by Mark A. & Jennifer Schmidt
We've been playing a lot of INWO lately and noticed that in a larger game it can take a while for the last player to get into the game. The more players at the table, the longer each person spent "out of the game," watching and interfering in the other player's actions, but unable to act.
This variant brings everyone into the game sooner by limiting each player to one action at a time while sharing turn phases. In each phase of the turn, all players act.
Setup for standard and OBD games remains the same, except the players do not roll to determine who goes first.
The turn sequence is as follows:
- Determine the player order by the following criteria and tiebreakers:
- Most groups
- Highest total Power
- Highest total Resistance
- Highest total Global Power
- Dice rolls, as required.
- Draw a Plot card, if desired. In an OBD game, do this in player order. You may purchase extra Plots with action tokens as a free action at any time, even interrupting the draw sequence.
- Draw a Group card. In an OBD game, do this in player order.
- Take ATOs, as described in the existing rules, in player order.
- Action Token Placement Phase: Everyone places action tokens as appropriate.
- Each player, in player order, may attempt one attack, take any other single action, or pass. Other actions include playing a plot that requires an action token, playing a New World Order card, or using their Illuminati action token to bring out a Resource. Free moves do not count as an action, and may be used freely.
A player may declare a win when a Goal is achieved. A win must be declared in this phase, allowing the other players to spend action tokens and use plots to stop the win.
This phase ends when all players have passed in order.
End of Turn
- End of Turn actions. Everyone must discard any excess Plot cards, Bermuda reorganizes, cards lasting to the end of a player's turn expire, free actions may be taken, and winning conditions are verified. If someone met the winning conditions, declared a win, and the other players could not stop the declared winner, the game ends here. Otherwise, everyone may take any free actions they like then begin the next turn.
As in the standard rules, nobody can attack anyone else's power structure in the first full turn. Any Illuminati that controls no Groups at any time after the end of the third full turn is eliminated.
- More Action! Consider only attacks as each player's action during the Main Phase. Players may play Plot cards freely and spend action tokens for various purposes, but each player's action only ends following an attack attempt or when the player passes. This allows each player to do more at a time without telegraphing future actions, but loses some of the feel of the variant as the other players watch and wait.
- Shorter Plots. Plots lasting until the end of the player's turn end only last until the next time around the table, not the end of the Main Phase, limiting the effectiveness of the Plot card. This can produce a vicious, bloody game.
- Time Limits. Increase the speed of play by limiting each player's action to a specific time. We recommend giving each player two minutes to declare an action. The declared action can be completed even if time expires. Use shorter times to really speed things up.
Article publication date: January 19, 2001
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