In my ongoing attempt to make INWO easier and simpler to play, I looked back on some of our recent games and realised that one huge source of complexity is attacking a rival. It doesn't happen too often, but the analysis involved in weighing up the likelihood of success (which groups can attack, which ones can defend, what cards are in my hand, what cards are likely to be in my opponent's hand, what modifiers to power and resistance are in play) is formidable.
And that's before you get into the complexity of the attack itself.
So what happens if we ban attacks to control altogether? So that's what we tried.
Amazingly, it wasn't a bad thing.
- Players may not make attacks to control or destroy (except for instant attacks) against rival power structures.
There were more impacts than expected:
- Obviously there are a whole swathe of cards that are no longer relevant. Ah well, omelettes and eggs and all that. (The way we play this, incidentally, is that if you draw a card that is no longer relevant, then reveal it, discard it and draw another.)
- Your lead group is particularly important - as it cannot be taken away from you (at least, not easily). This became particularly key on our first game when, seeing that my opponent was playing the Society of Assassins, I decided to lead with the Clone Arrangers specifically to deny my opponent that card. (I was playing Bermuda with a Criminal Overlords sub-theme.)
- Power structures became larger and weirder. Normally groups huddle close to their Illuminati for the extra defence bonuses that gives them. If they're in no danger of being attacked, then it's not something you need to worry about.
- Overall our games were quicker - both games finished in under an hour, and that's playing four full turns.
- Personally, I liked not having to think about defending myself - it meant I could concentrate on other things.
Potential Card Ideas
With this variant I think I'd want to see more Instant attacks:
- Instant attack to destroy Organisations (either like disasters or assassinations, or a mixture of both)
- Instant attacks to neutralise (medium difficulty - perhaps like an assassination)
- Instant attacks to control (hardest to do - probably like a low powered assassination)