Common INWO Errors

by Glen Barnett

Some errors in play seem to crop up everywhere INWO is played. Here are a few common ones.

Attacking From Hand: a common one is using the Orbital Mind Control Lasers on a group being attacked from hand -- which are not "in play." However, they do count as "just played," so Immortality Serum, Commitment, and Never Surrender work on them. (Some people play a house rule that they are in play. Try it!)

Attacking With +10s: You must play the +10 card when you spend the token. After the token is gone, you can't later say, "Oh, here's +10 to the attack."

Basic Goal: It seems hardly anyone sets the Basic Goal until play has begun.

Direction of Play: Many people miss that the play goes counter-clockwise (in the opposite direction to just about any other game).

Disasters and Destruction: the roll to Destroy has "succeed by more than X", not "succeed by at least X". e.g. an Earthquake on Hawaii (one step away from its Illuminati, say) is at 16 vs. 1+5: 10 or less to Devastate. It will Destroy "if it succeeds by more than 5" -- that is, on a 4, not a 5.

Disasters and +10s: You can't use a +10 card against an Instant Disaster. You can use a +10 against non-Instant Disasters (both mistakes are fairly common). With non-Instants, other bonuses to Destroy will count as well.

Goal Cards: To use a Goal card, you reveal the Goal card, and once your rivals agree they can't stop you, show the rest of your hand to prove there are no other Goal cards in your hand. If you are stopped, your Goal remains exposed. Presently, nothing can affect a revealed Goal card until after the win is thwarted. Note that if a second Goal ever enters your hand (unless something lets you hold more than one), you must immediately get rid of one.

Illuminati as Groups: Illuminati count as groups (of a special kind); many of the things you can do to "groups" apply to them, such as Thule Group's Special Ability. Many people also forget to count their Illuminati as a controlled group for goals.

Illuminati Special Abilities: Don't forget the all-important Special Abilities of your Illuminati! Cthulhu's plot draw, Shangri-La's +5 for defense, Bavaria's privileged attack, and Bermuda's reorganize are very easily forgotten. Write the ability on the back of your hand. Put a post-it note over your Illuminati with "Reorganize, Stupid" on it. Any of them can slip your mind at the wrong moment. How many of us remember that the Adepts also have a +6 to destroy a Magic group?

Pauses: Often in play you need to pause to allow rivals to interfere. With Go Fish, for example, you should pause before naming the card, so that the affected player can Hoax it before you name Hoax. Similarly, when playing multiple plots -- two +10s for example - you should pause between each. In practice, many people don't put in the pauses, which helps to keep the game moving, but they must then be ready to rewind the action if someone says "Hey, I was going to cancel that", or whatever.

Percentage of Goals: When finding the percentage of goal for the Servants of Cthulhu's Special Goal (the part where destroyed groups reduce the number you need to control by 1), it is common to take the percentage as: [Number Controlled + Number Destroyed] / Basic Goal x 100. In fact this is not what the card says. The correct calculation is: Number Controlled / [Basic Goal - Number Destroyed] x 100. The correct one is always smaller when the percentage is less than 100.

Tokens in Defense: Don't forget that if you spend a token on a group's own defense, the Power counts double (not Resistance). Or to be more precise, it gets a power bonus equal to its permanent power -- as described in the Very Frequently Asked Questions list on Steve Jackson Games' web pages.

Article publication date: February 26, 1999

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