Talisman is back…

I am a great fan of Talisman. I played the first edition back in the 1980s and own the second edition (which was a colourised version of the first edition) with a fair few expansions as well, including the Dungeon and Timescape.

It has been announced that a new fifth edition will be published.

Games Workshop isn’t just about Warhammer, you know. We’ve made some absolutely banging board games over the years – including the likes of Fury of Dracula, and Warrior Knights. Talisman is another classic, a game that’s been around for more than 40 years across numerous editions – and which is, for fans of a certain vintage, a glittering shard of pure nostalgia.

The premise is simple. Two to six players select a character – a Warrior, a Wizard, a Prophetess, a Troll, and so on – and embark on a quest to claim the Crown of Command and rule the land. You roll dice to move and traverse a board, encountering a card deck of enemies and allies, levelling up and finding loot, followers, and spells. It’s all wrapped up in about 60 to 90 minutes, and it’s great both for a family games night or for a midweek throwdown between friends.

And for the first time since 2008 (various themed editions notwithstanding) there is a new edition of the game on the way. It’s the same fantastic game, but there’s a fresh set of brilliant art and a handful of smart refinements to make the game play much faster without losing any of what makes it so magical.

I never bought the third or fourth editions, but I am quite tempted by this fifth edition.

Tally Ho Adventurer

Over the summer I watched Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny I was reminded of this photograph I took of the Talisman Adventurer metal model in a Egyptian setting.

The background was a printed backdrop. I used some sand flock to represent the sand. The wooden cases were resin models from Alternative Armies.

The Adventurer was a metal model that was release for the Talisman Timescape expansion.

3D Talisman Board

I have been playing Talisman ever since it came out in 1983. I own the second edition and this is still played regularly. I also enjoy the digital version on my iPad.

Back in the 1980s I had this idea of building a three dimensional version of the board. In the late 1980s I also managed to purchase all the metal Talisman miniatures in one of Games Workshop’s amazing sales. I had the parts, I had the idea, but like most of my ideas, it stayed an idea. I eventually sold virtually all the miniatures on eBay, keeping a couple I had painted and really liked.

The idea was still there, but I doubted it was ever going to happen…

The other day though I saw this tweet.

Doing some further clicking I discovered that Spare Oom Studio were selling STL files of 3D models for use with Talisman.

Talisman ruins

I really like these, but alas I don’t have a 3D printer. I think if I ever get a 3D printer I might get some, or see if I can get some printed. Need to check how they fit on the second edition board.

Talisman: Batman

I really like Talisman, I have been playing it since the first edition came out in 1983. The game was very much set in a fantasy world.

One thing I have seen recently are themed versions of Talisman: Harry Potter, Star Wars and Batman.

  • The anti-heroic objective take on the classic Talisman fantasy tabletop game.
  • Take on the role of Gotham City’s notorious evil-doers!
  • Sneak and fight your way through Arkham Asylum’s two floor and central tower.
  • Be the first to subdue Batman and successfully release Arkham’s dangerous inmates!

I do like the Talisman mechanics, so not having to learn new rules upfront, certainly makes this game an attractive proposition. This game is a no-brainer if you like Batman and Talisman.

You’re doing it wrong!

So today I realised I had been playing one of the cards in Talisman “wrong” for nearly forty years.

I first played Talisman back in 1983 when the first edition was released, back when there was black and white adventure cards. A friend in our gaming group back then had bought a copy of the game. 

Can’t quite believe that was 38 years ago…

We would play the game quite a bit and as with most games I played back then I was quite reliant on the interpretation of the rules so followed their lead.

When the second edition was released, which was a colourised version fo the first edition (and the game board was changed from a single folded unit to four interlocking pieces) I took the time to read the rules.

One rule was this one on gaining craft.

2.4 Craft can only be gained as a result of Encounters.

You could gain strength by “cashing in” Enemy cards and with every seven enemy strength points you would gain one strength. We would play a similar rule for gaining craft by “cashing in” Enemy cards where the enemy would use craft.

I am not sure if we changed our gameplay as a result and kept a house rule where you could collect enemy cards and cash them in for craft, as you could for strength.

I never understood why you could cash in strength but not craft, as this was a real disadvantage for those characters who were stronger in craft than strength.

Those who play Fourth Edition will know that is now the norm.

It’s funny how when you play a game, sometimes your interpretation of rules or assumptions you make become normalised and you don’t realise you’ve been playing it wrong. 

Playing Talisman today I realised I had been playing one of the cards in Talisman “wrong” for nearly forty years.

That card is one of the best weapons in Talisman, the Runesword.

This weapon would add one to your strength in combat and if you win the combat and cause a loss of life, you would gain a life.

Or so I thought…

I was playing the game today and my character, the Halfling, managed to pick up the Runesword. It was then reading the card that I realised I had been playing the card wrong for nearly forty years.

I had been playing that if I used the Runesword in combat against any Enemy (or a Character) and took a life, my character would gain a life.

However if you actually read the card it says:

2. When you use it in Combat to defeat a Monster or another player and then cause them to lose a Life, you gain 1 Life.

So in the second edition, the Runesword would only work against Enemy Monsters. You wouldn’t gain a life when fighting animals or dragons.

I have been playing it wrong all these years.

Talisman on the Tablet

Games Workshop have released an iOS version of Talisman.

Talisman on the Tablet

The legend begins with a single-player series of adventures designed to invite both veterans and newcomers to explore the land of Talisman. While multiplayer gameplay will be available in upcoming expansions, Talisman Prologue focuses on creating narrative depth through its single-player campaigns. The story unfolds as the player rolls dice to move around the outer, middle, and inner regions of the board. Each space will require the player to draw a card or resolve a special effect, leading your hero to encounter monsters, discover friendly followers, and gather treasure.

It’s a pity that it is a single player game, as the real fun with Talisman is that it was for multiple players. There are no AI players either. However at £2.99 this is nice and cheap and certainly good value for money.

Get Talisman in the App Store.

Talisman Board

Talisman in Space…

I got the original Talisman back in the 1980s, and one expansion that I always enjoyed was the Talisman Timescape which introduced a science fiction (okay science fantasy) element to the game.

Though intrigued by the new version of Talisman from Fantasy Flight Games, I’ve never bought a copy. Even so I am quite interested in their new game, Relic, which is based on the Talisman Game System.


If you look at the board, you will see it seems very familiar to those who have played Talisman.

Relic board

I think this could be a fun game.

Tanking in the Last Crusade

Tank from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Though we know it wasn’t real, and though we know that there was no actual historical version of it; I am sure most of us who have thought about recreating the Indiana Jones films on the table have wanted to use that tank.

Yes the tank from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Tank from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

It appears at first glance to be a Mark VIII with a turret, the reality was that it was built specially for the film and was built up from an excavator.

Mechanical effects supervisor George Gibbs said this movie was the most difficult one of his career. He visited a museum to negotiate renting a small French World War I tank, but decided he wanted to make one. The tank was based on the tank Mark VIII, which was thirty-six feet (eleven meters) long, and weighed twenty-five tons. Gibbs built the tank over the framework of a twenty-five ton excavator, and added 6.4 ton tracks, that were driven by two automatic hydraulic pumps, each connected to a Range Rover V8 engine. Gibbs built the tank from steel, rather than aluminum or fiberglass, because it would allow the realistically suspensionless vehicle to endure the rocky surfaces. Unlike its historical counterpart, which had only the two side guns, the tank had a turret gun added as well. It took four months to build, and was transported to Almería on a Short Belfast plane, and then a low loader truck.

Now regular readers of my blog may remember this photo.

The Talisman Archaeologist from Talisman Timescape

The Talisman Archaeologist from Talisman Timescape is very much an Indy lookalike and many years ago I started to formulate a series of rules and background for creating games in an Indiana Jones style universe that was called Tally Ho!

I always wanted to get a World War One era tank to fit into the game and recreate that battle with the tank from the Last Crusade film.

Well now I can get a 28mm tank just like that one from the film. Copplestone Castings have released the K64 Mark IX Beast Super-Heavy Tank and Accessory Pack.

Mark IX Beast

This is an almost perfect replica of that tank from that film.

Really impressed with the look and quality, might get one. As for rules, well I will probably mash up the rules from The Great War with the Old West. Or even just the Great War rules.