|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.
Nurgle's quest totally sounds like the name of what would be an awesome video game.
Well, the upgrade card specifically says "each time you kill a figure in a region containing a Bloodletter" whereas the dial advancement condition says "each time you kill one or more enemy figures in the same region".
By the way, can a player attack his own figures? Because the upgrade card does not say "enemy" figure :D
@arachnidshadows probably for each region, just like the dial
I wonder though, would Khorne get two victory points per figure killed or just two points for each region where figures were killed in the presence of bloodletters?
Yes-yes, can't wait!
Khorne winning by points?!
Nurgle winning by dial advancement?!
Has the Old World GONE CRAZY?!
But seriously this looks cool, and I'll definitely be picking this up.
I don't wanna give you any ideas, but FFG probably could have split this into two different boxes, one with the Horned Rat and one with the upgrade cards and I would have quickly bought both.