A try to formulate some principles for new INWO cards
by Christian Stenner (2000)The big advantage of playing INWO is the great number of more or less equal possibilities. You can play and win using plain force by using Bavarian violent government groups as well as using rather sneaky and constructed tricks. When using powerful groups you face the chance that someone else has them either before you in play or as a duplicate in hand. Players with rather weak groups will band up to smash a player with strong groups or power structures.
These play mechanics do not work in a three(especially) or four(less so) player game. These games normally end very fast with the fastest player winning. These few fast decks contain many duplicates of the same plots. To start such a game is also a big advantage. While a five player game is quite balanced, a game with six or more players tends to be endless. Cards like Interesting Times or Magic Goes Away slow the game down and you don`t have a chance to defend your power structure against five or more opponents.
The fast decks are Gnomes with Banks, Bavarians with violent government or liberal, Blinded by Science, Adepts with Goal, any criminal violent deck, true Shangri-La or places only decks. These decks will always contain a lot of SecretsMwnmtk (in a short game with only duplicates in deck it is a free card) and Savings and Loan Scams (to draw enough cards for your breakthrough). You`ll also need a couple of fitting NWO, especially Interesting Times, if you can win with it. The groups should share the same alignments (e.g. violent science or government bank).
In a game with six or more players wait until someone, especially the player on your left, tries to win. If no one else can stop him, you will use that final Interesting Times, Paralyze, Upheaval or whatever to stop him. Then you will need these innocent looking groups you hoarded in your power structure. You make a takeover of a group with a big bonus to the control of your type of groups and together with the other boni you already have you get a group from your hand for nearly every token you have. This works especially good with Network (lots of Eliza-tokens, Library at Alexandria, Phone Phreaks and lots of computer places without alignment). Discordia or Adepts are nearly as good as Network for this. If you own Cattle Mutilators, Discordia`s immunity against NSA, IRS and so on will create a good defense against the revelation of your plans. And secret groups are always a good defense. The Count is key group for all normal Adepts decks. If you are able to defend him you will win sooner or later.
On the whole, there should be no more bank, criminal/violent, violent/government, secret or science groups. Or they should at least be totally useless (Like the Bobbies...). There should be a restriction of groups with three or more alignments (I can see a violent/conservative/fanatic deck for Assassins, but one is enough) There should also be no more weird, computer, magic, church, huge or peaceful groups with a power of three or more or a bonus to control groups from the hand or a fitting alignment or attribute or a useful special ability (Jesus B. was already much too much). This leaves moderate corporate, green, conservative, violent only, criminal only, government, fanatic or SubGenius groups and any space, communist, straight, media group and groups without alignment or attribute. Only groups of the last two types and groups with an ability to further the game or extremely funny groups are needed.
There should be no more strong magic resources and especially no more magic gadgets.
The plots should be no stronger or weaker duplicates of already existing cards.
Plots that further the game or are just funny should be without cost. Plots that do something against another player should be cheaper than plots that further your own cause.
The plots should slow down a three or four player game and fasten a game with six or more players. That is, to slow down a player easily, who uses that old strong trick again with only a single alignment or attribute and lots of duplicates. A game with six or more players needs cards that defend a single player against the masses, especially against any try to counter your plots or an attempt to reveal his plots or groups and on the whole to make the game more winable. There should be no way to paralyze a single player completely by letting him do no more drawings of either plots or groups.
There should be no more plots or special abilities exposing players or stealing their cards. This is a game about secret conspiracies. I`d like to reveal my plots, when I want to.
Interesting Times should be banned totally or weakened by other cards or abilities.
There should be lots of new NWO to regulate the game. Take away the tokens or power of the fast decks and also of the rather weak looking Network or Discordia. Apathy helps you to defend against the masses, but also slows down the whole game. Magic goes away is an example for a really bad NWO. It slows an interesting deck down , but a Bavarian will play one of his Gun Control or Political Correctness cards. Keep in mind that a fast deck always has enough SecretsMwnmtk to counter anything like Nevermore!, while someone with an interesting deck does not have the place for these counter cards or Nevermore. To pay two of his precious, needed plots or an Illuminati action is too expensive for him.
It should be easier to control another players weak group or destroy a strong group in another player`s power structure.
There should be plot cards to strengthen the useless Bermuda Triangle. With the Alien Abduction change UFO is at least good for something. If you need two Illuminati actions better take PMM or Network with Eliza. So UFO needs more help. Cthulhu goal is normally too difficult to achieve, if everyone plays without mistake. There are no control boni for them and to destroy another players group is too expensive to do it more than once or twice in a single round. So his goal can be theoretically controlled. Church of S. or Assassins have only two or three ways to win, while you like to use Shangri-La or Discordia with that big defensive abilities for any plan you might think of.