Sunday, April 22, 2007

Shadows Over Camelot

I just played my first game of "Shadows Over Camelot" this afternoon. I have not seen any posts on it from our group, so let me give you my thought and ask about yours.

I really enjoyed this game. It was all that I thought it would be and a little more. I would imagine that most of you are familiar with it, so I will spare you the details, other that to say that I liked the shift in the paradigm and the concept of a cooperative game. I know that there are a few such games on the market, but this is the first time I have played one. I found it frustrating trying to convince my companions to take one course of action for the good of Camelot. I myself found it hard to make self-sacrifices for the good of the many vs. the good of the one (Hey, I sound like Spock!).

If you know about this game, the spice that it has to offer is that someone may be the traitor. I was all wrong in thinking that it was this one guy. I mistook his incompetence for deviousness. I was certain that we were going to be a band of brothers who lost our Kingdome to the invading barbarians as we all went down singing glorious songs, only to have my son play the final siege engine that sealed the fate of Camelot…only to see him unmask himself as the traitor as the his dagger snuffed out my life.

This is a great game, especially among friends. It moves quickly and takes about 90 minutes.


At 10:12 PM, April 22, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

Speaking of the "good of the many vs. the good of the one," I'm hoping to try out LotR: Battlefields sometime soon.

At 2:46 AM, April 23, 2007, Blogger Michael said...

SoC is one that the group (not me) seemed to burn out on sometime last year. Brian has some variant rules designed to give the traitor slightly more maneuverability. There are some issues. For instance, if the group is too large, a little bit of planning can make the game broken by holding most of the deck in hand only reshuffling a limited pool of cards. I think in our last game, the traitor was a victim of this.

At 6:51 AM, April 23, 2007, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

I played once or twice, but I wasn't too enamoured. I see SoC as a social game to play at family gatherings.

At 7:05 AM, April 23, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

A beautiful game, no doubt, and though I do like my Arthurian mythos a bit darker (along the lines of the Nibelungenlied -- an epic medieval German poem desperately needing a board game), there aren't enough games with this theme.

To me I have a hard time seeing past SoC as a cooperative poker variant with great production values. The Traitor does add a nice element, but I have a terrible poker face. I traded my copy away after 2 plays. Still, I do appreciate SoC's merits as a party game.

At 8:51 AM, April 23, 2007, Blogger Jeff said...

I was surprised at how fast I burned out on the base game. It took two, maybe three, games. With Brian's variant, it's a game I'd want to play two or three times a year.

Ditto what Michael said regarding broken-ness. More praise for Brian's variant: it makes it harder to set up the infinite loop with a large group.

At 12:04 AM, April 24, 2007, Blogger Rob said...

I'm with Jeff...

I remember telling everyone that I was through with the game after 1 game. Not that it was bad, but I didn't see much replay in it. Then I tried it with other gamers, and actually thought "hey, there's some replayability....try it with new people in every game" Not very practical.

Then I tried Brian's variant. Cool, interesting twist, but I didn't enjoy my role very much (The Martyr who tries to be the first to die).

Would rather try Arkham with expansions, or LotR which I haven't played to this date (egads!).

I'm not super excited about CoC, but I wouldn't kick it OOB either.

At 5:47 PM, April 24, 2007, Blogger Carlos Pena said...

Well, for my family, this is a great game. Perhaps a light game is what this is considered. We had lots of fun and want to play again. I have tried to recreate the brokenness in my mind but cannot imagine it right. Can someone tell me what Brians variant is?

At 8:08 AM, April 25, 2007, Blogger Rob said...

I can see it working well as a family game.


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