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Shadows over Camelot: Merlin's Company» Forums » Rules

Subject: rules book online? rss

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Nick Bornschein
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Hi,

would like to know when the rules book will be online. The pre-order just started for mid-june release in Europe.
 
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Eric Hautemont
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We will post the rule book online sometime before the product ships. As usual, we will let people know.
Eric @ DoW
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Mike Foley
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The DoW site has just posted the rules book for us. Go download it off of their site.

After reading this, I have to say even more now that their MSR price for the expansion is really over priced. The new material in the set is very little. Compared to what you get from a Fantasy Flight product expansion their price is definitely too much. $18 would be even alot in my mind for this.

I'm on the fence about getting it now, as I want to expand Shadows. But I don't like supporting an operation that has done little to give us a valued product.

We should really let them know our feelings fellow Knights! If we tell them maybe we can get something better next time.

Disappointed indeed after waiting three years for them to do something with this game. I have to wonder what the designers proposed and what the company produced. I can't believe the designers actually were on board with giving so little additional material in this expansion. Like somebody posted, they might want to see if this sells and use the remainder of what they had designed for another expansion? Let's hope!


The Condor
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Geo
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25 euro plus shipping for a couple of cards and a Merlin figure is very expensive indeed! You can buy a whole new game instead of this small expansion!

Is it me or DOW is getting a little greedy with their latest expansions (Memoire bag and now Merlin's Company)?
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Well they are a business. They'll charge whatever price they think will maximize profits.
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Ted Kostek
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Couple thoughts:

1. We are paying for gameplay, not components per se. More "hardware" is sort of nice, but what I really want is fun game play. We'll see what kind of game play is in the box, but I'm not going to criticize them for not having tons 'o stuff. If the game isn't fun, that's different. As a point of reference, when my wife and I got to dinner at a fast food place, we spend ~$15, and a sit-down place place runs $25+. For me, this set has to be as much fun as going out to dinner once, and it's paid for itself. After that it's all bonus.

2. If DoW wants to stay in business, they need to take in more money than they spend, and not just $1 per month either. To make a game, they have to write huge checks all at once, and then they get paid back slowly over time. In other words, they have to take out loans against projected future income. The point I'm making here is that if we want good games, they must make some minimum profit, otherwise they can't attract the capital they need, to say nothing of the human talent.

3. FF games seem to all arrive about 75% done. They do not fully ripen until the expansion is applied. Not something to emulate IMO.
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Mike Foley
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Guys, I have to disagree here with the argument that DoW has to make a profit so they can't offer a valued product. I'm a CCG developer and had a long run with a wrestling card game. We put out 25 plus expansions to our game.

That said, we always were keen to offer something new each time, that was not retread material. I think that DoW really misjudged the expansion aspect with this item. I'm inclined now to not even buy the expansion after seeing the rules and the contents. It really is going to add very little to the game. Go re-read what some of the guys wrote that got a chance to play it, they say... it adds a slight enhancement to the game.

Slight enhancement... for $25? Wow... Fantasy Flight indeed might make have baked games. However, anything wrong with their game comes out through further play. We experienced that with our CCG. And as such each expansion FF has made with games I've played they've corrected the balance. It was worth the purchase price, FF makes a profit and gets products to the market in a timely regular fashion.

That being said, Shadows Over Camelot is a great game. I'd like to expand it, it's three years old now. The guys that play the game posted better stuff with their ideas for a Green Knight and other concepts for free here on BGG! After studying Merlin's Company, I have to ask who designed this... it's very weak compared to the amazing original game design.

I say we pound their customer service email box with our discontent. Get them to post additional material or take our suggestions. After all we are the community that supports the game. Why do they take so little if any feedback from the player base? Making better expansions at a reasonable price will definitely make them a profit.

I tend to think that Memoir 44 was their cash cow and they didn't give SoC a fair shake. It happens, and this one wasn't anybody's baby it seems.

Disappointed in full, and saving my $25 for the new Arkham Horror Kingsport Expansion!

The Condor shake


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Geo
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kostek wrote:
We are paying for gameplay, not components per se.


Of course! But from the rules posted online it seems that the gameplay is slightly enhanced - no groundbreaking changes here!

So the question is: why spend 25 euro for a small variant on SoC and not buy something like Stone Age (the first game that came to my mind) for the same price that offers a completely new challenge?
 
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Ted Kostek
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GeoMan wrote:
kostek wrote:
We are paying for gameplay, not components per se.


Of course! But from the rules posted online it seems that the gameplay is slightly enhanced - no groundbreaking changes here!



Well that's a fair complaint. If the gameplay is weak, that's a real problem. But it seems that people are complaining because there aren't a lot of components. A key distinction, IMO.

I plan to reserve judgment until I actually get to play the game, though. An 8 player, 2 traitor game sounds like a lot of fun to me (but only if everyone has already played once; otherwise things could drag too much).

I'm unsure about the traveling cards. Losing your turn is a drag, but it adds an interesting new decision to the game. Do we rescue this guy? Who will do it? When will they do it? More decisions are always good, and there could be some interesting negotiations and pleading that could be fun.

Then there's the traveling card that forces you to go the Holy Grail. Makes good thematic sense, though it's not clear whether it's fun.

Then there's the question of whether people will be so worried about travel they will tend to try to stay put, which could make the game less fun.

Things are up in the air right now, IMO. It seems to me, however, that DoW deserves a little benefit of the doubt. I mean, people haven't even played the game yet, and already they are complaining! What's up with that?
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Joe F.
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Well after paying $30 for the terrain pack for Memoir '44, from DoW, I see this as a better investment. Now don't get me wrong, I wish their was a new quest or two, and new minatures for the knights, but will still buy this ASAP. The terrain pack only has 4 scenarios so most of the tiles never got used (they did finally update some of the old scenarios from the base game in the air-pack for use with terrain pack tiles). That mostly sat around and very rarely got used (don't give me the sceanrios from the front story either)yuk The $ for the merlin company will be used every time I play Shadows over Camelot. course Shadows is the most requested game for my game group... Now if only they would sell replacement cards as they do for Ticket to Ride and Memoir
 
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Mike Foley
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In the words of John McCain, "Friend"... I was just highlighting a disappointment in the original designers. I regard Serge Laget and Bruno Cathala as excellent designers. So it was more of a disbelief that this was the entire concept they had cooked up. Sure their names are on it, but who edited their work from the get go? Trust me I'm in the biz it happens when some office guy slashes your concepts.

In other posts on the main SoC site people had posted numerous times in the past Laget&Cathala had presented other designs and DoW rebuffed it. It seems as though in my mind this was only part of what was offered from them. That was my conjecture... since I know how publishers need to pinch the cost of every component included.

Still list price of $25 with some really "static" changes makes you wonder. Is it worth it, you guys play it and tell us if it's any good. I'm gonna wait it out and go play some Arkham Horror. I loved the co-op in SoC but you can do the same in Arkham just not as well. Thought this would be a lot, a lot more interesting from such stand out designers.

Get it? Zach? Huh? That was my beef... Friend!

The Condor
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Maybe the designers feel that the game is "complete" as it is and just produced a small expansion to satisfy fans who wanted something new.

Frankly I'm glad that they aren't changing the game in any radical ways. If you disagree, vote with your wallet. If you'd rather have a completely new game instead of expanding one you own, go buy one.

For me, the choice is obvious. I have so many games that any new ones are either unlikely to get played, or will just end up replacing another game. Expanding games I own is the best option, so I can continue to enjoy the games I already bought, and still have new things without "replacing" the old.

While you may not feel that the value of this expansion is very great, it seems inappropriate to complain excessively. DoW isn't pulling any tricks with this one. They are being clear and honest about what you get for your money, and even go far enough as to post the rulebook so you know EXACTLY what you can expect from the expansion. If you don't like what they are offering, don't give them your business. It's that simple.
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zollom
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Without adding too much wood to this fire I tend agree with Condor and Geoman. I do have interest and several reasons to buy this but at this point I'm shying away from purchasing MC due to price.

Reasons:
1. Yes DoW is a business and are entitled to charge whatever it takes to make a profit but don't you think it'll be more advantageous to charge less and sell more, making more money over the long term. No one can argue that DoW always puts out a great product but $25 for a handful of cards, two figures (one of which most of us have already) and several new player sheets doesn't warrant the price.

2. I don't think it'll get enough play; due to lack of players (in my group anyways.) It's hard to find 8 people to make the double trader workable. It's also, IMO, the only "playable", "fun" part of the expansion. Even though I foresee several rule questions about traitor situations arising. I am excited about having another traitor. It's the tense part of SoC and the accusations part of the game is great.

3. DoW seems to always overprice their expansions. How many people bought a company of knights? $20 for poorly painted, plastic pieces I already have. No thank you! Even their Memior expansions are overpriced. But for some reason I continue to buy them like a chump.

I list my reasons b/c I think I'd enjoy the new expansion if they broke them up into small expansions. Sell the components in two parts. One being the double traitor and extra knights, one being Merlin and the extra cards. This could ensure use for the specific expansion that suits your needs/ wants and not waste money on components that won't be used. They could even charge $8-10 for the expansions and still make money. At this point I think I'll wait to buy MC.

Reasons to buy MC:
1. DoW always makes a great product.
2. Expands an already great game.
3. Satisfies the completest in all

I do realize this isn't much of an argument but it's my opinion and it's the one I'm sticking with.

After re-reading the rules: I do see you can choose from all the knights. My bad! blush
 
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Mike Foley
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Also, judging from a few of the posts in the WWE Raw Deal forum (such as http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1861265#1861265), there was no shortage of disappointment with some of the game expansions you co-designed. That makes your willingness to throw stones at the efforts of fellow game designers even more puzzling.[/q]

Well Zach, you apparently intend to make this a personal attack and flame me for criticizing the product. That being the case let's compare the situation.

Shadows over Camelot has been out for about 3 years with no expansion to the game. This new expansion to me seems sort of minimal and included a good portion of repeat material for the MSR price. We can argue how the value of the set actually enhances the game. That was my point entirely and I had hoped for more of the player base to chime in as well so we could in the future make DoW realize we care about the game.

As for Raw Deal, the game I co-created, indeed we did after 6.5 years have to change the game somewhat drastically. The link you are posting is in reference to one particular individual that had a bone to pick with my late business partner and co-designer. We all knew it was risky, but it was the direction we took and the game was going to grind to a halt anyway. In fact, we gave it another year and many old players returned. All in all CCG's do die off unless you're Magic it seems!

I'd ask anybody out there to discredit our work, how many CCG's last more than one expansion and even a year in the market. Our game lasted 8 years with 25 expansion. I think I know a bit about bringing product to the market, even if it is not a board game. The approach that FF games uses I believe is much better, get a game out even if it has a glitch and we'll pump out a fix for you in a timely manner. I just went and bought Kingsport Horror for $25 and decided not to buy Merlin's Company.

So, there you have it... I was licking my lips to chomp into Merlin's Company when I saw the leak a few months ago. Now I'm completely disappointed with what DoW provided. In part, were the designers at fault? Maybe to some degree, just as I'd take the blame for the Revolution revise of our own game. But that's the rub isn't it.

Let's not make this a further personal attack Zach... the others here don't want to hear any more of this when I was being critical of a game, not you or the others posting contrary opinions.

The Condor cool
 
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ZMeston wrote:
I'm happy to buy it, and I'm hoping that Days of Wonder sells enough of Merlin's Company to decide to ship a second expansion with the new quests that Laget and Cathala designed (though I'm glad they're shipping the "new cards" expansion first).


Both expansions should be included for the asking price.

DOW has probably decided to split the original expansion into two smaller ones to increase their profits.

Assuming that both expansions will be released they will probably add up to the same price as the full SoC game...
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Karl
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Mike, you were begging to be flamed. You seem to have an agenda against this expansion. Being "in the biz" (as you point out over and over), you should be thrilled that there are people out there like me who will happily spend $25 on an expansion like this. It sounds great to me. I mean, seriously, what do you expect for $25? It's a lot more than that to fill up my car. It's around $25 to go out for a decent meal, unless you're in a small town in Iowa. $25 for an expansion made with quality material is very reasonable in my opinion. I've paid more for less.

If you don't want it, just don't buy it.
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theconcerned wrote:
If you don't want it, just don't buy it.

Thats great in theory- but most people do want an expansion to such an awesome game, even if its only a deck of cards & hero sheets. The problem I'm sure your aware of is that DoW are (apparently) overcharging for something that may or may not amount to the sum of its parts (hypothetical increase in gameplay inc).

It generates bad blood - some people don't enjoy the idea of an expansion that cannot be bought due to cost effectiveness. Yes we pay more to eat, live etc but thats no excuse to throw your money away & give DoW the impression that we'll pay anything.

Personally I'm left no option but to skip it. By the time MC gets to Australia it'll be $40-$60AUD (the painted figures are $50). Thats the same price as your average full featured, chrome packed base game. In perspective, I got my SoC for $65 & a copy of Doom around the same time for $50. Its not that I don't want this exp, its that it'll have to compete with a full featured game everytime I goto my FLGS (and lose, everytime).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't DoW switch its expansion producing facilities to China?
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Grommell wrote:
theconcerned wrote:
If you don't want it, just don't buy it.

Thats great in theory- but most people do want an expansion to such an awesome game, even if its only a deck of cards & hero sheets. The problem I'm sure your aware of is that DoW are (apparently) overcharging for something that may or may not amount to the sum of its parts (hypothetical increase in gameplay inc).

It generates bad blood - some people don't enjoy the idea of an expansion that cannot be bought due to cost effectiveness. Yes we pay more to eat, live etc but thats no excuse to throw your money away & give DoW the impression that we'll pay anything.


I think the problem is those people, not DoW. Consider one of the alternatives. DoW never produces a SoC expansion and all the fans who want one (and are even willing to pay a large price) are out of luck.
That is certainly within their rights.

DoW is not under any obligation whatsoever to even produce an expansion for the game, and they certainly aren't under any obligation to offer at a certain price.

And I'll say it again, that DoW is a business and the goal of any business is to earn profits. Could they sell more copies of the game at a lower price? Doubtless. But maximizing sales does not necessarily maximize profits if you are earning less money for each sale. Consider also that even if they gain more revenue with extra sales, they also pay more costs, because they have to pay a cost to produce every copy of the game.

Compare this to the software industry for a second. They pay far lower production costs (usually you are just buying a CD) and they often cost a lot more than $25. Why are they priced so high? Because there's a large demand, and the sellers are trying to maximize profit. In this case it's no different, except that the demand is lower. The supply is also lower due to increased production costs. It may be that DoW would profit more by lowering the price, but I'm not really in any position to determine that. I would assume that DoW knows more than I do about DoW's customers. They aren't just putting prices on things arbitrarily.
 
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