Monday, June 2, 2008
Shadows Over Camelot
Well, I'm a bit behind on this one, Andy has already beaten me to it, but here's the photo compliment to his writeup. Shadows Over Camelot, by Days of Wonder is a great game. Andy and I went into it without knowing a thing about it, and it was incredibly easy to pick up and learn on the fly. It's designed for three to seven players, which is nice, having the option to host so many players at once is a plus.
The neat dynamic about the game is that everyone plays cooperatively against the 'board' itself. Each turn the players perform their heroic actions after their compulsory 'evil' turn. You don't have a choice in this, you have a few options each turn, but you must choose some type of dark deed to advance the board's challenges. The more players you have, the faster the challenges escalate. The board itself is cool in that it's not a single board, but smaller boards representing quests that orbit a central board, which is Camelot. There's a 'traitor' element that works into it as well; there's a large percentage chance that one of the players is a traitor and has to slyly influence events to work towards the favor of darkness. If you're too overt, you may get accused, playing your hand at the right moment takes finesse.
You can't have Camelot without Excalibur. Here is the Lady of the Lake quest. If the sword reaches the rocky shore, it is lost to darkness. The knights' task is to get Excalibur to the lush side. In both games we were able to save the sword, but it wasn't easy.
Each of the seven knights in the game are nicely detailed and blur the line between miniature and game piece. Here they are around the round table itself.
It's quite the layout once the action in in full swing.
Here lies the main mechanic of the game, how many white or black swords are accumulated around the table. This ultimately spells success or doom for the players. If the white swords overtake it by game's end, the hero knights win. If the black swords are most numerous, darkness wins, and if there's a traitor in the midst of the knights, they win as well.
The Grail quest, here in the final stages of completion on the side of the knights.
The courtyard was full of sieging catapults, as the knights sallied forth.
In game two, Sir Percival (my character) was randomly chosen as the traitor. In the end, the darkness won, which means I did too I guess, but it was extremely hard to seemingly play the role of the knight while simultaneously forwarding the goals of darkness.