I Am Not Left-Handed!

by Steve Hatherley

This deck is designed around the fact that using Ross Perot and the Bermuda Triangle's special ability you can completely change the political leanings of your power structure. It starts out looking like a standard Power to the People Liberal deck but can switch to Let Them Eat Cake in a flash.

The name comes from The Princess Bride, from the wonderful sword-fight scene in which Inigo Montoya says 'I know something you don't know.' 'What is that?' 'I am not left-handed.' The name also suits particularly well because of the traditional associations of 'left' = liberal, 'right' = conservative.

Some resemblance to Ralph Melton's "Soylent Green" deck may be apparent - but that's mainly because that deck inspired me to put this deck (which I have had in the back of my mind for ages) down onto paper.

By the way, Christopher Burke notes that both Bill Clinton and Ross Perot are left-handed. Scary, eh?


Group Cards

Plot Cards

The Beginning

Yor lead group should be Bill Clinton, for his massive bonus to take over Government groups. If you bounce on this then your best bet is probably Teddy Kennedy. Good early groups include the Rosicruicans (get some disaster/assassination) protection, Teddy Kennedy (for his protection to Liberal puppets). The Center for Weird Studies is especially useful - use it to reload Bill and keep grabbing groups.

You can afford to take over the CfWS with your Illuminati action, because you can reload it straight away.

Good early groups:

The Midgame

You need to start destroying groups in the midgame. Ideally, you want to destroy Liberal groups. If you can do this without looking too suspicious (by destroying annoying groups, such as the Phone Phreaks or Canada) then this is good. You don't want your opponents to suspect that you are deliberately targeting Liberal groups. And you can always bank on the fact that you have Rewriting History - or use that as misdirection...

Don't get too greedy. It's easy to get carried away with Bill. You don't need *too* many groups to win with, so don't become a target. Your best defense is Good Polls - your power structure is largely Liberal.

Here's how the cards work in the midgame.

Bermuda Triangle
Essential, obviously, but don't forget to rearrange your power structure. Even if it means just switching everything by 180 degrees, do it. Your rivals will pretty soon get fed up of watching.
Bill Clinton
Bill has huge direct control bonuses for California, Finland, France and Teddy Kennedy. A key group.
Somewhere to destroy. Not very key, but useful for throwing the Atomic Monster at and easy to take over.
A key group. Their ability of taking their master's Alignment is essential. Give them to Bill Clinton if possible - he has a free side. Don't waste a control arrow on them.
The Druids serve a couple of purposes. First they can be used to defend a place against disasters, second they help power Crop Circles.
Not key, but easy to take over. Also easy to flatten with a Tidal Wave should you need to.
France's ability to defend any Liberal group as a free move makes it a key group in this deck. And you can always flatten it with a Tidal Wave.
Fred Birch Society
A key group in the endgame, but it needs to be hidden until then. Do not show this card to anyone!
Gay Activists
Useful for switching alignments prior to making an attack to destroy. Also useful in the endgame.
Key group - lets you get your cards out early. If someone else gets the Rosicrucians out then work to destroy them.
Ross Perot
Absolutely essential - but not until the endgame. You're going to use Alien Abduction to take over Ross. But before that don't let anyone see him!
Teddy Kennedy
Fairly key. If you can protect Teddy, he can protect your Liberal groups.
Center for Weird Studies
Useful for reloading Bill Clinton if you want to grab another card from your hand. Don't waste your free automatic takeover on this card. Spend your Illuminati action and then, if neccessary, reload it straight away.

Through the midgame you should be working to destroy two or three Liberal groups (although see above about being too obvious). You also want to get the Fred Birch Society into your hand, along with Ross Perot. The only Plots you need are Alien Abduction and Let Them Eat Cake.

The Endgame

The endgame is really simple. You make an ATO of the Fred Birch Society, and then play Ross Perot. Do anything else you feel neccessary to secure your win. At the end of your Main Phase you reorganise so that Ross Perot controls two previously-Liberal groups. Ideally one of them will be a Personality with the Dittoheads (who then also become Conservative). That's 6 Conservative groups - which with the Liberal groups you've destroyed during the midgame means a win with Let Them Eat Cake. Hurrah!

What to Watch For

This deck really suffers if someone else plays either Ross Perot or the Fred Birch Society. Faced with this dilemma your best option might be to go for Power to the People or the special goal.

Newt Gingrich might cause your Liberal groups some problem. If you can't negotiate with his owner, kill him. Similarly the Feminists might be problematic - so destroy them (destroyed Liberal groups are good for you, anyway).

The OMCLs could ruin your bid for victory. The deck does not have a direct way of dealing with them, so guile and deception may be neccessary. Alternatively make sure you have enough destroyed groups that you can afford to lose a Conservative group (or two).

NWO: World Hunger could cost several action tokens and a lot of power. Be prepared to use Secrets on it, or hold NWO: Fear and Loathing back just for the occasion.

Optional cards I had considered:

Flesh Eating Bacteria
If you are lucky enough to have surplus FEBs, you can use one instead of Tidal Wave. (Nuclear Accident is worth keeping as it affects the pesky NPCs as well.)
Phone Phreaks
Useful to move a rival's group prior to making an attack to destroy. Gets rid of those pesky Illuminati closeness bonuses as well. As they are Liberal they are pretty easy to take over, but they can make you a target.
A useful replacement for the Druids. They are not as useful at protecting against Disasters, but if you roll as many 11s and 12s as I do, you may want to include them.
Orbital Mind Control Lasers
My original version had OMCLs instead of a Clipper Chip, but given the difficulty of keeping hold of them, I dropped the OMCLs. If you think you can hold them, good for you.

Back to the Deck of the Week.

First posted: April 22, 1997

Last modified: April 22, 1997

Ralph Melton ralph@cs.cmu.edu