Here Be Dragons

As you may know, I'm playing Talisman solo every month to evaluate what every expansion box has to offer. Earlier posts in this series are:

But now. 🥁 At last. 🥁🥁🥁 It's time to add the Dragon Expansion! Not exactly 1995's Dragon's Tower though. Back in the days when Talisman looked like this:

an expansion came out that added a whole new board to use in the end game (which before then had been a stack of cards to encounter). And not just any board, but one in 3D!

And on top? Now that's a Dragon King you want to beat.

Alright. There is still a tower included in the 4th edition expansion, but it's a flat board and the Dragons have been reduced to cards. At least it's three cards, as this time there are three Dragons striving to be king. This brings changes to the gameplay in all regions. I was a bit disappointed back when I bought this: no 3D tower, no huge "mini". Then I heard it was all very fiddly and I was never really in the mood for new rules so this expansion has been unopened on the shelf for years 😳

Time to change that! What's in the box? The three Dragons, each with their own decks and tokens, a double sided board for two variants, six new characters and three alternative endings.

Every turn starts with the player drawing a dragon scale. If it has the colour of one of the Dragons, you put it on its card. Once it has collected three, you discard them, putting one on the game board. That Dragon gets to be King for a while. When a player next lands on a space with a dragon scale, a card can be drawn from that Dragon's deck. Those decks contain powerful artifacts but also very strong dragons to fight. That's about all. 😁 I understand that this is more "fiddly" than roll and move, but come on. There was absolutely no reason to delay getting this expansion to the table.

Oh well. First, set up.

There are still some boards to add in the next months plus loads of cards. I must start saving up for a new phone as this is as wide as I can get my pictures.

Of course I had to be the Dragon Rider! My opponent would be the Minotaur, a foul creature with a foul mood and a large club, ready to hit anything that... well, to hit anything period. Not very smart though. It stormed into the Temple of Varthrax in one of its first moves and had to lose a life in an offering ritual. Then it was outsmarted by a wyvern, then it had to face Varthrax's rage and was down to two lives. It had just begun and was already trying to get to the Village to heal.

While I was distracted and amused by the Minotaur's misfortune, I kind of fell through a magic gateway and ended up lost far off in the Highland. Oops. I did find some armour, which was nice, but then I had to go all the way back to the entrance. I was not levelled up high enough yet for this region.

The good thing is, I captured a dragon in the Highlands and was now riding a Nether Drake!

The bad thing was, I was down to two health and things were not looking good in the Outer Region. After a Dragon Decree the board was filled with dangerous places, dragons and cultists. Fortunately both the Minotaur and I could heal at the Tranquil Glade, and not a moment too soon because just one turn later all safe places were removed from the board.