Alright, I figure I should post a review for Chaos in the Old World since that is the most played non-mini game for my group right now. So here we go!
Chaos In the Old World
The idea behind the Chaos in the Old Word is the four great Chaos gods are vying for control over the Old World. Through corruption, bloodshed, and magic Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh, and Tzeentch battle for control of the souls of man. Sounds fantastic, I know!
The game is multifaceted, allowing players to win (and lose) in different ways. There are two ways to win the game, and one way to lose it. First, there is the advancement dial. Each of the four Chaos gods have an advancement dial, and allows them to achieve victory through different mechanics of game play. There is also the victory point tract, where the first player to 50 victory points wins the game. Finally, all players can lose the game through the Event Deck. If the event deck runs out of cards, the game ends and all players lose. The game is broken into the following phases: Old World Event phase, Deployment phase, battle phase, corruption phase, and clean up phase.
The first part of the turn is the world fighting against the chaos gods. Stuff like heroes, or skaven, or whatever. Sometimes they're helpful, sometimes they suck, but they normally affect the whole game. Some of the effects remain in play; others are activated and then discarded. There is a track on the board that allows two events to remain in play at one time, so there is a possibility that some serious craziness could be going down. The event deck has everything from Brentionnian Grail quests to Peasant revolts to crazy Sigmar comets. The events are normally designed to screw the players over, and in my experience it does a great job of that.
The second part of the turn is the deployment phase. This is where the players are able to play cards from their hands and deploy their minions. On the game board, there are two spots for cards for each region, allows for some strategy and tactics on how to play the cards from your hand. Each god has a stat card that tells you how much power you have, as well as other important detail. The power is used to deploy your cultists (used for corrupting areas), your warriors, your greater daemons, and the cards in your hand. The power system allows the game to promote different strategies for the different gods.
The third part of the turn is for the killing. The battle phase is where the dark gods fight it out between each other. The combat system uses a standard d6 roll. The type of warrior and greater daemon determines how many dice you get to roll and how many hits each cultist, warrior, and greater daemon can receive. The battle phase happens for each region, following the standard progression arrows. What are “standard progression” arrows? Well the game board is mapped out in a certain order and progresses from region to region. I will explain more about this later.
The fourth part of the turn is used for dominance and corruption. In the dominance portion of the turn, you count up the number of figures left in each region. If the strength of one god's pawns is greater than the resistance of the region, that god scores a number of victory points equal to the region's resistance. For example, Kislev has a resistance of three. If Nurgle has two cultist and three warriors in Kislev, Nurgle would score three victory points. The region's victory points are given to whoever has the highest total strength in that region. The Corruption phase is used to determine how much influence each of the chaos gods have over a certain region. That is what cultist do, they corrupt regions. Once a region reaches 12 corruption markers total, the region is ruined and large amounts of victory points are handed out. It is a lot harder than it sounds.
The final phase of the game is clean up. This is where you do any clean up required...like having your cultists and warriors die under the sword of some zealous hero. This is also the part of the game where the advancement dial turns.
The most unique part of the game is the advancement dial. Each god has his own dial, which is turned based upon different conditions for each god. With each turn of the dial, the god in question receives rewards. Sometimes they are allowed to receive some sort of upgrade, other times victory points. Each dial has a "Victory" condition stopping point. This is one way to win the game, and offers a very unique way of handling upgrading and goal advancement.
Chaos in the Old World is a fantastic game if you can get all four gods involved. They play well against each other and every game is different. As it currently stands, we've play about a dozen games without repeat. The game is quick and brutal and you get directly into the thick of it on turn one. We have not yet been defeated by the game, and no single god has proven to be the best of them. Each god offers different strategies and different ways to advance their Achievement dial. The main issue is that this game sits well with four players...no more, no less. Sure the game says 2 to 4, but in reality it requires four players. The game takes about 75 minutes to complete, and is pretty complex for a game of that time frame. Sometimes I wish the game was a little more complex, but I cannot complain for 75 minute game.
It's major flaw is number of players and the learning curve for Nurgle and Tzeentch. The first couple of games Khorne and Slaanesh power through while the saps playing Tzeentch and Nurgle struggle. Also, like a lot of Fantasy Flight games, you need the FAQ:
Link to the FAQ
Overall, Chaos in the Old World is worth it's cost, passes the weight test, and offers a large amount of re-playability. Just make sure you can get three friends to play it with you!