Both digital and physical, for Talisman, the Highlands is the first big box expansion that I recommend.
It adds more adventure cards, characters, and a new region to explore off the main board followed by an optional super showdown vs. the Eagle King which offers some interesting artifact treasure rewards if you beat him.
There are many strategies in your race for the Crown of Command, and while many work on their own, for all of them the Highlands is an important component- and can speed up your progress for the Crown.
The first point of the Highlands is that it gives your character a place to go and get away from the other players. Often in a bigger game of 4+ players (The biggest game of Talisman I every played in had 18 players.) when you grab an object that everybody wants it’s easy to land on your space and punk you. Sometimes you need to get away…
There is a good mix of low to medium strength and craft encounters in the deck- a bit easier vs. the base game and other expansions. Sure there are a few hard as in 7+ encounters, but the Highlands tends to be a bit easier on you.
There are a couple of choice objects in the Highlands that let you influence your movement by teleportation or adding a +1 to movement which makes landing on a space easier- important for the mid game when you want to do your best to avoid landing on certain spaces or cards in play and you don’t want to have to burn a FATE token.
Sure they exist in the base game deck, but as you add other small box expansion to the main game- Reaper, etc. the base game cards get diluted real quick.
Way Of Gold.
THIS is the strength of the Highlands- emeralds, diamonds, and other gems can be found and cashed in at the city- giving you a good stock of gold either to spend in the city if in play, or mid to later game as a way to heal up life. Often gold is overlooked in the game, but it is very central to many strategies.
My vote for expansion order:
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