improvements (Fortress). However, you can obtain a level 3 knight without having Fortress, by using a Deserter card on another player who has a level 3 knight.

Knight actions (these will deactivate your knight):

  1. Moving the knight - move a knight to any available spot in the same road network.
  2. Displacing enemy knight - If your knight level is higher than an opponent’s you can displace the enemy knight so the opponent must relocate it or remove it. Both knights need to be connected to each other by roads.
  3. Chasing away the robber - You can move the robber if it is on a tile that one of your active knights is touching. You may do this with multiple knights in the turn, as long as they were active before your turn started.

7. Barbarians vs. Knights

When the Barbarian ship reaches the end of the tracker, they attack.

Barbarian strength = total number of Cities
Strength of Knights = total strength of all Active Knights

If Knight strength is equal or greater to Barbarian strength:

  1. Player with most active Knights is awareded with Defender of Colonist, worth 1 extra Victory Point.
  2. If players are tied for the highest Knight strength, each of those players will choose a Progress card instead.

If Knight strength is less than Barbarian strength:

  1. Player with lowest Knight strength gets their city destroyed, turning it into a settlement.
  2. Players with no cities, as well as players whose cities are all metropolises, are not affected.

After an attack, barbarians return to the start of the track and all knights are deactivated.

Players who must destroy one of their cities, but already have 5 settlements on the board, must first rebuild that destroyed city before building any other cities.

8. No early robber

Players CANNOT move the robber until the first barbarian attack but players must still discard if they have over 7 cards (this includes using your knight to move the robber, as well as using a Bishop card).

9. City walls

City walls increase your discard limit by 2 cards, helping to protect you from losing cards when a 7 is rolled.

=City wall costs 2 brick

City wall limitations:

  1. Each player can place a maximum of 3 walls, reaching a maximum of 13 cards discard limit.
  2. A city can only have 1 wall.
  3. If a city is destroyed by the barbarians, the wall on that city is destroyed as well.

10. City improvements

3 different types of city improvements can be bought with commodities.

Yellow city improvement
Costs cloth
Blue city improvement
Costs coin
Green city improvement
Costs paper

City improvement limitations:

  1. You must have at least 1 city to buy city improvements.
  2. City improvements affect what progress cards you receive based on red dice.
  3. Each city improvement level requires more commodities to buy.

Upgrading cities

Each level of city improvement costs one more resource.

Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5

Upgrading a city improvement to level 3 unlocks a special ability

Trade (Trading House)
Trade commodities at a 2:1 rate for any other resource or commodity
Politic (Fortress)
Allows upgrading level 2 knights to level 3
Science (Aqueduct)
If none of your numbers roll, or if your number is blocked, you get to select a resource of your choice from the bank (unless a 7 rolls).

11. Metropolis

Cities & Knights city improvement chart

The first player to reach level 4 in a city improvement type, can upgrade a city to a Metropolis, worth 2 Victory Points.

Metropolis limitations:

  1. Only 1 Metropolis for each city improvement type.
  2. Players can steal a Metropolis if they reach level 5 city improvement first.
  3. Barbarians cannot destroy a Metropolis.
  4. Players can have more than 1 Metropolis.
  5. Players must have an available city to buy a level 4 city improvement. You cannot upgrade to a metropolis or purchase a level 4 city improvement without an available city.

12. Progress cards

In Cities & Knights, Progress cards replace development cards.
There are 18 of each type of Progress Card.

Collect progress cards based on event dice + red dice + city improvement level.

Cities & Knights how to get progress cards

Progress card limitations:

  1. You can only have 4 progress cards in your hand. However, you may have 5 on your own turn. If you end your turn with 5 progress cards, you must immediately discard 1 of them.
  2. If you draw a 5th progress card when it’s not your turn, you must discard 1 progress card from your hand.
  3. Victory points from progress cards (Printer & Constitution) do not count towards the 4 cards in your hand.

13. Science progress cards

2 AlchemistPlay at the beginning of your turn before the dice roll. Determine the roll of the red and regular dice
2 CraneBuild a city improvement for one commodity less. These cannot be combined together to pay for 2+ less commodities in one turn
1 EngineerBuild a city wall for free if you have a city
2 InventorSwap 2 numbers on the board (except 6, 8, 2, 12)
2 IrrigationCollect 2 grain cards for each individual grain tile you have a settlement or city on
2 MedicineUpgrade a settlement to a city for 2 ore and 1 grain
2 MiningCollect 2 ore cards for each individual ore tile you have a settlement or city on
1 Printer1 revealed victory point
2 Road BuildingBuild 2 free roads
2 SmithUpgrade up to 2 knights for free

14. Politics progress cards

2 BishopMove the robber and steal 1 card from each player on the tile the robber is moved to
1 Constitution1 revealed victory point
2 DeserterChoose an opponent to remove a knight of their choice. You may place one of your knights for free if you have an available spot
2 DiplomatRemove any open road. If it is your own road, you may relocate it.
2 IntrigueDisplace an enemy knight touching one of your roads. If there is no available space for the opponent to place it, it must be removed from the board
2 SaboteurAll players that have equal or more victory points than you must discard half of their resource/commodity cards.
3 SpySelect a player to see all their progress cards and steal 1 of them
2 WarlordActivate all of your knights for free
2 WeddingAll players with more victory points than you will give you 2 resources or commodities of their choice

15. Trade progress cards

2 Commercial HarborForce each player to trade you a commodity of their choice for one of your resources. You may finish using this card early without doing all available trades
2 Master MerchantChoose 1 player that has more victory points than you to see their resource and commodity cards. Choose 2 cards to steal from their hand
2 Merchant FleetPick 1 resource or commodity. You may trade it at a 2:1 rate for any other resource or commodity until the end of your turn
6 MerchantMove the merchant to any tile touching one of your settlements. You can do 2:1 trades with this resource as long as it stays there. Having control of this merchant gives you 1 victory point.
4 Resource MonopolySelect a resource for all players to give you 2 of
2 Commodity MonopolySelect any commodity for all players to give you 1 of

16. Points to win

The first person to get to 13 victory points (VP) is the winner.

In order to win, you have to reach 13 points on your turn. You may still lose if another player achieves 13 points on their turn even if you had 13 points before them. Note: points to win may vary while combining Cities & Knights and Seafarers expansions, depending on maps and scenarios.

Get points by doing the following:

+1 pointBuild a settlement
+1 pointUpgrade a settlement to a city
+2 pointsGet the Longest Road. A minimum of 5 consecutive roads is required to get the achievement
+1 pointHighest Knight strength when defeating the Barbarians (Defender of Colonist)
+1 pointHaving control of the Merchant
+1 pointEarn a progress card that provides one Victory Point (Printer & Constitution)
+2 pointsHaving a Metropolis

17. FAQ

● I received my 13th Victory Point with a Progress Card (or Defender of Colonist) in someone else's turn. Why didn’t I automatically win?

You can only win the game in your own turn. So you only win if you still have 13 points when your regular turn starts.

● Am I allowed to pick commodities from a city on a gold tile?

No, you are only allowed to pick resources from gold tiles, even with cities.