When I first heard about the fact that Avalon is different from The Resistance with Merlin character I shrugged and sighed in resignation. ‘Merlin, novelity my ass’, I thought. Then came the time to analyze the rules and the first signs of rebellion against the new rule. ‘What a nonsense!’, I complained. “Good characters are playing the game, analyze, trying to figure out who is Mordred servant, and then bam!, they kill Merlin, the end, good guys lost!’
Yeah. I didn’t like the rule. Before we move on – short explanation of the rules.
During a game of Avalon players are divided into two teams, Arthur’s loyal knights and traitors serving Mordred. The identity of the players is a secret, each of the players only know their own identity, the rest you have to guess during game.
Merlin is a special character. A player who is Merlin knows the identity of the traitors. Right from the beginning he knows exactly who are the ones who serve Mordred… Huge advantage for good guys, so there is a balancing mechanism – at the end of the game traitors have the right to attack Merlin. If they guess who among the good guys is Merlin, they kill him, Merlin dies, and evil triumphs…
I didn’t like it at all. Stupid final of the game. But even that I tried to play. And soon after it turned out that I am a complaining idiot.
What we know at the beginning? We all realize that Merlin should not play with open headgear. If bad guys figure out his identity, they will kill him at the end of the game and they will win. Merlin should play subtly and not attract attention.
Well, unless he plays va banque. He plays ‘sheriff style’ and he is hoping that the bad guys will think that no Merlin is so stupid to play so openly! They will think he is just pretending being Merlin and that someone else is Merlin.
Well, unless one of the good guys will try to get attention of bad guys and pretend to play carelessly, pretend to unintentionally reveal himself… Yeah, then bad guys will kill him and that is how Merlin is saved!
Unless, a player who is Merlin will play like a moron to lower attention of bad guys. He will do bad decisions and will judge wrong people during whole game just to – at the key moment of the game – accidentally save good guys?
It turned out that in practice the rule of Merlin works superbly good and give you extra room for a bluff, to set traps in the traps, it gives a lot of new emotions.
And me… well … What can I say… I have to apologize Don Eskridge. I apologize that I have lost my faith in his talent and that I have complained about the game before I even played it.
Mr. Eskridge, I’m a jerk.