Christmas in the old world!

Tis the season to go to your friends house’s and pretend you’re a god, a Chaos god infact. Revel in the destruction of helpless populations, the ruin of fertile lands and then kick back together with a warm mug of ‘Glögg’. There is never a better time to play Chaos in the Old World than right now, and why? because people play more board games at Christmas which is a fact and if you think differently you are very wrong indeed you failure. It’s cold outside incase you didn’t notice and likely you have snow up to your knees and icicles on your car and house so why bother going outside unless it’s to go and play games with your pals.

So Chaos in the Old World is the greatest board game made so far. It’s a 4 player game ideally but do what you want, we’ve played it with 2 players each taking 2 gods and we’ve played it with 3 players and left the extra god off the board. You could even have teams if you wanted, I don’t really care how many people you play it with but if you play it with 4 players it’s more fun and know this, it IS the greatest board game.

Khorne tests the waters of the Tzeentch stronghold in the Badlands

The lovely girls that I live with bought me CITOW for my last birthday, bless them. I’d watched a video review of it from a fellow Scottish guy called Robert Florence and as his accent is much stronger than mine and as it was quite funny I showed them the video. I probably went on about the game a few times…ok so I went on and on about how it looks amazing and the hints stuck with one of them at least, and thus I now own it.

I forget how many times we’ve played this, generally it’s the game people want to play if we are going to play games. It’s length doesn’t seem to bother them as most games take anywhere from 2 hours to 3 depending on anything such as rule explanations, advice and general chatter. Nobody has left saying, “It’s allright, could do with being simpler”, or just some plain old shite like, “That was the fucking worst game, 2 hours it took? I want them back”.

The first major battle takes place, Khorne sends in the Bloodthirster to start some shit with Nurgles Great Unclean one who had been stinking up the place.

The rules seemed a bit, daunting at first. You open the book and theres heaps of things to learn and then you realise that everyone essentially takes their turns at the same time and that a turn is like 6 phases long and you’ve got a great big checklist of things to look for on each one. The thing is, it’s actually very very simple and easy to explain and understand. The easy to explain part is vital to those who want others to play their board games as explaining some complex game mechanic is a fucking nightmare especially if you’re explaining it to people who are perhaps not exactly into it. Thankfully CITOW is not one of those games.

I’ve managed to explain the rules in English with broken Swedish thrown in, and done a decent enough job that we have 8 other people we can play the game with who perhaps only need a short revisement of the rules on the next time they play. So, not so scary afterall.

What is it with Khorne? He just starts fights on anything and anyone, doesn't give a shite about your plans or your feelings, no, just BAM! hits you in the face and takes your blood.

The 4 chaos gods were randomised for our game here, and in true chaotic fashion nobody got the one they wanted but strangely we got each others. That is…wait that makes no sense, I mean, of fucking COURSE we got each others…no I mean that I got my missus favourite god and she got mine, the dude’s whose house we were at got his wifes favourite god and she got his. Ok does that make sense…aye it does ok let’s move on.

Khorne places the first demon/cultist on the board and then everyone places theirs in turn but ultimately you stay the fuck away from Khorne to deny him victory conditions. So being Nurgle, the dude was positioned on the populous regions anyway because his victory conditions means he has to bring disease and plagues to the populations of the old world. The missus took one corner of the map but only because warp stones were abundant there which Tzeentch needs to perform evil magic, and I took the closed off (but also trapped) top corner to plot my perverted plans as the god Slaanesh.

The game pretty much looked like Khorne would win throughout the entire game. Running away from her viscious BLoodletter demons only helped the situation a little but we had to contend with your own victory conditions and various random effects from the Old World card deck, it’s not easy being a victim of blood letting. Khorne was infact on the very edge of winning 2 turns from the end and it all came down to a single die. 50% at winning the entire game and she only needed to roll a 4+ on a single dice (a single die? or a single dice? fuck it).

Awww Khorne doesn't like a roll of a 3 and so the game continues.

With the plan of an early win ruined byt he magnificant dice gods, every other player was back in the running for a victory. Infact as I saw it, every god could win on this turn…the very last turn of the game. The missus and her chaotic collection of Smurfs had the upper hand in several regions and had pretty much dominated the lower corner earning vast amounts of points each turn and getting more advancements on the chaos dial than anybody else baring Khornes seemingly easy 2 dial advancements per turn. In my head I saw Tzeentch winning, Tzeentch is great, the withholder of victory, the spoiler of plans, the ruiner of battle. She played it quite well, true to the way Tzeentch should be played. Employing lot’s of magic and using the many Acolytes to cover ground and corrupt the land.

Tzeentch flying ahead like some giant chaos bird with a great big head and beak..and staff...and, gangly like arms and stuff...aye.

Khorne was almost certainly going to win, during the battle phase she killed something and got the dial marker needed to push her to win. Nurgle could also have won but his “I’ll fight anything” brutish style of play got in the way of what he should have been doing which was spreading corruption to every corner of the world. He did infact in the last turn only need 1 more cultist in a region, 1 single cultist and he could have ruined it, claimed more victory points and gained a win but he finished on 48 points instead of the needed 50 to win. So close.

Despite my earlier confidence in a Tzeentch win, her only remaining chance at salvaging the game was to ruin everyone else’s chances. She did that by limiting Khornes attacks with protective magic and teleports, she removed her acolytes away from areas Nurgle needed more corruption to tip it into ruination. She lost some Acolytes that would have moved the dial a notch and gave her more points in the corruption phase but died fighting to the end. No victory would be had for Tzeentch today.

I managed to save my victory by having saved the higher point cards to last. The ‘ruined’ cards have a higher value on the latter ones, so the first region to be ruined has a lesser points value than the last one. In the last turn I put the toughened up Seductress’s out into 3 regions and claimed victory points for each one, including the highest values for 2. Slaanesh went from about 20-25 points to 55 points in a single turn and it was only from lying low and not being a pain in the arse to the other 3 players did I manage this. (Though it has to be said, I’m a terrible winner due to gloating).


The Old world looking a bit ruined.

After 2 and a half hours, a bottle of Coke and something like 2 Kilos of grapes later the game was over and thai take away food was ordered. And despite that nobody got the god they wanted, and had to adapt their playing style to a different set of rules and options, everyone enjoyed it and I think it was the best game we had yet. Playing with different people always gives you ideas on how you would do something or how they did it, and how they managed it. A different perspective in a game like this is valuable, with 4 very different gods it’s important to find other ways of using them. Creative ways and less obvious ways than you might find out for yourself.

Though, ruining a world and bringing its people to a grim and messy end is not exactly in the spirit of Christmas now is it?


1 Response to “Christmas in the old world!”

  1. 1 Dan
    15/12/2010 at 1:20 am

    I’ve played this game, it’s pretty good. I won with my Khorne Berserkers ofc 8)

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