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Talisman (Revised 4th Edition): The Dungeon Expansion» Forums » Reviews

Subject: This is one hit or miss Dungeon rss

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Beau Bailey
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Introduction:
I like Talisman. It's dumb, simple, but it still very enjoyable. Yes, it can devolve into a complete trainwreck as players slowly ooze towards the finish line, but I still enjoy the game. I was excited when FFG announced yet another expansion so soon after the release of the The Reaper. This would be my first experience with a board expansion for Talisman, and after the success of the Reaper I was expecting a great showing.

Components:
The expansion consists of: 1 L-shaped Dungeon Board, 128 Dungeon cards (like Adventure cards but only for the Dungeon spaces), 10 Treasure cards, 20 Spell cards, 10 Adventure cards, and 5 new character figures and cards (Amazon, Gladiator, Gypsy, Philosopher, Swashbuckler).

As usual, the cards that are similar to the base game are all of excellent FFG quality. The figures seem like they may be a slightly larger scale than those for the base game, but it isn't a major difference. The board is of excellent quality and is designed to wrap around the board at the Taverns corner. The only complaint is it is massive, when combined with the original board, there isn't much space left on even a decent sized table.

Rules:
Functionally, the Dungeon is no different than the other spaces on the board. You can move in one of two directions: towards the center of the dungeon or towards its entrance. The spaces have similar effects to any other space, but with the difference of card draws coming from the Dungeon deck.

The majority of the Dungeon deck is made up of monsters with a much higher level of difficulty compared to the base game. You are definitely will not be able to run rampant over the dungeons for long. The new items in the deck are definitely worth the effort, but it is a dangerous game to venture into the Dungeon. If you happen to make it all the way to the end of the dungeon and beat the Lord of Darkness (a very, very tough encounter), you get to select one of the ten Treasure cards. These items are all at a higher power level than the base game, so it definitely is worth the effort.

The new spell cards are definitely a step up from the base game. As with the Reaper expansion, there is now a reason to want to have spells. The only crappy draws are when you get a base game spell.

The new Adventure cards are just there to cause interaction with the Dungeon. So if you are looking for just increased base Adventure cards, you'll have to look elsewhere.

The five new characters are a bit more powerful than the base game ones, not horribly so, but they are a step up. The Amazon has two relatively strong abilities allowing increased movement choice and improved combat. The Gladiator has a bonus when using armor and can pump himself up by adding +1 strength for each follower. The Gypsy can take spells as they are played as long as she has sufficient room and she ignores event cards. The Philosopher is the weakest of the bunch as he can discard an Adventure card from a space before moving there. The Swashbuckler gets another turn when he wins a battle (limit 1 per turn).

Thoughts:
I think the new expansion's most obvious advantages are the new spells and characters. I primarily play with only two players so the Dungeon wasn't as exciting as it may be with more. There didn't seem to be enough reason to go there and fight against more difficult monsters. If I played with more players, I would think it would be better. Hopefully future board expansions have something more to encourage players to go there

[b]7/10[b]
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Rauli Kettunen
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badweasel wrote:
As usual, the cards that are similar to the base game are all of excellent FFG quality. The figures seem like they may be a slightly larger scale than those for the base game, but it isn't a major difference.


Actually, I think the case is/was that Dungeon has smaller (relative) figures than base or Reaper. There's a thread about it even. Looking at them, the Dungeon ones are a bit more smaller, in proportion of the head-size and limb-thickness whatnot. Doesn't make any difference to me though.

Also, the cards for the Adventure and Spell decks are bigger than the base + Reaper ones, noticeable so, very distinct when handling the deck. Now that I've sleeved them, not an issue anymore. Also, the character cards from Dungeon are a darker shade of red than the base + Reaper, again a noticeable difference.

Quote:
The board is of excellent quality and is designed to wrap around the board at the Taverns corner. The only complaint is it is massive, when combined with the original board, there isn't much space left on even a decent sized table.


People, I keep harping about this table spelled "floor" is the solution !

Quote:
The five new characters are a bit more powerful than the base game ones, not horribly so, but they are a step up. The Amazon has two relatively strong abilities allowing increased movement choice and improved combat. The Gladiator has a bonus when using armor and can pump himself up by adding +1 strength for each follower. The Gypsy can take spells as they are played as long as she has sufficient room and she ignores event cards. The Philosopher is the weakest of the bunch as he can discard an Adventure card from a space before moving there. The Swashbuckler gets another turn when he wins a battle (limit 1 per turn).


Official word on the Swashbuckler:

"The Swashbuckler should be worded "you may only do this once per round".

For example, the Swashbuckler wins a battle and takes an extra turn. If the Swashbuckler wins another battle during this extra turn, he does not gain another extra turn.

Happy gaming!

-John Goodenough"

As to the others, I do think Gladiator is utterly overpowered as is. He's the only character so far to have exceed Strength 20 in battle before die rolls and he's done it twice in his 6 appearances. There are just so few opportunities to remove Followers, 1x Hag in the Adventure deck, 1x Dungeon Keeper in the Dungeon deck (and solvable with Gold), 1x Mesmerism in the Spell deck. Other than that, Sorceress and Toading. He is definately one char if you need to kill early, or he'll dominate. Someone with psychic combat can probably hold their own, but iffy. A poster on the FFG forums:

"Loss of followers becomes less likely once his Str. goes up, so the number of followers compounds their own invulnerability as they compound his strength. Potential loss of a Follower and loss of a Battle decrease versus standard characters at a geometric rather than arithmetic rate. Its ridiculous that no one saw this coming when the character was created. It's so obvious."
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Beau Bailey
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Dam the Man wrote:

Actually, I think the case is/was that Dungeon has smaller (relative) figures than base or Reaper. There's a thread about it even. Looking at them, the Dungeon ones are a bit more smaller, in proportion of the head-size and limb-thickness whatnot. Doesn't make any difference to me though.


Really? Well, maybe I am mistaken then. I just felt they were a bit larger, but I didn't actually hold them side by side and compare.

Dam the Man wrote:

Also, the cards for the Adventure and Spell decks are bigger than the base + Reaper ones, noticeable so, very distinct when handling the deck. Now that I've sleeved them, not an issue anymore. Also, the character cards from Dungeon are a darker shade of red than the base + Reaper, again a noticeable difference.


Okay, that I did notice, but it did not impact my experience significantly.
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Aaron Tubb
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I think there's plenty of incentive to delve into the dungeon, myself. If you go in when you're weak there's a good chance you'll die, but if you can handle most of the encounters, you'll advance much more quickly than the other players.
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Christopher Onstad
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So, if you don't mind my asking, how does it compare to the 2nd edition dungeon expansion? I Really liked the 2nd edition dungeon expansion (probably my favorite "board" expansion) This sounds almost identical, except it has a permanent entrance?

Also, if you had to choose between say the Reaper & Dungeon which one would be a better expansion?
 
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Beau Bailey
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xofour wrote:
So, if you don't mind my asking, how does it compare to the 2nd edition dungeon expansion? I Really liked the 2nd edition dungeon expansion (probably my favorite "board" expansion) This sounds almost identical, except it has a permanent entrance?

Also, if you had to choose between say the Reaper & Dungeon which one would be a better expansion?


I haven't played 2nd edition Dungeon, so I can't help you there. But I believe this version has over twice as many cards as that one did.

If I had to choose between Reaper and Dungeon, it would definitely be Reaper. It's cheaper and it I think it is better.
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Rich Moore
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badweasel wrote:
xofour wrote:
So, if you don't mind my asking, how does it compare to the 2nd edition dungeon expansion? I Really liked the 2nd edition dungeon expansion (probably my favorite "board" expansion) This sounds almost identical, except it has a permanent entrance?

Also, if you had to choose between say the Reaper & Dungeon which one would be a better expansion?


I haven't played 2nd edition Dungeon, so I can't help you there. But I believe this version has over twice as many cards as that one did.

If I had to choose between Reaper and Dungeon, it would definitely be Reaper. It's cheaper and it I think it is better.


Reaper is the essential expansion to the game. Regardless of whether you go further with the dungeon.
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Aaron Tubb
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xofour wrote:
So, if you don't mind my asking, how does it compare to the 2nd edition dungeon expansion? I Really liked the 2nd edition dungeon expansion (probably my favorite "board" expansion) This sounds almost identical, except it has a permanent entrance?

Also, if you had to choose between say the Reaper & Dungeon which one would be a better expansion?
The new Dungeon is much improved over the old one. The old dungeon only had 36 cards and the new one has a lot more. The treasure chamber actually has treasure in it now, too. Before I got this expansion, I used to use the old 2nd edition dungeon with Talisman 4th edition, but there was no incentive to go in because there weren't any really good cards or rewards to be found in the old dungeon. With the Reaper expansion, there are a lot of cool cards to get in the adventure deck so there's even less incentive to go into the old dungeon. The new dungeon fixes that by offering some really good stuff to players who dare go into it.
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