Recently Nomad Games released a bunch of new characters along with Legendary decks for the Talisman digital app (the base game of which is currently 80% off on Steam for a few more hours if you act now!)
Today we’re going to examine the three new characters Nomad Games released: The Swordsman, the Ranger, and the Witch Finder. A post later this week will talk about the Legendary decks.
All three of them are interesting in their own right, but one of them seems to break the AI in ways that are kind of annoying.
Let’s talk about the Swordsman first.
The Swordsman is actually one of the more interesting ones because of its weapon ability.
He always starts with a Sword, and if you lose it, he can just get another one if he goes to the Village or Castle.
You start with high strength but really low craft. You’ll be trying to concentrate on fighting monsters for the most part unless you can find some objects that will increase your craft.
The cool thing about the Swordsman is that, if you have a weapon and you are in combat with a character, you can try to disarm them if they also have a weapon equipped. Rolling one die, if you roll a 5 or 6, they are disarmed and they drop their weapon. Of course, since it’s on your current space, it will take a couple of moves to try and collect it again, but at least they won’t be able to use the weapon in their combat with you.
If the character massively outclasses you, you could try to parry with your weapon. You add 2 to your attack score and if you win, it’s considered a stand-off. So you’ll have to figure out when would be the best time for that. Maybe when they outclass you by 2-3 points?
All in all, the Swordsman is a pretty basic character but with some interesting little quirks that make him fun to play. I haven’t really had to use the Parry or Disarm options yet, but the Disarming especially could be very useful. Especially if they have a weapon you’d really rather they didn’t have. Even if you could totally beat them without doing it!
Why not have a little fun?
The Ranger is also pretty cool, but not quite as cool. There are lots of little bonuses that the Ranger has that can make your trek around the Talisman universe go a little easier.
You don’t lose a life in the desert, you don’t need to roll in any of the “bad” places like the Crags, Forest, or Chasm. You can also add one to your attack versus dragons and other animals.
The one cool thing about the Ranger is that you can always look a the top card of the Adventure deck. So if you want to know what’s coming, try that before you roll your die.
Of course, you may not be able to avoid it, but then you can spend one fate to ignore the “draw an adventure card” instruction if you know it’s too bad.
The AI had a bit of a problem with this in my game where it was the Ranger, though. It spent all of its fate in the first four turns to avoid drawing a card, even though the card really wasn’t that bad. It was quickly down to zero fate and couldn’t do that any more.
Maybe it was a one-time thing and future games with it won’t be like that. I can’t imagine all four of the cards it looked at were so bad that it wanted to ignore them.
The Ranger starts with a fairly even spread of 4 strength and 3 craft, so he can choose either path to improve his stats. Starting with 4 fate really makes his “look at the top adventure card and avoid it if you want” ability very nice.
I think I would probably make better use of it than the AI did, though.
Finally, there’s the Witch Hunter.
This class is really the most interesting of the three, but it really causes problems with the AI if there are weaker characters available to pick on.
You start with a Witch Token, with which you can accuse one of the other characters of being a witch. You give your token to that character and they stand accused until you interact with them.
With Hunting, if you move into a space with a character you have accused, you can stop there instead of continuing your movement. This can be handy if they’re in a cool space you want to stop in, but most of the time it’s because you want to actually attack them.
Then, you put them on Trial. Whenever you attack (or are attacked, which can be handy too) a character that you’ve accused and given your Witch Token to, you get +2 on your attack score.
If you defeat them, you enter Judgement. In addition to whatever you decide to do (take a life, take an object, take a gold), you take back your Witch Token, gain a fate, and they lose a life or a follower of their choice.
You can also, at the beginning of your turn, match your alignment with one of the other characters. This will let you change your alignment (as long as somebody is different than yours) which may allow you to do things like pick up an object that characters of your current alignment can’t use.
The character is very fun to play and opens up tons of opportunities.
If another character who’s about as strong as you or weaker has some choice stuff? Accuse them, attack them, and take what you want. (This may not be a good class if you’re playing online with people who don’t really like too much “take that”).
However, there is a big problem with this class if you assign it to an AI character, at least depending on the combination of items and such that they end up getting.
In my first game playing with these characters (before I had a Ranger code, so the third AI character was the weaker Philosopher), the Witch Hunter AI character became obsessed with attacking the Philosopher.
It kept hounding her, accusing her, attacking her, and killing her. The poor Philosopher died like 3-4 times in quick succession.
It first stole the Philosopher’s Runesword, which enabled it to add a Life every time it took a life from another character. It attacked the Philosopher, gained 2 life (the normal life taken and then the Judgement life), and then kept doing it.
Since Hunting allows you to stop on the character’s space if you would enter it, there really wasn’t any way for the Philosopher to get away. The +2 attack in addition to already being stronger just meant that the Philosopher was easy pickings.
The thing was, this didn’t really help the Witch Hunter at all except for getting a bunch of extra lives. It wasn’t improving himself at all, it wasn’t getting stronger. Thankfully I was the Swordsman and was as strong as the Witch Hunter, so it never came after me.
I was able to continue my game and keep building myself up while both of the other characters just stagnated. (That’s until the Reaper killed me, but that’s neither here nor there).
Thankfully the Philosopher ended up winning a battle once and was able to find some equipment to put things on a more even keel. Once that happened, the Witch Hunter kind of ignored her and the game went on as normal.
The Witch Hunter definitely has the potential for abuse if there’s somebody weaker in the game, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing. Especially when the AI seems to concentrate on it at the cost of everything else.
For that reason, it’s my least favourite of the three characters.
However, when I play it?
It’s the most fun of the three, because I don’t get obsessed. I accused a weaker character and then attacked it a couple of times because it had stuff I wanted.
After I took that stuff?
I left everybody alone. But I did have that Witch Token on somebody just in case.
It made me feel safer.
This is certainly not a character you want in the game if you don’t like “take that,” though, as it’s very prone to it.
That +2 is amazing, though it can also be used defensively if the weaker characters don’t have any good stuff left.
Accuse one of the stronger characters so that, if they end up attacking you, at least you have a little help. And if you win, maybe you can take some cool stuff as well?
All in all, the three characters Nomad Games has introduced are all interesting characters in their own right.
AI issues aside, they all have cool quirks and abilities that make them fun to play and worthy additions to your Talisman repertoire.
Each one is $2.29 CDN right now (so that’s maybe $1.99 US? I’m not sure) and if you enjoy digital Talisman, they are definitely worth checking out.
They’re also available on iOS and Android for 99 cents.
Many thanks to Nomad Games for providing me with codes to access these characters.