Global Thermonuclear War
A pen-and-paper game designed to be played with no additional resources.
Each player represents a nation involved in nuclear warfare with all other players. Each player has 10 cities, with one designated as a capital, and is eliminated when all their cities are eliminated. Winner is the last surviving player.
There is a variant described in the rules below - players should agree on which variant is being used before beginning.
- At the start of each turn, each player can build one missile (+bomb) OR one defence per city, with the capital capable of building one additional of either. They then allocate defences to specific cities
- Game variant 1: Missiles are allocated per-city, meaning they can only be launched whilst the city survives.
- Game variant 2: Missiled are not per-city (missile silos aren't cities), meaning no chance of hoarded missiles being lost with the loss of a city.
- In the middle of each turn, each player announces where their missiles are attacking (specifing how many missile to which city for which enemy they are attacking). There is no requirement that all missiles be launched (they can be hoarded)
- At the end of each turn, all missiles conceptually launch simultaneously, with each missile destroying a single defence - or if there are no defences on the target city, destroying the city. Each player need only announce that a targetted city has survived or has been destroyed, but need not provide any additional information (as that would reveal information about their defensive strategies)
Conceptually each turn occurs simultaneously, but in practice will be done sequentially around players, and the middle and end steps of each turn can be combined.
- Originally created by Pauline, Evan and others to pass the time whilst waiting in the queue for Episode I.
- An online version was created and may yet be resurrected.
2020 Expansion ideas
Instead of a capital which can build "one extra thing", proposed idea is that there be a city designated the capital which acts as a "center of diplomacy" and it's +1 build is a defence, whilst there is a seperate "center of industry" which builds an additional missile. If either city is destroyed, then that +1 ability is lost. HOWEVER, the player then designates a different city to be their replacement capital/industry, and that city gains the +1 ability on it's third turn. (if the city is destroyed, then a new city can be designated and the turn count resets).
This has not yet been play tested and has been brainstormed solely from the logic of "in the real world, if you lose your capital, you don't go without - you specify a replacement!"