Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Board Game Reviews #3

This Week we tackle the old school game that was re-released by Fantasy Flight known as Talisman.

In Talisman you play one of a number of Fantasy style characters. The Warrior, a Wizard, Dwarf, or a Troll. There are around a dozen different characters with uniquq abilities to choose from. The game board is set up with three rings. The outter ring is where you begin the game. each player moves along the board 2d6 spaces and picks up adventure cards. They range from items, monsters, or events such as a market sets up allowing you to buy things. Each player is out for themselves so you can fight your fellow adventurers. Your goal is to become powerful enough to make through the second and third rings, so most of the game takes place in the outter ring.

Once you are ready to cross to the inner ring, you must either fight the Guard at the bridge, or find a boat to cross the water. From there you mush break into the castle of elemental evil, or something. When you finally reach the very center of the board, if you have a talisman card you reciever the Crown of Command, which you then use to kill all the other players and rule the world.

Its a pretty simple game to play. But we have found a fair number of flaws. Its tough to tell when your ready to start making your way into the second level of the board. It can be very difficult to cross the bridge into the second ring. And the game almost always favors the person who gets out to an early lead. there are balancing factors, such as an evil witch who can turn you into a toad. This happened in a game where Mike was crushing. He got changed and Ellen scooped up all his gear and went on to win. Also know before you start it that this game is VERY long. The original game I hear was even longer. Since FF took it over and revised it they added in a few features to speed up game play, such as tokens which allow die re-rolls. I think my main issue with the game, is that there are times when you need to land on a certain space, but the only way to move is by rolling 2d6. I had a game where I was cursed and it kept me out of the main game trying to land on a certain spot to remove it. I spent 10 turns doing nothing but bouncing around the spot I needed. Eventually I was given the chance to have my character die and I did it, so that I could start a new one and have a shot to play the game.

I do enjoy the game, but its not one I want to play as frequently as the others I own. If your into fantasy adventures and the like this game is perfect, if not, I would pass on it. My rating comes in with a C maybe into the C+ range. Overal just not my favorite.

1 comment:

notorious said...

Good review, Dan.

In my experience with Talisman--and I've played various editions off and on for nearly twenty years--what you get out of it is the inverse of what you put into it. If you're a serious gamer looking for a nail-biting test of nerdhood, then Talisman probably isn't for you. While there's more to Talisman than meets the eye for most folks, there's no denying that luck plays a major role in the outcome. Chess it ain't.

But when I'm in the mood to play a friendly game as I unwind after a rough day at work, Talisman is my game of choice. When I don't take Talisman too seriously, I find myself having a ton of fun. It's easy to play, so anyone can win, and every game is different. Each game is a world to explore and a story to tell.

A parting word of advice: Many new players make the mistake of being too nice to each other's characters. Talisman is at its best, in my opinion, when a big group gets together and plays MEAN. Just remember to have a couple beers beforehand, and to laugh when the dice screw someone.