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Subject: On the delights of cheating for a better tomorrow. rss

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Drew Johnson
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This is a tremendous game. I have an old friend who owned the original Illuminati set with the expansions and regaled me with tales of this weird little game.

I finally played in 2000. I had played the far-inferior INWO and thought it pretty decent; I soon learned exactly how messed up my understanding of the rules was from learning INWO when I inadvertently let someone win...right from under my nose. After that, I buckled down and got the rules straight, as well as the pleasures of cheating.

Cheating in complicated games is so very verboten that most of us never think about it. Playing the games we do...well, in my group of gamers, there's really no point to it. You play to have fun with your friends, and if you win? Well, that's lovely. So why bother with cheating? Right? Right.

Except...

Because we have played these sorts of games for so many years, we all have these weird little repositories in our head of stuff we'd like to try to pull off. We'd never DO it, but hell, it'd be fun.

From this place comes the wellspring of truly playing Illuminati. With the cheating rules 'activated' (that is, everything enters into the set of rules except a few things that Just Aren't Done), you suddenly have carte blanche. And that when's the creativity and delight enter into the game, and what once was a very fun little game becomes the creeping horror that is ILLUMINATI. When cheating is 'on', this game breeds stories that you get to tell for the rest of your life around the gaming table.

Years passed after that first touch with the game, and another friend - one very keen on playing by the rules - bought the game. We played it, and although it was very enjoyable, it didn't have the same feeling where you wanted to roar at every underhanded move that someone made.

My wife - beautiful woman that she is - bought me a copy for Christmas. A couple of weeks later, we had our first game; I taught a number of players without giving them a choice about the cheat rule...just explained it as part of the game. Three hours later, we were palming money, passing money, stacking the deck, and generally having the best time I'd ever had playing a game. There were about a dozen other people watching the game move forward and completely bewildered by playing a game in which part of the drama was watching the players do crazy things to one another.

I think the most singular memory I have from that most recent game was a dear friend who had never played before quietly yelling, "Take his money. TAKE HIS MONEY," when another person left the table to use the bathroom.

And it was very, very good.

Friends, if you've played games for years; if your idea of a good time involves sitting around a table and rolling dice for victory...buy this game. Illuminati: Deluxe Edition is 110 cards and two dice that - when combined with a fine gaming instinct - will make your life a happy one. It's not 'gaming crack'...it's a seven course meal of gaming goodness.

And cheat. Cheat like your life depended on it.
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
United States
South Euclid
Ohio
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"Captain, although your abilities intrigue me, you are quite honestly inferior"
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This dredged up great memories! The bathroom situation is classic. It's amazing to see how excited everyone gets because one person steals a 2 megabuck chit (so as not to be noticed, too much is a red flag) and tried to get away with it. All the others play along, just because when someone cheats, it's everyone against the cheatee!
 
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