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John Goodenough

Heidelberger /

No. of Players:
2 - 6



As rumour has it, FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES had to haggle with GAMES WORKSHOP for a long time in order to get a license to produce a new edition of Talisman. Quite understandably, FFG now wants to savor their success, and so they have not just released a refurbished new 4th edition of the Talisman basic game, but they are also releasing a wagon-load of expansions for the game. Some of the expansions are based on the classic expansions with additional gameboards, but following their philosophy of publishing a big expansion and a small expansion in turns, they have started adding some small sets which contain new ideas and rules which have not yet been sighted in Talisman.

This time the FFG design team has followed the modern gothic trend of Werewolves, and so the new Talisman - The Blood Moon Expansion sees a frightening Werewolf appearing in the world of Talisman. As indicated, the whole expansion comes in a small box which contains just four miniatures and a bit more than 100 cards, but despite its small size this expansion should be a must buy for every Talisman-player, since the new playing concepts introduced with this expansion fit rather well with the rest of the game - even better than some of the expansions which were published before!


As indicated, a new Werewolf figure has become the centerpiece of this expansion, and during setup the figure of the Werewolf is placed at the woods space in the Outer Region. Whenever a player rolls a "1" for movement, he first performs his own turn but afterwards has to roll again and move the Werewolf. When the Werewolf meets another character, that character will be attacked, and the player of that character will have to roll a dice on a Werewolf-table to see the effect of this attack. As a result, lifepoints may be lost or benefits gained, and there is even a chance that the character is bitten and becomes a Werewolf himself. This transformation of the player's character results in some attribute changes and special abilities, but most important the character now will be treated differently by many of the 100+ Adventure cards which have come with this expansion.

Many of the new Adventure cards are fine-tuned to have different effects on Werewolf and Non-Werewolf characters, and in addition - just like a good Werewolf or Vampire movie - many cards also have much more drastic effects when it is night. So far the concept of day and night has not been part of Talisman, but now it has been introduced by a simple, straightforward mechanism. A day/night indicator card is placed next to the gameboard, and it is turned to its other side whenever a player has to draw one or more Adventure cards during his turn. This results in a constant change between day and night, and the indicator card always will show whether it's day or night. An example for the working of day and night is the new "Haunted Hamlet"-location. During the day the hamlet can be visited exactly like the village, but during night the player will be attacked by ghosts. In most cases these double-function cards are quite straightforward, but nonetheless the idea has been implemented in a rather charming way.

However, the most important element of the new expansion is the Werewolf himself. His use increases player interaction since the players will try to send the Werewolf on the trails of each other, thus trying to inflict a loss of Lifepoints or even to turn the other character into a Werewolf. And woe betide a Werewolf-character who meets the "Village Mob" event - the frightened villagers will instantly kill the poor fellow! Of course, the sending of the Werewolf still is based on luck while rolling the dice, but once again the Werewolf gets more dangerous at night. During night he does not need to move for his full movement allowance, but instead he must stop on the first space occupied by a player character. Owooooo!!!

Overall, Talisman - The Blood Moon Expansion fits rather well with the mechanics of the main game, keeping the focus on the traditional event-based dice-rolling mechanism. The box also includes three sinister new characters and some alternative ending cards, but it is the new "wolfish" elements which enhance the game on the grounds of both mechanics and atmosphere. Due to its easy adaptability this expansion should become part of any game of Talisman!

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Copyright © 2013 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany