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Chaireas

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Go to the Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game page
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9
Go to the A Journey to Rhosgobel Adventure Pack page
23 out of 25 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
A Journey to Rhosgobel is the third adventure pack for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game and the third installment in the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle (consisting of six adventure packs), which revolves around the search for Gollum in the vicinity of Mirkwood and the Anduin River. The heroes is following Gollum’s trail (which they picked up in The Hunt for Gollum) and have just helped the Beornings against a group of trolls (in Conflict at the Carrock) when the trail takes them back towards Mirkwood and Rhosgobel, the home of the istari Radagast. Close to Rhosgobel they find a severely injured Wilyador (a giant eagle), who needs their help getting to Radagast to be healed.

The quest
The quest included in A Journey to Rhosgobel is—once again—quite different from the previous quests (the ones found in the base game and in the previous adventure packs). I am astonished at how well the designers at Fantasy Flight Games manage to vary the gaming experience through extensively different quests, at the same time as very few rules (often none at all) have to be added to accomplish it. This quest is quite challenging, with a nominal difficulty level of 6, but it can be managed with most decks as long as you have one player with some Lore cards (with healing abilities). It is playable both in solo mode and multi-player mode and I have really enjoyed it in both configurations.

The hero
The hero included in A Journey to Rhosgobel is Prince Imrahil, a Gondor noble with a truly great trait [Response: After a character leaves play, ready Prince Imrahil. (Limit once per round.)]. It works especially well in a Leadership deck (and Imrahil belongs to the sphere of Leadership), since you often have a fair amount resources and can add cheap allies. This means you can use Imrahil for questing or defense and still get to use his great attack value (3) if you just sacrifice a ally to an enemy attack. His has Willpower 2, Attack 3, Defense 2, Hit Points 4, and a threat cost of 12. I have included in every Leadership deck since I bought A Journey to Rhosgobel and I haven’t regretted it once.

The new allies, attachments, and events
There are several great player cards included in A Journey to Rhosgobel. My favorite belongs to Leadership: Dúnedain Quest, an attachment (cost 2) that gives a hero +1 Willpower (and it can be moved to another hero if you pay 1 resource from the attached hero’s pool). Leadership also gets a new event card, Parting Gifts (cost 0), which lets you move any number of resource tokens from a Leadership hero to any other hero, a great addition for Leadership decks (which often have a good enough influx of resource tokens). A similar card for Lore decks is the event card Infighting (cost 1), which for a very low cost lets you move any number of damage from one enemy to another (a great way to wear down hard-to-kill enemies such as trolls). Spirit decks get a very useful ally, Escort from Edoras (cost 2), who is removed from play after questing, but on the other hand adds 4 Willpower to that single quest (he has Attack 0, Defense 0, and Hit Points 1). Tactics deck will benefit from the ally Landroval, a giant eagle (cost 5) who besides being a sentinel also has a smashing ability: “Response: After a hero card is destroyed, return Landroval to his owner’s hand to put that hero back into play, with 1 damage token on it. (Limit once per game.)”. And it does not end with these carda; there are a few more useful player cards included, beside the ones mentioned here.

Summary
A Journey to Rhosgobel contains a lot of really nice player cards. In fact, it is the adventure pack with the greatest addition of player cards (this far). Moreover, it includes a wonderful quest, which gives a great gaming experience for both solo and multi-player modes. A Journey to Rhosgobel is without a doubt the best adventure pack this far, which really makes me look forward to all the ones I haven’t tried yet. If FFG can keep up the variation and replay value of their LoTR:LCG products in this way, it will render loads of great gaming time to an already intriguing game.

7
Go to the Hooyah: Navy Seals Card Game page
338 out of 358 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
Hooyah: Navy SEAL’s Card Game is a fun and quick co-operative card game that lets you experience the preparations, training, and execution of Navy Seals’ missions in games of 1–4 players. Each player takes on the role of a Navy SEAL (representing different specialties, such as sniper, diver, communications expert, interrogator, and medic) and together the team tries to tackle a series of Ops (operations) that make up a larger mission.

Components
The box contains 10 Navy SEAL’s cards (i.e. player cards with varying specialties and skills), 75 Ops/Event cards (representing the difficulties and dangers of Ops), 75 Skills & Equipment cards (these are collected in the training and preparations for each Op and are used to complete the Ops), 5 mission cards (each one representing a different scenario), a mission card holder (to display the mission card clearly to all players), an insertion card (representing the complexities and dangers of aerial insertion in some of the harder missions), a turn sequence card (a quick-reference card, which shows the parts of each phase), 30 Health Tokens (representing the health of each Navy SEAL), a time counter device (a neat looking compass-like time counter that shows how many phases the SEAL team have left for the current Op), and an Instruction Manual (i.e. a rulebook).

Game mechanics
Hooyah is a cooperative game. As mentioned above, each player takes on the role of a Navy SEAL in a team of 1–4 SEALs. If you are 2–4 players, one player takes on the role of team leader (and thus plays with the “Lt. Commander” Navy SEAL card). After choosing a mission and setting up the game, the players starts preparing for the first of five Ops that constitute the bulk of each mission. The time is often very limited, which means the Lt. Commander (the team leader) needs to make hard decision on whether the SEAL team should engage the Op or make more preparations (which soon will cost you a lot..). The players gather equipment and train in different areas that will help them execute the Op. When the Lt. Commander is confident that the team will be able to complete the Op (or when he decides that they need to get going before its too late) they get at it. This means overcoming an increasing number of events and fulfilling the skill demands of the Op. The game proceeds through five Ops that are increasingly difficult. When the team has completed the fifth Op they immediately go to the Mission Phase, which basically consists of a special Op without any room for preparations. If they manage to tackle it the team has won the game and can count victory points. If they do not—or if at any time during the game a players looses his last Health Counter—the team has lost the game.

Difficulty
Hooyah is very easy to learn and play, in terms of the difficulty of the rules. The rulebook is quite brief and includes several examples that show how the rules are enacted during game play.

In terms of difficulty for the Navy SEAL team, Hooyah provides a very varied gaming experience. The five missions included in the box are increasingly difficult and each mission also comes with two optional rules, one for an easier mission and one for a harder one, which provides variation and added game value.

Will you like it?
You will probably like Hooyah if you enjoy a quick co-operative card game and can provide some of the special ops feeling for yourself. The cards are informative and have a strict beauty, but they are almost devoid of fluff and extra information, which means that you need to take extra measures to get into the ambience of being part of a Navy SEAL team.

Pros and cons
Among the pros are the easy rules, the short game time (usually around 40–60 minutes, but only 15 minutes in solo play mode!), and the increasing difficulty of both Ops and Missions. Among the cons is the fact that the box only includes five missions, that it gets somewhat repetitive after a few gaming sessions, that the scoring rules are seriously broken [see “Game Tips” for a solution to this, however] and there does not seem to be any expansions planned, which might provide some needed variation.

Value for money
At only $25 (MSRP), Hooyah is not expensive at all and it includes a lot of good-quality game pieces.

Summary
Hooyah is a fun co-operative game that can be quite challenging. With the right attitude, you will have some great sessions with it. I really enjoy the fact that the game is not just about executing Ops, but as much about preparing and training for them. Also, the rules for solo-play are excellent and do not significantly alter the difficulty level while they provide an opportunity for 15-minute Missions (I kid you not, it is a great feature).

8
Go to the Conflict at the Carrock Adventure Pack page
78 out of 85 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
Conflict at the Carrock is the second adventure pack for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game and the second installment in the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle (consisting of six adventure packs), which revolves around the search for Gollum in the vicinity of Mirkwood and the Anduin River. In the quest of the previous adventure pack (The Hunt for Gollum) the heroes picked up the trail of Gollum and started to follow it along the Anduin River. In Conflict at the Carrock the larger quest takes a brief pause as the heroes approaches the Carrock, where they need to help the Beornings against a group of trolls.

The hunt for Gollum contains 60 cards and a single-page rulesheet. Many of the cards are for the encounter deck (i.e. enemy, location, treachery, and objective cards), but nearly half of them consist of new player cards (i.e. hero, ally, attachment, and event cards; some for each sphere of influence).

The quest
The quest included in Conflict at the Carrock is quite different from the previous quests (the ones found in the base game and the one in The Hunt for Gollum adventure pack). It is a real hack and slash adventure, although it does call for some planning. It has a nominal difficulty level of 7, yet in this case that does not reveal much at all about the real difficulties of the quest. Unfortunately, it is quite impossible to take on with just 1 player and it is really challenging with 2 players. The trolls are simply too hard to tackle without some additional muscle and the threat level goes through the roof if you do not bring an ample amount of questers. The quest is very straightforward and you will soon find out what you need to do to manage it. I still haven’t been able to break it in solo play, however, so save this one for a group play or you’ll just end up frustrated (alternatively, play with two decks as if there were two players).

The hero
The hero included in Conflict at the Carrock is Frodo Baggins. He has a very useful trait [Response: After Frodo Baggins is damaged, cancel the damage and instead raise your threat by the amount of damage he would have been dealt. (Limit once per phase.)], but it will not do you any good in the “Against the Trolls” quest, in which the threat levels will soar almost whatever you do. Frodo belongs to the sphere of Spirit and is quite cheap (threat cost 7), especially considering his trait.

The new allies, attachments, and events
There are at least two new cards for each sphere of influence. Most of them are somewhat boorish, yet there are some real treats as well. My favorite belongs to Leadership: Dúnedain Warning, an attachment (cost 1) that gives a hero +1 defense (and it can be moved to another hero if you pay 1 resource from the attached hero’s pool). Another attachment, A Burning Brand, belongs to lore (cost 2) and cancels any shadow effect from cards dealt to an enemy that the attached hero (who must belong to Lore) is attacked by. Spirit decks will profit from the ally Éomund (cost 3), who has willpower 2, attack 1, defense 1, and 2 hit points. His game text includes the response “After Eomund leaves play, ready all Rohan characters in play.” This will be great in a Rohan-themed deck and—incidentally—there is also a Spirit attachment, Nor am I a Stranger (cost 1), which gives attached character the Rohan trait. I should mention a Tactics card as well, although the two Tactics cards included in Conflict at the Carrock do not impress me much. One of them is the Beorning Beekeeper ally, which costs a lot to play (cost 4) and does not give you very much to play with (willpower 1, attack 2, defense 1, hit points 3, and a not very great game text), although it adds to the local flair of questing along the Anduin River.

Summary
Conflict at the Carrock contains a few really nice cards and a quite different quest. Each adventure pack has a different focus from the previous, especially when it comes to what it takes to manage the quest included in them. The quest in Conflict at the Carrock is nice and high-paced, but is does not add as much story-wise, nor is it really playable with less than 2 players. Nevertheless, I am not one to say not to the odd hack and slash adventure along the way. I quite enjoyed tackling the grievously hard trolls.

8
Go to the The Hunt for Gollum Adventure Pack page
68 out of 75 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
The Hunt for Gollum is the first adventure pack for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. It introduces the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle (consisting of six adventure packs), which revolves around the search for Gollum in the vicinity of Mirkwood and the Anduin River. Thus, story wise, it follows neatly after the three quests found in the basic game (that also take place around Mirkwood and Anduin River).

The hunt for Gollum contains 60 cards and a single-page rulesheet. Most cards are for the encounter deck (i.e. enemy, location, treachery, and objective cards), but there are some cards for the player decks as well (i.e. hero, ally, attachment, and event cards; some for each sphere of influence), plus three quest cards.

The quest
To me, the quest (“The Hunt for Gollum”) was a real treat. With a difficulty level of 4, it is not too hard to manage, even if you play solo. The quest takes the players on a search for traces of Gollum along the Anduin River. It is quite straightforward and does not contain any threshold monsters (such as the river troll at the start of the quest “Journey down the Anduin,” found in the basic game), which makes it much more playable for 1 or 2 players. It also contains some unexpected turns at the end of the quest, which can really screw up your game plan, yet in a way that really sticks with the theme and the feeling of the quest and the whole of the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle.

The hero
The hero included in The Hunt for Gollum is none less than Bilbo Baggins. However, that does not mean that you will want to include him in your deck any time soon. He is just as weak in battle (attack 1, defense 2, 2 hit points) as you might expect and not as good at questing (willpower 1) as I had thought. You will probably put him aside until future cards that boost hobbits arrive. Bilbo belongs to the sphere of Lore.

The new allies, attachments, and events
There are at least two new cards for each sphere of influence. My favorites belong to Leadership: “Campfire tales,” an event card (cost 1) that lets each player draw 1 card (quite good with 3–4 players), and “Dúnedain Mark,” an attachment (cost 1) that gives +1 attack and can be moved to another hero at the cost of 1 resource. Among the other new card you will find: “Winged Guardian,” a Tactics ally (cost 2) with defense 4 (although you have to pay 1 tactics resource to keep it after a defense) and the first of a series of eagle allies that really will boost Tactics decks; “Strider’s Path,” a Lore event (cost 1) that lets you travel to a freshly revealed location without resolving its Travel effect (this is a cheap way of getting rid of locations with high threat and/or really nasty Travel effects); “Mustering the Rohirrim,” a Spirit event (cost 1) that lets you search the top 10 cards of your deck and add a Rohan ally to you hand (not good enough yet, but a keeper for future times when you get more Rohan cards).

Summary
The hunt for Gollum contains a couple of really nice cards, another few cards that will be useful in the feature, and a really enjoyable quest. The adventure packs will probably get better than this, but it is a nice enough start and – not to forget – the art on the cards is consistently of high quality. I will certainly return and play the Hunt for Gollum quest several more times.

9
Go to the The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game page
289 out of 296 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
LOTR is a great card game that will let you experience the dark thrill of much of Tolkien’s saga in games of 1–4 players. You each take on the role of three heroes (mostly, but not exclusively, characters found in Tolkien’s novels) and embark on a quest that touches upon the events of the books (usually, the quests take place slightly earlier than the main events of The Lord of the Rings books). The game combines varied gameplay, beautifully rendered components, thrilling experiences, a true Tolkien saga feel, and hours of fun as you team together to try to beat the game in different scenarios (called quests).

I gave LOTR a strong 9 on a scale of 10. The only thing stopping me from giving it a definite 10 was the fact that the basic game only includes three quests (which means that you have to start buying expansions quite soon) and two threat trackers (which means that you have to use pen and paper to record threat levels if you play with 3 or 4 players;

Components
The box contains two threat trackers (a kind of score boards that are beautifully made), 96 tokens of different types (used to display resources, damage, and quest progress; these too are really appealing), a first-player token (this is the only unattractive and disproportional, albeit useful, piece of the game), a rulebook, and over two hundred cards (featuring player characters, events, attachments, enemies, quests, etc.).

Game mechanics
LOTR is a cooperative game. As mentioned above, each player picks a team of three heroes (as you get more expansions, you have the option of switching heroes and building specialized decks), get the corresponding deck and starts on a quest of their choice. In the basic game, you will get four sets of heroes, each set with its own deck of card with allies, items and events. Each of the four sets has a really different feeling and varying focus, which translates to more variation and challenges. The quest differ somewhat, but have in common that you travel through different Middle-Earth locations, while trying to pursue your quest without attracting to much attention from Sauron’s minions. Each character (either the three heroes that each player starts with or the allies that they soon call to their aid) can only make one action each game round: pursue the quest, attack an enemy, or defend against one enemy. This makes for a great menacing feeling, as you always have to give something up to progress through the quest; there never seem to be enough characters to take care of all enemies and move on at the same time. Every turn the threat level of all players increase, so if you do not make progress you will soon perish..

Difficulty
LOTR takes a while to learn and play, in terms of the difficulty of the rules. There are many rules and although the rulebook is (mostly) clear you do need to play a few games and re-read the rulebook in order get acquainted with everything.

In terms of difficulty for the player characters, LOTR really provides you with many challenges. The quests are all weighted for or against the players in different ways, which means there are some quests that are quite easy and others that will prove a challenge even for experienced players. The three quests included in the basic game have different difficulty levels of 1, 4, and 7, respectively, on a scale of 10.

Will you like it?
You will probably like LOTR if you enjoy at least one of the following: the thrill of bonding together against an unforgiving game found in cooperative games, the kind of deck-building found in collectible card games, the possibility of playing solo, fantasy games of different types, or if you in any way are interested in The Lord of the Rings saga.

Pros and cons
Among the pros are the creeping menace that grips you while playing (you really have to choose among several bad options and try to stay alive long enough to solve the quest), the versatility of varying quests and the deck building capabilities, the exquisite game components, and the many expansions. Among the cons is the fact that the basic game only includes two threat trackers (since you really do not need to buy another basic game in order to play with 3–4 players, FFG might as well have included threat trackers for 4 players) and that it, with three quests, will only serve you so long before you will need to buy expansions.

Value for money
At almost $40 (MSRP), LOTR is not expensive, especially when compared how great the game is and how beautiful the components are (everything from the tokens to the cards are truly exquisite). On the other hand, you will both want and need to buy expansions in the form of adventure packs and at almost $15 (MSRP) these will put a drain on your game funds.

Summary
LOTR combines the best parts of cooperative games and deck-building games with beautiful components, a true saga feeling, and great versatility through varying quests and solo-play possibility. It became an instant hit with our gaming group for many different reasons and that it perhaps the greatest perk: there are so many things in this game’s rules, appearance, quests, cards, and feeling that most players will find something to fall in love with. I warmly recommend it.

7
Go to the Talisman page

Talisman

47 out of 48 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
Talisman is truly a classic. This character building, quest-driven, high fantasy board game is currently on its fourth edition and the RPG feeling it conveys continues to thrill players. The story is about a fantasy realm that needs a new ruler, but getting to the fabled Crown of Command to take up the reigns of the realm will prove a strenuous task for most adventurers. The game revolves primarily around character building, as each character travels the realm to seek out danger and opportunities in preparation for the final, dangerous path to the Crown of Command. At the same time, each character is on a quest for one of a few, fabled talismans that allows the bearer entrance through the penultimate obstacle on the path to glory, the Valley of Fire that protects the steps to the Crown of Command.

Components
The box contains a large game board (with a beautifully rendered map of the realm’s three regions that the characters can explore), characters (card to show their abilities and stats and matching plastic figures to move the character around the game board), a massive bunch of adventure cards (containing events, objects, enemies, followers and more that the characters can encounter during their quests), a small deck of spell cards (with spells that most characters can use), loads of counters, and more!

Game mechanics
The game follows a few basic concepts that are easily grasped and each player takes an individual turn before the next player clockwise takes over to do the same. Each turn consists of only two basic steps: 1) you roll one die and move that many spaces around the game board; 2) you encounter the space you ended up in (which usually means that you draw an adventure card and deal with its effects, good or bad) or you encounter another character in that space (which usually means that you attack him/her to try to steal an object or an follower, or simply to take one of his life [you usually start with four lives]).

As the game progresses, characters move around the game board and develop their abilities and possessions through encounters, battles, spells, events, and more. When they are strong or fortunate enough they can progress from the game board’s outer region to its middle region. The middle region is smaller, more dangerous, but also contains some spaces that really can benefit the characters. For example, it includes the Warlock’s Cave, where you can get a quest and if you manage to fulfill your quest you receive the essential talisman. After a while (usually a few hours of game play, although sometimes 30 minutes is enough; the role of chance is extensive in Talisman) one or several characters are strong enough to take on the dangerous inner region with its path to the Crown of Command. If a character successfully reaches the Crown of Command (which takes a talisman and either good strength/craft value or a massive portion of luck) he/she can wield the Command spell, which forces the other characters to loose lives in a unsteady, yet quick pace. Thus, they only have a limited number of turn in which to race for the Crown of Command and try to defeat the character with the crown and scepter or he/she will win the game.

Difficulty
Talisman is quite easy to learn and play, in terms of the difficulty of the rules. The rulebook is clear, not too thick, and provides plenty of illustrated examples.

In terms of difficulty for the player characters, Talisman is a bit chaotic, due to the great role that chance plays in the game. If you are lucky with the constant dice rolls and adventure cards, you can quickly become mighty, whereas others might struggle more to get substantial development.

Will you like it?
If you like fantasy themed games, you will probably enjoy Talisman a great deal. More so if you are into fantasy RPGs. You really get a sense of playing an old school D&D adventure when you lumber around the game board and “level up” through fighting, fortunate encounters and good use of your abilites. If you do not like games that could take a long time to finish, you might want to look elsewhere. If you play with 4-6 players (and anything less than 3 players is not really enjoyable), it could easily take 4-5 hours to finish a session.

Pros and cons
Among the pros are the old-time fantasy RPG feel and the character building that is at the heart of Talisman. Among the cons are the uneven (and often quite extensive) playing time, the unbalanced nature of the game (some characters are simply much better than others and four editions of the game has not changed this), and the fact that Talisman’s replay value diminished rather quickly. On the other hand, with no less than seven expansions available (and more in the pipeline), there are ample opportunities to vary the game with extra game boards, new characters, themed adventure cards and spells, alternative ending, and much more.

Value for money
At almost $60 (MSRP), Talisman is pricy, yet buyers are amply awarded with a beautiful game board, 18 plastic figures (14 representing each character and 4 toad figures for the unfortunate ones who are transformed, not into to glorious rulers, but into a slimy toad with puny powers and an malodorous stench), a thick bunch of adventure cards, a lot fewer spell cards

Summary
Talisman is a great game, yet its appeal does fade rather quickly. It is a classic that can be a real treat if you play it once in a while. Some expansions (see my other reviews for some of them) are great and really take the basic game to new heights and ensure many hours of fun. If you are only considering a single investment, you might want to look for another game, as Talisman without expansions have a limited replay value.

6
Go to the Talisman: The Frostmarch page
23 out of 24 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
Talisman: The Frostmarch is an expansion for Talisman that introduces alternative endings, warlock quests, four new characters, spells and more adventure cards. The theme focuses on how an Ice Queen has taken control of the realm, transforming it with an eternal winter (yes, this is for you, Narnia lovers :)).

Components
The most important components are the three alternative ending cards and the 24 warlock quest cards. These really will impact you gaming experience in a good way and I always play with them, regardless of whether I employ the rest of features found in The Frostmarch. The alternative ending introduces fresh ways to end the game (and as such they replace the victory conditions of the basic game). The hidden alternative endings are most fun, since they are kept facedown on the Crown on Command. The first character to get there will draw one of them and find out what the victory conditions are for this game. The revealed alternative endings (only one of these is included in The Frostmarch) can be chosen at the start of the game and thus all players know what the new victory conditions are.
The Warlock quest cards bring variation to the somewhat tedious quests found in the Warlock’s Cave of the basic game. Instead of rolling the die to decide which of the six possible quests you are given, you draw one of the quest cards. Included are also adventure cards and spells that are mostly in line with the eternal winter theme of the expansion.

Difficulty
This expansion does is extremely easy to use, in terms of the difficulty of the rules. The frostmarch rulesheet is a single sheet with a few, easy-to-learn rules. In terms of difficulty for the player character, The Frostmarch does not present anything substantially more difficult than the basic game. It is more of the same, although the alternative endings and warlock quests introduce a welcome moment of uncertainty when it comes to victory conditions and the hunt for a talisman.

Will you like it?
If you like Talisman and Narnia, you will probably like this expansion. I you’re in to only one of them, I am not so sure. The Forstmarch stays well in tune with the basic game, but it does not offer much beside alternative endings and warlock quests.

Pros and cons
The greatest pro of The Frostmarch is the alternative endings, although they are much too few to really make an impact. You will have to buy more expansions to get a deck of alternative endings that can really spice up the game. The warlock quests are welcome and extremely easy to use. The four new characters (leprechaun, ogre chieftain, warlock, and necromancer) are not so interesting, however. The leprechaun offers interesting special abilities (with the occasional teleport and great money-making skills), whereas the necromancer and the warlock are only slight variations on the different spell-casters of the basic game. The ogre chieftain is better than the troll and with his ability to dominate monsters and use them in future battles he can easily become very strong quite fast and compared to most other characters he is a bit too good.

Value for money
At almost $25 (MSRP), The Frostmarch does not offer much more value for money. You only get two new alternative endings (the third alternative ending card contains the ordinary victory conditions from the basic game) and the warlock quests that are really compelling. The rest is, sadly enough, somewhat bland.

Summary
The Frostmarch is not the strongest Talisman expansion, but it can be a great addition if you already own several other expansions. If so, you will also profit more from the alternative endings (the provide more suspense the more of them you own and use, as every fresh card add uncertainty as to when you are prepared to take on the Crown of Command and the possible endings). The ice-and-winter theme is good, but as it only appears in the new adventure cards (and some of the new spell cards), you only sporadically get the winter feeling (and sometimes it is not welcome at all, as when you draw a frostmarch adventure card in one of the desert spaces).

8
Go to the Talisman: The Highland page
26 out of 26 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
Talisman: The Highland is an expansion for Talisman that introduces a new region (in the form of an extra game board), fresh characters, powerful relics, new alternative endings, and more. The theme focuses on a highland region ruled by the Eagle King, which might be more dangerous to explore than the outer region of the basic game, but which also promises greater rewards to the players who venture there. If they go all the way up the mountain and successfully defeat the Eagle King, they will be rewarded with a powerful relic that is much more potent than most magical objects in the basic game.

Components
As one of the large Talisman expansions (each year usually sees the release of one large expansion that includes an extra game board, and one or several smaller expansions that solely consists of playing cards and new characters), the most important component is the extra, L-shaped, gameboard that can be used to increase the playing area of the basic game. The highland board is beautifully rendered, from green hills and ravines with streams at the beginning to mountain passes, glaciers and snow-clad canyons further up. It contains several spaces that will prove challenging and/or rewarding to the players, including two spaces where you can draw 3 cards, a lost city where you can find a talisman or even an Eagle King relic, and an ice bridge that can kill you outright if you venture there with too many followers!
A thick deck with highland cards is also included (adventure cards only used on the highland board, with enemies, events, objects etc that keep with the highland theme), as well as new spell, six fresh characters (including a valkyrie and a highlander), three alternative endings and a few ordinary adventure cards.

Difficulty
This expansion does not make things difficult in terms of the difficulty of the rules. The highland rulebook is thin and mostly contains examples and illustrations. The rules are easy and do not bog down the game.
In terms of difficulty for the player character, the highland is definitely a more challenging region than the outer region of the basic game. What is more, the higher risks bring substantially higher rewards, which means that the highland has more to offer the characters than the middle region of the basic game. They can go there almost immediately (as compared to the Dungeon expansion, which is much too dangerous to fresh characters) after start and use it to build up their characters.

Will you like it?
If you like Talisman, you will definitely like this expansion. It stays well in tune with the basic game, offers an extra game board that works well during the initial and middle parts of the game (i.e. the parts you spend most playing time on), and offers some interesting new rewards, characters, and alternative endings.

Value for money
It is quite pricy at almost $40 (MSRP), yet as with most Fantasy Flight Games products, it is quite beautiful and really brings needed variation to the basic game. Compared to the smaller expansions (The Frostmarch, The Reaper, The Sacred Pool, and the Blood Moon), it offers much more value for money.

Pros and cons
The pros definitely outnumber the cons when it comes to Talisman: The Highland. In the long run, you need an extra game board to give variation to the basic game. The same is true for the alternative endings; the command spell ending does get boring after a while. The only drawback I have experienced is that the characters get more spread out and thus have less changes of interaction. This increases if you have several extra game boards (such as both The Highland and The Dungeon), so it might be worth considering which extra game board you are most interested in before you make an investment.

Summary
The Highland is an expansion with a well-thought-out theme, it can be used from the initial stages of the game and onwards, and it brings delightful variation both in terms of aesthetic value and game components. It is easy to use with few rules and it contains a huge deck for the highland, which ensures that a visit there is always involves new challenges and rewards.

If you were to purchase your first expansion to Talisman, I would recommend you to buy one with an extra game board. As The Dungeon is so much more difficult, that leaves The Highland as the currently best bet (although the release of Talisman: The City in early 2013 might change this). In my opinion, it is the best expansion to Talisman to date.

9
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59 out of 102 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ve really enjoyed the iPhone version of this versatile and quick-paced game. The great advantage is of course that you get a single-player version for all those times when you do not have co-players at hand. I play it on the train to work, at airports and often enough while watching something not quite good enough on TV.

Among the perks with the smartphone versions are also that your high scores are saved, so you always have those to compete against and try to break. On the downside is the fact that the achievements are soon fulfilled and Gryphon Games does not seem to be introducing more achievements, at least to date.

In sum, if you like RTtA and ever have dull moments with a smartphone at hand, try to play this game on the phone.

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