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Subject: Shadows Over Camelot: Siege Engine Spam PBEM rss

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Barry Figgins
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I'm going to be starting an experiment shortly. There's a strategy for the Shadows Over Camelot board game, where the traitorous player immediately reveals himself and begins placing siege engines on the board. Is it fair? Is it beatable? That's what I'm hoping to find out!

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.
-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.
-Move to Lancelot or the Black Knight quest if they're open, and sit there as long as they can without successfully completing the quest.
-Move to a quest that's about to be completed, just to force the cards to be shuffled and dealt out randomly.
-If still in Camelot, they draw 2 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.
-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.

Sounds pretty dickish, but it's entirely kosher according to the rules. The goal overall is for the traitor to make four spots around the table useless: himself, one player fighting siege engines, one player drawing cards to prepare to fight siege engines, and one player dealing with losing a card every turn, leaving only one or two knights actually playing the game.

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, unless you tell me otherwise. Our 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.

Do you think you can survive the onslaught? I've seen posts on the boards stating that this strategy is beatable, so it's time to put your fight cards where your war is. I have 2 players interested thus far, and I can take up to 6, if there's really a strong interest. (That would be an 8-player game, with two traitors.)
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Blue (They/She)
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*Cracks knuckles.* Let's do this. :3
 
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Barry Figgins
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Time for some randomization, using my best friend, the =RAND() function in Excel.

Our six knights will be:
Orange (Sir Bedivere)
Red (King Arthur)
Yellow
Blue
Purple
White

Loyalty cards are dealt out, and Blue declares 'I'm the traitor!' He takes Sir Owain. (Remember, though, his card remains face-down until he is formally accused in the game.)

Ben and Johnny and anyone else interested in the game can divide up the other 5 knights as you see fit, and choose whether you'll use the knights from the base game or from Merlin's Company. Sir Bedivere and King Arthur don't have any choices to make, of course.
 
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First come, first serve! I'll take King Arthur. If there's only a few people playing and it's necessary for someone to play an extra knight, I'm happy to also play Sir Galahad (yellow).

As a reference for anyone else who's playing, the characters taken are:
King Arthur (red--Ben: May trade a white card with another knight as a free action on his turn. Must give one card and receive one card in trade.)
Sir Percival (White (Johnny): May peek at the top Black card during his PoE phase, and then may decide whether to draw it as PoE or select another Evil Action.)
Sir Owain (blue--Traitor. May roll the 8-sided die before playing Fight cards when fighting siege engines.)


The knights remaining are:
Sir Bedivere (Orange: Once per turn as a free action, may discard one White card to draw one White card.)
Sir Caradoc (Orange (I think you forgot this one, Barry?): Once per turn, may sacrifice 1 life point to draw 2 white cards.)
Sir Tristan (Purple: Departing the round table is a free Move.)
Sir Gareth (Purple: Draw 1 White card every time you successfully complete a Move during your Heroic Action phase.)
Sir Galahad (Yellow (Ben's secondary character if needed): Once a turn, may play 1 special White card for free.)
Sir Gahreis (Yellow: As a free Action during your turn, may take 1 Merlin from discard pile for every 3 White cards you discard.)

 
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Barry Figgins
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StatSig wrote:

The knights remaining are:
Sir Bedivere (Orange: Once per turn as a free action, may discard one White card to draw one White card.)
Sir Caradoc (Orange (I think you forgot this one, Barry?): Once per turn, may sacrifice 1 life point to draw 2 white cards.)

Oh, there is another orange? I must have overlooked him when we played Merlin's Company last.
 
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We overlooked him a lot, because sir Bedivere is way better.
 
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I'll take Sir Percival (White)...
 
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Barry Figgins
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Two down, three to go. We can divvy 'em up or wait as you see fit - and it's always possible to have another player jump in and take control mid-game.
 
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Well, personally, I'm in favor of starting sooner and letting people hop in later if they see fit. I'm happy taking whatever from the knights that're left; you can randomize for all I care.
 
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Barry Figgins
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Sounds great. If things go well (badly), this game should be pretty short. Let's intersperse you guys, and do it like this:

Arthur: Ben
Yellow: Johnny
Owain: Traitor
Purple: Ben
Percival: Johnny
Orange: Ben
 
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Cool with me! I'll take Tristan for my purple and Bedivere for my Orange.

So!

Arthur: Ben (trade cards)
Yellow: Johnny (either play special whites free or get merlins from discards)
Owain: Traitor (Awesome power that he'll never use D: )
Tristan: Ben (leave table for free)
Percival: Johnny (Peek at black deck YAY)
Bedivere: Ben (trade out a white card)

Prepare to be stomped, foul Owain. *Angry face*
 
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Barry Figgins
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All right, starting cards are out via GeekMail. Johnny can pick a yellow knight when he likes. I like that we're moving quickly, it's good to get some momentum out of the gate!

Owain lays down a Fight 2 for the 'gesture of goodwill' at the start of the game, while making clear that he won't agree to any distribution, so the cards placed down will be shuffled and re-dealt randomly.
 
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I'll take Galahad for Yellow...
 
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Assuming we're starting with Arthur as per usual? In that case, I'll pre-emptively say what I'm doing on my turn to reduce time batting messages around.

Progression of Evil: Draw a black card. If it's a Special Black, check to make sure whether we want to Merlin it or not.

Heroic Action: Play "Reinforcements" to let everyone else draw a card.
-1 life, Heroic Action: Draw 2 cards from Camelot.

Then ask what quest everyone is planning to do in order to help with his card trading. Then pass a card as a free action after this question's been answered.

For my own knights' answers:
Arthur: Planning to stay at the Table to draw cards in order to seed them to other people for awhile.
Tristan and Bedivere: ...not sure yet. Depends on the reinforcements draw.
 
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Barry Figgins
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Yep, starting with Arthur - them's the rules. Before he makes his move, though, everyone's gonna lay down a card, then we'll redistribute them - the 'gesture of goodwill' at the start of the game.
 
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Doh. You'd think after all the times I've played I'd remember that.

Okay, gesture of goodwill, knowing that a traitor is among us and that cards will be randomly distributed:

Athur: Fight 4
Tristan: Fight 4
Bedivere: Grail
 
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Gestures of goodwill:

Galahad: Grail
Percival: Fight 1
 
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Okay, let's try this again.

Arthur:
-PoE: Draw a black card. If it's special, ask if we want to use our Merlins (if we have 'em).
-Heroic Action: Play Reinforcements; choose to let other knights draw.
-Heroic Action 2 (-1 life): Draw 2 cards from Camelot.

-Table talk: After Reinforcements, ask what quests people are planning to do.

Then I will trade a card as a free action and call it a day.
 
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Barry Figgins
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Desolation!

Knights and Life
Arthur 4[/COLOR]
[BGCOLOR=#FFFF00]Galahad 4

Owain 4
Tristan 4
Percival 4
Bedivere 4

Siege Engines:

Swords:

Black Knight Evil:
Black Knight Good:

Lancelot Evil:
Lancelot Good:

Excalibur
LoseWin

Holy Grail
LosesugarsugarsugarsugarsugarsugarcoffeeWin

Picts Evil -
Picts Good -

Saxons Evil -
Saxons Good -

 
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Barry Figgins
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Reinforcements:
You see:
Fight 2
Fight 2
Grail
Grail
Fight 1
Fight 3
Owain folds his arms and refuses to participate, so the cards are dealt out randomly.
 
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So we can discuss quests now?

Galahad (Yellow): "I feel ready for Excalibur!"

Percival (White): "I am not yet prepared to leave Camelot. I might be able to take on the Picts or Saxons, but need to recruit some soldiers - none to expensive, just local farmers will do. I will probably stay at Camelot and draw some more cards. If things go unexpectedly poorly with Excalibur I may venture there to help Galahad."
 
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Barry Figgins
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Art loses a life and picks up 2 cards.
 
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Just a minor thing, the reinforcements card deals directly into the players hands, it doesn't do the public sharing that the convocation card does. So even if the traitor hadn't refused to participate, it still would have been a random shuffle.
The only difference would be that we wouldn't get to see the public pool that gets shuffled.
 
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Barry Figgins
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Ack, you're right, I was thinking of Convocation. We've had so many games start with Arthur playing Convocation, I wasn't paying attention.
Darn it, me! Get your head in the game!

And in that case, Arthur doesn't get the card draw from Reinforcements.
 
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Don't worry about it!
 
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