Chaos in the Old World Review

A game that my friends brought with them and taught to me was Chaos in the Old World.

In Chaos in the Old World, each player takes on the role of a demon that is attempting to corrupt the world "correctly" (using his version of corruption, not the other demons' corruption) in order to defeat the other demons. To do this, each player takes turns summoning his different units onto the board (each demon has 3 different types of units), and players can also use their summoning points to play chaos cards. After the summoning is complete, the players battle each other (assuming that there are units in the same space that can fight). Finally, the "cultists" that have been played by each demon play "corruption" markers on their spaces (if they are still alive). After this, all that remains are end of turn cleanup activities. This goes on until one of the players has achieved one of the victory conditions in the game or until the end of the 7th turn (in which all of the demons lose for not getting around to corrupting the world fast enough).

The first thing that I liked (no, loved) about Chaos in the Old World was that each playable character was completely different. One of the demons was "Khorne" (which I probably misspelled) - he was the demon of war. His goal in the game was to kill opposing figures in as many different territories as possible each turn. Not only do the different demons have different goals, they also all have different chaos cards, upgrades, units, mixes of units, etc. Basically, playing a different demon requires an entirely new strategy and outlook on the game. This adds amazing amounts of replayability to the game, and is just downright amazing. I have played very few (if any) other games that really brought a completely different element to each playable character in a game like Chaos in the Old World, and yet felt balanced enough that any of the characters had a fair chance at winning the game.

The next thing that I liked about Chaos in the Old World was the replayability of the game. This is because of the difference in the demons. I know I said it in the paragraph before, but I really, really liked it, so I wanted a second paragraph for it.

The "third" thing that I liked about Chaos was the fact that there were different paths to victory. Yes, each demon had a different path he could take, but aside from that, there were actual different ways that each demon could achieve victory. You could win by "spinning the dial" to victory (this happens if you upgrade a certain number of times, which happens if you achieve your demon's goals - such as killing opponents in different spaces like I mentioned before). Another way to win is by getting over 50 victory points. Finally, you can win by having the most victory points when the world is "ruined" by placing too many corruption tokens in it. These different paths really allow the players to try different strategies to see which ones may or may not work well for each demon; they also force players to be aware of the other players attempting to achieve victory while they are not paying attention.

Probably the biggest con to the game is the difficulty of playing the different demons. As I start this paragraph, I think I've already changed my mind. This is not a con, this is a neutral point that is worth noting. In the game, some of the demons are much easier to play than others. For example, the war demon is incredibly straightforward whereas some of the other demons have very subtle abilities that can easily be overlooked. Some players will love this, because they can dive into the different playable characters.  Other players will find it difficult to find people to play the game with as it may be hard to play a balanced game if some players have played more than others - specifically, this may be a barrier to bringing new players into the game. With that said, it is not a great barrier, as the games I have played have all been very close.

With the last paragraph turning into a neutral, the only real con I have to the game is that it is hard to see what is going on. The board, whereas it is beautiful artistically, makes it difficult to see where the territories start and end. Also, with the "dial" aspect of the game, it is hard to see what your bonuses are going to be when deciding whether you should go after bonuses or points - and it is also hard to tell how close your opponents are to victory on the dial.

Overall, I give Chaos in the Old World a 9.0/10. It was a great game, and I can envision myself playing to repeatedly.

Like Fantasy Flight Games? You may also want to try Blood Bowl: Team Manager, Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, and Battlelore (which was formerly Days of Wonder, but is now a Fantasy Flight game).

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