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Subject: Is it possible to win Shadows over Camelot? rss

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Richard Morgan
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We played our first game last night, five of us. We used Merlin's Company too. Within a couple of rounds three of the five were dead. I died the next round, and then there as one who was quickly eaten up by siege engines. There was absolutely no chance any of us could keep up with the black cards. Very quickly Excaliber was lost, the Holy Grail was fast being lost, the Picts and Saxons were creating havoc, the black knight won - and we had hardly any time at all to put any white cards down. It was BANG, BANG, BANG - seems like an impossible game to win or even get remotely close and my family hated it and want me to sell it! We played Ark of the Covenant instead and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

Are we missing something?
 
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Kevin C.
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I haven't played in a long time, but isn't there a way to avoid putting down black cards by losing one life? You may need to do this to stem the tide at some point. You may also need to sacrifice a life point for the extra action to keep the game under control.

Also, how were you going about chosing who did what quest? The game frowns on outright discussion of specific cards, but there should be some, "I'm quite offended by the desecration of our glorious land by these nasty Picts. I'm going to go hand them a solid drubbing" going on so those with proper cards are taking on proper quests.

Also, the "dead in a few rounds" sounds odd. If I recall, losing quests only costs one or two life points. Doesn't everyone start with five or so? It takes much more than a few rounds to lose a quest, so nobody should be dying in the first few rounds.

As I say, I haven't played in a bit, but it sounds like you may have misunderstood a few rules. I would go back over the rulebooks (especially the quest guide) to make sure you were handling quests and their consequences correctly.

Good luck. I do think it is worth the effort as this is a pretty entertaining game.

Take care,

Kevin
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Paul King
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I would suggest playing without Merlin's Company for at least the first few games.

You may also be misplaying somehow, - it is a bit difficult to get killed in the first few rounds, even if you were liberally spending life points to take extra actions.
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Richard Morgan
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Well initially everyone picked up white cards because that's all you can do. And the about three of the first five picked up Despair black cards so anyone with a Holy Grail quickly went there. Meanwhile Excaliber black cards were being picked up a plenty and nobody had anything to counter it. Since you can only put one white card down at a time it was slow going try to keep back the Picts and Saxons. A life was lost when Excaliber was doomed, also either Morgan or Mordred or something made us all lose a life. The the Saxons won and we all lost a life, and something else made everyone lose a life - 4 lives lost for just about everyone after we'd gone round a couple or so times each. Terrible!
 
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Farrell Seymore
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A strategy that has proven to be successful in our group goes as follows:
First of all, it is best to play with at Arthur, Galahad, and Owain. The first step is to try to get as many knights as possible to the Grail to win it first. Take life points as your evil action as much as possible (down to two) and then place seige engines.
Next go the Excalibur. Hopefully win that with Owain for later efficiency against the seige engines.
The main strategy is to hold off on black cards being drawn and have a knight or two fight off engines while other quests are won. Try to leave Merlin, if possible, at the Grail or Excalibur quests after they are won to fight off the seige engines if black cards are drawn. We have won this way many times, even with the traitor in play

Good luck!
 
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Mark Christopher
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Don't you only lose life points on a failed quest if your character is actually on the quest? That is, if a quest is lost and no knights are on it, no one should lose any life.

Or has my group been playing this incorrectly?
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Nick Fisk
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richiebabes wrote:
Well initially everyone picked up white cards because that's all you can do.


Daft question, but ....

Did you deal everyone a starting hand? And do the "everyone chucks one in the middle" thing ?

If so, then there are other things to do apart from just drawing cards.


Quote:
The the Saxons won and we all lost a life


I think you only lose a life if you're on that quest at the time.


Anyway ... Your name is Morgan. You should be trying to lose.




N.
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Gary
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richiebabes wrote:
the Saxons won and we all lost a life, and something else made everyone lose a life


There's the problem - you only lose a life if you're on the quest when it fails. If you were all on the quest when it was lost then that's just a mistake you'll have to avoid in future.

Also, if it's your first game - don't use the Merlin expansion and don't even use the traitor mechanic. Once you can easily beat the game when you're all on the same team, that's the time to ramp up the difficulty.

Also - accept that you're probably going to lose either Excalibur or the Grail eventually (it is after all an accurate historical simulation )
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Richard Morgan
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Oooooooooooh, yes - we made that mistake. Everyone lost a life when we lost a quest, even if nobody was on it (like Excaliber).

What's that about a starting hand? The rules say only to give each person a Merlin card. As far as I remember.

I think we'll play with Merlin but take out some of the nasty travel cards if we play again. Half the time you try and go somewhere but are ambushed or lost!
 
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Man thinks, the river flows.
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    Your next two steps should be:

1. Reread the rules now that you have some play experience under your belt. That should correct any other misconceptions you have.

2. Stop reading strategy solutions here on this site. You can win the game. The joy is in discovering how and everything you read here will lessen that. Play the original package, by the rules, and lose. That's part of the fun, and you'll get better each time. Before long you'll be coming here to tell us how you beat it.

             Sag.


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Jim Henderson
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richiebabes wrote:
What's that about a starting hand? The rules say only to give each person a Merlin card. As far as I remember.

In addition to a Merlin card, each player is dealt 5 white cards at the start. Please reread the rules, as suggested above. The game is hard enough for new players without handicapping yourselves from the start!
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How tall is justice?
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jrodgersh wrote:
richiebabes wrote:
What's that about a starting hand? The rules say only to give each person a Merlin card. As far as I remember.

In addition to a Merlin card, each player is dealt 5 white cards at the start. Please reread the rules, as suggested above. The game is hard enough for new players without handicapping yourselves from the start!

Not only that, but before the first turn, each player contributes a face up card from their hand to a common pool. Those cards are then distributed amongst the knights as they see fit.
 
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Richard Morgan
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Thanks all. I can be a numpty sometimes.
 
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Man thinks, the river flows.
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richiebabes wrote:
Thanks all. I can be a numpty sometimes.


    The Numpty Club isn't terribly exclusive -- we've all been there. Shadows is a good game. I've never regretted my purchase.

             Sag.


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Jayson Smith
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I'm trying to imagine playing a game with only a single Merlin as the starting hand and everyone globally losing points with each quest loss. That's not "Shadows Over Camelot", that's "Fire and Brimstone Wrapped Up In a Category 5 Over Camelot", or possibly "Roland Emmerlich's 2012 Over Camelot".
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