With the crazy amount of Netrurunner I've been playing, my time for blogging has waned, while my total amount of games has sprinted ahead. So please be prepared for several Every 100 Games reviews coming your way. Based upon my records, Chaos in the Old World, was my 4,300th game played. So here is what I think about it.
The game is set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe, which is a pretty dark and violent place. Players are playing as gods trying to destroy this fictional world by sending their minions to ruin it. However, they of course also hate each other, so they fight against one another while they are at it. It is possible (I've not seen it happen yet) for the game to beat all the players. Usually however one player will reach victory by either getting the most points or racing to the end of a fancy dial.
Each player has a deck of cards that are all different than everyone else. In order for each player to advance their dial and race towards that winning condition, they have to do something different. One player has to kill another player's unit, other players need to drop corruption in various ways. Corruption is what actually ruins regions, at which point players will get points for having the most corruption in a region. You also get points by having more power (units + cards) in a region each round.
Just like any Fantasy Flight games, the components are for the most part top notch, however there are a couple issues. I have had a few of the staffs of units break. Each player has unique units, molded to fit their player, which is pretty awesome. I also own the Horned Rat expansion, which have my favorite molds of rats. There are a few typos on the cards, which is annoying, but the biggest typo is one of the player aids. This I think was fixed after the first edition, but it really messed up our first game and made that player far too powerful. The board itself is pretty gory looking, but other than that there isn't a lot art in the game.
The game play in this game is very asymmetrical. What is good for one player isn't necessarily good for another player. You have to play to your special powers. With 2 ways to win the game, this also adds another depth to the strategy. Finally, because certain powers focus on certain areas, a lot of the strategy comes in the game from player interaction and working together to control the current leader or at least the perceived leader of the game. There is plenty of strategy in this game.
I love this game. With a full compliment of 4 players (or 5 players with the expansion). It has so much of what I like in board games. Area control, direct player interaction, unique powers for everyone, cards to change those powers, alternate win conditions. Plays in about 2 hours. I first played this game at Geekway to the West a few years ago and have been hooked ever since. When I got the chance to trade for it, I did so quickly, and am very happy that I did. Now that I've said all that, I should address the theme. This isn't a game I'd play with everyone. I think this is a game where 1 Corinthians and Romans (being as I also discuss theology on this blog) really apply. No need to force this theme down someones throats. If they aren't comfortable with it, then don't play it. There are a lot of games out there. Play those.
El Grande (or other area control games) Fans - If you want a bit more 'Trash in your game. If you want that dice rolling, smashing, super powers tweaking the game, then I suggest trying this one. I really enjoy El Grande and I find I get a lot of similar feelings out of this one, but with more luck and swings. Which is okay sometimes.
Children - The game box says 14+ and I agree. Because of the theme and because of the somewhat complex card play added to all the negotiation that can happen with this game. So if you want a family game night, then go choose something else.
Warhammer Fantasy and 40K Fans - I honestly don't know. I think this might be a good game for you to get, since you are familiar with the lore, but only if you are wanting to get into board games too. It doesn't give you the same feel at all as a miniature games. So maybe my recommendation is for a board gamer to use this to hook in one of their miniature gamer friends.