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#1 Nameless1

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 02:06 PM

Hello all. I'm thinking of expanding my current game collection and one of the games I'm thinking of is Chaos in the Old World (the other being Battlestar Galactica but that's another story).

While I'd like to get CitOW I'm concerned that the theme of corruption won't go down very well with my gaming group. I'm genuinely curious and my apologies in advance if anyone if put out by this question:

Has anyone ever encountered difficulty or resistance in introducing this game to others based on its theme? Personally I have no problems with it whatsoever (being a fan of Warhammer 40K myself) but my friend's wife might have some objections. I'd hate to let my enthusuasm for the world/content override the enjoyment of others.

I'm also wondering if victory in this game is determined solely by VP or threat dials - I've skimmed the manuals but not in great detail. 

Ideally I'm trying to expand my game collection not only in themes but in game mechanics and I'm wondering if this will in fact be filling in a missing gap in either of these.

Many thanks!



#2 Organous

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 02:27 AM

Let me first address the second question.  Primarily yes, victory points and dial advancement are primarily how the game is won.  You win at the end of the round if your dial is on victory or if you have 50+ points.  If tied in dial, you go in rotation order starting with Khorne.  If multiple people have the points, whoever has the most wins, or else a tie is settled by the same rotation priority (Nurgle's position was very close to being relevant once).  The game can also end if 5 regions get ruined, and then most points wins.  Otherwise, everyone loses if the game's just exhausted, meaning the old world defended itself from the gods' war.

Now on the subject of flavor, I imagine I'd be the best one to answer this question, because the flavor still kinda turns me off. When I first saw this being played, it was with people I didn't like but still seemed like smart people. Eventually I was put into a "cultural exchange" deal where I would play this game if they played one of mine. I ended up getting quite taken with the game because of the overall design more than the flavor of how it's supposed to feel. I'm fascinated by the concepts of game design and balance. This is just about the only game I've seen that has all players working as fundamentally different, yet balanced so well that anyone can win if ignored for any significant time.   It's more the styles of the characters than the "dark gods corrupting the world" feel that draws me in.

Actually, one of the thing that attracts me the most is what they're essentially eliminating with the Morrslieb set.  Half the cast focuses on one type of victory and the other half is more versatile (reasonable then that they're at the low end of priority).  Khorne's entire motivation is to be the balancing factor, eliminating enemy models all around the board.  Everyone else advances their agenda by their own private means, but Khorne has to actively step up against them in order to win.  Nurgle focuses on points more and has the best tools to make sure that works.  The others have to be more subtle.

The characters' own personalities can still work out even if they don't like the general idea.  Khorne is your standard combatant type; nothing too unusual there.  Nurgle works with places where there are the most people to infect, but these are also the places that have the most points for domination.  He's the point *****, commonly rocketing up 20+ points in a single round when he seemed too feeble to be threatening.  Tzeentch is your standard control player, easy to introduce among Magic players where blue magic already fills this role.  He counters opponents' moves, bunkers down in his own little home, and is often the most non-committal character that gets to be last to act.  As for Slaanesh, he genuinely gets me with his flavor.  I have a dirty mind, so a prince of pleasures that gets off on corrupting the heroes and nobles, that appeals to me.  He also can work as a tank in general terms.  It's tougher to fight him off, assuming he even lets you fight at all, and with his dial the way it is, he can still be effective at somewhat slower advancement.  I've also had a game won just because I managed to use a card that gave me 1 corruption in a region someone otherwise ruined entirely on his own.

The only issue I've had with the game's flavor in introducing it to others is that it's a very male game.  Granted, hobby gaming is already dominated by males, but this is especially antithetical to female players.  There's just about no cooperative aspect to it; it's competition all the way.  In fact, Nurgle's effects that remove others' corruption is very much like what some animals do with reproduction; remove your rival's sperm to ensure that yours is dominant.  Even without Khorne in the picture, the gods are doing whatever they can to keep the other gods out of their domain.  There is every motivation not to share or cooperate in any way unless one player starts to run away with the game.  There is just so much dominance involved with this game; it appeals directly to masculine instincts.

Yeah, I typed a lot.  I wanted to give you a solid foundation to override concerns about the flavor.  :)  I still don't really care for the flavor of the game, but the way it plays gets past all of it.  It got even better for me once I got into Monday Night Combat, though I imagine players of Team Fortress 2 will also come to appreciate it the same way.



#3 Nameless1

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 02:36 AM

Thank you Organous! Your insight was very helpful and laid the finger on my concerns about CitOW: that it's more male oriented. I had also forgotten that the character abilities are asymmetric - recalling that I've come across BGG articles discussing how balanced the various gods are.

It sounds then that one has to either play a while as each of the gods to get a handle on their style?

 



#4 Organous

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 02:58 AM

Yeah, kinda. I play fighter games a lot, and there's a similar concept there. My best character is (apparently) Nurgle, my favorite is Slaanesh, and Tzeentch is the hardest for me.  Part of the issue is that you have to know your deck so you know what your true capabilities are.  For example, Khorne's best move turn 1 is usually to place his Bloodthirster in the Empire or Brettonia, because Tzeentch can't possibly teleport that away.  Slaanesh is also a prime target for Khorne early on, because as soon as he gets the Seductress upgrade, Khorne's job becomes a lot harder.  Nurgle also has some tactics that require big plays, despite his usual cheapness.  Turn 1, play the Great Unclean One in Brettonia, turn 2 play (I forget the card name) costing 3 where, if I dominate the region, I get 2 corruption there.  4 domination points instantly, 3/4 VP, some dial advancement, and my figure is unlikely to die.  You should be able to identify that Dazzle is a bad card for Tzeentch.  Slaanesh needs to recognize his powerful tricks that can lead to him heavily dominating regions for big VP.  My favorite: put 2 Nobles in the Empire, move another Noble to that region, play the card that gives me 2 domination per Noble/Hero = 7 domination points for 8 VP!  It takes some experience to really know the game, but it's rewarding.



#5 Senik

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:29 AM

That's the 1st game I have with a board made of human flesh.

Don't you think it's female appealing??... maybe not!

This game is superb though



#6 Dam

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 07:45 PM

Senik said:

That's the 1st game I have with a board made of human flesh.

Don't you think it's female appealing??... maybe not!

Time to call some goth chicks to play ?


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#7 Seren

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 01:55 AM

Yeah, the more I follow this thread the more I think: what's not to like!? This sounds awesome. Everyone can use a seductress upgrade now and again. ;)



#8 bioball

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 05:06 AM

Re: Chaos in the Old World and our beloved lady-players

I've introduced CitOW to 4 of my female friends and they have all enjoyed it. All of them did  have previous exposure to Arkham Horror and appreciate chess, but I think what the got the hooked is the managble complexity to the game. Like Organous commented, the gameplay is really fantastic and provided a lot for people to think about and be engaged in the game even when it not your turn. I also think for most the theme kinda melts away after a while as you start calculating VPs, dial advancements and corruption.

To the OP, if your playing group has seen all of BSG then I think it might be the better game to go with as people will get the theme and really enjoy the traitor mechanic. However if your group is made up of people who like chess and/or Catan then I would certain not hesitate to pick up CitOW. I think after a few rounds of play they'll be hooked.



#9 Kushiel

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 08:45 AM

Senik said:

That's the 1st game I have with a board made of human flesh.

Ah, dammit! Did I miss the release of the Collector's Edition? All I've got is this cardstock board.

Senik said:

Don't you think it's female appealing??... maybe not!

Or maybe it is. Chaos is my wife's favorite game, and is the only game she likes enough that I can use it to convince her to come out to a gaming night when she's not sure if she wants to play something or not. I know another female gamer who quite likes the game. And a non-gamer girlfriend of a guy I regularly play with said that she thought the board was super-cool.

 



#10 Nameless1

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 02:14 PM

Thanks for the input everyone! A few final queries: is the game significantly altered with 3 players instead of 4? What gods would be best to introduce players to the game?



#11 Mr. Djingles

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 02:09 AM

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?efid=135&efcid=1&efidt=422494



#12 Kushiel

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 05:56 AM

Nameless1 said:

Thanks for the input everyone! A few final queries: is the game significantly altered with 3 players instead of 4? What gods would be best to introduce players to the game?

1) From all reports, yes. The game is so well balanced with four players that I've never bothered trying it with three.

2) All four of them. To really understand the game well, you need to understand how all four gods play. Obviously, new players won't. So it doesn't really matter which gods new players start with, dive right in



#13 Senik

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 10:55 AM

I would say that Khorne as the most straightforward strategy and so is the easiest to start with, BUT I  have only 1 game behind me



#14 Nameless1

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 02:39 AM

Mr. Djingles said:

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?efid=135&efcid=1&efidt=422494

Many thanks.

Will give this a try once I have the basics of the game down. And after i get the game of course



#15 Organous

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 07:02 AM

Nameless1 said:

Thanks for the input everyone! A few final queries: is the game significantly altered with 3 players instead of 4?

 

I started typing a response to this and then realized it merits a whole thread unto itself.  I then was typing so much I just made an article on my blog about it: http://maskedcarnie....nely-crowd.html



#16 Senik

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 09:39 AM

Organous said:

I started typing a response to this and then realized it merits a whole thread unto itself.  I then was typing so much I just made an article on my blog about it: http://maskedcarnie....nely-crowd.html

 

Thanks for your article






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