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Building Resistance to Chaos in Two Rooms on a Train to Numenera with Zendo: A GenCon wrap up Part 1 – Travesty in the Old World.

“I never put off til tomorrow what I can possibly do – the day after.” – Oscar Wilde

GenCon 2013 has come and gone, and most of the other more “professional” boardgamer blogs have already written their thoughts on the Best Four Days in Gaming. I’m just showing up fashionably late to the party. Here’s what I did at the big show.

Let's get ready to ruuuuuuuumble!
Let’s get ready to ruuuuuuuumble!

The Second Annual Pretty Sneaky Sis Chaos in the Old World Invitational Championship Game was held. My love for this game is well documented. I wrote a strategy series for each of the Ruinous Powers in the base set which are some of the most viewed things on PSS. Last year was won by my excessively polite (he’s Canadian, he can’t help it) friend Curt Crane piloting Tzeentch. In the wake of that stinging loss, I took to playing and studying the game as much as I could. From that loss was the strategy series born. I was somewhat of an expert coming back to the table, and hungry to have my name on the winner’s trophy (still in construction). Curt admitted that despite loving the game, he had not played since the last Championship. One of my disciples joined the game as well as a relatively new player.

Curt drew Nurgle. Nurgle’s a tough contender. Under a skilled pilot, he’s pretty hard to beat. I drew Slaanesh. I was good with this, Slaanesh is a strong double threat. My disciple drew Tzeentch, which he was happy with. We’ve dealt the powers at random every game, and he has only NOT been Tzeentch a few times. He’s probably a better Tzeentch player than I am at this point. The newer player (who will remain unnamed to hide his shame) pulled Khorne. Uh oh.

Chaos of the Old World enthusiasts, hear my words: play often, study, strategize, play often. I mention play often twice. Why? A: because it’s an awesome game that I am almost always willing to play B: More than most games I can think of, disparity among player skill throws off the exquisite and delicate balance of this beautiful game.

Khorne plays a unique role in the game. It is every player’s job to contain him, and it is his job to contain everyone. When I teach new players the game, I tell them with not even a shred of hesitation that their first priority is to have a plan for Khorne. 1. Have a Khorne plan. 2. Have a plan for yourself. In that order. If the whole table does not work against the Blood God, he can very easily run away with the game. Similarly, it’s Khorne’s job to make sure that everyone feels threatened by him. His disruptive element is crucial to slowing down the other Powers long enough for him to murder his way to dial victory. Focus too much on one, and the others will quickly get out of control.

This is the smug face of an easy victory.
This is the smug face of an easy victory.

Which is unfortunately what happened in the Championship game. A novice unsure Khorne focused his attentions on what I can only assume were what he felt was the biggest threat at the table. Namely a guy who knew the game well enough to write a strategy series about it. I was under Khorne pressure early and frequently while Nurgle quickly assembled a points engine that had him in the high 30s before I could even upgrade my Seductresses. Which did little to distract Khorne from his favorite purple chew toy. Tzeentch also enjoyed the relatively Khorne-free game, but couldn’t keep up with the Nurgle pandemic. At one point, the Khorne player had played Reborn in Blood, already a pretty bad card, in 3 different regions where he had no fighting units. 6 of his 7 power spent to accomplish absolutely nothing. A few turns later, it was all over, and Curt successfully defended his title as Pretty Sneaky Sis Chaos in the Old World Champion for the 2nd year. I suspect he paid Khorne a very nice bribe for the privilege.

Later, Curt followed up with me to ask where his article was. He suggested that I didn’t want to write it with my loss. It went something like this:

Curt: I’d best get props, I played a good game beyond the whole Khorne thing

Me: I think it’s impossible to gauge that without Khorne interference. Anyone can score fast points with Nurgle while there’s no threat of violence.

Curt: Put a monkey in my chair and that monkey would win?

Me: Well, I didn’t want to put it like that, but if the banana fits….

Curt: Well in that case, ook ook eek 2-0, b****

Which is the most offensive thing said by a Canadian in recorded history.

Awww. I couldn't stay mad at this guy.
Awww. I couldn’t stay mad at this guy.

It goes without saying that should I win next year, I will write the post immediately following the game. Also, I will take better (read: any) notes as to show off the happenings of the full game. Enjoy the title while it lasts, Crane. I will see the sweet taste of victory turn to ash in your mouth.

Next time: more of the stuff hinted at in the title. Doi.

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