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Player A have 2 cities and 1 active knight point, player B have 2 cities and 2 active knight points and player C have no city and no active knight.

What will happen when the barbarians attack?

  1. No one will loose city as player C is the least contributor and have no city

  2. Player A will loose a city as least contributor with 2 cities

1 Answer 1

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One ignores players with no cities when determining who loses a city, so Player A must convert one of their cities into a settlement.

If the barbarians are stronger, they are victorious! If the barbarians win the battle, they pillage one or more cities. Pillaged cities are reduced to settlements (replace the city piece with a settlement). The barbarians pillage one city belonging to the player who had the lowest total strength of active knights when the barbarians attacked. Any player who contributed no knights are automatically considered to have the lowest total strength of active knights. If various players tie for having the lowest total strength of active knights, each of those players loses 1 of his cities.

Important: When determining which player has contributed the weakest group of knights, do not count any player who has no cities or any player who has only metropolises. These players are immune to the effects of the barbarian attack.

5th ed rules

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  • Thank you. Have a question about one more scenario. Player A have 2 cities and 2 active knight points. Player B have 2 cities, 1 metropolis and 2 active knight points. The barbarians attack. In the illustration given in the Catan documentation, the person with metropolis is immune to the attack. Both player contribute equal knight points. Should player B loose one of his/her city when is without metropolis? Or is the player B completely immune to the barbarian attack?
    – Bhadresh
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 17:44
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    Both players would have to lose a city. ("The barbarians pillage one city belonging to the player who had the lowest total strength of active knights when the barbarians attacked. [...] If various players tie for having the lowest total strength of active knights, each of those players loses 1 of his cities.") The metropolis is immune to barbarians, not the player. ("A metropolis is immune to barbarians.")
    – ikegami
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 20:30
  • Basically, despite the stereotype, the barbarians aren't dumb. They're not going to attack settlements (no value) or a metropolis (too strong). They'll go after the countries (players) that offer the least resistance (fewest knights) as long as those countries have value to loot. So they won't go after countries (players) with no cities other than metropolises, but they will go after countries with cities even if that country has a metropolis.
    – ikegami
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 20:30
  • Thank you @ikegami
    – Bhadresh
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 22:53

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