Shadows over Camelot – gaming with 90mm miniatures

From Shadows Over Camelot

That is right – gaming with 90mm miniatures! This past weekend we ran Shadows over Camelot using 90mm figures and 28mm terrain. The results were fantastic. I’ve enjoyed the several times I’ve gotten to play the boardgame Shadows over Camelot. My initial inspiration came when once I saw pictures of the board recreated in miniature on a 4’x4′ table. Given the nature of the game I felt that this wasn’t EPIC enough! About a month ago I came across toys that allowed me to create the epic as I saw fit. Here then is the tale of how I ran the game.

From Shadows Over Camelot

Here we see the Knights and King of the Round Table. The table is a soup can lid cut with a side-cutting opener. The top is just plastic veneer from a doll house company used to simulate wooden planking. In fact the bases of all the figures came from cans as well. They were covered in spackle, painted with wood stain and in some cases flocked. In others I prefered the fighting in the mud look! The figures are 90mm pvc toys from a company called Plastoy (www.plastoy.net). You can buy more of them via Safari Ltd. at Safari and they are cheap. $5 for a fully painted, nearly indestructible knight on horse in 90mm with a nice paint job. With some work on basing I don’t see why you couldn’t use this for a very massive scale Warhammer Ancients or Field of Glory game. Consider the cost of collecting and painting 28mm and this is a bargain in time and money.

From Shadows Over Camelot

I was able to photograph the figures (using the SOC box top as my backdrop!) and create cards for each of the heroes in less than an hour. They came out nice and the size meant they were handy as opposed to the rather large treatment they get in the game. If I do it over again I am putting the rules for calling out a traitor on the backs. That was one point of game play in which we were weak.

From Shadows Over Camelot

Not everything was complete at the time of play – I didn’t get a chance to model the path of Excalibur onto the river and ended up using the template in conjunction with the river. Oh well, next time.

From Shadows Over Camelot

Here you can see the tournament against the Black Knight. The Bass wood rail fence has a spot where I missed with the wood stain but otherwise serves the purpose nicely. Spanish moss was used for the scrub and spackle again makes great mud! The base is just plain old 1/8th inch thick MDF board that I got at Home Depot.

From Shadows Over Camelot

Camelot itself is a Hudson and Allen Castle long since out of print. I got mine over ten years ago at half price. I have many more pieces but for our purposes we only need two walls and the draw bridge section. It looks good and doesn’t hog up too much space. I was very pleased with it. The siege engines are Bob Duncan’s. For Nashcon I am going to have several of my own. I intend on getting them as big as possible. I think the mix scale worked given the abstract nature of the game.

From Shadows Over Camelot
From Shadows Over Camelot

Here we see the grail. I ended up using the template from the game to model how this quest is run. Overall this is the most expensive piece on the table in terms of time to make, materials, etc. The leaf canopy comes off and the trunks are solidly into the wooden base. Its a nice piece I think. However I am not sure constant lifting of the top would be good for it. The template was not nearly as distracting as it could have been. Unlike the Excaliber quest where it stuck out like a sore thumb. This piece was created by Barb’s Bunkers – and sadly out of print.

From Shadows Over Camelot

Here is Camelot from the inside. Note the dead Knight! Luckily they revived him with the Holy Grail later on. There was just enough room inside the castle for the two decks of cards and all the knights.

From Shadows Over Camelot

I’ve made one visual modification from the original game and that was the quest for Lancelot’s armor. I rather prefer my presentation. Note that the rabbit is dynamite! You can see the armor icon on my base. Rabbit stew for all!

From Shadows Over Camelot

Here we see King Arthur and a Knight dealing with the Mordred’s siege engines and an invading army. Ultimately the campaign against these foes became overwhelming and it was by failure here that the 2nd game was lost.

All in all it clearly will make a great convention game and I indeed plan to run it at Nashcon. I am really pleased with the results and I learned valuable lessons by running it with friends. I need to better emphasis the benefits of gaining Lancelot’s Armor, Excalibur and the Holy Grail. I also need to better explain the whole system of accusing people of treachery! Everything else when very smoothly!

When I run it at conventions I will be sure to have Monty Python Quoting contests. The quotes were flying fast and furious during our game!

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