Welcome back to the Really Quite Good Strategy Series That All Of The Cool Kids Are Reading; You Want To Be Cool, Don’t You? for Chaos in the Old World.
Khorne has butchered. Nurgle has infected. Tzeentch has…Tzeentched. Which leaves just one member left of the Fab Four to dissect. If you guys want a detailed breakdown on The Horned Rat Expansion, you can go beg elsewhere.
As I’ve mentioned before, one of the things I enjoy most about Chaos in the Old World is the asymmetrical (and balanced) play style of the Ruinous Powers. Sure, on a very basic level, you can say that one guy is about beating people up and the other three are about corrupting locations with special conditions, and while that’s technically accurate, all of the little differences make big impacts. The fact that Tzeentch has more Cultists plays a big part in making him feel different. The fact that Nurgle has so many cheap figures makes him feel different, and this is to say nothing of their Chaos Cards and Upgrades. Slaanesh is so much like the other three corruption based gods and still so very different. Here’s a list of the goods (and bads) with the Prince of Pleasure.
Can’t Stop the Rock: Like Tzeentch, you’re a double threat. You are equally capable of winning by Victory Points or Threat Dial. Unlike Tzeentch, you don’t have to work quite so hard for it. Score! (You still have to work hard).
I’m Sexy and I Know It: Like Tzeentch, you’re a double threat. You are equally capable of winning by Victory Points or Threat Dial. Unlike Tzeentch (or Nurgle for that matter) you can’t really hide when you’re doing better than you are. Establish a dominant lead on points or a rapid dial spin and you’ll find yourself viewed as much of a problem as Khorne. Ok, maybe not THAT much, but you will invite the antagonizing antics of everyone. Nurgle and Tzeentch are both capable of pulling wins out of nowhere which makes them non-threatening during the game. Being the perceived leader often translates to getting beat on harder than the others.
She’s a Brick….House: On some level those things matter less because your dudes are pretty boss. Once upgraded, your Seductresses (Cultists) have TWO Defense. This makes you suddenly very unappealing to Khorne as you take his worst part (luck dependence) and exacerbate it. Once you upgrade your Cultists, Nurgle and Tzeentch have to sweat a lot more. Further, it makes it so Nurgle has a harder time kicking you out. If you choose to upgrade your Daemonettes, they are hit only on a six, which makes them nigh-indestructible. Even your Greater Daemon is beefy at four Defense.
The Waiting is the Hardest Part: You go last in the turn order. This is sweet in that you get to see everyone’s plans before committing to yours, and bitter in that with 3 people in front of you, you can (and will) get blocked from playing Chaos cards in key areas of your interest somewhat routinely. This, like Slaanesh, embodies both pleasure and pain.
Highway to the Danger Zone: Here’s a little (non)secret. Slaanesh has the fastest path to the Dial win. Faster even than Khorne (though Khorne’s spins come easier). With only a scant 7 slots on the dial, with a little luck, you can run away with the game really easily. If you get the bonus spin once or twice, it would take an act of god or failing that, colossal idiocy to take the win from you. Never underestimate colossal idiocy. Once you get your Cultist upgrade, it becomes even harder to stop your steamroller.
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For: That short dial isn’t always the easiest thing to spin. Nurgle always starts with 4 Populous Regions. Tzeentch has 3 Warpstones and can make his own conditions when necessary. The board only starts with 2 Nobles, and you don’t get a say where they are. Further, no one but Nurgle cares about Populous. No one but Tzeentch really cares about Warpstones. But everyone can benefit from Nobles, so you might find yourself contested in the areas the Nobles are. This can lead to Nobles getting stranded in quickly torched regions, which severely hampers you. If you’ve only got one Noble left and you’re clinging desperately to him, Khorne may Battle Cry you to death or just show up and murder you to death. Tzeentch may gift you with a Temporal Stasis that makes your hair fall out. You can get more through dial spins, but that’s kinda hard to do without Nobles. Once you get knocked off of your fast track, it’s a very difficult recovery.
Feel Good, Inc.: Khorne has The Skull Throne. Nurgle has Plague Touch. Tzeentch has The Persistence of Change. What do you have? Perverse Infiltration. Insidious Lies. Degenerate Royalty. Field of Ecstasy. Abyssal Pact. Soporific Musk. Like a BOSS. You have all solidly good cards, and even your situationally useful ones have situations that come up pretty often. A lot of them help a great deal with domination, either by high costs (that can be waived) or borrowing other people’s figures, or making the tokens work for you. No one enjoys their Chaos deck as fully as Slaanesh
Brain Damage: It’s a shame you’re stuck in the no extra draw boat with stinky old Nurgle. You won’t see all of your awesome cards, and some you won’t see at all in a game. Couple this with the notion that if Tzeentch is aware of your power position here (which he is if he’s read this), you’ll be priority one for The Meddling of Skaven, which hurts you more than anyone else.
Power Player: Slaanesh has not one but two Power upgrades. Further, if taken together, they confer a bonus power bringing your per round total to 9. Obviously costs don’t really matter to you at this point, and you can summon your Daemonettes and Lord of Secrets kinda willy nilly.
Lucky Seven: You have six Cultists. Technically that should be plenty, right? Khorne has four but doesn’t care about Corruption. Nurgle only has six… but his Warriors are cheap. Tzeentch has eight. You’re so jealous of him. Every now and again you can borrow one via Soporific Musk or something, but it never ever feels like you have enough. Ever.
There would be more pictures, but perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the images when you Google “Slaanesh” are not particularly family friendly. Says the guy who curses all over the place and has not one warning of adult content anywhere on the blog.
Next time: We finish the Most Awesomest Strategy Series EVAR with a look at Slaanesh’s kick ass Chaos cards, his pretty decent Upgrades and a few last pointers on how to win as The Man In Purple.