The picture below shows the northeast of Catan after the set-up phase.
As in Chapter 1, at the beginning of the game, each player already has 2 settlements and 1 city. Each city also has a city wall, and each player has 1 basic knight at their command for free.
You definitely need this reinforcement because after conquering the northwest coast of Catan (Chapter 1), even stronger invading troops penetrate into the northeast. This time, when the barbarian ship is moved to the corresponding event space on the Chapter 2 tile, the conquerors appear on the frame hexes marked with the landing markers. The same rules described in Chapter 1 for the advance of the conquerors and their battle with the knights also apply. Don’t let the wine tokens and amber tokens on the game board confuse you. I’ll explain their meaning in a subsequent blog post.
As in Chapter 1, in Chapter 2 you must also prevent the invaders from conquering a certain number of hexes. In a 4-player game, they must not conquer more than 4 and in a 3-player game not more than 3 hexes marked with number tokens.
“Oh dear,” you might think, “That’s much fewer hexes the enemy may conquer than in Chapter 1. How are we supposed to make that happen if the conquerors have gotten even stronger?”
Remember Captain Wyler, in the second part of the story of Chapter 2 brought caravels loaded with cannons and weapons? The holds of his caravels also contained horses. Those horses promote your knights to cavalry, and a knight equipped with a cannon becomes a cannoneer. These new units allow you to combat the conquerors more efficiently.
In my next blog post, I’ll tell you what the cannons and horses are all about.