GF Plays – Shadows over Camelot
A co-op game with a King Arthur setting with a traitor mechanic?
What’s not to like?
Each player represents a knight of the Round Table and they must collaborate to overcome a number of quests – ranging from defeating the Black Knight to the search for the Holy Grail. Completed Quests place white swords on the Round Table; failed Quests add black swords and/or siege engines around Camelot. The knights are trying to build a majority of white swords on the Table before Camelot falls.
So this game is essentially a card game played on a board. You’re trying to ‘win’ mini games vs the game controlled opponent. A win gives you a number of White Swords on the Round Table, a loss Black. Majority wins.
But, you’re each given an allegiance card and 1 player may be a traitor trying to win on his own. There is only 1 traitor card and only 1 more cards than players so while there may not be a traitor, odds are there will be.
Turns work like this. You have 1 of 3 “Progession of Evil” options to start your turn…
– Lose a life point
– Draw a Black (Bad) card and perform the action. It usually involves advancing one of the mini games in the bad guys favour but some can be really harsh.
– Add a Siege Engine. You can reduce the number of Siege Engines but if the Siege Engine track fills up you lose. (you also lose if all non-traitor people die)
Each player also has a character card. Onimi could play action cards for free, DoctaJonez drew an extra White Card when drawing cards, Diablos could trade one card and I could move away from the Round Table for free. They don’t sound like much.. BUT!
1 – You only get one action per turn so playing a card for free is great. Also, being able to move from the Round Table to an area THEN take an action is great.
2 – You have to go to the round table to draw cards for your action, you draw 2. Cards in hand is always a good thing so drawing an extra one is pretty cool.
3 – Having a card traded to you means you can take an action on your next turn, which is a great time saver.
So with your one action you do what ever you can do in the area you are in, or move. As I said if you’re at the Round table you can 2 draw White cards. These cards have abilities or are number cards used to win mini games.
So what are these mini games? They differ in a few ways…
The Saxon and Pict game needs you to add runs of cards (1-5) to an area one action at a time before the bad Black cards fill up the bad guys area with Saxon/Pict miniatures.
Excalibur needs you to discard a card to move a Lad of the Lake mini on the track one way, the Black cards move it the other way.
You can fight and try to remove Siege Engines which requires a die roll.
Other tracks need you to lay pairs and 3 of a kind of cards down vs another track of Black cards that are being placed in that area. When one track is full, the higher value wins. The Black cards can be played face down to allow you to draw a card, masking the running total of the Black cards and letting the Traitor bluff.
The Grail is a fight back and forth between the good White Grail cards and bad Black grail cards…
It really is a good game. I’m hoping I get to be the traitor at some point in the future but I’ll be happy to try and win as the good guys. (Yeah, Onimi won as the Traitor)
There is LOADS more to this game. I saw the guys from Penny Arcade play it on Tabletop and thought it looked “OK”. It’s much more fun to play than watch. But if you want to know all the rules and watch it being played, here is the Tabletop video.