Today, last day of my vacation, I got to play a game of Talisman.
It was a two player game with all the sideboard but normal victory condition.
Characters drawn were Alchemist and Highlander.
To put it nicely, my thoughts about Alchemist have been... reserved, at best.
However, early in the game it actually started to look like Alchemist's special abilities weren't that bad after all. But to be honest, it was pretty much because of horrible luck he had.
Highlander, on the other hand, started to get strenght early on and his character development looked astonishing.
In fact, when Alchemist was fooling around in the Highlands, at times losing his precious magical shields and spellswords to precipience (spelling?) tiles by picking up a lodestone from there, or losing all his followers to highland raiders, Highlander was already fighting his way in the Dungeon, with Strenght of about 8 and Craft of 5 (with wiseman and book of diablerie).
That was where Alchemist started to worry a bit.
In the meantime, a curious incident happened.
Think yourself a nice oasis in middle of a dry, hot desert. Now, what would you least expect to find there?
Maybe Ice Queen's Palace? Well... I guess Ice Queen had built it to a place where no-one would try to search it.
After a while Ice Queen's Palace was placed with a spell to Desert tile, just for the laughs of it. However, that place was too hot for even the mighty powers of the Ice Queen. A little later earthquake shaked the middle region, that could be easily interpreted as the palace melting away.
Now, that was a slight detour from the actual fight for Crown of Command.
Alchemist was a little bit luckier this time, finding himself a magic mace that provided him with +2 to strenght during battle. He had also found a Lucky Charm, so with that he had to go and challenge the Eagle King. There was a measure of hurry in the process, as Highlander had already beaten the Lord of Darkness and taken Cloak of Feathers with him, and next turn he got himself a talisman from a finished quest.
So, Alchemist had a combined Strenght of 8 with a spell, the mace, and his own strenght of 4. It was enough to beat the Eagle King, but since the spell was lost, there was no chance of beating Highlander, who had a strenght of 10 in battle or 12 if he decided to charge.
This is the point where my initial thought of Alchemist being a way too good character proved to be true.
At least in the normal game mode with other players losing life on 4+ when someone is at the crown game usually ends soon unless someone is just a few steps behind in the Inner Region, Alchemist can actually survive insanely long time.
When he exchanged lodestone and a hoard of trinkets to gold at Alchemist in the city, he got 11 gold.
And after that he was able to throw away magical objects or regular objects to patch himself up.
In the endgame, Alchemist must have been pretty woozy... he had been drinking his hastily self-made potions nearly every turn.
Alchemist had Gnome with him, so he could easily come to the Inner Region himself. The only problem was Highlanders strenght of 10 or 12, which Alchemists measly strenght of 6 had no hopes of winning. Well, he had all the time in the world to "level up" to strenght 8 and then go challenge the Highlander.
And when Alchemist was there at the Highlander, he still had no shortage of golden potions of health.
Now, Highlander was at 2 lives at the Crown, but he had 2 higher Strenght than Alchemist. Alchemist was at the Crown too, but he had... what... still at least about 10 "lives" or something, and even more because there were a couple of items that provided Craft that could be melted into coins.
Highlander gave a good beating, but eventually succumbed to the massive amount of health Alchemist could count on. I guess every wound Alchemist received didn't actually bleed blood, but healing potion.
So Alchemist came out as the victor, and so Alchemist was proved overpowered, all things considered.