|Chaos in the Old World | Published 02 May 2011|
While the town of Mironia slept, the fog rose from the Blighted Marshes and engulfed the Tilean village. None marked the furtive scuffling of clawed feet across the cobblestones, the eyes of their verminous owners reflecting crimson in the flickering light. But by morning every citizen, like the fog, had disappeared. Only smoking ruins remained and these too, in time, would be claimed by the rising swampland.
Back in March, 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 Ruinous Powers contend for dominance of the Old World, legions of verminous Skaven have found the perfect opportunity to spread the influence of their sinister god.
Last time, we looked at the alternate collection of Chaos and upgrade cards known as the “Morrslieb set,” and we saw what new tricks are in store for Khorne and Nurgle. Today, we’ll continue our tour of these variant cards, and we’ll see what new powers await Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways, and Slaanesh, the Prince of Pleasure.
The Changer Changes
Fans of Tzeentch’s controlling style of play will be pleased to find that The Horned Rat Expansion brings even more surprise performances to his repertoire. Strategically, Tzeentch has always been flexible enough to achieve victory either by dial advancement or victory points, and the Morrslieb set preserves this versatility. Where it stands apart, however, is in the direct level of control it gives Tzeentch, both over cards and figures.
The Changer of Ways has plenty of new tricks up his sleeve, but more importantly, he has the means to acquire them. Tzeentch has always been able to rapidly move through his Chaos deck, giving him a constant stream of options. Didn’t get the card you want? Even a Chaos card that seems to have no applicable use in a given situation can be turned to your advantage with Tzeentch’s Acolyte upgrade, which lets you use any Chaos card as a shield against incoming damage. For that matter, you might use a less-than-useful card draw as fuel for your Warp Portal, a Chaos card that allows for rapid mobility.
Or, you might use it to block an opponent’s impending card effect. Your foes will alternately love and hate you should you choose the Mystical Disregard upgrade, which allows you to place a Chaos card on top of an opponent’s Chaos card, canceling its effect!
Make Kings Your Pawns
Speaking of control, the Morrslieb set brings the Prince of Pleasure whole new ways to seduce the aristocracy of the Old World. Slaanesh is likewise fully capable of winning through either dial advancement or victory points, but you’d do well to choose your strategy as early as possible so that you can begin laying the groundwork.
The upgrade cards Fall from Grace and Rise to Glory, for example, are designed to accentuate this dichotomous decision. With Fall from Grace, you can maximize your dial advancements by concentrating your corruption tokens in certain regions. Alternatively, Rise to Glory helps you score victory points through domination. Either way, you’ll want plenty of Noble tokens on the board. But how should you achieve this?
Your Keeper of Secrets is worth three Nobles, representing his constant sway over the minds of his enraptured populace. Need more Nobles on the board? Debauchery is one versatile option. If you’ve pooled the existing Nobles in one place, you’ll gain power. If not, you’ll gain more Nobles.
The Skaven menace is growing by the day, as the Old World edges ever closer to their emergence from the Under-Empire. Head to your favorite retailer to pre-order The Horned Rat Expansion today, 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.
@Bioball I certainly hope that is the case about the Acolyte upgrade. The other question i would have for this card would be to ask at what point you execute its effects. Is it while you are assigning hits, or afterwards?
If done while assigning hits, an attacking player may be able to say "oh then I assign another hit to it" , especially if that player has leftover hits. If done afterwards, a player may want to assign 2 hits to a cultist to ensure that it dies.
@ Angelic Despot- That is my feeling. Given how powerful other god's upgrade cards are I can't believe they would nerf Tzeentch (and then, preview it). I feel like because its an Acolyte upgrade, each Acolyte is endowed with the ability to have one hit prevented, per battle phase, per round.
So if I have three cultists in a region, with 3 hits assigned from Khorne then I can prevent 3 of those hits by dropping 3 cards. However if Nurgle, next in the battle phase, assigns hits to the same 3 cultist then I can't prevent them at all (I think this is slightly different than just gving cultist a defense of 2).
I don't think is ability is over-powered because Tzeentch can only draw up to 5 cards each draw phase and is going to hold some good cards which are more important than saving a cultist. Further more Tzeentch has 8 cultist to take care of, he can't save them all.
I agree that Tzeentch's cultist upgrade, from what we see here, seems to be less desirable than the original. I assume, though, that this is balanced with Tzeentche's new synergy with his units and his new cards. Tzeentch may simply play differently. It does, of course, mean that suddenly Tzeentch is a static entity for getting Dail Ticks, along with Nurgle and Slaanesh - which on paper may suggest that he's a lot less maneuverable with his units, but the balance may instead have shifted to his maneuverability with his cards.
Tzeentch may still have a way to move (or even place) Warpstones outside of cultists, but if so, it's going to be a lot less controlled.
All in all, it definitely looks like, if players choose to play the Morsleib set, cultist upgrade will no longer be the default first choice - which in itself is interesting. The game should be all the more variable for it.
@dvang - You speak sense, though I still can't shake the possibility that the card you play is in fact executed. I agree that it's most likely, as I first suspected, that the card's effect do NOT go off, but the ambiguity is still there, specifically due to the word "play", and playing a cost.
In other words, the card suggests the possibility that Tzeentch may be able to circumvent the two-card restriction within regions, which is doubly important considering how, with five potential players, those chaos card slots will be extremely contended, and Tzeentch lives and dies with by his cards. I certainly think it's viable considering the direction the expansion (and an extra player) looks to be taking the game, but at the same time I won't deny potential balance issues it may cause.
@dvang I would also say that Mystical Disregard allows you to execute the cards powers, unless Playing a Card and executing its effects are identified as two different steps.
I think the wording and the intention of the card is quite clear, and I think it is quite weak unless I am missing something (IE Chaos Cards) It may be worth 1 cultist per round, for about three rounds if this is your FIRST UPGRADE.
It seems far less powerful than the other upgrade cards I have seen anyways. Even if there were one, maybe even two or three Chaos Card synergies, it stlll seems like it would be effective only under very specific situations.
Mystical Disregard... seems like it might be alright. It allows you to counter a single card per round, but not necessarily in a cost effective manner. (You need to pay as much as one of 3 or 4 players did).
The Fall from Grace upgrade, the Keeper of Secrets upgrade, and to some degree the Rise to Glory upgrade appears to generate situations that would paint a large bullseye on your backside.
The Keeper of Secrets upgrade generates a situation where you want to fight and dominate the region that its in, but not necessarily to kill it because it eats hit dice and also gives you three bonus points for dominating its region. All of a sudden, domination, fighting, and defense is more important, I like and I believe it is well intentioned. Hopefully it achieves desirable gameplay effects.
A question though, I'm assuming with the Keeper of Secrets upgrade that your Keeper of Secrets counts as your figure as well as 3 noble tokens. With Rise to Glory and the Keeper of Secrets upgrade, is your Keeper of Secrets worth 4 domination, or 3?
Hmm, I wonder what the intention was? I read it to mean 'once per battle', but on re-reading it it does seem clearly once per round, no matter how many battles there are. But that seems overly restrictive, and doesn't match what I naturally thought to be a reasonable ability. Especially as it will be limited by the number of cards you have to discard.
The Acolytes upgrade looks like a HUGE MASSIVE nurf to Tzeentchs previous Acolyte upgrade(being able to move warp stones).
The wording would indicate that per each round of play, you may discard EXACTLY ONE card to save EXACTLY ONE cultist.
Meaning that over the course of a standard 5 round game, you have saved maybe 3 cultists total.
@Kharrak - From how the card reads, I'd say the new card's effects do not place. It specifically says the card is cancelling the opponent's effect. It would seem to me if the effects of the new card also took place, it would be worded to say "replace" your opponent's card, rather than cancel.
@bioball - The card says once per round, during the battle phase. So ... only once per round period. Not per cultist, and not per battle, just once per round. Still pretty useful.
Another question is does Tzeentch’s Acolyte upgrade allow each cultist to be protected from in comming damage or do you only get to use it once during each round's battle phase?
I have 3 cultists who have been assigned one hit each. Can I discard three cards to cancel one hit to each OR can I only discard one card to cancel one hit to one cultist?
Ooooh, very nice! Tzeentch can finally teleport Greater Daemons, and for no cost! I can see how his new cards may also be more restrictive in a way, at times, in regards to a situation where you don't have any cards you actually want to discard.
I do wonder though, with the Mystical Disregard upgrade, does the spell you use to cancel out the other card actually go off? Or is it "used up" cancelling the other card?
Looking incredible, FFG. I was going to pass this up. Completely changed my mind. Looks like the game won't be nearly so linear and set this time.