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After reading so much about how Battlestar Galactica was a better game than Shadows Over Camelot, I became determined to help it and see if I could help it at all in the contest. One of the issues was how easy it is for your turn to become very boring, like when you do nothing but play a grail or other card. This requires very little strategy, discussion, or decision, and it seems like the game could be speeded up a little without any huge disadvantages.

Since the game is based on the balance of good vs. evil actions, why not just do 2 evil actions and 2 heroic actions per turn? This could be a small disadvantage as more bad things will happen before your next turn, but is it fairly balanced out by the double good actions? Most other cooperative games give you multiple actions, and as it gives you more choices, it makes the decision of what to do during your turn all the more interesting.

Would this hurt the balance of the game? Is there anything I can do to counteract its effect or reduce turns where very little thinking is required?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

This would make the game much easier. The ability to focus effort on quests is how the knights win. Travel time relative to card draws would go down.

Quick example, 5 player game, you have fought cards 1-5, so you go to the Picts quest. It starts as your turn:

  • Progression of Evil / You move to quest
  • PE / You play 1
  • 8 other PEs from other players
  • PE / You play 2
  • PE / You play 3
  • 8 other PEs from other players
  • PE / You play 4
  • PE / You play 5 -- Quest Completes

Total PEs possibly ending your quest in a loss: 22

In the original rules, it looks like this:

  • Progression of Evil / You move to quest
  • 4 other PEs from other players
  • PE / You play 1
  • 4 other PEs from other players
  • PE / You play 2
  • 4 other PEs from other players
  • PE / You play 3
  • 4 other PEs from other players
  • PE / You play 4
  • 4 other PEs from other players
  • PE / You play 5 -- Quest Completes

Total PEs possibly ending your quest in a loss: 26

So, by focusing the effort, you've saving 4 progressions of evils (the other player's turns) on your quest.

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How so? How will the extra progressions of evil not cancel out the heroic actions? –  Gordon Gustafson Mar 4 '11 at 20:29
    
Quick example: 5 player game, you're going to fight the pics, you have a straight by yourself: -- adding to answer... –  Neal Tibrewala Mar 5 '11 at 15:58

After several trial games, I've found it does make the game slightly easier (Mr. Tibrewala's answer has a good explanation). However, I also find it makes the game a LOT more interesting.

  • You have more choices each turn. Since you pick one thing and then another, you have more analysis to do. Do I draw a black card and see what it is before deciding what to do for my other action? Do I move here and play a card, or draw cards and fight a catapult? Possible things you could do on your turn increase rapidly, making decisions more interesting.

  • It feels like you actually DO something on your turn. One problem I've heard other players talk about in SOC is how it can drag a little. You really can't do much in one action. Admittedly you are planning to do something else your next turn, but for me moving to a quest doesn't feel like I'm really helping much. If can move there and play a card without even having to burn a life, I feel like I'm actually useful. It also reduces the number of neutral turns that are totally. I drew a despair and played a grail....Wow that was useless... For me it turned the game from "my turn, let's have some really tiny decision that doesn't do much or require any thinking" to "YEAH! MY TURN! I can kick butt now!"

  • It makes the game quicker without really subtracting anything. Since the turn's are more interesting, it feels quicker, and you can usually shave 15 minutes off the game while playing this way without sacrificing anything (IMHO you're actually making the game cooler AND shorter).

Since it's really easy to tweak the difficulty to counteract the effect, I always play this way now. Everything just becomes more interesting, and if you add the Squire's Challenge from the base or the Travel Deck from Merlin's Company you'll have about even difficulty anyway. :D

Would love to hear any other opinion's or comments!

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