This weekend I had planned to play... Chaos in the old World. But as I found out I had forgotten the expansion-box where I stored all the upgrade- and event-cards so we went to our second choice, which was Talisman!
The combatants where me, my old friend Bjorn and an acquaintance of his named Gustaf, who likes games but had never played Talisman before.
Thrown into the mix where the reaper, the frostmarch, the dungeon and the city. So we drew our characters (We always draw 3 and choose one) and I became the warrior! A solid, albeit a tad traditional pick. Bjorn became the tinkerer, which I think is a great character. Gustaf, however, became the alchemist, which neither I nor Bjorn minded as although he is mighty, Gustaf is new to the game and it would be good promotion if it went well.
So we started off! We strongly urged Gustaf to enter the city immediately and purchase a flail with his starting funds. However, he rolled a 1 so he first picked an adventure card and got "Dark Deniziens" which spawned dungeon-cards for 2 turns. Bjorn started off with his usual bad-luck rolling a tie against a measly STR 2 goblin, while I had the misfortune to face Goblin Marauders STR 7!!! As I was nervous for the fight I rolled one 6 and... Gustaf rolled a 1. Bjorn was upset because this is the good fortune I usually have in Talisman, but I thanked the gaming gods and cached in a point of strength.
Gustaf actually forgot to draw a dungeon card his first turn he was supposed to do so, but the second turn he drew some horrific vampire-creature whose name escapes me. He did this outside the great temple in the city, and it had a ridicilous Craft 9, and in addition to losing a life he would lose a follower or another life if he had no follower. He lost of course, and the turn before he had drawn "charity" so he had to give Bjorn one gold. This meant the Flail was out of his reach, but he managed to purchase the Greatsword, meaning he had an impressive battle-roll.
It went alright for Bjorn. He had gotten an axe, armor and water-bottle from the start due to his ability and got boosted from his magic belt. He had a knack for running into craft-monsters and raising his craft before long he had a total craft of 8! After a while in the game he tried to go into the dungeon but he almost immediately faced some craft 10 monster that tore him a new one. He thought better of it and decided to hone his skills a bit more in the regular realm.
The game continued with all of us gaining some and losing some, staying pretty equal in power. Gustaf however managed to purchase the warhorse, raising his battle-roll to 11. I however, got both the crown of solom as well as the wand, meaning I was both an impressive fighter with STR 8 as well as a decent spellcaster. However, I encountered the wheel of destiny, losing my ONLY point of fate, and after I got the wand both Bjorn and Gustaf tried to hound me down with the grim reaper! This was something I was extremely nervous about, since I hold the track-record of dying from rolling a 1 on the grim reaper table.
Me and Gustaf managed to enter the middle region at one point, and both Gustaf and Bjorn laughed as I got the jester following and mocking me, lowering my self confidence. However, I got to the castle and Gustaf moved out. I hadn't really wrecked anyone with spells at this point in the game, only casting a "lose a turn" spell on Bjorn once.
At one interesting point, Gustaf drew the arena. I had both crown of solomon and the wand at this point but no gold, while bjorn had 1 gold but all his stuff was followers. But Gustaf and Bjorn has some rivalry at times so instead of facing me (Granted, I had 2 dice and could choose one so had a chance to beat him) he chose Bjorn. He beat Bjorn and took his gold, healing 1 life. I actually thought it wasn't THAT bad of a move until Bjorn pointed out Gustaf had a shield he didn't use, and could easily have healed a life.
Death stood at some plains, and Gustaf moved to his location and drew the MAGIC FOUNTAIN, which contained strength tokens! I realized I had to move there, rolled a 6 and moved 1 space from Gustaf. And the card I drew was... the DEMIGOD!!! I got to choose ANY Spell from the spell deck, and thought at first I wanted teleport, or maybe something to steal an item or follower from someone.
However before I was finished picking a spell Gustaf rolled and got a 1. He realized he could reach me AND would roll for death. Bjorn pointed out his mistake, that now I knew Gustaf would face me. And he only had 2 lives... So I chose the finger of death spell (Lose 2 lives before combat). Gustaf also had a spell, but it was a fireball (And I had both 3 lives AND st Josephine that you can discard to replenish all lives).
So I killed Gustaf and got ALL his stash (Greatsword, warhorse, a walking bag of luggage that carries 4 extra items). However, after his gruesome death Gustaf rolled a 1... Death moved to my space!
So this was it, would I die after dispatching the leading character on the board? No, I rolled a 3, and as Gustaf had to leave soon and Bjorn felt I was too mighty to challenge, I was awarded the win.
This was one of the shortest, most even and intense games of Talisman I have ever played. It is rare for everyone to be so individually mighty. I also thought it was pretty funny that Gustaf made such a mistake fighting Bjorn, and then paying for it completely in the end.