Eric Craddock
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Texas
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Finally! After FF made us wait entirely too long for another Talisman expansion, The Dragon is here. I picked it up this morning and my son and I played through this afternoon.

Short version: Amazing.

This, like no other expansion before it, really turns the game into something fresh and different. Past expansions, while I love them, were not really full of many surprises. A new board, new characters, new cards, and whatnot, didn't really change the game. And that was fine. But this...THIS changes the game.

These pesky Draconic Lords are a presence hovering over every move you make, every decision, every strategy. They seem to have something to say about everything you try to do.

Basically, there are three Draconic Lords: Cadorus, Grilipus, and Varthrax. They are each trying to become Dragon King and rule the land. Throughout the game, the Dragon King Throne will be seized by each of the three over and over as they fight for it. The challenges you face throughout the game are affected by which one of them happens to be Dragon King at the time. You also don't know which one of them you will face when you finally reach the Crown of Command in the Dragon Tower.

New mechanics abound in this expansion. The dragon tokens, which consist of Dragon Scales, Dragon Rage, Dragon Strike, and Dragon Slumber are drawn at the beginning of EVERY TURN and have different effects. Most of the time Dragon Scales are drawn which help the different Draconic Lords seize the Dragon King throne. This also brings Dragon Scales out on the boards. These Scales often render the space they are on un-encounterable (new word!). You are forced to draw from that Draconic Lord's deck. These decks are essentially new adventure cards (enemies, strangers, places, events, objects...) but many of them are formidable Dragons. So as the game progresses, the Draconic Lords' influence spreads across the land.

My son and I chose the Dragon Realm which replaces the original Inner Region. Next time we play, we'll play the Dragon Tower on the flipside of the board. You have to choose before the start of the game which side of the new Inner Board you will play, although there are variants for different ways to use this new board. The Dragon Realm mirrors the original Inner Region but is made more challenging because there are some unknowns which depend on the number of Dragon Scales in play on each of the Draconic Lords.

I really think FF has hit upon something great here. This expansion stands out from the others, in that it truly affects the entire strategy of gameplay and comes with enough choices of how you will use the expansion that really will make each game a little bit different each time.

The six characters all look great and there are three new alternate endings that you can use instead of the Dragon King ending.

If you are a fan of Talisman at all, you probably don't have to be convinced to get this expansion, but I think you're gonna love it. If you like Talisman, but have felt it getting a bit stale lately, you should definitely give this a try and see how it makes it fresh for you.
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jeff ven
Belgium
antwerpen
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Great short review of a expansion i have been waiting for for a while now.
I just wanted to ask a couple of questions i have been having for this expansion.
First of all is the new dragon board available as a random ending? or is it mandatory that you pick it in advance?.
And secondly do you think that the new playable characters would still hold there own even if you wouldn't play with the new expansion? and if so aren't they overpowered?.
I know that all these answers would probably be just answered if i downloaded the rules from ffg's website but i haven't had enough time to bring myself to it.
Thanks
 
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Elliott Eastoe
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The Conjuror, Fire Wizard and Minotaur are fine to play without the rest of the Dragon Expansion, but the other Dragon characters are not!

Ell.
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Jin TS
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talismanamsilat wrote:
The Conjuror, Fire Wizard and Minotaur are fine to play without the rest of the Dragon Expansion, but the other Dragon characters are not!

Ell.


If that's the case, those three characters would not be so attractive to play without the dragon expansion...

I personally think that dragon hunter can still survive with or without the dragon expansion, but the dragon rider is definitely badly affected as dragons are not easily found without the dragon expansion, whereas dragon priestess is somewhat moderately affected as she still has other means to be powerful. I'm still waiting for my expansion to arrive, hope to get it by this week...just can't waiit...laugh

By the way, thanks for the short but interesting review...
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Rob Gleason
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I have played with the Dragon Expansion twice now. Once with each side of the new inner region, Dragon Realm and Dragon Tower. There is also a 3rd way to play with the new Dragon Tower side which is to move it off to the side of the board and use it along with the Crown of Command base region. I think next time we play we'll try this out. We may prefer this option too since it eliminates the fast victory with using the few cloaks in the game or the +8 Dungeon Lord attack outcome.

I think the Dragon Priestess, Dragon Rider, and the Dragon Hunter will be fine to play as without using the Dragon expansion. The reason I say this is because with Dungeon, Highland and the Base game adds quite a few Dragons to those region adventure decks. The Dragon Rider might be the most affected by the lack of using the Dragon Expansion but its base stats are still good enough to use even if Dragons are a little bit scarcer. The Dragon Rider is also REALLY good with the Dragon expansion. Maybe without using the Dragon expansion, the Dragon Rider may be about even with the rest.

After two play throughs, I really like what this expansion brings to the game. It doesn't really seem to extend the play time out very much if it does at all. More options are always good in my eyes. Before it seemed best to head to Highlands or Dungeons once powerful enough to get the last bit of strength to challenge the Inner region. But now with the Dragon Scales, all regions(but the inner) can be quite rewarding or dangerous depending on the draw.

I would say this expansion is a must buy for Talisman just like Dungeon and Reaper is. The six characters all seem to be playable and interesting too.
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Pawel Gutowski
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What are the most dangerous cards out there? Can any of them be deadly against 10+ craft/str heroes ? Like a basilisk for instance.
 
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Eric Craddock
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There are several 10str and 10cft enemies and even more 9 and 8 str/cft. The new decks definitely have some tough enemies...
 
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Tomas
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guciomir wrote:
What are the most dangerous cards out there? Can any of them be deadly against 10+ craft/str heroes ? Like a basilisk for instance.


There is at least this card:

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Robert McGovern
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That card seems a little open to interoperation. Does killed mean, all lives or only the one? Also does it mean you pickup a new adventure card each time (assuming the item/event/enemy has previously been taken)
 
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Ian Kelly
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Allow me to introduce myself. I am Hexachlorophene J. Goodfortune, Kidnapper-At-Large, and Devourer of Tortoises par Excellence, at your service.
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"Killed" means "remove the character from the game (and take a new one if nobody has reached the CoC)". If they meant "lose a life", then they would have written "lose a life" as it appears on every other card that has that effect. Compare to the rulebook:

Quote:
Any character who loses all of his lives is immediately killed.


ETA: Note that "killed" does not mean "lose all lives", though. In the latter case, you can avoid death by casting a healing spell. In the former case, you cannot.
 
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Ian Kelly
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tarasis wrote:
Also does it mean you pickup a new adventure card each time (assuming the item/event/enemy has previously been taken)


I read it literally. Whenever you encounter the Sacrificial Stone, you draw a card and add it to the space, and if it was not a dragon, you will then encounter it normally, along with whatever else might be on the space (including cards drawn from previous Sacrificial Stone encounters, if they're still present).
 
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Graham Pearson
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A good expansion this one. Strangely, the way the mechanics work make the game feel a lot more like Runebound than it used tp (or that's how I found it anyhow). One thing about the Dragon Tower side of the new board though; it basically makes Talismans completely pointless as there is no space on it where you need one to progress.
 
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yonatan wairauch
Israel
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hi there,

two quick questions:

1. if you drew a dragon scale of the current gragon king you just put it on the dragon king in the same manner you would if he wasnt?

2. in the same note, can you crown a dragon king that is already a dragon king?

thank you!! just got the new expantion and loving it!!

jonathan
 
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Ian Kelly
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wairauch wrote:
1. if you drew a dragon scale of the current gragon king you just put it on the dragon king in the same manner you would if he wasnt?

2. in the same note, can you crown a dragon king that is already a dragon king?


Yes and yes.
 
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Dan Houser
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A brief addendum -- This is the expansion that I would suggest for everyone to get, if none of the others. It, if you can imagine it, exponentially increases the speed of the game by having a veritable font of monsters to battle with, and at a challenge level that prevents that oft-bemoaned Talisman situation: A player being mathematically indefatigable by any card pulled.

This deck is filled with instant-kills, loss of life, and Dragon's Rage means that players can't count on clutching onto Objects and Followers until the endgmae -- and strategy against the endgame has to be absolutely planned, because if you are moving through the board pumping Strength to go around the Inner Region the 'Strength' way, you may find that the Green 'Psionic' type Dragon King will be waiting for you.

There are keen followers and objects to be found among the VERY punishing decks.

Also, bear in mind that you don't have to interact with a square if a Dragon Scale is on a spot -- meaning if you're evil, you can finally visit the space the Chapel is on, (Possibly drawing an insta-death card, or a fabulous TREASURE TROVE!) but with a chance of fighting a Strength 9 type of Dragon.

But, you'll find that the mechanic of placing alternate draws on spaces (or forced draws if the Dragon King matches the color) will give you a chance to level up while fighting REALLY challenging creatures/enemies.

It basically serves the function of the Highlands or the Dungeon...offering dangerous situations to improve a character, but without the long business of trekking through a dungeon to gain a fairly useful treasure and levels. However, having the Dungeon and Highlands and City on the board as well, gives you a place to duck into once there's nothing but Dragon Scales on the board and getting hammered by Dragon's Rage.

Anyway - it's probably the MOST enjoyable expansion so far, if only because even nearly BROKEN characters (Like the Leprechaun and the Bounty Hunter) are challenged right out of the gate. It adds the 'ADVENTURE' back into the Adventure Deck with the three Dragon Decks.

Fantastic Expansion - DEFINITELY PURCHASE (If you like and have Talisman 4th Edition)

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