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Subject: Kemet VS. Chaos in the Old World (with horned rat expansion) rss

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Ben Hirsh
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Hey Guys,

I want to know which of these would be best suited for me and my gaming group.

We are big fans of the Spartacus board game, mainly because there is a lot of talking involved and there is not much need for silent strategic planning.

I personally did not like the Game of Thrones board game (i often see comparisons to that) for it was TOO strategic for my liking and there wasn't enough banter going about the table while it was being played.

I would like to know which of these two games have more replay ability and which will essentially fit into my group better.

If you have any other suggestions, I basically need a good 3 - 5+ players game, with lots of player interaction.

Thanks in advance!
Ben
 
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Evan Dunn
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Kemet is a fast playing unit battles game with a basic tech tree and cool minis. The goals are fairly transparent to all players since everyone has the same opportunities for the same points. Asymmetry comes from the players choosing to buy up the different and various upgrade tiles after the start of the game and based on other player's buys.

Chaos in the old world is about knowing the game completely. Each faction has a specific thing they need to do to win, and knowing how much you can allow them to succeed and how much you need to impede them is completely key. Battles are more complicated than in Kemet through the addition of the two card slots in every region where action cards can be played for various effects.

I also found the Chaos board a little crowded when the 5th player was in.

Chaos is more thematically amusing, as the goal is to ruin the world in your particular way. Kemet has much cleaner rules and play.
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Ben Hirsh
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Thanks for the reply! When losing at either of the games are there ever any chances to 'bring it back' for a win? I feel Spartacus had this factor where as Game of Thrones did not (once you were losing it's very hard to win). In other words, are either of them fun to play even when you are not winning? I liked how losing at spartacus can be made quite fun!
 
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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ben2000677 wrote:
Thanks for the reply! When losing at either of the games are there ever any chances to 'bring it back' for a win? I feel Spartacus had this factor where as Game of Thrones did not (once you were losing it's very hard to win). In other words, are either of them fun to play even when you are not winning? I liked how losing at spartacus can be made quite fun!


Chaos in the Old World features two paths to victory—by gaining points, which you do by dominating regions on the board, and by ticking up your dial, which you do by achieving your god's special condition. Some gods are better at achieving one of these victory conditions versus the other, but most can choose to go for either option. If you find yourself losing one race, you may be able to go for the other instead. Are the big-scoring regions full of other players? Go hide in the corner and do your thing. Are the provinces you need for your special condition being squatted on? Spread out and try to grab points.
 
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Mad Tiest

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ben2000677 wrote:
Hey Guys,
I personally did not like the Game of Thrones board game (i often see comparisons to that) for it was TOO strategic for my liking and there wasn't enough banter going about the table while it was being played.

I would like to know which of these two games have more replay ability and which will essentially fit into my group better.

If you have any other suggestions, I basically need a good 3 - 5+ players game, with lots of player interaction.

Thanks in advance!
Ben

GoT requires more silent planning because you have to place all your actions for the entire turn at once. In Kemet you only decide and take one action at a time. Still, to be succesfull you will have to more or less plan your turn so you don't run out of actions or money to execute your strategy.

There will be some banter: every battle is important and will draw attention. Combat includes some bluffing and sleight of hand. You're also able to buy powerful creatures and powers which will lead to a lot of 'that guy is clearly the biggest threat with the Giant Scorpion and Initiative!'. That said, there isn't as much alliance forming as in GoT. And the necessity to optimize your turn if you want to win will lead to some silence.

Although the game may not have as much banter as you're looking for, it does have high re-playability. Many different strategies are possible, and it'll take you a while to discover them and try them out. If after a few dozen plays you've tried most strategies several times, I can perhaps see the game getting a bit stale due to the lack of factions and fixed board.

EDIT: Kemet offers plenty of opportunity for comebacks. Unlike GoT there is no mechanism that reduces your available actions or units when you lose the bidding or territory. Leading players may acquire an additional action or more income, but losers will always retain 5 actions and 2 income. Moreover, whoever is behind on Victory Points determines the turn order. If you place yourself last you can still prepare and execute a big move to win the game in a fell swoop. Some players actually feel that this effect should be mitigated through group collusion or house rules.
 
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Shane Larsen
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ben2000677 wrote:
When losing at either of the games are there ever any chances to 'bring it back' for a win?


Chaos in the Old World was my go-to hybrid for a couple years, then along came Kemet.

Kemet is the perfect hybrid game, IMO. It's fast-playing, high-tension, grueling-decision-making, all-out, good-times fun. The tech system makes the strategic possibilities amazingly broad and deep. And as soon as I think I've found a broken combo in the techs, someone comes along and shows me another combo so snuff it. That's the sign of a great game.

To answer your question above; there is a bit of a catch-up mechanic in Kemet. At the end of each round, the player with the fewest VPs selects the player order for all players. This is important because in the early stages of the game, it's often good to go first so you have first pick of the technologies. But later on, it might be good to go last to make the best tactical decisions. I was involved in a game where there were three players who apparently were vying for the win with 6 VPs each (playing to 8) going in to the last round. Then there was the fourth player who had 4 VPs. ... Guess who won, that round! He positioned himself right, had the right DI cards, used them at the right moment, and took us all down on his last couple turns of that round. Even more impressive is that he ended the game with 9 VPs. One more than he needed. It was awesome.

So yes, the game is full of opportunities for swingy satisfaction. But what's great is that all this happens in a game that's nearly a zero-luck game. There are no dice, everything is visible to all players (D.I. cards are the exception).

Just a brilliant game. And by far the best hybrid, in my humble opinion.
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Kolby Reddish
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I'd throw in a vote for Kemet over CiTOW - which I sold after getting Kemet.
 
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Ben Hirsh
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Awesome replies! I think im getting a good feel for what kemet is, would just like to know a bit more about Chaos in the Old World.

Also: which of these would you say is easier to teach newcomers, and which is more likely for newcomers to win at?
 
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Ed Bradley
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ben2000677 wrote:
Awesome replies! I think im getting a good feel for what kemet is, would just like to know a bit more about Chaos in the Old World.

Also: which of these would you say is easier to teach newcomers, and which is more likely for newcomers to win at?


Chaos is a great game with 4. Exactly 4. The expansion is weak. I have it but never use it so playing with 5 isn't an option for us.

I've only played Kemet once but it's very good. They're about the same duration and complexity.
 
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Johan Haglert
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I think Chaos in the old world is an excellent game. But yeah. I to would definitely want to play it with all the players.

I haven't played Kemet but the intention has always been to get it all (I own Cyclades) so I can't comment on it. I would had assumed CitoW would be better but it seems many think otherwise.

I have also played aGoT and I think the getting this many castles victory is rather boring (only played it like once possibly two times) but the four player expansion with those goal cards is much more fun (though sometimes evil =P), I think the intention was to play six player once but maybe we lost a player and played regular five player and as such I don't know what that expansion brought. Since I don't know I suppose we didn't played with it.

I think Cyclades is ok too but the group I've played with never seem to want to play it, then again when we've discussed it and I've said no-one in it seem to like it people have said that they thought it was ok (if not even liked it?) so yeah .. I totally want to get my order of the expansion stuff for that, but since Matagot had various bundles the intention was to get a nice collection there but none of them fitted me perfectly. I have also access to Kemet through another group so by now it may be a stupid buy, though there's worse things you can buy I guess.
 
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Mad Tiest

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ben2000677 wrote:
Awesome replies! I think im getting a good feel for what kemet is, would just like to know a bit more about Chaos in the Old World.

Also: which of these would you say is easier to teach newcomers, and which is more likely for newcomers to win at?

I can only answer for Kemet. Kemet is not very difficult to teach or learn. You have to explain how you gain points (which is a bit confusing for first time players), then you simply go through the possible actions starting with those related to the tech tree to prepare for attacks, and then moving on to attacking and how combat works. GoT is a lot more difficult to digest for new players because it has so many somewhat disjointed elements: 'so there are these influence tracks, and then there are these cards you reveal, and then there are ports that work like this, and ..'

New players will get a feel for Kemet after about a round. They can do fairly well straight away. But a newbie is unlikely to win. It requires some experience to buy the right tiles and execute more complex moves with multiple movements points and teleportations.
 
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Ben Hirsh
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Thank you all so much for your input,

I found a new but slightly damaged copy of Kemet for cheap so I went for that. I think the fact that the game's flexibility (in terms of number of players) is what made me choose it over Chaos in the Old World.
 
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Paul McKenzie
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Maybe also take a look at Rex TI & Cyclades. Good luck! I know fitting the game to a group isn't always easy.
 
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Ben Hirsh
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I ended up with Kemet, and actually played my first game last night.

Absolutely loved it, was really streamlined once we knew what we were doing.

Rex is something I've always wanted for a good asymmetric experience for more than 2 players. I'm going to try and get it in a trade

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Shane Larsen
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ben2000677 wrote:
I ended up with Kemet,...


Thanks for reporting back. I wish people did it more often as it's very useful for future browsers.

I'm glad you had a good time with your first play. If your experience is anything like mine, it only gets better with more plays.
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