“Shadows over Camelot” review

Shadows Over Camelot

«Shadows over Camelot» is one of the most famous board games around the world which was created by Serge Laget and Bruno Cathala. They are famous for their attitudes to work and their doors are always opened to new ideas in game developing.

Serge Laget is a famous French board game developer. He took part in collaborative work on many projects and not only in «Shadows over Camelot» by «Days of Wonder».

Bruno Cathala works with a lot of other artist in many projects and «Shadows over Camelot» is just one of them.

Inside the box

Inside the box you will find all the useful content for this game such as – one master gameboard, three double-sided Quest boards, thirty miniatures of the Knights including 12 siege engines, three relics (Excalibur, Holy Grail and Lancelot’s Armor) , four Saxon and four Pict warriors and Seven Knights (King Arthur, Sir Gawain, Sir Galahad, Sir Kay, Sir Palamedes, Sir Percival and Sir Tristan), 168 characters, events and loyalty cards, seven Coats of Arms, eight dice, sixteen swords of the Round Table, one booklet of Rules, One Book of Quests, A Days of Wonder Online access number, which is located on the back of the Rules booklet. All the brilliant illustrations were painted by French artist Julien Delval. He is famous for illustrations for games such as Magic Circle and many others.

Shadows over Camelot Game Table

Gameplay

“Shadows over Camelot” is a cooperative game. Players play in group to defeat the game system itself. But there is an opportunity that one of the knights is secretly a traitor and his existence turns a simple game system into paranoia.

Each turn a player suffers the “progression of evil”. After it each player takes a heroic action. It includes moving or returning from a place of quest and going through the quest to victory by playing a “special white” card, unmasking three identical cards to gain one life point, or blaming one knight of being a traitor. Moreover, being at Camelot, the player has the choice of defeating a siege engine or drawing two white cards in addition to the normal heroic action.

The board of Shadows over Camelot depicts a number of locations, each with an associated quest. The quests for the Holy Grail, Excalibur Sword, and Armor of Lancelot’s can be only accomplished just once but the wars and the Black Knight tournament are the repeating events. You will have to develop a tricky strategy because your target is the game itself and not the people!

Shadows over Camelot Figures

Rules

The rules of this game are not obvious like in other kind of games when players compete just to achieve victory… Players stand against this game itself! «Shadows over Camelot» provides us the greatest journey of all times where you can find both friends and traitors in your midst!

Significant contents

There are three main categories of card in this game which are:

  1. Loyalty Cards – they determine on which side you will be – If you take Loyal card – you play for the Camelot and the Knights and if it’s Traitor – you play for The Evil.
  2. White Cards – they provide a variety of «Good» events or characters which can help you through this game. White Cards have two categories – Standard and Special. You can identify the Special Card and Standard one by a special symbol. Special Cards are more powerful and rarer.
  3. Black Cards – they provide good news for Traitors and bad news for Knights. There are also Standard and Special Black cards. Special Black cards are more dangerous and you can see the special symbol on them.

Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms is where you keep your Life die, information about Relics you can win and where you hide your Loyalty Card at the game start. Also it shows the information about the character of yours such as Special Power and etc.

Quests

There are big varieties of quests In «Shadows over Camelot». These quests have something in common. For example: a name and a symbol which represent the Quest on game board, the Quest and enemies place that could appear there, certain location of cards (Black or White) which must be played to go through the Quest, certain King position to show if the Quest is available for all the Knights or it is a Solo Quest.

In each Quest there is a one or more Black Cards or Evil actions connected with them and one or more White Cards that can be played or Heroic Actions to be performed. If you need more specific information about the Quests please refer to the Book of Quests.

Relics

This game has a plenty of powerful Relics which will help you on your hard way to achieve glorious victory. When you win one of the Quests you will take one of the Relics (Excalibur, Holy Grail, Lancelot’s Armor) to your Coat of Arms! But if the Quest is lost the Relic will disappear forever.

Swords of the Round Table

There are two kinds of Swords in «Shadows over Camelot» – Black and White. They are used to show the progress throughout the game.

Swords of the Round Table

Objects of the Game

In «Shadows over Camelot» you and your friends make a coalition to resist the armies of Evil, Saxons and Picts and also you must find the Relics.

Every Quest has an objective. If you fail the Quest you must put the Sword black side up on the Round Table and if you win you should put it white side up.

The Game ends if one of the following events happened:

  1. If the Camelot surrounded by 12 siege engines;
  2. If there is a seven Black swords on the Round Table
  3. If all the Loyal Knights are killed.

The Game is won if the majority of White Swords are placed on the Round Table.

Note: For more information read the Booklet of Rules here

Design

As we can see, this board game has been made by French artist Bruno Cathala. «Shadows over Camelot» provide us very colorful and atmospheric world with Dragons, Wizards and Knights. All the characters and figures are made with full correspondence with historical data. It’s a pleasure not only to play in this game but even watch it!

Similar Games

Many people say that «Shadows over Camelot» is quite similar with «Pandemic» and «Battlestar Galactica» (last one is a bit complicated than «Shadows over Camelot»). They are also co-operative and they have traitors in the game play. It would be interesting to play in «Shadows over Camelot» for «Saboteur» fans.

Expansions

Shadows Over Camelot Merlin’s Company Expansion

Shadows over Camelot - Merlin's Company Expansion
Buy Merlin’s Company

Expansion Set «Company of Knights»

This set includes 8 plastic hand-painted figures which were not seen anywhere before. Usually, expansion packs change the game fundamentally but it’s not that case. For example, in «Pandemic» you play as a human against the virus but in Expansion Pack you have the opportunity to play as a virus against humanity.

Youtube

Conclusion

This game will fit for every person! It’s not only about action in the game but also a psychological aspect because even among your comrades there will always be a traitor. It makes you feel paranoid! Also this game has a wonderful illustration! Figures, cards, characters – all of it is hand-crafted and pleasant for your eyes! Gameplay is really amazing because It’s not the obvious player vs. player kind. The thing is you must conquer the Game! Funny, isn’t it? To sum it up, If you are fan of such games as «Pandemic», «Battlestar Galactica» or «Saboteur» and you like the Medieval Legends about King Arthur and all this fantasy stuff this Game is for you! You will find the link to buy «Shadows over Camelot»