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Friday, August 05, 2005

Mike: Just going to the detail level for a moment, and referring to Chad's comment, in the first game I played I was the traitor. Okay, so I am not inexperienced, but still a newbie to the game. About an hour in, I needed to know what would happen if I was exposed so I could make a judgment on timing and tactics. I read the rules, and they directed me to the reverse of my playmat for more details! So in the middle of the game, when you are trying to remain anonymous, you are expected to check an inaccessible chart! Okay, so one could claim double bluff, but not exactly ideal.

Again though, to restress the point, I found playing the traitor great fun, and considerably more interesting than a normal knight. I suppose this appeals to my long term interest in secret agendas - I have always enjoyed games where you reveal, at the end, that you were seeking to steal x or marry y. This is akin to Cosmic Encounter or Dune, where the interplay of powers rarely fails to fascinate, but with that hidden element that makes it so much more... life-like?

The replayability angle comes down to one thing for me. Not so much whether the decisions are obvious or even discussed, because I can live my life without playing another negotiation game, but because the game conjures a real sense of atmosphere, of Camelot under pressure from all sides, a traitor working cleverly in its midst. I found this much stronger with the full seven players.