We have 2 players (A & B), barbarians wins.

Both of us have the same amount of active basic knights (1 each).

Player A has 2 cities, whilst player B has 1 city.

(a) Should the both players remove a city from the board (i.e. the amount of cities per player doesn't count)?


(b) Just the one with 2 cities gives up his/her city?

In the FAQs there are only situations with the same amount of cities per player declared.

  • 4
    I assume you mean Basic Knights, and not Mighty Knights? Since 1 Mighty Knight each is 6 points, which is enough to cover up to 6 cities.
    – diego
    Apr 9, 2015 at 16:54
  • Yes, absolutely! I should have said "active"/"activated", not "mighty" knights and adhere to the appropriate wording of the 1-3 knights. Thanks, Diego, for the clarification and a great & detailed answer below!
    – Alex S.
    Apr 10, 2015 at 19:11

2 Answers 2


When determining who wins when fighting the Barbarians, and if you lose to the Barbarians who loses a city is based only on the strength of each player's activated knights. Note every instance of knight in this post actually means activated knights.

First to determine if the Barbarians win or you do count up the number of cities on the board (including metropolises) and count the strength of your knights (basic knights are worth 1 point, strong 2, and mighty 3). If the strength of the knights is greater than or equal to the number of cities you win, if it is less than the number of cities the Barbarians win.

If the Barbarians win count the strength of each individual player (ignoring ones with no cities or only metropolises). The player (or players) with the lowest strength of knights loses a city. The number of cities each player has doesn't matter when determining who loses one.

  • Thanks @diego once more time. Also received an "official" reply from the catan.com which as well supports your point, if it may help any: "In the FAQs there is no difference made in the amount of cities per player since this doesn't matter. Only the number of active knight points count to see who will lose a city. When two or more players have the same amount, all these players will lose a city when the barbarians are stronger. That may be strange, but this are the rules. And experienced players use this to there benefit.". Easy enough, but wanted to make sure.
    – Alex S.
    Apr 10, 2015 at 19:16

In a scenario where the barbarians win, and where the strength of the activated knights of both players is the same, both players lose one city.

What you presented isn't such a scenario.

The strength of the barbarians is equal to the number of cities (including metropolises) owned by all players.

The strength of barbarians is 2 + 1 = 3.

All active knights of all players [...] will defend against the barbarians. [...] Remember that the strength of each knight is based on its type: basic (1), strong (2), or mighty (3). Sum up the value of all the active nights to determine the strength of the defending army.

Assuming both knights are activated,

A: 1 × 3 = 3
B: 1 × 3 = 3
The strength of the defending army is 3 + 3 = 6.

If the knights have strength equal to or greater than the barbarians, the knights win and Catan is saved!

The barbarians actually lose in the scenario you presented.

If 2 or more players tie for the highest total strength of knights, [...] each of the players who tie for the highest strength draws the top card from any 1 of the 3 progress card stacks (his choice).

You each have a strength of three, so each get a free progress card.

If you each had one basic knight rather than a mighty one, both A and B would contribute a strength of 1 for a total of 2, and you would have lost. (Again, this assumes both knights have been activated.)

If various players tie for having the lowest total strength of active knights, each of those players loses 1 of his cities.

You each have a strength of one, so each player would lose a city in this scenario.

  • thanks for a comprehensive reply. I have misused the word "mighty" in my original request (meant to be "active" / "activated"), as I play so long in this game that I actually always kept in mind the numbers of their strengths (1-3), rather than the appropriate wording (basic/strong/mighty). Now will be more careful on the online forums. Live and learn, anyway. Have a great weekend over there!
    – Alex S.
    Apr 10, 2015 at 19:21

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