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Subject: First Complete Playthrough - With a Vengeance rss

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Jonathan A
United States
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This was my first complete play through of Talisman. 2 players and 10 expansions deep. The only components not in play is the entire Dragon expansion, the Highlands sideboard, and the Woodlands sideboard.

Here's the mess at the end... now let's start at the beginning.

Chapter 1
Both the Knight and the Wizard get off to an early start. Between the Village and the Chapel they both do their little dance as the Reaper and Werewolf watch from a safe distance. The Adventure card draws are decent, but the rolls are even better. The Knight's sword and armour make fast work of the early minions, but he'll need more than that if he wants to keep up with the Wizard's magic. In the first few turns, the Wizard cycles through half a dozen spells. Desolation turns the Chapel into Ruins, the nearby hills terramorphs into desert, and the adventure shift to the South West as day turns into night... and the Werewolf strikes.

Chapter 2
The Knight is infected with Lycanthropy. With the Wizard's craft now at a healthy 7, he feels a little bold and makes his way toward more civilized lands. After casting Finger of Death on a demon and Soul Shatter on Ifrit Sultana, he finds a treasure chest on the way and just like that... the first Talisman drops right into the Wizard's lap.

Chapter 3
Under-powered and over-eager (and penniless), the Wizard decides to forego the City and heads straight for the Dungeon instead. From the Dungeon Entrance through the corridors and tunnels, fate tokens are being spent liberally and it's paying off. He must have only lost a single battle through the first few Dungeon chambers. And in one particular cavern -- just by the luck of the draw -- would you believe me if I told you that a 2nd Talisman was there on the ground, just laying there?

Chapter 4
Meanwhile, the Knight now equipped with a Riding Horse tires of the Outer Region and heads into the city. By this time he had already dodged an encounter with the Reaper and was a little battered and bruised. He was able to dodge the City Watch as they tried to pick him up for loitering, but it wasn't long before he gets hit with Taxation and ends up in jail anyway! With only 2 life and zero gold, it only takes 2 turns before his sword, armour, riding horse, and all the rest of his belongings are ditched inside his cell, next to his rotting corpse. R.I.P.

Chapter 5
The Wizards makes his way deeper and deeper into the Dungeon. He wins most of his battles, collecting even more goodies along the way. But what do you do when you have 5 objects, only have space for 4 objects, and 2 of them are Talisman? Like a piece of trash, he throws the spare Talisman on the floor of one of the tunnels and continues forward. Through the monster pit, he finally lands on a cavern, just 3 spaces away from the Treasure Chamber when he realizes he doesn't know what the hell he was thinking! With only 8 craft, the Lord of Darkness is still much too strong for him! So close and yet so far away, he turn and runs as fast as he can.

Chapter 6
In the Middle Region a Warlock awakens in his Cave and his adventure begins where the Knight's adventure ended. (And at this point, with both the Wizard and Warlock in play, they are both burning through the spell deck.) With the Wizard with such a big head start, it was time to take some short cuts. The plan was simple: Step 1) Head to the City, get yourself thrown in jail, and claim all of the Knight's belongings. Step 2) Go to the Dungeon and grab the 2nd Talisman that the foolish Wizard dropped on the ground. (Easier said than done.)

Chapter 7
From the Dungeon to the City, now both the Wizard and Warlock are prowling the streets looking for trouble. Like idiots, they're happy to roam the streets without any gold to their name. It was only when the Warlock bumps into a Raketeer and trades an object for a flail where things get interesting. Perfect! Even though he was unsuccessful at getting himself thrown in jail, this was just the thing he needed to get himself back into the game. With his new found power, he exits the City Gate on his way to the Dungeon, when the bastard Wizard hits him with the Random spell... and the Warlock rolls a 1. *ribbit*

Chapter 8
The Wizard heads straight for the Warlock's ditched belongings (which includes a flail) and tries to take advantage of the situation. 1 turn, 2 turns, and 3 turns go by. The Warlock pops out of Toad form and the Wizard is still unable to get that perfect roll to land on that perfect spot. 4, 5, and 6 turns and nothing. 7, 8, and 9 turns with both of them scrambling... and nothing! Adventure card after City card, they both dance between the City Gate and the Outer Region. It must have taken at least a dozen turns until the Wizard claims the flail... and is on his way to claim victory.

Chapter 9
--But not so fast. As the Wizard heads back to the dungeon (with a chance to undo his shameful exit of the Dungeon from earlier in the game), the Warlock picks up a few bounties (with no luck) and continues to mope around the city streets when suddenly a Lottery is held, and the Warlocks wins exactly 5 gold. He heads straight for the Armoury and there are now 2 flails (and 2 Talisman) now in play.

Chapter 10
Armed with a flail, Talisman, crystal of power, and colossus, the Wizard's overconfidence will be his undoing. At this point, he was even able to pick up an Ironskin Charm quest reward. Through the Dungeon for the 2nd time, he's unstoppable. By the time he gets to the Treasure Chamber entrance, he has 10 craft and a crystal of power. This puts his even with the Lord of Darkness, but with the flail, his power level is now over the top. The Lord of Darkness doesn't stand a chance.

Chapter 11
Somewhere on the other side of the world, the Warlock takes his turn and draws an uneventful event turning day into night. Yeah, so what? It's just a harmless sunset, right? The very next turn, the Wizard enters the Treasure Chamber and rolls a total of 7 during this psychic combat. 10 craft + 2 from the crystal of power + 9 = 21. The Lord of Darkness has 12 craft and rolls a 1 during combat for a total of 13. 21 - 13 = 8. With an 8 you emerge from the Treasure Chamber to the Crown of Command to claim victory! -- Except it's currently night, the Lord of Darkness gets an additional +1 of attack power and the Wizard is 1 point shy of victory. Instead he's dropped onto the Plain of Peril and he's going to have to do this the hard way after all.

Chapter 12
With a Talisman already in hand, he chooses the Totem Staff as his treasure as he already has 4 trophies saved up and expects to lose a lot of life in the Inner Region. Getting an 7 instead of an 8 in the Treasure Chamber might have been a set-back, but with good rolls all the way through, it was just a matter of time. The Warlock did what he could, but ultimately it didn't add up to much. And it didn't help that the randomly drawn Alternate Victory card ended up being the Demon Lord; a high craft combat win condition. It was just a matter of time before the Talisman, Crown of Command, and ultimate victory belonged to the Wizard.


(The spare Talisman still on the Dungeon floor.)

(The Warlock and his belongings and cards were eventually just thrown into his play area near the end as the Wizard made his slow march in the Inner Region and there was nothing the Warlock could do about it.)

(The Wizard on the Crown of Command space with what was left of the various Adventure and rewards decks.)

With the good rolls and timely Finger of Death and Soul Shatter spells, the Wizard was able to get ahead right from the start. He was already +2 strength and +2 craft within the first couple turns. When the Warlock got the first flail, it looked like there might be a chance for a back and forth game, but after the Toad and after the Wizard picked up the flail, together with the early death of the Knight, it just snowballed from there. Barring a Horrible Black Void, it seemed like victory was inevitable.

With all the bouncing around the City Gate trying to get to the body, I was surprised that we went through almost half of the City adventure deck.

I know some people don't like the official rules for the Blood Moon expansion, but I really like all that stuff. The effects on the Werewolf card are definitely "Reaper-Lite," but the fact that it has many more chances to run into people at night kind of compensates for it. The only big problem I saw was that the negative effects of becoming a Lycan probably show more when you have more people in the game. I figure the biggest draw back is the inability to take items from other players. And in this 2 player game, PvP happened exactly once.
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Grarrrg Grarrrgowski
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Good write-up, but noticed a couple potential rules "whoopsies".

Ninja_Bob wrote:
In the first few turns, the Wizard cycles through half a dozen spells.
You may only cast as many spells during a turn as you started the turn with.
Wizard starts the turn with 1 spell > he can only cast 1 spell that turn.

Ninja_Bob wrote:
By the time he gets to the Treasure Chamber entrance, he has 10 craft and a crystal of power. This puts his even with the Lord of Darkness, but with the flail, his power level is now over the top...
enters the Treasure Chamber and rolls a total of 7 during this psychic combat. 10 craft + 2 from the crystal of power + 9 = 21. The Lord of Darkness has 12 craft and rolls a 1 during combat for a total of 13.
Strength-based combat is referred to as "battle".
Craft-based combat is referred to as "psychic combat".
Any other term such as "combat" or "fight" or whatever refers to either/both.

The Flail lets you roll 2 dice "during battle" and thus only applies during a STR-fight.
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Jonathan A
United States
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Whoops. blush

Here's the Wizard and his gear at the end:

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