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Subject: Simpler than Dominion? rss

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K S
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So, I've never played any wargames, but they have always seemed very intimidating me, with their weighty rules and time investments. This game, with its shorter playtime and scifi theme seemed like an appealing introduction to the genre for me.

Now, I understand that it's supposed to be "streamlined", but when I look at all of the hexes and counters and numbers, it looks to me like it should still have a substantial learning curve to it. However, its "weight" rating right now places it right in the ballpark of "gateway" games like Betrayal at House on the Hill and Dominion. Surely it can't actually be so simple, can it? Or perhaps it's just that the relatively small number of weight ratings all come from folks used to much heavier wargames, so what they mean is that it's pretty light by comparison?
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Kyle
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Euro gamers always rate their games relatively higher than wargamers do in terms of weight. It is more complex than either of the games you mentioned. However, after a learning game or two, you rarely need to reference the rulebook, and play is very smooth. So I do think it is fairly light in terms of rules overhead and a great introduction to wargaming in general.
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C Sandifer
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For me, space combat games are in a totally different category than wargames. But I'm sure the next 10 posters will be happy to correct my misunderstanding of wargame categories.

If you grew up in the 1970s, Talon is perfect for you. (Easy to learn as Dominion? Probably not.) It has a distinct 'old school' feel. Many people are happy with the x-wing series from Fantasy Flight as an alternative, but that's a big cash investment.

If you're looking for light shooty SF fun for two players, I prefer Battleship Galaxies myself. (I wasn't sure that BG was still in print, but there are still new copies on Amazon. So I guess so.)

As far as low-complexity SF wargames go (in the traditional sense), I'm not aware of many. Moonbase Alpha, maybe?

Either way, good luck. Talon has many fans. I'm just not sure that it's what you're looking for.
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Niko
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If your plan is still to play this in combination with Space Empires you'll have more problems with the rules for Space Empires

It's not that either game is particularly complicated, but Space Empires just has a lot more rules since it needs rules for building, researching, movement, combat, etc.

Each part of Talon is easy to understand: The power curve shows at a glance when you can act, when you move you have at most five options, and when you spent power there's ~10 options. Basic shooting is also very straight forward; check if enemy is in your firing arc, check in which of their firing arcs you are to see which shield you hit, roll one die per weapon and that's it.
Not much rules overhead, but still a very intricate game due to the way all the choices interact. Especially the timing of when your ships get power and move is crucial. Not just if they move before or after your opponent, but also to avoid ramming into your own ship. Not that that would ever happen to me whistle
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A P
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I would not say that Talon is that weighty of a game -- especially if you start with a small combat and work your way up. It is not like playing a typical war game where there are a litany of exceptions and terrain effects.
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    Don't listen to Sandifer, he teaches Astrology.

    Talon is a legit wargame, just not one with any historical basis. It's dead simple on the wargame scale, reasonably simple on the euro scale. If you can play Dominion you can play Talon.

    There's a few pages of rules (eight I think), but they're well written and each piece isn't tightly bound with the others. Rule for moving. Rules for firing. Rules for charging. Rules for shielding. Each piece is quite simple and very intuitive.

             S.

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Victorius Deplorable
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Click this link and you will be fine:

https://boardgamegeek.com/video/93021/talon/talon-official-c...
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Boiled down to levels of simplicity, each turn has 3 phases, spend power, move and fire weapons. Spending power has about 7 options, though most of those aren't even applicable most turns. Move has 5 options, firing weapons usually is just a binary yes or no option.

Mind you this is per ship, but the options don't ever get more complex than that. The rule book is 15 pages, and truly, much of that is represented on the initiative tracker for fast reference. This game comes as close as you can get to being a true euro style board game, while maintaining all necessary elements of wargaming/space combat gaming.

Hope that helps.
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K A
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recon28501 wrote:


Yes to this. Worth taking a look at to see if you are interested as well as to aid learning.

As tactical space combat games go, this is one of the best. So if you are interested in this genre its definitely worth considering. The rules are simple enough but the game has very good variety and depth. Once one person knows the rules, they can teach others easily and quickly.

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Matt D
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No.

More to the point, it's not simpler than Dominion, not by a long shot.

It's more complicated than X-Wing, and Attack Wing (which are slightly more complex than Dominion) and about as complicated as Armada. It's very "old school" which may make it seems simpler if you're used to wargames in general or those Star Fleet Battles games in specific, but may actually end up feeling more complex than what you're used to if you've cut your teeth on Euros.

Personally I think if Dominion rules were formatted in a similar fashion to Talon they'd be about 2 pages. Talon is roughly 12 IIRC.

I think this is a really nice game (I authored a very in depth Star Trek re-theme for the game so obviously I like the darn thing), with a lot going for it if you're willing to put effort to stretch yourself.

However if you're expecting something as smooth as Dominion you may be frustrated (though do play X-Wing 'cause it's *also* good).
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Nathanael Robinson
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adorablerocket wrote:
It's more complicated than X-Wing, and Attack Wing (which are slightly more complex than Dominion) and about as complicated as Armada.

I have to disagree with this. It's deeper than X-Wing, perhaps as deep as Armada, but not nearly as convoluted as those other systems. There are fire arcs and power/speed utilization, as in Armada, but how it works is much more intuitive in Talon. You don't have to track special actions with cards, etc. Setup is very fast and easy. Overall, it's more elegant than the flight path games.
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Bad Thoughts wrote:
adorablerocket wrote:
It's more complicated than X-Wing, and Attack Wing (which are slightly more complex than Dominion) and about as complicated as Armada.

I have to disagree with this. It's deeper than X-Wing, perhaps as deep as Armada, but not nearly as convoluted as those other systems. There are fire arcs and power/speed utilization, as in Armada, but how it works is much more intuitive in Talon. You don't have to track special actions with cards, etc. Setup is very fast and easy. Overall, it's more elegant than the flight path games.


I also disagree on the complexity, and I think it's important to differentiate between rules and strategy complexity.

From a rules complexity standpoint I think Talon is pretty simple, and much less complicated than things like Dominion. For new gamers you can always take simple ships and not have any terrain pieces for a game or two, then introduce the full rules once they are fine with the basics.

From a strategy perspective I don't think Talon is especially deep, but it can be a challenge for non-wargamers to learn how to play it well. But, as long as everyone is at the same wargame experience level this shouldn't interfere with people having fun. (i.e.; chess can be fun for 2 people that have never played before, but it probably won't be fun if one person is new and the other is a grand master)
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K S
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Thanks for all the responses! I forgot to subscribe to my own post and I hadn't realized that everybody had been commenting.

Just to be clear, I do enjoy board games which have complex rules. I even enjoyed Star Trek: Starfleet Command (which is a video game implementation of Star Fleet Battles), but in that case the computer took care of all the rules for me . I'm glad to hear that it sounds like it really won't be as hard to learn as I had feared.

Ze_German_Guy wrote:
If your plan is still to play this in combination with Space Empires you'll have more problems with the rules for Space Empires

I see you remember my other post from the other day. That would indeed be my ultimate goal if I picked Talon up, but I'd probably only do so if I was reasonably sure that I would enjoy each game individually (and it's starting to look like "yes", which may not be good for my finances, shelf space and freetime...whistle)
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Niko
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wamsp wrote:
Ze_German_Guy wrote:
If your plan is still to play this in combination with Space Empires you'll have more problems with the rules for Space Empires

I see you remember my other post from the other day. That would indeed be my ultimate goal if I picked Talon up, but I'd probably only do so if I was reasonably sure that I would enjoy each game individually (and it's starting to look like "yes", which may not be good for my finances, shelf space and freetime...whistle)
Well, free time is only as valuable as what you do with it, and what could possibly be better than playing games?
Shelf Space: What's an extra standard GMT size box or two (or three if you go for the Space Empires expansion) The games really do fit well into the boxes they come in.
Your wallet will be happy to know that both Space Empires and Talon are on GMTs P500 list for their reprints. You will have to wait a bit but it will be cheaper than MSRP (may or may not be cheaper than OLGS sales depending on shipping)

As you can see, there really is no downside to this devil
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K S
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Ze_German_Guy wrote:
Well, free time is only as valuable as what you do with it, and what could possibly be better than playing games?
Shelf Space: What's an extra standard GMT size box or two (or three if you go for the Space Empires expansion) The games really do fit well into the boxes they come in.
Your wallet will be happy to know that both Space Empires and Talon are on GMTs P500 list for their reprints. You will have to wait a bit but it will be cheaper than MSRP (may or may not be cheaper than OLGS sales depending on shipping)

I don't do solo (board) gaming so, unfortunately, my own personal freetime is not always directly convertible into "boardgaming time"cry

I certainly agree with you about the shelf space, but let's just say that not everybody who shares my shelves does.

Glad to hear that both Talon and SE4X will soon be available below MSRP. What is a P500 and how can I get one?
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Niko
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wamsp wrote:
Ze_German_Guy wrote:
Well, free time is only as valuable as what you do with it, and what could possibly be better than playing games?
Shelf Space: What's an extra standard GMT size box or two (or three if you go for the Space Empires expansion) The games really do fit well into the boxes they come in.
Your wallet will be happy to know that both Space Empires and Talon are on GMTs P500 list for their reprints. You will have to wait a bit but it will be cheaper than MSRP (may or may not be cheaper than OLGS sales depending on shipping)

I don't do solo (board) gaming so, unfortunately, my own personal freetime is not always directly convertible into "boardgaming time"cry

I certainly agree with you about the shelf space, but let's just say that not everybody who shares my shelves does.

Glad to hear that both Talon and SE4X will soon be available below MSRP. What is a P500 and how can I get one?
P500 is GMTs pre-order system. Go to their website and search for the game. You will notice that they indicate the price will be sold at once it's back in stock and the price that you can get it if you pre-order (P500 Price). When you pre-order you also don't get charged until shortly before the game actually ships, much better than some other places that charge you right away no matter how long until you get the game!

The term P500 originally came from the fact that new designs needed 500 pre-orders before GMT would print them, but that number isn't a hard and fast rule anymore especially for reprints like Space Empires and Talon which tend to get slots even if not quite as many people have pre-ordered it.

And just to clarify: The P500 price is only valid until the game is back in print, after that it goes back to MSRP.
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K S
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Ze_German_Guy wrote:
P500 is GMTs pre-order system. Go to their website and search for the game. You will notice that they indicate the price will be sold at once it's back in stock and the price that you can get it if you pre-order (P500 Price).

This is...dangerous information. I can preorder Talon, SE4X and their upcoming expansions for less than a lot of big-box Kickstarters...my priorities are shifting rapidly...
What is the expected timeframe between a game getting 500 pre-orders and delivering?
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Matt D
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TFW you realize a bunch of wargamers are getting bent out of shape because you call their game more complex than a popular card game that you can buy at the local mall's chain bookstore.

shake

Why, in my day we used to hold up our rules complexity as a point of pride! Yes it's only 24 pages, but they're in 8 point font, single spaced! These rules have subsections that go up to five digits! 12.3.29.7.c Panzerfaust and summer camo poncho entanglement roll.

whistle
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Niko
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wamsp wrote:
Ze_German_Guy wrote:
P500 is GMTs pre-order system. Go to their website and search for the game. You will notice that they indicate the price will be sold at once it's back in stock and the price that you can get it if you pre-order (P500 Price).

This is...dangerous information. I can preorder Talon, SE4X and their upcoming expansions for less than a lot of big-box Kickstarters...my priorities are shifting rapidly...
What is the expected timeframe between a game getting 500 pre-orders and delivering?
Hard to say for new designs like the expansions, but as per their newsletter from a few days ago Talon is expected in February 2017 and Space Empires sometime in Q2 2017.
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Jim Krohn
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You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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Quote:
I even enjoyed Star Trek: Starfleet Command (which is a video game implementation of Star Fleet Battles), but in that case the computer took care of all the rules for me . I'm glad to hear that it sounds like it really won't be as hard to learn as I had feared.


I loved that game too. If you liked it, you will like Talon.
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K S
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Jim Krohn wrote:
Quote:
I even enjoyed Star Trek: Starfleet Command (which is a video game implementation of Star Fleet Battles), but in that case the computer took care of all the rules for me.

I loved that game too. If you liked it, you will like Talon.

Thanks for responding. You've already done a lot of the work of winning me over, but while I have you here, could I ask you about how scaling works? I would expect most of my games to be 2-player, but how do 3-6 player games work? Do players play on teams, or is free-for-all officially supported?
 
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Jim Krohn
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You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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Players play on teams - at least at this time. I suppose you could each have your own fleet and mark which ships belong to whom, but as written the rules suggest playing on teams.
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Jim Krohn wrote:
Players play on teams - at least at this time. I suppose you could each have your own fleet and mark which ships belong to whom, but as written the rules suggest playing on teams.

Remember to let me know how development is going for that expansion .
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Erich Cranor
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I too am going to strongly disagree about Talon being more complicated than X-Wing. If you compare all of Talon to just base box X-Wing...maybe. I think they end up on about a par then. X-Wing is simpler in initial concept, but then you have the fiddlyness of bumping, you have tracking of crew and equipment. I think all of that rapidly overtakes the fairly simple power aspect of Talon. And when you throw in all the of new card and ship abilities from all the Xwing expansions, especially the capital ships, then X-Wing is WAY more involved than Talon.
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K S
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Getting back on-topic (am I allowed to get off-topic in my own thread?), there seems to be a general consensus that Talon's complexity is at least *comparable* to X-Wing, Attack Wing and Armada (altogether, as a class). I haven't actually played any of those games, but I see that their weight ratings are a bit higher (2.5-3.0) than Talon's current 2.3. That doesn't sound nearly so intimidating as I was originally worried about.

It seems that my original hesitation was a case of me judging a book by its cover. I guess I have a bad habit of doing that: recently, I was surprised to learn that Dominant Species was not the economic euro game I had assumed it was when I saw all of the wooden cubes. GMT has a habit of faking me out with their components.laugh
 
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