You know, I was thinking about how I don’t like the random nature of Arkham Horror, and I really don’t like the random nature of The Settlers of Catan (the base game anyway), and it occurred to me to look for a way to just get rid of Resource Cards. Currently, I’m using them to represent Local faction capital

I should have guessed that Cities and Knights would add a significant amount to the game’s resource structure. It does, and in ways that are really easy for players of Dungeons & Dragons and Arkham Horror to identify with — you can build city walls, recruit and “level up” knights, and prepare for the inevitable arrival of invaders.

Cities are required to produce a secondary resource, “commodities,” which are used primarily to improve the selfsame cities. Whenever mountains (Red), fields (Orange), or woods (Green) produce resources for a city, instead of producing a second resource of the same type, they produce coins, cloth, or paper, respectively.

Trade
* Road (clay+wood)
* Ship (wood+sheep)
* Settlement (clay+wood+sheep+grain)
* Requires one cloth per level to improve.
Counting House (gained at 3rd) Trade two matching commodities for any one resource or commodity of your choice.

Politics
* City (grain+grain+ore+ore+ore)
* City Wall (clay+clay)
* Requires one coin per level to improve.
Fortress (gain at 3rd) Your knights can advance to “level 3.”

Science
* Recruitment (sheep+ore)
* Promotion (sheep+ore)
* Activation (grain)
* Requires one paper per level to improve.
Aqueduct (gained at 3rd) Whenever you fail to receive resources from a production roll (except on the roll of a “natural 7”), you can gain any one resource of your choice.

Catan players can only purchase improvements for cities when they have at least one city in play. The first player to reach the fourth (and then the fifth) level of improvement in any of the fields of trade, politics, or science gains the corresponding “metropolis” which they may place on top of any one of their cities. There can be only three.

Each wall built enables a Catan player to retain an additional two cards whenever a “natural 7” comes up during a production roll. Each city is only allowed one wall, and each player is only allowed three walled cities. Whenever a city is plundered by the invaders (and reduced to a settlement), its wall is destroyed.

Rather than using the invader mechanics from Cities and Knights, I figure I’ll use the Doom Track from Arkham Horror. I think it has a better “inevitability factor” than Catan’s barbarian thing. Plus, now that we’re talking about The Catan Horror, we have more than just marauding barbarian hordes to worry about!