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Lunar Base Board Game Review

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Chaos in the Old World: Classic Brilliance (part I)

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18 Nov 2021 00:00 #328067 by Jackwraith
Chaos in the Old World (from here on out, CitOW)...

Beginning a deep dive into an all-time classic.

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18 Nov 2021 08:55 - 18 Nov 2021 08:57 #328068 by hotseatgames
Excellent article! I haven't played this game in so long. I'm not sure I'll ever get to play it again. Maybe it needs a Terrinoth reboot! ;)
Last edit: 18 Nov 2021 08:57 by hotseatgames.
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18 Nov 2021 10:40 #328071 by Jackwraith
Ha! Were there any evil gods in Terrinoth? The only god I remember is Kelnov, who wasn't strictly evil although he did have (ugh) crusaders in Al-Kalim. Maybe they could it with the big bosses? Or the gods from Zanaga? Maybe GW could do a facsimile at some point? Chaos in the No-Those-Empire-Guys-Really-Aren't-Space-Marines New World?
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18 Nov 2021 12:57 #328078 by Virabhadra
How does CitOW compare with Cthulhu Wars with the benefit of hindsight? I owned CitOW when it first released and every time we got it to the table, it fell flat. Fast forward ten years to a new gaming group and a radically different collection, and whenever I pull out Cthulhu Wars I wonder if it's worth tracking down CitOW again.
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18 Nov 2021 13:15 #328080 by Jackwraith
That's a really good question. I think the general approach of the two games is different enough to own both (which I do), if you're a fan of the DoaM genre. The main difference is the dynamism of the summoning phase. In CitOW, it's highlighted by the card play, which doesn't really have a mirror in Cthulhu Wars. The key moment for CW is the spellbooks, which largely happen as an aftereffect to proper positioning, whereas card play in CitOW usually informs said proper positioning. There are moments in CW that the acquisition of a spellbook is an immediate dynamic thing in that turn, but they're generally rarer than they are with the direct application of cards in CitOW.

In a direct comparison, I would tend to favor CitOW, but one can certainly make a case for many of the subtleties and variety in factions in Cthulhu Wars.
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18 Nov 2021 13:54 #328083 by Msample
I've only played CW once, several years ago and in short it struck me as a watered down version of CitOW. There didn't seem to be as pronounced a difference in the factions from what I remember.

You also don't need a trolley to carry around a copy of CitOW.
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18 Nov 2021 14:02 #328084 by Virabhadra

Msample wrote: You also don't need a trolley to carry around a copy of CitOW.


A 'Dagon Wagon'?
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18 Nov 2021 17:10 #328089 by Rliyen

Virabhadra wrote:

Msample wrote: You also don't need a trolley to carry around a copy of CitOW.


A 'Dagon Wagon'?


Just a Satanic Pushcart.

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21 Nov 2021 08:54 #328114 by MattFantastic
Still one of my all time favorites even 12 years (!!!) after I declared it my 2009 game of the year when I reviewed here. Hindsight being what it is, I’d put it in my top few of the entire decade now. Absolute classic that doesn’t get near enough praise these days.
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22 Nov 2021 11:32 #328143 by Shellhead
I have played Chaos in the Old World a handful of times over the years, and I find it to be just okay. The components look great and do a fine job of delivering texture of the setting. But it always felt like there was a partial disconnect between the mechanics and what they represent, leaving me with no intuitive sense of what I should be doing each turn. Except when I played Khorne, where it was obvious that I wanted to kill everybody else. But usually I played Tzeentch, and I could see that he was good at messing with the other players, but the corruption thing was more opaque. In a way, the corruption process felt a bit like Acquire, where players are struggling to gain majority control of a stock and then often cashing that stock in after a merger. I never won, but I once came within 3 vp of victory as Tzeentch. My favorite game was the time when the heroes nearly beat us all, due to the way the event cards landed.
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22 Nov 2021 12:17 - 22 Nov 2021 13:41 #328146 by Jackwraith
I can see that. I now regret that I didn't focus a bit more on the Corruption angle, in general, in this piece. There is a bit of patience required for all of the other gods besides Khorne, who can just drop in anywhere there's a party and start beating heads. But my experience is that that mild confusion goes away after the first play IF (big if) you're an at least somewhat aggressive gamer. You really need impetus behind your moves in CitOW. If you demonstrate that you're not driving toward a goal or show any signs of being passive, other players will pounce and then you'll feel like you're not really accomplishing anything because others are thwarting you at every turn. Over the years, my impression is that you're not really an aggressive actor in games, Shell, so that might mean that CitOW just isn't your kind of game.
Last edit: 22 Nov 2021 13:41 by Jackwraith.
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22 Nov 2021 14:11 #328152 by Shellhead
Cthulhu Wars feels like it has a better connection between mechanics and subject matter, aside from the abstract victory point track. But I have had a similar struggle with playing it, perhaps because I keep playing The King in Yellow, who appropriately operates at a weird tangent to the core game. Probably the bigger issue is that the asymmetry of both games rewards the game owner and players who have a certain amount of experience with the game, and I haven't played either game enough to move up the learning curve. Both Chaos in the Old World and Cthulhu Wars are DoaM games with a fair amount of activity and information that is not visible on the main game board.
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22 Nov 2021 14:38 #328154 by hotseatgames

Shellhead wrote: Probably the bigger issue is that the asymmetry of both games rewards the game owner and players who have a certain amount of experience with the game, and I haven't played either game enough to move up the learning curve.


I consider the first couple of games of this nature to be learning games, always. Until you have a grasp of all of the factions, how can you hope to compete? This also has the unfortunate side effect that any time someone new is playing, they are at a strong disadvantage.
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