Adeptus Fortuitus: Talisman – The Horus Heresy

I didn’t realise how much I wanted a Warhammer 40k themed Talisman game until I read the press release announcing Talisman: The Horus Heresy [official site] a few minutes ago (edit: I had entirely forgotten about Relic!). Set during the titular conflict, which pitted Space Marines against one another in a galactic civil war, the digital boardgame supports 1-4 players and looks like it might be more than a thematic makeover. Nomad Games reckon the “combative team play” will make the game somewhat different to the Talisman ruleset on which it is based. One thing seems certain – Rab is going to be over the (red) moon.

I love Warhammer 40,000. You could fit what I actually know for sure about the whole fictional universe on the back of a large napkin but every time I see a picture of a space marine (which is fairly often in this line of work) I find myself exploring wiki pages, reading about the dark theology of this weird future-time. It’s preposterously extravagantly horrible and glorious in a way that fascinates me, and has done since I first bought some of the source books from a carboot sale as a youngster.

When I read that this new Talisman will let me command one of eighteen Space Marine Legions, I immediately saw myself reading the backstories of every single one of those legions. And the eight heroes and villains that make up the character pool.

I’ve spent some time with Nomad’s digital adaptation of actual Talisman and enjoyed it well enough. Sometimes I feel as if I need to click more often than I’d like to, slowing the pace a little, but I’ve enjoyed being able to dabble with the expansions without taking up all of the table space in my house (one day I’ll own a table big enough to play fully expanded Arkham Horror on comfortably, and that is the day I will finally be an adult). Whether this new take, which has been “tailored specifically for digital platforms”, will be more or less effective I can’t say until I know more. But we’ll all know more soon enough.

The Horus Heresy is coming to PC and Mac in February.


  1. Khoryos says:

    Isn’t there already a 40K Talisman game?

    It’s called Relic.

  2. Kido says:

    link to

    You’re welcome.

    (I play it regulary. It’s actually decent if you remove some of the absolutely OP characters from the game)

  3. bit.bat says:

    I read the first Horus Heresy book over the holidays (with no previous Warhammer 40k knowledge beyond that space marine game) and i thought it was pretty good. I found the setting to be surprisingly unique and the themes explored between all the violence are quite interesting, I can see how it would make a good foundation for a game. Its quite well written too, I would recommend it for anyone that is interested.

    • FlipMooMonkey says:

      Horus Rising was a solid but not particularly inspiring kick off point, there are some corkers later on though (Thousand Sons, First Heretic, Legion, Angel Exterminatus, Betrayer, I could go on and on) so you’ve definitely got lots to look forward to.

      I would personally recommend skipping Ben Counter’s books, read all of Abnett, McNeill, ADB and then pick and choose others that catch your eye from other authors.

    • malkav11 says:

      That one’s written by one of two genuinely good writers that do GW licensed fiction, Dan Abnett. Aaron Dembski-Bowden being the other. I personally am willing to also give a few others the time of day (Graham McNeill, Ben Counter despite the above poster, one or two others), but the problem with the Horus Heresy books is that like a lot of other big licensed series they farm them out to writers of extremely…varied… quality. Well, that and after that opening trilogy it stops being a chronological narrative and just kind of randomly selects vignettes from that whole huge conflict, but it’s still theoretically one series.

      • bit.bat says:

        Hey thank you both for the tips! I had assumed the whole series forms a chronological narrative, its useful to know that it doesn’t. I’ll aim for the first three for now and see where it goes. There are so many books, its actually a relief that some can be skipped!

        • Regibo666 says:

          This is the order the books should be read. It includes ebooks too.
          link to

          Personally I wouldn’t miss any but that’s just me, I love the series. Currently reading Pharos and it’s great.

        • EhexT says:

          Whatever you do, make sure you skip Battle for the Abyss and you absolutely 100% read A Thousand Sons, Prospero Burns and Battle of the Fang. Those 3 are some of the best and form a chronological sub-story that runs well into the later 40k setting.

          And Know No Fear for somehow making Ultramarines not just interesting but charismatic and funny.

  4. Exitalterego says:

    I recently bought a shiney new large dining table for gaming on. It still can’t fit a fully expanded Arkham Horror on though!

    • crowleyhammer says:

      No table yet built can!

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        It’s easy enough if you use non-Euclidean geometry to build your table, but it does have the side effect of driving you mad.

    • malkav11 says:

      Fortunately there’s no reason to play with all the expansions going simultaneously, and quite a few reasons not to.

  5. gunny1993 says:

    That image of Erabus has 100% too much face flesh

  6. Philopoemen says:

    “If a Legion removes Warmaster’s last Resolve, then they have succeed.”

    Not filling me with confidence for what will be a wordy game.

  7. mouton says:

    And so Games Workshop continues injecting its settings into bad games. Sigh.

  8. OpT1mUs says:

    First of all Talisman is a good fun game, second, Talisman has always been based on Warhammer Fantasy setting, so get back on your high horse and ride off.

    • malkav11 says:

      One of the original expansions rolled in 40K and Chainsaw Warrior, among others (Timescape).

    • mouton says:

      Cool it was based on it, but I still dislike Talisman. Epic randomness, often clouded by epic nostalgia.

      To each their own, of course, but to me there are countless better board games.

  9. OpT1mUs says:

    ^ That was in response to mouton. God I hate this prehistoric RPS comment system…

  10. Rindan says:

    I have played the Talisman that you can buy for Android. Am I missing something? Is there more to that game than what the Android version offers? If that really is all there is in terms of gameplay? I can not for the life of me fathom why anyone would play except when wanting something perfectly mindless to play on a phone. Setting up a board to play Talisman, much less playing it with other humans just seems totally crazy to me. It makes King of Tokyo or Spider Solitaire look as complex as Twilight Imperium.

    I just don’t understand…

    • mouton says:

      Easy. It is an old classic game and plenty of people associate it with their youth – me included. If you don’t, then you probably won’t like it much.

  11. Regibo666 says:

    Technically Horus Heresy isn’t 40k, it’s 30k and it is a very different beast, lore wise anyway.