First look at Talisman: Legendary Tales

So, after my “First ponderings…” feature about Talisman: Legendary Tales from Pegasus Spiele prior to its release at Gen Con, I figured I would have a bit of a wait before I could actually get my grubby mitts on a physical copy when the game went on general release.

However, Katie B, awesome and talented Talisman superfan, sent me a lovely surprise through the mail as a copy of the launch edition of the game arrived along with the promotional Druid character and poster!

I’ve actually had a full playthrough of the game with my daughter, Katie, but thought it would be best to separate the report into two instalments lest it becomes a rambling beast…

Given that the game is billed as a “bag builder”, you would probably guess that there are a lot of tokens to punch out, and there are… seven sheets of them… eight if you include the bonus Druid character!

In fact, the only other part of the game that isn’t punched (apart from the wooden Travel die) are these massive Adventure Scrolls which are roughly A4 in size! I wonder if you can get sleeves for those?

To go with the five adventures, which are bordered in five different colours, we have these matching Adventure Tokens.

Iconography is pretty straight forward, with the various strengths of the Enemies being depicted by a combination of Swords and Magic Hats, with other icons indicating the number of rewards earned or extra lives that a creature has.

The border on the tokens shows whether you encounter that particular token in the first chapter (smooth border) or in the second chapter (jagged border).

Setup is slightly different for each adventure and is described in detail in the rulebook along with diagrams of the play area where necessary.

One problem levelled at the game is that the BACK side of the tokens are not lined up properly and consequently once punched out they are off centre. The fronts are perfect, which is where the main information is, but all in all it is a shame that the tokens don’t look as good as they could.

There was also a small issue with the paper not coming away cleanly from the punch, but luckily none of my tokens were torn during the preparation for the game. I would hope that Pegasus Spiele have taken note of this and will address it for the general release.

There are twelve Location Tiles that are used to build the game “map” changes which is different during each adventure.

You might notice a series of icons on the location tile above, which are used when setting up later chapters in the adventures. The combinations of these ensure that the experience can be different depending on which tokens are encountered during the adventure.

Each hero begins the game with a combination of seven Starting Tokens in their bag, which can be added to over the course of an adventure.

Players must try to defeat enemies by matching their symbols from drawn tokens. Other icons allow a player to draw again from their own bag, or another player’s bag, and the dreaded hourglass icon means that the time counter moves forward!

Rewards Tokens are gifted for defeating enemies along the way and can be shared with the other heroes in your party to help pad out their inventory where necessary.

The Travel Die has limited movement option due to the size of the playing area, with the hourglass icon on the “4” result meaning that you must advance the time counter, which is the only analogue to losing life in the game. Time is of the essence!

The Portal icon allows you to teleport to any location tile on the “board”, which can certainly be useful when you are up against it!

They’ve made a clever little scoreboard for displaying your Talismans that is built within the game box itself, though with the punched tokens and bags added to the box there is a bit of an issue with space so I’m not sure how many people will end up using it as such.

I’ve actually kept the dividing wall in the box as it suits my storage solution, but I will cover this in the “First play…” article that will come next.

The bags are another slight niggle with the game, in that they are oversized and made of very rough hessian. I believe that this has since been addressed by the manufacturers and when the game comes on general release in October it will feature a new type of bag.

For the moment, I have sourced a set of awesome lined dice bags from Sarah at Board Game Solutions that match the various Hero Tags used in the game. They certainly add a bit to the game for me!

One thing I think that it’s important to note, as it is quite clear that people might feel a bit let down that there are only six archetypes that comes with the game, or seven if you include the bonus Druid character.

I believe that, as with Talisman: Prologue from Nomad Games, not all of the characters work well in a cooperative situation, as there are those whose sole purpose is attacking and taking advantage of other characters.

It’s possible we will see more characters used if the game will be getting expansions, but for the moment there is certainly enough variety in the choice you currently have, though I will cover this more thoroughly in the playthrough article.

I’ll be working on the next article in the coming days (real life willing), and I will try my hardest not to include anything that might be considered a spoiler, so you’ll just have to ask questions if I don’t cover something that you wanted to know about.

What do I think of it so far? Well, other than the initial problems with the quality of the tokens and the bags mentioned earlier, I think the game is in pretty good shape.

As I will cover, it’s certainly not classic Talisman, but it definitely gives you a feeling that you are playing in the Talisman world, mainly due to familiar faces and places that you discover on your travels. Overall, it’s a big thumbs up from me!

First ponderings about Talisman: Legendary Tales

Board Game Solutions on Etsy

Talisman: Legendary Tales on BoardGameGeek

Talisman: Legendary Tales at Pegasus Spiele

Talisman: Prologue at Nomad Games