Board game session: Shadows Over Camelot

I own many board games, probably too many for my own good.  They run the gamut from simple 2-player card games to complex war games with hundreds of pieces.  My biggest problem is that I have no one to play them with.  I’ve been to the local game shop and tried to play there, but they normally have gaming sessions on Friday and Saturday nights, the times I spend with my family.  Besides, most of the players there are experts at most of the games and it ends up being tough to keep up with them.
So I decided to host my own monthly gaming session at my house and invite friends and co-workers with the same interests.  This post and several others will be reports of how those gaming sessions went.  The people who play with me are not hardcore gamers, although a few of them play D&D with me on a regular basis.  These players are all college-educated professionals with day jobs and families.

First session was Shadows Over Camelot from Days of Wonder.  I chose this game because we had 6 players and 2 players joined the game later for a total of 8 people.  Shadows is a mostly cooperative game where each player picks a knight of King Arthur’s round table.  It’s a combination board/card/miniature game where we try to complete quests like Excalibur, the Holy Grail and defend Camelot from outside forces like Saxons, Picts, and siege engines.  But there is a twist.  One of the players is secretly a traitor who is trying to destroy Camelot while pretending to help the other knights.

If you’ve never played a cooperative game before, this one is great to start.  We spent many hours negotiating with each other over the moves that would help each other.  When the traitor was finally revealed, we all quickly banded together to try and stop him.  But it was late in the game and he had already poisoned the game the way he should have.  I highly recommend this game if you like your Arthurian legends and like playing cooperatively.  Shadows made me realize that no matter how advanced video games become, nothing can replace the awesome personal interaction of board games.

For a more detailed description of the game, go to Board Game Geek here or at the official site

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