Board Gaming, Strategeries

PSS: Vice City – A Strategy Primer for Slaanesh in Chaos in the Old World Part 2

Why is he called Keeper of Secrets? Dead men tell no tales.
Why is he called Keeper of Secrets? Dead men tell no tales.

Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends…except that this is actually where it ends. It’s been a long and fun ride through one of my favoritest games EVAR. If you promise to try to keep your composure, I will try to do the same.

The God in Purple is loaded with good stuff. He has his weaknesses same as any of the others, but man, do his strengths ever shine. Chief among his strengths is a phenomenal Chaos deck. How do you know which one is his? It’s the one that says “Bad Mother Fucker” on it. Let’s take a look.

Abyssal Pact: Suck it, Nurgle. Suck it long, suck it hard.
Abyssal Pact: Suck it, Nurgle. Suck it long, suck it hard.

Abyssal Pact: Right off tips is this excellent card. It costs 0, which makes it a good stall card, but don’t use it just for that unless you are extremely desperate for a stall, because the card’s actual ability is badass. It prevents enemy figures from contributing to Domination in this region. For the most part it’s trash against Khorne, but it can be pretty effective if timed well for Tzeentch (although it does give him a Magic Symbol) and it’s a straight up cornholing for Nurgle. If you’re contested, drop this to swing things wildly into your favor, or drop it in a Nurgle encampment to deny him points at the cost of…zero. It’s a strong ability with fairly common, but not too frequent use. You only get two of these, but that’s about as many as you’d ever want. 

Dark Influence is your first, last and only line of defense against stranded Nobles. It can be used to sneak precious nobles out of places where Khorne is getting punch-drunk. It’s not limited to Nobles, it can also move Heroes and Peasants. That last one only rarely matters, but every now and again with some clever timing (hey, you go last!) you can use this to get a solitary Hero to assassinate a Bloodthirster. Where it’s really at for this card is manipulation of Noble location, which if you haven’t figured out, is pretty key. It gives Tzeentch a Magic Symbol, but that’s the price you pay.

Degenerate Royalty: Yikes. 3 Power cost Chaos card. Oh, never mind. 9 out of 10 (and 10 out of 10 if you’re playing correctly) times this card will actually be free. The cost is reduced by the number of Corruption tokens in the region.  Doesn’t matter whose. That’s all. It doesn’t have a special ability unless you count 3 Power towards Domination for free to be special. I do. And paying nothing for it, it’s a fantastic stall action. Don’t waste this on The Badlands, Border Princes or Norsca. You can at least nail Kislev with a touch of help or put a huge chunk towards something like The Empire or Brettonia. So in summary: 3 Power towards Domination. Stall. Free.  Boosh. 

This shows up when you Google Image search "Field of Ecstasy" I don't know about you guys, but this is pretty much exactly what I think about.
This shows up when you Google Image search “Field of Ecstasy” I don’t know about you guys, but this is pretty much exactly what I think about.

Field of Ecstasy looks like one of the better anti-Khorne cards in the game. And don’t get me wrong, in the right circumstances, there’s little better for saving you from a righteous whaling from Khorne, but it’s somewhat limited in its application. It prevents Battle Dice from being rolled in the Battle Phase in that region, which sounds awesome. Here’s the problems. Plural. Your screaming “not in the face!” doesn’t do a damn thing about Battle Cry, which this card attracts like no one’s business. Also, Battle Frenzy happens before the Battle Phase, so even hiding under your shield of writhing bodies, you might wind up with a busted lip. It might attract a Changer of Ways from Tzeentch being a dickface after he sees you hide from Khorne. If none of those nasty things happen, then congratulations! You’ve created a safe haven…for the world. Unlike real orgies, everyone gets invited to this one. A place gets really crowded when there’s a reasonable guarantee that the party won’t turn into a bloodbath. And you paid 2 Power to throw the party in the first place, which  puts you at a power disadvantage when  Tzeentch and his 8 Cultists and Nurgle with his hordes of cheap figures show up to wreck the joint. This all said, it’s still a solid card, just one that looks WAY better on paper than it plays out. I find one of its most practical uses is actually to play it on Khorne in other locations to prevent him from getting a Dial Counter in a hot Dial race. In the end, once you upgrade your Seductresses, you should not ever really need to roll the dice and gamble with this card. Until then, be careful when and how you play this card, and you should be ok.

Insidious Lies:  This is Slaanesh’s prettier (read: less gross) version of Nurgle’s Plague Aura. For 1 Power, the Nobles and Heroes rally to your Domination cause. Keep this to use in valuable regions. If you’re working your campaign of deceptions in Norsca, you’re doing it wrong.   Obviously it’s going to be not something you can always do as its effectiveness is dependent on where those tokens are. Seeing as strong Domination is a big part of your Points strategy, and you’ll be going heads up against Nurgle in that department, be careful not to waste them. It combos nicely with Dark Influence to really pile on the Domination. Like most cards in the game, think ahead, play with a little finesse and you’ll do just fine.

Perverse Infiltration:  Awww yeah. This card is where it’s at. Zero cost, you get four of them. Great stall with a dynamite ability. Place a single corruption token in that region. It won’t count towards Dial Advancement. And who cares? There have been so many occasions where just 1 of these has ended up being worth a second place in ruination it’s not even funny. It can also give you a slight edge in a hotly contested ruination by acting as a sort of extra Cultist that turn. Watch out for Nurgle though, he has dial rewards that can remove single Corruption tokens, and there are rarely better targets than your lonely single freeloading token just waiting for the score. 

Soporific Musk is awesome awesome awesome. For the cost of 2 Power, it allows you to take control of an opposing Cultist for the turn. This is good for several reasons. Between the 2 Power cost, your gaining of a figure and your opponent losing a figure, it’s a 4 point Domination swing in your favor. It will drop a Corruption token for you this turn, which if you move this cultist acts kinda like some extra Perverse Infiltration, especially if you snatch a Tzeentch Cultist who is protected by a Warp Shield. And best yet, since the owner doesn’t officially change, you get any upgrades the Cultist has. Khorne’s guy will fight for you. Tzeentch’s guy will teleport a Warpstone around. Still, 2 Power isn’t cheap, so be careful how you apply this. 
Slaanesh’s upgrades are interesting in that like his Chaos Deck, he doesn’t have any that are strictly terrible. (He does have one that is cool but functionally useless)   
Seductresses – Priority number one. Just like everyone who isn’t Nurgle, your cultists need to be your first upgrade. Interestingly, your passive ability is quite possibly better than either Khorne or Tzeentch’s active upgrades. Your Cultists having 2 Defense changes the very flow and dynamic of the game. It acts as a HUGE deterrent to Khorne, which makes him focus harder on the other two, leaving you more time to do your things and tying up the hands of all three other Gods. Incredible. Ignore at your own peril.

Daemonettes – Makes your Warriors only hit by a 6. Combined with their 2 Defense, this makes them tougher than a coffin nail and all but immortal. As cool as that sounds, it’s not something that you’ll ever need. Your Warriors have 2 Defense, which makes them reasonably durable anyway, but they are not the targets of choice, your Cultists are. Wearing the best suit of armor in the universe doesn’t matter much when no one is trying to hurt you.

The real Keeper of Secrets.
The real Keeper of Secrets.

Keeper of Secrets presents a tempting choice. One I’ve taken a handful of times, though admittedly I’ve never found the ability to be game turning. At the beginning of the Battle Phase, you take control of another Cultist or Warrior in the region. That’s not little. However, he’s damn expensive at 3 Power and with as many 2s floating around in your Chaos deck as there are, spending half of your power on this guy is a hard thing to do. When you pull it all together, it’s definitely impressive though. It’s not so much something that’s going to make Slaanesh more aggressive, but reinforces his whole “Mine. Don’t Touch” thing he’s got going on.   

Power of Pain – Everyone’s token +1 Power upgrade. Always nice.

Power of Pleasure – Everyone’s token +1 Power upgrade. Always nice. Slaanesh gets two of them. And what’s more, if you have them both, they give you a THIRD Power. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s a total of NINE power per turn to spend. It’s cool that at that point you could summon your Daemonettes and Keeper of Secrets more or less at your whimsy. The bonus point makes this a great call for 2nd and 3rd upgrades. It won’t always make a HUGE impact, but it’s pretty awesome to just be able to field your guys like you’re Nurgle. That ability doubles as stall. Summon a Daemonette if you’re not ready to commit to your master plan yet. You go last and have NINE Power. They’re going to run out before you.

Slaanesh, like the other 3, is a blast to play. He can be a little tricky, but the same can be said for all of them. Here are a few last pointers on how to seduce and destroy with the best of them. 
Mind the Nobles and Heroes. They are your bread and butter. If you can help it, don’t let them get caught in regions that are detonating. They are a tremendous resource for you, and if you lose them due to carelessness, it can be very difficult to come back from that.

Upgrade your Cultists. Save the Cheer- – Seductress, save the world. Game changer, much in the same way as Provender of Ruin. 

Exercise your flexibility. Remember that Slaanesh is capable of going both ways. He has the shortest dial, but getting spins on it isn’t always the easiest thing to do. If you can’t milk that as hard as you want to, don’t keep trying to force it. Slaanesh has awesome Point scoring too. Use it.

Work the clock. Slaanesh is ALL about timing. That’s true for everyone to an extent, but moreso for Slaanesh than any of the others. Knowing when to steal a Cultist, move a Noble, sneak in a Corruption Token, stall to make the best moves last are all critical to Slaanesh’s winning.

Which brings us to the end of PSS’ first Strategy Series. I hope this helps to improve your play in a truly awesome game. It’s been a joy writing these and I hope it’s been slightly entertaining to read.

Keep on corrupting, nerds.

2 thoughts on “PSS: Vice City – A Strategy Primer for Slaanesh in Chaos in the Old World Part 2

  1. means that if you’re investing in remote regions that no one cares about, means that you’ll definitely have to sacrifice some of your units, regardless of your threat score. So, since you’ll probably want to re-use your units, having these ugrades might prove handy when meddling with those pesky Hero tokens. Greater Daemon Upgrade: I’m always fascinated by this upgrade and I usually find myself wondering whether I should get this upgrade or the power point upgrades, but almost always the power point upgrades win the mental battle. My first problem is that this upgrade only lets you control an enemy cultist or warrior – not a greater daemon; I know deep inside that an upgrade card like that would be extremelly potent, but now that I’ve got a reason to summon my greater daemon, I’d like my three power points spend in a good way, not (another pizza deal!) summon your greater daemon: get a cultist for free. If I could get a fourth upgrade card, this would ultimately be my choice, but I prefer going with my large power point reserve and my sturdy seductresses.

    1. Ultimately I do too. And the difference between 7 and 9 Power is pretty substantial. I think that every time I’ve upgraded the Keeper of Secrets, it’s been because that ability sounded reeeeally useful at precisely that point where I got the upgrade, and never because I thought I was going to proactively ride it to victory. More often than not it’s Seductresses, Power of Pain, Power of Pleasure.

      That’s one of my very few complaints about the game is that by and large, your upgrade decisions are made for you (if you’re trying to win the game, that is.). More actually viable (but balanced) Upgrade choices would be nice. I’ve heard of some people doing hybrids of the base set and the Horned Rat expansion, but I have not experimented with it myself.

      Thanks for reading!

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