by Carey Clevenger
"When you've been stealing ships and airplanes as long as we have, it's only a matter of time before you start stealing everything else."
And so begins the premise of the deck, at least poetically.
From a more realistic standpoint, this deck sprung from my desire to build a deck that could actually win with Bermuda's special goal. Of course, there are huge problems with making the alignments work together; all of the opposition makes defense difficult, not to mention the problems you run into when you may want to assist an attack.
The key to the special goal is, not surprisingly, the special goal itself (if this is a catastrophic revelation to you, perhaps you're not cut out for this World Domination thing). So let's take a look: "Control a total power of at least 35, counting Bermuda's own power, and at least one group of each alignment." The first part's easy: thirty-five power, I've had 50 or more playing Bavaria. The second part is a bit trickier: "One of each alignment." So I need all ten alignments, in a deck that will work together? Seems impossible, what with all of the opposite alignments (which are eight of the alignments), and Fanatic (which is always opposite). So it's just not feasible, right?
That's what I thought. But the thing to keep in mind is that good ol' alignment number ten, Criminal, has no opposite.
Let me rephrase that if you haven't caught on yet. You can build a deck of all Criminal groups, and since Criminal has no opposite, you won't be missing an alignment that would be its opposite.
Once you figure that part out, the rest is easy. In fact, the deck is more or less eleven cards with some handy plots thrown in. You can flavor the deck for whatever sort of group you usually play against, but after you get past the "Essential" cards, the rest is just stuff I put into my deck. Feel free to change things to be as evil as possible for your playing style.
As I said earlier, this is just a framework. It would be possible to accomplish Bermuda's special goal with only those cards. Of course, it would be a pretty boring game, and it would be way too easy; i.e., it wouldn't be INWO. So, here are my suggestions on the other 34 cards.
Lead with New York or The Mafia; either are good choices. Link the Cyborg Soldiers to this group as soon as possible; you don't necessarily need the extra power for the win, but it makes things much easier. Once you've done this, either group will have a 14 power to take groups (without even counting alignment bonuses). If you chose New York, only two groups in your deck will have alignments opposed to it (the Peaceful Telephone Psychics, and the Corporate Junk Mail); for the Mafia, only one group (Telephone Psychics) has an opposed alignment. For all of the other groups in your hand, you're going to have *at least* a +4 alignment bonus, which gives you a total attacking power of 18. This group is going to do most of your dirty work.
Try to take powerful groups (with control arrows) as soon as possible. Try to get out either The Mafia or New York (whichever you didn't lead with, naturally) as soon as possible. It won't be hard to draw them; over half of your cards will be in your hand at the beginning of turn one, and another will be in your power structure, leaving only five to draw. With the Mafia in your power structure, you'll get an extra +2 to snag up those Criminal groups. Spend the first few turns picking up groups until you have New York, The Mafia, and possibly the Loan Sharks. New York and The Mafia should most definitely be directly controlled by Bermuda; at least for now.
Attacks and defense are pretty straightforward: you attack a Criminal group, you can assist with Criminal groups. If you get attacked, you can defend with...you guessed it, your Criminal groups. Any time you think someone may try to interfere with your attacks, either play a "Big Score" right off or make it Privileged. Or just throw in lots of power.
The goal here is to grab groups up as quickly as possible, and your plots should help. New York and The Mafia in the same power structure make it a no-brainer; power isn't a concern. And since Loan Sharks get +1 power for each Criminal group you control, they're very quickly going to become your most powerful "unmodified" group (especially with New York giving them an additional +1). Of course, they'll be easy to overlook when your opponents see the 13 or 14 power group you have (thanks to the Cyborg Soldiers).
Most of the groups are self explanatory: they provide alignments you need to fulfill your goal. At first glance, however, Lyndon LaRouche seems completely useless to your goal; and he is. Feel free to play up the "Oh no, his alignments don't count for goals!" or mock shock when you "Accidentally" count his alignments in and They point it out to you. While it may seem silly to put a card in that won't help your goals, he actually will; indirectly. Because once he controls the Dittoheads, they're going to gain all of his alignments.
Day Care Centers is a fun card to use for this deck, because their special ability can help any of your goals. Assuming you have Gun Control in play, you can link the Day Care Centers up to whatever group you need to fulfill a goal. Power for its own Sake? Link it to New York. Hail Eris? Link it to Lyndon LaRouche. Criminal Overlords? Link it to New York, The Mafia, or Loan Sharks (worst case scenario that someone has offed one of the four Violent Criminal groups you started the game with). And being Bermuda, you can move your whole power structure around right before you declare a victory.
Before you close in for the kill, try to keep a Big Score in reserve for defense, and play out your Good Polls if you need to. Try to pick an alignment you have a lot of for maximum defense. (That would be "Criminal" for those of you in the back.)
A lot of the plots in the suggested deck design are aimed at Lyndon LaRouche in some way. This is because taking the Dittoheads using him is going to be tough, and no one else can make that attack to control. Ideally, playing out Law and Order (or even Bigger Business) while Gun Control is in play, in a power structure with New York, will give ol' Lindy a 5 power. This isn't going to help much, however, because the Dittoheads and Lyndon are both Fanatic, so A Thousand Points of Light will be useful here. Alternatively, make Lyndon a Celebrity Spokesman, and/or give him a Sweepstakes Prize. Chances are that you're going to have to assist with your Bermuda token, or at the very least, play a Big Score. If you're playing with automatic takeovers, make the Dittoheads your choice as soon as you have Lyndon. Of course, worse comes to worse, you lose them: slide the Day Care centers over onto his control arrow, and steal his alignments that way. Their lack of initial alignment is a small obstacle compared to their low resistance: snag it with your "high power" group and move it where you want it at the end of your turn.
Additionally, if you need power above all else, you can put Lyndon in control of New York and give him a 7 *printed* power. Then start adding the bonuses...don't forget that the Dittoheads give a +2, and how much fun NWO cards are going to be for him and his like-minded drones. Or even the +1 power from New York, or the +1 power Loan Sharks get for each Criminal group. The mind reels...
Chances are, if you played your cards right (no pun intended), you'll be able to win in three or four turns; either by the special goal, or one of your goal cards. Keep New York, The Mafia, and Lyndon as direct Illuminati puppets. Move the rest of the groups around however you see fit. Making nifty patterns is a good choice, although providing maximum protection for the "One of a kind" alignments is certainly not a bad idea. If you've been able to keep the MCL's up towards the end, losing one alignment won't matter too much; you can just glue it on somewhere else.
Make sure you have your lackeys send enough boats to carry your loot off.
After I submitted the initial version of the deck (as you see above), Ralph had some good good suggestions. The only reason I didn't include them above is that I haven't tried them out yet.
Ralph made the recommendation of using the Phone Phreaks instead of the SLA to get the Liberal Criminal group, because Bermuda getting the SLA seems a little too obvious (it always was in the original boardgame), and your opponents probably won't let you take them over that easily. This is a very valid point, and certainly something to keep in mind. I looked at the Phone Phreaks when I originally built this deck as an alternative, but I decided to go with the SLA; there was always one player in the group who always played with the Network, and through experience, I knew that my chances of getting the SLA were much better than trying to take the Phone Phreaks from my hand (or even from his power structure) as protective as he was of all the computer groups.
Ralph also suggested a really good idea that I hadn't considered to alleviate the difficulties Lyndon has taking the Dittoheads: add Manuel Noriega, and use him to take the Dittoheads, but move them onto Lyndon at first chance. This is a really sneaking idea, because Manny's power is likely going to go through the roof under Gun Control, and every little bit counts. He also has that cool "Borrow my Alignments" trick.
Another alternative Ralph suggests: Ollie North. While Ollie isn't terribly useful for his special ability, he *is* a Conservative Criminal Personality, and he could just as easily control the Dittoheads. In fact, if you went with Ollie and the Dittoheads, you wouldn't need to use Lyndon at all (provided you have the SLA to give you a Weird alignment).
First posted: April 18, 1998
Last modified: April 18, 1998Ralph Melton email@example.com