Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chaos in the Old World

Finally brought Chaos in the Old World to the table Saturday night. Dave, Monica, the Mrs. and I worked through the rules and made it through a couple of rounds before we called it a night. Armed with a better understanding of the rules, we met up again the next night, minus Monica, and played through a full game.

Dave & the Mrs. seemed to think poorly of the amount of luck in the game (because of die rolls as well as card draws), but I feel that the vast quantity of decisions in Chaos in the Old World more than makes up for this. One of the major benefits a board game gains by having luck elements is a need for players to adjust strategy as conditions change unexpectedly. This is certainly a quality I enjoy in games, and after one play I think there is an appropriate amount of luck present. (Though, of course, this opinion is subject to change, and certain other players in the room may strongly disagree!)

There is a lot going on here: players can win either by advancing their own personal victory dials to a certain level, or by achieving a certain threshold on the common victory point track. VPs themselves can be gained both through having a strong military presence in a region (by dominating the area), or by corrupting a region with one's rather weak cultist figures (eventually ruining a region and gaining large numbers of VPs). In Chaos, players must balance their personal victory goals with paying close attention to the other players' goals as to block them from advancing too quickly.

As in El Grande (another area control game), there does seem to be a disadvantage in building a strong early presence in the game, as the other players are very motivated to take down the leader. I felt in this first play I established myself a little too early as the leader and paid for that fact throughout the mid-game. Dave, through some good late-game die rolls and maximizing his victory dial bonuses, ended up the winner, but if one roll during the last turn would have landed differently the game would have gone an additional round and anyone could have been victorious.

I eagerly await our next play of Chaos in the Old World, as it is a deep and intriguing game, both very thematic and seemingly well balanced.

1 comment:

David said...

I DO think Chaos is a solid game and I would enjoy playing it again. It was sort of disappointing that the endgame came down to that one roll, but I guess I shouldn't complain too much since it came out in my favor.