It has been called the best adventure/fantasy board game ever and in my humble opinion, nothing could be closer to the truth.
Imagine yourself taking on a fantasy/medieval/magical character and battling through lands infested with dragons, monsters, thieves, wizards, witches, friends, foes and fairy folk. You are able to pick up magical objects, weapons, spells and even followers along the way that will help you on your quest. You will also encounter strangers, events and places that could be a help or a hindrance...depending on your character!
The land has three regions - an outer, middle and inner. You start in the outer and the ultimate goal - your quest - is to work your way into the inner region and from there into the very center of the board, known as the Crown of Command! The name alone sounds fantastical!
In the base game there are 14 characters to choose from: Assassin, Druid, Dwarf, Elf, Ghoul, Minstrel, Monk, Priest, Prophetess, Sorceress, Thief, Troll, Warrior and Wizard.
Some are strong - heroes with combat skills unmatched. Others are gifted in the ways of magic and can cast powerful spells. A few are rich and can buy the necessary tools for the job at hand but all need a little bit of luck to survive the journey ahead.
The luck is found in the dice that are rolled and the cards that are drawn. No two games are ever the same and after years of playing you will still come across cards and scenarios that are new and exciting.
The name of the game is Talisman and that is because it is the one thing you MUST obtain if you are to enter the Crown Of Command and win the game. Of course, there are only so many Talismans available in the land and so players will battle it out to be the first to get one - or be forced to try and take one from another player by any means necessary!
Talisman has just enjoyed it’s 30th year and for good reason - after playing it for 27 years it is still as fresh and as exciting as the first day I sat on Tim Hodge’s living room floor as he opened this strange game with a dragon on the box and said with just enough intrigue “you are going to love this game”. I remember a chill running down my spine and a strange silence hanging in the air.... it almost felt like Obi-Wan Kenobi inviting me to Alderaan. Always up for an adventure I reverently reached over to help set it up and spilt my tea all over the games cardboard gold pieces*.
Tim wasn’t very happy with me that day but I am very happy he introduced me to what I consider the best game ever. Period. Full stop.