Illuminati Warfare in the Age of Madness

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You know how Traveller‘s chargen is a mini-game you play before the real adventure starts?

Well I’ve been thinking about this:

To keep my tinkering and tests simple I think I’ll leave out all of both games’ expansions for now. I’ll stick to just the first Illuminati* pocket box cards and just the original Warfare in the Age of Madness (WAM) rules.

THE DREAM

You start a game of Illuminati but only play long enough for each of the conspiracies to get their hooks into, say, 7-11 groups. Then the Madness strikes.

GOOD LUCK. YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN.**

I dub thee ILLUMINATI WhAM!

Your Illuminati conspiracy card becomes your WAM Command element.

Your Illuminati group cards become your other WAM force elements.

I’m still working out how to translate Illuminati groups’ Alignments, Power, Resistance, Incomes and Special Abilities into WAM elements’ Perks, Penalties and Traits. These are just some first thoughts.

There are also the Illuminati Special Event Cards a player might be holding when the Madness ensues. That’s more to think about. For now I’ll set them aside too, and focus on the conspiracies and groups.

Just imagine it though! Who doesn’t want to see the Gnomes of Zurich’s I.R.S. get hammer-and-anvilled between the Bermuda Triangle’s Cattle Mutilators and Punk Rockers?

THE REALITY

To save time you could just deal each WAM opponent a random Illuminati conspiracy card and a dozen random group cards. [If you do want to play Platoon or Company Plus force levels, deal six or 18 groups respectively.]

Playing even a quick pre-game of Illuminati will make the whole thing take longer than simply dealing cards, since you’ll still have to translate your organization into a WAM force before you can start pushing lead.

And I suspect just dealing cards will produce equally random WAM force compositions in terms of Illuminati Alignments, Power, Resistance, Special Abilities etc. This raises the additional question of, how do Illuminati card characteristics and WAM point values mesh? Hmm.

Another big advantage of dealing cards is it can be done in advance. It could be done over a beer or during a brief meet-up at your local game shop. Deal — but don’t reveal — your cards, take them home and build your forces in secret. Then, WhAM!

And I guess this is a good time to mention I’m also planning to scale it up to 28mm since my whole collection is that size. In the same way Inq28 simply halved moves and distances from 54mm Inquisitor, I think just doubling WAM bounds and ranges (and increasing board size) will work fine for Illuminati WhAM!

Ordinarily I really, really prefer my figs single based but for this game I think grouping minis together on my Warbases Dux Brit movement trays will work fine, especially given how elements function in WAM.

All of the above said, if all you want to do is humour-up an otherwise straight game of WAM, you can just deal each player one Illuminati conspiracy card for their Command element and a group card for each of their other force elements. Assign your cards to your elements however you want. Then have at it!

You’ll still be able to order your Feminists to assault the enemy Post Office.

And I guess if you want to get all themey, you can just pick an Illuminati Alignment or two and take the cards you want. I’d try to go for forces made up of compatible Alignments like Weird Government on one side versus Violent Liberal on the other. If you do this remember that, while any Alignment can associate with Criminals, no organization can include more than one Fanatic group because they all hate each other.

Anyway, MREs for thought.

[*: I’m going with the ’82 first edition because I appreciate the classics. As a bonus the cards are smaller, simpler and easy to read from a distance. Also, I want to minimize the cards’ visual impact on the table so as not to distract from the figs and terrain.]

[**: The opening of Warfare in the Age of Madness always make me think of the start of Twilight: 2000.]

[EDIT: If you want to go nuts, there are at least two other generations of Illuminati in the wild, with a couple more conspiracies and way more groups than the original game. The cards are bigger and all are illustrated. I may end up there myself eventually.]


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