Wednesday night was John's turn to pick a game and he picked Chaos in the Old World, a new game from Fantasy Flight Games.
CitOW is a a theme heavy game in which you play a Chaos God trying to take over the Old World. The methods you use to win over the old world over the other Chaos Powers are corruption and good old warfare. This game is set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe from Games Workshop, and is appropriately dark.
There are three different ways to win CitOW and one way to lose. The methods of winning are: advance your dial to the winning position, have a point total of greater than 50 points at the end of a turn, or ruin five areas on the board, then whomever has the most points will win. The way to lose is to run out of Old World cards and have no one exceed 50 points or the dial advancement condition. I will talk about each winning method in turn.
Dial advancement occurs when you advance your dial (all four powers have a dial of their own) to the point where it states they win. The method to advance each powers dial, and the amount they have to advance it to win are all different. Khorne, the Blood God, gets one advancement token every time he kills one or more of his opponents in a region. Nurgle, the Lord of Pestilence gains a token every time he places two or more corruption tokens in one of the four Populous regions (The Empire, Bretonnia, Kislev and Estalia). Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways gets a counter token every time he places 2 corruption in an area that has 2 of either warpstone or magic symbols. Slaanesh, the God of Lust, gets a counter token whenever he adds two corruption into the areas with nobles.
You are probably wondering how to place corruption tokens, well you place one for every cultist you have on the board. Cultists, warriors and avatars are placed during the summoning phase. Cultists are the weakest of all, and initially none of the Chaos Powers have cultists that can fight.
Battles occur the phase after this, and this is when Khorne would be able to do his dial advances. Combat is a simple process, roll a d6 for every point of combat value you have (Bloodletter's have 2) and you hit on a 4-6 plus you explode when you roll a 6. What this means is that you get a hit and get the possiblity of an additional hit. You then take off opponents figures based on the wounds each character have (Bloodletters have 1, so one hit destroys them).
You score victory points in several ways; via dial advancement bonuses, ruining a region , and dominating a region. Dial advancements are obvious, so I won't go further into this. Each region has a conquest/resistance value (these are the same number) and you must exceed the resistance value to score the conquest value. I know what you are saying "John you fool! These are the exact same value!". These two values can be modified by Heroes (increase the resistance), skaven (decrease the resistance) or nobles (increase the conquest value). This means that 2 skaven and 2 nobles in Bretonnia (Value 4) would allow you to dominate the region with 3 or more points, and if you did dominate the area, you would score 6. A region is ruined when there are more corruption tokens in the region than the regions corruption value (usually 12, but can be reduced by warpstone). When a region is ruined the Chaos Powers that contributed to the corruption (aka the "ruiners") that turn, receive betwen 3 and 5 VP, then at the end of the turn, the largest number of corruption tokens gets more VP (between 6 and 10) and the second largest gets 3-5.
That is the game in a nutshell. It took us a little under two hours to play the game with Tzeentch winning on VP after we ruined 5 provinces. He scored 58 points to Slaanesh's 54.
This is probably the best game I have played so far and I include Smallworld in this category