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Subject: Preliminary Strategy Guide rss

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Rob Herman
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This is after four or five plays. I list what I think are the important strengths and weaknesses of each Ruinous Power, as well as the best upgrades and how the Chaos cards can be used effectively. I am interested in hearing what other players have experienced; in particular, I'm interested to hear what Nurgle upgrades perform best and whether Tzeentch's Acolyte upgrade and Slaanesh's Keeper of Secrets upgrade can be put to good use.


Khorne

Strengths
You have, by far, the easiest dial advancement condition. If you don't get a tick, something is very wrong. If you are able to double-tick three times, you will almost certainly win. You have powerful offense that helps you slow down the enemies that most need it.

Weaknesses
Bloodthirsters are fragile. They're the only way to pay 2 power to summon only 1 defense worth of unit. Luckily, they typically do their job (killing stuff for dial clicks) on the way out. You have fewer free cards than anyone else, and you have to go first, although your extra 1 power per turn helps make up for this.

Upgrades
The cultist upgrade is definitely #1. For the power price, Bloodsworn give the same offensive punch as Bloodletters, but have twice as much defense; also, their cheaper cost allows you to postpone decisions until later in the turn. Try sending them en masse against large numbers of enemy cultists in valuable regions. If it works out, not only do you get kills, but your cultists can finish ruining the region by themselves, denying your opponents the big majority bonuses.

Under most circumstances I think extra power (Power of Blood) is the second upgrade to take. Bloodletters' first strike is probably #3.

I once saw Khorne's cultists end up gaining lots of points through ruination. Although the Khorne player did not try it, an interesting strategy might have been the Bloodthirster upgrade and making heavy use of the Skull Throne chaos card--making an unexpected break for a points victory.

Chaos Cards
Blood Frenzy is your star performer. Use it to get an extra dial marker when you don't have enough power to spread your forces; alternatively, use it to try and take out a Plaguebearer before he can eat your Bloodletters.

Field of Slaughter is not for keeping big enemy forces from escaping, but for consolidating your dial click against a small enemy force.

Battle Cry is for stopping someone who would otherwise tie you on dial markers. Only if you are desperate for time is it for slowing down points through ruination.

Blood God's Call is for bringing in your Bloodthirster (or just a couple of Bloodletters) after he's already killed everything in his old province. It's best played into a province with one Chaos card already there to seal the fate of the victims.

Ritual Slaying is for when you have that big slaughter against Tzeentch or Nurgle's horde. It's valuable for helping you get to those Battle Frenzies and Battle Cries. With this and your dial, you shouldn't need the extra-cards upgrade.

The Skull Throne is weak unless you are going for the outside Domination win.

Reborn in Blood is too expensive and goes against your goals: you don't want slaughter concentrated, you want it spread out. It's useful only if you need a big offense force to take out a huge corrupting army bent on ruination.


Nurgle

Strengths
Plaguebearers are a great unit; for only 1 power you get 1 offense, 1 defense, and 1 warm body towards domination. You have a dial advancement condition that, while not particularly easy, works well with what you want to be doing anyway, which is putting lots of bodies and corruption into rich, populous regions. Your cards are generally good, helping you dominate regions and cope with being attacked. You have lots of opportunities to score points with ruination and domination.

Weaknesses
You have a difficult time hindering the other players on any turf but your own. Summoning a bunch of Plaguebearers or a GUO on them is pretty much your only choice, and that's relatively expensive for the modest amount of killing you can do. You gain relatively little from the dial, and barring truly bizarre circumstances a dial victory is out of the question.

Upgrades
Nurgle probably has the most interesting choice of upgrade cards. Provender of Ruin is probably worth 9 points in most cases, which is great if Slaanesh or Tzeentch is the primary threat (they won't be able to win without ruining regions) but not so great if Khorne is the main threat. Lepers can not only save you power, but lets you stall by summoning the cultists to an intermediate location before you summon them to where you actually want them to be.

Great Unclean One can be used to slow Khorne down (get extra dial ticks to tie him) or to finish ruining regions that are close. Plaguebearers looks tempting but is probably too slow to provide a lot of benefit, especially since those units bring their own offense. Power of Pestilence is probably not going to make the cut, because the Lepers upgrade is usually better and Nurgle is unlikely to get all three upgrades.

Chaos Cards
Your Chaos cards are pretty straightforward.

Plague Aura, Influenza, and The Stench of Death are for domination--the last helping you push for ruin as well. Plague Aura is particularly nice; not only is it free, but it can let provide domination points even if your forces are annihilated.

All Things Decay, Great Foul Consumption, and Stench of Death are for racking up points for ruination--All Things Decay is marginal.

Plague Touch is anti-Slaanesh, if you need to slaughter his upgraded cultists, or otherwise mostly a way to stall.

Rain of Pus is for surviving with most of your followers intact when Khorne comes knocking. The Final Rotting is for when Khorne comes to kick you out of a halfway-corrupted province--you can clear it out and start corrupting again.


Tzeentch

Strengths
Your main strength is your Chaos cards. You have access to more than anyone else, more free ones in the deck than anyone else, and several of the most potent cards. You can expect to take the last several moves during many summoning rounds, which lets you plan well. Your Chaos cards also give you the best ability to directly hinder and mess with the other players.

You have more Cultists available than anyone else, although they are fragile. This can help you push for victory in the late game.

Weaknesses
You have, by far, the poorest combat ability in the game. The Lord of Change is fragile; Horrors are expensive and don't hit hard. Your upgrades are mediocre. Your dial condition is not only somewhat difficult, but doesn't really help you get points the same way Slaanesh or Nurgle's does.

Upgrades
As just mentioned, Tzeentch has relatively poor upgrades. Power of Magic definitely needs to be first. The strength of the Acolytes upgrade is not that it lets you gain dial markers, but that it helps you ruin regions quickly and perhaps (since you can often play last) unexpectedly. Deluge of Magic (extra chaos card) will be second or third, depending on how you feel about upgrades; it can help you get to those good Chaos cards sooner.

Chaos Cards
Drain Power is the best Chaos card there is. Free power, the chance to skip your turn, and removal of power from your enemies. Try to hit at least two other players, and your perceived biggest threat, with it.

Teleport is another gem. It's great for messing with your opponents' dial marker conditions in a number of ways. Often you will be teleporting Khorne's Bloodletters off to harass someone else--preferably where Khorne already has units, so he loses a marker, too.

Temporal Stasis is the ultimate don't-mess-with-this-region card. The 2 power point cost might as well be infinity in most cases. It even has a magic symbol in case you were having trouble with that dial marker.

Warp Shield is not great, but it's free. Use it to ensure you get corruption into regions that are going to be ruined; use it to spare a cultist the wrath of Khorne; definitely play it whenever you draw it, just to cycle the card.

Changer of Ways is usually used for stalling or the free magic symbol. Occasionally, you'll be able to effectively use it to interfere with your opponents' cards.

The rest of the cards are fairly poor, and you should discard one to try and draw something better:

Dazzle looks promising for denying your opponents dial markers, but it's usually too expensive. It's most feasible when the high cost helps you with domination.

The Persistence of Change is only good in a big regions you're trying to dominate with a mix of cultists and Horrors. It's a magic symbol, if you need it.

The Meddling of Skaven is just not worth it.


Slaanesh

Strengths
Your Cultist upgrade is one of the best in the game. It makes them very hardy and makes your otherwise-OK dial condition quite reasonable. You also have the shortest dial in the game, which gives you the second best shot (after Khorne) for a dial victory. If you can double-tick twice, which is not as easy as it sounds, you will probably win. Your powerful defenses can also help you hang on for domination. Going last is an advantage that is magnified by your many cheap Chaos cards (you have the second most freebies, after Tzeentch).

Weaknesses
Although your units are durable, they are not hard-hitting; you have the poorest offense in the game. With a couple exceptions, your Chaos cards are not very powerful.

Upgrades
Although the Pleasure/Pain upgrades (for a total of +3 power!) are good, I think the Cultist defense upgrade definitely needs to be first. It makes corrupting, dominating, and getting dial markers much easier. The Keeper of Secrets upgrade looks strong, but I have not seen it used effectively. The Daemonettes upgrade is definitely a dog.

Chaos Cards
Degenerate Royalty and Insidious Lies are blunt cards for helping rack up those domination points.

Save Abyssal Pact for when you know what threat needs to be contained, or for when you really need to stall. Likewise, save Perverse Infiltration for where you need extra corruption for a ruination majority.

Dark Influence is for rescuing Nobles from your foes and grabbing those points yourself, not to mention dial markers.

Field of Ecstasy is an important card; it's good early in the game (helps with dial marker advantage, especially against Khorne) and late too, when Khorne or a desperate Nurgle decides to go all-out on you.

Soporific Musk is expensive, but it can be a big deal. First, there's the corruption advantage--all the more useful in the frequent case in which you run out of cultists. Less obviously, it can expand your ability to summon where you otherwise couldn't, and cut off summoning for an opponent if you steal a lone, stranded figure. This can frustrate, say, Khorne's attempts to stick one Bloodletter in each of seven regions.

Edited to indicate that Nurgle's Lepers upgrade is good, following the discussion below.
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Jon Day
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Nice overview.

I would say that Lepers is top tier for nurgle alongside the 3vps for ruination.

You can summon all your cultists accross the board for free often running Khorne out of power points, then use your power to pile your cultists into regions for domination / ruination while completely avoiding conflict.
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Rob Herman
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jond wrote:
I would say that Lepers is top tier for nurgle alongside the 3vps for ruination.

You can summon all your cultists accross the board for free often running Khorne out of power points, then use your power to pile your cultists into regions for domination / ruination while completely avoiding conflict.


Great point. I'll give this a shot next time--I'm a little embarrassed I didn't think of it.
 
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William Roop
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>Tzeentch

>Weaknesses
>You have, by far, the poorest combat ability in the game. The Lord of >Change is fragile; Horrors are expensive and don't hit hard. Your >upgrades are mediocre. Your dial condition is not only somewhat >difficult, but doesn't really help you get points the same way >Slaanesh or Nurgle's does.

>Upgrades
>As just mentioned, Tzeentch has relatively poor upgrades. Power of >Magic definitely needs to be first. The strength of the Acolytes >upgrade is not that it lets you gain dial markers, but that it helps >you ruin regions quickly and perhaps (since you can often play last) >unexpectedly. Deluge of Magic (extra chaos card) will be second or >third, depending on how you feel about upgrades; it can help you get >to those good Chaos cards sooner.

While I agree with ALL of your post about Tzeentch, I played 3 games in a row with this old one, and tried 3 different upgrade strategies. The one that worked the best (and provided my only win) was to upgrade my top summon for the 2 mana symbols, then my acolyte to move warp stones.... I ended up emptying my hand most turns with the 0 and 1 cost cards and went for a ruin victory. Ruining slowed down Slaanash and teleport/summoning away held off SOME of Korns advancment. I used the warpstone/corruption combo to quickly finish off areas before too many opponents corruption could accumulate, while leveling up and getting double levels as soon as I could. Domination played a SMALL role in my plan and at the end of the game, the 3 of us had satisfied all but one of the game-end conditions. I leveled out at the same time as Slaanash, we ruined out the last area, and to break the tie I racked up 5 more points than Slaanash. Poor Korn was still looking for someone to fight!

Actually the point spread between 1st and 3rd place was less than 10 points!

After talking to another player, it was more like 20 point spread... 7 between me and 2nd place.
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Rob Herman
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Beholm wrote:
The one that worked the best (and provided my only win) was to upgrade my top summon for the 2 mana symbols, then my acolyte to move warp stones.... I ended up emptying my hand most turns with the 0 and 1 cost cards and went for a ruin victory. Ruining slowed down Slaanash and teleport/summoning away held off SOME of Korns advancment. I used the warpstone/corruption combo to quickly finish off areas before too many opponents corruption could accumulate, while leveling up and getting double levels as soon as I could. Domination played a SMALL role in my plan and at the end of the game, the 3 of us had satisfied all but one of the game-end conditions. I leveled out at the same time as Slaanash, we ruined out the last area, and to break the tie I racked up 5 more points than Slaanash. Poor Korn was still looking for someone to fight!


I'm not surprised that the Acolyte upgrade worked out well for you--that seems like a solid Tzeentch move. I'm a bit surprised that the Lord of Change one did--I'm also surprised that Khorne was hard pressed for someone to fight, since you must have had a presence in several regions to score multiple dial markers.
 
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Michael Roop
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one reason Khorne didn't have many targets was it was a 3 player game. 3
player games still devolve into hardly any battles even in late game. We had
3 regions ruined, and nurgle (the center of the board god) wasn't in the game,
so everyone was clinging to edges, and when khorne would charge us, he spread
himself out and was easy to avoid.
 
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brian
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ReignsEternal wrote:
one reason Khorne didn't have many targets was it was a 3 player game. 3
player games still devolve into hardly any battles even in late game. We had
3 regions ruined, and nurgle (the center of the board god) wasn't in the game,
so everyone was clinging to edges, and when khorne would charge us, he spread
himself out and was easy to avoid.

Khorne can summon 6 warriors and 4 Cultists. Not to mention his Blood Thirster. He should be able to cover all nine regions easily. Granted, if Nurgle was out of the gamr, Slaanesh and Tzeetch were probably cowering in the corners. But Khorne can still reach them with Blood Frenzy and The Blood God's Call.

Tzeentch and Slaanesh still need to go after the warpstones/magic and nobles/heroes respectively. So even though he goes first, Khrone shouldn't be completely blind.
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Michael Roop
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Quote:
Khorne can summon 6 warriors and 4 Cultists. Not to mention his Blood Thirster. He should be able to cover all nine regions easily. Granted, if Nurgle was out of the gamr, Slaanesh and Tzeetch were probably cowering in the corners. But Khorne can still reach them with Blood Frenzy and The Blood God's Call.

Tzeentch and Slaanesh still need to go after the warpstones/magic and nobles/heroes respectively. So even though he goes first, Khrone shouldn't be completely blind.


You have to remember though, slaanesh and tzeentch have easy 0point "play to
delay" cards, tzeentch has teleport, and slaanesh can always
"sporific musk" an opponent and then start summoning his figures adjacent to
that figure to get them out of Khorne's regions. Slaanesh only needs to advance
one time per turn to win dial, unless tzeentch gets a single turn of "extra-click"
which then sets them even up for "same-turn" dial win.


ANYWAYS, to the original poster, great guide!! I think you should change the
lepers to primary-upgrade for nurgle as the poster above said, 6 turns of
stalling with them before you start summoning means more control on nurgle's
battlefield.

One thing you might want to add to your guide is what dial-objectives mean for
gods long term plans. Nurgle has to stay middle board to claim his dials and
the populous regions are often the first ruined ones, which means he can claim
no more dial-advancements once the 3 populous regions are ruined. Likewise,
Slaanesh cannot pull nobles/heroes out of ruined regions, so if his opponent's
push to ruin all the noble/hero infested regions, slaanesh can't gain any more
dials until an old-world card puts more out.

Also, maybe a quick synopse on how many cards each god has versus how many have
magic symbols on them. Very useful info for tzeentch.

Lastly, maybe an old world card breakdown, how many cards place warpstones,
heroes, and such plus how many/which cards work best for each god. My game plan
often revolves around how many more warpstone/hero/etc cards are still possible
to come up.

Just trying to help you out, as I said before, GREAT GUIDE!!!
 
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brian
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ReignsEternal wrote:
Quote:
Khorne can summon 6 warriors and 4 Cultists. Not to mention his Blood Thirster. He should be able to cover all nine regions easily. Granted, if Nurgle was out of the gamr, Slaanesh and Tzeetch were probably cowering in the corners. But Khorne can still reach them with Blood Frenzy and The Blood God's Call.

Tzeentch and Slaanesh still need to go after the warpstones/magic and nobles/heroes respectively. So even though he goes first, Khrone shouldn't be completely blind.


You have to remember though, slaanesh and tzeentch have easy 0point "play to
delay" cards, tzeentch has teleport, and slaanesh can always
"sporific musk" an opponent and then start summoning his figures adjacent to
that figure to get them out of Khorne's regions. Slaanesh only needs to advance
one time per turn to win dial, unless tzeentch gets a single turn of "extra-click"
which then sets them even up for "same-turn" dial win.

Understood that the others can delay. But you also have to keep in mind that the other 3 only get dial tokens if they match their trigger. So if Khorne sets up shop in just a few regions, he can control how the game gets played out. Slaanesh isn't getting dials if he's not in regions with Nobles/Tokens. As the game begins, he only has two regions to go. So if Khorne gets Blood letters in those spots, then Slaanesh can pull out if he wants but then he isn't getting dials.

Khorne can stall a bit as he has the 2nd cheapest set of cards on average. If he gets the Bloodsworn upgrade, then he can place dice cheaply in regions and stall his turn a bit as well.

Even if Khorne gets one hit, he has met his dial condition and most likely has prevented the other god from missing his.
 
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Rob Herman
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ReignsEternal wrote:
Slaanesh only needs to advance
one time per turn to win dial, unless tzeentch gets a single turn of "extra-click"
which then sets them even up for "same-turn" dial win.


My experience is that a seven-turn game is an unusually long game. Usually someone will have edged past 50 by then; or Khorne double-ticked twice; or Slaanesh even once. (I don't think Tzeentch is particularly likely to double-tick twice, but I guess it could happen.)


ReignsEternal wrote:
ANYWAYS, to the original poster, great guide!! I think you should change the
lepers to primary-upgrade for nurgle as the poster above said, 6 turns of
stalling with them before you start summoning means more control on nurgle's
battlefield.


Done.

ReignsEternal wrote:
One thing you might want to add to your guide is what dial-objectives mean for
gods long term plans. Nurgle has to stay middle board to claim his dials and
the populous regions are often the first ruined ones, which means he can claim
no more dial-advancements once the 3 populous regions are ruined. Likewise,
Slaanesh cannot pull nobles/heroes out of ruined regions, so if his opponent's
push to ruin all the noble/hero infested regions, slaanesh can't gain any more
dials until an old-world card puts more out.


There are 4 populous regions (Estalia, Bretonnia, The Empire, Kislev) and if all are ruined without him going over 50 points, something is wrong.

Regions don't get ruined by surprise; Slaanesh should have plenty of opportunity to withdraw nobles if it's necessary. Even if he can't, he should be able to rack up plenty of points from dominating and helping to ruin those regions.

ReignsEternal wrote:
Also, maybe a quick synopse on how many cards each god has versus how many have
magic symbols on them. Very useful info for tzeentch.


In decks of 24: Khorne has none. Nurgle has 6. Slaanesh has 10. Tzeentch himself has 12.

Lastly, maybe an old world card breakdown, how many cards place warpstones,
heroes, and such plus how many/which cards work best for each god. My game plan
often revolves around how many more warpstone/hero/etc cards are still possible
to come up.[/q]

In a 28-card deck, 4 cards place at least one Hero, 3 at least one Noble, and 3 at least one (actually all place more) Warpstone. Who will control the placement, of course, is another matter.
 
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I'm curious as to why you think Meddling of Skaven is such a bad card. Certainly it's not one of Tzeentch's best cards but for one cost it can be quite useful in forcing players into discarding cards, especially Slaanesh, to prevent stall tactics later in the game.

Also, I haven't had the chance to try this in a game yet but I'm thinking that, depending on how the game plays out, if multiple regions become ruined that upgrading Tzeentch's Horrors might be a worthwhile third upgrade. In the games I've played where many regions have been ruined in the late game the magic card slots become a precious commodity and this either lets Tzeentch play spells in certain locations at his leisure or makes the enemy direct hits towards the horrors over the cultists, making it easier for Tzeentch to advance his dials.
 
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Rob Herman
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Sunabozu wrote:
I'm curious as to why you think Meddling of Skaven is such a bad card. Certainly it's not one of Tzeentch's best cards but for one cost it can be quite useful in forcing players into discarding cards, especially Slaanesh, to prevent stall tactics later in the game.

Also, I haven't had the chance to try this in a game yet but I'm thinking that, depending on how the game plays out, if multiple regions become ruined that upgrading Tzeentch's Horrors might be a worthwhile third upgrade. In the games I've played where many regions have been ruined in the late game the magic card slots become a precious commodity and this either lets Tzeentch play spells in certain locations at his leisure or makes the enemy direct hits towards the horrors over the cultists, making it easier for Tzeentch to advance his dials.


I think everyone has some junk they're just never going to get around to playing. Slaanesh probably has an Insidious Lies and a Perverse Infiltration or something to drop... a minor disadvantage, perhaps, but the cost to you is a power point. In almost every case I would rather have a cultist.

What you say regarding Horrors sounds reasonable, especially if you have managed to double-tick once. The magic slots do get tight.
 
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Bruce Scott
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Sitnaltax wrote:
(I don't think Tzeentch is particularly likely to double-tick twice, but I guess it could happen.)


I think that this view comes out of mis-ordering (and underestimating) Tzeentch's upgrades.

I think that the cultist upgrade is your first upgrade, without much doubt.

You get to take your warpstones with you. This is how you get multiple double-ticks in a game.

For your second upgrade, a power point is probably right (has seemed more useful than an extra card so far).

The third is whatever is left from power point or extra card.

I've no use at all for the other unit upgrades. My Lord of Change never makes it onto the table. My Horrors rarely do. I do think it is possible to play an upgraded Horror strategy, but I've not yet tried to do so.

You've vastly underestimated the counterspells. You should be disappointed if someone isn't cursing your name when you play one. If they are wasting their time playing lame slot-protecting spells first, then so much the better. They can't afford to be time-wasting with their spells like you can. They've got fewer cheap spells, and they don't auto-replenish their hands. They are crude and unsubtle, and they deserve to have bad things happen to them. Someone is going to play a real spell in a vulnerable spot somewhere. As an extra bonus, you get to sing a snippet of Aerosmith's Walk This Way when you play your card.

I agree that Dazzle is going to be one of the ones I tend to pitch. Even then, it has its uses. It can buy you a whole 'nother game turn by preventing the ruination of a region that would have put someone over 50, giving you the chance to steal a dial win out from under them. It can steal a tick from Slaanesh as well.

Skaven Meddling is often a card to consider discarding, but I can usually find time to Meddle with Slaanesh. In our games, Slaanesh seems to get down to only a few cards in hand. I agree that Khorne won't care much about getting hit with this card. Nurgle seems to often have more cards than he can actually play as well. Slaanesh and Nurgle's card habits might be groupthink for us. If Slaanesh is going for a VP win, then he'll be annoyed to lose even a Perverse Infiltration. It is a useful way to mooch VPs right when a region ruins. Insidious Lies hasn't been played to good advantage by Slaanesh in our group either, but I think you ought to be able to figure out a way to do so.

The Persistence of Change is definitely a potential discard as well, but can also be a 1 point Magic symbol if there isn't enough warpstone around yet.

You should be playing down to 0 or 1 card each turn. Even your worst cards are better than other RP's worst cards. Only if you got something ridiculous like Dazzle x2 and Persistence x2, might you not play down to one. That's a sucktastic hand, however, and it isn't going to come up too often.

You should be able to get your cultists on the table and then protect most of them. You shouldn't need to resummon that many of them from off the board. If the Blood God comes calling, you can then pack up your stones and go elsewhere (if you don't choose to redirect him instead). Your points can go to your spells. You can squeeze use out of even the marginal ones.

If you are touching the battle dice, you are doing it wrong.
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