Board Game Session Report for February 18, 2003: Talisman, Cannes


Mark's SOG session. 7-player Talisman, 4-player Cannes.


Players were Justin, Chip, Mark, Josh, Eric, Lewis, myself. New players to the game were: Justin, Josh, Eric, Lewis. Mark had the first turn.

We spent 28 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

This refers to the original Talisman. Talisman is a hack-n-slash board game. Each player takes a character with unique abilities, with different strength and craft rating. Each character starts with four life and, perhaps, some additinal stuff.

The game is played on a board with three circular regions, with increasing levels of difficulty. Dice is rolled, movement is done, and either instructions are followed on the space (usually drawing an adventure card) or combat with another character on the same space ensues.

The winner is the player who goes to the center region with the talisman and defeats the foe.

We chose this game because we wanted to involve all the players who showed up. We played with a time limit of an hour because the game tends to drag on without such a limit. We decided that the person closest to the goal would be the winner, to help keep things moving along.

We tossed out two overpowered characters (the Monk and one I can't remember) because Mark pointed out that they were overly, and unbalancingly powerful.

Justin played the Merchant. Oh, the glee he felt when he learned he could exchange anything with another player in the same space. He was doing a good job collecting stuff from the adventure deck too, and places to put them.

Chip played the Warrior of Chaos. This was the most powerful character during our session.

Mark played the Prophetess.

Josh played the Sorceress.

Eric played the Pilgrim. He had the misfortune of turning into a frog.

Lewis played the Necromancer.

I played the Satyr. I started out defeating the two enemies I first encountered, then lost every fight after that. The Satyr's ability to charm followers to join me, backfired when I took a jester from Josh. Fortunately, I met a Leper soon after that who discarded the Jester.

This game was most pleasant. Even Chip, who had a bad experience playing the game once, enjoyed it. (He had drawn a "you lose" card when he reached the goal the last time he played.)

Chip was the only player to cross into the middle realm, so he won.

Game lasted 51 minutes.

Click here to learn more about Talisman at


Players were Chip, Mark, Josh, myself. New players to the game were: Chip, Mark, Josh, myself. Josh had the first turn.

We spent 23 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

This is a hexagonal tile-laying and networking game with a movie production theme.

The object of the game is to make the most money producing and showing movies.

We start with Cannes in the center of the table made of the equivalent of four hexagons.

The turn sequence is simple: draw three tiles. Choose to lay one or two tiles. If you lay one tile, you may place one or two rods. (Rods are used to show network connections between tiles.) If you have no rods available, you may move your rods already in play. Your network must never become discontinuous.

Basically, some tiles produce a resource like computer chips, people and beer. These can be traded in for computers, movie stars. These can be traded in for scripts, special effects. These can be traded in for films. Films can be traded in for cash value, and each film shown in a genre reduces its worth for the next player.

The catch is, your network of rods has to be connected to the tiles that produce or allow you to trade for what you need.

There's an old boy's network that can be created for anyone's use. There's cel phone which let you network across the board to other cel phones. There's parties which count as one big tile for all adjacent party tiles. Some parties even produce resources. There's one cel phone which is a critic; players can bribe him with beer to boost the payout for a genre of film.

This game is very interesting. It was hard to decide what to do early in the game. We all discarded the old boy's network tiles until the end because we didn't want to make it easier for other players to make connections. This may have been a mistake.

Chip was able to produce three sci-fi films at 13 Euros each. This dropped sci-fi film payouts to 10 Euros. The other genres didn't come up until the middle of the game. We were all in a panic because we couldn't catch up to Chip as the tiles ran out signaling the end of the game.

The game left us (except for Chip) unsatisfied because we felt there's no way to catch up once we fall behind. But we were interested in trying it again to see if this game was a fluke because of our inexperience. Chip liked it because it has the fun parts of Settlers of Catan without it dragging as the games he played had.

Game lasted 75 minutes. Final scores were:

Click here to buy Cannes at

Click here to learn more about Cannes at

Click here for Chip's take about the session.

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