Sunday, June 12, 2011
The Horned Rat - Chaos in the Old World - Review
So for those of you that don't know, Fantasy Flight just came out with the first expansion for the board game Chaos in the old world.
Just so that everyone is on the same page, the original Chaos in the Old World places each player in control of one of the four main Chaos Gods. Players then set about corrupting the different regions of the old world using cultists, warriors, greater demons, and the chaotic powers of the gods themselves. Players can win in one of two ways, by victory points which players get by dominating and corrupting the world, or by completely specific tasks and advancing their chaos dials.
THE HORNED RAT
The new expansion for the game allows a fifth person to play as the god of the skaven, The Horned Rat. The expansion comes with new power cards and upgrade cards for every original power, as well as a new set of old world cards (for those that don't know, Old world cards are flipped each turn giving effects and changing the game).
PLAYING THE GAME
So this weekend I got to play three games with the new cards. We only had three people, so we chose to play with the Skaven, Nurgle, and Tzeentch. We went with both the new power cards for the gods as well as going with the expert level set of Old world cards.
The first game was won by the skaven. The game went well with everyone getting used to the new cards and how the powers changes from what they used to be. Everyone was pretty even with skaven eventually being able to pull ahead thanks to an Old world card. The second game went fast, I played nurgle and was able to get 4 dial advancements first turn, 5 the second turn, and then one more to win on the last turn. During the last game I got my turn to play skaven, and thanks to the same old world card as the first game I was able to pull ahead early and win.
I think playing with three people is not ideal, whether with or without the expansion. With only three it is hard to stop someone if they get ahead. I would definitely recommend playing with no less than 4, and want to see how the game goes with 5 people.
The powers: The new power cards change the dynamics of the Chaos gods a lot. Nurgle was able to easily get over six dial advancements each game, and actually won by dial advancement. There wasn't a lot of change for Tzeentch, who can still go either dial advancement or victory points. The horned rat powers deal mainly with dominating regions, but their upgrade powers and dial advances allow for the rats to go for either win condition depending on the game.
The Old World Deck: In the original game the old world cards rarely made any huge difference in the game, maybe one card a game would be a game changer. There are two ways to play with the new old world cards, shuffling them in with the old cards and dealing them out regularly, or using only the new cards. We played with only the new cards, and it was pretty crazy. Every one of the new cards affects the game board pretty massively, so playing with only the new cards brings a new anticipation to the Old world phase. Since there are only 9 new cards, playing with only the new ones means that you see each card a lot more often then with the older deck.
Overall: I honestly love the game, both the original and the expansion. I think that four or five people will be best for playing, I was not completely impressed with the three player game. The new power cards really do change how the gods play. Combined with the new power cards, the gods really do play differently. This gives a nice different feel to the game and really changes things up.
The only downside I feel is that you really need to play the game a couple time to get the hang of things. Each God has a few tricks that you need to prepare for and be able to deal with. Just like with the original game the dynamic changes as players understand better on how to play the Gods.
I would definitely recommend picking up the Horned Rat if you have the original game, hell I recommend picking up the original game and the horned rat even if you've never played before.
Does anyone have any questions?