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Old 11-13-2011, 07:10 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vartofta, Sweden
Default Illuminati: Less is more!

Ok, I've got an idea. Three weeks ago I was away on a holiday on the Canary Islands. Two gamers attended as well so I took the opportunity to teach them Illuminati. I brought my original edition Illuminati from 1982, since it is small and portable. They loved it!

When teaching them the game I realized how this small Illuminati edition with 54 half-size cards felt much easier and faster to show than my fully expanded Deluxe Edition from 1999, which carries both the Y2K- and BFD-expansions.

So, my idea is to test demonstrating Deluxe Illuminati with the same cards as the original edition from 1982! Just 54 cards, adding the cards from original expansions, and Y2K and BFD, at will.

Now I have spent the day dividing my Deluxe Illuminati into the original, expansion 1 and expansion 2 decks. One thing bothers me, tho. Not all cards from the 1982 edition are available in the Deluxe edition. Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow replaces Mad Scientists and KGB replaces Smersh. They carry the same stats so that is no problem. I also took the Reformed Church of Satan from the BFD, but it's half a millimeter too wide so you always know where that card is in the deck. >_<

The following cards are missing and I have yet to find cards that could work as replacements:

* Basic set:
Elders of Zion (P:3, R:7, I: 4; Fanatic)
Fred Birch Society (P:1, R:4, I:0; Conservative Straight)
Wargamers (R:5, I:1; Weird) - I could use Gamers, but the stats are a little bit different)

* Exp 1:
Fifth International (P:4, R:7, I:2; Communist, Conservative)
Hairdressers and Interior Decoraters (R:7, I:2; Peaceful Weird)

* Exp 2:
Joggers (R:2, I:2)
Preppies (P:0/2, R:8, I:4; Conservative)

Anyone who have ideas what cards I can use as replacements, or shall I use the blank cards to create these cards?

I'll get back in my reports how this experiment works out. Thoughts? Ideas? Has it been done before?

A question for the SJG-officials lurking here: Can I present card lists over my "Deluxe Less Is More" decks here in the forum?

Last edited by mib5150; 11-13-2011 at 09:50 AM.
mib5150 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2012, 03:56 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2012
Default Re: Illuminati: Less is more!

I'm brand new to Illuminati, just got the Deluxe Edition a couple weeks ago. I was curious about edition changes, so I did some comparisons myself and, ignoring mere name changes, this is what I came up with:

Cattle Mutilators- The Men in Black are similar in stats, but the 0/2 Power and loss of an arrow change their role, I'd say the KKK is the best swap (lost one resistance and completely different type, but functionally similar)

Elders of Zion- almost identical to TV Preachers (added "straight" type and the bonus against moral majority, lost one resistance)

Fred Birch Society- Congressional Wives (gained income, otherwise identical)

Reformed Church of Satan- Militia (lost an arrow, gained income and an "any attempt" against commies, completely different types)

Harder matches-

Fifth International- Chinese Campaign Donors? (weakened a bit, but more flexible with the higher income and type special ability)

Preppies- Yuppies (the stats don't really line up, but they serve similar roles and have a similar theme and same type)

Wargamers- Men in Black (very roughly similar stats, "weird type", though the transferable power makes them MUCH more useful)

Hairdressers- Copy Shops (no real match stat-wise, but keeps the "peaceful" type)

Joggers- Empty Vee (no real mtch stat-wise, but keeps the typeless card in the same place)

Added in the deluxe (with no match in older editions):

Notes on the changes:

A lot of the "new" cards have special abilities that don't show up in the older editions (perhaps to avoid having too many near-identical-in-function cards) and a couple have transferable power (making assisting a more frequent occurence).

Of those replaced with identical or near-identical counterparts, three of the four could have PC explanations (cattle mutilators with animal rights, Elders of Zion with antisemitism, and Reformed Church of Satanism with the Bothered about Dungeons and Dragons Connection). The last, "Fred Birch Society", seems like it could have been replaced to modernize the set.

It may be notable that all of those with no match in the new set had no power, low income, and no special abilities. Their counterparts mostly have low power and often have special abilities and/or transferable power, which reduces the chance of being stuck in the (somewhat frustrating) situation of having few if any groups of use to you pop up. Since they didn't just throw in a few groups with monster stats, they avoid excessive power creep between the editions and (arguably) add a few opportunities for more subtle play.

I didn't take the time to compare group frequencies between the sets, but they don't seem to have shifted TOO much with a cursory glance.

Of the last few unmatched cards, I'd make sure you keep Tabloids in expansion two with Convenience Stores. Hackers and Recyclers can each go in either one, really.

I suspect Preppies-Yuppies might be meant as a joke, reflecting the current age of the game's original audience.

Can anybody spot any oversights here? My main interest was originally to see if the Deluxe Edition is functionally roughly equivalent to the old set (I think that it is), the more detailed inter-set balance stuff is just the best I could come up with given the cards included and my own limited experience.
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bfd, illuminati, sanyo seiki, y2k

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