Wednesday, June 20, 2012

So harsh. Twice. (Talisman)

Phew. Past few times have been quite a write.

But now, these two games of Talisman are the last of all kinds of gaming practiced on my visit to Kuhmo.

First of these games was a three player game of "super-talisman". We were using the Dragon Lords expansion, the Grim Reaper and Werewolf. All combined, the game took hours and hours of playing time. About four and half hours with three players who all had a lot of earlier experience on this game.

Characters drawn were the Dragon Rider, Troll and Dark Cultist.

Because it's been long time already since this game was played, I don't remember the sweetest details. Except one, that wasn't so sweet for me and my Troll.

However, when playing with the Draconic Lords, getting a dragon mount for Dragon Rider was a lot easier. Though, if we're completely honest, the dragons that came up from different Lord's decks were rather... tough. Not many of those seemed to be below Strenght or Craft 7, and plenty of enemies higher than that.

In this game Dragon Rider found Pharaoh's Crown, and once she got the mount, her offensive potential outside of plain stat points was impressive. She was rolling 2 dice for her attacks, picking the highest, and she could force enemies to roll their dice again once per turn.

Dark Cultist was a nasty character, too. Looked like enemies were purposefully avoiding her, but still she got straight stat rises from her special skills plenty of times.

And then... our lovable troll. That's what he was.

Early in game he found Horse and Cart. On a side-journey to Dungeon he found Lone Dwarf as his companion. Imagine that... a troll and a lonely dwarf, riding on a cart, facing adventures! This mental image became even more hilarious when a treasure hunter joined the Troll.

There was even a curious little story. This small but joyous party was journeying in some grassy plains, when some insane Strengh 9 dragon came and beat up the Troll. Grim reality of Talisman opened Treasure Hunter's eyes, so she fled away.

Then, only a couple of turns later the Lone Dwarf was sacrificed in the Varthrax war council. I'm sure Troll misunderstood what the warlords meant with all their fancy words...

After this the Troll was lonely, and without any outside guidance. At least three Craft 1 monsters tricked him, two of those being some kind of Pumpkin Heads.

Ah well, still Troll was the first character who tried to enter Inner Region. However, all characters had the statistics for that about the same time. Dragon Rider was inside the Dungeon, trying to beat Lord of Darkness. First the Troll entered Inner Region, and a turn later Dark Cultist did that too.

Then Troll failed the strenght test in the crypts and was teleported back to Portal of Power, and then he encountered the space. Card drawn was Talismonger. That ridiculously named card caused Troll to lose ALL strenght gained during game, which meant 7 strenght points at the moment. No worries! Fate was used to re-roll. Didn't help, though, as result was still the same. That was a serious blow under Troll's belt.

Dark Cultist then failed the same test, though I don't remember if she tried to go through mines or crypt. Result was, however, that she was teleported to Warlock's Cave.

And a turn after that Dragon Rider flew to encounter Lord of Darkness and beat him at least by 8 after she doubled her own strenght with a spell.

Draconic Lord itself was a piece of cake for her. Victory for Dragon Rider!

I decided to take a picture of the playing board, if it shows anything. There's plenty of action there, though, with all the draconic tokens, all the characters, werewolf and the grim reaper.

Game 2:

Next day we played another one of a three player Talisman.

One of our players needed to catch a train, so we had to play less heavy on the additional stuff.

We used Dragon Tower as inner region, and Werewolf.

Characters drawn were Doomsayer, Fire Wizard and Chivalric Knight.

This set of characters was rather exciting for me - none of these characters had been played earlier! What a major boost to my statistics on Numbers-page! Ahem... let's continue...

Chivalric Knight voiced a couple of questions if he was, in fact, chivalric at all. Only when other characters fought a battle they should have won in any case, he did appear to offer his help. But when Doomsayer accidentally stumbled upon Infernal Legion at night (Equal to Strenght 11 enemy), he was quick to say that he won't help. Soon after he met a random stranger who turned his alignment to Neutral.

A little later he rescued a princess, but he forcefully kept her as a hostage, claiming to "protect her", though two main factors for decisions where he had to sacrifice a follower were that she was worth some gold and could give free healing in the castle. Long live the code of honor!

Doomsayer lived a steady life, and neither of his abilities felt too powerful. I really like Doomsayer, as he is a perfect example how good characters can be designed without them actually being way over the top.

And then... Fire Wizard. He sure was a good character, but when Chivalric Knight got a Vengeance Hex as a quest reward, he was turned into a toad.

As his first turn as a toad he stumbled upon Craft 9 Vampire Prince.

How sad is that? A Vampire Prince goes and sucks the blood out of a slimy toad? Almost sounds like Interview with the Vampire...

Well, finally after that short trek as an amphibian, Fire Wizard got his game going. Right up until he stumbled upon a Sacrificial Stone. This card kind of goes over the space, and whenever you enter that space you draw one adventure card. If it is a dragon, your character is killed. And guess what? A dragon came right up.

You can guess who was playing the Fire Wizard. I was.

Next I draw Vampire Hunter as my character, but she was in a real hurry now, because Fire Wizard bit the dust about in the middle of the game. Both other characters had gained quite a bit of strenght and craft, though still not enough to challenge the King.

There was one curious thing about this game, however. About 75% of monsters drawn were Craft-fighters. Troll would have had a difficult time there.

I don't remember how and when it happened, but Doomsayer happened to rise his statistics beyond a sort of "breaking point", where losing a fight was somewhat of a rarity. Once he got a Talisman he went to climb the stairs in Inner Region. He had a nasty head start, but after some rounds it looked like Chivalric Knight could try and win the same style as Dragon Rider in last game. Go and beat Lord of Darkness and fly straight to the Crown of Command.

However, Lord of Darkness had learned to fight since last game. He rolled 6 and Knight something like 1 or 2, which came out as a stand-off.

So, in the end there was no-one to challenge Doomsayer. He got to the Crown of Command, but he actually had to fight. There was a slight chance of getting a stand-off or even a defeat.

However, the Dragon King was smashed to bits like a porcelain doll. Victory for Doomsayer!

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