Christian Stenner Rules Germany
2nd Victory in 3rd German INWO Championships

by Birger Krämer (11/1997)

The Qualifying Rounds  Booster Draft  Christian Stenner's Semifinal Deck  Harry Heumer's Semifinal Deck   Transcript of the 1997 Constructed Deck Final    Christian Stenner's 1st Place Deck    Nils Krämer's 2nd Place Deck  Sven Blievernicht's 2nd Place Deck  Christian Howe's 4th Place Deck   Harry Heumer's 5th Place Deck   Picture Gallery


 From October 23 to October 26, the 3rd German Illuminati NWO Championships were held at Spiel ‘97 in Essen, still one of the biggest game fairs in the world. Christian Stenner, the only player who made it into the ‘95, ‘96 and ‘97 German INWO Constructed Deck Championships Final, declared victory with his Gnomes of Zurich after a two day tournament and 4 and a half hours final that was dominated by Nevermore and Apathy right from the start, but more about the Constructed Deck Final later on.
 The Illuminati, fortunately provided with lots of tables for the tournaments by the German INWO publisher Pegasus, started the INWO-days with an Original -Illuminati Tournament. Apart from lot of expected fun, masses of megabucks and a victory of this year‘s Constructed Deck finalist Harry Heumer, it was surprising to see how many people showed up and wanted to buy the old Illuminati game. Sorry, guys, there might be a re-release in the future, but it is in the hands of The Secret Masters and / or (Your choice) some people at SJGames (Now, in 2001, not only re-released, there is even a new expansion set, Y2K, available at SJGames). Fnord!
 On Friday, Rudi Gross‘ Servants of Cthulhu won the Booster Draft Championships Tournament, which replaced the usual Sealed Deck Tournament and works as follows: Each player opens a sealed Booster Pack, chooses one card and gives the remaining plots to his right neighbor. When the first Booster is emptied, each player opens his next Booster and passes the remainder to his left neighbor. This continues until each player has drawn, in our case , 68 cards (We played with 4 German Limited Booster and one Assassins Booster), out of which the players have to built the traditional 45 cards-11 groups for victory-deck . Illuminati could be chosen freely from the referee.
Booster Drafting turned out to be great fun and much more interesting than the usual Sealed Deck Tournament. Crowds of interested players gathered around the INWO-stand and wondered how so many people could sit together, create an immense tension in the air and actually do nothing.(They were sorting out cards, in fact. The illuminated ways are not always easy to be seen.)
 The Booster Draft Final with The Gnomes of Zurich (Christian Stenner), The Network (Christian Praas), The Adepts of Hermes (Thorsten Sens) and two factions of The Servants of Cthulhu (Christian Lobner and Rudi Gross) was mainly an impressing demonstration of Christian Stenner ‘s and Rudi Gross‘ huge illuminated knowledge in playing INWO. The other three players, all newcomers in tournament finals, were reduced to puppets in the hands of their mighty opponents. They both persuaded their rivals to spend their actions and plots to hinder each other from winning and always had enough hidden possibilities for themselves to be sure that really nothing unexpected happened. In the end, after a failed victory attempt of Christian Stenner‘s Gnomes of Zurich and a failed die roll to destroy of Thorsten Sens‘ Network against Rudi‘s Thule Group it was easy for Rudi to take over and declare victory. He received a German Booster Display and a Ringbote as first prize, the others won an INWO Gamebox and a Ringbote.
 On Saturday, the Constructed Deck Qualification Rounds and Semifinals were held. Each player had to win two games to advance to the Sunday‘s final. INWO fanatics from places as far as Munich, Berlin, Hannover, Kassel and the Netherlands showed up to fight for victory in the 3rd German Championships.
 Last year‘s finalist Nils Krämer made it into this year‘s final with an explosive Criminal Overlords- Servants of Cthulhu deck full of Truck Bombs, assassinations and disasters. Sven Blievernicht, 1995 finalist, was lucky that Stefan Kleinschmidt rolled a 12 when he needed a successful die roll (i. e.2 to 10) for a sure win. Sven, representing The Bavarian Illuminati with lots of Liberal Power, took over and his shouts of victory echoed through the hall; he had waited for two years to get his next chance to become German INWO Champion. Christian Howe, also INWO player right from the start, won his semifinal with a slightly changed version of the UFO‘s deck he played in the final.
 Christian Stenner‘s Shangri - La deck brought him victory in his second turn, but have a look for yourself:

 Christian Stenner‘s Semifinal Deck
Illuminati:
Shangri-La
Organizations:
Clone Arrangers
Fiendish Fluoridators
Robot Sea Monsters
Personalities:
Newt Gingrich
General Disorder
Places:
Illuminati University
Silicon Valley
Orbit One
Moonbase
Plots:
Blinded by Science (Goal) 4x
Blinded by Science (Goal) 4x
Interesting Times (NWO, blue) 4x
Apathy (NWO, red) 5x
Savings and Loan Scam 4x
Secrets Man Was Not Meant 4x
Alien Abduction 4x
Privileged Attack 3x
Back to the Salt Mines 3x
Power Grab 2x
Seize the Time
March on Washington

 A very fast and hard-to-beat Blinded By Science Deck. The Clone Arrangers are lead puppet, if blocked choose one of your other two Secret groups. In your first turn, you should take over a Secret group, along with a Power Grab, if available. Personalities should only be played with Alien Abduction for faster expansion of your Power structure. When you start your second turn, you will have drawn all your nine groups (One lead, six from the start, one for the first and one for the second turn), of which every single one is Science. The Secret groups, the Shangri-La defense bonus and your ability to cancel all supporting actions of an attack with one of the five Apathies will make it nearly impossible for your opponents to steal one of your groups. Your enemies will probably tend to stop you by playing Interesting Times, which is no problem for you, because Interesting Times (b) doesn‘t affect the Blinded by Science Goal, i.e. as long as you still got one of your four Interesting Times, you can stop the other players, but they cannot stop you! In your second turn, you should try to control your places and win. Use your Savings and Loan Scams to draw Secrets..., Privileged Attacks, Back to the Salt Mines and, of course, your Goal.
Harry Heumer, newcomer in the Championships Final, though not unknown in INWO circles, played a slower, but also very effective Full Moon deck with The Society of Assassins in the semifinal:

 Harry Heumer‘s Semifinal Deck
Illuminati:
Society of Assassins
Organizations:
Reformed Church of Satan
Trekkies
W.I.T.C.H.
Intellectuals
TV Preachers
Church of Violentology
Moonies
Nephews of God
Professional Sports
Moral Minority
Personality:
Ross Perot
Resource:
Perpetual Motion Machine
Plots:
Power for Its Own Sake (Goal)
Hail Eris (Goal)
Interesting Times(NWO, blue) 3x
Energy Crisis(NWO, blue)
End of the World(NWO, yellow) 3x
Savings and Loan Scam 2x
Full Moon 6x
Secrets Man Was Not Meant to Know 4x
18 and a half Minute Gap 2x
Messiah 2x
Seize the Time
Murphy‘s Law
Deasil Engine
Cover of Darkness
Charismatic Leader

 A Deck full of Global Power: Except Ross Perot, all your groups share the Fanatic alignment and therefore have Global Power. They all become awfully Powerful if you play End of the World and use one of your six Full Moons. You always have enough tokens to control one of your own groups or interfere in someone else‘s attack. The first four listed groups have the alignments Weird and Fanatic and will count double if you can grab your Goal Hail Eris. To control 50 Power for your Goal Power for Its Own Sake is never as far as your opponents might suspect , and this Goal even gives you the ability to win while Interesting Times (b) is in effect. Just play your own copy, if necessary. The best way to win with this deck is to wait until one of your rivals fails in a victory attempt and the other players, may be even you, were forced to spend lots of their tokens. Make your automatic takeover, play a Full Moon and you will be surprised how many groups you can control during one turn, as Harry was, when he managed to control all three groups he had left during his winning turn.

 Finally, on Sunday 26th, after a night with more party than sleep, the five finalists arrived for the Clash of the INWO Titans:
The 1997 German Illuminati NWO Constructed Deck Championships Final!
 But, unfortunately, as so often in important matches, this year‘s final was dominated by pure tactics. The players had built decks that should mainly avoid one thing: The early victory of a rival. Apathy, Sabotage, Interesting Times, Go Fish, Upheaval! and Nevermore speak their own language, don ‘t they? Immunity had been an important factor for the deck builders, three of the five finalists (Harry Heumer, Sven Blievernicht and Nils Krämer) played The Discordian Society, which turned into a disadvantage later on, because when two or more factions of the same Illuminati reach their victory conditions at the same time, none of them wins! Christian Stenner played The Gnomes of Zurich and Christian Howe an all - Secret deck with The UFO‘s that unmasked into The Society of Assassins later in the game.
 The first turn showed what was to come for the next ten rounds: A slow expansion of the players‘ Power structures, mainly through automatic takeovers. Christian Stenner (Gnomes of Zurich, lead puppet NSA) takes over the Bank of England, the Clipper Chip with his Illuminati token and knocks. Harry Heumer‘s Discordian Society (C.F.L.A.I.O. as lead puppet) controls the Burschenschaften, their special ability equals the combined special ability of the Fraternal Orders and the Fred Birch Society, and knocks. Christian Howe, with the Rosicrucians as lead, whose originally intended lead, the Clone Arrangers, blocked with Nils ‘, takes over his second copy of the Clonies and uses his UFO‘s token to control the Perpetual Motion Machine. Sven Blievernicht plays NWO Tax Reform to tax both Christians with his lead I.R.S.( All other players are Discordians and therefore immune), but Christian plays his first Apathy over Tax Reform. In revenge for this, Sven taxes him , makes an automatic takeover on W.I.T.C.H. and spends his Discordian Society‘s action for possession of Xanadu. In his first turn, Nils Krämer (Discordian Society), with The Mafia as second choice lead, takes over the Cattle Mutilators and doubles The Mafia‘s Power with a Cyborg Soldier, before he knocks.
 This boring procedure continues until Christian Stenner plays Alien Abduction for an automatic takeover on Nancy Reagan during Nils‘ next turn, which causes Sven to play the notorious card depicting a black raven: Nevermore. Christian Stenner, he seems to be the only one who really does not want to have Nevermore, spends all his tokens to draw plots that could cancel it, but without success. Nevermore is in effect! Then, Nils ‘; Cattle Mutilators force him to expose all his hidden plots, before Nils ‘ Men in Black, boosted with Albino Alligators, take advantage of Christian‘s disability to use his plots for defense and destroy Nancy Reagan.
 For the next two rounds, the finalists continue with their “Takeover and knock “- strategy, until Nils blackmails Sven: “You give me your Upheaval! or my Arms Dealers will trade all your plots.“ Sven obeys and Christian Stenner once more shows his cleverness, when he persuades Nils to play Upheaval! at once: Christian controls the most groups (Five plus Illuminati, the others four plus Illuminati) and therefore would have been the next player to lose a group, anyway. Upheaval! goes directly into the Nevermore pile, as well as Alien Abduction, Good Polls, Military Industrial Complex, Sabotage and Savings and Loan Scam at that point of the game. Nils discards the Comic Books, Christian Stenner discards Savings and Loans, Harry California, Christian Howe the Clone Arrangers and Sven the Tabloids.
 During the following two rounds, Christian renounces his automatic takeover in order to look harmless, while the other players still expand their Power structures. The next one to lose a group is Harry, whose C.F.L.A.I.O. with the puppets USA and Lady Di become the victim of a Truck Bomb played by Nils‘ Mafia along with The Big Score. Harry uses Murphy‘s Law to turn Nils‘ die roll into a failure, but Are We Having Fun Yet?, powered by Christian Howe and Nils, cancels the required Illuminati action.
 One turn later, after Sven‘s W.I.T.C.H. turned Harry‘s attempt to control Big Media along with a Censorship from the USA into a failure, Christian Howe‘s UFO‘s reach out their hands for world domination: Christian unmasks as The Society Of Assassins , takes over the Fiendish Fluoridators and now controls seven Secret groups. Nils interferes immediately and exposes Christians plots, among which are three Pizzas for the Secret Meeting. Christian does not react, and therefore Nils trades two Pizzas against two nevermored plots with his Arms Dealers. Then, he plays a Pizza on Christian‘s Clone Arrangers and finally nevermores the Pizza, which kicks Christian nearly out of the race: the desperately needed second highest Secret group NSA is still controlled by the Gnomes of Zurich.
 Australia, Sven‘s eighth automatic takeover, brings him into possession of his 10th group, assumed that three groups count double. At this time he controls the I.R.S. with the puppet Comic Books, California controls Australia and W.I.T.C.H. the Gay Activists. His Illuminati also control the resources Xanadu, Center for Weird Studies, Blivit and Warehouse 23. Although Sven needs just one more Weird Power 3 group for control of 11 groups and a potential win, he does not try and ends his turn with the comment that the first player who declares victory won‘t win anyway.(The Assassins had not declared victory.)
 Now it‘s Nils‘ eighth turn. As automatic takeover he places the Psychiatrists on an open control arrow of the Mafia that has Angst and therefore permanent Power 1 since Harry‘s last turn. The Mafia is also the master of Loan Sharks. The Arms Dealers are linked with the Cyborg Soldiers, the Cattle Mutilators receive a second token from the Book of Kelts and the Discordian Society still controls the Men in Black, i.e. with the Goal Criminal Overlords he also controls ten groups, but Nils doesn‘t try to win (Apathy is in effect since the first turn).
Christian Stenner takes over the Tobacco Companies as a puppet of the NSA that also controls Cable TV. His Gnomes also control the Clipper Chip, the Federal Reserve, Helmut Kohl and the Bank of England, which adds up to ten controlled groups, but Christian ends his 9th turn without trying to win - maybe he knows that his chances for victory increase rapidly. Harry can ‘t do much, takes over Lady Di as a puppet of the USA and also controls the permanently Straight Nuclear Power Companies, the Burschenschaften and the Democrats, but his Discordians are too weak for achieving their Goal Power to the People. Harry didn‘t even manage to destroy one group.
 Christian Howe loses his last turn in this year‘s final due to a Senate Investigating Committee played by Christian Stenner. Now it ‘s up to Sven to reveal his illuminated Powers: He takes over the CONspiracy, a Powerful German Promo card, that gives +1 Power to all your other Weird groups and especially benefits his Gay Activists (W.I.T.C.H. and California count double anyway). Sven declares victory, but is stopped by Interesting Times (a), drawn by Christian Howe‘s Rosicrucians. Christian Stenner nevermores Interesting Times, i.e. the next blue NWO in effect will probably decide the final, but Sven doesn‘t manage to draw one.
 Nils, in his last turn, takes over the International Cocaine Smugglers and now controls 11 groups, but he can‘t win, because Sven plays the same Illuminati and also has reached his victory conditions. The only way to win for Nils is to take away a group from Sven ‘s Power structure, but not enough that his rivals‘ Power structures are full with tokens, Christian Howe exposes a Deep Agent to show Nils that even a win through a potential Privileged Attack is out of reach.
 Then, the Cattle Mutilators expose the Gnomes‘ hidden plots, who, as usual, return all their plots back in the plots deck, except the blue NWO Chicken in Every Pot, that is played over Interesting Times. Unfortunately, the other players forget to nevermore Chicken in Every Pot. After a short waiting period, Christian ‘s Bank of England uses its action to draw two plots, i.e. Chicken in every Pot may not be nevermored anymore. Now Nils tries to capture one group from Sven along with the blue NWO Fear and Loathing (nevermored by the Gnomes), but he finally decides to use his tokens against Christian Stenner, whose turn is next.
 Christian‘s takeover on Walls Street in his 10th turn brings him into possession of his eleventh group. Nils uses his second Cattle Mutilators token to expose him, but Christian cancels the Cattle Mutilator‘s special ability with Are We Having Fun Yet?. Christian Howe counters Are We Having Fun Yet? with an 18 and a half Minute Gap, i.e. the Gnomes‘ hand is exposed. All plots except two Apathies, (still not nevermored), are immediately put in the plots deck. Nils plays A Thousand Points of Light (nevermored by Christian) over Chicken in Every Pot, but Christian reveals another copy of Chicken in Every Pot. Far too late, Chicken in Every Pot is finally nevermored: the other players have run out of yet not nevermored blue NWOs.
 Here‘s a list of all 17 nevermored plots of this years final: Alien Abduction, Good Polls, Military Industrial Complex (NWO: yellow), Sabotage, Go Fish, Savings and Loan Scan, Upheaval!, Censorship, Albino Alligators, Pizza for the Secret Meeting, The Big Score, Secrets Man Was Not Meant to Know, Deasil Engine, Interesting Times (NWO, blue), Fear and Loathing(NWO: blue), 18 and a half Minute Gap, Chicken in Every Pot (NWO: blue).
 In a desperate last attempt, the Suicide Squad kills the Clipper Chip, but the Gnomes can‘t be stopped anymore. Bank of England, Federal Reserve, Wall Street, Tobacco Companies and Cable TV (+1 Power for Helmut Kohl) all have Power 4 or more and Sven‘s Gay Activists can only remove the alignment of one group: Christian Stenner is German Illuminati NWO Constructed Deck Champion in 1997. He receives an Assassins Display as first prize and will also be rewarded with an INWO Church of the SubGenius Set as soon as it is published (our guess is Spring 98). Nils and Sven both share the second place and receive half an Assassins Display plus the Church Set. Christian finishes fourth place and Harry is placed fifth. They will be rewarded with the Church Set, too. As special prize, the finalists are qualified for the Illuminati Superround, a deluxe tournament with all finalists of the tri-monthly INWO tournaments that take place in the FABRIK Duisburg.

 First place deck at the 3rd German Championships by Christian Stenner:
Illuminati:
Gnomes of Zurich
Organizations:
Offshore Banks
I.R.S.
Savings and Loans
Wall Street
Bank of England
Federal Reserve
NSA
Cable TV
Madison Avenue
Tobacco Companies
Personalities:
Ronald Reagan
Nancy Reagan
Helmut Kohl
Resource:
Clipper Chip
Plots:
Chicken in Every Pot (NWO, blue) 4x
Apathy (NWO, red) 5x
Bigger Business (NWO, yellow) 2x
Secrets Man Was Not Meant to Know
Good Polls 5x
Alien Abduction 4x
Censorship 4x
Go Fish 2x
Savings and Loan Scan
Seize the Time
Senate Investigating Committee

 Clearly the strongest deck, containing all six Banks. The NSA as lead puppet makes it hard to attack you early. Censorship can be used for privileged attacks against your Media groups Madison Avenue, Cable TV, Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan. Apathy is handy when more than one group tries to attack. The Gnomes and Federal Reserve give +10 on any attempt to control any Bank. Good Polls provides lots of Power to defense, while Alien Abduction, and Savings and Loan Scam enable you to expand your Power structure very fast. The resource Clipper Chip equals a potential Power decrease of the Government Power reducing NWOs. Finally, Go Fish and Senate Investigating Committee are always useful if you want to stop a rival from winning.

 Second place deck by Nils Krämer
Illuminati:
Discordian Society
Organizations:
Clone Arrangers
Int. Cocaine Smugglers
Arms Dealers
Loan Sharks
Cattle Mutilators
Men in Black
W.I.T.C.H.
Gay Activists
Comic Books
Psychiatrists
CONspiracy
Resources:
Cyborg Soldiers 2x
Book of Kelts
Plots:
Criminal Overlords (Goal) 3x
Fear and Loathing (NWO, blue) 2x
Interesting Times (NWO, blue)
A Thousand Points of Light (NWO, blue)
Apathy(NWO, red)
Gun Control(NWO, red)
Military Industrial Complex(NWO, yellow) 2x
Secrets Man Was Not Meant to Know 2x
Good Polls 3x
Pizza for the Secret Meeting 2x
Albino Alligators 2x
The Big Score 2x
Terrorist Nuke
Truck Bomb
18 and a half Minute Gap
Giant Kudzu
Deasil Engine
Savings and Loan Scam
Power Grab

 Not such a fast deck as Christian‘s deck, but also highly playable. 5 groups fit your Criminal Overlords Goal and if you play NWO Gun Control and control the CONspiracy, all your Weird groups get Power 3. 5 +10 - Booster, Truck Bomb and Giant Kudzu enable you to attack a rival even while Apathy is in effect.( Nils is the only player who successfully destroyed two rival groups during the final.) Finally, the variety of six different NWOs gives you flexibility in removing unwanted NWOs.

 2nd place deck by Sven Blievernicht
Illuminati:
Discordian Society
Organizations:
Evil Geniuses for a Better...
CONspiracy
Intellectuals
Comic Books
Gay Activists
W.I.T.C.H.
Tabloids
Big Media
I.R.S.
Places:
Australia
California
Resources:
Blivit
X-Ray Specs
Xanadu
Warehouse 23
Center for Weird Studies
Plots:
A Thousand Points of Light (NWO, blue)
Tax Reform (NWO, red) 2x
Military Industrial Complex (NWO, yellow)
Nevermore 3x
Secrets Man Was Not Meant to Know
Are We Having Fun Yet?
Go Fish
Murphy‘s Law
Back to the Salt Mines
Forgery
Deasil Engine
Cover of Darkness
Registered Trademark
Foiled
Straighten Up
Upheaval!
Jake Day
Nationalization
Angst
Sweeping Reforms
Giant Kudzu
Sorry, Wrong Number
Scandal
Double Cross

 The only “true “ Discordian in this year‘s final. Three copies of Nevermore ensure that the game will move into an unexpected direction. All other plots are useful to spread weirdness among the other players, although it is quite obvious that Sven did not design the deck for a win. The principle idea of this deck is as follows: Drive everyone crazy and wait what happens. Surprisingly, this strategy was enough for the second place.

 4th place deck by Christian Howe
Illuminati:
The UFO‘s
Organizations:
Clone Arrangers 2x
NSA
Men in Black
Cattle Mutilators
Rosicrucians
Fiendish Fluoridators
Templars
Vampires
Elders of Zion
Subliminals
Robot Sea Monsters
Resources:
Suicide Squad 2x
Perpetual Motion Machine
Orbital Mind Control Lasers
Plots:
Unmasked 3x
Society of Assassins 3x
Interesting Times (NWO, blue)
Energy Crisis (NWO, blue)
Pizza for the Secret Meeting 3x
Cover Up 3x
Savings and Loan Scam 2x
Sabotage 2x
Nevermore
Are We Having Fun Yet?
Murphy‘s Law
Deasil Engine
Cover of Darkness 2x
Deep Agent
Upheaval!
Annual Convention
Rewriting History

 The dreaded all-Secret deck, that provides a lot of immunity, but also bears many dangers: An early NWO The Magic Goes Away can freeze the expansion of your whole Power structure. You must unmask as Assassin and therefore have to pay attention not to lose your Unmasked and Society of Assassins - Plots (The Society of Assassins Plots , if used for unmasking, may not be canceled, btw). Pizza for the Secret Meeting and Cover Up are of course very useful for achieving your Goal, but opponents who steal them can easily destroy your dreams of victory when they use these plots against your groups. Sabotage, Murphy‘s Law, Deep Agent, Upheaval!, Annual Convention and Rewriting History are useful for disturbing greedy rivals, but be aware that your groups are not very Powerful for attacks against them.

 5th place deck by Harry Heumer
Illuminati:
Discordian Society
Organizations:
Burschenschaften
Nuclear Power Companies
Swingers
C.F.L.A.I.O.
Girlie Magazines
Big Media
Triliberal Commission
Democrats
Places:
USA
France
California
Person.:
Lady Di
Resources:
Crystal Skull
Orbital Mind Control Lasers
Perpetual Motion Machine
Plots:
Power to the People (Goal) 2x
Interesting Times (NWO, blue) 3x
Political Correctness (NWO, red) 3x
Military - Industrial Complex (NWO, yellow)
Secrets Man Was Not Meant to Know 3x
Sabotage 3x
Alien Abduction
Good Polls
Savings and Loan Scam
Nevermore
Murphy's Law
Senate Investigating Committee
Deasil Engine
Cover of Darkness 2x
Censorship
Back to the Salt Mines
Martial Law
Benefit Concert
Nuclear Accident

 A traditional “Destroy Conservative and control Liberal deck“, with the Discordian Society for immunity against the mighty Straight and Government groups. NWO Military - Industrial Complex, a clear choice for Discordia, extends the immunity to all Corporate groups. Burschenschaften and Triliberal Commission count for two groups towards your Goal, Lady Di should be easily controlled along with an Alien Abduction (This doesn't work anymore, as AA has been errataed) and Back to the Salt Mines can be used for control of your places, but note that a successful attack of your rivals against your key-groups can burn all your plans for world domination.

 

INWO at Spiel '97 Picture Gallery