Soylent Green

by Ralph Melton

This deck was inspired when Eric Tilton suggested I create a deck around the theme of "Soylent Green." At first, I was tempted to pun on the name and create a Green deck that took over groups with voracious speed. I then had another idea, when the following three facts crossed my mind: France, Canada, and California are all all useful in a Liberal Green deck. France, Canada, and California are all Huge places. The movie Soylent Green was based on a premise of global overpopulation. Voila: a "Soylent Green" deck should start out looking like a normal Green deck, but then pull a surprise victory with Population Reduction.


Group Cards

Plot Cards

The Beginning

Your lead puppet should be Canada, for its large bonus to take over all your other Green groups. If you bounce on this, be a bit alert, because the other player is probably playing a Green deck. Good second leads would be Al Gore, to try to rip away his Green Groups; the Rosicrucians, to get your Crop Circles and then get Canada into your hand (though this would take a minimum of two turns, so it may not be worthwhile); or the Science Alarmists, to slow his growth in Green Groups. Al Gore is probably the best second choice.

With Canada's +10 to control Green groups, you should be able to take over most Green Groups in your hand at a 10 or less. This will let you grow quickly; on each turn, you can make an automatic takeover, take a group with Canada, and then use your Illuminati special power to rearrange your power structure to move everything into protected positions and give Canada an open control arrow for the next turn.

The Rosicrucians and France are good candidates for automatic takeovers, since you do not get the +10 bonus.

Good groups to get out early:

Lama Ramadingdong should be brought out only when there are a few Green Groups in play to support him.


The midgame continues the rapid growth trend of the beginning of the game. Don't get too greedy--if you have more groups than everyone else and few action tokens, you will get pummeled. Make sure that you can defend everything that you take.

If there is another Green deck in the game, you should use the Science Alarmists to slow him down, and use your agents cards and high-bonus groups to take his groups away from him, and Lama Ramadingdong to defend against his counterattacks. (One dirty trick: when he attacks a Green group from his hand, you can use Lama Ramadingdong to defend it for free. Ideally, you should do this in such a way as to provoke him into spending more action tokens and succeed in taking the group, and then be weakened when you rip his groups away from him.)

Feel free to use NWO: Political Correctness to boost the power of your key groups. NWO: Global Warming is also good, but you should be a bit more hesitant with it, because it is as important to be able to remove a NWO: World Hunger as it is to have the benefit of Global Warming. (See the Problems section below.)

You will rarely need to use your +10's for attacks, but don't be reluctant to use them for an attack if you need to. Mostly, though, they will help you put up a stiff defense.

If someone else brings out a Huge Place, you should destroy it with a Disaster if you can avoid being suspected of Population Reduction. One way to do this is by using an Oil Spill (if you can manage to destroy with the low power of the Oil Spill against Huge Places) and then gloating about the fact that almost all your Groups get extra action tokens as a result of the successful Oil Spill.

Here's how the groups work in the midgame:

Al Gore
Works like a second Canada at sucking groups from your hand. A fairly key group.
Anti-Nuclear Activists
Gives a +4 on your attempts to control Green Groups. The power to destroy the Nuclear Power Companies is nice, but largely irrelevant. Either smite the NPCs if they need smiting, or make a profitable deal with the owner of the NPCs in exchange for amnesty from the Activists. A fairly key group.
Irrelevant for the midgame, except that it's ridiculously easy for you to take over. If someone else controls it, blast it with a Disaster or take control if it's easy for you. You would like to have it in play or in your destroyed pile by the endgame, though.
Can slurp up all your groups with wonderful ease. Take care to protect Canada; it's one of the primary keys to your growth and to your eventual victory. A very key group.
The Druids have two purposes in this deck: linked to Canada, they can protect Canada against Disasters, and they can attack and defend the Rosicrucians.
The EPA's ability to block the Nuclear Power Companies can be useful. Mostly, though, the EPA's uses are 1) as an easy group to take over, and 2) a Science Group to power a Hubble Trouble in the endgame.
France can defend all of your Liberal groups as a free move, which are most of the key cards of your deck. It's also a Huge place for the end-game, and a non-Green place in case of World Hunger. A relatively key group, though you shouldn't be too dismayed if it ends up in someone else's Power Structure.
Green Party
The Green Party increases the power of almost all your groups, and gives you a +4 on any attempt to take over Green Groups. Extremely nice; one of the key groups.
Lama Ramadingdong
Lama Ramadingdong can defend all of your Green Groups for free. Once you have Lama Ramadingdong and France, you will have a dismaying level of free defense at your command. This is one of the key groups.
The plot control the Rosicrucians provide is wonderful. However, the cards in your deck aren't well-suited to defending the Rosicrucians. Their best defense is their secrecy and their lack of alignments. If you can't keep them, don't bother to take them.
Science Alarmists
These are useful to slow down your opponents attempts to grow in Science or Green groups. They can also power a Hubble Trouble, since they are a Science group.
Weather Satellite
Use your Illuminati action to take over the Weather Satellite at some point, but don't worry much about it. Its uses are to mitigate disasters aimed at you, to boost Disasters you play on other people, and to serve as a bargaining chip for Disasters other people play on other people. Remember that the Weather Satellite doesn't have to be used in conjunction with Disasters; it can also be used in conjunction with other attacks to destroy Places.

All through the midgame, you should be arranging your Plot hand and power structure with an eye towards the endgame.

The Endgame

This deck could quite viably win with the Basic Goal. But that wouldn't have the surprise and cunning of the Population Reduction win. Here's a description of the ideal endgame:

After making an ATO and an attack, you control nine groups (or rather, three groups less than the Basic Goal), including Canada, California, and France. None of those three Places controls any groups, except, perhaps, another Huge Place.

You play a Hubble Trouble (a Freeze on Science Groups). You unlink the Druids from Canada. Then you play a Flesh-Eating Bacteria with a Back to the Salt Mines on one of your huge places, which gives you a roll to destroy in the range of 15-20. because of the Freeze on Science Groups, no one can defend the target. The target is destroyed, and both the Flesh-Eating Bacteria and the Back to the Salt Mines return to your hand, allowing you to repeat the process on the next Huge Places. After all the Huge places are destroyed, you reveal your Goal: Population Reduction and win.

It's unlikely that events will work out quite that ideally. But here's how to achieve that ideal and compensate:

You should arrange your Power structure appropriately at the end of the previous turn. If your Huge places control anything besides other Huge places, move those things away.

Use the Rosicrucians to gather useful plots, particularly the Flesh-Eating Bacteria and the Goal: Population Reduction. If you haven't been able to gather your good Plots, a Savings and Loan Scam combined with a Crop Circles can be very useful.

If you don't have a Flesh-Eating Bacteria, you'll have to use other Disasters, and you'll need more than one in your hand to achieve your whirlwind of destruction. If your Flesh-Eating Bacteria should fail or be missing, a Hat Trick can enable you to recycle a Disaster.

The Hubble Trouble may be irrelevant, depending on how many Science groups are in play. You can make the call on that.

Many of the Disasters in this deck are non-Instant, so that they can be combined with Back to the Salt Mines. If people use action tokens to defend against the attack, you can use Are We Having Fun Yet? to cancel their actions to bring the roll back up.


The biggest potential problems facing this deck are NWO: Interesting Times and NWO: World Hunger, and Shangri-La.

There are enough cards in this deck to win if NWO: Interesting Times is in play and you don't fail in any attacks. If Interesting Times is played after you go on your killing spree to thwart your victory, though, your only chances are to play one of your NWO: Global Warmings or play something to cancel the Interesting Times.

NWO: World Hunger will ravage any Green deck by stripping away all its action tokens. In an ideal world, you would be able to respond to NWO: World Hunger by playing NWO: Global Warming, and then, in mock-desperation to have action tokens, playing an Oil Spill one one of your Huge places to replenish all your groups. This is unlikely, admittedly--it is more likely that you'll avoid the World Hunger problem.

Shangri-La is a threat not because they will attack you, but because they may win with your cards. Canada, Lama Ramadingdong, and a well-developed Green Power Structure may provide 10 to 15 points of Peaceful power. You may have to be 'noble' and destroy your own Canada to prevent them counting for Shangri-La.


This deck is unfortunately dependent on Rare cards and the Ultra-Rare Flesh-Eating Bacteria.

Canada really cannot be spared; it is the cornerstone of this deck's growth and one of the keys of the victory scheme.

Goal: Population Reduction is the point of the deck. You could make do with one, with the usual risks associated with having only one copy of your Goal in your deck. If you don't have any copies of Population Reduction, you should play a different deck.

The virtue of the Flesh-Eating Bacteria is the fact that it is a reusable Disaster. If you don't have one, replace it with another Disaster that's effective against huge places, and acknowledge that you're going to have to have more Disasters in your hand for your final bid for victory.

The Science Alarmists are non-essential. Replace them with another group that's useful and cheap to take over.

The use of Drought is as a Disaster that can be aided by Back to the Salt Mines that is effective against Huge places. Giant Kudzu or Tidal Wave might be good replacements.

Oil Spill is more useful, though, since it has the effect of giving Green Groups extra action tokens. Use as many as you have.

Here are some other cards I considered adding:

Back to the Deck of the Week.

First posted: January 19, 1997

Last modified: January 19, 1997

Ralph Melton