|Chaos in the Old World | Published 19 April 2011|
All decent folk find the common rat repulsive. Harbinger of disease, it scavenges on our waste-heaps and frightens our children. How immeasurably worse then is the Skaven – standing on its hindlegs in foul parody of a human. Rats as tall as men, and blessed with the most vile intellect and cunning. They are the dark side of our souls, come to destroy us for our sins.
-Albrecht of Nuln, Burned at the stake, IC 1301 for pernicious declamation
Last month, we announced the upcoming release of The Horned Rat, an expansion for Chaos in the Old World that brings an exciting new faction to the war over the grim and perilous Warhammer setting. As the Dark Gods of Chaos vie for control, the legions of the verminous Skaven have found the opportune time to spread the influence of their sinister god.
In our last preview, we looked at an overview of the Horned Rat faction, including its dial and a few of its Chaos cards. But while the verminous horde presents a formidable new adversary, the four Ruinous Powers are not without new tricks of their own. Players of the existing powers can agree to use the original set of Chaos and upgrade cards, or they can decide to use the alternative “Morrslieb set,” which introduces a host of new options and strategies. Today, we’ll take a look at these alternative play styles, and we’ll see what’s in store for Khorne, the battle-crazed Blood God, and Nurgle, the vile Lord of Decay.
Points for the Blood God!
Of all the enhancements brought by the Morrslieb set, those imparted to Khorne are perhaps the least subtle (in typical Khorne fashion). That is to say that while the other Ruinous Powers receive alternate strategies that are largely nuanced, Khorne’s variant strategy is immediately obvious: Accumulate Victory Points. Mind you, this doesn’t mean that Khorne’s potential to win through dial advancement has been greatly hindered. Instead, the Morrslieb set simply makes Khorne’s second path to victory more viable than ever before.
But don’t think that just because Khorne may seem to want to occasionally dominate (or even ruin) a region, that he’s become some sort of pacifist. Indeed, many of his new upgrade and Chaos cards are geared toward rewarding him with points for doing what he does best: spilling blood. With his alternate Bloodletters upgrade, Khorne gains Victory Points when his fearsome Bloodletters claim the skulls of their foes.
And even when Khorne vies for domination, it might merely be as a means to some other end. His Bloodsworn upgrade lets his cultists count as two figures toward domination, and coupled with his Crimson Tide upgrade, this can be a great way to fill his hand with more Chaos cards.
Speaking of Chaos cards, the Morrslieb set gives Khorne a number of ways to overtake his cowardly prey... including the Skaven, who are adept at scurrying away from a fight. Lambs to the Slaughter compels his enemies to come to him, while Terror will let Khorne corral them from one region to another!
The Contagion Spreads
Veterans of Chaos in the Old World will agree that while Khorne’s most likely path to victory has always been his dial, Nurgle has traditionally stuck to the Victory Point track. So if the Morrslieb set makes Victory Points more viable for Khorne, does the inverse apply for Nurgle?
Essentially, yes, although in Nurgle’s case this remains a considerable challenge due to his especially lengthy dial. A few alternate Chaos cards help to change that, however. Festering Fever awards a dial advancement counter if Nurgle dominates the region in which it was placed, and while expensive, Nurgle’s Quest can be worthwhile in delivering an immediate dial tick.
Players of Father Nurgle will also find increased mobility. And thanks to a few specific cards, they must no longer be shackled to the populous regions that cut through the heart of the board. The upgrade card Cavalcade of Decay will force your opponents to think twice about where they dispatch their own Cultists, since in doing so they may aid you in your dial advancement condition! Meanwhile, Virulent Outbreak is a great way to keep your aggressors guessing. You’ll appear harmless as you place Cultists in the Badlands or Norsca... until you declare those regions populous and steal away a couple of dial advancements!
Rest assured that through meticulous playtesting, the Horned Rat design team worked to ensure that not only do these alternate Morrslieb set cards give a range of new strategic options, they deliver a whole new “feel” to each of the Ruinous Powers, all while remaining thematically faithful and preserving the delicate sense of balance that fans of Chaos in the Old World have come to expect.
Look for The Horned Rat Expansion later this quarter, and keep checking back for more!
Chaos in the Old World is a board game of conquest, pitting 3-4 players as the Ruinous Powers of Chaos against each other for control of the Old World. Players must out summon, out play, and outwit theirs rivals to ensure their domination of the lands for ages to come.
That has just upgraded me from 'must have' to 'must have now!' ;) lol
Quoted Text: [ADMIN: Thanks for asking. Each player may NOT choose individually. To be clear, a game must use either the Morrslieb set or the base game set. Morrslieb cards have been balanced against other Morrslieb cards, but they have not been balanced against base game cards. At the start of the game, all players must agree which single set they will collectively use.]
So, this means when using the Horned Rat the Morrsleib card sets must be used, or has the Horned Rat Chaos Cards been balanced against both sets of Chaos Cards?
[ADMIN: The Horned Rat's Chaos and upgrade cards are viable against either set. For specifics, check back in coming weeks!]
Hey now, I never said Khorne never wins. However, after he won the first 3 or 4 games I played in (causing people to wonder if he was OP), he began to win much less frequently as our group gained experience.
( Admin: thanks for the input!)
In the previous spoiler they said that you couldn't mix the Morrslieb Cards in with the original cards, but what I'd like to know is if each player can pick either the original set or the new one. i.e. Does everyone have to play with the new set or stick with the originals? Or can some stick, and some play with the new cards?
I'm really looking forward to this!
[ADMIN: Thanks for asking. Each player may NOT choose individually. To be clear, a game must use either the Morrslieb set or the base game set. Morrslieb cards have been balanced against other Morrslieb cards, but they have not been balanced against base game cards. At the start of the game, all players must agree which single set they will collectively use.]
Hey, my 2 favorite Chaos in the Old World debates in one thread-
1. Khorne always wins.
2. Khorne never wins.
I think we'd all agree that Tzeentch needs a serious boost. I hope he'll get it in this expansion.
I have to echo the sentiments of the previous two, for us Khorne hardly ever wins these days. Though for us I'm not sure if we have ever had a win through victory points, even with Nurgle
Well Judge Devs i suggest you get a better play group or play more games because Khorne is far from OP in this game. Every power is very well balanced. Unfortunately the game is a thinkers type game and requires many plays to understand just exactly how to play each power successfully.
Once you get over that hurdle you will discover none of the powers is OP and it is all based on how good the players of the game are.
There are plenty of experienced players (myself included) who have witnessed other gods winning without needing to gang up on Khorne. In fact, I see Khorne winning less and less the more games I have under my belt. I suspect you'd see the same if you weren't house ruling.
Oh good just what this game needs another way to make it EVEN easier for Khorne to win. This is a great game, but is so hugely imbalanced towards Khorne that I wonder if they played tested it at all. I have never played a game of this when Khorne was being played and he didn't win. The only way to beat Khorne is for the other players to gang up against him, which seems to totally go aganist the ethos of the game. I got to say I was really excited about this expansion until I read this. I will still buy it, but I will continue to play with houses rules making it harder for Khorne to get dial advancements or just not use him.
yeah, the bloodletter upgrade reads "per figure" to me too, not per region. Sounds like this is gonna really shake up the game.
You mean like this one? (sounds close enough :P)