Talisman Board Game Tactics: The Highlands

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:





2 Replies to “Talisman Board Game Tactics: The Highlands”

  1. What do you think about small expansions? Are they worth the money? I just bought core game (20 years after I lost my copy of talisman, which I’d found out later was a polish fake of the original) and was wondering if you could maybe guide me on which expansions are essential and must-have for a guy who doesn’t want to spend fortune and still have fun with his son after many hours of playing.

    1. Reaper is a must- gives you new cards, spells, and the Reaper mechanic. From there I’d add Sacred Pool as it again adds more adventure cards, objects, followers, etc. without altering the base game. These two small expansions alone can take you quite far. If you want to dip into the bigger ones I’d start with the Highlands first.

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