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Go to the Flash Point: Fire Rescue page
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Go to the Shadows over Camelot: The Card Game page
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Go to the Shadows over Camelot: The Card Game page
30 out of 31 gamers thought this was helpful

First, I’ve never played Shadows over Camelot. I do really enjoy playing Battlestar Galactica so I’m familiar with the hidden role/traitor type gameplay. I bought this for my wife because she also enjoys BSG but we don’t own it and don’t have any friends to play it with. My hope was that the card game version would be easy enough to introduce others to playing it and the Arthurian theme would be more approachable than ‘scary sci-fi’.

The mechanisms are very simple. You flip over the top card and add it to the stack. Players have to keep running totals of the numbers displayed in several categories (Pixies, Saxons, Dragons, Grails and Excaliburs). So, in that respect it’s just a memory game. But there’s also the potential (not guaranteed) for a traitor in your midsts. Ever try to remember something when somebody is actively trying to make you mentally trip up? It’s tough. Ok, so it’s card counting (more or less) with the house trying to screw you up by shuffling the deck too early for your count to be worthwhile. Wrong game, same idea. But then it gets harder. Some cards don’t have a number, they have a ? which has a value of 1*number of ? of that type. So, if you have 1 ?, it’s worth 1. If you have 2 ?, they’re each worth 2, so 4 added to the count. Mathematically, add the square of the ? count to the total. Yeah, that’s fun. Now the game screws with you. Morgana comes out and does two mean things. One, players can no longer communicate. Not just ‘no talking’ – no communicating in ANY FORM. And then she screws up the count in some way by adding values or removing values from the total OR she gives the traitor even better ways to screw with the other players. Whether it’s putting cards face down on the stack but announcing what the card was or simply making you count out loud each time you flip a card over it’s becomes insane to keep track of five different running totals.

So why do you do this? When a card appears of a particular type that puts the total up to 11, 12 or 13 you want to go on a quest to earn White Swords. Beware though, if the total is 13 you earn one or many black swords.

Basically, the game is super simple, but there’s so much fun in trying to keep the numbers straight guessing, second guessing and then triple guessing a decision to go on a quest can leave everyone laughing. Until the traitor stabs everyone in the back and they’re the only one laughing.

Go to the Seasons page


91 out of 113 gamers thought this was helpful

My Dice Tower secret santa got this for me. I’d never played it before but had heard TDT talking about it a bit and they seemed to like it, so I had added it to my wishlist.

Playing as a wizard/mage/magician/whatever is usually a fun theme. I enjoy Magic and this has a variety of similar mechanisms including generating mana and spending mana to summon cards to empower you. To generate mana however, is not something that you have full control over. Here’s another fun theme element – you’re at a three year contest and the game progresses over those three years complete with the, wait for it… seasons. Each season you’re more likely to generate certain types of mana than others. So you roll some dice, pick one dice and you get to do the actions on the dice. There’s a little tension when the dice are rolled and you see the one you really want and hope nobody else picks it before you. But that’s where it felt like the tension ended.

Only a few of the cards are aggressive and frequently the aggressive action can have a strong positive benefit for the attacked (return a card to your hand that has a nice ‘when summoned’ benefit for example). I never feel like I’m engaged in a competition with other players when I play this game. I’m just selecting an action, playing some cards in front of me and then it’s someone else’s turn.

At the end of the game, you have penalties for cards left in your hand, so no one I’ve played with really tries to be drawing more cards all the time. Maybe that’s what we’re doing wrong, we’re too risk averse. But in the end, there’s little perceived benefit to drawing a card in place of playing a card. In Ticket to Ride, for example, if you’ve already completed all your routes and there’s clearly several turns left in the game, you may as well draw more destinations – but here, if you draw a card and the mana requirements are such that you’re unlikely to to be successful in generating the mana before the end of the game, why take the risk?

Anyway, the rules solid, the components are beautiful and the theme is great but I’m not really taken with the gameplay.

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