The Heimlich Maneuver

An Adepts of Hermes deck by Mike Dalton

Heimlich is a German word meaning "secret"; the title therefore means "The Secret Maneuver". So, if your friends ask you what your deck is called, you can tell them without their catching on to your nefarious plans! And, of course, "The Heimlich Maneuver" also refers to an unsettlingly violent anti-choking procedure: if your friends get too uppity, threaten to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on them; while they're busy puzzling this out, CRUSH THEM and TAKE OVER THE WORLD!


Adepts of Hermes





Your strategy should be to reach the Basic Goal, with the help of one or two Magic Resources and, ideally, two or three doubled Groups courtesy of Criminal Overlords. The deck is overwhelmingly defensive - all the Groups save one are Secret, which will virtually eliminate any casual attacks on your Power Structure. Furthermore, Secret Groups tend to have high Resistance, making them difficult for your opponents to take over even when they circumvent the Secret attribute. And, with the incredible control over your Plot deck (via Rosicrucians, the Shroud and the Crystal Skull) you have, getting the Plot cards you need should be a trivial task. Finally, the interesting and powerful special abilities of Secret Groups, while they should not be taken for granted, are invariably useful in bothering your opponents (N.S.A., Cattle Mutilators + Templars); they can also be an aid in making your Structure more defensible (Elders of Zion).


Junk Mail. This will help you overcome the high Resistance of your Groups when you are controlling them from your hand. If there is another Adepts player, you may want to lead the Rosicrucians instead as a preventive measure (even though other Adepts will probably lean toward Stonehenge); similarly, if there is a Cthulhu player, leading the Clone Arrangers is a possibility. Still, if in doubt, go with Junk Mail.

Early Game

Protect Junk Mail. This is your baby; your other groups can take care of themselves. The +6 to attack Secret Groups that it offers is what will permit you to build a respectable Power Structure. Use Commitment if you have it; you don't want JM to fall into enemy hands. Additionally, don't build anything off of JM; that will just make it more of a target. Use your Plot deck control to keep a Commitment, Good Polls or The Big Score in hand to defend against attacks.

If you can, get your Magic groups out early; you'll have a net +12 to control them, not counting alignments. Use your Power Grabs for non- Magic groups. Build moderately quickly; strike a deal with any other Adepts players to let you have the Shroud and the Skull, in exchange for their having the rest of the Magic Resources.

Finally, take advantage of the Adepts' special ability; don't be afraid to attempt to control Groups from your hand on a 7 (or 6, or even 5) or less, if you can do so by spending only one token. Small risk, great gain.


At this point, you will be considered a threat. Go with it. Use Good Polls (Criminal will probably be your best bet) and Cover-Up to fend off the hordes; use World Hunger just to be cruel. Are We Having Fun Yet? is some insurance against an attack from the Tabloids (or from Count Drac if you have the Vampires in play), though you should try your hardest to destroy the Tabloids if they ever hit the table.

Now, how do you get them off your back? Simple. Offer Junk Mail as a sacrifical lamb. When someone else plays Upheaval (and they always do), offer to remove JM if they'll "just stop picking on" you. Or, even better, offer it to Cthulhu - a slavering monster like that won't care if he controls or destroys it; just make sure you help with the M.I.B. so it will be gone for good. If need be, destroy it yourself (NSA + MIB = 15 vs. JM's 1); they won't expect this, and it might confuse them into believing that you're going after a "Destroy X Groups" goal . You see, at this point in the game, your opponents will be able to take JM from you - just make sure that, since you can't have it, no one can. You shouldn't really need its +6 by this time, if you're using alignments cleverly.

At this point, you may (or may not) have a control-arrow problem. Now is the time to use Let's Get REALLY Organized. Barring that, the Elders of Zion's special ability can help you free up a blocked arrow - however, this ability is very pricey (EoZ's action + Illuminati action) so use it sparingly.

Also, during the midgame you should use Power Corrupts or Assertiveness Training to add an appropriate alignment to one of your groups, so that it will be doubled by Criminal Overlords. You only have one group (Clone Arrangers) that meets the Violent/Criminal requirement of that Goal by itself, so it's up to you to make other groups qualify. With three other Criminal groups (Cattle Mutilators, M.I.B and [the probably destroyed] Junk Mail) and one other Violent group (Robot Sea Monsters) you should be able to get two or three groups to qualify for CO. It's expensive (that is, you will probably have to use an Adepts action), so you want to get part of this task out of the way before the endgame; however, if you convert more than one group, you are liable to tip off your opponents to the CO strategy, so just convert one right now.


You should have a Criminal Overlords by now, as well as 6-7 well-protected groups and a Magic Resource or two. This is when you should use Assertiveness Training and Power Corrupts to convert another group (or two). Have an extra Hoax/Secrets in your hand as you show your Goal card, since your changed groups will be vulnerable to Backlash. Alternately, I personally like to attack an additional Group out of my hand, before showing the Goal, to give myself a one Group "cushion"; however, that's just my own twisted style of play.

Don't try too hard to get three doubled Groups and both Magic Resources in play; you don't need them. My average is two doublers and one Resource - that, plus seven groups, is enough for an 11-Group win; You could, however, win with as few as five groups if you max out on doublers and Resources.

Building the Deck

While there are only a few duplicates in this deck, there are a lot of Rares; however, since there is only one Rare duplicate (Cover-Up), someone with a OWE set and a few other cards should be able to approximate it. If you only have one Cover-Up, throw in an extra Hat Trick - this shouldn't be a problem, as Exposed doesn't seem to be used very often (around here, at least), and there will probably be very few successful attacks against your Secret Groups at any rate. The use of the Plot deck should be pretty evident; many of the cards are either staples of any deck (Secrets . . ., Hoax, Power Grab etc.), alignment-changers or other generally useful cards.


Again, sub a Hat Trick for a second Cover-Up if you don't have it; also, depending on your personal style of play, you may wish to replace a Hoax or the 18 1/2 Min. Gap with another Big Score, Albino Alligators (for your Weird groups to help protect JM) or Commitment. My own tastes run toward the plot-stoppers, but whatever works for you . . .

Additionally, though I've never tried this, this deck would probably be a good one to hand to an INWO newbie - several powerful and interesting Groups, a defensive strategy, and opportunities for either subtle and manipulative or straightforward play.

Back to the Deck of the Week.