This article originally appeared in Pyramid #27

Alien Invasion

A Solitaire Variant for Illuminati: New World Order

by Scott Tengelin

As the UFOs positioned themselves above the major centers of Earth's government and commerce, the whole world held its breath. Finally, the moment came, and they took all our . . . convenience stores! Next, they headed over to our day-care centers! There seemed to be no stopping them. But They weren't going to let this continue. They would make them pay.

"Alien Invasion" is a solitaire variant for Illuminati: New World Order, in which the Illuminati are united in an attempt to stop the UFOs from taking over the world. Use of INWO Assassins is highly recommended.


The UFOs have set their sights on a number of organizations, people and places around the world. From your collection of INWO cards, remove the following and place them in a stack:

6 Groups with Power greater than 4.

6 Groups with at least three alignments.

6 Corporate Groups.

6 Magic Groups.

6 Secret Groups.

6 Computer Groups.

6 Weird Groups.

6 Peaceful Groups.

These represent the targets of the UFOs. Be certain to collect these Groups in the order listed above. Make sure cards selected do not qualify for any category above them. (Phone Companies has a Power of 5, so do not select it to qualify for a Corporate or a Computer group; it already qualifies as a group with a Power greater than 4.

For best results, put all of your groups that qualify into these groups into eight piles, and choose six random cards from each pile.

Once you have selected these 48 cards, shuffle and deal them into eight piles of six. The arena has been set.

The UFOs have their own reasons for taking over the world. Shuffle one of each of your Goal cards in a pile, and select two at random. These are the secret goals of the UFOs.

Place the UFO Illuminati at the top of the playing surface, and lay out the other nine Illuminati below the UFOs. Place the two Goal cards face-up, next to the UFOs. The whole playing area should look like this:

Bavarian IlluminatiBermuda TriangleGnomes of Zurich
Adepts of HermesSociety of AssassinsThe Network
Discordian SocietyShangri-LaServants of Cthulhu

Group PileGroup PileGroup PileGroup Pile
Group PileGroup PileGroup PileGroup Pile

Game Play

Begin by turning over the top eight Group cards. Take all cards that qualify for either of the UFOs' goals, and place them underneath the UFOs. The Goal cards and their victory conditions are:

Blinded by Science: All Science Groups.

The Corporate Masters: All Corporate Groups.

Criminal Overlords: All Criminal Groups.

Earth First: All Green Groups.

Fratricide: At the end of the game, if any two Illuminati have no group cards beneath them, the UFOs win.

Hail Eris!: All Weird Groups.

The Hand of Madness: All Violent Groups.

Kill for Peace: All Peaceful Groups.

Let Them Eat Cake: All Conservative Groups.

Population Reduction: All Huge Places.

Power to the People: All Liberal Groups.

Up Against the Wall: All Govern-ment Groups.

Once the UFOs have taken their fill, it is the others' turns:

Place all remaining Groups with Power greater than 4 underneath the Bavarian Illuminati.

Place all remaining Groups with more than two alignments under the Bermuda Triangle.

Place all remaining Corporate Groups under the Gnomes of Zurich.

Place all remaining Magic Groups under the Adepts of Hermes.

Place all remaining Secret Groups under the Society of Assassins.

Place all remaining Computer Groups under The Network.

Place all remaining Weird Groups under the Discordian Society.

Place all remaining Peaceful Groups under Shangri-La.

Place whatever's left underneath the Servants of Cthulhu.

Once this is done, turn over the next eight Group cards and repeat the sequence. The UFOs take their Groups first, followed by the Bavarians, then Bermuda, and so on. As soon as all groups are taken over, count the Groups under each Illuminati. The one with the most Groups wins.

Chances are, the UFOs will win every time. But now it's time to reveal the Hidden Plots of the Illuminati.

Advanced Game

Assemble a deck of 30 Plot cards, with no more than three of the same card. Many of the cards you use in regular INWO play are useless here. For instance, Stealing the Plans won't work, since there are no other players to steal from (use Hat Trick instead). Bribery and Murphy's Law both effect die rolls; since there's no die-rolling, these cards are useless.

Begin the game with three Plots. You may play these at any time. Some special notes: All takeovers are considered both Automatic and successful. Thus, Botched Contact and Cover-Up (when played on a Secret Group) both have the same effect - preventing an Illuminati from taking that Group this turn.

Other notes: Plots do not require action tokens. Zaps last one full turn, and are then discarded. New World Orders last the entire game (unless negated normally). Both of the UFO's Goals are considered Exposed. Any Groups destroyed by Disasters or Assassinations are placed under the Servants of Cthulhu - and are always successful.

As a final note, any Group whose alignment randomly shifts does not have that alignment. For example, Bill Clinton is not considered Liberal in this game.

At the end of each turn, discard all unused Plots. Turn over the next eight Groups as usual, then draw three more Plots. If at any time you exhaust your Plot deck, reshuffle all used Plots and draw from the same pile.

Deck Construction Tips

As you tune your Alien Invasion deck, you will find many Plots more useful than others. Zaps are extremely useful, and Foiled! is essential. Disasters and Assassinations can destroy Groups that the UFOs might have taken for themselves.

Playing some of the Illuminati against each other also works well. Try using Power-increasers (Citizenship Award and New Blood) to make more Groups qualify for the Bavarians. Cards that add or change alignments (Nationalization or Straighten Up) can give the Bermuda Triangle an advantage. While this may take away from the other Illuminati, it will make things tougher on the UFOs.

You now stand before the assembled Secret Masters, manipulating them into a web of intrigue that may save the world - or send it to its doom. Can you take over the world before the UFOs do?

Article publication date: September 1, 1997

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