by Steve Brinich
Concept: Shangri-La is the natural Illuminati for a Place deck, with its defensive power. Combine this with the Flat Earthers (to strike Plot card gold among those Places) and enough Science groups to supply pacifying Frankenfood. Serve up the (chemically fortified and vitamin enriched) bread of peace.
As usual for Shangri-La, Japan is the obvious lead puppet. If you don't get it, Germany and Vatican City are good backup leads -- Germany is probably better because it is less expected and provides a bonus to take over Science groups.
Bring out the International Weather Organization and/or Red Cross as soon as possible; once it becomes obvious that you're playing a Place-heavy deck you will be a natural target for Disasters. Each of these groups adds +6 to your defense against Disasters (if you get them both, you'll have a total +17 defense against Disasters, which should discourage anybody who hasn't stocked up on Combined Disasters).
The ability of the Flat Earthers to give you extra Plot draws will become important when your Power Structure is developed enough to support it. Bring them out when you control 4-6 Places. Make them Kinder and Gentler, or make sure your other Conservative groups are adequate to defend them.
The best time to use the Flat Earthers' special ability is when you have a Computer Virus ready to modify the roll and/or a way to give them another action token (Center For Weird Studies or Red Scare -- note that Red Scare can probably reload another Conservative group at the same time).
Bring out Orbit One in the midgame, and place a Science group or two under its control. This will give you extra Plot draws. It might also make your rivals think that you're playing a Blinded By Science deck. This is a two-edged sword: it misdirects your enemies, but also makes them paranoid about how close you might be to victory.
The Power Satellite and/or The Big Prawn can be brought into play with Supernova once you take over Orbit One and/or Moonbase.
Bring out the Rogue Boomer as soon as you get a good chance; it will help you bring your Nations in line with the gospel of Peace Through Superior Firepower. If you have both the Rogue Boomer and the United Nations, that's a net +11 to take over a Nation.
You'll probably want to give the Power Satellite to Japan. The most effective use for The Big Prawn is to link it to Australia or Germany and make it Peaceful -- whichever one you choose can then use any one of your three Power-boosters (Citizenship Award, Emergency Powers, Nobel Peace Prize) to give it 12 points of Peaceful Power....
Back To The Salt Mines will help you take over more Places and help you defend the ones you already control (unless one of your opponents has a BttSM of his own, or a way to take away yours once it's exposed).
The Power boosters are used in a straightforward manner to increase the Power of key groups.
Computer Virus can alter key rolls (it's particularly helpful when using the Flat Earthers' special ability, since it can modify a roll that just missed into one that lets you draw a lot of Plots or increase your Plot draw by two if you rolled really low).
A Brief Attack Of Conscience is good for defending yourself against Disaster-heavy decks; Floating Point Error help in defending yourself against the Network. Hubble Trouble will block attempts to neutralize your Frankenfood (or attempts to disturb the peace with the Orbital Mind Control Lasers) and should also help against a hostile Network (many of the best Computer groups are also Science).
Waiting Period should be saved for a key stroke against a troublesome Violent group (like the KKK).
Use the Flat Earthers to draw Plots, and make groups Peaceful with Kinder And Gentler and Frankenfood. Note that Kinder And Gentler can be used on other people's groups if you have lots of Peaceful Power or an Illuminati action; Frankenfood only works on your own Places. It should be fairly easy to get to 30 Power.
An opponent with a Science deck can neutralize your Frankenfood as fast as you can dish it out. Use Hubble Trouble to stop enemy Science actions, or grab a key Science group away from your rival (Japan and Germany will help here).
Watch out if one of your opponents is playing Cthulhu (he might have enough Disasters to breach your defenses). In that case, avoid extending your Power Structure too far until you get one of the groups that boosts your Disaster defense, keep as many defensive cards (A Brief Attack Of Conscience, Computer Virus, Hoax, Near Miss) in your hand as possible, and convince him to go after softer targets.
A Network rival can be a problem. He'll want Japan, though this isn't that serious -- even if he gets it, you can still build a good Power Structure and Japan still benefits you as a powerful Peaceful group. The real problem is that he might go after Moonbase, Orbit One, and the International Weather Organization, stripping you of Science and Space groups and reducing your Disaster defense. The two Space Places should be defensible, since they have fairly good Resistance and no alignments (which makes it hard for anybody to aid attacks against them). The International Weather Organization will be more vulnerable (especially against a "Cyber Rights Now!" Network/Liberal deck); it may be wise to forego playing it rather than have it (and its Disaster-boosting ability) fall into enemy hands.
This deck as written uses five rares (Australia, Canada, Germany, Red Cross and The Big Prawn). The Big Prawn is the most important; include it if at all possible. If you can't get the Red Cross, add another Disaster-defense card to compensate. Other Places (preferably Coastal Nations) can be substituted for Australia, Canada, and Germany (in which case you will probably want to change the selection of Power-boosters to fit the new group mix).
Other cards that might be useful in this deck include Al Amarja (a Place with a useful Disaster-defense ability), Stonehenge (a Place that gives immunity to anything Magic) the Holy Grail (protects a Place), and World Cup Victory (+10 card for Nations).
First posted: January 31, 1997
Last modified: February 6, 1997Ralph Melton firstname.lastname@example.org