Relic – Review

Relic the latest offering from Fantasy Flight Games was finally released this week and I managed to snag a copy of it on day 1 🙂

Having been a big fan of Talisman over the years and the 40k universe I was pretty excited when I first heard that FFG were working on this.


Relic has the usual high quality look that FFG is well know for, the box art is incredible and every piece of artwork throughout this games is beautiful.

Relic Game Board

Relic Game Board

The board as like the Talisman board is very big and well put together. The art on this is stunning and I spend a good 30 minutes gazing over each individual piece.

Whilst this is based on the Talisman system, thankfully the rule set for Relic has a number of changes with the main one being threat decks. Instead of 1 adventure deck there are three threat decks (Red, Blue, Yellow) Each square has a different series of threat icons whilst corrispond to the number of each card you have to draw when you land on them.

Threat Decks

Threat Decks

Each deck for the most part focuses on a particular theme: Red is strength with Ork enemies, blue is willpower with Tyranid enemies and yellow is cunning with Eldar enemies. This is good as it does mix things up a bit and when playing through there are very few card duplication.

The 2nd key differentiation to Relic is that it uses the exploding dice mechanic for battles and skill tests. You no longer get to that point in the later parts of the game where you will auto win against an enemy which in most games gets quite boring.

The 3rd key difference is the way in which player death is handled. In Talisman if you die then you are screwed get a new character and start again which 2 hours into a 3 hour game is a ball ache and you usually cannot be bothered to start fresh. In relic you lose your influence counters (currency) & trophies, reset your life and then go back to your start square and continue on your next turn. You keep your progress which is a much better player experience in my opinions especially given how nasty some of the creatures are in the threat decks.

Level ups are the last main difference. In Relic you collect your trophy cards after battle. Unlike Talisman you hand in 6 points worth and go up a predefined level track that gives you your rewards. These are different for each character and adds some flavour as the game progresses. There are still plenty of cards within the threat decks to enable you to gain skill increases outside of the levelling process


Misc Decks L to R
Relics, Power Cards, Mission Cards, Corruption Cards, Assets

There are a number of decks contained within Relic:

Relic Cards
These are your Super Assets, the rarest of the rare. They are usable and act as a key to get into the inner realms. These can be acquired by completing 3 mission cards.

Power Cards

Power cards are easily acquired and can be used in 2 ways. Play the card and use the number to replace a dice roll or play when the text says to perform the written action.

Mission Cards

Every player always has a mission to achieve and when they complete one they get a reward as mentioned on the card and draw a new one, when they get 3 completed missions they can trade in and get a relic. This can be done as many times as you like during the game

Corruption Cards

A whole new mechanic, which is best described as Russian roulette. IF you get 6 corruption cards your character is gone (For good, no respawn) If you play it dangerously and start accumilating these cards then you can get some chaos bonuses such as being able to use a second weapon, or on the flip side something bad like no armour being allowed to be used.

Asset Cards

These are standard weapons, armour and equipment that characters can buy during the game with influence.

IMG_2912 IMG_2911

Now due to FFG’s licensing agreement with GW, they are unable to produce miniatures that would be able to be used within GW games, which completely makes sense. As a result instead of getting normal models you have some beautiful busts for your characters. The game comes with 10 different Characters to choose from and if Talisman is anything to go by there will be a lot more to follow.


So far I have managed a couple of games with this and I am really liking the tweaks to the rule set as whilst I love Talisman it still has some niggly flaws that get annoying every now and then. The box says 1-2 hours to play but you will be best to set any where between 2 & 4 if you want to make sure you get from start to finish and this really depends on which of the 5 Scenarios you choose to play.

Either way if you love 40k and like board games this is a great purchase for an afternoon’s / evening’s fun.


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