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Talisman (Revised 4th Edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: My first Talisman wasn't gentle rss

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Cody Konior
Australia
Swan View
WA
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I took Talisman to the local monthly board game meet today, set it up for play with my girlfriend and roped in two more Talisman virgins with the warning - "We don't know the rules well, and it could take a few hours to finish."

1 hour in and every played had changed alignment between good and evil, one of us had spent time as a toad, and one of us plagued with the poltergeist.

For the next 2 hours not much happened except that I became increasingly tired, hungry, and needed to pee.

4 hours in one player had to leave (arguably in the lead with lots of strength, craft, choice cards, and a dozen lives). We immediately put all of his stuff aside to be put back into the decks.

5 hours in one player finally made it to the Crown. A few turns later my girlfriend was on the Crown too and knocked out. And just a few turns later, I made it onto the Crown and also got knocked out, and the game was over.

It was the best defeat ever because we could stop playing. We made some rule mistakes along the way though:

- My mule got taken from me because of a misread spell and forced me to abandon half of my belongings. It was an honest mistake though.

- We generally discarded spells we didn't like (I'll heal you, but you don't need healing, so discard it to get a new spell as per the hero ability). But this seems to be written in the rules as a no-no, and it may have made spell players overly powerful/aggressive.

Also some rules I wasn't sure about:

- If you land somewhere, then have an encounter which causes you to be teleported, do you have another encounter? That's how we played it.

- If you have an encounter that says you can be "teleported anywhere on your next turn", do you then have to roll to move, or is that your roll? We played it as if it was your roll.

- With the Mercenary follower, can his Strength only count when you are attacking someone else? Because it says "as long as you pay him at the end of your turn." Well, if your turn is over and someone is attacking you, you can't pay the gold so you can't use his Strength... right? That's how we played it.

- If a monster teleports to one of the corners of the board (village, etc) and you go there to fight it and win, once it's gone you can't then encounter the space, right? But you don't even have the opportunity to just encounter the space either, right? You'd have to fight. That's how we played it.

- If you moved onto another character's space, and your character card says you have a special ability (Sorceress, you can beguile someone), is that the "character encounter", i.e. after you try that it's the end of your turn, and you can't battle the character or encounter the space anymore? That's how we played it.

In retrospect we might have been able to get into the inner region earlier and won the game if we had tried (I actually spent almost all of my time on the outer track, simply because it gave more options to loot up, especially after I kept being picked on and losing stuff). But I'm not sure... we breezed through it but it could have just been lucky dice rolls.

And I never thought I'd say this about an FFG game... but the game simply doesn't have enough cards! So in this one play we exhausted and were forced to reshuffle the spell and adventure decks 3-4x... we saw everything over and over. That got a little repetitive! Ditto with the objects... there isn't many and they are not very exciting at all.

That's probably the sore point of the whole thing (aside from the time invested). I'm not sure whether I want to invest in the other expansions. We desperately need more cards and things to do in the game, but having just seen *EVERYTHING* possible, I'm not sure how many new cards would be required for me to find the game interesting again.

I'd like other people's opinions (and rules clarifications). Thanks.
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Shawn Larson
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Get the Reaper expansion, if no other. This plus the base game is what really should be called the essential Talisman.

It'll give you more Adventure and Spell cards and more characters so you won't wear out the gameplay, and doesn't add a lot of extra rules. The rules for the Reaper can be optional.

It also sounds like you made a beginner mistake in waitling too long to tack the inner region. Try going in at a Strength or Craft level of 9-10.
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Dan
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cody_au wrote:
In retrospect we might have been able to get into the inner region earlier and won the game if we had tried (I actually spent almost all of my time on the outer track, simply because it gave more options to loot up, especially after I kept being picked on and losing stuff). But I'm not sure... we breezed through it but it could have just been lucky dice rolls.


This was definitely the major problem with the session, and it's not uncommon in games where no one has played before. If you read through the forums for a while you will come across it many times. What happens is that everyone is either infatuated with the adventure mechanics of the outer ring (gathering items, fighting monsters), or they over estimate the difficulty of the inner rings. In general, by the time your strength or craft has increased by 3 or 4 (items count) you should be in the middle region. By the time you hit 9 you should be making a run for the center.



cody_au wrote:
- If you land somewhere, then have an encounter which causes you to be teleported, do you have another encounter? That's how we played it.


Yes, you encounter the space you land on, or a character in that space, whichever you choose.

cody_au wrote:
- If you have an encounter that says you can be "teleported anywhere on your next turn", do you then have to roll to move, or is that your roll? We played it as if it was your roll.


You roll to move and then choose between those two spots or your teleport option. The same is true with the ferryman at the inn.

cody_au wrote:
- If a monster teleports to one of the corners of the board (village, etc) and you go there to fight it and win, once it's gone you can't then encounter the space, right? But you don't even have the opportunity to just encounter the space either, right? You'd have to fight. That's how we played it.


[edit for clairty]You must fight the monster first, then you must encounter the space. You might be confusing this with what happens when there is (also) a character on the space. In that case you would choose whether you are encountering the player or the space. If you encounter the player you do not encounter the monster or the space.

cody_au wrote:
- If you moved onto another character's space, and your character card says you have a special ability (Sorceress, you can beguile someone), is that the "character encounter", i.e. after you try that it's the end of your turn, and you can't battle the character or encounter the space anymore? That's how we played it.


Yes. When you land on the space you choose whether to encounter the player or the space. If you choose to encounter the player you then decide whether you are engaging in combat or using your special ability. If you use your special ability there is no combat.


cody_au wrote:
And I never thought I'd say this about an FFG game... but the game simply doesn't have enough cards! So in this one play we exhausted and were forced to reshuffle the spell and adventure decks 3-4x... we saw everything over and over. That got a little repetitive! Ditto with the objects... there isn't many and they are not very exciting at all.


This is an artifact of how the game was played. If you are more aggressive about reaching the center in the future you will find that there are plenty of cards.

I hope you decide to try it again and encourage the others to seek the center more aggressively. Or just go for it yourself and win.
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L Brackney
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spitefuldice wrote:
Get the Reaper expansion, if no other. This plus the base game is what really should be called the essential Talisman.

Quoted for truth. I agree with the other posters that you could have made a much faster run for the center, which would have probably avoided a deck reshuffle, but it takes a play or two to know when you should make your move. It sounds like you're moving in the right direction based on this post and your last, though.
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Merric Blackman
Australia
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cody_au wrote:

- With the Mercenary follower, can his Strength only count when you are attacking someone else? Because it says "as long as you pay him at the end of your turn." Well, if your turn is over and someone is attacking you, you can't pay the gold so you can't use his Strength... right? That's how we played it.


You're misreading the card. It says "until the end of the turn". Basically, once per turn you may pay the Mercenary 1 gold to get +3 Strength in Battle for the duration of that turn.

Quote:
And I never thought I'd say this about an FFG game... but the game simply doesn't have enough cards! So in this one play we exhausted and were forced to reshuffle the spell and adventure decks 3-4x... we saw everything over and over. That got a little repetitive! Ditto with the objects... there isn't many and they are not very exciting at all.


By the time you have a few expansions, the deck is almost impossible to shuffle, there's so much in it! But normally you should be able to win Talisman with only one reshuffle - or quicker.

A standard 4-player game of Talisman with experienced players will normally last 60-120 minutes, depending a bit on the shuffle.
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