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Subject: Marks Talisman Strategy Guide rss

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Mark West
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Hi All, this is going to be a work in progress and any feedback is welcome. I'm not going to write some long story about how to play Talisman, just tips on how I play the game. Keep in mind that I own all the expansions to the game (4th ed.) so my play style will encompass that. You may not have the expansion so your experience and strategies may differ slightly.

I seem to win Talisman most of the time, even though it is a mostly luck driven game. Being a roll and move, draw a card and see what happens you might think that there is no strategy to Talisman, but there is. Here is a list of tips to use when playing the game.

- Dont die, unless it is early in the game, try to avoid getting killed. This sets you back severly and any progress you make will be lost while the other players keep advancing.

- If you do die, take a character that will threaten other players(this may be random, depending on how you play). Immediately go on the offensive, you have allready lost all your progress so go after other players with a vengence, you'll have nothing to lose. If you can take the items and followers that they have spent the game aquiring you can advance yourself and hidder your opponents, and you dont spend alot of time searching the adventure decks for those goodies.

- Dont get Toaded, unless it is early in the game and you dont have a lot of good objects or followers. Stay away from anything that will turn you into a Toad, anyone who becomes a Toad is at a severe disadvantage and may stay that way for the rest of the game.

- Save good spells for the end, I allways keep spells that will turn the Crown of Command spell against the other players. This may mean keeping a spell for a long, long time without using it. But when you are trying to get to the Crown of Command and your opponent is dishing out the damage anything that will stall you opponent is good.

- Quests are the key, Yes get those Warlock quests and don't take the Talisman when you finish them. Why? Because in those quest rewards are some of the most powerful cards in the game. I'm talking about cards that will give you extra lives or heal yourself (spells work here too.) If you have extra lives you can outlast your opponent. Die rolls are not a sure thing, but life counters are and the more you have the better.

- Take a chance, Try to land on the spaces that allow you to draw the most cards per turn. Chances are you will draw goodies or fight monsters and claim them as trophies. If you keep drawing only one card at a time you are at a disadvantage to the other players.

- Take a chance, again, Land on spaces that make you roll a die to see what you get (Temple, Crags, Forest, Chaple, ect.) If you have some extra fate you can take a chance to get rewards and you didnt have to risk too much. (I stay away from the City space, to easy to become a Toad).

- Don't give up, Hang in there, Is your opponent in the inner region? are you stuck in the outer region? Is all hope lost? Don't give up, so many times I have seen someone go into the inner region, unprepared and get killed or thrown out. It is also possible for others to make a dash for the Crown of Command just to have everyone else catch up and stomp the person who thought they were in the lead.

- Go into the Highland or Dungeon, If you have these expansions use them. Highland is great for getting gold and trinkets, drawing lots of cards and leveling up. And if you are strong enough to defeat the Eagle King you can get some pretty awesome items. The dungeon is a different story, I wouldn't venture into here unless you are really prepared. Before you go here level up and get some good objects and followers, you'll need them. The dungeon is tough but the rewards are great.

- Gold, Gold, Gold, Get lots of money, however you can and get to the City expansion, the best items in the game are here. Equip yourself with the Flail (Roll 2 dice for your battle bonus). Are you a craft character and cant use psychic combat, get the crystal scepter from the magic emporium, now you have an advantage over all strength characters. Nab a pet or potion for cheap. There is little to no luck involved with getting these items, you know they are there and you dont have to roll an exact number to get to where you need to be. And if you are lucky you will draw the Scribe card from the City adventure deck.

- Be Evil, If your character is evil then you have one great ability available, replenishing fate. Hang around the graveyard space if you are low on fate and when you land there you have your fate back for free.

- Play the better characters, If you play where you randomly draw a character this isnt really a possibility. If you chose or get lucky then you want to be some of these characters; Alchemist, Assassin, Wizard, Warlock, Minstrel, Warrior, Dwarf, Sprite, Leprechaun, Rouge, Cat Burgler, Necromancer, Ogre Chieftain, Minotaur, Tinker, Druid, Fire Wizard, Dark Cultist, Dragon Priestess, Dragon Rider. These are the better characters in the game if you end up with the Elf you might want to take alot of risks just so you die and come back as someone else.

- Follow Me, Get lots of followers, you can have as many as you want so take em'. And when you make it to the inner region, you can eliminate them at the vampire tower to save yourself. And each follower will give you a bonus.

- Use Death/Werewolf to your advantage, Is Death and the Werewolf just wandering the board being,,, bored? March these guys through the dungeon or highlands, when you get them to the end they will teleport, to where you say? Anywhere except the inner region, then when they will definently land on a character.

- Dragons are tough, If you are playing with the Dragons expansion, when your character lands on the dragon token try not to encounter it, remember you only have to encounter it if the token matches the current Dragon King, the dragon adventure deck has some tough monsters and early in the game try to avoid them.

Thats it for now, resond and give me some ideas on what i might have missed or what you use for strategy.
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Rauli Kettunen
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Markw2020 wrote:
- Save good spells for the end, I allways keep spells that will turn the Crown of Command spell against the other players. This may mean keeping a spell for a long, long time without using it. But when you are trying to get to the Crown of Command and your opponent is dishing out the damage anything that will stall you opponent is good.


Seems to contradict your pick of Sprite below as one of the choice characters. Sprite or any spell-cycler (always have 1 spell at least) becomes much worse if you don't spell-cycle and instead stick with what spells might be useful at the end.

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- Play the better characters, If you play where you randomly draw a character this isnt really a possibility. If you chose or get lucky then you want to be some of these characters; Alchemist, Assassin, Wizard, Warlock, Minstrel, Warrior, Dwarf, Sprite, Leprechaun, Rouge, Cat Burgler, Necromancer, Ogre Chieftain, Minotaur, Tinker, Druid, Fire Wizard, Dark Cultist, Dragon Priestess, Dragon Rider. These are the better characters in the game if you end up with the Elf you might want to take alot of risks just so you die and come back as someone else.


Hehe, I'd rather have the Elf than at least 10 of those characters you listed cool .
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Alex F
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Nah,the Woods can get clogged up pretty quickly with blocking cards or ones you have no use for, at which point the Elf loses his cool.
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Elliott Eastoe
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Talisman Digital Edition in November - Mark I challenge you!

Ell.
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Plaid Dragon
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Nice writeup. However, I'd like to hear your comments regarding this section:

Markw2020 wrote:
- If you chose or get lucky then you want to be some of these characters; Assassin, Minstrel, Sprite, Leprechaun, Rouge, Druid, Dark Cultist, Dragon Priestess. These are the better characters in the game if you end up with the Elf you might want to take alot of risks just so you die and come back as someone else.


Don't get me wrong: character strength is one of those debates that will never end. Rauli's ongoing thread is a good measure of character strength as is my own purely statistical approach at:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/915975/statistical-chara...

I've edited the list you had in your original post only leaving characters that I consider lower tier (as in bottom 50%). A few of them, in red, are what I'd say are bottom of the barrel (as is lowest 25%).

Sure I've seen strong performances from some of those you listed but imho more often then not, these guys will struggle when compared to their statistical betters.

As was already stated, the Elf is actually pretty strong and, in general, should have a better chance at victory than many you listed.

Perhaps give us some reason as to why you picked some of them. I'd be really interested the reasoning behind the Minstrel for example.

He's a 2/4 with 5 fate. The fate total is as high as it comes but he's not evil which will make it harder for him to replenish. He has optional combat with animals and dragons, a condition where his battle role can yield a battle follower one time, and may steal the maiden or princess.

Those are all pretty cool skills but I don't really see how they put him in the same class as the Alchemist or Bounty Hunter.
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Mark West
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Thanks for the feedback, and the link to the character stats. As to some of the replys;
Sprite as a spell cycler is a great ability, so few characters can do this and some get stuck with bad spells negating your ability to begin with. I would cycle as many spells as I could depending on their usefullness but certain spells I like to hang onto to save my but from the crown of command. She starts with 2 spells anyway so you could cycle one and keep the other. The Elementalist can cycle his spells to, when you change from str. power to crft. power and back, I haven't tried this out but it doesnt seem as streamlined as the Sprite.
Elf, I never really cared for this character, and with the expansion boards his abilities dwindle down, bouncing back and forth to the woods might be good until there are worthless adv. cards there. Still I rather play the Conjurer if I'm going to try to bounce to the good adv. cards, or the Leprechaun if I'm going to take advantage of the woods spaces.
Minstrel, don't doubt him, in the Highlands he rocks, plenty of animals to fight/evade/charm while grabbing those valuable gemstones. With the 5 fate he is an excellent risk taker, he can evade battles with animals and dragons, or charm them. And in the Dragons expansion he is very usefull.
Why is the Assassin rated so low? He can negate the die roll of other characters and all enemies he faces.

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Mark West
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Anyway play who you like to be, or are good with, if you like the Dread Knight, or the Monk then take that character and have fun.
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Alex F
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About the City space, if you're a Level 1 character, it's actually a pretty good idea to visit the Enchantress, since there's only a 1/6 chance something bad will happen to you(rolling 1)
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Rauli Kettunen
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Markw2020 wrote:
The Elementalist can cycle his spells to, when you change from str. power to crft. power and back, I haven't tried this out but it doesnt seem as streamlined as the Sprite.


Elementalist, the City character, has no access to spells. But he starts as basically 5/5 charcter, better than anybody in the game (others get 7 stats points max). Sure, his values suck, being 1/1, but if he starts on the Str side with the fate token, he can do a battle at Str 5 and then flip on the same turn to dark side for Craft 5 for a psychic combat (in multiple draw spaces). Doesn't get much mor versatile than that.

Quote:
Minstrel, don't doubt him, in the Highlands he rocks, plenty of animals to fight/evade/charm while grabbing those valuable gemstones. With the 5 fate he is an excellent risk taker, he can evade battles with animals and dragons, or charm them. And in the Dragons expansion he is very usefull.


If the Minstrel uses his ability to not fight Animal/Dragon, he can't pick up any stuff in the space as his ability does NOT count as Evading.

Quote:
Why is the Assassin rated so low? He can negate the die roll of other characters and all enemies he faces.


I don't rate him low and that's even while playing him nerfed back to his 2nd edition form (can only assassinate already face-up cards, not cards he draws). Just for kicks, tried him RAW earlier this month, yep, he pulverized the competition, hitting Str 12 and the Crown in 60 minutes despite getting zapped with the Rod of Ruin (-2 Str). First and last time we'll be using him RAW. And no, he doesn't negate the die roll for all Enemies, assassinate only works in battle, not psychic combat.

As for the Elf, all I can say is that he is the winningest base game character alongside the Troll. He has twice as many wins (in the same number of appearances) as the perennially acclaimed Prophetess for example. Almost three times the wins the Minstrel has. And the Sprite, after 9 appearances, is still looking for her first win. Granted, only one run with the City in the mix and she was a mid-game replacement, but haven't seen her with Flail and/or Warhorse yet.
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Mark West
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Just looked at the elementalist; yup he does not get spells. Hmm he will require a trip to the city to purchase the spell book, which costs 6 gold. Maybe after a trip to the Highlands for some gemstones first. Or a romp thru the dungeon and defeat the Dark Lord to get the Book of Lore. I'd rather start with spells though.

As for the Minstrel if you take him thru the Highlands there are 9 animal cards in the deck, 2 of which have a strength of 5. And the Minstrel doesn't have to dicard the animal after battle. You could have a str. of 7 for the Minstrel in battle pretty quick!

Have to say though I really like the Bounty Hunter, ability to get gold, replenish fate, wins ties, nice!





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Rauli Kettunen
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Markw2020 wrote:
As for the Minstrel if you take him thru the Highlands there are 9 animal cards in the deck, 2 of which have a strength of 5. And the Minstrel doesn't have to dicard the animal after battle. You could have a str. of 7 for the Minstrel in battle pretty quick!


9 Animals in a deck of 142 cards aren't really the best odds in town though, are they?. And for Str 5 Animals, he needs to roll a 6 to get them. And with his Str 2 and not much healing to be found in the Highlands, it's a trip to disaster waiting.
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Mark West
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9 Animals in a deck of 142 cards aren't really the best odds in town though, are they?. And for Str 5 Animals, he needs to roll a 6 to get them. And with his Str 2 and not much healing to be found in the Highlands, it's a trip to disaster waiting.[/q]

I would take into account his 5 fate, and take into account you stumbled upon a lucky charm (which lets you chose the result of your die roll)and if you don't charm the animal they still wont attack you. Also in the Highlands there are many draw 2 or 3 cards which will let you cylce thru the Highlands deck.
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Rauli Kettunen
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But a Str 2 character will have a tough time with a lot of the non-Animal Enemies in there, nor will his Craft 4 hold up against many of them, especially if it turns to Night. Only healing spot apart from any draws you happen to get is the Waterfall on the third tier, that's a long way back to City/Chapel to really get healed up.
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Alex F
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A tip from me, when playing with the Highlands.

If you have defeated the Eagle King once already, and have gained the Dreadwing(or Riding Horse, really, but Dreadwing is more effective), teleport somewhere close to the Highlands entrance if you wish to gain the remaining Relics quicker than the opposition.

With the Dreadwing, you'll likely to cover much more ground than your opponents and will beat them to the prize at least once more.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

To make Highlands more rewarding to play with, we also incorporate the City shop decks from the City expansion.

No need to play with two boards at once.

Just line up the City shop decks next to the City space, however you like, and numerate them from top to bottom . Each time you visit the City space, you may roll a die, and buy from the shop deck that came up on the roll, as if you were visiting the associated shop from the City expansion.

The latter part belongs in the variants section, and I posted it once already. I just thought to offer it again as a way to increase the value of Gold accumulated when playing with the Highlands alone.
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Mark West
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Dam the Man wrote:
But a Str 2 character will have a tough time with a lot of the non-Animal Enemies in there, nor will his Craft 4 hold up against many of them, especially if it turns to Night. Only healing spot apart from any draws you happen to get is the Waterfall on the third tier, that's a long way back to City/Chapel to really get healed up.


heres a rundown of the tough str. enemies in the Highlands Felclaw S.6 C.6, Rock Mauler S.6, Frost Giant S.6 thats it. Minstrel can avoid dragons so no worry there, there are some tough craft monsters but for the Str. issue I says its void. Just grab some armour and remember Minstrel has 5 fate.
 
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