Board Gaming, Strategeries

So you want to be an axe murderer…

"I've been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke."
“I’ve been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke.”

First up in the Strategy brick: Chaos in the Old World. A game I love to little pieces and sadly, think about a lot more than I get to play. I’ve played each of the Ruinous Powers (though not The Horned Rat) and I’ve spent more time than I care to admit here looking at the game  alone and thinking about how things might be applied. That said, some of what I’m going to say here may be untested and based strictly on my knowledge of the game. Your mileage may vary.

Got Nurgle, me droogies?
Got any Khorne Chips, me droogies?

This all said, I’m here to give some pointers to all you young, naive, starry-eyed Bloodletters who just want a taste of the ol’ ultraviolence. You’re going to need some luck, you’re going to need some savvy, and even a little politicking skill. Sigh. Mass murder just ain’t what it used to be.

Khorne’s a tricksy little minx, let’s discuss some of the pros and cons of the Blood God, which humorously enough overlap a lot.

Pro: “You’re not even playing the same game!”

Your detractors will cry foul about this. And it’s true. Khorne doesn’t care about corruption. If he’s ever the top scoring Power when a region is destroyed, on some level the other players have failed.

Con: “You’re not even playing the same game!”

Who's next??
Who’s next??

Unfortunately, this is also true, and it’s only a matter of time before the other players set aside their differences and actively thwart your efforts. All 3 of them. It doesn’t make them allies by any means, but they’re quite fine with painting Khorne as the common enemy. Which, to be fair, makes sense. Khorne is actively disrupting their corruption plans while the others are just racing  them. That difference makes them no less of a threat to each other’s winning plans, but somehow people are a lot less bothered by losing a corruption race  than by dealing with some power-drunk asshole who comes in and starts punching everyone in the face. All you wanted to do was murder a few people and everyone poops their Pampers and turns against you. Sheesh.

Pro: Going first!

With the exception of the few Chaos cards that stick around and provide ongoing effects, Khorne gets exclusive first claim to lay a Chaos card, which can be a pretty decisive  move for certain cards to be discussed later.

Con: Going first!

Congratulations, you played the card you wanted in the best spot  you could before anyone had a chance to to get it. So why are the other gods wasting time with these actions that don’t really do anything? Stall is pretty important, and by the time the other gods are making the plays that are actually important to them, Khorne’s mostly out of steam.

Pro: You know what you’re here for.

"Ok, so that was walk 200 paces, turn and fire right?"
“Ok, so that was walk 200 paces, turn and fire right?”

Murder. All day long. You eat, drink and breathe murder. It’s the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you think of before you go to sleep at night. There’s not a more direct strategy in the game. There are still subtleties to be learned from playing, but you never have to worry about manipulating corruption tokens, or whether or not the region you’re in has a Warpstone, Noble or is Populous. All you ever need is someone, anyone, to punch in the face.

Con: They know what you’re here for.

I’ve seen it a million times. A Bloodletter enters the region and everyone suddenly has pressing business elsewhere. If you don’t play a tight game, you’re going to find yourself wasting a LOT of power just chasing people. That’s to say nothing of the other obstacles those other gods will throw in your way.

Pro: Khorneheim Steamroller!

Its something like this without all the flute.
Its something like this without all the flute.

Skillful play can lead to strong games. Careful herding and trapping tactics can lead to multiple dial ticks, which is Khorne’s quickest path to victory. This advantage is doubly strong as speedy dial ticks can get you to your upgrades quickly, which will cement your place at the top.

Con: Dice hate you.

All the skillful play in the world will not save you from bad luck. A few bad rolls and all of that amazing herding and trapping goes right down the drain.

Pro: Your units are the baddest of the bad.

Khorne’s units are perfect for what they do. They hit hard, they hit fast. Once upgraded, even your Cultists (of which you have blessedly few) are capable of relieving enemy units of the heavy burden of breathing.

Con: Your units have the durability of toilet paper.

More often than not, you’re trying to field Bloodletters, which means you’re paying 2 Power per placement.  When you’re constantly resummoning guys to go kill people, you’re at a disadvantage. There is a silver lining here, in that if Khorne is wiped off of the board, it gives him ultimate flexibility in troop placement. Let’s remember that every silver lining has a dark cloud though.

Pro: Strong Chaos deck

All of Khorne’s cards are fairly self-explanatory in what they do and are pretty effective in what they do.  Khorne doesn’t play reactively. Additionally, with all the dial ticks you should be getting with my solid advice, you should see most of  (if not all of) the cards in your deck, giving you the best set of options.

Con: Weak Old World Deck

Pick a card, any card, no, not that one!
Pick a card, any card, no, not that one!

While the Old World deck is technically no one’s friend, it seems to have a lot of hate for Khorne. This is in part due to Khorne being a regular at the top of the Threat list, which makes him a magnet for bad Event effects and Heroes. Heroes are taking swings on you that other players don’t have to. Even the game hates you Khorne. Don’t overlook those little upstarts.

Pro: Here Comes the Judge

Khorne plays a unique role in that he is the Arbiter of Balance Through Excessive Violence (TM). You need to punch everyone in the face. Everyone. You have to be an equal opportunity bruiser. You have a finite amount of beatdowns to hand out, and every extra one that you feed to one player is one less that another player gets. It may not seem like much, but the benefactor of your unwitting mercy may have an opportunity to take an insurmountable lead.

Con: There Goes the Judge

You have to keep a cool head playing the hot-blooded ultraviolent Blood God. Getting into even a tiny grudge match with a single God will cost you heavily. You’re human, it happens, you want to make a bloody, gory example of the player who dared fight back, but the best way to hurt him is by hitting his Cultists, and his best way is hitting your Bloodletters. You pay twice as much for your casualties as any of your enemies, so do your best to avoid blood feuds and personal wars. Play up the notion that you are equal opportunity, and losing some guys to Khorne is something everyone has to deal with, and it’s all very Circle of Life.

Next time: Let’s talk about Chaos Cards, ironically in  alphabetical order!

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