So my buddies and I picked up Relic on Saturday. Being big fans of the original Talisman and the setting of Warhammer 40k we were psyched to play.
We were very disappointed.
The functionality of the game itself is alright. Nothing to write home about. And it seemed very fun at first. Then we discovered that choosing balanced characters was a poor strategic decision. The first game the Ratling sniper won, then the ogre, then the ogre again, and in our fourth game the astropath was taking a discernable lead before we decided to quit.
It's relatively easy to focus on battles that utilize your primary attribute, so those with one enormous stat and other very low stats are very fast levellers, are able to get relics relatively early on, and thus are able to go to the middle tier and consistently fight battles of their primary attribute. And if they lose one or two battles because their other attributes are low, it's not a very big deal. Life is easy enough to get back if you plan your moves right and farm some influence.
In addition, there is very little room for the other players to influence the state of other players' game. Thus we all saw the player with a huge primary stat taking the lead, and weren't able to do anything about it except level harder. It's pretty disheartening.
So as I see it this is very shallow game design. In well-designed games min-maxing is discouraged through subtlety and nuance in the rules. As we have played it, one big number is the best way to go. Then you do eventually max out on that one stat and it's time to diversify. But as we see it the Space Marine, Sister of Battle and Commissar don't have anything on the three big stat guys. If this is the extent of the game, I'm very disappointed. FFG is my favorite game company, hands down, so I'm not trying to disparage them as a company. But the past two games I've bought from them have been disappointments that don't seem to have been well-designed or playtested thoroughly.
So if you have a differing experience, please share it. Because right now it's on the shelf with all the other misfit toys, and that's a sad place for a Warhammer game made by FFG to be.