Kb Ck Strategy Guide


THis strategy guide gives basic and advanced tactics and strategies for CK and variations. It assumes that you already know how to play , the intent is to help you play better.

The strategy is for all ck games, difference per variation are listed after.

Overall strategy

Commodities, commodiities, commoditties

City improvements are the key to winning the game. Make it a priority to have production of at least two commodity types. Opponents generally won't trade commodities, so you need to either produce them yourself with a city or trade for them with the bank.

Early in the game turning the first page of each improvement is very important. If you have extra resources, it may be worth it to even trade 4-1 to turn the first page since it gives you two chances to get a card. Having your opponents drawing cards when you are not is a very disadventageous condition.

Science provides very strong cards as well as the best 3rd page ability, aqueduct. Aqueduct allows you to choose a resource on turns when you don't produce any, this is crucial in the early to middle game. Turning the 3rd page on science is so important that you should be willing to trade most of your cards away to do so.

Trade also has strong cards, and the trading house ability to trade commodities 2 for 1 becomes very important late in the game.

Military is the least important of the 3. Some of the cards like Spy and Turncoat are extremely powerful, but others like Intrigue and Diplomat are very situational. And the ability to build level 3 knights often comes too late in the game to make much of a difference.

Port Power


Due to the power of progress cards, trading is not nearly as important in C&K. Trades generally take place more early in the game, especially when building the first knight. In general, try to avoid trading unless the trade allows you to build immediately.


If possible, you should try to make sure your starting city is on wood so you can generate paper. Paper gives you the aqueduct on the third science page.

If you are able to do this, than your placement strategy should revolve around the aqueduct. That means that you should actually try to focus all of your placements on a few numbers. So that way you will either receive gold from the aqueduct, or a large number of resources at once. This is in sharp contrast to the general Catan strategy of diversifying your numbers.

Avoid conflict

In general it's a good idea to pursue a strategy counter to what your opponents are doing. If they are both exploring and going for longest road, build cities and knights instead, and vice-versa. When you and an opponent are both battling for the same points for longest road, savior of catan, or metropolises, it can be very costly as you steal them back and forth from each other. Try to focus on points that you know you will be able to get.


Playing Position

When placing your settlement, it's important to try to visualize what your opponents will do, especially for the 1st and 2nd player. The first player should generally consider overall scarcity of resources, since scarce resources will almost certainly be gone by the time you place the city. Sometimes it's worth it to try to use your settlement to "split" a great placement into two good ones. This increases the number of placements available which should give you better options for the city.

Note that due to the importance of commodities, city placement is much more important than settlement placement. A placement with wheat and brick is better for a settlement since these do not produce commodities. A placement with wood and sheep is better for a city.

Brick is the least important resource because cities do not produce commodities on brick. This is true for wheat also, but wheat is crucial due to activating knights and building cities. In scenarios with ships, brick is almost worthless.


You can use a placement strategy revolving around ports, but generally this works best with wheat and brick since those produce 2 resources per city. Cloth is also less important if you are using a port strategy since many trade cards provide the ability you already have.


Generally make sure that you have good spots for at least 2 of the 3 components (ore, sheep, wheat) to building an active knight. It's also helpful to place a city on those resources since it will give you them instantly to build a knight.


Start: Winning the race with the barbarians

At the beginning of the game, the only priority is building an active knight. Losing your first city is devastating, so you should be willing to make lopsided trades to get your knight. After this is done, you can start looking to build a 2nd settlement and increase your city improvements. You can also build a 2nd knight for an easy victory point, but be careful as this will also make you a target for the other players as you will probably be in the lead.


Playing cards

Staying under the radar

Unless you are dominating the game, try not to get too many points before the end of the game. Focus more on building city improvements, as this will improve your position greatly without appearing to be in the lead.



Usually you will need at least one metropolis to win the game. When you and an opponent both have 3 pages turned, it's usually worth it to go all out for the 4th page to get the metropolis since that gives you 2 pts and takes 2 potential pts away from them, for a 4 pt swing.

Players can steal a metropolis by turning the final page, so if your opponent turns the 4th page on your metro, be sure to block them by getting the 5th page turned as soon as possible.

Likewise, if your opponent has a metro you can go all-out to trade for the final page and steal it. But even if you don't think you'll be able to steal it, sometimes it's worth it to turn the 4th page to "bluff" that you are trying to, which will cause your opponent to trade all of his resources desparately to stop you. This will buy you some time to go after other points.

Longest road

Going for longest road is best when you will be uncontested. If someone also has a long road, you will spend late game situations trading the longest road back and forth when your resources could be going toward other points. Also, getting the 2 points for longest road earlier in the game can put you too far in the lead and make you a target.

Sometimes rather than actively contesting the longest road, it's better to let your opponent get comfortable and when you're ready to win, steal it with one fell swoop. If your opponent thinks you are trying to steal the longest road, he will usually go all out to stop you.




Oceania CK

Oceania C&K and Oceania II C&K are C&K variations that include seafarers. You start on one of two known islands, and may build ships to a number of unrevealed hexes.

Both of the variations have significant differences in strategy from regular C&K. First, the game is to 15 points instead of 13, so it makes for a longer game. In addition, the islands are relatively small which means that most of the expansion needs to happen in the ocean hexes. This also slows the pace of the game down.

Since exploration happens mostly with ships instead of roads, brick is very low value in Oceania scenarios. It is not necessary at all to place on brick unless the placement offers other good resources as well. Likewise, sheep are of much higher value.


Saving a city

Many players have an implicit understanding to help each other avoid losing a city on the first barbarians, either by trading resources needed to build a knight or by upgrading their own knight. This generally improves the quality of games since players who lose a city early will often have little chance of winning. This is optional, but you may upset the other players by refusing to trade. At the same time, it is fair to expect a resonable offer, as some players will demand a 1-for-1 trade for high value resources to save their city.

Destroying a city

Intentionally destroying an opponent's city by stealing or removing their knight, intentionally deactivating your own knight, or building an undefended city right before the barbarians land is considered bad form by most players in friendly games. In general players are considered to be responsible for defending their own cities, so building a 2nd city when everyone has one knight means that other players will expect you to build or upgrade your knight before the barbarians arrive. If you don't follow this convention and other player(s) lose their cities as a result, you can expect that they will act with hostility to you for the rest of the game.

PLaying robber or Pirate

Some players do not use the robber early in the game, when everyone has 3 or fewer points. Some may never use the robber on an opponent, until they are robbed themselves. It is not necessary to do this, but it can be safer as when all players are tied, opponents will usually put the robber on whoever robbed them in retaliation.

Players generally expect that everyone will use the robber on players that are in the lead. The exceptions are when a player is clearly ahead in position although not in victory points, or in some cases when a player with the most victory points has no city.

Some players expect you to place the robber on the opponent with the most points no matter what. This is unreasonable, since a player with fewer points often has a much greater chance of winning the game, due to position and city upgrades.

Miscellaneous Suggestions and comments

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