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Flashback Friday - Chaos in the Old World - Love It or Hate It? Do You Still Play It?

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Flashback Friday - Chaos in the Old World - Love It of Hate It? Do You Still Play It?

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Designer
There Will Be Games

Michael "Egg Shen" Nadeau had this to say about Chaos in the Old World:

"There are few games unique and daring enough to walk into the Grand Discotheque of Gaming and dare flirt with perfection.  Well, while killing it in a little black dress, Chaos in the Old World sauntered right on up to Mr. Perfect and let me tell you the dude was blushing...hard.  This game doesn’t seem to get discussed as hotly as it once did.  Well it should, because it’s a masterpiece! Chaos in the Old World essentially put Eric Lang on the map.  His mixing of a cutthroat Dudes on a Map Game with Euro mechanic sensibilities, asymmetrical powers, and Warhammer Fantasy is like some dark, twisted, equation that solves the riddle to the meaning of life.  Playing as a Chaos God looking to destroy the world is not just fun…it's down right addicting.  Some people could never get past the bloody Warhammer veneer or have since moved onto other newer and fresher games.  Mark my words, Chaos in the Old World will go down as one of the greatest boardgames of this era.  If or when it goes out of print it will be a hotly sought after treasure."

What do you think? Love it or hate it? Do you still play It?

 

 

There Will Be Games

Shellie "ubarose" Rose  (She/Her)
Managing Editor & Web Admin

Plays boardgames. Drinks bourbon. Writes code.

Articles by Shellie

Shellie "ubarose" Rose
Managing Editor & Web Admin

Articles by Shellie

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ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #299253 05 Jul 2019 09:42
Help me pick next week's Flashback Friday by rating some games here . I try to pick games that have the most ratings on TWBG.
RobertB's Avatar
RobertB replied the topic: #299254 05 Jul 2019 09:48
I love it, but I don't get to play it nearly enough. I think Cthulhu Wars might have taken its place on my end.
hotseatgames's Avatar
hotseatgames replied the topic: #299255 05 Jul 2019 09:59
I really like this game. It has been a long time since I played it. I also think Cthulhu Wars has replaced it for my group. I’m sure it will come back out some day.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #299256 05 Jul 2019 10:00

RobertB wrote: I love it, but I don't get to play it nearly enough. I think Cthulhu Wars might have taken its place on my end.


I used to love Chaos in the Old World but Cthulhu Wars definitely surpassed it in my circles.
Vysetron's Avatar
Vysetron replied the topic: #299259 05 Jul 2019 10:10
It's...fine.

The game has this problem where you have to play enough to learn your faction and play your role, only to discover that it was secretly on rails the whole time and you were all just really bad conductors. It's thematic, sure, but not great.

I seem to be allergic to Lang's games for some reason. Give me Root over this any day.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #299262 05 Jul 2019 10:52
I have mixed feelings about Chaos in the Old World. The visual design is great and helps sell the theme and setting. But I feel like there is a disconnect between what I am doing and what is happening in terms of the setting, and that distance makes me feel less engaged in the game. The last time that we played, the event cards nearly caused a human victory, but a couple of players pulled ahead in the final stretch and one of them won.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #299265 05 Jul 2019 11:02
This is a game where I have it and its expansion solely based on F:AT/TWBG recommendations but have not played it! I do tend to enjoy these sorts of games, though.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #299266 05 Jul 2019 11:30
It’s still the best game of its type, otherwise we wouldn’t still be using it as the measuring stick whenever an imitator or spiritual successor comes along. You might have a favorite, but it is irrelevant in comparison to CitOW.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #299267 05 Jul 2019 11:41
I sort of agree with you, Josh. You don't tend to hear talk about new DoaM without some relation to Chaos, though that is changing. That makes it foundational but in my experience that doesn't mean it's good or you should still play it. So like Washington's War is foundational for wargame CDGs but I think it sucks (others disagree, obviously).
WadeMonnig's Avatar
WadeMonnig replied the topic: #299268 05 Jul 2019 11:44
To answer the actual question, No. Because the people I play with that enjoy it would rather play the newer Blood Rage, Rising sun or CW.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #299269 05 Jul 2019 11:48

Gary Sax wrote: I sort of agree with you, Josh. You don't tend to hear talk about new DoaM without some relation to Chaos, though that is changing. That makes it foundational but in my experience that doesn't mean it's good or you should still play it. So like Washington's War is foundational for wargame CDGs but I think it sucks (other's disagree, obviously).


It's often mentioned on TWBG that we (hobbyists) are fractured due to all the new releases and people unable to keep up or play the same thing.

In such an environment, how would a newer game ever supplant something like Chaos which came out in a different time and was experienced by a much larger swathe of people?

Just musing.
dysjunct's Avatar
dysjunct replied the topic: #299270 05 Jul 2019 12:08
I played it a couple of times and thought it was just okay. I don't normally mind dark themes in games (and I like Warhammer's tongue-in-cheek grimdark normally) but something about this really put me off. I didn't enjoy being a chaos god.
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Michael Barnes replied the topic: #299271 05 Jul 2019 12:23
I can’t imagine playing this over Root, even as much as I like the Warhammer setting. Root is simply a better and more compelling assymetrical game. Cthulhu Wars is more fun and direct, but Warhammer >>>> Cthulhu. But I would still choose this over any other Eric Lang game.

It’s a great game- but it’s sort of over-complicated and sludgy. Over the years and many plays I’ve cooled on it- I wasn’t sad about selling it and Horned Rat for $250 about a year ago.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #299272 05 Jul 2019 12:52

Gary Sax wrote: I sort of agree with you, Josh. You don't tend to hear talk about new DoaM without some relation to Chaos, though that is changing. That makes it foundational but in my experience that doesn't mean it's good or you should still play it. So like Washington's War is foundational for wargame CDGs but I think it sucks (other's disagree, obviously).


That’s a fair point, and I agree, WW does suck. However, while WW is recognized as being foundational, and rightfully so, the comparison that any new CDG gets is to Twilight Struggle. TS is beyond foundational, and CitOW is, too. The difference in opinion is purely based on favored variation from player to player. I have a favorite, it isn’t CitOW, but i still recognize that no experience my favorite of the bunch provided is as good as any play I had of CitOW.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #299273 05 Jul 2019 13:35
I have mixed feelings about all these assymetrical DOAMs.

Root strikes me as too assymetrical, in the sense that the factions are fundamentally somewhat unbalanced and the players must take on the burden of re-balancing the game after they have played at least a few games.

Rising Sun superficially has a lot of options but ultimately seemed a bit scripted.

Cthulhu Wars was almost great, but I feel that the race for VP undercuts the sense of the setting.

I suppose that's my biggest complaint is that these assymetrical DOAMs (aside from Root) tend to fall short of expressing the setting and sense of dramatic narrative by abstracting certain elements in a mechanical way.

The real gold standard for this type of game is Dune, and all of these games fall short of the innovative and dynamic brilliance of Dune.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #299274 05 Jul 2019 14:14
I think a separate point you bring up, Shellhead, is that these games do really want repeated plays with the same players or at least equivalent experience levels. The table needs to grow together and when it doesn't it can be rough to have a differently experienced player(s) thrown into the mix.
hotseatgames's Avatar
hotseatgames replied the topic: #299282 05 Jul 2019 16:38
I would not be sad to spend an entire weekend playing various DoaM games. Definitely my favorite genre.
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Jackwraith replied the topic: #299286 05 Jul 2019 17:32
I think CitOW is the best game Fantasy Flight ever produced. I've used it to snare Euro-types who didn't like games-formerly-known-as-Ameritrash; Warhammer Fantasy players who claimed to not like board games; and random passersby in a local bar who then became serious boardgamers. It's that good.

I can see the comparison to Root because both of them require repeated plays to really engage with. If you're Khorne, you need to recognize what Slaanesh is doing in those specific areas and get in there and fuck up his business. But I think where Chaos is superior to Root is that you're still playing the same game. I think Root has reached the limit of so-called "asymmetrical play", where you often don't even feel like you're playing the same game as the Aerie vs the Riverfolk. CitOW's thematics and the fact that you're competing against the game itself don't let you reach that point.

hotseatgames wrote: I would not be sad to spend an entire weekend playing various DoaM games. Definitely my favorite genre.


Didn't do a whole weekend, but had a couple really awesome DoaM games today, including the oft-mentioned Cthulhu Wars, which doesn't really replace Chaos for me, given that one is all about board-maneuvering and the other involves significant card play, which CW lacks.
Erik Twice's Avatar
Erik Twice replied the topic: #299288 05 Jul 2019 17:50
I really like it and I think it's, by far, the best Eric Lang design.

The interesting thing about it is that it's an Eurogame with direct attacks. Not just interaction, direct attacks between players. And this creates a very unique dynamic between controlling the board and achieving your goals. There's quite a bit of pushing, nudging and sneaking in that is rare in other games and I like the way your actions can be either symbiotic (Promote ruination), poisonous (Force Khorne to move in) or parastic (Get cheap kills).

Vysetron mentions the game is on rails and I don't agree but I know where he's coming from. Here's the issue: The game is not that well-nalanced and while the four factions are on the same level, upgrades and other cards are not. There are upgrades that are downright unplayable, others that are must have (Like Nurgle's VP for ruination) and some cards may very well be dead draws. But the game itself is varied and rich in decisions, which I appreciate.

I'm one of the few that wasn't impressed by Root, for the record. I just haven't found it very interesting.

Shellhead wrote: The real gold standard for this type of game is Dune, and all of these games fall short of the innovative and dynamic brilliance of Dune.

Dune plays in another league. It's such a brillant game in so many ways that CitoW and others just can't compare. I mean, Dune would already be the best game of its kind based on its combat mechanism and it has like 10 other mechanics on the same level. It's one of the best games ever made, hands down.
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Jexik replied the topic: #299290 05 Jul 2019 19:14
This was one of my worst gaming experiences, through no fault of the game. I had played somewhere between 5 and 10 hours of Heroscape tournaments earlier in the day at GenCon, and a friend decided to give this one its first spin at around 11 PM. I think I was Nurgle, and waited for it to end. From that day I on I've vowed to never play a brand new to everyone game late night at a convention unless it's dead simple like Codenames or Cobra Paw.

I haven't had a chance to give it another try.
MattFantastic's Avatar
MattFantastic replied the topic: #299292 05 Jul 2019 19:28
Still in my all time top 5 after a decade. I have a few copies still in shrink since it’s (very probably) never getting reprinted and I’ve already worn through a copy already.
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Legomancer replied the topic: #299351 08 Jul 2019 07:58
I'm not a huge fan of DOAM and as much as I do enjoy CitOW, I'd much rather play Nexus Ops.
Erik Twice's Avatar
Erik Twice replied the topic: #299353 08 Jul 2019 08:22
I just played it yesterday and had a very unusual game with three newbies. Khorne won by victory points after all regions were destroyed. I didn't get any nobles nor heroes so I tried to focus on corruption but Nurgle wasn't having it and Khorne was dominating the board.

I always wish the game had gotten one more week of balancing. Tseench got a clogged hand and I got 4 cards that affected the non-existing nobles. I also believe Khorne walked into a trap (he got the Grat Demon upgrade over the little guys doing damage one) though he won on the back of it so who am I to say.

The game was fun, though the two eurogamers (Nurgle, Khorne) weren't too hot on it. They enjoyed themselves, which is more than I expected, though. I find it harder for the average eurogamer to play trashier games than the opposite.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #299358 08 Jul 2019 09:56
^I find the same thing.
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n815e replied the topic: #299372 08 Jul 2019 14:47
I enjoyed CitOW, but got rid of it in favor of CW.

I love games with card play and events, which I miss with CW. I think that CW has more in its favor, on balance. The incredible variety, the streamlined gameplay, the ability to play with more than four; all of these push it beyond its forebear. I like how the dial victory of the “original” was changed to be required, in combination with victory points, to win the game. The “dial” conditions also became more varied (6 one time requirements instead of 1 requirement to be met multiple times).