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Talisman (Revised 4th Edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: 22 Man Disastrophe rss

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Rob W
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Most days my gaming table sits alone, unloved and unadorned. We only host game nights once every month or so, which means the table is mostly unused. I finally decided to take advantage of this in a series of large scale Talisman games. The first attempt had 18 characters competing for glory, and it went well enough that I decided to take notes on the second round. This is the tale of the second round of large scale Talisman:

Setup:

- The game uses the characters, spells, and adventure cards from the base set along with those from the Dungeon, Highlands, and Frostmarch expansions
- The Highlands and Dungeon boards were left off to make room for more characters.
- 22 Characters were randomly chosen, and set to face off on the base game board.
- Death is final. The game is going to be long enough as it is.
- I'm playing all the characters, and playing them as cut-throat as I can manage.
- Characters chosen (in turn order): Troll, Warlock, Gladiator, Thief, Ogre Chieftain, Minstrel, Sorceress, Necromancers, Amazon, Swashbuckler, Dwarf, Warrior Rogue, Druid, Leprechaun, Philosopher, Valkyrie, Gypsy, Prophetess, Monk, Ghoul, Sprite.


A slow start, hampered by fear:

The game started slowly for some, and perilously for others: Evil Darkness, Siren's Call, Snowdrifts, and Pestilence all came into play in the first two rounds, meaning some players lost three turns and two lives before even getting to move. Spell cycling wasn't happening, because nobody wanted to feed the Gypsy a constant supply of spells.

Stolen material, tangible and intangible:

The Thief took off to an early lead, as every turn offered him something to take - A Holy Grail here, the Chalice of Shadow there, and Solomon's Crown thrown in for good measure meant the Thief was quickly becoming a menace to everyone. He drew the ire of the spellcasters, who delighted in hampering him. The good news for him was that there weren't many good spells out that hampered him. The bad news was that the Gypsy made sure he felt each spell twice. Market Day hit, which was more bad news for the Thief, as all the mules were taken before he could claim any. He consoled himself by playing with the small pile of items he'd taken from the other players.

While the Thief was running amok in the Outer Region, several characters were encroaching on the Warlock's monopoly over the Middle Region. The Druid, Sorceress, and Troll all found their ways to the Middle Region, minimizing the Warlock's terrain advantage.


I'm taking off the kid gloves and putting on the very mad gloves:

About 163 turns in, we finally had our first death as the Amazon took out the Necromancer. With only 21 characters on the board, things should speed up (or not). Following this, the Rogue cast Random on the Thief, and the Druid thought it would be funny to Hydra Spell the Random. With 18 people hit with Random in the same turn, I was hoping to see a toad or two, but there none. Howl of the Wendigo prompted the Valkyrie to kill the Swashbuckler. Meanwhile, the Thief continued his streak of ungodly luck by getting a Finger of Death from Ymir's Glow, and used it to kill the Gypsy who'd felt safe at 3 lives. He claimed two mules from the Gypsy's corpse, and went off to steal things for them to carry. With the Gypsy dead, all the fun spells started to come out.

The Valkyrie used Spell Call to claim the Finger of Death, but the Druid stole it before she could use it. He eventually used it to kill the Sorceress, but the Prophetess' Lightning Bolt kept him from looting the corpse. To keep people away from the Sorceress' large pile of items, the Warlock cast Black Ice on the space with the corpse (the Castle). This plan didn't work, as the Leprechaun got a lucky roll on the Portal spell and landed on the Castle in a way that wasn't prevented by the Black Ice.

Die mid-game and leave a pile of gold, eh?

The Thief got into a very good position by using the Plainswalker to land on the Troll so he could steal the Amulet. He took a moment to mock all the casters who'd been harassing him up to this point, and then proceeded to fail to land on anything worthwhile for the next several turns.

The Rogue killed the Amazon, the Prophetess got toaded, and the Sprite walked away with the Amazon's items. Around turn 350, the Leprechaun started feeling fiesty, and killed the Druid, then squashed the Prophetess toad out of spite. The first round through the Adventure deck was completed, and on turn 384 we had to re-shuffle.

You have your own space and you play like that?

The Warlock managed the dumbest move of the game (because I misunderstood a rule). He was ready to make a run for the crown, but needed a Talisman. They'd all been claimed by this point, so he tried to Toad the Priest and take his stuff (I didn't realize that you couldn't loot off of a Toadify). The Warlock rolled a 1, and had no fate, his plan completly backfired and he left a pile of very nice craft items on the ground.

Rat Race

At this point, everyone was chasing the Warlock's lost items. The Sprite was ready to Lightning Bolt anyone who got there before she did, but the Thief was the first person on the scene, and his Amulet protected him. At this point, the Thief had four each of Strength and Craft from his items, the Orb of Knowledge, and the Amulet. The Thief celebrated by killing the Minstrel, and the Ogre Chieftain killed the Philosopher.

Who swapped in the cursed dice?

The Warlock managed to die to an Ape despite having seven Strength. The Valkyrie got herself toaded, and the Priest rolled a 1 for his movement on the Oasis with 1 life, no Water Bottle, and no way out. The Warrior died a more dignified death when he was clubbed by the Troll.

The Portal of Power is breached:

The Sprite claimed the lost loot from when the Valkyrie got toaded, and was up to 14 Strength. She made it to the Plain of Peril, but so did the Thief, and he stole her Talisman. Emboldened by his theft of the Talisman, the Thief made a run for the Crown of Command. On reaching the Crown, he uncovered the Eagle King ending, and was quickly batted aside.

She turned me into a newt:

The Ogre Chieftain attacked the Valkyrie and got toaded, then killed by the Dwarf.
The Leprechaun attacked the Valkryie and also got toaded, as she'd had both copies of Toadify.
The Troll was too big to toad, but he was forced to land on the Talismonger, and lost 6 Strength in one turn.

Short Lived Victory

The Ghoul killed the Valkyrie, the Leprechaun used Finger of Death to kill the Troll and then died the next turn to the Ghoul's Soul Shatter. The Ghould now had all the item from the Valkyrie, Leprechaun, and Troll, and was back in the game.

More Ghoulish fun

The Sprite got herself toaded, losing 3 mules, 2 porters, and nearly 20 items. The Ghoul happily made it there first and put the Thief in second place for the first time in the game. The Ghoul killed the Dwarf, the Sprite bounced off of a Hobgoblin and died, and the Ghoul picked up the pile left when the Rogue got himself toaded.

The game ends (Finally)

While the Ghoul was having his fun, the Thief had been trying unsuccessfully to get past the Dice With Death space. Eventually he had to run out and get healed. By the time he got back in, he was only two spaces ahead of the Ghoul. He successfully navigated the Strength route, but despite having 15 Strength, he bounced off the Eagle King. The Ghoul was fighting at even odds vs. the Eagle King, but unlike the Thief he had some fate tokens, and that was enough for him to beat the Eagle King and win the game after 815 turns.



Some general thoughts on Talisman games of this size:

- The Gypsy is incredibly powerful. With 22 turns happening each round, a lot of bad events will happen, and the ability to ignore them is wonderful. Likewise, with that many spells floating around, the Gypsy gets her pick of all the best spells whenever someone feels compelled to cast them. Her presence also locks down the various spell cyclers.

- The thief is also quite good, because there are 21 people gathering items for him, even if they'd rather not.

- The Hydra spell is ridiculously awesome in a 20+ player game. While seeing Hydra used on Finger of Death, Toadify, or Soul Shatter will be fun, I'm eagerly awaiting the game where I get to see someone cast Time Steal + Hydra and take 20 turns in a row. (Note that the 1 spell per turn limit on other people's turns means you'd have to steal your own turn with Time Steal in order to Hydra Spell it)

- There are a lot more competitive characters in large games of Talisman, since there are far more options for each ability. Movement abilities let you land on the weaklings to take their items or to grab piles of loot. The sheer number of targets upgraded the Thief from "annoying" to "really, really threatening."

- The ability to initiate Psychic Combat seems stronger than in small games. There's a lot more Player vs. Player fighting, and having two attack options means you'll often have a route to victory where you didn't before.
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Alex F
Israel
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An awesome session report. I love reading about the numerous reversals of fate and power shifts that transpire in such cutthroat sessions. Sounds like you had a blast.
 
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Moritz Eggert
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amazing report and experiment, thanks!
 
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Mike A
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I have no idea why you did all that, but it was super fun to read!
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Devon Harmon
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This is one of the coolest things I've read in recent memory. Thanks for sharing!
 
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The War Chief
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BRING ME THE HEAD OF SETH NEMEC AND RIK FALCH!!!!!!
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In Memorial: Moose, my dog. B:? D:01/13/16. He died peacefully surrounded by those who loved him. You will be missed.
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How long did this game take to play?
 
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Rob W
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Springheeledjack wrote:
How long did this game take to play?
I did my best to avoid keeping track, but if I had to guess, I'd say it took 20-25 hours over the course of a few weeks. The fun part was that we needed the table for a game night halfway through and I had to find a way to disassemble the game and reassemble it the next day.

It may have taken forever, but it was enough fun that I've started another round:

(The poker chips are spare Life and Fate tokens)

If you look closely enough, you'll notice something that might make this game end much faster:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Finger of Death and Hydra Spell are both on the board.
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