Rachel and Jared Van Bussel
Canada
Pincher Creek
Alberta
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When I discovered this expansion, I really didn't intend to purchase it. Especially as it was retailing somewhere in the $35-40 CAN mark. In truth I still wish I had researched it a little more before I did. But seeing it for almost half that amount ($19.95 Woot!), and gaining an extra knight convinced me to implement a quick impulse-buy.

Now there are all sorts of arguments already present on this site whether this is a proper expansion at all. It's a valid question as although there is one extra knight, there are no rules provided to guide our use of him. In fact, besides the painted knights, there is nothing else in the box. Not even a link to where you can find the character card so you can print it off yourself! However, he does have his own special abilities, and it does add an extra player.

It may not be an Expansion, but maybe just an expansion.

Bits:
The figures themselves are made of good quality soft plastic. They are painted, and while the colours are appropriate, they are not as painstakingly painted as the box suggests. Our Sir Kay stares at us with a frighteningly bug-eyed gaze. However, compared to the non-painted figures, it does add to the appearance of the board. Oh, and I like Sir Bedivere's horns, makes it even more entertaining when he turns out to be the traitor.

Lacking from the package are the character card, health die, and an extra loyalty card. These 'oversights' are totally unforgivable in my mind. They are required to play the game with 8 players, or to play with Sir Bedivere at all.

As a way to make up for it, they have provided the card online and it is very easy to find. Here it is on the official site:
http://www.shadowsovercamelot.com/index.php/?t=content&sub=r...

Other additions that also would have been welcome (especially for the price) would be painted artifacts, painted siege engines, and extra white and black cards to provide for the extra player.

Rules:
No changes except for the addition of an extra knight with his own special ability. Once a round Sir Bedivere can discard one white card and replace it with the top card from the white deck.

As a loyal knight this is a strong ability, allowing you to deplete the deck quickly if you like, as well you may be able to stay at a specific quest for longer by drawing appropriate cards.

However, as a traitor it may even be more powerful as you can discard helpful cards in trade for less useful ones. Unless everyone is hypervigilant and paying attention to what special whites have been played, it is near impossible to catch.

No rules have been offered to say whether you need 9 loyalty cards for the 8 characters, but I would assume so. It would be disappointing to be sure that there is a traitor in your midst, rather than just a high likelihood.

Summary:
In the end, I don't mind this expansion. It does allow for one more player, and Sir Bedivere's talents are welcomed as a fellow knight (and feared as a foe). The painted knights are a nice, though imperfect, addition. I'm sure they could have packaged more into the expansion for the price though, as the lack of character card, die, and loyalty card are sorely missed.

Price: D . Too much for what you gain.
Style: B- . Nice colour, better paintjob would be nice.
Completeness: D . Many other components should have been provided.
Expansion: B+ . I really enjoy the addition of Sir Bedivere, and more players for this great game always adds to the fun.

Overall C . If you must have the "complete" set, then this expansion is forgivable. Probably not worth the price though for how little it adds.
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Barry Figgins
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Woodland
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Re: The Shadow Expansion. (Is it really an expansion at all?
It's not an expansion. It's not sold as an expansion. It's a set of 8 painted knights. I can understand doing an impulse buy without researching what the product was, but still, it's not like the product misrepresented itself.
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Rachel and Jared Van Bussel
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Quote:
It's not an expansion. It's not sold as an expansion. It's a set of 8 painted knights.


I don't really want to get into this debate. Especially as I mostly agree with you. It was the extra knight and the relative cheap price that sold it to me, and I don't feel slighted by what I got from the deal. Especially as I treasure my ability to make impulse buys!

However, if you look at their website, they do sell it as an expansion:
http://www.shadowsovercamelot.com/?rid=&S=efe986ef651d1fdd97...
(look at the bottom right)

And from the back of the box:
"A Company of Knights is an expansion for Shadows over Camelot (TM), not a stand-alone game."


Either way, I'm happy with it. I feel they could have (should have?) done more with it, and added those tools so that the new character could be used out of the box. But a quick print and any 6 sided-die will do. And those rare situations where I get together with 8 people I'll use playing cards instead of loyalty cards.
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Barry Figgins
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Re: The Shadow Expansion. (Is it really an expansion at all?
Your review was still unfair to the product. It felt like a restaurant review saying 'This salad was the worst hamburger I've ever had.'
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Ubergeek
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Washougal
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Great review for such a simple expansion to a game. As expansions go, I agree this one deserves the average rating you give it. If you got the Sir Bedivere Game Trade magazine figure (or they were giving them away at Essen 06 by the bunches) you really don't need this one unless you want a set of painted figures for the game.

BTW I agree that this is an expansion.
 
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Travis Easton
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Casey
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Re: The Shadow Expansion. (Is it really an expansion at all?
It is an expansion in the simplest sense that an expansion just means that you need the base game in order to use whatever it is.

However, just FYI, I believe the rules were such that you could still only play with 7 people, you just had more choices of who to be. Not that you "couldn't" play it with 8, I suppose.
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Matthew Fisk
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Spanish Fork
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Re: The Shadow Expansion. (Is it really an expansion at all?
beri wrote:
Your review was still unfair to the product. It felt like a restaurant review saying 'This salad was the worst hamburger I've ever had.'


You lost me on this one. Now if he was reviewing the expansion box for Ticket to Ride and how it played with SoC maybe you could use your hamburger and salad statement.

A Company of Knights is more like reviewing the salad if the restaurant allowed you to pay an extra 50 cents to replace the room temperature cucumbers with larger, crisp, chilled cucumbers. Same product, just pay a bit extra for an enhancement.

Hmmmm or in this case maybe the cucumbers cost about 4 bucks :)
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Brian Heckathorn
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Lexington
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I got this expansion some time ago, but I guess I researhed it a bit more beforehand. I knew it was really only painted figures, including the slightly harder to get 8th knight, so I wasn't disappointed with what I got since I knew that's all I would get.

Now as far as wishes go, it would have been to nice to get a Sir Bedivere character card and corresponding life die of the same type that came for the other characters in the game. The die especially, just because I haven't found an orange third-party die that matches the style of the others. For now, I just use one of the other dies that aren't being used when I play. The player card pdf is available on the DoW website, so I just bought some fairly heavy doublesided photo paper and printed it off using high quality on my printer. It came out really nice, though I had to "Press" it between some books to keep it from warping as it dried. Though it's slightly slimmer than the cards that came with the game, it's close enought that you really have to look to tell it apart from the others.

As far as the extra traitor card goes, the game is still meant for only up to seven players. With the eighth knight, you just get more choices for which knights are playing. My group has found that the upper end of players playing (6 or 7) makes it really difficult for the traitor (if there is one) to get a fair shot at winning. Eight players would likely obliterate the traitor's chances.
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Jon Burgess
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Taunton
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beri wrote:
I can understand doing an impulse buy without researching what the product was


I don't understand how it can still be an impulse purchase if you have researched it, that sounds like a carefully planned purchase!!!
 
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Talorien
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Thanks for the review, which I found informative and helpful
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