Monday, October 3, 2011

Game Night 10/1/11

Attendees: Nicole, Ivan, Jessica, Tom, the Mrs., and I

Game Played: Shadows Over Camelot (with the expansion, Merlin's Company)

This was our first play of the game in quite some time since it had become too easy for the loyalists to win and too difficult for the traitor to have an impact on the game outcome. We added Merlin's company for the first time which spiced up the game in a variety of ways, most significantly with the addition of the possibility of a second traitor. The expansion suggests only including a second traitor card with 7 or 8 players, but even with 6 this time we wanted the chance for 2 to liven things up a bit. We decided on 9 loyalty cards total, 7 loyal & 2 traitor--in retrospect we should have gone with 5 loyal & 2 traitor to guarantee one enemy player, since the resulting game had no traitors and thus was far too easy again!

This was Nicole's first play of the game and we at first suspected her as a traitor simply because she seemed overwhelmed. What we didn't really account for is getting thrown into a game of Shadows for the first time with experienced players and the expansion is in itself enough to have this result. The Mrs. and Tom also seemed to suspect me early, and it is true that my opening actions did fit into a high suspicion mold. I had a large hand of cards (after drawing for my two opening turns at Camelot) and still did not have any clear advantages to any quest, which is definitely a sign of a traitor. Also, the quest I did undertake first was that for Lancelot's Armor, which is a very beneficial quest for a traitor to win as it only adds one white sword to the round table and gives a traitor multiple opportunities to hurt the loyalists through stealthy black card play. In my defense, I think my early game moves were the most advantageous ones for me to make to help further our cause, but they did cast some doubt on my loyalty at the time.


The game was still enjoyable despite being another easy win, people seemed to like the new travel cards which injected some additional drama & uncertainty into game play, and some of the other new card additions (such as the variable value fight cards and the new witches black cards) were fun as well.

Thoughts On Our Next Play

Next time we will definitely guarantee one traitor and have the possibility of a second. Also, when we have a new player at the table it would be very helpful to simply deal them a face up loyal card so that they can concentrate on learning the game system without the confusion of trying to play the role of the spoiler! This is certainly what we should have done for Nicole this time, but we lucked out when she wasn't dealt the traitor card. Next time we play Shadows, keeping these thoughts in mind, plus the travel cards and other expansion additions, I feel like the game could vault back into heavy rotation on our play list. We shall see.

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