A cooperative boardgame with a malevolent twist!
By Serge Laget & Bruno Cathala
For 3 - 7 players
It all starts in Camelot, where, newly knighted, you proudly sit at the Round Table.
The famed Table of legend is empty, for now.
Swords are needed; White Swords, to be more precise.
For it's only once at least twelve Swords lay on the Round Table, a majority of them White, that you and your fellow Knights will get to enjoy a hard-fought victory.
Be mindfull of the Black ones though: Foul tainted and dipped in blood, the work of unspeakable Evil, Black Swords find their way on the Round Table each time a Quest is lost. Seven of them at any point during the game, and all is lost!
In Camelot, Swords are won, not found; and they don't come easy! Venturing out in the countryside, you must progressively win them in Quests from which legends are born.
Merlin saw many a Knight before you fail in this noble task. At your side at the game's start, you would do well to heed his advice.
So let him take you on a quick tour of the Kingdom...
Camelot is a haven of peace in this turbulent world.
In Camelot, you can look for respite, drawing from the White deck in search of friendly allies and favorable events;
And sometimes too, against your own judgement, you will find yourself drawing from the Black deck. For fear of what the alternatives might be...
One of those sobering alternatives can be heard nightly, right outside the Castle's remparts. For the ennemy is tirelessly felling trees to assemble new catapults and lay siege to Camelot.
Beware: If, at any point during the game, the fields outside Camelot are covered with 12 Siege Engines, all is lost!
As you ponder your choices and discover the rules of the land, your future looks bleak indeed.
As you have now guessed, in Shadows over Camelot, every little step toward victory, no matter how small, exacts a terrible price; for every heroic action on your part will be overshadowed by one of three equally distasteful choices you will have to make:
In the Shadows, a Traitor is smirking...
But soldier on!
Outside Camelot's walls, beyond the fields, a number of common threats keep gathering.
Saxons and Picts, sometimes reinforced with mercenary contingents, are on the march, as if summoned to War by cards drawn from the Black deck.
In a race against time, you attempt to muster the required troops (an ascending straight of five Fight cards) to combat before they land four of their own on the board.
Victory brings a White Sword, defeat a Black one and yet more Siege Engines!
Ever ready, the Black Knight is a formidable joust opponent. Astride his warhorse, he charges from across the field, building up forces (the Black Knight cards) and picking up speed, before crashing in your own defenses (two pairs of Fight cards, progressively assembled).
Victory in this solo fight brings you renewed strength and a White Sword. Defeat a Black one, and loss of strength.
Will you find the Lady of the Lake in time? Will you succeed in bringing Excalibur to your side? or will it sink into oblivion, lost forever?
Victory here yields two White Swords, and Excalibur! Defeat brings on two Black Swords and the irremediable loss of this sword of legends!
Grown, noble men have gone mad looking for the Holy Grail. And so might you!
For this most precious relic of own is the object of a maddening tug of war between Good (the Grail cards) and Evil (the Despair cards).
Victory, like Defeat, is often decisive here. Three Swords is the price. Their color, to be hard fought...
Across the bridge lays Lancelot's Armor. Will you manage to snatch it?
All that is required is a full house of Fight cards, progressively assembled, against Lancelot's Black cards.
Victory safely gets a White Sword and the Armor across the bridge. Defeat brings its own Black Sword, and sees Lancelot's Armor disappear into the gap!
In all cases, the path now leads to the Dragon.
Rarely seen, even more rarely fought, the Dragon is a terrifying beast to behold. Its incredible wingspan (the Dragon Black cards) takes little notice of most veteran troops (three three-of-a-kind, progressively, if ever, assembled).
As usual Victory yields White Swords there, and Defeat brings Black ones.