Santa very kindly brought me a copy of the fantastic Talisman board game. Well, when I say Santa, what I actually mean is that I bought it myself and got Anne to wrap it up to me from the kids.
Its been years since I played the game but I recall it being great and always intended to get a copy but never quite got around to doing it. When I noticed that the latest edition (the revised 4th edition) comes with plastic figures for all the characters my mind was made up. And the verdict…
Not at all disapointed, we have already had a few games and Wren really enjoys the game too. At first I was a bit worried that at 7 years old she would find it a little too complicated, but not at all and she has so far even won one game! snatching a victory as the Dwarf with the kind of risk taking and luck you can only pull off when 7 years old.
The quality of the game materials is great and the main box even has extra spaces in the plastic insert for storing additional cards to those that come with the basic game. It has clearly been very well thought out. The only problem (for me) is that the plastic miniatures of the characters are plain boring grey plastic, so I painted them….
Prophetess, Ghoul, Thief, Assassin.
Elf, Monk, Dwarf, Troll
The miniatures themselves are pretty good and have a decent level of detail on them, although perhaps not quite up to the standard of modern table-top miniatures. The only issue I have with them really is that the scale is not consistent. The dwarf is very large and chunky and should in my opinion be somewhat smaller…but it is only a board game piece!
Painting them was actually quite enjoyable (eek!) and involved lots of colour mixing to try and get colour shades that matched the art work on the character sheets. However, matching detail was more tricky and the Priest was certainly the most difficult to paint. I am hoping that the undercoat of white plastic car parts primer and the ‘diamond hard’ floor varnish will mean it is a long time before they need any touching up.
The game also comes with 4 models for the toads, but I haven’t painted them yet (they are undercoated and waiting).
After a couple of games we had such great fun that I bought a couple of the ‘small box’ expansions. These basically add more cards but dont increase the size of the game board.
The Reaper expansion introduces ‘death’ himself to the game and adds a large element of fun to the game (we think). I am not going to launch into a review of the expansion here though. Suffice to say I would recommend it!
Again it comes with some plastic figures:
Dark Cultist, Knight, Sage, Reaper
There is another charater, the Merchant, but I have not finished paintin him yet.
My only criticism of these is that the Dark Reaper is a very lack lustre figure. It would have been much better if it had been a more detailed and imposing miniature. I will probably replace this with a better figure when I come accross one.
FROST MARCH EXPANSION
The other expansion I got was ‘Frost March’. Again this adds more cards and 4 more characters, but I haven’t painted them yet.
The best thing about this expansion though is that it provides the opportunity for differnet endings to the game.
Overall, Talisman is great but if you are thinking of getting it I’d also suggest you get the Reaper and Frost March expansions as they add a lot to the basic game. Painting the miniatures also adds to the game. Problem I have now is that I want to get more of the expansions…