Winning Strategy: VP or Dial. Followers: Defensive. Chaos Cards: Domination, Control.
Least Amount of FollowersSlaanesh has the lowest number of figures in the old world - he only has six cultists (Seductresses), three warriors (Daemonettes) and one greater daemon (Keeper of Secrets). This means that there is a pretty hard cap on the number of possible dial advancement counters that can be gained each round; that number is three, but if you count in your chaos cards and the Keeper of Secrets upgrade, you can possibly get another one or two. This also means that you won’t participate a lot in battles; not only your warriors and greater daemon are just four figures, but they also have the least amount of attack dice per power point cost; at the same time however, they are quite sturdy - both Daemonettes and Keeper of Secrets have the best defence values for their power point cost.
Shortest DialDirectly assosiated with his low amount of possible dial adcancement counters that can be gained each round, his dial is the shortest in length - only seven ticks are required to get to the finish. Assuming you can manage a dial tick each round, you get a rough feeling about how long an average game of Chaos in the Old World should be, which is about 7 rounds more or less (as already indicated by the Old World deck length!). It’s very important to estimate the dial advancement counters each of the other gods will be able to get and try to manipulate the board with your chaos cards in order to secure a double dial advancement condition if that’s possible - that will bring you very close to a dial win.
Difficult Dial Advancement ConditionFrom all the Chaos Gods, Slaanesh arguably has the most difficult dial advancement condition; even Tzeentch gets one more Warpstone token, but he may even not care about it if he creates a dial advancement condition opportunity himself, using his chaos cards with magic symbols. During the first couple of turns, in which your cultists are generally weak, you’re better off trying to lay low and secure your dial tick in order to get tougher. Try to save your Noble tokens from early ruinations using your chaos cards, because otherwise you’re in a difficult position if you’re trying to win by the dial. As more tokens get added, you can use Hero tokens, too, because of the game’s twisted sadistic sense: since Slaanesh is the God with the highest threat scores (at least as you gain more ticks), you’ll get caught in a loop of placing units to secure dial advancement conditions from hero tokens and then losing your figures to the tokens; on the other hand, if you’re behind on your threat dial by other gods, the Hero tokens will kinda protect your region from intruder figures.
Difficult Starting PlaceSlaanesh wants Noble tokens and those are only two at the start of the game. Not only that, but they may be far off one another, or in regions of low value.
As written previously, your threat dial is the shortest one; unfortunately, the trend which is to offer some victory points at the first tick and an upgrade card at the second is also repeated for Slaanesh’s threat dial.
The ability that’s unique to his dial is his third tick, which adds two noble tokens to the board. Getting to three ticks earlier than the third round can be tricky, but the ability to place some additional nobles can be powerful, both as a victory-point gain mechanism and a defensive one - place them in different areas so that you can get dial adcancement conditions; remember though that your maximum number of possible number of dial advancement conditions are three and four or five under very exceptional circumstances; the only way for you to lose your Noble tokens early is to a quick ruination. Remember that initially there are only two Noble tokens on the board and that your situation depends a lot on whether those noble tokens are close to each other or not. The fact that there is a wide array of Old World cards that place Noble or Hero tokens, however, helps a lot.
The other unique feature of Slaanesh’s dial is just next to the victory tick - you get to remove two Old World tokens. The problem with removing Old World tokens with your threat dial bonus is that during the end phase of the game, the sequence of resolving effects that’s printed on each god’s power sheet states that first you resolve end phase Old World cards and then you get your threat dial ticks; this means that the bonus is not that useful against event tokens (unless you’re feeling lucky or you want to defend against an ongoing effect), but it’ll do a very good job at removing the other ones (Noble, Hero, Warpstone, Skaven and Peasant); the top candidates for removal are probably Hero tokens that are a nuisance if you don’t care for the dial advancement condition, Noble tokens that are out of your reach in order to stop your enemies (probably Nurgle) to get free victory points and Warpstone tokens to keep Tzeentch in check or, more rarely to prevent a region from being ruined (that’s because, again, according to the sequence of events at the end of turn, ruined regions are scored before threat dial ticks).
Your seductresses are, to put simply, the figures that will win the game for you, barring exceptional circumastances. Your four warriors and your greater daemon are just not enough - they only have an auxiliary purpose; besides, they are mostly defensive in nature and will mostly help you to control a region rather to act aggresively. This upgrade is of top priority, because it enhances your main units; a defensive upgrade will keep your cultists from dying with only one lucky hit and secure your precious dial advancement conditions.
Power of Pain/Power of PleasureIt annoys me a little that you need to get both in order to really have a larger power point reserve than the other gods. It’s a simple: get two and one for free (like pizza!) and although it generally seems to me as being an average deal I usually end up getting them for my second and third upgrade, as the one is next to the other and I don’t have to wait long to utilize my additional power points. Slaanesh has the special benefit to act last in the player order, which may be invaluable as the game progresses: you can delay until all players have depleted their power point reserve and then start using your leftover power points in order to control enemy figures with your chaos cards to secure a win. In a situation like this, having the additional power points from these upgrades is a very good thing, but also situational - it largely depends on the chaos cards that you have drawn and whether you needed to use them or not. Another way to use these upgrades is to put some of your fighting figures on the board in order to score some quick-n-dirty victory points. Important note: another reason why this upgrade might be more worth it than the others for you last upgrades is the Hero tokens; you get dial advancement condition by investing your cultists in regions that contain your Hero tokens and if you’re going for a dial win (or even when you’re not), you’ll quite possibly have the highest threat score of all the players. The fact that a Hero token removes a unit of the player that has the highest threat score in that area means that if you’re investing in remote regions that no one cares about, means that you’ll definitely have to sacrifice some of your units, regardless of your threat score. So, since you’ll probably want to re-use your units, having these ugrades might prove handy when meddling with those pesky Hero tokens.
Greater Daemon UpgradeI’m always fascinated by this upgrade and I usually find myself wondering whether I should get this upgrade or the power point upgrades, but almost always the power point upgrades win the mental battle. My first problem is that this upgrade only lets you control an enemy cultist or warrior - not a greater daemon; I know deep inside that an upgrade card like that would be extremelly potent, but now that I’ve got a reason to summon my greater daemon, I’d like my three power points spend in a good way, not (another pizza deal!) summon your greater daemon: get a cultist for free. If I could get a fourth upgrade card, this would ultimately be my choice, but I prefer going with my large power point reserve and my sturdy seductresses. I’m planning to playtest a Cultist, Greater Daemon & Power Point upgrade strategy soon and post the results - if you’ve already done such a test or have developed an alternative strategy revolving around this upgrade card, please share the results.
Warrior UpgradeThis upgrade seems to be very good to inexperienced players and I see it getting picked often and they are right - it’s actually a very good upgrade! The downside is that it only affects your three Daemonettes that will, as your greater daemon, rarely see any play, unless you don’t have anything better to spend your power points on. The greater daemon upgrade might be quite goon in the sense that it has the benefit that a strategy can evolve around it, but this is another boring defensive upgrade to your already sturdy warriors. Not to mention that if someone scores two hits in a region where you have warriors and cultists, he is going to completely ignore your Daemonettes that are not able to die (especially with this upgrade!) and are not really an offensive threat and immediately target your cultists. The only way that this upgrade is going to be useful, is if you follow a weird anti-Khorne strategy, to try and dominate regions with your heavily defensive units, backed by some of your chaos cards in order to get the victory points, but not giving him dial advancement conditions.
Chaos CardsSlaanesh has a good deck of chaos cards that generally follow two main themes; they will mostly help you win the game by controlling enemy units or making it easier for you to dominate regions. Your chaos cards is another signature part of this Chaos God and if I had to describe them with one word, that would be ‘control’.
The worst thing about Slaanesh is that he doesn’t have a method of drawing additional Chaos Cards and that will prove to be a problem in many of your games; a control player’s main requirement for an easy victory is a large hand of cards, a lot like Tzeentch’s method of card drawing. For that reason, it’s important that you think through before playing or start spamming your cards. Also, remember that the game will last something around seven turns and you’re beginning with three, so that’s a total of approximately 17 cards, out of your deck of 24. This means that you will not draw all the cards, so, if you need multiples of a specific card, on an average game you’ll probably won’t get it. You’ll have to get into Slaanesh’s playstyle - he does have cards important to his game, but at the same time you’ll have to learn and adapt to the situation and when the time’s right to actually spend the card.