Chaos in the Old World or When ebay Goes Wrong

I got a right old bollocking the other day.

I was browsing ebay and I saw a copy of Chaos in the Old World and put a competitive bid in – £15, as you do, because you always get outbid.

Always.

I promptly forgot about it until Saturday morning when I was awoken at about 7am by my lovely wife screeching: “Eight pounds for postage?????”

I tried to burrow into the sheets but she was on me like Khorne worries Nurgle cultists. That is to say, she sank her teeth in and wouldn’t let go. For like half an hour.

But what a game! Don’t let the theme put you off, you won’t be eaten by Satan for playing this game.

Satan is afraid of this game.

It looks and feels very Ameritrash, but it pulls off some Euro mechanics with some aplomb; you have ‘worker’ placement, area control and resource management mixed in with a healthy dose of destroying your enemies through dice rolling. It successfully combines these mechanics and wraps it in a fantastic theme.

What is this theme you keep on about sir?

I am going to say one word, and you must continue to read, you cannot click away, as the word does not define the game in itself.

The word is: Warhammer.

But not just any old Warhammer, this is not Orcs v Elves or Space Marines v Eldar. This is not something that can be influenced by mortals, this is a clash of the Gods.

THE GODS!

And Chaos Gods at that. Each player is a God. A Bad God. A Bad God spreading corruption and filth over the land. A Bad God dealing death and destruction and leaving a charred, blackened and ruined landscape of eternal winter in its wake.

A bit like Liverpool.

Each God can win by dominating the landscape with his minions and corrupting regions with his evil priests, but that’s not all, there is a second way to win.

Look into the eyes of Khorne......

Each God can also win by playing in character. That’s correct. When Khorne the Blood God kills, he gets a tick on his special dial, when Nurgle the God of Disease spreads corruption in populous areas, he also gets a tick on his own special dial. As the dials turn, the Gods get ‘upgrades’ and once a dial reaches a certain threshold – that particular God wins.

So a balance has to be kept. Slowing the progress of a God can hamper your own progress. For example, should you run away from Khorne so he can’t kill, you could be running away from an area you require to be in, in order to fulfil your own objectives. Similarly, should you hunt down Nurgle’s minions in populous regions, spreading your own corruption in those regions may not help you advance your own agenda.

Of course, you have to watch what your opponents are doing both in regard to the dial advancements and also the general regional domination; and all the while the landscape changes via the Old World card deck which introduces many things to the game that alter the rules in a fundamental way, such as marauding heroes that can kill your minions or initiating special events that deny certain actions in certain regions.

Whether you like the Warhammer universe or not, this game is brilliant. The mechanics interact perfectly, the theme is fantastic, and the map is printed on human skin stretched over the board.

Or at least the artwork depicts human skin.

I may pimp mine out with real human skin.

Blood for the Blood God!!!

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