Friday, 30 July 2010

Old World Skool

Impressions of Chaos In The Old World after my first game are actually pretty positive. It looks positively gorgeous, obviously, but then this is Fantasy Flight we're talking about. Awarding a Fantasy Flight game points for looking like a work of art is like giving points to haute cuisine for not letting you starve. Sure, that's nice and all, and no-one likes starving, but that wasn't what made you book a table, was it?

So what is there beyond an admittedly drool-inducing map of the Old World and some truly exquisite plastic miniatures for each of the four Chaos Gods (including all four breeds of minor and major demon)?

Well, quite a bit. T's complaints notwithstanding, it's not a massively complicated game (important note: my definition of "not massively complicated" means I have grasped all the rules and the basic strategy in time to have a shot at winning my first ever game). Your hapless cultists and gibbering demons skip gaily across the Old World, sowing terror and misery wherever they hang their rune-daubed hats. Points are awarded both for conquering realms, and for fucking them up to such an epic extent that they actually become uninhabitable. This latter option nets you big-time victory points, but once you've ruined a realm you can't use it to farm all those squishy human things you so love to squish between your toes, so the scorched earth option is something you want to consider each and every time, even if you'd be in a position to do so (it's not an easy task by any means).

As well as the land-grab options, the other way to advance on your road to total global domination is to advance your own agenda. These are very pleasingly logical and characterful. Khorne's "plan" is probably not even worthy of the name:

Slaanesh gets his jollies by persuading members of the Empire nobility to join his pervy "Pleasure Cult":

Nurgle turns up to the largest city he can find and unleashes as many plagues as possible upon the inhabitants:

And Tzeentch....


Well, um, the thing about Tzeentch....

OK. So Tzeentch is a bit shit. Can't have everything, can you?

Still, beyond the comparative lameness of The Quest For The Prettiest Pebble, the different agendas make for a basic and colourful way to govern interactions. Slaanesh needs to devote enough time and energy to ensnare the barony, but if there's a large city in the area he needs to watch out for Nurgle. And what if Tzeentch is in the next realm over stealing all the lovely, lovely rocks? Or what if the warpstone Tzeetch craves is in a realm fat with landed gentry, or a major population centre? Or both? Will Nurgle try and seize the city, or will he look for weaker prey elsewhere. And what will Khorne do when he realises -

Yeah, never mind.

All told, it's a comparively simply, comparatively quick (and again, bear in mind that the comparisons in question are with Arkham Horror and Battlestar Galactica, two of the most Byzantine games I've had the pleasure of playing) which, whilst it requires absolutely no knowledge of the Warhammer world, works best when you can play your chosen allegiance as (that particular) God intended.


Jamie said...

Sounds good. Have you got it? If so could we have a game of it at the Sheffield meet, or perhaps during your house warming weekend?

SpaceSquid said...

It belongs to the Savilles, so the former option is out, even if we weren't all a little game-shy after the Talisman debacle.

The house warming could certainly be a good place for it, though.