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Author Topic: New Release: Shadows over Camelot  (Read 2482 times)
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Sepiche
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« on: June 24, 2005, 02:37:02 PM »

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/15062

I just picked this up from my local store yesterday and played through a nice little sampling of it, and this looks like one great game!

Basically each player plays one of 7 knights of the round table.  At the beginning of the game everyone randomly draws a loyalty card and saves it.  In a full game there will be 6 loyal knights, and 1 traitor knight.

For the loyal knights, they must attempt to gather 12 swords that are awarded by completing quests around the realm.  You can face the black knight, battle Lancelot for his armor, quest for Excalibur, fight off barbarian invasions, and of course quest for the Holy Grail.  Each time a quest is successfuly completed a number of white swords (usually 1 or 2) is collected, while if the quest is failed a number of black swords are collected.  While all this is happening players are forced to draw "black cards" every turn that advance the evil in the land and siege engines are also placed outside Camelot to signify the great siege being laid on the citadel.

The game ends when 12 siege engines have gathered outside the walls, or when 12 swords of any color have been collected.  The loyal knights win if the majority of the swords are white, while the traitor wins if there are equal numbers or more black swords.

The interesting thing here is that most of the game is played cooperatively.  That is you and all the other knights are working together to keep the realm intact, and not working together is the quickest way to fail.  But you have to also learn who to trust... any of the other knights could secretly be doing things that are hurting the realm.  You can out the traitor, but if you guess wrong it turns a white sword black, however if he remains hidden to the end of the game he converts 2 white swords to black swords (a 4 point swing!).  It's hard to explain here, but the mechanics are beautifully designed to slowly increase the preassure on the knights and to make it possible for the traitor to keep his identity quiet while still hampering the goals of Camelot.

All and all it looks like a fantastic game.  I can't wait to drag a few people in for a night of feudal fun. smile

s
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the Nightbreeze
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2005, 06:38:49 PM »

That does sound like fun, but wow, 7 players?  That's tough to herd so many people.  Any rules adjustments  for a lesser number of players? like 3ish?
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Sepiche
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2005, 06:44:14 PM »

Actually yeah, the dynamic for that is pretty slick.

It's playable with 3 - 7 players.  At the beginning of each turn the players go around and all take turns "advancing evil" before they take their actions for the turn.  Advancing evil is taking a black card or placing a siege engine outside Camelot.  The result is, if you only have 5 players there will only be 5 bad cards or siege engines per turn instead of 7.  From the time I've spent playing it seems to balance it out nicely.

s
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Turtle
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2005, 10:56:43 PM »

I'm a big board gamer, so I picked this up on the first day.

We've had a lot of fun in our first real game (where we weren't all learning the rules) and lost, but only because we had a really good traitor in the game, and I forgot a rule about the excaliber that would have allowed me to cancel out the last black card that lost us the game.
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Loomi
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2005, 08:26:05 PM »

I picked this up Friday and was able to play two 3-player games over the weekend.  We played the first game without loyalty cards to familiarize ourselves with the rules/mechanics and were able to win.  We played the next game with loyalty cards(no traitor) and won again, but it was much tougher.  Were there a traitor, we most certainly would have lost.  We were hovering at 9-11 siege engines for quite with 4 white swords and 5 black swords on the table.  The only thing that saved us was a Heroism played on the Dragon quest right before we completed it.
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hitbyambulance
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2005, 08:22:39 AM »

played this tonight with three other people:

there's a lot to do - it's one of those cooperative games where it's all the players vs. 'the board', and there's a lot of side-quest mini-games to do, as well as player special abilities.  it was pretty cool at first, but the fun started to diminish when too much strategy was coordinated (even though the cards themselves weren't announced), and one player started telling the other players what to do in order to achieve desired victory conditions in each mini-game - winning is easily achieved when that happens.  it should be noted that we were not playing with loyalty or traitors, so that undoubtedly influenced the difficulty.
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Sepiche
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2005, 08:29:03 PM »

Quote from: "hitbyambulance"
played this tonight with three other people:

there's a lot to do - it's one of those cooperative games where it's all the players vs. 'the board', and there's a lot of side-quest mini-games to do, as well as player special abilities.  it was pretty cool at first, but the fun started to diminish when too much strategy was coordinated (even though the cards themselves weren't announced), and one player started telling the other players what to do in order to achieve desired victory conditions in each mini-game - winning is easily achieved when that happens.  it should be noted that we were not playing with loyalty or traitors, so that undoubtedly influenced the difficulty.

That was exactly our problem when playing without a traitor.  It's fun, but without the threat of someone mucking things up it gets stale.  And actually there's a small passage int he rules that talks about that.  The general rule that most people seem happy with is that making declarations of what you would be good at ("I would like to challenge Lancelot!") is okay, but talking specific cards is no good.  In our games without a traitor that seems to keep it fairly honest.

s
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The Rocketman
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2005, 06:03:04 AM »

Well, I originally wanted to buy this game, but since it was all sold out (I didn't even knew board games could "sell out"!), I got Doom.

So I'll get it in a couple of weeks. That, and War of the Ring, would make 3 games I got due to some sort of forum effect here.

Or basically, War of the Ring got discussed, I bought it, and have since been amazed to see what new boardgames are like (having grown up on risk, hotel, and a lot of kiddy games).
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