|2-6 Players||15+ minutes|
Each player is the leader of a country. The nation with the most population rules the world. In the quest for world domination, players use propaganda, spies, missiles, bombers, and space stations to eliminate their rivals.
This game is based upon Nuclear War... if you know how to play
it, then this game will only add a few new rules, but the game plays
mostly the same.
Before play begins, population cards are randomly distributed to the players -- the number of cards that each player receives depends upon the number of players in the game -- in a four player game each player gets 8 population cards. Each Population card represents a number of people ranging from 1 million to 25 million. The game ends when only one player (or less) has population remaining.
The owner of the game shuffles the nuclear war cards, deals 9 to each player, and then goes first.
To start, each player, in turn must play any cards marked "Secret" or "Top Secret" and replace these cards with "regular" cards. "Secret" cards tend to cause populations to leave one player for another player's country -- or eliminate amounts of your opponent population.
Next, all players place their starting two cards face down on the play mat. (These cards can't be changed until they are played.) The owner of the game then starts play.
A turn follows these steps:
It requires two turns to
launch an attack. On the first turn, a "deployment system" is revealed
(missile or bomber). This card remains face up until the next turn. On
the next turn, if a warhead that is usable by the missile or bomber is
revealed -- the attack is launched. A warhead does a specific amount of
damage plus the number rolled on the die. For example, a 10 megaton
warhead kills 2 million people, and a 100 Megaton warhead kills 25
million people. The die will add 2 to 6 million casualties -- or if the
mushroom cloud was rolled it will generate a misfunction. A
re-roll of the die determines which misfunction occurs: dud warhead, or
double the casualties are possibilities as is damaging your own country
instead of the enemy.
There are some "missile defense" cards in the game, but they are rarely found. There are more cards in the game, like "propaganda" -- but unless you have played the game, describing them here detracts from the main game.
For fans of the original
game, there are a few new deployment systems: cruise missiles, MX
missiles, Space Platforms and Killer Satellites. Each is explained in
detail in the rules. Their employment is similar, but their strike
capabilities vary from the basic missiles and bombers in the original
game. Cruise missiles need no warhead to launch -- and they
circle the table until you decide to drop it on an enemy. MX missiles
damage in multiple 10 megaton strikes. Space platforms drop extra
warheads from orbit on any opponent in addition to your regular missile
strikes -- and killer satellites attack the space platforms.
The game also added spies
and saboteurs -- they can steal secrets from opponents or stop a
missile from launching.
Should your country be destroyed -- you get a chance at "Final Retaliation." Any and all weapons that can be launched at your opponents, launch -- and maybe you can eliminate them, too.
This game is an expansion of the
original Nuclear War. In that, it
adds to the original rules some new weapons and special
cases. It can be played stand alone, or combined with the
original. This review is based on the stand alone version.
In comparison to the
original game, this version is more complex. The rules are 2-3 pages
longer and the details of the new items are overwhelming at first -- it
feels like all of the new items are special cases. Once you play,
and refer back to the rules about twice, you'll be used to the new
rules and find that they make sense.
Surprisingly, our reviewers
found that we liked this version better than the original.
Because of the variations of weapon systems, the game was less
predictable. The first player to launch a space platform was certainly
pleased by it's application -- warheads rained down on everyone
thoroughly obliterating the rest of us. We also noted the MX
missile's supremacy in comparison to regular missiles -- they sting
your opponents much more than a regular missile and are extremely
effective when carrying a large payload.
If you can find this
game, it's a good addition to Nuclear War... and it's a good stand
alone version, too.
Where to buy:
Any local game store can
order this for you.
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