Before Chaos was marauding through the Age of Sigmar, they were battling each other over some Spittledung.
Chaos Marauders, the board game, harkens back to the days when Games Workshop was having a grand old time making all sorts of strange board games. Released in 1987, Chaos Marauders pits armies of mostly orks and goblins against one another.
Throughout the game, players will be playing cards on their battle mat, with the intent of building large, powerful battle lines. The battle lines are constructed horizontally along each of the 3 lines on the battle mat and can be any length of at least 4 cards. They must be lead by a Standard and with a Musician heading up the rear, with at least 2 cards in between.
The cards played represent the various troops and multi-part war machines the players will find as they draw cards. When a card is drawn, it can be placed anywhere on their mat. But once, down, it can not be moved again. Players keep drawing and playing cards until they draw a green card, which will have some additional effect, or they draw a card they can’t or don’t want to play. Then play passes to the next player.
Players want to strike a balance between large battle lines, for big points and strong attacks, but also taking too long to build a battle line makes it susceptible to attack. Anytime a player finishes a battle line, they may attack any other player’s incomplete battle line. They add up the strength of all the cards in the battle line (on the lower left of the card), then if that strength is higher than their target’s strength, the attacker rolls the Cube of Devastation!
If an Ork Eye is rolled, the attack succeeds and the attacker can steal the defender’s cards from the defeated battle line. However, if the Chaos symbol is rolled (which there is only 1 of on the Cube of Devastation), the attack fails, and the defender collects some of the attacker’s cards instead!
Once any player has completed 3 battle lines, the game is over. However, it’s not a race to be first. Once the game is over, all players count up the victory points of their cards. Victory points (listed on the lower right of the card) can be gained through collecting booty, completing war machines and some armies grant victory points as well.
As you might expect, whichever player has the most victory points wins!
The game was a success upon its release and there were multiple expansion planned, but unfortunately never saw publication. However, there was a second edition printed by Fantasy Flight Games in 2009. Ultimately, Chaos Marauders is a fun, quick game that’s easy to learn with just the right amount of planning and chaotic randomness you’d expect from an 80’s Games Workshop game.
Thanks for reading!