Talisman Digital Edition

I have never played the hardcopy version of this boardgame. I was interested in it after watching Aavak played with 3 other youtubers.

The aim of the game is to be the first person to reach the last "tile" and use the Crown of Command to case the Command spell. To get there, you absolutely need 2 things: sufficient strength or craft to open Portal of Power, and a talisman to pass through the Valley of Fire.

It took me at least 115 rounds (each round = 1 turn per player) to finish the game. So, assuming it took a mere 5 minutes to finish a round, that translates to nearly 10 hours of play! The youtubers took about 2.5 hours.

Now, 2.5 hours for a boardgame is nothing unusual but the amount of grinding and luck involved made this game tedious.

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Let's say you want to get to the village to see the mystic to improve your craft stat and it's 4 tiles away. You would first need to roll a die and you must get exactly 4 to move there. You can spend many rounds before finally getting there. If you're there, again you need to roll a die to get what you want i.e. to improve your craft stat. At some places, you can either get nothing or even worse, get something bad like being turned into a toad or lose a stat. As you can see, it can take ages to get what you want.

Your immediate aim is to buff your stats either by directly increasing them or equip objects or followers. However, with such troublesome RNG (random number generator) mechanism as described above, it can take ages to get the right amount of stats.

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After about 100 rounds, I was finally at the second last tile here. The power shifts were incredible. Initially I was at the forefront and then because of a toad curse (instead of getting useful stats), I became almost useless. Then the Troll and Wizard went toe to toe in the Inner Ring until the former hammered the latter in strength combat.

I then rose again followed by the fall of the Troll. The Druid was slowly gaining power (in the above screenshot, he has the second highest strength).

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Once you get to the Crown of Command, whatever stats you have built up is useless other than defending against attack by another player who venture into the same spot. As you can read above, it is entirely luck-based. Exactly 50/50.

It was so boring for me that I folded clothes while waiting for my turn to come as all I needed to do was to click a button 3 times.

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Throughout the game, no one even pass through the Valley of Fire to get to where I was. Was it because the opponent stats were lousy and thus couldn't pass overcome the obstacles? Partly true but it was also partly because of the huge RNG influence on where they could get to and what they could get once they were there.

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Round 97. Goodness.

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Druid finally died due to my command spell.

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At last! I finally won lol.

Now, compare to a boardgame that I'm familiar with: Mage Knight, a game that usually takes around 3+ hours for 2 players to complete the normal scenario. Is there RNG involved? Yes, you do not know what you will draw from the deck that you build but you know exactly what cards are there in it and keep track. Same goes for the skill tokens.

You know beforehand what are the available Advance Ability and Spells on offer but what you don't know is the next card that will replace any that's taken.

You don't use a die to move. You use movement cards. Even if you don't have any movement cards, you can use any card as 1 movement. Same goes for attack, defend and influence.

The major RNG in Mage Knight is the mana dice that are used to power up your cards but again it's not a must. You can always use the basic version of the cards except for spell but it's ok not to be heavily spell focused. Other cards are equally useful. Besides, mana can also be generated in other ways.

The mana dice are also used to determine reward for certain battles but unlike Talisman, no results are bad.

This makes Mage Knight a much more enjoyable game, far less tedious than Talisman even if it ends up longer (think 6 hours is the record for me).

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