Talisman: The Horus Heresy – I was there
There are many good things about being a reviewer for Final Boss Fight. One of the best is that we get early access versions of game for review. Now I admit that a few of these are not really up my street, as it were, but occasionally one comes through which really grabs my attention and has me playing it long after I’ve written about it. If it’s a game I’ve had my eye on getting anyway then it’s even more of a bonus. One such game is Talisman: The Horus Heresy.
If you’ve been keeping up with FinalBossFight.co.uk you will probably have seen that I’ve already done a preview, a review, and a video series about my experiences with the game. I’m not going to go through what I said in those articles again, except to say that I do really love this game and I heartily recommend it to any fan of Warhammer 40,000. What I do want to talk about is my favourite character in the game – Corvus Corax, Primarch of the Raven Guard legion.
There are many characters available to use in Talisman: The Horus Heresy, each with their own starting skills and abilities. Roboute Guilliman, for example, can replace an existing dataslate in a region with a new one – very useful if you really don’t want to fight a Titan legion or go up against Kairos Fateweaver and risk being turned into a Chaos spawn (which happened to me twice in a row!). Another example is Angron, who gets to take an extra turn if he defeats another warlord on combat. There are many others and people will have their own preferences. But my absolute favourite is Corvus Corax, the Ravenlord himself.
Corax’s ability is one of the most useful. Whenever he attacks a unit or warlord in melee combat he can use his Assassinate skill which prevents the opponent from rolling a dice, making victory all but assured. This led to a couple of occasions where I was bored and went to a square where daemons would automatically engage in battle. Easy experience points for my skills. If you’ve watched the videos you’ll see that there’s one moment where I have an Annihilate button – instant win – and I wonder where it comes from. Well I’ve found the answer.
See, if a warlord’s combat skill is more than six points higher than the opposing unit’s skill, there is no way that unit can win – even if they roll a six they can’t beat the warlord’s score. In which case the warlord is presented with the Annihilate button. My boy Corax, however, is an exception. His Assassinate skill means that, since the opponent can’t roll a dice anyway, any enemy unit that he matches melee skill with or exceeds by even one point cannot win against him, hence he gets more Annihilate options than anyone else. It’s also known as the “I win” button, because every time I pressed it I thought to myself “I win”.
Anyway, back to the game. After a long battle with ups and downs – including gaining two Raven Guard units for my army only to be immediately turned into a Chaos spawn by Fateweaver because I decided I couldn’t roll higher than 1 – my melee, ranged and resolve scores were high enough that I deemed it time to break through the Lunar blockade and take the fight to Horus himself. Six turns later I had boarded the Vengeful Spirit, ready to face the traitorous Warmaster.
So, yeah, long story short, I won. The final battle can look very intimidating – if you’re a Loyalist you fight Horus, if you’re Chaos you fight the Emperor. Your opponent has 14 ranged combat, 14 close combat and 5 resolve points, meaning that you have to win five combats in a row. My ranged combat was 7, which wasn’t bad, but my close combat was 22. Roboute Guilliman had higher skills but he was off wandering some other corner of the galaxy. Stupid bots. Anyway, five Annihilates later – during which Angron decided to come to Horus’s aid but was still three turns away – I had beaten the traitor and saved humanity. Cue the ending scene and an awesome piece of music which unfortunately isn’t on the soundtrack.
If anything, I love this game even more now than I did when I was reviewing it. There’s something about it that captures the atmosphere, setting and story perfectly. I wish it was available on IOS so that I could play it anywhere. Hopefully I’ll be able to drag some more FBF’ers into it and we can record a full game. No matter what, though, I will still keep playing Corvus Corax. That Assassinate/Annihilate ability is just too good to give up.