Illuminati: New World Order

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Illuminati: New World Order (INWO) is a collectible card game (CCG) that was released in 1995 by Steve Jackson Games, based on their original boxed game Illuminati. INWO won the Origins Award for Best Card Game.

Cards come in several types, including Illuminati, Plots, Groups, Places, Personalities, Resources, and New World Order cards. The various cards are printed with two different colored backs and are collectively referred to as simply "Groups" and "Plots". The premise is that you play one of the Illuminati groups (the Bavarian Illuminati, the UFOs, the Gnomes of Zurich, etc.) bent on world domination. You seek to control a predetermined number of Groups (such as the Boy Scouts, the Men in Black, the CIA, etc.) and/or complete a Plot to achieve your goal before your opponent(s).

INWO is more difficult to learn than most CCGs, but it is infused with much more humor, in common with other Steve Jackson games. As with most CCGs, deck building, aggressive play, and sheer luck are key to winning, but intrigue, negotiation, deal-making, and deviousness are often more important elements. This gives INWO the flavor more of a "friendly" game of Monopoly than of a role-playing game.

INWO was released as a 412-card main set in starter decks (with eight different boxes) and sealed packs, in both black-bordered limited and white-bordered unlimited editions. There was also a boxed set called variously "The Factory Set" and "One With Everything" which contained one of each card from the main set of the black-bordered limited edition. One 125-card expansion of sealed packs has been released, called "Assassins", as well as a complete-in-one-box 100-card expansion called "INWO SubGenius". SubGenius can also be played as a stand-alone game.

There are common, uncommon, and rare cards in the main set and in Assassins; Assassins also included 10 "ultra-rare" cards. All cards in SubGenius have the same rarity. Packs of blank cards are also sold for those who wish to make up their own cards, an activity that has proven so popular that online collections of homebrew INWO cards now list thousands of cards. The INWO Book, by Steve Jackson, is the official guidebook to the game.

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