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Relic or Talisman

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#21 guillaumetexas



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Posted 26 April 2014 - 09:11 AM

1) Once you've upgraded your level to level 12 it is difficult to progress individual attributes (strength etc) as you can't cash in trophies.  This slows down your progress dramatically.

2) You need a fairly rounded character strong in all areas to progress the Inner Region as you are challenged on Strength, Willpower and Cunning, so you need to strengthen every attribute - no taking daring chances to the middle as a strategy.

3) Power cards (spells?) play an overpowering role in the game compared to Influence (gold?).  Any characters without power cards are unlikely to progress the game well - unlike in Talisman where there are strong non-magic characters and gold-based characters.


Overall, the upgrade mechanism tries to bring all characters to upgrade their attributed in a more rounded manner making the gameplay of most characters to be much more similar than in Talisman.


Now, these are my opinions and my opinions only. I play Relic about once a month and Talisman about once a month. So I am getting a pretty good picture of player progress. Some of these games are with 2 3 or 4 players.


In Relic, you really don't need to level up to 12 to travel to the middle. In fact, I would advise not to. It takes too long. Someone will have a go at the center by 7-8 because by level 8 you automatically move 1 more space when you enter the inner tier.


You don't need a fairly rounded character either. In my many plays, I find rounded characters to be annoyingly slow and difficult to upgrade. With a Strength based character, I try to land on a red square most of the time and I will likely be increasing my strength rapidly through level upgrades. So what if I suck at willpower? I will loose a life in the inner tier, but if I have enough lives, I can soak it up very easily.

When I play the sister of battle, my favorite character, I choose 2 attributes to increase and let the third one untouched. That to me, is a great tactic for Relic. Choose 2 attributes, let the third one, your weakest, remain the weakest and focus on 2.


You want two strong attributes because you want some flexibility when it comes to fighting. One attribute is too narrow and it will be difficult to always land on the spaces you want. Three attributes is too many and your progress will be quite slow, Besides, very few characters give you the opportunity to upgrade all 3 attributes. I feel 2 is the right number.


Power cards can become silly, especially with powerful relic interactions: the one that gives you a 6 all the times for example. But I agree that power cards are far more useful than Talisman spells, and I love, love, love the fact that you can use it as a dice roll. For your movement, this is unbelievably critical. You have a strong willpower and a blue tyranid enemy worth 6 pts is waiting face up 3 squares away and you have a Power Card of 3 in your player area. Forget the dice, use the power card to immediately travel there, kill the bug and earn a level up. Power cards are not all about "sixes".

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#22 Lord Kalten

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 02:56 PM

Hi all. Glad to hear the positive perspectives on Relic. I think I'm going to get the expansion to see if it improves the game further. Definitely playing 'the other side' seems interesting. We played again taking into account various points made above especially not waiting until levelling to level 12 before moving forwards to the inner region.

I'm still not completely convinced that Relic based on Talisman rules was a good idea. For decent strategy games we play Catan or Ticket To Ride. Talisman is the opposite - very luck based and an open journey with a great deal of variety, where the turning of every card is exciting as you don't know what to expect.

Even on the second play, whilst I appreciate that 'you have more control' over your character, it's not as good as other strategy games but at the same time not as good as Talisman for what Talisman does great. It's easy to compare direct with Talisman and say that it's less random and you have more control and can apply more consistent reliable strategy but to do that you'd then need to compare with other games dedicated to strategy and Relic isn't quite good enough. What carries it over is possibly people's love of the Warhammer universe - otherwise people might have less time for it.

I guess from an adventure perspective, it still feels fairly boring. I can't remember the monsters in each deck - I just know I turn them over, try to beat them and then move on. All the cards are largely the same - monsters. Everyone has power cards. Yes, the abilities are more diverse like Talisman, but otherwise it doesn't feel exciting. Monster after monster whilst trying to get to the middle. The vanquishing concept feels like death coming too easily and so vanquishing implemented and then the concept of corruption to represent real death.

I remember playing Talisman and selecting the Minstrel. When you encounter a monster on your journey, you remember whether it's an animal and whether you can charm it. If you're the Sorceress, you remember constantly drawing spell cards. It feels different and the world feels very big and open due to the depth and diversity of cards and thus you feel that sense of adventure.

I do think that there are elements of Relic which shine and can be implemented in Talisman. The most obvious of these is the power roll where you roll again if you roll a six. This kind of power accumulation represents power charging in the magical world and would fit well into Talisman in combat.

I recall when Games Workshop used to have a very successful game called Epic Space Marine 2nd Edition which was a tabletop game. It was a game in the Warhammer universe but you controlled armies on a grand scale such that you can use Great Gargants and Imperiator Titans. There were lots of templates such as when rolling the gargant's gutbuster weapon, you had a template you put along the gargant's path and you had to roll for deviation etc.

Anyway, there was many rules and templates for all the different types of units. At some point Games Workshop decided that all this could be simplified and replaced everything with just a roll on the dice. This became Armageddon 4th Edtion. Some liked the speeding up and fast pasteness of the revised game. Others felt that it made each piece in the army play the same and without 'flavour' Most people that voted online and in games said that 4th Edition played better - more fast paced and consistent. However, the game went from one played as much as Warhammer and Warhammer 40K to one that dropped in players by over 50% year on year. I guess that says something.

I guess also that I'm one of those that liked the 'flavour' of Epic Space Marine - that rolling the Great Gargant gutbuster weapon with it's templates was something I looked forward to every turn and which turned into a combined group dice roll and got boring in 4th Edition.

I think I'll give it one more expansion try and then take it from there. I am sure that had Relic taken the strategy from another game, it would have been much much better. I like to think it wasn't just a case of 'Timescape expansion doesn't fit into magic-based Talisman - let's implement it using Warhammer 40K instead'!


#23 warlock00



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Posted 30 April 2014 - 08:18 PM

Relic is not really a strategy game, it's more of a fun hang with friends random adventure game.


Conquest the LCG will be more of a strategy game.

#24 Crag78



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Posted 12 May 2014 - 06:39 AM

Relic is a thighter game than Talisman as far as the mechanic goes.I'm not comparing Relic to other strategy games here.But as cool as Warhammer 40k setting is, it's true that there's less flavors and places to explore in Relic's adventure deck cards than Talisman.Same goes for the board although gorgeous, looks a bit the same here and there.Talisman is the opposite.Less thighter, more diverse.Warhammer 40k is a faction's war setting.So Relic as it is, is perfect for Warhammer 40k fan and not for a space quest adventure fan who loved Talisman for it's fantasy quest adventure nature and randomness.The only thing that Relic and Talisman have in common it's the board overlays separate in three regions.But that's only my opinion.That's why I'm hoping for FFG to release a stand alone Timescape game to fulfill our need for real space quest adventuring.Talisman mechanic or not but with a board more in the like of Merchants of Venus than Talisman or Relic.We'll wait and see.