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Subject: You don't need a traitor to have a traitor... rss

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Tyler A
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Let me start off by saying that this was my FIRST time playing Shadows Over Camelot (SOC), and that as a group we certainly played poorly (you will see how poorly soon) and confused some rules and actions--if you notice mistakes, feel free to point them out, but give me a break.

Moreover, since it was my first time playing, the details I will be able to provide you with will be brief, but really, you didn't care that much about the game I played with my friends anyways.

It was a 4 player game, and we drew from all of the Traitor/Loyal cards. We started off trying to spread out a bit too aggressively and promptly lost a fight against the Pikes and failed the Holy Grail quest. Ugh...

Some strategic adjustment brought us back within sight of victory, we defeated the Saxons, won Excalibur, and got that fancy armor. In the process we also lost the fight against the dark knight once or twice and ended up with 6 black swords and 5 white swords on the round table.

A long discussion ensued and we decided our best bet was to win the Saxon fight twice to win. We merlin'ed other cards to keep from losing other quests (and the game) and managed to win the Saxon fight quickly. We rushed back to Camelot, drew cards and eventually were in position to win the Saxon fight a second time and win the game.

At this point I should note, we had basically (through reason) proven that there was no traitor in the game. With only 1 black sword needed for victory, the potential traitor, would have had ample opportunities to accuse another knight and drop the 7th black sword on the round table. Everyone felt pretty comfortable that if we avoided drawing too many siege engines it was going to be a player victory--in our first game none the less.

Enter Knight Palamedes.

Holding the 5-value fight card, ready to end the game, Palamedes suddenly remembers the rule that if the traitor is undiscovered at games end, two white swords are flipped to black on the round table.

Much of the game, Palamedes had suspected another knight of treason (specifically the knight who had played before and was teaching us all the rules). Palamedes begins talking himself into the idea that the knight he suspected knew he could win the game but delayed winning in hopes of a more dramatic victory.

Lured by the chance to make the most epic traitor identification ever, Palamedes (with the winning card in his hand) accuses the suspected knight of treason. In a fit of frustration, the accused knight turned over his LOYAL card and the knights of Camelot lose in spectacular fashion: snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

You don't always need a traitor to have a traitor...
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Roman Serebryakov
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Ha ha!
I can't believe it! This is an awesome story of getting the lost on a win game. Did you have a fun time at least?


Prestoneous wrote:
Let me start off by saying that this was my FIRST time playing Shadows Over Camelot (SOC), and that as a group we certainly played poorly (you will see how poorly soon) and confused some rules and actions--if you notice mistakes, feel free to point them out, but give me a break.

Moreover, since it was my first time playing, the details I will be able to provide you with will be brief, but really, you didn't care that much about the game I played with my friends anyways.

It was a 4 player game, and we drew from all of the Traitor/Loyal cards. We started off trying to spread out a bit too aggressively and promptly lost a fight against the Pikes and failed the Holy Grail quest. Ugh...

Some strategic adjustment brought us back within sight of victory, we defeated the Saxons, won Excalibur, and got that fancy armor. In the process we also lost the fight against the dark knight once or twice and ended up with 6 black swords and 5 white swords on the round table.

A long discussion ensued and we decided our best bet was to win the Saxon fight twice to win. We merlin'ed other cards to keep from losing other quests (and the game) and managed to win the Saxon fight quickly. We rushed back to Camelot, drew cards and eventually were in position to win the Saxon fight a second time and win the game.

At this point I should note, we had basically (through reason) proven that there was no traitor in the game. With only 1 black sword needed for victory, the potential traitor, would have had ample opportunities to accuse another knight and drop the 7th black sword on the round table. Everyone felt pretty comfortable, that if we avoided drawing too many siege engines it was going to be a player victory--in our first game none the less.

Enter Knight Palamedes.

Holding the 5-value fight card, ready to end the game, Palamedes suddenly remembers the rule that if the traitor is undiscovered at games end, two white swords are flipped to black on the round table.

Much of the game, Palamedes had suspected another knight of treason (specifically the knight who had played before and was teaching us all the rules). Palamedes begins talking himself into the idea that, the knight he suspected, knew he could win the game but delayed winning in hopes of a more dramatic victory.

Lured by the chance to make the most epic traitor identification ever, Palamedes (with the winning card in his hand) accuses the suspected knight of treason. In a fit of frustration, the accused knight turned over his LOYAL card and the knights of Camelot lose in spectacular fashion: snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

You don't always need a traitor to have a traitor...
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Sheldon Morris
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Haha!! Great story!
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Tyler A
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orange_wacko wrote:
Ha ha!
Did you have a fun time at least?

This result made me want to play again SO badly. Just the idea that the traitor could so strongly impact another player even when it turns out he wasn't in the game made this a blast!

As Palamedes pointed out, we won't forget about this session for a LONG time.
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Yao-ban Chan
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Heh, great story.

A couple rules I think you may have played incorrectly (off the top of my head, so you may wish to check):

The game ends when there are 12 swords of any colour on the table. So when you won the Saxon quest the first time, you should have lost due there being 6 black and 6 white swords.

If a traitor is accused incorrectly, you turn a white sword over to black, as opposed to adding a black sword. However, if a traitor is accused correctly, you add a white sword.
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Brandon Holmes
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This is awesome! I have this game coming to me in a trade and this is exactly the type of story I want to play out in my games.

Love it!
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Pieter
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Actually, you already lost. The game is lost as soon as the sixth seventh black sword is placed on the table, never mind how many swords there already are.

And if there is a tie between black and white swords at the game's end, the knights also lose, so you would not have won by scoring one more white sword, even after forgetting the previous rule.

The only exception to the first rule is when the sixth black sword appears at game end. For instance, if there are six white swords and four black ones, and the knights win Excalibur, two white swords are added. There are now nine white and four black swords. Then it is shown that there is an unrevealed traitor, so two white swords turn black. There are now seven whites and six blacks, and the knights win.

EDIT: It seems I have always been playing the game wrong. So the OP was not in an "already lost game." Though the "tie"-statement holds.
 
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Bob McMurray
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
Actually, you already lost. The game is lost as soon as the sixth black sword is placed on the table, never mind how many swords there already are.


Seeing as how the OP is new to the game I wanted to make sure the OP was very clear on this rule. As is clearly stated on each knight's card, you immediately lose on the SEVENTH black sword not the sixth. Also, if it's 8 to 7 in favor of the knights, after a traitor turns over two whites, the knights still lose. There are no "exceptions" to any of the losing conditions.

And, yes, in the scenario where there are 6 white swords and 6 black swords at game's end the knights lose as ties are always resolved in favor of evil.

Finally, again to make sure you're clear on this, you CAN win with six black swords on the round table. Here's an example of how:

5 whites
6 blacks

The knights win the Black Knight quest with Heroism on it - add 2 white swords; game ends.

7 whites
6 blacks

Given there is no unrevealed traitor and the sword count stands as-is, the knights are victorious.
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Travis Hall
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Bob is correct on all counts. However, I'm going to add an examination of one very unusual case.

Islay wrote:
There are no "exceptions" to any of the losing conditions.

There are no exceptions, it is true, but players should also remember the order in which the relevant rules are assessed.

If seven black swords are on the Round Table at any time during the game, the game immediately ends with a loss. However, if there are ever 12 swords in total on the Round Table, the game ends at that point (and may or may not be lost depending on the number of black and white swords on the Round Table, after checking whether there is a hidden Traitor). The rules are assessed in that order, too, so if the twelfth sword is also the seventh black sword, the game immediately ends with a loss for the loyal knights.

However, suppose there are five black swords and six white swords on the Round Table, and the loyal knights win the Grail quest while Heroism has been played on it. Four white swords will be added to the Round Table, giving 14 swords in total and ending the game. Further suppose that there is still a hidden traitor. Two white swords are now flipped to black.

That leaves the final count of swords as 8 white swords and 7 black swords.

In this case, the loyal knights still win, because the game has already ended when the seventh black sword appears. The "game ends with a loss" conditions no longer apply.

So, no exceptions, but some quite odd edge cases. Fortunately, they are all resolved by applying the rules strictly and in the appropriate order.
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Bob McMurray
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Wraith wrote:
That leaves the final count of swords as 8 white swords and 7 black swords.

In this case, the loyal knights still win, because the game has already ended when the seventh black sword appears. The "game ends with a loss" conditions no longer apply.


Interesting, very subtle. We've played over 200 games of this and never had this come up. But, I will concede we would have catalouged it as a loss. I did not know that "game ends with a loss" conditions no longer apply once the 12th sword has hit and you start to bookkeep. I will most certainly defer to Wraith. Our next 200 will be played with this understanding.

Btw, OP - neat story. I particularly like how the threat of a traitor was just enough to undermine the knights efforts. It sort of reminds me of a 'Cold War' suspense thriller or something where paranoia rules the day.
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Travis Hall
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Islay wrote:
I did not know that "game ends with a loss" conditions no longer apply once the 12th sword has hit and you start to bookkeep. I will most certainly defer to Wraith.

Not just to me. Antoine from Days of Wonder has confirmed this, having checked with Bruno Cathala. See this thread on the Days of Wonder forums.
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Tyler A
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Orntt wrote:
The game ends when there are 12 swords of any colour on the table. So when you won the Saxon quest the first time, you should have lost due there being 6 black and 6 white swords.

Thanks for the rule clarifications. This certainly seems like the rule we most egregious violated. We could have also taken on the dragon question and run into the same situation.

Islay wrote:
t sort of reminds me of a 'Cold War' suspense thriller or something where paranoia rules the day.

I felt the same way. It was like McCarthyism and it was a blast. Not surprising that Twilight Struggle is another of my favorite games given how awesome and awful I thought this traitor situation was.
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Benjamin Maggi
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Prestoneous wrote:
Lured by the chance to make the most epic traitor identification ever, Palamedes (with the winning card in his hand) accuses the suspected knight of treason. In a fit of frustration, the accused knight turned over his LOYAL card and the knights of Camelot lose in spectacular fashion: snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.


I would only add (notwithstanding the rules errors mentioned above) that in Palamedes defense he didn't know he had the winning card in in hand until the game ended. No one knew he had the winning card in his hand when the game ended. Even if he knew the card would complete the quest, he nor anyeone else could fully know that it was a "winning" card because a traitor had not been identified yet. In that situation, his moves were ironic but not completely illogical.

I have played many games where if I had attacked someone my turn, or played a certain card in a certain order, I would have been guaranteed a win once viewed in hindsight. But in that initial instant, I had no way of knowing.

I love this type of story. I have wanted this game forever, and stories like this have moved it up to my #1 wanted game! Thanks for sharing. :)
 
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