The Feast of the Resurrection of St. Bjørnë

Here's a description of a deck that I played a while back, based around the principle of killing Bjørnë as often as possible. I've dismantled the deck since then, so instead of giving a precise recipe, I'll describe the thought processes that went into the deck design, and allow the reader to adjust the relative quantities of various ingredients to his or her own taste.

This deck is based around the principle of killing Bjørnë, inspired by Don Fnordlioni's deck "Ho, ho! *BANG* F**k, I'm Dead!" Where that deck attempted to cash in on the thanks of a grateful world with a single, glorious Bjørnë-cide, this deck attempts to use Quantity instead of Quality, by killing Bjørnë and resurrecting him time and time again. And jumping up and down on the little bits singing Hallelujah... oops, I got carried away.

This is not a particularly winning deck, though it has won one game. It's also somewhat lacking in backup plans. It's more oriented towards amusement value than winning. You can use this fact to your advantage in negotiations; coax people not to pick on you, because it would be more amusing if you were left able to kill Bjørnë again.

The key insight to this deck is that the one way of bringing a destroyed group back into play that does not require a copy of the destroyed card is to use the Clone Arrangers to resurrect a freshly killed personality. Therefore, to resurrect Bjørnë as many time as possible, we'll make the Clone Arrangers into a resurrection machine with three action tokens:

The Clone Arrangers should be your lead puppet. If it bounces, or if someone else gets them, you'll have a hard time making your scheme work. If you see someone with the Assassins as an Illuminati, do what it takes in bribery, promises, or threats to get them to let you have the Clone Arrangers.

If we're going to use the Clone Arrangers as our lead puppet, we still need to get a Bjørnë into play so that we can pick on him like school bullies beating up a nerd. We should include more than one, both to increase our chances of getting one soon, and because something might happen to Bjørnë besides the cycle of violence we have planned.

Now that we have the cards to build a resurrection machine and a victim to resurrect, let's match it with a killing machine. Remember, we need to kill Bjørnë, not to destroy him. (See if you can work "I come to bury Bjørnë, not to praise him" somewhere into your witty banter.) I put in one of each Assassination, mostly for effect. The C.I.A. can power Assassinations on its own, and the Voudonistas are a potent force for Assassinations because no Assassination defense works against a Voudonista-powered Assassination. With this many Assassinations, it's worthwhile to add the Spasm of Violence--besides, it's amusing to imagine Bjørnë spontaneously combusting while being hit by a car.

(If you really wanted this diversity, you might want a Fanatic group to power the Hit and Run. I used the Church of Violentology because of it's destructive possibilities.)

In order to gain the greatest benefit from killing Bjørnë, we'll try to increase his power. One problem with doing this is that each time Bjørnë gets resurrected, all changes applied to him are eliminated. So we have to boost his power without changing Bjørnë himself.

Robert Dubisch ( made the excellent suggestion of using the Professional Sports to boost Bjørnë's power by 3. (Which also provides a Fanatic group to power Hit and Run.) This is a renewable resource of Bjørnë-power, but note that it can only be linked to Bjørnë once per turn, and the link goes away when Bjorne is killed. (If you manage to get Empty Vee, Recording Industry, and Professional Sports, you will draw eight plots each time you kill Bjorne. Yowza.)

(NWO: Peace in Our Time would also boost Bjørnë's power, but this may be a bad idea; it reduces the power-1 Violent groups in your structure to 0, losing their action tokens, and it increases the difficulty of killing Bjørnë more than it increases the payoff.)

We can increase both the ease of killing Bjørnë and the payoff from killing him by choosing the Servants of Cthulhu as our Illuminati.

We'll also include a few cards to increase the effectiveness of our assassinations:

(The Urban Gangs really aren't necessary. The Joggers would also give a bonus for Assassination, but it's a measly bonus, and there's no good way for this deck to take over the Joggers; it hardly seems worth it.)

Now, it is certainly fun to kill Bjørnë over and over, but it'd be nice to win, too. This deck has enough screwiness already, IMHO, so we'll combine it with a fairly standard Criminal Overlords Cthulhu deck.

Now, let's think about things that could go wrong with this plan, and take steps to counter them.

1. Someone else takes Bjørnë.

Not a problem. We can kill Bjørnë almost as well in someone else's power structure. The Voudonistas can nullify any defense against Assassination.

2. Someone kills Bjørnë at a time when the Clone Arrangers can't resurrect him.

We'll add a Clone or two to the deck to help deal with this, though it's an unlikely situation. We already have the duplicate Bjørnës that we need. If we have the Clone Arrangers, Clone is useful if we have cards duplicating any other killed personalities.

3. Someone destroys Bjørnë without killing him.

We'll put a Media Blitz or two in this deck in order to revive Bjørnë. Again, we have duplicate Bjørnës for this. Either Empty Vee or Recording Industry can power this, so we don't need to add new Media.

4. Someone destroys Bjørnë permanently, using And Stay Dead!, Bimbo at Eleven, or the Men in Black. (Or by turning him into a Vampire and then killing him.)

This would be a big problem, and there's not much we can do about it. It's somewhat ameliorated by the fact that most of my opponents are unlikely to put And Stay Dead!, Bimbo at Eleven, or the vampires in their decks, though Men in Black is more likely to show up.

We'll put in a SMWNMTK and a Hoax just in case an And Stay Dead! or Bimbo at Eleven appears (and because they're both very useful cards) and an Are We Having Fun Yet to have a chance of thwarting one attack from the Men in Black or the Vampires. Our best chance against these risks, though, is to try to persuade a player with either of those cards that it would be more amusing to allow Bjørnë to continue to participate in the cycle of death and rebirth. (Doing this successfully will require that we not annoy anyone else too much--which will require more restraint than Cthulhu is usually known for. Try to play this Cthulhu deck in the wacky, lighthearted way that the INWO Book recommends for Discordia.)

5. The Clone Arrangers bounce as the lead puppet, or someone else gets them.

This will put a serious cramp in our plans, and there's not much to do to cope with it. Your best shot is to buy off the other person who wants them. If we can't do that, though, there are still a couple of things that we can do. One possibility is that we'll lead with the Ninjas or the Voudonistas, and we'll include a Crop Circles in the deck, so that we have a ghost of a chance to use the Crop Circles to find the Clone Arrangers and bring them out first.

The other possibility: we'll turn them non-Secret briefly with Pizza for the Secret Meeting, and use our potent Violent Criminal structure, plus agents, to rip the Clone Arrangers away. Pizza for the Secret Meeting has so many uses that it's well worth including one or two.

6) We're playing in a two-player game, without Automatic Takeovers.

This is definitely going to cramp our style for getting out Bjørnë, Recording Industry, and Empty Vee. There are ways around this problem, though. Power Grab is a straightforward way of taking groups that aren't easily taken by normal methods. However, since all three of these groups are Media groups, we can also use Censorship to take them. (We have three government groups in the deck, so we shouldn't have too much problem powering a Censorship.) Since I'm not worrying about the size of the deck in this writeup, I'll include one of each.

The growth part of this deck is basically complete. We'll add a New Blood to help out either the Voudonistas or the Ninjas. (Probably the Voudonistas, who are more key to the deck.) Now, we need to work on defense, thwarting others, and meddling.

This deck is already pretty strong on defense because of the number of common alignments. The +10 boosters make for potent defense, too. To round out the defense, we'll add a Good Polls or two.

To thwart others, we'll include a couple of Disasters, particularly since we're Cthulhu. We already have enough Assassinations to take out any personality who needs to be taken out. When I don't have specific targets in mind, I usually toss in a Meteor Strike and a Giant Kudzu, just to have one Disaster that applies to every place, and one that's very powerful.

We don't need a lot of work for meddling potential, since this deck has a lot of powerful groups already and Cthulhu's bonuses. However, since we have so many Violent groups already, let's throw in a Truck Bomb to take out something that can't be easily taken out in a direct attack. (A Truck Bomb is a very fine way to take out the Nuclear Power Companies with multiple action tokens.)

That's the deck recipe. I'd welcome comment and discussion about the ideas.

Thanks to Robert Dubish,, for pointing out the Professional Sports, and to Glen Barnett,, for proofreading.

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Last modified: September 20, 1996

Ralph Melton