Game Length: 90 minutes
Best enjoyed: With 4 players who want to trash the world
Chaos in the Old World is a strategic area control game where players each take on the role of one of the four Chaos Gods of the Warhammer universe, trying to corrupt the Old World. Khorne, the god of blood and warfare, wants to slaughter the minions of the other gods. Tzeentch, the god of magic and plots, wants to work the magical and corrupting Warpstone. Nurgle, the god of pestilence and decay, wants to spread his diseases to as many people as possible. Slaanesh, the god of pleasure and pain, wants to corrupt the nobles and heroes of the land.
Through tactical play of cards and placement of forces on the board, players will strive to gain points through conquest of the nine regions of the board. They will also increase in power if they manage to achieve their special objectives, which are specific to each god. There are two ways to win the game – either by increasing in power enough that they reach the end of their advancement dial, or by having the most points at the end of the turn in which at least one player’s score is over 50.
Chaos in the Old World is unique for the balance created by the four gods, despite each of them playing completely differently. Each god has access to a unique range of powers, has forces with different combat capabilities and even different methods of achieving victory. Playing as a new god changes the playstyle dramatically and allows players to experience the game from a different perspective.
Note that Chaos in the Old World needs exactly 4 players to be the most satisfying, even though the rules say it works with 3. Removing one of the gods takes away important balancing elements – without Khorne, for example, Nurgle’s cheap reinforcements would risk overrunning the board. Also, your first game may be very one-sided – until all players get to grips with the strategy of the game, they may make tactical errors like trying to stand up to Khorne in a one-on-one fight, which only makes him stronger on future turns.
Chaos in the Old World has excellent production standards, with the board and figurines evoking the Warhammer universe. Some may find the theme to be upsetting, however, due to the demonic theme and the slaughter of innocents – abstracted, but still present. If you are not put off by this and are interested in playing a unique area control game with great longevity, then Chaos in the Old World comes highly recommended.