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Subject: Shadows over Camelot: Siege Engine Spam 2! rss

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Barry Figgins
United States
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It's been ages since I played SoC, and I thought, what better way to refresh myself on the rules than to run another PBEM game?

When Shadows over Camelot was popular, there was an argument about whether Siege Engine Spam was a dominant strategy. This involves the Traitor abandoning any pretense of hiding, and simply placing Siege Engines and refusing to cooperate.

The last game ended in a loyal victory:
Seven white swords to five black swords, with eight Siege Engines on the table at the end of the game. That game showed that Siege Engine Spam is not unbeatable, but I still think it's the dominant strategy for the Traitor. Can you pull off another win?

I'm looking for 4 to 6 players. I'll just take interest, and cap the game when it seems like we have enough.
4 loyal players will make a 5-player game.
5 loyal players could be a 6-player or 7-player game, depending on if we add one or two Traitors. 5-to-1 is going to be the best possible ratio for the loyal knights, and 5-to-2 will be the worst possible ratio, so I'll leave that up to you.
6 loyal players will be an 8-player game.

I'll have a number of knights, manned by several live players, then one or more stupid traitors, manned by me.

The traitors:

-Immediately after the loyalty cards are dealt, they announce "I'm a traitor!" and dance with impish glee. Of course, they do not actually flip over to their Traitor side until someone accuses them.

-Refuse to participate in any decision, forcing the cards to be shuffled and dealt out randomly. They also refuse to discard any cards to prevent or avoid the effects of special blacks.

-Place a siege engine as their evil action every turn.

-If 'Captured!' has not been revealed from the travel deck, they remain in Camelot and draw cards.

-If forced to discard, they prefer to lose Grails first (they want to see the grail quest finished quickly, for more siege engines), then some of the more useless special whites, then low-value fight cards. Their goal is to make the white deck weighted against fight cards, and make it harder to fight siege engines.

-Once 'Captured!' is in the discard pile, they Move to Lancelot or the Black Knight quest if they're open and it seems safe (2 or more life), and sit there as long as they can without successfully completing the quest.

-If the opportunity presents itself, they'll move to a quest that's about to be completed, just to force the cards to be shuffled and dealt out randomly.

-If given a chance, they accuse a loyal knight, to flip a white sword to black.

-Once revealed, they focus their card-discard abilities on a single player and try to make him useless and suicidal. King Arthur usually gets first billing there.

-This isn't an attempt to write a complete AI subroutine; I'll still be running the Traitors intelligently, but my goal is to make the most obvious plays and not surprise anyone.

Other minor rules changes:

-I'll just post the black cards into the thread, rather than PMing them. We know who the traitors are, we don't need to play stuff like Mercenaries face-down.

-The Lancelot and Black Knight cards will be face-down automatically (and their values Geekmailed to you), unless you tell me otherwise. My home games have usually found that the extra white card is more than worth having the Knight face down, but if you disagree, I'm more than happy to wait for your decision first.

-When Lost or Charged come up in the travel deck, I'll assume you'd like to discard the appropriate cards and get to your destination. If there's an obvious play for Charged, I'll make it, otherwise I'll wait for your decision.

Of course, full secrecy rules are in effect.

-You cannot state which cards are in your hand, or give information that could let others easily guess whether or not you have a particular card.

-You can state your readiness to attack a quest, whether you feel that a quest is strong or weak, or ask for help from your fellow knights.

-I think the Battlestar Galactica secrecy rules are a good example; you can make binary statements "The Black Knight is strong/weak, I am ready/not ready to fight a war, I can/cannot help you with the Grail" but you cannot say anything more specific - no "The Black Knight is weak, but not his weakest," or "If someone strikes the first blow, I can fight this war," or "I can help you with the Grail once, but I'll need to leave after that."

Okay, wall-of-text over; let me know if you want a space as a Knight!

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