Ralph's INWO Consultants Page
I occasionally run into the following situation: I have a
fiendish and cunningly illuminated idea for a deck, but I have trouble
developing it into true evil glory. I want to talk to someone about
the idea, but I don't want to talk about it with someone I am likely
to play the deck against. Nor do I want to post about it on the INWO
list, because many of my likely opponents also read about the INWO
For that purpose, I have created this web page to serve as a directory
of INWO consultants. All of these people listed here are people who
have volunteered to help other players with INWO deck construction and
If you'd be willing to join this list, please send me e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd like as much
of the following information as you're willing to provide:
- Your name (or some convenient handle)
- Your e-mail address
- Your home page, if you want to mention it
- Your geographic location
- A brief blurb describing your INWO experience and habits,
for the benefit of people trying to decide whom to ask for advice.
Editorial policy: I let people write their own blurbs. I may edit
them; I will attempt not to change the content by doing so. I will
also allow any person who is on this list to make comments about other
people on this list. Again, I will edit the comments; in particular, I
will try to keep this page free from name-calling, although polite
criticism is appropriate.
In the following descriptions, 'I' should be interpreted as
referring to the person who is being described, since I let people
write their own descriptions. Where I have guessed at information or
written it myself, I have tagged it with my initials: (RLM)
- Glen Barnett
- Home page: none, but check out:
- Location: Sydney, Australia
I have come second in a tournament, but I don't claim it was due
to good deck design.
I designed the "No Beer!" disaster, and got a second prize in the
Pyramid design-a-card competition for "Choose Now!".
I write the INWO Quiz on occasion, which may imply I know the cards pretty well.
I created the "Take on a 10 list" (see the link above), which is handy when
you are creating decks, and the "Disasters vs Places" Table, which is also
handy for certain decks.
I seem to have a slightly different approach to some people - sometimes I can
spot the less-obvious thing to do.
In play (when I can manage to get a game) I have occasional bursts of
cleverness, interspersed between longer periods of mental deficiency.
I can design a half-decent deck, though.
I mostly play no duplicates with a few sealed deck games thrown in, but I've
played normal games as well.
- Duane E.K. Bridges
- Newport, RI
- Habits: I play mostly with version 1.0 of the rules, with one
house rule: a four card duplication limit. I own two full sets of the
Limited Edition, one for play, and one as a collection. I own all Assassins
cards, but I rarely use the Zaps or Freeze cards. All my opponents have
also had complete sets to build decks from. I am used to long sessions
involving truly vicious feuds and brutal combats. No isolationists
are ever allowed to win.
- Terry Chilvers
- Perth, Western Australia
- Hello, my name is Terry, and I am an INWO addict....
- Lots of consultants seem to be bragging about their card
collection, so I may as well join in. I have 2-3 ULE sets, and need
only No Beer! to complete my Assassins collection.... That feels
good, kinda locker room thang !
- I tend to play a focussed deck, built around one or two key
groups, and including duplicate plots as appropriate. I know the cards
fairly well, and act as the local rules lawyer. There are still
occasional miscarriages of justice however.
- I organise and referee tournament sessions, so might be useful
to others in this regard. I also maintain a web page which has details
on INWO variants, Glen Barnett's tables, Glen and Ralph's INWO quizzes
and a few other useful goodies.
- Colin Clark
- John Davis
- James Eddleman
- Atlanta, Georgia, USA (I think --RLM)
- Blurb: I ran 3 games at DragonCon over the weekend (Jun 29,
1996, I presume--RLM) and I had the best time doing so. I would love
being part of this page so I would be kept on my toes and have a
smaller chance of missing 'obscure' sections of the rules. For
example, my group hardly ever moves groups around, especially to
another player's power structure. This came up during the one game I
played and I was sure that this coudn't be done. Live and learn.
- Don Fnordlioni
- Pittsburgh, PA, USA
- Habits: Generally, I don't play Bavarian Illuminati, or going
for Power for Its Own Sake, mostly because a) Playing Bavaria is just
too high profile, and b) PfiOS seems too darn easy. Also, I don't
have/play with many Assassins cards (They're kinda silly, mostly).
- Experience: I've played INWO for about a year and a half, and
have had spurts of frenzied activity on inwo-list. I maintain the HTML
version of the INWO Unoffical
FAQ. And I play with Ralph.
- Ralph says: Don Fnordlioni is a worthy opponent of mine. He
usually plays decks that are amusing and fairly effective. I am proud
to share with him the honor of having a Deck of the Week whose
fundamental principle has been invalidated by the official rulings of
the INWO Masters. His comments on the INWO list are worth reading. I
look forward to teaming up with him again in another attempt to
achieve a Fratricide.
- David Gillberg
- Kalmar, Sweden
- Blurb: I've played INWO for three years, my first (and still)
favourite deck is based round servants but I also play discordian,
network, bavarian, bermuda and adepts. I play regularly (at least 5-6
times/month) with five of my closest friend and sometimes with some
- Peter Gleeson
- Home Page: None (sob,sob)
- Geographic Location: Auckland, New Zealand (you know, off the right hand
side and down a bit from Australia)
- Blurb: I haven't played in any tournaments because they don't
seem to run them in NZ. I have been playing INWO since it came out,
and before that used to play Illuminati. I have 2 Factory sets
(because they were cheap - well $25 US) and am about 4 cards away from
completing my Assassins set. This will all change when I win the
Pyramid Card Contest and have all the cards I ever dreamed of. When I
started playing, I tried all of the different Illuminati, and the
various themed decks (with appropriate goals), but now I play mostly
for fun, not to win. I play usually once every 2 weeks or so, when I
can rouse other gamers out of bouts of apathy. I have a fairly good
knowledge of the cards from both the basic set, and Assassins.
- Steve Hatherley
- Leeds/Chester, England
- I've been playing INWO since it was released, and was a fan of
Illuminati before that. I also maintain the INWO Unoffical
FAQ, that heretical tome the secret masters refuse to endorse. I
actually prefer random games (such as OMNI and OBD games) to designed
deck games, but that's because my strength is in getting the best out
of strange combinations. I also like to see Agents for cards such as
the Boy Sprouts and Margaret Thatcher, and you just don't get that in
a built-deck game!
- Ralph says: Steve participates actively on the INWO mailing list
and the INWO cards list, and his contributions are worth reading. I
remember him particularly for his discussions of ways to make INWO
less isolationist, and of ways for players to share victories. He also
maintains the INWO Unofficial FAQ, which is a big service to INWO players
everywhere. With his penchant for random games, he might be a good
consultant for players with relatively few cards.
- Albert Huang
- Home Page: http://www.imsa.edu/~lucifer
- Chicago, IL, USA
- I'm a pretty heavy INWO collector/player. I've got 2 complete
ULE sets, and i'm 6 cards away from a complete assassin set. I have
multiples of cards that I often play with (like secrets or
+10 cards) so I do know how to play with recursive decks.
- As for my playing style, i tend to dislike short (2 turn) games.
i prefer 4-6 player 4-5 turn games. The reason: my friends and I used
to each own decks that could usually win by turn 2. But fast decks
usually aren't interactive decks, so that took the fun out of INWO.
- Hence, we set up house rules governing deck construction which I
will gladly share upon request. Nowadays, I usuallly build decks that
can win with two or even three methods while maintaining a moderate
- Sam Kington
(main page) and
- I've been playing INWO for about a year and a half now, mostly every
week but with some long periods of inactivity. I have a factory set and
all the Assassins cards apart from some ultra-rares, with sufficient
duplicates of the most useful cards. I rarely win as I actively dislike
weenie decks, but instead try and go for devious decks that win in
surprising ways. My current goal is to have played with all the cards at
one point or another. Perversely, despite maintaining a web page full of
2000 homebrew cards, our group doesn't play with homebrews.
- Jamie McDonald
- Washington, DC
- I've only been in the game about a year, but I gave up Magic: Crack
Gathering for it so there must be some affinity between myself and the
Secret Masters. As far as Illuminati go, I don't use the Gnomes or
Cthulhu so don't ask. Since my Ultimate Plan involves a lot of
weirdness, I usually practice by using Discordia -- though not in any
sort of wimp isolationist manner. I just like weirdness. For wimp
isolationist wins I use Shangri-La. =)
- The Zaps I use are limited to "Sorry, Wrong Number" except for the
attribute freezes I throw in for defense or the final win. I love
playing obscure cards that work well in combination. (How many times
have I turned someone's group weird and then wallopped with the Comic
Books, not an oft-played card in my neck of the woods.)
- Anyhoo, that's me. Wish I had a cool name like "fnordlioni," but my own
will have to do.
- Ralph Melton
- Home Page:http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~ralph
- Pittsburgh, PA, USA
- Blurb: I've been a regular player of INWO since August of
1995. By now, I don't want merely to win -- I want to
win with style. I've developed a reputation within our regular playing
group for always having something up my sleeve.
- I will not brag about the size of my INWO collection, because I
worry that the secret of my success may be the size of my collection,
rather than my skill. It will suffice to say that I can build almost
any deck that I want.
- I am hoping to be an INWO consultant because I want to encounter
other people's clever tricks, cunning ideas, and Mad Schemes for
Global Domination! Muahahaha!
- Glen Barnett says: Ralph's knowledge and understanding of the
rules is as good as you'll find on the INWO list, I'd only rank Aaron
and Lynette quite as good for rules knowledge. He knows more about the
cards than me, and scores disgustingly highly on the INWO quizzes.
- Nik Olah (aka DJ MotorFudge)
- Toledo, OH USA
- I have been playing Illuminati ever since it first came out
(what is it, 10years or so now?) I even have my autographed Law
of Averages card still. Law of Averages works like Murphy's Law
or Assassination (original rules--Illuminati not INWO) but
retroactively changes dice rolls to 7. Steve was a guest of honor at
BASHCon 87 or 88 (don't remember what year it was.....). I most enjoy
theme decks, even if they don't win too often. I currently am having
fun with my 'Space Race' deck including one of every satellite
resource, 2 Supernovas, 2 Frankenfoods, etc...
- Rev. Pee Kitty
- Tampa Bay, FL
- I wish I could brag about my card collection as well; none of my local
stores carry INWO anymore, as it never sold big down here. Thus, 80% of
the Assassins cards I use are blank proxies. I happen to be a very avid
pro-proxy person; one thing I hate about some games and groups is the
competition to collect as many Rares and Chase Cards as possible so you
can pummel your opponent into the ground. With INWO, most of the 'killer
cards' are Common anyways, and degenerate combos are usually stoppable.
- I've been playing INWO since Limited was first released, and my Deck of
the Week ("Your Money is in Good Hands") is still one of my favorites. The
UFOs come second...I like seeing how many different Goals I can make
viable in one deck. I'm eagerly awaiting the SubGenius expansion; at the
last SubGenius X-Day Drill I was fortunately enough to get a shot at the
playtest cards--they are good! :)
- My current INWO hobby is designing a homebrew In Nomine expansion for
INWO, with the help of Alex Yeager, Sam Kington, Jesse Rooney, Marc
Sherman, and the others on the INWO-Cards list. The final result will be
up on my website when finished.
- Christian Stenner
- Bochum, Germany
- I probably know anything about constructing decks. I own every card as
often as I possibly need it. I win half the tournaments I attend. I`m
the actual and past winner of the German INWO-championships. My favorite
playing style is nowadays to play ordinary groups working together
without plots and plots that prevent other player`s victory (not the
attempt) and then grab the whole pie. I also organize tournaments and
translate the upcoming SubGenius. One might ask me especially about
German cards, but I know almost everything about the little nasty holes
in the rules. Look for my infamous Essen deck somewhere on the net.
- Kevin S. Tyrrell
- Boston, MA
- A database developer by trade, I'm a real statistics nut when it
comes to INWO, dreaming up all sorts of "what if" scenarios for deck
design, e.g., "How many Communist Coastal Nations can I make Fanatic
and Magic with Big Prawn, Frankenfood, Sufficiently Advanced
Technology and the Nutrition Nazis?" It was this trait that earned
me my 15 minutes of fame, when a scant 2 weeks after its release, I
compiled a huge list of Assassins cards with the help of a few dozen
players on the Net, and determined which cards were the Ultra-Rares
from the frequency distribution. I've got copies of all the English
language cards and enjoy testing out other people's decks for
them--I've tried out many of the DotW's--when I'm not developing my
own Fanatic Magic Communist Coastal Nation theme decks.
- Note: Though I use the handle, Kestrel, I'm not to be confused
with Kestrel, the Fairly Decent Dragon (aka Andrew Getting), who
also posts frequently to inwo-list.
- Mike Williams
- Rogersvilee, TN (a.k.a. the Middle of Nowhere).
- If you are a reader of Pyramid Magazine you could have possibly
heard of me. I made it to the final match, finishing sixth overall, in
the Multi-player Global Domination Tournament at GenCon '95 (Pyramid
issue 16). At the Global Domination Tournaments in '96, I finished
fourth in both the Head-to-Head and Multi-player events (Pyramid issue
22). And I must say, Paul Mehle (reigning world champ) is perhaps the
greatest INWO player that I have ever ran up against. I have sets of
the limited, and Assassins. At GenCon '96 some of my prizes included
the CONspiracy promo card as well as numerous German cards unique to
the Greman edition. I am focusing my trading, as well as deck
building, on German cards and German related cards presently.
- Alex Yeager
- Detroit/Ann Arbor (MI)
- I've been running convention events (including Illuminati past and
present) for 12 years; I'm the proud owner of two sets of Limiteds and
Assassins (and some of those nifty back-misprint cards!), and also
regularly play within my circle of friends. Strengths are in teaching
INWO to first-timers, inventing instantaneous rule clarifications
(correct and otherwise), and occasionally creating, but always
admiring, those breathtaking strokes of genius represented so well
in your typical Deck of the Week. I also work for a performance
improvement company. Keep sending in those surveys, mortals.
Some other resources for INWO strategy ideas:
Back to Ralph's INWO page.
Back to Ralph's Home page.
Last modified: May 28, 1997