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My hopes were crushed

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#1 Tsarcastic



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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:25 PM

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.

#2 keltheos



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Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:40 AM

There's more than the primary colored stat mixed into the threat decks. If players with very deficient stats (ratling in Red fights, let's say, or Ogre in Cunning fights) were racking up wins then it was either the luck of the draw with their Assets, or the luck of the dice. I'm finding the dice we got with the set simply suck and we've swapped them out with our more 'stable and balanced' d6's we use for other games.


The Space Marine and Sister have to play to their strengths. The marine needs to chase missions as fast as he can, not grind enemies like the Ogre does, etc. There isn't much player interaction, true, but they state as much in the book and are saving more of that for the expansion. This game was designed on its own, not specifically for veteran Talisman players, so you may find your experiences differ from most starting players. I've played literally hundreds of Talisman games, so this wasn't anything new for me, but the newer mechanics mean it's still a fun experience for me.


I think playing a few more times may change  your minds. Since luck does feature heavily you'll find that those classes who rocketed to the top thanks to good draws/rolls may not do so well next time. Heck, if you know how to play Talisman, house rule the PvP combat rules in from that to this game. Attacker choses stat to use, loser loses 1 life/influence (maybe 2)/asset…

#3 GuiltyDragon



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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:20 AM

As someone who has never played Talisman, I enjoyed myself. I sat down to play with three friends, all of which had not played Talisman before, and only two of which knew anything about Warhammer 40k. The game started off fairly balanced. We had a Ratling, Ogryn, Inquisitor and myself, a Techpriest. The Ogryn took an early lead but was overtaken by the Sniper and the Inquisitor. The Sniper promptly went insane and was swapped out for a rogue trader that eventually ended up winning. We all had a pretty good time and managed to finish the game off in about 5 hours. At no point did it seem that someone had an unnatural advantage due to their starting stats.

I fared very very poorly due to a combination of bad draws (managing to draw 3 out of 4 greater daemons) and bad rolls (I won 3 combats in all, getting 5 consecutive 1s in combat). Everyone remarked that the dice seemed to throw an unusal amout of 6s and 1s. Maybe that's just our imgination however. There were jokes that our copy was cursed by Tzeentch.

Still, we had fun and I for one am looking forward to playing it again.

#4 Thaddux



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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:11 PM

First game was Ogryn, Sister, Psyker and Tech-Priest.  The Ogryn player took full advantage of his abilities, taking preference for Strength battles and using his auto-six ability for everything else, but due to a spectacular roll, then reroll of 1 at the Maze of Tzeench, he lost to the Battle Sister.

Second game consisted of a Rogue Trader, Space Marine, Assassin and Inquisitor.  The player of the Assassin (who was the Ogryn in the previous game) got Corrupted in the Inner tier and lost to the Space Marine (played by the Sister of the first game) who smashed Kairos Fateweaver into the ground like a feathery tent-peg during the next turn.

The third game we had a few hours ago was a duel between the Rogue Trader, the Space Marine and the Commissar.  The Space Marine stuck to all things Strength and Reached Battleship Antias first.  The Rogue Trader had to pull out of the game, and the Commissar died in the inner tier.

Don't know if those accounts help, but we've had a whale of a time playing the game, and it seems to be just as much about skill and chance.  The Ogryn/Assassin player is one of the most strategic gamers I know and he was utterly defeated by just a few bad draws or rolls, right at the last minute.

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