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Subject: Simplified Rules for New Players (and our session with them) rss

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Domenic
United States
San Jose
California
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General Comments:
Camelot is a game based on the gimmick that two players are always moving simultaneously. The problem with that is that it means that all players have to know the rules so that no errors are made. It is very difficult to correct mistakes or to have one knowledgeable player resolve the interactions.

Without the gimmick, the game fails. Moving counters on a hex board and resolving combat was old and dry in the 80s. You have to have a *huge* degree of complexity to make it interesting, and you can't have that if you're playing fast.

Session 1:
Me and two first-timers played a game, using all the rules. (I had played once before, years earlier.) Nobody really understood how to use Morgan or Merlin (despite explaining them first, of course), and so I just played faster, ran away with the sword, and won. No one wanted to play again.

Session 2:
Me, one of the players from Session 1, and another first-timer. This time, I removed Morgan and Merlin from the game. Playing at speed, dealing with Arthurs, Lancelots, and Archers is plenty for a new player. We played four games of this -- I won the first, and then we each took one of the remaining plays.

In each game, it seemed to be very tough to stop victory once a player got the sword more than 4-5 spaces toward their base. Once it's that close, it is easy to reinforce your army, while other players have to move units twice as far to get to the zone of interest. I suppose that's good -- you wouldn't want to fight back and forth forever without being able to determine a winner.

Final word: I recommend playing without the more complex pieces. If you like the game and want a little more depth, toss them back in. This might also be interesting to younger players, for whom the basics of attack/defense, range, line-of-sight, carrying items, etc. would be new concepts.
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Bob Wilson
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dommer2029 wrote:
General Comments:
Camelot is a game based on the gimmick that two players are always moving simultaneously. The problem with that is that it means that all players have to know the rules so that no errors are made. It is very difficult to correct mistakes or to have one knowledgeable player resolve the interactions.

Without the gimmick, the game fails. Moving counters on a hex board and resolving combat was old and dry in the 80s. You have to have a *huge* degree of complexity to make it interesting, and you can't have that if you're playing fast.

Session 1:
Me and two first-timers played a game, using all the rules. (I had played once before, years earlier.) Nobody really understood how to use Morgan or Merlin (despite explaining them first, of course), and so I just played faster, ran away with the sword, and won. No one wanted to play again.

Session 2:
Me, one of the players from Session 1, and another first-timer. This time, I removed Morgan and Merlin from the game. Playing at speed, dealing with Arthurs, Lancelots, and Archers is plenty for a new player. We played four games of this -- I won the first, and then we each took one of the remaining plays.

In each game, it seemed to be very tough to stop victory once a player got the sword more than 4-5 spaces toward their base. Once it's that close, it is easy to reinforce your army, while other players have to move units twice as far to get to the zone of interest. I suppose that's good -- you wouldn't want to fight back and forth forever without being able to determine a winner.

Final word: I recommend playing without the more complex pieces. If you like the game and want a little more depth, toss them back in. This might also be interesting to younger players, for whom the basics of attack/defense, range, line-of-sight, carrying items, etc. would be new concepts.


You hit the nail on the head. This is exactly why I wasn't crazy about the game and I really wanted to be. The turn-mechanic was cool. The rest fiddly. Frantic and fiddly did not make for a good combination.
 
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