You have drawn your character for the race to the Crown of Command, set your strength, craft, and life counters…

…what is your starting plan?

Certainly the character abilities you have are going to play in effect, as are the other characters in the game, modified by the expansions in play, and we will cover those extensively in future posts, but in the game there are always a number of CORE strategies in play regardless of the above variables.

The game can be broken up into three phases, each lasting on average 12-15 turns.

Starting Game: Leveling up, boosting stats, gaining items and followers.

Mid Game: Preparing to make your run for the crown, crippling KEY players so they can’t make their own run or stop yours.

End Game: Making a successful run.

At the starting game tactics level your first goal is to buy some armor as soon as you can, and depending on how the gold flows it might be a helmet, shield, or suit of armor.

Half the encounters you may face when drawing cards can potentially be blocked by some form of armor. If you are playing a powerful or good character draw you don’t want to get killed, and as you move into the mid game you don’t want to be spending your time healing up.

PLUS, and extra health that you may grab on the board, you want to be able to stack it above and beyond your current battle to build up a good life pool. Both as a way to deal with any random draws that may zap your life, and also to start preparing for the end game run.

While you are actively doing that as much as possible based on your FATE pool, some characters have more vs. others and you always want to try and bank 1-2 FATE, you are going to farm the mystic and enchantress for the +1 strength and craft.

Which on a 1D6 is a pretty good chance/roll.

Fate is there for the re-roll if needed, or to avoid being toadified by the enchantress.

Finally, as much as possible you are going to work on farming the ruins space, as you can draw two cards when landing on the space if not card occupied.

Yes, at the start of the game you are weak and vulnerable to drawing a dragon, demon, or giant which will most likely punk you (armor), but at the same time at the start of the deck, even with expansion, the best items are still in play to randomly draw, we want to play into that random, embrace it, and try to draw as many cards as possible.

Side note: As the game goes on, unless you have an ability, object, or follower that lets you draw and replace an adventure card, you DON’T want to draw multiple cards- you don’t want to have geared up and get hit be the Raiders, or similar lose your loot cards.

Toad! Toad! Toad!

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Adrian Starkey · February 1, 2018 at 5:06 PM

The flail is a must go for weapon,ability to roll d12 attack and rune sword can turn the game quickly if you get it, the magic protection amulet helps,
The tinkerer is such a powerful character with the automate ability, surprising how many people turn there nose up at him based on his art design lol,
I like the bounty hunter or the elemental

    NICK · February 2, 2018 at 9:30 AM

    City expansion:

    Alchemist plus potions -> Alchemize -> rinse and repeat?
    Bounty Hunter plus plate armor?

    Thanks for the strat articles on talisman!

      Wargamer Fritz · February 2, 2018 at 9:36 AM

      Expansion tactica coming for Talisman.

      I find that highlands + city is a potent way to power up. Get all those emerals, gems, etc. from the Highlands and turn them to gold in the city- bu y lots of potions and drink them down for the stat boosts.

    Wargamer Fritz · February 2, 2018 at 9:38 AM

    Flail is an auto goto weapon- and a bit over powered, but I’ll still grab it of course for something you can buy vs. being in the encounter deck to find. kind of like the Runesword- yes it’s powerful, yet is changes the pace of the game, but you at least have to pull it in the deck first and navigate the other stuff in the deck first.

      NICK · February 2, 2018 at 11:34 AM

      Looking forward to your analysis when you get a chance! Still have copies of some of your old youtube character analysis vids.

      In the past, the Sorceress has been described as a top character in the base game. Is she still felt to be so? Also how does your group play her? Is she shawdowing certain characters or concentrating on upgrades? Is she trying to farm any particular location(s)? Does this hcnage with the expansions?

      Since the thief will want to concentrate on using his special ability late game, what does the character concentrate on early/mid game? Any particular objects or increasing any specific attributes?

      Are the Ghoul and Monk still perceived as being strong (Monk with adding just Craft value [not Craft] to Str in combat)?

      Finally are Rush characters like the Troll (above average strength) and the Dwarf (Portal of Power advantage) still considered weak? Can a Dwarf with a 4 Strength, 7 Craft and an Axe
      end the game very quickly (old Merric Blackman post “Winning the Game ¬≠Understanding the Characters”)?

        Wargamer Fritz · February 2, 2018 at 12:23 PM

        Base game I find the Prophetess and Sorceress to be the most powerful characters in the game, still. We play them as is- no house rules, BUT if it is a big game of 4+ players and you draw her, the other players tend to gang up and get her killed and removed from the game. Wizard is also powerful for the spells each turn- but as you add expansions the spell pool kind of gets diluted and some are not that great.

        Thief is a ton of fun, I try to focus on craft with him so I can get some spells. Movement is key- either teleport spells, magic carpet/boots, stuff like that so as the game cycles through the adventure deck and other players draw good objects, you can spell/move on them and steal them. He is also great at stealing a Talisman from other players and alchemy it to get it out of the game.

        Monk and Ghoul I think are middle tier- you could do worse drawing them.

        Rush characters like the Troll and Dwarf I feel are really hit or miss- if you can draw some early on mid strength encounters and beat them, the advantage of starting strength + level it up gives you an big advantage, but if your draws are meh, they tend to just stay at the same level as everybody else progresses faster. Troll needs to beat on other players at the start of the game while he has a starting strength advantage, before the other players have ways to keep away from him.

      NICK · February 2, 2018 at 11:44 AM

      Sorry for the above long post. Just some final questions:

      1) In general what stats (Six both Str/Cra – something else), do chars have when entering dungeon? Any diff between Str based vs Craft based chars?

      2) do you recall any Necromancers or Ogre Chieftans rushed the end of the Dungeon and used their special against the LOD? If yes, what were the stats?

      Anyway thank you for all the great strat info on Talisman – can really be hard to find!

        Wargamer Fritz · February 2, 2018 at 12:15 PM

        Excellent discussion- I’m working on some further Talisman tactia posts now!

        I find the Dungeon to be the most punishing of the big box expansions since it is so tempting to rush right in. On average the strength encounters are on the higher end 5+ or they have weird stuff that adds values if combined with another monster card. I try to go in with 6-8 strength, and kind of avoid the Dungeon with a craft character- I’d rather take my chances in the Woodlands if that expansion is in play.

        I feel like it’s not so much fighting the LOD at the end, it’s getting up there- even if you have the strength/craft do you want to risk a bad encounter on the way? I’m not saying don’t enter the Dungeon, but certain higher starting strength characters can have an easier time with it. There are a few good objects to find in the Dungeon cards, but do we want to farm them? Maybe if we have the orb to draw and discard a card. The end treasure reward seems to be the real goal of the Dungeon.

        Tactically, I often do this if all of the expansions are in play both big box and small- which is what I usually play with when our Talisman group gets together.

        Jump into the Highlands first, and grab some gems, maybe take a run at the Eagle King if I have the time and stats. Head over to the city and buy as many potions as I can with the gems for gold exchange and use the potions to boost my stats. Maybe buy a pet or two for the lolz.

        Dungeon is next, and on the way I try to get something that can double D6 my movement like the riding horse, or teleport like the magic carpet or boots- if I can, I won’t stop to look for them. Get through the Dungeon as fast as I can and grab the Wand of Dragon Fire, and now I’m ready to make my run for the Crown of Command, or punk a few players and grab their gear.

        If I’m not playing a 100% cut throat game, one of my favorite builds and tactics is the toad spam build- a way of building your character to throw out random spells and other toadifing effects on other players- become a toad king! Let the player go deep into the Dungeon or Woodlands and hit them with the toadstick!

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