INWO Deck: Lambs To The Slaughter

by Rudolf Gross

I got the basic idea for this deck when I was reviewing seemingly "useless" cards. Too many games revolved around the IRS, New York and the other mumbo-jumbo big-hitter cards. But how should the feeble Urban or Cycle Gangs compete for world domination against sheer superpower? Suddenly Illumination struck when I reexamined two of the most despised and rarely played cards: The Ninjas and the Gun Lobby.

The unique ability of the Ninjas to gain a token for every failed attack against them was the key. Who says that the attack must be commenced by another player? If one of your own groups attacks the Ninjas without success, it just _transfers_ its token to them. Power 1 and Resistance 7 tokens aren't all that useful, but the Ninjas are both violent and even magic. Give them New Blood and Cyborg Soldiers or the Necronomicon and you've got a bunch of monsters.

Even better: The special ability of the Gun Lobby enables you not only to sacrifice any worthless group token of yours to boost the Ninja-killers with a fake 'attack', it also allows you to draw a plot card for every token-transfer (since the Ninjas are violent). Plainly said, with this combo you can pay a power-1 token and gain a power-12 token and a plot card in return. Pretty efficient. As often as you please.

All those detested groups with minimum power, which give you these nice +x for any attack bonuses become highly playable this way, since their help doesn't require tokens. Keep their bonuses and sacrifice their to- kens to feed the Ninjas and draw lots of neat plots. Use the bucketloads of Ninja-Tokens to destroy lots of other players' groups - or your own groups, if you prefer to win this way.

To visualize this playing style: You will have a queue of small fry to pay their sacrifices to their Ninja masters and Gun Lobby priests. And if the secret masters please, they will be led to their execution payed with their own tokens like lambs to the slaughter, hence the deck name. Beautiful. Cthulhu will be pleased.

Initially I wanted to save this deck for the German Open tournament, but since I ended up as a referee, I decided to introduce it to the deck of the week contest. I wanted to demonstrate, that there are lots of cards which are still not played to the best of their abilities. Have a look at your black sheep cards once more. Win with them. Have fun.

I want to describe this deck as a basic set of 40 fixed cards, and a couple of sideboard 5-cards-sets. Consider the type of game (or tournament) you are likely to enter and choose the extension you prefer.

Basic Set:







First of all, have a look who is sitting at the table. If Shangri-La is in the game, lead with Vatican City no matter what. He is your worst enemy, and he can ruin your game if he starts to turn your key groups peaceful while Vatican City immunizes him against you. In the best case, you spoil his start and bounce, in the worst case you will be able to hurt him later. If the Network is in the game, make his day sour with Japan as lead. You didn't bounce ? Ask the others to help you destroy Japan a little later, which helps you keep a low profile at the start and denies a good card to both Network and Shangri-La (Keep in mind that Japan still counts for you as a destroyed - peaceful and government! - card, so your loss isn't great at all). If neither Shangri-La nor Network are in the game, lead with either Clone Arrangers or the CIA.

Early in the Game

Hold back. Complain that your draw is so bad. Try to get your token- generating Resources like the PPM and Center for Weird Studies out quick, and don't be shy using the Illuminati token for a second takeover, but _always_ stay shorter of groups than the rest of the pack, so that they don't concentrate on you. Here is the list of tasks you _must_ fulfill:

Once you have completed these tasks, you are virtually unstoppable. In order to do that, two Rosicrucians and a Crop Circles have been added. Use the Rosicrucians to draw New Blood (and Crop Circles, if necessary). Use the Crop Circles to draw either Ninjas or Cyborg Sol- fiers, depending on what's missing. If your draw is really terrible, use the Illuminati tokens to draw additional group cards, but this isn't a necessity often. Experience shows that you rarely need more than 4 turns for completion, sometimes even 3 turns suffice.

During all preparations, don't be aggressive! Join the pack against the actual leader and make sure that noone can break through, but don't attack enemy targets if there is the slightest possibility to draw their attention towards you. Save your tokens to draw additional plot cards rather than initiating combined attacks, no matter how tempting the targets may be. [Exception: If Shangri-La is in the game, see below] Finally, if you get The Big Sellout or Reload in your hand, you're set.

Middle Game

There is no middle game. You should have been able to take control of 4 or 5 groups by now, and that's more than enough. Crush them now!

The Big Punch

You're going to finish the game in this very turn, with a giant leap. Take over your fifth group. Play The Big Sellout and discard your doubles of Ninjas and Rosicrucians prior to discarding from the group deck. Make sure that you gain as many tokens with this as possible.

Announce that "I finally have to do something, if I still want to have a chance to win". Offer an attack to destroy on the leading player and push the others to help you. If they are reluctant, make clear to them in a friendly voice that otherwise you would be forced to attack some of their weaker groups, if you had to go alone, and that hurting the leader would help everyone. If you're reminded of your many tokens, don't forget to point out how "useless" they are for you (most tokens won't even have control arrows). In most cases, you should be able to get a handful of enemy tokens to help you kill your first group. After that, let the hell break loose...

You should have about 3 of the Mini-Groups out by now (Urban/Cycle Gangs, Gun Lobby, Robot Sea Monsters, Bjorne). Make them deliver their first sacrifice to the Ninjas with a few attacks to destroy. You deliberately _refuse_ to claim your bonuses for attacks to destroy, so they don't have a chance at all (if hostile powerful peaceful groups spend their tokens to boost the attacks - fine. As soon as there is a chance of 2 or better, spend the Ninja's spare token, which counts twice. Stops any attack dead in its tracks). Don't forget your plot cards if you have the Gun Lobby out. Save the tokens on the Illuminati and the Rosicrucians and hold back potential tokens on the CIA, Clone Arran- gers and Japan for later, in case you need backup for bigger attacks.

The Ninjas should have a couple of tokens by now, so let them do some- thing useful. If you have another Mini-Group in your hand, take it over from the Ninjas. After that, kill, kill, kill and kill. Here's the list of bonuses you _do_ claim now:

	 Ninja Power:			 |  +12
	 Ninja bonus to destroy:	 |  +2
	 Cthulhu's bonus to destroy:	 |  +4
	 Urban Gangs bonus to destroy:)  | (+2)
	 Cycle Gangs bonus to destroy:)  | (+2)
	 Ninjas' attack to destroy base: | +18 up to +22 per token.
If you own the Robot Sea Monsters, you gain additional +4 against Cor- porate, Government or Coastal places. This alone should be enough to finish off most of the second- and third-line groups. You've got alot of tries, after all. Don't forget to draw additional plots for every group annihilated. Once your supply of Ninja tokens drops down to 1, cash in the rest of the Mini-Groups' tokens, draw plots, and try again.

If they are sucked dry, shock your opponents by playing Reload (that's why power-1 groups are especially useful) and refueling up to 5 tokens. Sacrifice them in the usual fashion and continue. Still targets around ? You should have drawn a couple of +10 boosters by now. Start to cash in your bigger-groups' tokens and attack those enemy key groups you can finish off (don't forget possible agents like Japan).

Finally, you should have only one or two Illuminati tokens left. If you play with the aggressive sideboard and have two tokens left, Reload again and continue the carnage. When you're down to 1 illuminati token, you should have won by Hand of Madness or Up the Wall by far. Claim victory. If this is foiled by any means, use your last token to Seize the Time (don't forget your automatic takeover) and finish the job. Killing your own groups will almost definitely give you the last few destroyed groups you need - cash in the token of each group to destroy it. Lambs to the Slaughter.


The main advantages of this deck are its shock value and its speed. With relatively little preparation you can launch a powerful barrage without equal (it's not unusual at all to launch about 20 consecutive attacks to destroy with a base power of more than 18!). It's very flexible and can be adjusted to suit many different needs (see below). And it's an awful lot of fun to play it and enjoy the other player's faces. It's quite possible to over-fulfil your goal by 5 or more groups.


Your foes have three names: Shangri-La, Peace in our Times and Chicken in every Pot. Turning the Ninjas peaceful will hurt you badly (though this is what the Assertiveness Training and second New Blood are for). Both NWO's will lower the power of your violent groups to 0, making them lose their tokens. You lose a significant portion of your firepower this way, since you'll be unable to do the Reload trick, too. Plotkiller decks are nasty, too. But especially the defensive sideboard will give buy you enough time to get established and win. Except for that, this deck is pretty robust and absolutely Tournament-worthy.

The Various Sideboards:

Aggressive Sideboard

This is the most daring choice, since it leaves you vulnerable for massive NWO-counterfire by your foes (see below), but with its sheer firepower you can be absolutely sure that your attack will succeed. This is the choice for the do-or-die player type. If you have one specific player you hold a grudge against, this is your chance to wipe him off the board completely, while you enjoy the disbelieving look on his face.

Defensive Sideboard

Simply don't allow your opponents to thwart your plans with nifty plots, since you will refuse to let them enter the game. Another advantage is that you have more means to stop another player from winning while you're building up your setup. On the bad side, you might have problems finishing off tightly-connected power struc- tures with lots of alignment-matches and powerful groups. However, you should be able to compensate this with your global-power groups once the defense's tokens are gone, but this requires some experience and skill. All things considered, this is the best choice for tournaments (IMHO).

Customized Sideboards (examples)

So there's this stupid bloke always playing his generic fast-speed and high-power Gnome deck? Wanna teach him a lesson and still win?

Once you are established, play the Gnomes agent, and blast him with +31 base for destroys against corporate groups to kingdom come.

Going up against a Bavarian Government-Juggernaut? Want to see him break down and weep like a child? Here's the recipe:

Autonome is a German-only card: Power 3, Resistance 4, Liberal, Fanatic. Special ability: Gives +10 on any attempt to destroy a government group. Play the agent, have Autonome and Robot Sea Monsters in play, pester him with the DFTSTS NWO and enjoy the bombing cakewalk with a base of at least +37 per token. NY with Cyborg Soldiers under direct Illuminati control? So what?

If you believe to know what one or two players are going to play, you can easily add in illuminati agents and other useful cards to give your assault a little more punch. However, this is a gamble. If your opponents don't play the Illuminati you prepared, you'll have alot of semi-useless cards hindering your buildup.

Fun Sideboard

This sideboard is for fun only. Try to bring out the TV Preachers, the Church of Elvis, Vatican City and Bjorne. Award Bjorne the Nobel Peace Price. Hail him as the Messiah. Calculate his power to 16. Nuke him. Draw 18 plots.

Some general hints and other tricky ideas


Don't let your hostile feelings toward your archenemy cloud your judge- ment. If he managed to grab the PMM and Center of Weird Studies first and is spreading 'Kinder and Gentler' around the world, don't waste your time trying to stop him. Use the Rosicrucians to get Unmasked and Shan- gri-La in your hand and unmask. A cowardly shared victory is much better than a brave total loss. If you managed to get established and if you are confident to steamroll your foes, commit yourself by playing Shangri-La as an agent card and smash him.

Cyborg Soldiers or Necronomicon

I'd still prefer the Cyborg Soldiers, since they are neither unique, nor do they kill their owner once an 11 or 12 is rolled. The Necronomicon's advantage to be magic-compatible doesn't help much, since once the Ninja's violence alignment is lost, their power is reduced to 1 anyway. However, since Cyborg Soldiers are both rare and valuable, the Necrono- micon might substitute for someone just playing with a factory set, with- out a second Cyborg Soldiers.


The NWO cards you have are purely defensive. You cannot start your attack while your power-1 violent groups are out of play. Use the Rosicrucians to draw the corresponding NWO-color which is killing you. Play it _exactly_ before placing action tokens, and better have SMWNMTK ready to fend off reinforcement NWOs played by your foes. Cash in your power-1 tokens as quickly as possible, if you're afraid of more NWOs to follow.


Since most of your groups are violent, you just need 2 peaceful or government kills to be within reach ov victory. If really have prob- lems locating enemy groups, Bjorne/Japan/Vatican or Japan/CIA will do the job, but take this as a last resort.

Assorted Plots

Assertiveness Training should be seen as a insurance card in case your Ninjas became permanently peaceful. However, if you already started your assault, this is a nice card to play on the Rosicrucians, especi- ally if there's another Reload coming up.

Cover-Up is a nice stopper especially while you get established. If someone managed to break through to get your Rosicrucians via agent, a Cover-Up makes sure you don't lose control the over your deck.

Crop Circles allow you to scan through your group deck, so you can draw just the group or resource you need.

Double-Cross is nice once you get close to winning by a goal card.

New Blood is in the deck two times to give you a second chance if your Ninjas became peaceful, killing your previous New Blood.

Nuclear Accident is neat for dealing with an annoying Stonehenge. But its primary use is to wipe the Nuclear Power Companies clean. Play it as soon as you can once you start your big assault.

Secrets Man Was Not Meant To Know is your primary last resort defense, especially against poisonous NWOs. Unless you're playing the defensive sideboard, treasure this card and only play it if it would be the end of the world for you without its help.

Comments from the Author

I'm extremely interested in finetuning this deck even further. If you played Lambs to the Slaughter, I'd be very glad to hear from your game and your suggestions how to improve it even further. If you have any suggestions for changes, please contact me! I hope you enjoy this deck as much as I did! My email address:

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