["The Great Wall" from Die Siedler von Catan: Historische Szenarien II.
Translation by Rick Heli. Editorial additions in square brackets.]
During its long existence the Chinese Empire was a worthy target of steppe peoples.
To protect its northern border over the course of the centuries
the Chinese built a great wall. However this tremendous bulwark
could not always keep out the raids of the the sons of the steppe,
In this scenario the players take the roles of Chinese princes. Each player is
responsible for a section of the Great Wall. He must always make
sure his section is high enough to prevent being overrun by the steppe riders.
If he is unable to do this, he will earn a negative victory point. At the
same time of course he must work to colonize his areas in order to
obtain the resources necessary to build the wall and expand his influence.
For this scenario you need from the basic game:
Also needed from this set:
- All settlements, roads and cities
- All raw material cards
- Development cards (see Preparation of the Game)
- Both Special victory point cards
- Both dice
- 1 Cloth Bag
- The map side showing "Die Grosse Mauer"
- 30 (20 if 4 players) wall sections
- 35 (21 if 4 players) steppe riders [chips]
- 7 penalty Chips (negative victory points)
- Pirate (with stand)
Preparation of the Game:
The game board shows the northern part of ancient China and the approximate
course of the "Great Wall" built for the protection from the steppe peoples
of the north.
For 6 players, use the entire board. For 4 players,
fold under the left third of the game.
[The illustration in the second column of the first page fits here.
Translations of the white boxes from top to bottom are
Home area of the steppe riders
Wall section build site
Border fortress build site]
Shown above is the reduced game map for 4 players and the special areas are indicated.
- Each player chooses a color and receives all of the roads, settlements
and cities from the basic set
- Each player receives the 5 wall sections in his color.
On the reverse side of a wall section are pictured the costs
for building the section.
The number indicates the order in which the player must build the sections.
- Each player stacks the sections in order (1 on top, 5 at the very bottom).
- With 6 players, use all of the steppe riders chips. With 4 players,
remove the chips with the Roman numerals IV and V.
Place the steppe rider chips in the cloth bag and place the bag in the steppe rider
- Place both dice, both special victory point cards
"Größte Rittermacht" and
as well as the penalty chips nearby
next to the game board.
Each time in the course of the game a player receives a penalty chip,
he has one less victory point.
- Place the Raw Material cards at the side of the board as usual.
From the Development Card deck (regardless of whether 4 or 6 play),
remove the following victory point cards: Universität, Parlament,
Kathedrale as well
as one each of the development cards
Monopol, Erfindung, and Straßenbau.
- The Pirate is placed on the topmost sea hex showing the Junk.
Next each player founds as a border fort a settlement on
one of the 4 (respectively 6, with 6 players) build sites marked
on the board (temple figure in a dark or light blue circle). The
player rolling highest places first. When all of the border forts are
placed, each player founds 2 more settlements according to the usual basic game
Founding Phase rules.
The player who placed the last border fort last begins.
At the end of the Founding Phase each player will
have 3 settlements on the board and thus begin with 3 VP.
Note: Border settlements are allowed to be upgraded to border cities.
Course of the Game
In this scenario, the rules from the basic game apply. With 6
players, the rules from the 5-6 Player Expansion apply as well.
Additional or exceptional rules are explained below.
- Raw Material Phase:
The player whose turn it is rolls the dice. Before each player takes his earned raw
materials as usual, an existing steppe rider must be moved. (See
the section - the Migration of the steppe riders)
There is no Robber in this
scenario. If a "7" is rolled, the player whose turn it is may move the Pirate. (See
the section - Rolling a "7")
- Trade and Build Phase:
A player may, on his turn as usual, build settlements, roads and cities.
Building of settlements or cities triggers the Migration of the Steppe Riders.
Additionally a player can also expand his wall section.
- Expanding a Wall Section
Each player expands the wall section neighboring
his border fort. At the beginning of the game each player's wall section
on the board is a simple wall with no watch tower (level 0).
In the course of the
game, a player can expand his wall up to level 5 (5 watch towers).
- Each expansion costs the raw materials listed on the back.
- Expansion of the wall must be in order. It is also not permitted
to, after building level 1, immediately build level 3.
- If done in the proper order, multiple sections may be expanded in one turn.
- If a player builds a wall section, he places it on top of the
already existing sections.
[See first illustration on page 2, first column.]
The red player builds a
third level wall section. He pays an ore, wood, clay and grain,
flips the section over and places it on the already placed
- Migration of the Steppe Riders
In the course of the game, the steppe riders migrate from their
homeland (cloth bag) to an Assembly hex (with a Roman numeral)
and from there to an adjacent Attack hex directly on the Great Wall.
Step 1: From Homeland to Assembly Hex
As soon as a player founds a settlement or improves a
settlement to a city, he takes a steppe rider from the cloth bag.
He checks the Roman numeral on back side of the chip and places it
in the Assembly hex with the same Roman numeral.
The chip remains here until a later player rolls one of the
two attack numbers (in the two blue circles).
Step 2: From Assembly Hex to Attack Hex
If a player rolls the Attack number (the number in the blue
circle) and there is a steppe rider in the designated Assembly
hex, the steppe rider moves to the Attack hex below (following
the arrow on the Attack number). A steppe rider must always be moved
before the players take their Raw Material cards.
[See first illustration on page 2, center column.]
On his turn a player rolls an "8".
He moves a steppe rider corresponding to the Attack number to the
Attack hex on the right.
If he had rolled a "9", the steppe rider would have had to move to the
Attack hex on the left. Only then do the players
take Raw Material cards.
At most 5 steppe riders may exist on an Attack hex.
Should the number of an Attack hex be rolled on which
5 steppe riders have already collected, no steppe rider is moved.
Breaking Through the Wall
As soon as an Attack hex has collected more steppe riders than the
number of watch towers on the bordering wall watch tower, the wall is overcome
by the steppe riders. The results are:
- The steppe riders on the Attack hex penetrate the wall. They are placed in the
next hex behind the wall in the attack direction.
The attack direction agrees with the arrow on the underside of the wall.
- If more than 1 steppe rider penetrates the wall, each
is distributed in the following hexes in the attack direction.
At most one steppe rider occupies a hex.
- Hexes occupied by steppe riders no longer produce Raw Materials.
- The penetrated wall section is reduced by one level. (Naturally
level "0" remains as is.)
- The player with the neighboring border fort
is responsible for the breakthrough and receives
a penalty chip.
[See bottom illustration on page 2, center column.]
1) Red's wall section has 2 watch towers (Level 2).
After the steppe rider has been moved from an Assembly hex to
the adjacent Attack hex, there is one more steppe rider on
the hex than the watch tower can hold. The wall is penetrated.
[See top illustration on page 2, right column.]
2) Seppe riders have been placed on each of the 3 successive
hexes behind the wall in the attack direction.
These hexes do not produce Raw Materials as long as the steppe rider
chips remain. In addition the red player receives a penalty chip and
reduces his level 2 wall section. It comes down to level 1.
At first there is no acute danger.
Certainly the wall can suffer a repeat breakthrough
if Red does not upgrade his wall and 2 steppe riders are moved onto the
If a wall is broken through again, the hexes behind
the wall contain steppe rider chips from a previous
breakthrough. In this case, the following is observed:
- First of all gaps (can exist due to the entry of knights) are closed.
- Then all of the still free hexes with production numbers are each occupied
with a steppe rider to the lower coast.
- Should all hexes in the attack direction be already occupied by
a steppe rider, then hexes from the top (wall) to bottom are double
occupied with steppe riders.
[See top illustration on page 3, left column.]
For geographical reasons the steppe riders make a small detour
when the easternmost wall section is penetrated.
The first steppe rider is placed on the "6" forest hex.
The next crosses the sea hex along the arrow (ships are
not needed) and then are placed in the next hexes in the
direction of the arrow.
A Level 5 Wall Is Secure!
Since there can never be more than 5 steppe riders in an attack
hex, a wall section having 5 levels can never be
Rolling a "7"
With the exception of the robber, the basic game rules apply.
Instead of the robber, the pirate is moved to the
sea hex of choice. As long as the pirate occupies a hex with
a port, the trade function of the port is de-activated.
When the Pirate is moved, a card may be taken from the face down hand of the player
When a Knight is played, 2 of the 3 following actions can be chosen:
It is also allowed to perform actions 1 or 2 twice after one another;
thus, for example to move 2 steppe riders between Assembly hexes.
- He may move a steppe rider chip from an Assembly hex to the Assembly hex of choice.
- He may pursue a steppe rider chip out of a hex [entered from
a breakthrough] (the steppe rider is returned to the cloth bag).
- He may move the pirate to another sea hex and draw one card from the player
of his choice.
The rules for the
are the same as in the
basic game. The
is slightly altered.
The special victory point card
is worth only 1 victory point.
The game ends when either
- a player has 10 or more victory points on his turn. This player has won,
- The wall has been broken through 5 times in a 4 player game or 7 times in
a 6 player game. In this case, China has been conquered and all
players have lost. The player with the most victory
points at that point can be seen the best loser.
China and the Great Wall
The Chinese Wall is one of the fascinating constructions in human history.
However, there is actually no single Great Wall.
In the course of 2700 years various Chinese dynasties and prices have built
When today we speak of the Great Wall, we mean the wall of the Ming Dynasty,
whose erection began in the 14th century and would be expanded into the
The first wall existed around the 6th century before Christ.
It was a time of warring states.
Numerous principalities fought with one another at that time.
China was fully-divided.
It was however also the time of the zenith of China's greatest philosophical culture.
Half a millennium before the birth of Christ Kung-fu-tse, who confirmed his teachings,
today called "Confucianism", on the belief in human will to morality and humanity;
in the same century taught also Lao-tse and founded Taoism. Unfortunately
this refined culture did not for the most part cut it with the steppe peoples in northern
Again and again they broke in to the Middle Kingdom and
profited from the disputes of the principalities, which could be
only be persuaded to expend effort for the common defense, if it
helped to put a stop to the sons of the steppe penetrating
out of the North
In the second century before Christ then
the border state strictly-organized by Cheng
became gradually accepted as the "Chin" by the Chinese states
warring for power.
Under Cheng the more than 5000 m. long Great Wall,
which however had existed mostly as a wall of tamped earth,
was built for the first time.
Already the construction of this first wall must have been an act of strength.
From the at that time estimated 20 million people in China, 500,000 were workers
involved with the construction of the bulwark.
And yet, the steppe peoples, who now spread fear and horror as Huns,
succeeded in 166 BC in breaking through the Great Wall with 14,000 horsemen.
The Han Dynastie, up until this time quite weak, gave up concessions.
A couple of decades later however the Han Dynasty went on the offensive.
Their nobles arranged the improvement and strengthening of the Great Wall,
with great armies penetrated the seat of the Hun leader and achieved a great
victory over the steppe people.
From now on the Huns wandered westward which had consequences a couple centuries
later for the fall of the Roman Empire.
That also the greatest wall cannot be not strong enough, if in the country discord and
unrestrained egoism simultaneously prevail, was experienced again
by the Middle Kingdom in its economical and cultural bloom of the 13th century.
The Mongols under Genghis Khan and later his nephew Kublai Khan
suddenly broke in into a northern Chin state weakened by internal
unrest and soon completely took over rule of all China.
The danger of full destruction of the Chinese culture threatened,
and it was to be owed only to the gradual risings of the
people flickering at all corners and ends of China that the
Mongols in the 14th century finally withdrew again into their domestic deserts
After the last Mongolian emperor had left Peking, the empire was newly organized.
The rulers of the Ming dynasty saw as the main task the safety of the empire
from the attacks of the Mongolians and the raids of Japanese pirates. From thenceforward
China closed itself to the outside. The great Chinese Wall was built up to a length
of 2,450 km and grew to the 17th century to more than 6,000 km. Never again would
the Mongolians succeed in taking the country with a stretch of the hand as it were.
[A few notes on the history:
The predecessor to the Qin wall was not one continuous wall of lesser height, but a number
of walls built by different principalities which were only connected together during the Qin.
Also, since over and over again the conquerors of China were absorbed and Sinicized,
it's hard to see how the culture of China was ever threatened. Read more at the
Silk Road website about
Wu-Ti, the Han Dynasty "Martial Emperor" and the Xiong Nu.]
Copyright 2003 Richard M. Heli