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Twilight Imperium, War of the Ring, Runewars or Chaos in the old World

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  Sorry for doing one of these to you guys, but I really can't decide. I've been on a bit of a board game binge as of the past two weeks and I'd like to get one more to even out my collection.

I have Talisman which is a fun game and easy to pick up.

I have Runebound which feels almost like a hardmode Talisman.

I also have expansions for both of them. Now I want a new game but I don't really want such a random single hero game. I would like a more involved strategy and battle game. I know this is a huge list of games but for the life of me I can't figure out which would be best and I really need some help.


My group doesn't care for game time, we usually have between 3-6 people, we like to pvp but it isn't a deal breaker if the game has none, we do want games with player interaction be it coop or pvp, and what we really care about is the richness of the world. We like games that have distinct races or groups.

If anyone could give me any sort of advice on any of these games I'd like to hear it. I've tried looking online but the reviews all seem to be this game rules, or this game sucks. They are seem to have a similar rating too.

Thanks for any help!

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I have all the games you mentioned, and the only one I still did not play is War of the Ring, but I will try to share some thoughts, and compare them and hopefully it might assist you in selecting your next purchase.


Chaos in the Old World

The game is awsome, one of my favorites. It is for 2 to 4 players, but really the game is only fully enjoyed with 4 (or 5 with the expansion), due to the way each faction/god antagonizes each other.  The only thing is that if your group is 6 people, one will be out...

So I would say get this and the expansion if you have 5 players...


War of the Ring

Good game, can fit 4 players, but it really was made for 2. I havent played it, so I will not discuss about it further.



Great game, but 2 to 4 players, all my games have lasted around 5 hours. Only thing here is, the game is only up to 4 players even with the expansion.

Each faction has distinct units, different powers, the game mechanics are very enjoyable, not difficult to get.


Twilight Imperium

To be fair, when you mentioned your group gravitates between 3 to 6 players, I was imediatelly going to suggest this one, because of the list of games here it is the only one to fit more than 5 players.

What is there to say about TI3? This game is a bit of everything: war, politics, trade, technological research, exploration, deceits and alliances.

If your group is not afraid of long games, this is it, I think.

I would highly recommend you also purchase the expansions, the game has lots of optional rules and components. Coupled with the randomization of hex tiled maps, and the dozens of different races with their different abilities and advantages, this game really has a lot of replayability.


Ok cutting the story short, in my personal opinion they are all great games, and all of them except War of the Ring I already played and I will play anytime...

Due to your group size I would say, TI3 is the best choice, coming with a close second, Chaos in the Old World.


They are all different games, and in the end... oh man... get them all eventually, you wont regret it :)


I know I probably did not give too many helpful facts, but I hope this email helps you a little in your decision...



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 It's very helpful thank you. I think after doing some more research and looking at what you said I'm stuck between Twilight Imperium and Chaos in the old World.

I hear somewhere that unless you play with the full 6 your really missing the full Twilight experience, is that true?

And how bad is Chaos in the old World if you don't have the full 4, or with the expansion 5?

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Chaos in the Old World really shines with the original 4 powers, but it is not bad with 3.

The game needs at least 3 to play.

The expansion adds a fifth player, and also some alternative, optional power cards, which change the way each of the 4 original gods have to work on their victory points.


Twilight Imperium 3 can be played with 3 and more, and scales better than Chaos, but the game is a lot better around 5, 6 players.

I have never played with 8 (with the first expansion you can play with that many), and people say it is almost insane to do so, since the game length increases a lot.


Chaos in the Old World is also a lot easier to learn than Twilight Imperium, that might be another good factor towards it.


Both games are very different, Chaos is a territory control game, but where you focus on doing things that make your god in particular to get points. Also it is a game where you are constantly screwing with each other, and I love that.

The game is very thematic, if you get to know the Warhammer Fantasy universe you can see how well done the mixing of mechanics with the theme, the designers did.


Twilight Imperium 3 oozes with theme also, and has more options and different races than Chaos, but the player interaction is something that will happen sometimes only midway through a game.

TI3 is a very deep game, the learning curve for the rules is a bit more steep, but worth it, if you like deep games.

If you want to have a look at a step by step tutorial, simulating a complete game, this website is great:


To be fair, even after reading the rules several times, one aborted game in the middle and a second complete, 3 player game.. after I went through that awsome tutorial, I learned I was doing some very important rules all wrong hehe.


I like both games a lot, but as I said, I like Chaos better. Not because it is a better game, but the combining of medium difficulty rules, medium length and great interaction among very different powers, make it a great game.

TI3 on the other hand, is a meaty, deep game, and if you have friends who like complex games with lots of different interactions, a game where you make long term plans... it is epic. That´s the word. TI3 is epic.

But TI3 being such a beast, is not the kind of game you will probably play several times. It will be a game where the game is the only event in the night.


Now, if you want to watch a very nice Chaos in the Old World video, go to youtube and search for "Chaos in the Old World - downtime town"

That was the video that "sold" me the game... I bought it almost instantly after watching it.


Recently Tom Vassel from Dice Tower made a 2, or 3 part video review of TI3, very good to see all the game has to offer.

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 I think you've sold me on Chaos in the Old World. I really love the idea of Twilight Imperium, but my group is to big on competition, pvp, and shorter games to have the patience for that one. One day I'll get it though!

Is it worth picking up the expansion right of the bat for Chaos. I mean does it only add new stuff, or does it actually improve on the games mechanics and make the gods more fun for everyone?

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Chaos in the Old World is great, out of the box.

The expansion does not add any new mechanics, it actually adds one new power (The  Horned Rat), so that you can have 5 player games, and also a new deck of power cards for each of the original 4 gods.


Those cards are to be used together. What I mean is, if you decide to use them, all 4 gods need to use the new deck. They are not better in a sense, they make the tactics different, I would say.

Also, there are new Old World deck cards (turn event cards) which are thougher, and cause more trouble to all players. They can be used to make the "board" more difficult...

So I would say, do not worry on the expansion at first, only if you think you will need a fifth player. Actually try to play a couple of games without the fifth player, and add it later...



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I completely agree that you don't need the Horned Rat expansion.   It doesn't 'fix' faults in the original game, or anything like that.   However, you will also absolutely not regret getting it.   I think you should play with 4 players first, so that you get an idea of how the game works and is designed, but if you think you might want to play with 5 players, then the Horned Rat expansion is superb.   Even if you don't add the extra power, all of the other components are cool.   i.e. the replacement card decks.   They're not 'better' than the originals, although we probably use them more than the originals as they probably give players slightly more choice, but they are a very good alternative that gives you more options and extended re-playability.

The only downside to getting the expansion really is that it encourages you to rush into using the new options rather than re-playing with (and savouring) the original card decks.

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