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Subject: Why aren't the first six evil actions to put siege engines into play? rss

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Peter Spierenburg
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According to the rules, one can make an accusation if there are six siege engines in play, even if there are no white swords. The consequences of such an accusation being incorrect appear to be nonexistant:

"If the Knight you accused turns out to be Loyal, turn a White Sword (if any) over to its Black side on the Round Table. If there is no White Sword on the Round Table yet, the (wrong) accusation has no effect."

It seems to me that this rule makes it advantageous to accuse early, when there are no white swords, since there is no consequence.

Isn't it the best strategy for the loyal players to simply add siege engines at every opportunity and then accuse the player on their left when the total reaches six? There should be no white swords in play to turn over. I see two possible outcomes:

1. There is no traitor. You now have performed six heroic actions, played six siege engines, you know everyone is loyal, and there are n extra evil actions (one per player) to deal with. If our first game is any indication (we never received a Black Sword, nobody died, and we had all three artefacts at the very end) this should be an easy victory.

2. There is a traitor. You now have performed six heroic actions, played six siege engines, the traitor is revealed, and there are a maximum of n extra evil actions (one per accuser) to deal with. This has to be bad for the traitor since he now has n-1 opponents who are only to happy to trust each other and work together.

What am I missing?

Peter.

P.S. My roommate suggests that the words "If there is no White Sword on the Round Table yet, the (wrong) accusation has no effect." should be taken to mean that any accusation made while there is not white sword is null and void. The accusee is not required to reveal his loyalty card since that would be an effect.
 
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Brian Newman
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What are you missing? The fact that you've now got 6 siege engines out! As the game progresses, siege engines are put out faster and faster -- as people stop wanting to take life points or draw black cards, as the Pict and Saxon quests keep recycling, and as the one-shot quests are completed and their black cards convert to siege engine cards.
 
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mark sellmeyer
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on top of quickly getting buried by seige engines you just wasted everyone's turn for a whole round getting no cards or working towards no quests. its too tight a game to waste any turns. I realize that you might have the peace of mind of having no traitor, but if you do have a traitor he can start adding a seige engine every turn to the six that you already have. They can also start randomly making a player discard a card everyturn. Since its early in the game he would have a one in six chance of getting rid of a merlin card. ouch.
 
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Peter Spierenburg
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Blackberry wrote:
What are you missing? The fact that you've now got 6 siege engines out!


But I'm not missing that. I mentioned it specifically. Six siege engines is not a big deal. In our first game, played without benefit of a traitor, we beat the game handily. We filled the table with white swords, we didn't get any black swords, we didn't lose any knights, and we retrieved all three artefacts and didn't spend the Grail. We managed this by virtue of the fact that we could trust each other, and could therefore work together to achieve the quests.

My point is that a game with the traitor doesn't look much more difficult, providing that you identify him as early as possible. Once the traitor is identified, the other players can work together to achieve the quests (including destroying siege engines), and the traitor can play all the card-drawing, and siege engine games he likes. Maybe the game won't go as swimmingly as our first one, but we should win.
 
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Peter Spierenburg
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artmark wrote:
you just wasted everyone's turn for a whole round getting no cards or working towards no quests.


Umm. Actually, the first six turns could theoretically net the loyal players up to twelve white cards. If there is a traitor, you are wasting (n/2)-1 turns on false accusations (on average).

Further, the dark sides of those quests aren't getting any cards either.

 
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Brian Newman
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But you can get those same 12 cards by losing 6 life points. Now you have all the white cards and no siege engines out.
 
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Rod Spade
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I had the same idea, and played the beginning of a "solo" game to test it.

The siege engines become a problem before the game is done, and the revealed traitor is actually more powerful than a traitor who is being "helpful" to avoid detection.

Nevertheless, I'd like to hear from someone who tries this in a real game. The traitor should always add a siege engine, and take a card from whomever is fighting them. And remember, you can not draw white cards and fight a siege engine, even if you spend a life point.
 
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Peter Spierenburg
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Blackberry wrote:
But you can get those same 12 cards by losing 6 life points. Now you have all the white cards and no siege engines out.


You're missing my point. I *WANT* to have six siege engines out so that players can make accusations. I think that revealing the traitor (or the fact that there is no traitor) early is very powerful for the loyal knights because it eliminates the barrier of distrust. I am suggesting that a group of well-played knights whom are able to trust one another and work together are more powerful than a well-played traitor with the corresponding lead.

Consider this. If the traitor IS in play, and is not revealed before the end of the game, that is a six sword swing at the round table. First off, the traitor can accuse anyone they like (since he knows they are all loyal) to turn a white sword black. Secondly, at the end of the game, an unrevealed traitor can swing two additional white swords to black. That is a total of six swords. Add to that the white sword you get when you reveal the traitor, and you are talking about the whole margin of victory!
 
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Dane Peacock
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rodspade wrote:
And remember, you can not draw white cards and fight a siege engine, even if you spend a life point.


This is exactly right, and I believe one of the most missed rules in the game.

One knight will not be able to remove a catapult every turn. Every two turns would be very optimistic, and I bet the average is closer to one catapult per every three turns, even with Arthur's help.

The other knights will have to draw cards every turn. This means that there are more bad cards being drawn and less knights on quests. The black swords could pile up very quickly.

spierepf wrote:
In our first game, played without benefit of a traitor, we beat the game handily. We filled the table with white swords, we didn't get any black swords, we didn't lose any knights, and we retrieved all three artefacts and didn't spend the Grail.


Just like our first game, but in addition, we had all knights end with 6 health, there were no catapults left on the board, we used no table talk, it was a three player game.

Just kidding.

I'm with rodspade. I would be very interested to see how this plays out. I am not as optimistic about it as spierpf, but it might have a chance in a 7 player game.
 
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Brian Newman
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I guess I would have to play it more. In the games I've played, starting from zero siege engines out, we went to 10 very quickly and then struggled to keep them from devastating us. Having an active traitor who can add one a turn, on top of having six already out to start the game, just doesn't seem viable to me. Okay, you know who the traitor is, but you'll lose even quicker than normal.
 
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Matthew Fisk
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It also depends on the volume of players. In a six player game the knights have a much easier time keeping up with the siege engines so you can take more of a risk that way. However in a 3 player game it is a VERY different story...

And if you do show the traitor early you might as well forget the solo quests, because he is going to be picking cards right out of the hand of any knight that goes there. Being as how Lancelots Armor is one of those and a VERY handy thing to have for the loyalists you are shooting yourself in the foot.

It is also to your advantage to spend the first time around the table (IMHO) pulling black cards so you can know where to focus your efforts. It is silly to go after the picts while placing siege engines on the table only to start seeing Saxons show up.
 
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Matthew Fisk
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Double Post - odd - only hit the button once.
 
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mark sellmeyer
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Also if outing the possible traitor early would be a low risk procedure, wouldn't you be taking away one of the better twists of the game by doing so.
 
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Cameron Loewen
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Siege engines aren't really a big deal- it isn't difficult to keep their population under control as long as you can achieve the requisite white swords elsewhere.

The possible drawback to this strategy, if any, is that the traitor becomes far more powerful (albiet very boring to play) after he is unmasked. He no longer must help the knights and can taunt as well, wheras the hidden traitor has no specal power and needs to make a show of advancing his enemies cause. If your games tend to be close and your traitors subtle then it can help, otherwise it seems pointless.
 
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mark sellmeyer
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Then there is the problem of getting the whole group to agree on the opening tactic. The group I played with last sunday got into arguments over players who wouldn't give up life points to avoid drawing black cards at critical juntions. Then again these are gamers who feel constricted on what sides they are playing in axis and allies.
 
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Aaron Watson
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My first several games thats what I would do... Add a seige engine, seems harmless enough. But as subsequent quests were completed, the seige engines came faster and faster. Each game denegrated to us all rushing to camelot to try and hold off the onslaught of engines. We could never safely break away to complete quests and would eventually succumb to the siege engines.

I'm now much more in favor of drawing black cards and letting the siege engines accumulate at their own pace. I WILL choose a seige engine if a particular bad black card draw would screw over a quest or if sacrifcing life would be too dangerous.

I really dig this game and don't like revealing the traitor too early.
Not only is it less fun for the traitor, thats one less guy furthering "good" each turn and one more guy taking cards out of my hand!

This game is a hit with my gaming group and a good exercise in cooperating.
 
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Paul Sauberer
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Blackberry wrote:
What are you missing? The fact that you've now got 6 siege engines out! As the game progresses, siege engines are put out faster and faster -- as people stop wanting to take life points or draw black cards, as the Pict and Saxon quests keep recycling, and as the one-shot quests are completed and their black cards convert to siege engine cards.


Actually if there is a traitor there will be 7 siege engines out. If this course of action is followed, the traitor will opt to add a 7th siege engine if he/she will be uncovered anyway.

With only 5 more siege engines left, it will be very tough to win unless at least two knights are assigned to combat them. That would cut down on who can go on the quests.

I would think that this strategy would doom the loyal knights.
 
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Sam Butler
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I would have to agree that siege engines quickly overwhelm you...at least on 4-player games...and this with no disloyal knights!

Also, I think someone else hit the nail on its head when they said that there is no effect for an improper accusation without swords on the table. ..which in the spirit of the game would mean that there is no revelation and no negative effect.

Sam
 
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Mike P
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There is one BIG problem I see with this and any other 'unbeatable' tactics for the knights...

IF this is actually a valid tactic, what would you do as the traitor?

It just seems like people are trying to break the game in one direction or the other. Why? It would be like me saying that if white moves the queen's knight four times in a row in chess, then black can't win. Now what do you do the next time you play black?
 
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Cameron Loewen
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In chess, you'd figure out a way to punish white for playing with only a single knight. In shadows however, the field between traitor and knights is hardly even- the knights are the ones with all the power. The traitor has no way to directly damage the knight's cause; all he has is the threat of two flipped swords at games end which may or may not matter or the weak taunting ability. Diplomatic tactics aside, the traitor has only two real options:
1. play as a (ineffective) loyal knight for the flipped swords at games end.
2. be overtly traitorous by wasting time, blocking solo quests, etc.

The traitor doesn't have the power to respond to any sort of knight strategy. He/she is merely there to provide a scare to the knights if not revealed by game end.

If, for example, it can be shown that revealing the traitor early by a series of knight actions will break the game then that's the first step to fixing that problem.
 
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David Tolin
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butsam wrote:
Also, I think someone else hit the nail on its head when they said that there is no effect for an improper accusation without swords on the table. ..which in the spirit of the game would mean that there is no revelation and no negative effect.


I'd actually like to hear other people's thoughts on this. Personally, this isn't how I interpret the rule text at all. Can't you make an accusation with six siege engines out and no white swords? In this event, the revelation is still made, but there is no white sword to turn black. So, no real negative consequence of making the accusation.
 
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Paul Sauberer
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DavidT wrote:
butsam wrote:
Also, I think someone else hit the nail on its head when they said that there is no effect for an improper accusation without swords on the table. ..which in the spirit of the game would mean that there is no revelation and no negative effect.


I'd actually like to hear other people's thoughts on this. Personally, this isn't how I interpret the rule text at all. Can't you make an accusation with six siege engines out and no white swords? In this event, the revelation is still made, but there is no white sword to turn black. So, no real negative consequence of making the accusation.


I think that is reasonable. If it were the case that there would be no revelation, then the rules would say that no accusation can be made unless there are six siege engines and at least one white sword out. The accusation would be prohibited, not just allowed but with no purpose.
 
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Alex

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This could be a good strategy... if there is no traitor. In fact, in this situation, it is almost a guanranteed win. But otherwise...devil

But this is a definitely unfun strategy, and particularly powerful with 3 players (where you seldom see the traitor, but really need maximum cooperation). One solution could be: "If there is no white sword to turn on a wrong accusation, add a black sword instead."

Here is a link to the discussion on the french forum of the game:

http://www.sergelaget.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1680
 
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spierepf wrote:

...Six siege engines is not a big deal. In our first game, played without benefit of a traitor, we beat the game handily. We filled the table with white swords, we didn't get any black swords, we didn't lose any knights, and we retrieved all three artefacts and didn't spend the Grail. We managed this by virtue of the fact that we could trust each other, and could therefore work together to achieve the quests.

My point is that a game with the traitor doesn't look much more difficult, providing that you identify him as early as possible. Once the traitor is identified, the other players can work together to achieve the quests (including destroying siege engines), and the traitor can play all the card-drawing, and siege engine games he likes. Maybe the game won't go as swimmingly as our first one, but we should win.


I find that extremely hard to believe - are you sure you played with the correct rules (the most important ones likely being that, on your turn, you can only play 1 white card towards the completion of a quest; and NO communication about the specifics of your hand are allowed)? Maybe you were just very very lucky - I've played several games (all with a traitor) and it is almost always a struggle. When I was the traitor, I hardly did anything at all - the game itself defeated the rest.

Also, I think revealing the traitor too early is a mistake - his ability to taunt, and to add seige engines can be very bad (especially if he gets Lancelot's Armor, although that wouldn't happen in your strategy). In our games, it has NOT been easy to both complete quests and fight off seige engines.
 
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Brü Meister
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Sky Knight X wrote:
rodspade wrote:
And remember, you can not draw white cards and fight a siege engine, even if you spend a life point.


This is exactly right, and I believe one of the most missed rules in the game.


Am I missing something?? I have looked in the rules and nowhere does it say that you cannot draw cards AND fight a seige engine in the same turn by using a life point.

According to the rules as long as you use a seperate heroic action when you spend a lifepoint you can draw cards AND then complete a seperate heroic action. When you are in Camelot this consists of fighting seige engines.

 
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