Monday, December 31, 2012

Board Game Review: Shadows Over Camelot

Sunday last week, as well as yesterday, I went out to the local English used bookstore/cafe to play board games.  I haven't made it out to a board game meet-up in a long time, and the Busan Board Game club has now climbed up to 50 members on the Facebook page.  It's become a thing.

Anyway, Josh is back in town and he brought a few games, and Bill took advantage of sales on an internet vendor's site and bought a bunch of new games as well.  So I had the chance to play five new (to me at least) games.

The first game we played was Shadows Over Camelot, by Days of Wonder.  This is a cooperative game with an (obviously) Arthurian theme.  The object is for the various knights of the Round Table to go on quests.  Success results in earning white swords to put on the table.  Failure gains black swords.  If the table is full and there are more black swords (or twelve catapults are placed in front of Camelot by the besiegers), the players lose.  Earn 7 or more white swords before there are 12 catapults and the players win.

The wrinkle in the game comes from the Traitor mechanic, which we actually didn't use last week because it was a first run sort of game to learn the rules.  We had planned to play the full game yesterday, but unfortunately Josh couldn't make it.  Anyway, in the full game, one player could possibly be a traitor, trying to sabotage the various quests.

Sidenote: Josh, if you're reading this, and you've got time to play this week, I'm on vacation.  Let's make it happen.

The physical components are really high quality, including some nice plastic figures for the Knights, Saxons and Picts, and the catapults.  DoW even produces and sells the knight figures separately and I may pick up that set just to use for gaming.  They're larger than normal gaming minis, but then my collection is fairly haphazard anyway.  The boards (main board and various side quest boards) all look nice, and the cards are nicely sized as well (unlike, say, Arkham Horror, which has so many cards that they needed to make them all tiny).

I'd been waiting for a chance to play this game for several years.  I had even talked about it on my radio show - way back when I had a radio show.  I wasn't disappointed.  Even playing it knowing there wasn't a traitor, it was fun and challenging.  We managed to win, but it wasn't a given.  If you're in to cooperative board games, it's definitely worth trying out.


  1. i will be going up on weds if you can make it. alex may also be in town.

    ps: arkham as well?

  2. They open at 7 to midnight on Wednesdays. May not have time for both. I'll text you if I can make it out.

  3. I bought this game a few years back and I've played it twice. I just don't get together with friends enough anymore to play board games as it is, and sadly this game (along with many others) sit on my shelf gathering dust. Every year, I stress a resolution to correct this lack of boardgaming, but so far it's been hard to change. Maybe 2013 will be different...