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Chaos in the Old World: The Horned Rat Expansion» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Heroes, heroes, heroes rss

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Joe Stude
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Played my third game of CitOW with the Horned Rat expansion tonight, this time with only 4 players. Using random god handouts, the players were:

Adam - Khorne (Adam's a veteran player, with 5-10 games under his belt, but this was his first time with Khorne)
Ben - Slaanesh
Eric - Nurgle
Me - Horned Rat (which I've gotten every game with the expansion)

Tzeentch watched from the sidelines.

OW Cards (in order drawn:

1) The Horned One's Due
2) Teclis Aids the Empire
3) Rousing the Rabble
4) Peasant Uprising
5) Bretonnian Knights
6) Electors Sue for Peace
7) Dark Elf Corsairs

Purchased Upgrades (in order):


The starting Skaven tokens were located in the Border Princes and Tilea, while the starting nobles were located in Kislev and Bretonnia. As I sort of expected, Adam dropped his first unit (a cultist) in the Border Princes to harass me, Ben started in Kislev, and Eric started in The Empire.

Turn 1: The Horned One's Due tokens went into Estalia and Tilea but didn't really have much effect on the game. Adam made it apparent that he was gunning for me from the beginning, causing the usual energy drain resulting from that cat and mouse game. A first-turn Empty the Warrens gave me other options (I dropped the Skaven token in The Badlands) and Adam just barely managed a single kill on the last battle of the turn. Eric pulled off a double tick, while Ben and I only managed singles.

Turn 2: Teclis Aids the Empire. I dropped the event token from that OW card in the Empire to mess with Ben and it caused only minor irritation. I don't really remember what happened this turn at all, but
all players again only ticked once. Based on Adam's continued focus on me, I decided to bring out my Vermin Lord early with the intent of grabbing his upgrade when I ticked later that turn. In fact, I would next choose the Rat Ogres upgrade, going pretty much full military in an effort to get Khorne off my ass. adam's first upgrade was Vengeance, which proved to be outrageously useful the rest of the game.

Turn 3: Rousing the Rabble (place one peasant in each region. During end phase, peasants count as additional heroes) hits and the shit hits the fan. Two regions still have their starting peasants, so they now have TWO heroes a piece. Thus this turn was little more than a mad scramble to eliminate as many peasants as possible while trying to keep Adam from killing everyone and everything. In the end, most of the peasants died. I pulled a rabbit out of my ass and managed to dominate four different regions, preventing Adam from earning the double tick. All players again ticked a single time.

Turn 4: Peasant Uprising! The shit falls off the fan blades and hits us in the face. All the peasants we worked so hard to kill off were now returned. With Rousing the Rabble still on the OW track, we now were surrounded by peasants acting as heroes that also raised the resistance of regions they resided in by 1. The mad scramble that resulted appeared to give Adam a double-tick with four DACs, but Eric surprised everyone by using his Leper upgrade with great results, tying Adam with four DACs, all earned with only a single cultist. This resulted in yet another mad scramble in which Adam was somehow countered yet again and all players ticked a single time. Eric paid a huge cost for high threat resulting from his double-tick on turn 1, namely losing no fewer than FOUR figures to peasant heroes this turn. Ben and Eric were doing... stuff, each earning single ticks yet again.

Turn 5: Electors Sue for Peace. Happy Happy, Joy Joy. With no Khorne double ticks thus far, it felt like this event was capable of putting Adam way behind the 8-ball. However, possibly the biggest mistake I've ever made in CitOW completely changed the complexion of the turn and the game. Maintaining domination in four regions with Khorne interfering as best he could was extremely challenging and I was constantly spread thin. Khorne went about his business and earned yet another four DACs, but I by turn end I managed to eke out another four DACs of my own. It was quite a turn for me: 11 victory points and countering yet another Khorne double tick... until Adam and I both caught the mistake at the same time: I had completely forgotten the effects of Peasant Uprising on the OW track. Spreading myself so thin to counter Khorne meant there was no margin of error ANYWHERE. With two peasants in Estalia and at least one in every other region I was trying to dominate, this caused me to lose domination in EVERY area, losing all 11 points I'd earned and all four DACs and giving Khorne his double tick after all. Kislev ruined this turn, giving all but me the ruiner's bonus with Ben earning first place and Brandon second place. This shot Ben 10 or 15 higher than everyone else but still way out of victory range.

Turn 6: Bretonnian Knights. This was an odd turn. I started the turn apathetic and ready to play spoiler for the rest of the game as the result of events in turn 5, but with two regions still locked down by Electors I managed to pull off a surprising double tick, somewhat countering the disaster of the previous turn. Also of consequence: after battling hard trying to keep Adam from driving him completely out of Troll Country, Ben was reduced to a single cultist on the entire board, located in The Empire; this prevented him from ticking for the first time.

Turn 7: Quick checks of the dials revealed Eric being 4 ticks from victory with all three remaining players needing exactly two ticks for a dial victory. I wasn't feeling very confident, especially when Dark Elf Corsairs removed Electors Sue for Peace from the OW track, reopening Estalia and The Empire for battle. At this point Nurgle was eliminated from contention and it was going to be nearly impossible for Ben to pull off the double-tick necessary for him to win. After placing a Verminous Horde card into Estalia to protect the Rat Ogre and 5 Clan Rats I had there, Adam responded by playing the chaos card that allows him to conduct an immediate battle, killing both cultists in Tilea and earning him a DAC. This absolutely killed me because I'd considered getting those cultists out of there but chose to play Verminous as my first play. With four additional possible tick locations, Adam should have won easily but the dice finally began to take a downturn on him. With a bloodthirster in the Empire he easily earned a DAC there. After missing entirely in Bretonnia, Adam would have likely also missed in Estalia thanks to my buff and Ogre upgrade, but Eric moved two of his own cultists there on the final turn and gave Adam an easy target, earning him his third DAC. Facing another Ogre and two Clan Rats in Tilea, Adam only rolled one hit, meaning that since I was guaranteed three DACs for the turn, the battle in the Border Princes (Bloodletter vs. a Rat Ogre and two more Clan Rats) was for the game. Adam rolled two hits on three dice, killing off my Ogre and earning the fourth DAC which gave him the double tick and the game.

Post-game thoughts:

1. Vengeance is an absolutely incredible upgrade for a god who thrives by spreading out and rolling as many individual battles as possible. I don't have much experience with the expansion relative to some of you, but I have difficulty seeing how you can really counter this.

2. Opinion: Fighting a Khorne player determined to take you down as the Horned Rat is a lot of work and actually a little frustrating at times, out of proportion with the effort it takes Khorne to pressure you in the first place. It took a hell of an effort (mostly by me, with an assist to Eric) to keep Khorne from double-ticking all game, only to see him grab two doubles the last two turns and win by dial anyway.

3. Most frustrating loss ever. If I'd been able to reposition even a single figure in any of my four DAC regions on that awful turn 5, I would have also hit my own dial victory on turn 7 and won the game by VP tiebreaker. I have no one to blame but myself, but daaaaaayamn.

4. Aside of earning more dial ticks than I've ever seen Nurgle earn before, Eric seemed mostly punchless this game, occasionally getting in Adam's face but mostly just losing a lot of guys. This continues the trend I've been seeing where expansion Nurgle is just having a really rough time of it.
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Joel Schuster
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If there is one player less to put corruption, I'd always play for dial as Khorne and try to push it hard. I see not much of balance there. Khorne is favoured by this setup.

If I were one of the other players I'd probably try to go for as many DACs as possible as a VP win seems less likely as ruination of regions is much harder when only 2 out of 4 players put corruption.

I think its not a very good idea to play as 4 with the Rat included, unless everybody is very sure of the situation and what he is doing.
 
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Andrew
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Wow a 7 turn game! Was Kislev the only region to ruin in all that time?

Honestly if you're anyone but Tzeentch (and maybe Slaanesh), Khorne gunning for you will make life miserable. Poor Nurgle in particular...
 
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Joe Stude
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Yeah, the reason this went 7 turns and had potential to end in an Old World win) is that only Kislev was ruined the entire game. A couple of other regions were semi-close at 8 or 9 corruption but Umbratus is right - the lack of corruption drop was really the culprit here.

Actually, both other players were pushing DACs hard. Slaanesh had a potential 4 DAC turn using the Fall from Grace upgrade in Troll Country and Kislev broken up by Khorne at the 11th hour. Once that was broken up, though the steam went out of his sails considerably.

I think I'll take your advice and only include the Rat with really savvy players, Joel, though I am bummed the matchups aren't balanced enough with 4 or 5 to make random draws viable.
 
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Andrew
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I think it's fine to replace Khorne with the Horned Rat in 4p games.
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Joe Stude
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that sounds like it'd be really interesting, actually. No crazy dice-driven disruptor rampaging around the map.
 
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russell gowlett
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I have played Nurgle once in the base game and once in the expansion.
It seems to me that Nurgle would be harder in the base game?
When I played him as expansion, I succeeded with Nurgles quest early in the game, allowing me to get an upgrade the same time as everyone else, which would normaly never happen I don;t think.
Nurgles cultist upgrades with morslieb set are brilliant, allowing for much easier Dial advancement tokens.
I was doing well, but on turn 3 or 4, all my units were killed, leaving me with just one warrior on the board, so it looked all over, but I came back in the end with some creative helping of Tzeentch to get Dial Advancement tokens to stop a double tick from Khorne, and at the same time ensure 3 regions got ruined in that round, ensure Khorne would not get another round for one last dial tick, leaving the game end to be determined by who got the most points in the final 3 ruinations, bewteen nurlge and tzeentch, and Nurgle snuck to the win buy 5 points.
A truly satisfying victory!
 
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Joe Stude
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discombob wrote:
I have played Nurgle once in the base game and once in the expansion. It seems to me that Nurgle would be harder in the base game?


I have only played him once with the expansion and it wasn't really a fair assessment as I got double-teamed pretty hard most of the game. However, I've played Nurgle a lot in the base game and have generally seen him have more success than Tzeentch or Slaanesh, specifically because of his ability to put up a boatload of points in a hurry. I don't know if expansion Nurgle has retained that capacity but it seems to me that, with more ways to dial-advance, expansion Nurgle would benefit more from those advances.
 
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Joel Schuster
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If anyone, Nurgle had a fundamental change with the expansion.

12 games played with the expansion, I havent witnessed a single win yet. With the base game he nearly pulled a third of all wins, about 30% to be more precise.

Whats more, he comes not even close apart from a single exception. More often than not he came in dead last. If not for actually winning, thats what really worries me a little.
 
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Joe Stude
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So what's your thinking on why Nurgle's bombing out so badly in Horned Rat?
 
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Joseph Cochran
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I think that the errata'ed ruling regarding Ruination Points is part of it. He needs to be able to get those points, but all of the cards that put tokens down outside of the Corruption Step of the Corruption Phase didn't do it (and I think the designers intended that it did). That's certainly one of the reasons that I have felt hamstrung as Nurgle. But with the new ruling I expect he'll return to glory in our group. We just haven't had enough games since FAQ to see how it will go.
 
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Andrew
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My thinking is in this thread (please add your thoughts):
* unlike the other gods, his cards increased in average cost
* his effects are mostly conditional, which doesn't guarantee him immediate advantage and actually invites other players to mess with him (eg his cards no longer help him dominate, just give him bonuses if he succeeds)
* he has basically no screwage cards
* other gods summon more warriors/daemons (due to upgrades) and Nurgle's followers are good targets (eg upgraded Bloodletters will target Plaguebearers over other warriors, and depending on rules interpretation upgraded Daemonettes will target upgraded Lepers)
* Nurgle dial victory is still pretty much impossible (from my tracking, 120+ games and no Nurgle dial wins) but the other gods fight for for domination and ruination places a lot harder (thanks to the viability of Khorne VP wins, the Horned Rat and cards like Bloodbath, Skulltaker, Warp Shock and Daemonic Subtlety)
* the Horned Rat frequently controls the Old World in place of Nurgle and the expert Old World cards involve less choice for the controller
* 50+ VP victory is more common (at 71% of end-triggers) and games are shorter, but other gods control the main VP sources (Bloodletter upgrade, Raptuous Excess, Keeper upgrade, Doomwheel, Skaven placement)
* his one defensive card Choking Stench is more expensive and usually weaker than Rain of Pus from the base game
* he no longer has Provender of Ruin, which used to be worth perhaps 12VP
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Joel Schuster
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Thats a nice summary of how Nurgle got nerfed.

I do think the mew rule regarding the scoring of the ruiner bonus does indeed help slightly. But then Nurgle wasnt as near to winning in my games to make this count. So it probably will not change that much at all.

The above issues are too big compared to that.



 
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