Sunday, July 02, 2006

Shadows Over Camelot: Travel Board

Don't ask me exactly why I did this. Just for fun? An attempt to strip all theme and aesthetics from the original game? To provide a way for people to play the game with minimal space? To prove that the game still works without all the over-designed components? Perhaps a little of each.

Here's what you need to play a complete game of Shadows Over Camelot using this system:
  • 8.5x11 printout of high-res image
  • all Black/White/Loyalty cards
  • 72 cubes
The cube breakdown is as follows:
  • 14 colored cubes, 2 per player
  • 24 black cubes
  • 34 white cubes
It is unlikely you will ever need to use all the cubes since every quest is not usually near full at the same time. Standard 8mm cubes fit nicely on this board. They can be found in many games. Of course, you don't need to specifically use black and white, but dark and light colors will help you remember which cubes are evil and which are good on the board.

I think the board is mostly intuitive. However, I will provide an overview of how to use each section:

General: Solo quests have a single knight icon. All others have 3 knight icons. Each quest has a legend showing the win/loss results. W = white sword, B = black sword, C = white cards, L = life point, SE = siege engine, and * = the relic of the quest. The 4 black arrows show where black cards are placed for the respective quests. Note that the board represents white cards in play using cubes, but the cards themselves must be kept in a pile beside the board until the quest is over. Do not mistakenly discard them or you will be changing the dynamics of the game.

Camelot: The knight icons are where a knight cube of each color is placed. The "Square Table" has space for 12 black/white cubes representing the swords. Place a single black cube on the Siege Engine track to show their number. Place the other colored cube on a row for each knight. The 1-6 die icons show the knight's health (4 is shaded as the starting value). The 3 relic icons are spaces to place the white cubes from their respective quests when a knight wins one or more of them.

Picts/Saxons: Place black cubes onto the Pict/Saxon symbols as the respective cards are drawn. Place and move a single white cube from 1 through 5 as you play White cards.

Excalibur: Place a single white cube on the Excalibur icon. If Excalibur is won, move the white cube to the Excalibur space of the appropriate knight.

Holy Grail: Place a white cube on the Grail icon. Place white cubes starting from the "win" space as Grail card are played. Place black cubes starting from the "lose" space as Despair cards are drawn. If the Grail is won, move the white cube to the Grail space of the appropriate knight.

Black Knight: Place a white cube on each 1-5 track indicating the value of the card played. Place a white cube on the 1-2 tracks indicating how many cards of that value have been played.

Lancelot/Dragon: Similar to the Black Knight. Place a white cube in the Lancelot's Armor box, and a black cube in the Dragon box. The single knight icon indicates that the Lancelot quest is a solo quest. The 2 shaded knights indicate that the Dragon quest can be occupied by all knights. The shaded boxes are only used for the Dragon quest. If Lancelot's Armor is won, move the white cube to the Armor space of the appropriate knight. Subsequently, the presence of the Dragon cube indicates that the Dragon quest has not been completed.

If anyone actually tries this thing, please let me know how it worked for you, and if anything needs tweaking. The sheer number of cubes needed to maintain all the information may be more cumbersome than the game itself.

Of course, another possibility is to print the board on cardboard and laminate it. Then you could use a grease pencil (or some other erasable marker) to place circles and filled circles in the spaces. This option would remove all 72 cubes from the requirements.


At 7:40 AM, Blogger Yehuda said...

Nice. If only I didn't need the cubes.


At 9:30 PM, Blogger Gary Rumain said...

Maybe you can use chits with magnetic backing. There would still be a large number of chits, but it would be easier than cubes...

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Jason Little said...

Insane! Clever and interesting, but most definitely insane. Though breaking it down into this skeletal frame does make me rethink exactly what "theme" means to a game, if it's fairly artificial and only apparent due to component development and artwork.

At 2:08 PM, Blogger ekted said...

Well, my theme-stripping comment was mostly sarcastic. Even if you used this board, the cards/mechanics alone are evocative enough to keep the game strongly themed. Speaking as a role-player, theme is easily half the fun in Shadows.

At 4:39 PM, Blogger Fellonmyhead said...

Speaking as a role-player, theme is easily half the fun in Shadows.



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