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Best Talisman Expansion

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There is a difference between what is the best expansion (which is Harbinger for me) and what expansion to get 1st (The City or the Reaper, of which has been mentioned many times elsewhere).

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Kinda agree with Doma.

Also, not always a whole expansion is great, but only some of its components are making an expansion great.

For example I love very much the Sacred Pool Expansion, because while it itself is a so-so expansion, it also brings outstanding Spells that neither other expansion so far brought.

The Firelands is kinda tough expansion, and brings in some great cards (like the Lamp of Aladdin), but the biggest thing it brings in are the Terrain cards (that in the Firelands are kinda meh, better ones are in the Harbinger, but they're at least first featured here).

The Harbinger brings in some kind of Omens, so You can play a game in a game, and in a game..., or design Your own Apocalypse! ;)

This is why it is hard to tell which expansion is the very best-best one ;).

Edited by Nemomon

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There are so many expansions that choosing only one among them is nearly impossible.


Like the others said, every expansion adds great stuff along with other not-so-great stuff. But every expansion adds to the game and to your experience. This is also why the answer might be very different if you are looking for a "first expansion" suggestion, or if you want to know what players like the most.


Latest expansion have a more complex design and feature mechanics for players who want something more from the game. It's not surprising that many of them would tell you that they like one of the last 3-4 expansions the most, but would recommend buying Reaper, Dungeon or Frostmarch first. Those are the first expansions and have more basic content: they build the core of the Spell deck and provide a lot of characters whose abilities are quick & easy, if compared to the recent ones.


My personal favourite expansion (for now) is the Woodland, partly because of the setting and graphics, but mostly for the Path/Destiny/fate mechanics. It's not an expansion I recommend to newbies though, since it can be quite complex to understand and can be unforgiving if you don't plan things ahead.

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Reaper, Dungeon, Frostmarch, Highland, and Sacred Pool are simpler expansions that maintain the original simplicity of the base game. I would recommend one of them first.

Blood Moon, City, Firelands, Woodland, and Harbinger are more complex expansions that add more rules. They are better for more experienced players who play Talisman on a regular basis, in my opinion.

The Dragon is the most complex expansion and I would recommend it only if you are an exceptional fan of the game. In my opinion, it *can be* the best strategically, but you have to accept its demanding rules changes.

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Each expansion adds an additional element to the game, some of them alter the game a lot (Dragon and Woodlands) others just add some cards to the deck(Dungeon and Highland).  Everyone has a favorite and everyone has a least favorite.  The city is my least favorite expansion because it usually draws everyone in.....I can hardly remember the last time someone was like, OOOOOO, I can't wait to get into the highlands.  The highlands and Dungeon are usually forgotten anymore.....which is why in a recent game we played, everyone had to earn a medal by completely traversing through all 4 corners; surprisingly the game did not take any longer than normal and we had cards dispersed ALL over the board rather than tightly packed into a few spots, so that was cool. 


If you want to know what expansion would be best, our experts have outlined the choices above with some pretty good advice.  I would just ask yourself, which one(s) sound more interesting?  And also, as you get each one play the game a few times with only that expansion so as not to dilute the concept and thematic presence that was designed.  I also know it has been mentioned before by others to purchase them in the order they were released, EXCEPT for the Dragon since that alters the game a lot.  Overall, like Artaterxes, I love the Dragon expansion but a lot of people do not since it alters the game so much.


Cheers and good luck!  

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From another thread:


The city is quite nice but has some serious balance issues (Scribe, Barterer, Black market, Assassin spread in a really thin adventure card deck).
I'd would never recommend it as a first corner.


Just like JediKnightAmoeba I'd also recommend starting with a few small boxes.

  1. Reaper - The game feels incomplete without it
    Warlock Quest Cards (!!), The Reaper NPC, Solid characters
  2. Sacred pool - The game feels incomplete without it
    Warlock Quest Rewards, The Judgement Day Alternative ending, Solid characters
  3. Frostmarch - The game feels incomplete without it
    Warlock Quest Cards, Th e Crown and Sceptre alternative ending, Solid characters
  4. The Forest, the Dungeon and/or the Highlands
    You'd want a big big box by now. All three are great so make the choice based on what you prefer.
    The Forest changes the game quite a bit with dark/light fate but when I think of it I would like to have had this from early on.
  5. What you feel like:
    Firelands - Makes the game harder
    Great alternative endings, great characters and game mechanics.
    I'm a big fan (I have two to make it less dilute) but I wouldn't recommend adding it early on.
    Bloodmoon - Adds day/night
    and more..
    Another big box (4.)
  6. The City
    Lots of things/functions that was previously hard to acquire are now readily available in shops.
    It definitely doesn't have or should be the last expansion you buy but I'd say get at least two other big boxes first.

...The dragon

This is not as much of an expansion as it is a complete game-changer.
If you really like Talisman (of course you do :) ) I'd still recommend giving it a try at some point. Just think set your expectations on game-changer not expansion.
It comes out every now and then around here, probably next game actually since a friend asked for it.


All in all, the order the expansions were released in is a great order with two exceptions.

The forest is awesome, buy this early on.

The dragon is something else than en expansion, potentially buy this when... (?)

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Harbinger is my favorite expansion, by far. It's my husband's favorite as well.


The base game only is very fun too. I had forgotten how fun it was until a few months ago when my husband I visited my husband's parents, who we'd given the base game to as a gift. 

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For me the title of best expansion goes to the Dungeon.


All the other expansions add extra stuff and can be a lot of fun to play with, but for me the Dungeon is the only expansion that added something that I actually felt the need of when playing the original game: speeding up the late game.

The Dungeon is great because it gives you better chances to collect those last Strength/Craft points you need in a timely fashion (which is especially great when you're playing with a boss ending) and defeating the Lord of Darkness is a great way to skip the Inner Region (either by defeating him by 8+ points or by collecting the Cloak of Feathers).

Edited by Loudo

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