Combo of the Day #19: Talisman/Watchtower/Treasure Map

One of those brutal openings if everything lines up just right.  You only need to play this combo once; activating it twice will probably decide the game.  It’s so strong, in fact, that absent any must-buy $3’s or $4’s, you should probably open Talisman/Watchtower just to maximize your chances of getting this to work.  Bide your time until you draw $4 with the Talisman and Watchtower in hand, then buy a Treasure Map, gain a copy, and place both on your deck.

This also works well with Royal Seal in place of the Watchtower, but on average, that happens quite a bit later in the game.

Sample game

The best case scenario, as juff activates it on Turn 3 to overcome an otherwise disadvantageous start.

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15 Responses to Combo of the Day #19: Talisman/Watchtower/Treasure Map

  1. joel88s says:

    Is this the right sample game?

  2. Glooble says:

    I just pulled this off, only using Royal Seal. Then my opponent did too, but it was too late.

  3. tlloyd says:

    Any of you math folks want to calculate the odds of pulling this off in turn 3 or 4?

    I’ve tried this before and it seems to be quite the elusive combo. After the Watchtower/Talisman opening the only way to pull it off is W-T-3 coppers. I take it that “bide your time” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy any cards, and obviously you can improve your odds by buying a silver, but too many (easy to do with Talismans around) and you make it less likely for the Watchtower and Talisman to show up in the same hand of five. More Talismans is definitely preferable to more Watchtowers, but too many and you’ll have a big fat deck by the time you add the four golds.

    Any advice on how to use the Talisman and Watchtower abilities to minimize the time it takes to pull of the combo? For instance, if you have Watchtower and $3 but no Talisman, would you ever buy another Watchtower and put it on your deck hoping the Talisman is waiting there?

    • DStu says:

      So having Watchtower in Hand 3 or 4 is 10/12 (10 spots out of 12).
      Having Talsiman in the same hand as WT is 4/11 (4 spots out of 11 remaining).
      Drawing additionally 3 Coppers in this hand is 7/10*6/9*5/8 (7 coppers in rem. 10 cards for third spot times 6 coppers in rem 9 ….)

      Multiplying everything gives 8.8%. Adding the silvers is a little bit more work, but should not really be more difficult…

      • DStu says:

        … but of course you can bound the prob. with the silvers by 1/3, as with at least one silver the prob. that you draw WT and T together is 1/3.

  4. rattenversammlung says:

    A second Watchtower can in fact increase your chances, since after playing Watchtower you now have 6 cards to work with.
    Warehouse fits into that strategy perfectly as well, but you need a silver or a second watchtower after playing the Warehouse

  5. vidicate says:

    White the wheat bread?

  6. PK9 says:

    I know this article is mostly about setting up the Treasure Maps, but Talisman/Watchtower/Any +Buy card is itself a dangerous combo, when played against someone going for the traditional buildup to Provinces and especially Colonies. I played a game with Conspirator and Worker’s Village (the Conspirators themselves turned out to be next to useless). There was a decent drawing card, so the Talismans helped empty out two stacks pretty quickly. I managed to get a couple of Talismans and a Watchtower together after drawing a big hand with a Watchtower and 4 Buys. The Conspirators helped me get plenty of money for a single Colony – though they were totally unnecessary (a single Estate would have given me the VP edge). After the Colony, I used my additional buys to instantly empty the Curse pile for a 3-pile-ending before the other person had bought a single green card.

  7. Aashimi says:

    There’s something I’m missing here. How do you get to put both on your deck? You buy one and gain one. Only the gained one is allowed to go on the deck, right?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Same thing with a Stone Mason game. Grab a royal seal or a watchtower and once you hit $6 over pay the stonemason by $4 and you can top deck your two treasure maps.

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