Richard Binney
Australia
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No solutions here, but I am very much inclined to agree that the bloodletter upgrade is overpowered. This is only coming from 6-7 four player games of experience with the new expansion, so take this with a bit of salt. However with future games, it seems as though every player will be co-operating to work against Khorne. This is what we would do in the base game, however it's going to be twice as hard now that they have VP scoring abilities and as you mentioned, no chaos cards to counter his dial advancements. If you can't score at least one dial with Khorne in the expansion, you're probably suffering from horrible luck.
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Vasilis
Greece
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When I started playing with the expansion I noticed that Khorne's upgrade seemed overpowered. Back then I'd agree with you in an instant.

After playing a few more times since then I found that Khorne was not such a powerhouse if the other players started playing less like eurogamers and more like ameritrashers.

In other words the other gods have warriors too and Khorne's units have 1 Defense. That's the key to beat him. Force him to recast those Bloodletters over and over again and he won't have the power points to make the final push to victory with his cards.

That single upgrade does not grant Khorne the victory, it's just supporting him to achieve it when combined with his cards.

Although I'm not entirely convinced that this card is not overpowered after our last sessions I'm willing to think that it's the player's mindset from the base game that makes that card look broken and not the other way around.

Time will tell.

P.S. Oh and don't believe these win/lose stats in order to make a conclusion. Many people play Chaos rarely and their stats mess up the results because they will be playing the default strategies of each God and not making advanced plays that can come up by playing the game many times in a short amount of time.
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Aaron Bohm
United States
Appleton
Wisconsin
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I will say I've played a lot of Chaos in the Old wWorld both before and after the expansion and I know a lot of players complain about Khorne in the expansion. While others will swear up and down this is true I disagree, and I think the "win ratios" being posted are much like the ones when the game first came out; simply because Khorne is easier to play and players haven't learned how to play against him.

The fact is Khorne has significantly less chance for a dial victory now. Khorne's strategy remains the same, spread out and try and catch and capitalize on killing the other players. Only most of Khorne's bread and butter cards have been significantly nerfed while most of the other characters have received improvements. Khorne loses Blood Frenzy, Field of Carnage and the Blood Gods call to name a few. While Lambs of slaughter is okay (at 2 cost, yikes) Terror and Rampage only really work well for opponents 1 away and the fact of moving 1 of each is problematic, as each opponent can then spend 1 ap to move them right away again.

Khorne has improved his 0 cost card situation, from 3 to 7 but the here is how we have beat Khorne. The best way is to start off round 1 by making sure he has 0 dial ticks. This is not as hard as it sounds really and we've managed to do it 80% of the time. If this happens we know the chances of Khorne getting a dial tick victory are very small, making him 1 dimensional. Tzen is particulary nasty to Khorne, teleporting him to the opposite side of the board from all other players. The Rat and Nurge still beat up on his cultists, limiting where he can summon next turn and now he can't upgrade them. Players still want to make sure they have boarders and choke points "cut off" from Khorne defended by 2 defence units, making it very hard to win the AP to Kill ratio battle.

Usually he will get the bloodletter upgrade by round 3 and it is impossible to keep him from getting a few kills but if he is getting more than 10 kills throughout the rest of the game in regions that have bloodletters then you are doing something wrong. Khorne should never collect major points from ruining, if any but he will get about 12 or so points of domination (unless he tries to dominates the Empire, which he should try for). That assumes that other players don't take the fight to them with their greater Daemon's, which can seriously mess him up and, given that he's usually spread out, sometimes even take him off the board.

Khorne wins so infrequently in fact now, most of the people we play with will no longer play as him. I think the problem most groups run up against is that they treat Khorne like any other player. So they'll tempt fate to try and get a head and enter and commit to dangerous regions where Khorne can easily make them his prey because they want to try and reap dial ticks. This NEVER EVER WORKS. Players, for example, never summon their 2+ defensive units because those units don't help them ruin a region. Players will run down in the the middle and continue summoning there even if the region already has offensive units. I am so vehemently against how casually people treat the Khorne player sometimes that I want to change the game name to "Stay Away from Khorne in the Old World."

Game strategy should always be as thus:

Priority 1!: Do as much as possible to keep away from Khorne and make it as hard as possible for him to get even 1 kill.

2nd contingent : Do what you can to limit the other non-Khorne players from getting dial ticks or vps so long as you don't violate rule 1.

3rd contingent: Do what you can to get dial ticks and vps so long as you don't violate rules 1 and 2.

If you play like this you'll find Khorne does not end up being the powerhouse he is portrayed as. Personally I think Tzen is a little OP followed by the Rat and Nurgle took the biggest beating in terms of power adjustment.













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Joe Stude
United States
Farmington Hills
Michigan
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Khorne was consistently a problem in the base game when playing with inexperienced players, so it's not like this supposed resurgence in Horned Rat is anything new. I've seen it time and time again while teaching/playing: it takes a few games for people to learn how to deal with Khorne while still managing to pursue their own agendas. It does even out after that, but it sort of becomes an arms race: At first Khorne runs over people, players adjust, Khorne figures out how effective just putting pieces everywhere is and runs people over again, players adjust, and so on.

Some of that continues in Horned Rat. I still think Khorne is a powerhouse and can win fairly easily in games involving less skilled players. It isn't that these players don't know how to deal with Khorne or aren't "ganging up" on Khorne (as some purport you have to)... it's that they make bad decisions that hose the other players excessively when circumstances don't really call for that. I actually tend to be the target of that quite often because I'm the most experienced player in our group and people are just naturally wary of me.

I haven't played a ton of games of Horned Rat, maybe 5, and don't exactly remember the results, but the main observations are these: 1) I think all wins were by VP. 2) There is a definite power gap now with Khorne and Tzeentch in the upper echelon and Horned Rat and Nurgle noticeably lower tier. I haven't played Slaanesh in Horned Rat yet so can't comment on him (her?).
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Warren Denning
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Houston
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When Slaanesh gets going its brutal- best not to leave this god alone for too long. Slaanesh has defiantly gained a lot of power in the expansion.
 
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Chris Farrell
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Cupertino
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I agree with you the new Bloodletter upgrade seems crazy. I played recently in a 5-player game, all experienced players, with me as the only newbie. I was Khorne. I completely slaughtered them. It wasn't even close. I just got out the Bloodletters on turn 2 and did the obvious thing, bought out my supply of them and spread out and killed anything I could get my hands on every turn, ignoring any risk of casualties. I never even played any of the chaos cards other than the one that gives you an immediate round of combat and the one that prevents people from escaping. I had pretty good dice, but still, it was a 20+ point margin of victory.

I don't care if it evens out in the end, or if there is a counter, that level of imbalance on first impression is an absolute killer. And for the record, I just think the new Bloodletters are flat-out grossly overpowered. Ruining a region is only worth 8-10-points-ish usually. Khorne can do that just by killing 4-5 Cultists, all while ratcheting up dial increases AND totally clobbering the other players at the same time. It seems like a complete no-brainer.
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Loïc Boué
France
VITRY SUR SEINE
Val de Marne
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The Bloodletters Upgrade should be 2 VPs not for each figure killed but for each instance of killing a figure in a single region, just like the dial increase mechanism. It would still provide a nice boost to VP, but it will force Khorne to spread a bit to get the most of it. We use it and Khorne still enjoy a fair share of victories, and if not a close run second place.

The problem with that upgrade is that the best collective strategy against Khorne was usually to concentrate in a few region, standing one's ground to kill his Bloodletters and making the most of the few defensive cards (which are weaker in the expansion) and relocating cards. With the upgrade, this counter strategy is just giving Khorne more VP than any player can reasonnably expect to get, since everybody is then competing for the same few regions.

Once the upgrade, as it is, is out, there are no valid strategy against Khorne except kingmaking another player. This is a poor balance mechanism. If you spread out, you give him an easy dial victory, if you concentrate, you give him an easy VP victory. And Khorne can easily focus on whoever he wishes to make sure no one is getting the lead in VP. Unless there is one of those Old World events that limits battles, but that's also a poor balancing mechanism (my group play that all events stay 2 turns and no more).

Changing the upgrade to "once per region/phase" will also give some air to Nurgle with his weak but easy to summon warriors. He can now build up some defense that will not turn out to become a massive VP generator for Khorne.

The game is no fun if it all revolve around "how to stop Khorne from winning, and even then only if we are lucky".
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Patrick Bateman
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Having done at least 70 matches of CitOW now, I find this thread highly interesting. While I have not given up contesting Khorne, my group has disbanded lately, and there is always or at least often someone new at the table. Many people who join in have not played the game for a year or so. Lately, Khorne constantly wins, in the hand of newbies. And I am not being able to counter that. I end up being good second place, but winning is close to impossible. The last game, Khorne (again, in the hand of a newbie) made 77 VP, with the second players around 55 VP and me (as Tzeench) one tick away from winning, but not even close to turning the dial one more time.

I'm not saying that Khorne is unbalanced in high-level play, when everybody gangs up on him. But real balance is something else. It's just infeasible to have every player of a board game have at least 20 games made before a game beings to be balanced.

I also doubt that upgrades like Bloodletters encourages any kind of creative Khorne play. There is sparsely a situation where Bloodletters is not the obvious first choice. Has anybody even ever tired to take Bloodsworn..? Maybe we should try to nerf the Bloodletters to 1VP/kill to just see what happens. It doesn't have to be the perfect solution, but it could uncover alternative tactics for Khorne. Just arguing that Khorne *can* be countered if everybody cooperates at stopping him seems unsatisfying.
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Mr Suplex
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1pt per Bloodletter kill seems to work just fine. Its almost a standard modification at this point.
 
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Carquinyoli

Tarragona
Catalunya
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We have a player in our gaming group that always wants to play Khorne; and usually he wins with that God.
This weekend we played with the new deck of cards and with the Rat, a 5 player game. This player is "dice friendly" and never cares for VP, so he chose as the first card that that let him roll 1 extra dice (can't remember the name). So his warriors rolled 3 dice... and played those f***ing cards that allowed battle in summoning phase, so more ticks in his dial for him.
EVERY turn (except the first one), he double-spinned the Dial (sometimes with 5 tokens on it) and, once more, he gain this way, spinning.

Being 5, with the Rat and the new deck, that player (with Khorne) only lost 1 game being Slaanesh the winner through VP. That day everyone played against Khorne and maybe he wasn't as lucky as usual with the dice.
 
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meles meles
Poland
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Torc wrote:
The Bloodletters Upgrade should be 2 VPs not for each figure killed but for each instance of killing a figure in a single region, just like the dial increase mechanism.


Then it would play just like the dial strategy, and Khorne was basically all dial in base. I'm sure they wanted to avoid cloning the same playstyle. It felt strange that Khorne, god of murder and carnage, played more like a gardener, and completely clearing a province (or country) was discouraged.
 
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