Ramping up my reviewing.
Happily playing games for many, many years.
I like to give my games a fair chance to shine before writing them off forever. Prophecy is currently sitting in the uncomfortable spot of, "I enjoy it, sort of, but..."
That's a really uncomfortable spot for a game that takes upwards of 2 hours to play. This game took us 2-1/2 hours, and I found it enjoyable, but... is it really better than Talisman?
Josh was playing the Mercenary, I played the Enchantress and Rich played the Paladin. We wandered around the board, slaying monsters, and becoming more powerful. I took the Clover Meadow and braved the Mummy's Curse (on the basis that the two would cancel each other). Josh killed many a powerful creature (including the Noble Lion in the mountains!) And Rich, well... he languished.
This is my problem with Prophecy (as it is also with multiplayer Runebound): it's a race game that gives you little chance to catch up. It's especially dreadful at the beginning of the game when the monsters are stronger than you are. Josh had weak monsters around him, and quickly became stronger. Rich didn't have anything useful nearby, and had to wait several turns until a quest card eventually filled the spaces with beatable monsters... which he then lost to.
There's something to be said for the wild swings of fortune in Talisman; sure they can be frustrating, but like the Magic card Wrath of God, they give you a chance to compete all the way through the game. Of course, in the Eurogames I love (like Caylus), there isn't this option... but neither are your options based so much on luck. Running out of gold in Prophecy is deadly, especially if you're a bit too far from one of the places where you can regain it...
It's definitely a resource-management game.
I managed to pick up merely one artifact. Josh picked up four, and Rich didn't even look close to getting one, so the game ended without a big battle (which I would have lost in any case).
There are good points about Prophecy, but the encounters don't give me the same excitement and surprise that I get from either Talisman or Runebound...
To be honest i never played Talisman but before i bought Prophecy i researched a lot and i ended up choosing it instead of Talisman mainly because of the luck factor.
I don't mind a little luck in a game, but being mainly an eurogamer i prefer to keep the luck factor very low.
Prophecy is also a Vlaada design which made me want to buy it even more. I played several Vlaada games and i enjoy them all. Through the Ages, Galaxy Trucker, Prophecy, etc.
Regarding Prophecy i think and hope that the announced expansions will make the game a little more rich and less repetitive.
The first time my gamer group played Prophecy the game took us about 5 hours. But in the end everyone liked it and no one seemed annoyed by the time it took us to end it, and that is always a good sign.
Wow Merric, 2-2.5 hours is really fast for this game. I'd be very happy to have it play so swiftly. Our 3-player game took about 4.5 hours (short version).
I've played Talisman and Prophecy. I think there's less luck in Prophecy but still the game is probably in the neighborhood of 50-50 (luck vs. skill) while to me,Talisman feels about 70-30 (luck vs skill).
You're right that it's a race game with a small amount of resource management thrown in. I believe that maximizing movement for your character is really key. If a skill that improves your movement becomes available at your Guild (or even at someone else's Guild), get there and buy it at all costs. If you can get to the monsters that you want and the opportunities that you need, you'll do very well. But some days, the dice go cold and that can be a hard thing to overcome but not impossible within Prophecy.