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#1 Organous

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 05:10 AM

The Horned Rat expansion is going to be all-encompassing, essentially a whole new game.  That means it's time for speculation, educated or otherwise.   The most suggestive things for me is that there will be 5 reference sheets, and it seems obvious to me that this is for the sake of remaking how the characters work.  I can get that much from Khorne.  We can already see that Khorne has a realistic shot at points, but as far as getting dial, he doesn't even need many cards to get his job done.  If his dial advancement condition were to remain the same while the cards would change to favor points, Khorne would quickly dominate both parts of the game.

What is Khorne going to want with the expansion?  It seems likely that if he's not going to kill figures, he'll still need to kill something: peasants.  I have a friend that's already superstitious about his dice rolling being affected by killing peasants, so he's going to flip over that.  Of course he'll need cards that work with peasants the way that the Horned Rat works with Skavens.  Figure-killing will still be quite relevant, as can be seen with his Chaos and upgrade cards that have been revealed.  Skulltaker will add to his domination, and the Bloodletters will give him up to 12 points per round (6 Bloodletter figures).  Lambs to the Slaughter seems to be a crap card for him in this scenario, just moving enemy figures from adjacent regions into the region where you play it at a cost of 2 points.

Now, if Khorne's going to focus on points, it makes sense that Nurgle is going to focus on dial.  A dial-centric Nurgle will still be balanced, since his is the longest one.  If that's going to work though, he can't just be forced into 4 regions.  He needs to be able to get dial advancement tokens in a more fluid manner.  I don't really know what to suggest with this, except maybe that he has to put one corruption in a region where another player adds corruption in the same phase.  This wouldn't really work out with the Horned Rat though, since the Skavens don't actually add corruption.  They just work to score ruined regions by their own existence.

I believe Slaanesh will come to enjoy populous regions more.  Nurgle will have to abandon populous regions if he doesn't change how he approaches them, and where better for a dark god to make a blood orgy than heavily populated areas?  It will still be a relevant area for him.  He'll definitely need stuff to help him dominate those regions though, since he has the fewest figures (unless some of those 15 figures will go to Slaanesh, very doubtful).  Beyond that, I'm sketchy.

Tzeentch is the biggest question mark.  If his dial condition wasn't going to change, there'd only be 4 reference sheets.  I'm scared of change coming to Tzeentch, because he's just perfect the way he is.  He needs to cause change, not be the victim of it.  The Horned Rat's fate will also be linked with Tzeentch.  Either everyone gets a new set of stuff, in which case the Horned Rat only gets one total, or else the Horned Rat gets 2 sets of things, leaving Tzeentch completely unchanged.  The numbers shown are basically similar to the base game (actually more cards), though there won't be as many Old World cards (no ruination cards at all) to make the room for another Chaos deck.

I also look forward to the new expert cards.  Our games almost never go to the Old World's defense, so it'd be nice to have this psuedo-player in the mix.



#2 Organous

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 05:51 AM

Well, I feel like an idiot.  I have to bump this, since the edit function somehow isn't available.  Anyway, it seems Tzeentch certainly will have his own deck, which means the Horned Rat only gets one set of stuff.  Kinda sad, but that's how it is.  I also managed to find the exact setup: 10 cultists, 4 warriors, 1 greater daemon.  This is from a layout image of the set.Layout

I figure the power point markers are there because we all end up losing them at some point, and then there's at least 9 Skaven tokens being added to the mix.  I can't really tell what that other little marker is.  The only mystery now is exactly what those reference cards are to the side of the Horned Rat's sheet.  They could still be dial changes as I've alluded, but they're rather wordy.  It's also really difficult for me to tell exactly how large his dial is, and I can't make out what any of the cards say at all.



#3 bioball

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 09:52 AM

Actually the figure count for the Horned Rat is 11 cultists (3 are on the right by the Dial), 3 Warriors and 1 Daemon.

The other marker is for the Victory Point Track.



#4 Organous

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 09:10 AM

Since more has been revealed about this set, it's time for more predictions.  I'm glad to see that 2 Peasants are getting changed to Skaven in startup, so the Horned Rat doesn't have to rely on a lucky deck to get going.  Based on the cards and the dial we've seen, I think it's going to be a mixture of everybody but Khorne.  He's got domination going for him, and Nurgle's always seemed like a dominator to me.  He's restricted to 2 regions to start like Slaanesh, though it's been suggested there will be multiple Chaos cards to change that (Slaanesh gets awarded Nobles by the dial, so it works out).  He's closest to Tzeentch though, with a tremendous number of cheap figures and both cards we've seen have been 0-cost.  The focus seems like it's going to be about figures, especially since he can't corrupt.  I foresee the rest of the deck being cheap, though there's bound to be at least one higher-costing card in there.  Even Tzeentch has Dazzle.



#5 bioball

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:08 AM

I think most intresting part of the Skaven team is the 11 cultist. With only 6 power points its going to be awefully hard to field and move those figures around. Which is why I think the Chaos Cards are going to be a lot of 0-1 cost, but some how allow figure movement and with some sort of conditional requirment so they are not completely broken.

Otherwise with discounts, I think it will take the Horned Rat far too long to become a presence on the board especially with all the killing that is going to occur to keep the skittering hoard in check by the other players.



#6 bioball

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:09 AM

Ooops: "Otherwise withOUT discounts..."



#7 JQueue

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 10:58 PM

As per the description of Skaven characteristics, it appears that the rate at which any character may reach 50 points will be slowed. The two biggest points leading to this conclusion are:

1.) Skaven does not increase the rate at which regions ruin, but quite often forces ruin points to be distributed amongst a larger number of players.

2.) Skaven is an extra competitor for dominating regions on the board.

Which means that without some drastic changes to chaos cards, upgrade cards, and possibly even event cards, dial victories are somewhat strengthened and point victories are somewhat nurfed.

I expect to see some drastic card changes to address this and many other issues that may arise from including the Skaven.

One thing I am hoping for is a wider variety of possible strategies for various gods, and judging from the Bloodletter Upgrade card for Khorne, this may indeed be the case! I hope to see more viable Upgrades for each race rather than having a very small subset of cards that are great and the rest simply being noobie traps. And I hope to see more viability for placing warriors on the board rather than just stalling and running away with your seductresses, lepers, acolytes, or rats.

I'm not sure how that can be accomplished though and I would say that the balance of the expanded CitOW may be precarious. WIth entirely new cards and the balance of power changed, this could qualify as an altogether new game.



#8 FrankMcG

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 07:17 AM

Yeah I'm all on board for anyone being able to win a dial/VP victory. Ditto for evening out the usefulness of upgrades and making Slaneesh/Tzeetch warriors useful.

 

Another change I'd like to see is with the Old World cards. They tend to either be trivial (place one skaven token on a region with warpstone) or completely game breaking (extra nobles/heroes the first turn? Helloooooo Slanessh win!). Also the idea that the player with the lowest threat rating getting to pick them is kind of a misplaced rubber band mechanic since lowest threat doesn't really mean last place. It's always just Nurgle (if someone has a lower threat than Nurgle then no amount of help is going to save them).



#9 Organous

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 06:40 AM

Just as a point of clarification, the Skavengers card applies for each Warpstone, as specified in the FAQ.  It doesn't just give you 1 Skaven.



#10 Organous

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 08:40 AM

Dernit, I really wish this forum wasn't so wishy-washy about being able to edit.  I meant Up from Skavenblight with my previous statement.  Anyway, we got a new preview yesterday.  It tells us a lot about things we already suspected, but doesn't give us much with which we can speculate.  I've made an entry in  my blog compiling all the images FF releases, but that's about it.  maskedcarnie.blogspot.com/2011/04/chaos-preview-pics.html

That doesn't mean I'm not creative.  ;)  This definitely holds true to what they've been saying, that everyone's going to want to live like Slaanesh and Tzeentch.  I don't really know how I feel about this.  They're gonna have to really up the power of Slaanesh and Tzeentch for them to compete with what Khorne and Nurgle are doing.  Part of the initial balance was that these guys had to focus all their power into one thing and the other side was practically hopeless.  The figures and dial advancement will be unchanged.  The cards are giving them as much power in one direction as they have in the other (it seems like Khorne's still ahead).  Slaanesh has the least figures of any character, which means he'll have to rely much more on cards to do well.  Tzeentch already relies on cards, but in order to do well here, those still have to get a lot more powerful.  It would help if there's more cards proportionately in other people's decks with magic symbols.  Oh yeah, and since the Horned Rat only gets one set, all this has to be balanced with how he works if you use the base set with that player.  This'll be a great trick.

On Nurgle himself, he's definitely going to be able to compete.  Nurgle's Quest allows him potentially 3 spins in one turn, though considering how much he'd have to commit to that, I'm not really optimistic about its success.  Then again, if people can't fight, that's a lot easier.  Festering Fever allows one region two generate 2 counters (3 if you have another copy of this card there).  Virulent Outbreak is going to be very nice both as a stall and a dial enabler.  We'll have to see how useful Cavalcade of Decay is compared to his other upgrades.  Right now, it's all up in the air.



#11 Organous

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 07:40 AM

At this point, it's not so much predictions anymore.  A lot has been revealed, and even though more is still secret, we have enough to be rather educated.  I don't get to be as carefree anymore.

 

Tzeentch

The acolyte upgrade basically makes him more defensive, which is a somewhat disturbing idea.  It's ok with Slaanesh, because he has so few figures as it is.  Tzeentch has more than anyone but the Horned Rat.  The balancing factor is that it's not giving +1 defense to everyone, but only as you wish to allocate cards.  You also probably want those cards to, you know, use.  Mystical Disregard, based on the cards shown thus far, could actually have some use.  There's a lot of 1 and 0 costing cards, though the initial chaos card fan shows some 2s and a 3 (that got fully revealed recently).  Still, I get the strong feeling this is going to be a crap upgrade.  It's nothing against the upgrade itself, just that the other upgrades will probably be stronger.  I have a feeling that it will most affect, in order of relevance: Horned Rat, Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh.  Warp Portal is definitely a very welcome card.  The only thing that doesn't make it strictly better than Teleport is the discard requirement for teleporting, but even that can be advantageous.

 

Slaanesh

Fall from Grace only seems like it could have relevance based on the ordinarily 3 maximum tokens Slaanesh could get.  He's going to be losing the current Seductress upgrade, so it definitely seems like this will be the go-to card if you're going to win by dial.  Based on what has been shown though, there seems to be a preference for points.  Making the Keeper of Secrets count as 3 Noble tokens works both ways, helping your dial advancement (if there wasn't already a Noble there) and giving you lots of points in the process.  It's easily combined with Rise to Glory to make it count as 4 domination points.  Plant all your warriors in the Empire and watch that VP marker shoot right up!  With your 3 warriors there, you'll have 7 domination points achieving 8 VP!  Debauchery looks like a weaker version of Degenerate Royalty (3-cost, free to play if there's 3+ corruption there) with a very minor possibility of giving you power points (Keeper of Secrets upgrade + an actual token there).  Certainly it's not enough to really make an opinion on what Slaanesh actually will be, but it's not the power ramp-up I figure Slaanesh is going to win against these guys.  The upgrades are nice, but the cards need to have similar power to with them.



#12 JQueue

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 10:49 AM

A lot of the changes in this expansion appear to be well intentioned and oriented in the right direction. However, my concerns also grow as more information about the game is slowly revealed to us.

Cards like Lambs to the slaughter and Nurgle's Quest may prove to be extremely volatile, in that Lambs to the slaughter may exploit the fact that they are making Greater Demons more viable for use. Nurgle's Quest would be an extremely painful card to have blocked.

I feel like a large objective of this expansion is to slow down the game and force more interesting and exciting  activities like struggling for domination points and combat. A noble goal, however the longer a game runs, the more balance it needs to be to keep the gameplay clean. I noticed that this expansion is being developed by Eric M Lang, the original Chaos designer, and two other designers that appear to be as of yet unproven relative to some of the legendary designers you might find on BGG. I certainly hope they are up to the task.

Furthermore I feel that Skaven might be the best in running a versatile strategy where he might choose to win by Victory or Dial in a single game. (With domination giving him points as well as dial ticks).



#13 JQueue

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 11:51 PM

Actually I take my last comment about Skaven being able to run a versatile strategy back. Seems I misread, you need to dominate a region with at least one Skaven token, so it might actually be somewhat difficult to get DACs.






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