INWO Deck -- Death Geeks

by Doug Ingram

You laughed at them. You called them "Poindexters". You called them "geeks" or "nerds". But while you were at the prom with your dream date, they were in the basement, designing a better shortwave radio or a better pipe bomb and hatching the evil plots that would eventually serve Cthulhu (who else?).

The Deck




New World Order Cards



This deck is designed using the following "house rules":

If you want to play with duplicates, there is some room for it. I personally wouldn't take anything OUT of the group deck just for the purposes of putting in a duplicate, and I also would be very reluctant to expand the group deck from its current size of 13. After all, most games don't go longer than six rounds, and barring forced group deck discards ("Death to the S.C.A.!!"), you won't run out of groups until the 7th round.

I include an Ultra-Rare Assassins card in this deck (Flesh-Eating Bacteria), though I will emphasize that it is not at all necessary. If you don't have it, then you can sub in any other plot card or disaster. I offer some alternative plots at the end of this deck description. I also include a "special" card, Strange Bedfellows, which appears in Pyramid #18. This one isn't quite so easy to substitute since it makes such a potent combination when combined with NWO: Fear and Loathing.

Of the five rare cards I include in this deck, three of them can be fairly easily replaced by less rare cards. For example, the CIA can be replaced by Clone Arrangers (though that's such a popular card, I hate to use it) or any other powerful Violent group (Violent + Gov. is best, but Violent is crucial for Truck Bomb). Cover of Darkness is not crucial to the deck, but it is nice to have. There aren't any other cards that do quite the same thing. Finally, the Weak Link can be replaced by the less versatile Deasil Engine (also rare) or any other Resource-penalizing card (such as Lab Explosion).


One nice feature about this deck is that it really takes advantage of the fact that you get to draw three plots BEFORE you decide on your lead group. If you get a power increase card (Mob Influence, Self Esteem or New Blood) consider leading with one of your weak groups of the appropriate alignment (Phone Phreaks, Robot Sea Monsters, Int'l Weather Organization or Ninjas). It's nice to get those in play right off the bat with boosted power.

If you're paranoid about getting things out before other people, then you'll want to lead CIA or Newt Gingrich. CIA is probably best. You don't want to reveal the fact that you have Newt until one or two Liberal groups are already on the table. You'll be taking a chance on someone else getting Newt out first, but you don't want to scare those Liberals away. After all, with a direct attack to destroy by Newt on any Liberal group in the game, you'll be at a +18. I personally like being able to say "So what?" when someone lays down NWO: Apathy. :)

Early Game

First priority is to get out the Crystal Skull before anyone else does. In all likelihood, you'll be doing a fair bit of plot drawing in this game, and the sooner you get out the Skull, the better. This is doubly true if the Adepts are playing: monopolize arguably the best Magic resource in the game, and you've surely crippled him. If a couple of places are out by the end of the first turn, then start getting out your bonuses to destroy them with Cycle Gangs, Int'l Weather Organization and the Weather Satellite. If it doesn't look like a place-heavy game, then save these for later and check out the alignments on the table. Play your best groups for destroying the most threatening alignments in the game (i.e. Fiendish Fluoridators for Straight/Conservative, Newt for Liberals, etc) and start hacking away at power structures.

I've found that Cthulhu's first couple of attacks to destroy usually aren't all that unpopular, and if for some reason a lot of players aren't hoarding tokens for defense, you can get two or three groups in your pile by the end of turn 2. If you're feeling especially vicious, you can use Sorry, Wrong Number to help cripple someone for the entire game or knock them out entirely! Most of the time, though, you'll want to spread the pain around so as not to give any one player enough of a head start over the others to beat you to the win. As Cthulhu, it's better for you to have stronger opponents who have grudging respect for what you're doing (attacking everyone) rather than for you to just pick on one player, who won't be willing or able to help you prevent someone else from winning later. IMHO, of course.

Offense and Defense

The most annoying NWO for your deck is Don't Forget to Smash the State. This deck doesn't include any Yellow NWO's to counteract that, so if this is a popular card in your group, you might consider some of the alternative plots at the end. I find that I can usually work around such a card until it is counteracted, as it inevitably is by someone playing a Straight or Government deck. This is one case where you may have to use a little diplomacy if Smash the State is really cramping your style.

The NWO's I have included are all fairly obvious. Solidarity protects you from having your groups stolen and doesn't really hurt you since you care more about destruction than control (also slows down the other players). Interesting Times is a nice panic button to push when someone is on the verge of winning. Fear and Loathing is a must for any Cthulhu deck with its bonuses to destroy for opposing alignments. You have enough of a variety of alignments in this deck that you will always find a good use for Fear and Loathing. If you draw Strange Bedfellows, impress your group by using it in a powerful way, altering a roll by 16 if Fear and Loathing is in play or maybe even 32 if you've got the right combination of alignments. How often does a single card (given the Fear and Loathing NWO, anyway) change a roll by 32? Not even the mighty OMCL's can top that!

If there are a lot of places in the game, go ahead and pull out the Weather Satellite. Otherwise, it isn't worth the effort. Don't underestimate the usefulness of Mercenaries or Weather Satellite. Both have the ability to make a big difference in a game where Apathy is in play (groups can't aid attacks, but resources sure can!). If a few personalities are in play, pull out the CIA and the Ninjas and try a few assassinations with a +8 bonus. Fear and Loathing and a power boost card for the CIA can make these attacks unstoppable.

Defensively, watch out for the Network or any other player who is building up bonuses to take over Science or Computer groups. Keep them weak if you can, and save your tokens for group defense, especially on power-boosted groups. Don't blow more than two tokens in any given attack to destroy. If it takes more than two, it probably isn't worth the effort and it will leave you extremely vulnerable. Some of your groups are naturally defensible but not all of them.

General Strategy

This deck is probably best tuned to place-killing. If you have Flesh-Eating Bacteria in your deck, then this can be the key card of the game simply because of the fact that if the disaster succeeds in destroying the target, you get the card back! If there aren't any vulnerable places in your game, then go for the basic goal. Don't worry about your Science's not a negligible threat by any means, but it will come without effort thanks to your group deck. In fact, I would go out of my way early to get out CIA and Ninjas just to foster the illusion that this is a standard Cthulhu deck and not a science deck. If you need an extra science group at the end, Ninjas can be turned with Sufficiently Advanced Technology, so you really have eight science groups in your deck.

Be prepared to have one or more of your groups taken away, most especially Newt, who strikes fear into the hearts of Liberal deck-builders everywhere. If you can destroy two liberal groups in a game with Newt, then you've gotten about all you can expect to get from him. Heck, you might even consider killing him yourself with the CIA just to make sure no one else gets him.

Watch out for another Cthulhu player. You probably won't have too many duplicate groups, but even with the power-boost cards in your deck, you're bound to have some easy-to-destroy low power groups in your structure at some point that are ripe targets. Don't worry too much about power gamers, especially those with Straight/Conservative/Government combinations. With the Robots and the Fluoridators in play, you'll have +13 on any attempt to destroy such groups. The FBI works well against Violent/Criminal decks.



If you are missing one of the above groups or really don't feel comfortable with a 13-card group deck, you can always add Dinosaur Park for an even stronger anti-Place theme. Or Anti-Nuclear Activists, if you like to win via self-destruction (with Newt and the Anti-Nukes, this isn't a far-fetched strategy). If you're really looking for a use for Ultra-Rares, you can throw Militia into this deck. Good replacements for the CIA are: Clone Arrangers or The Mafia (best), Texas, New York, Pentagon. Of all the group cards in the deck, Weather Satellite is probably the most expendable and perhaps can be replaced by Dinosaur Park to make a stronger deck. I haven't tested this.

Given the discussion above, here are some other plots you might want to consider (which plots to sacrifice for these or for duplicates is left as an exercise to the reader):

Back to the Deck of the Week.