by Brian Joughin
There can be no doubt: Deluxe Illuminati is one of the classic games of strategy, subterfuge, politicking, and backstabbing. This variant of the game for four or more players throws a wrench in the works by forcing players to share Illuminati.
This game is similar to Deluxe (or Classic) Illuminati, and works for four or more players. Each player, however, shares partial control of two different Illuminati, with one other player each. When one Illuminatus' conspiracy has fulfilled a winning condition, both players sharing control of that conspiracy win the game.
An Illuminatus is dealt between each sequentially seated pair of players. This Illuminatus is shared by the two players. If the UFOs are one of the Illuminati in play, the two players on either side of it, who will share control of it over the course of the game, should walk away and jointly decide on its special winning condition. Each Illuminatus has one turn's income placed on it, as normal. Roll dice for each Illuminatus. The highest roll determines the Illuminatus that will go first. As in the normal game, play will proceed counterclockwise by Illuminatus. Shared control requires that play order by player be a little different.
A turn refers to the following basic sequence:
- The player to the right of an Illuminatus takes an Illuminatus First Action, defined below.
- The player to the left of the same Illuminatus takes an Illuminatus Second Action, defined below.
- The dice are passed to the player on the right side of the next Illuminatus to the right.
To illustrate, imagine Alan, Bob, Craig, and Darla are playing Shared Illuminati, and are seated counterclockwise in that order. If The Society of Assassins is between Alan and Bob, The Bavarian Illuminati is between Bob and Craig, The Network is between Craig and Darla, and The UFOs is between Darla and Alan, then the sequence of actions for one round would be as follows:
- Alan takes an Illuminatus First Action for The UFOs.
- Darla takes an Illuminatus Second Action for The UFOs.
- Bob takes an Illuminatus First Action for The Society of Assassins.
- Alan takes an Illuminatus Second Action for The Society of Assassins.
- Craig takes an Illuminatus First Action for The Bavarian Illuminati.
- Bob takes an Illuminatus Second Action for The Bavarian Illuminati.
- Darla takes an Illuminatus First Action for The Network.
- Craig takes an Illuminatus Second Action for The Network.
Do note that a given player will not be taking two actions consecutively, but will take the first action for one Illuminatus, and the second action for the next Illuminatus, with two actions by other players between them. Theoretically, this makes a player think twice about doing something not to the benefit of one of his Illuminati in an attempt to benefit the second.
Also note that when a card mentions a turn or player's turn, it should be read as an Illuminatus turn in this variant.
Illuminatus First Actions
During an Illuminatus First Action, every player is the controller of the Illuminatus on his or her left. No player has any access to the Illuminatus on his or her right. A player may not use the special cards or abilities of the conspiracy on his or her right, nor may they examine the money or hidden special cards of the conspiracy on his or her right. The player performing the Illuminatus First Action does the following:
- Take the income of all groups in the conspiracy as normal.
- Draw a card. If it is a special card, place it face down without showing it to the other controller of the active Illuminatus. Either controller may use or examine that special, but only while they control the conspiracy possessing it.
- Perform one action and any number of free actions OR place 2 MB on the Illuminatus and proceed immediately to the Illuminatus Second Action.
Illuminatus Second Actions
During an Illuminatus Second Action, every player is the controller of the Illuminatus on his or her right. No player has any access to the Illuminatus on his or her left. A player may not use the special cards or abilities of the conspiracy on his or her left, nor may they examine the money or hidden special cards of the conspiracy on his or her left. The player performing the Illuminatus Second Action does the following:
- Perform one action and any number of free actions OR put 3 MB on the Illuminatus and end the turn immediately.
- Perform up to two free money moves only after the nonfree action has been taken, and not if the option to take 3 MB was chosen.
- No player may use one conspiracy which he shares control of to attack his or her other conspiracy, nor may he or she donate or trade groups, money, or special cards between his Illuminati. This is not quite as restrictive as it may sound, because if such an exchange or attack is to the benefit of the active conspiracy, the conspiracy's other controller is free to take it, having no stock in the second conspiracy involved.
- The target number of an attack may never be raised to greater than 10 or to less than 1 by any player. Without this control, players may (particularly in endgame) decide to spend all of a group's money to make an attack target number arbitrarily large or small in order to prevent his partner from using that funding during the next half-turn.
- Each group may only participate in one attack per Illuminatus turn. This means that if on an Illuminatus First Action, the Net uses its transferable power to aid an attack, it may not also do so on the corresponding Illuminatus Second Action, despite the fact that another player is in control. The UFOs are, of course, exempt from this restriction.
- Likewise, any group that has a special ability which may only be activated once per turn, such as the Bavarian Illuminati, may only use that ability once per Illuminatus turn.
- The special abilities of the Gnomes of Zurich and the Bermuda Triangle, which are normally activated at the end of a turn, may only be activated at the end of an Illuminatus Second Action.
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(Playtested by Brian Joughin, John Cataldo, Craig Brooks, Mathew Corthell, Michael Tuohy, and Aris Yannopoulos)
Article publication date: July 27, 2001
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