Political Infighting

by Steve Brinich


This is a back-to-basics representation of the familiar political players, hot-potato issues, and influence peddlers on the American political scene.

Card Selection Notes

The Groups are selected to fit the theme. A cross-section of power levels, attributes, and alignments is provided insofar as it is consistent with this objective (e.g. the theme precludes Magic, Secret, and SubGenius groups).

Resources are avoided partly for simplicity, and partly because the one that most obviously fits the theme (the Clipper Chip) seems likely to damage game balance.

Plots are selected to include the alignment-based +10s, Power-boosts, and Paralyzes, plus a cross-section of other useful Plots. After rethinking the issue a bit in view of the objectives of the contest (create a manageable One Big Deck for ensnaring, er, attracting new players), I've eliminated Assassinations and Disasters (redefining the CIA and Red Cross special abilities accordingly).


Adepts of Hermes: This deck has no Resources or Magic Groups. Don't play Hermes unless you are an expert player up against a newbie.

Bavarian Illuminati: This deck includes plenty of heavy hitters (15 Groups with printed Power 5 or better). OTOH, you'll have to fight for them (especially the ones that count double for somebody else), and many of them are Straight or Government (Discordia is immune, the Religious Reich can break your Privilege)..

Bermuda Triangle: This deck includes a good mix of alignments (the rarest, Fanatic, appears 6 times).

Church Of The SubGenius: This deck includes no SubGenius Groups. However, the SubGenius ability to accumulate Slack (Illuminati actions) and count up to three Slack as Groups should still make them competitive. Praise Bob!

Discordian Society: This deck includes 7 Weird groups -- 2 of them count double for you as is, and the Swingers count double if you get two other Liberal groups. You are immune to most (but not all) of the powerful Groups in this deck. If the high-power Weird Groups don't come out, you'll need the right Plots (Frankenfood, Jake Day, The Weird Turn Pro) or The Gay Activists (there are many powerful Straight groups in this deck -- but The Gay Activists will be targeted about as intensely as the I.R.S. or Nuclear Power Companies).

Gnomes of Zurich: This deck includes 8 Corporate groups (6 of them count double for you) and 4 Banks (3 of them count double for you). OTOH, some of these Groups are particularly vulnerable to the Antinuclear Activists, BATF, CFL-AIO, EPA, Lawyers, and Underground Newspapers.

The Network: This deck includes 7 Computer groups (4 of them count double for you). Drawing two Plot cards per turn is especially useful in a One Big Deck game. OTOH, you're likely to be in trouble if somebody else gets Japan or the Phone Phreaks before you do.

Servants of Cthulhu: This deck includes a wide range of Groups with bonuses to destroy (none of them are universal bonueses to destroy, but if you get a few of them you should be always be able to find some applicable target). The Underground Newspapers give extra Plot draws for a wide range of victims.

Shangri-La: This deck includes 8 Peaceful Groups with 24 total Power. Shangri-La's special goal is reduced to 20 Peaceful Power in play, which will probably require hanging on until most of the Groups deck is played, drawing the right Plots (Frankenfood, Nobel Peace Prize, or Kinder and Gentler), or getting The Gay Activists (*keeping* them, even with your defensive bonus, is another matter). Alternatively, you can simply turtle, take your groups where you can get them, and go for a regular victory.

Society of Assassins: The Assassins are the other odd man out -- this deck includes no Secret groups, and few Fanatic groups (half of which already have Global Power).

UFOs: This deck doesn't use Goal cards. If some substitute is used for the UFO special ability (e.g. the UFOs secretly select another Illuminati goal, as in Classic Illuminati), they should be competitive (under SubGenius rules, they would presumably get one Illuminati action if they took an automatic takeover or two Illuminati actions if they passed up the ATO).

The Deck (140 cards)

The cards in the deck are listed below. Listings with an asterisk have modifications listed under "Card Notes".

Groups (70)

  • Al Gore
  • AMA
  • Antinuclear Activists
  • Antiwar Activists
  • BATF
  • Big Media
  • Bill Clinton
  • Black Activists
  • California
  • Canada
  • China
  • CIA*
  • Congressional Wives
  • Conspiracy Theorists
  • Dan Quayle
  • Democrats
  • Dittoheads
  • EFF
  • EPA
  • FBI
  • Federal Reserve
  • Feminists
  • Fnord Motor Company
  • Gay Activists
  • Girlie Magazines
  • The Green Party
  • Gun Lobby
  • Hackers
  • Hawaii
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Hollywood*
  • Intellectuals
  • IRS*
  • Japan
  • Lawyers
  • Libertarians
  • Liquor Companies
  • Local Police Departments
  • The Mafia
  • Moral Minority
  • Multinational Oil Companies
  • NATO
  • New York
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Nuclear Power Companies
  • Pentagon
  • Phone Company
  • Phone Phreaks
  • Red Cross*
  • Religious Reich
  • Republicans
  • Russia
  • Saddam Hussein
  • Savings And Loans
  • Science Alarmists
  • Secular Humanists
  • Shock Jocks
  • Silicon Valley
  • Supreme Court
  • Swingers
  • Teddy Kennedy
  • Texas
  • Tobacco Companies
  • Triliberal Commission
  • TV Preachers
  • Underground Newspapers
  • United Nations
  • Vatican City
  • Wall Street

Resources (0)

Plots (70)

  • Agent In Place
  • Albino Alligators
  • Are We Having Fun Yet?
  • Assertiveness Training
  • Backlash
  • Benefit Concert
  • The Big Score
  • Bimbo At Eleven
  • Bribery*
  • Cat Juggling
  • Censorship
  • Chain Letter
  • Charismatic Leader
  • Citizenship Award
  • Commitment
  • Contract On America
  • Crackdown on Crime
  • Death To All Fanatics
  • Deep Agent
  • Emergency Powers
  • Every Year Is Worse
  • Fnord!*
  • Frankenfood
  • Fundie Money
  • Good Polls
  • Grassroots Support
  • Hat Trick
  • Hoax*
  • Interference
  • Jake Day
  • Jihad
  • Just Say No
  • Ketchup Is A Vegetable
  • Kinder And Gentler
  • Let's Get Organized
  • Let's Get REALLY Organized
  • Liberal Agenda
  • March On Washington*
  • Martial Law
  • Martyrs
  • Metric System
  • Mob Influence
  • Monopoly
  • Murphy's Law*
  • Nationalization
  • New Blood
  • Nobel Peace Prize
  • Power Corrupts
  • Privatization
  • Privileged Attack
  • Read My Lips
  • Reorganization
  • Savings & Loan Scam
  • School Prayer
  • The Second Bullet
  • Secrets Man Was Not Meant To Know*
  • Self-Esteem
  • Slush Fund
  • Stealing The Plans
  • Stock Split
  • Straighten Up
  • Supreme Court Nomination
  • Swiss Bank Account
  • Terrorist Nuke
  • Vile Secretions
  • Waiting Period
  • The Weird Turn Pro
  • Whispering Campaign
  • Whistle Blowers
  • You Are What You Eat

Card Notes -- Groups

CIA: When the CIA attempts to destroy a Personality, instead of "...may choose to make it an Assassination", they "...may choose to make it a privileged attack."

Hollywood: Change text to "The Power of Hollywood (both regular and Global) is increased by 1 for each Personality in your Power Structure."

IRS: Change the text to "At the beginning of your turn, you may 'tax' any one rival for a randomly selected Plot card from his hand. This is *not* an action for the IRS."

Red Cross: Replace the first sentence with "The Red Cross gives all Places in your Power Structure +3 against any Attack to Destroy."


Bribery: Change the cost to "To use this card, you must spend *all* action tokens on your Illuminati (minimum of 1) *or* discard three other Plot cards from your hand."

Fnord: Change the cost to "To use this card, you must spend an Illuminati action or discard three other Plot cards from your hand."

Hoax: Change the cost to "Use of this card requires action(s) by group(s) with a total power of at least 6. You must also discard two other Plot cards from your hand."

March On Washington: Change the cost to "However, you must discard two other Plot cards from your hand."

Murphy's Law: Change the cost to "To use this card, you must spend *all* action tokens on your Illuminati (minimum of 1) *or* discard three other Plot cards from your hand."

Secrets Man Was Not Meant To Know: Change the cost to "To use this card, you must spend *all* action tokens on your Illuminati (minimum of 1) *or* discard three other Plot cards from your hand."

Deck Variations

If Assassins cards are not available: Add SMOF and Tabloids* to make up for the disproportionate loss of Weird groups (Shock Jocks and Swingers), and add a set of Alignment-based Reloads to replace the lost Paralyzes and other Assassins plots.

*The extra bonus for SMOF to control certain named groups not found in this deck and special ability of the Tabloids will be irrelevant -- just ignore them.

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