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Nuclear Escalation» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Blowing everything up! rss

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Merric Blackman
Australia
Waubra
Victoria
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Ramping up my reviewing.
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Happily playing games for many, many years.
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Once upon a time, many years ago, I enrolled myself in a "Late Night Nuclear War" event at a Victorian game convention. I feel that I must have played the game before, although I now have no memory my very first game. In this event, of the fifty-odd people who started the game, I was the ninth-last to be eliminated. It remains as a fond memory.

On Saturday, Randy pulled out an old, battered copy of Nuclear Escalation, one of the Nuclear War variants/expansions published many years ago, and set it down before Laurie, Ian and me. Twenty years on, and I was going to blow up the world again!

What makes Nuclear Escalation so much fun is that it's not about the cards - it's about the interaction between the players. As it stands, it's a pretty random sort of game, but it's less what you draw and far more how much you can convince your friends to target each other and not you.

So, when Laurie and Ian got into a grudge "blow each other up" match, Randy and I couldn't have been happier.

Ian had been stealing Laurie's population through propaganda whilst the rest of us failed to launch any missiles. Some of us were really good at misplaying cards as well: we might have a missile ready to launch, but we'd follow it with another missile instead of a warhead. Go figure.

Randy and Ian

You can see the inspiration for Killer Bunnies right here. I never realised that before, as it had been just so long since I'd played Nuclear War. Now, the correspondence was clear.

Randy played a Supervirus (Swine Flu?) on me, and it wandered around the table until it reached Randy and he played the cure card. I cloned 25 million of my population, and Randy suddenly got very worried. You see, he knew the card set a lot better than me, and he had less than 25 million population total! (Me, I now had over 75 million population).

Nuclear Escalation also has "Spy" cards which allow you to steal each other's secrets. Randy and Laurie got a lot of those cards; I don't think I ever got one. Of course, Randy also managed to steal cards that would have hurt Laurie and ended up hurting Randy. Ow, ow, ow!

Once we had the idea of placing missile first *then* warhead, we started to try to attack other players. Unfortunately, our first few attempts failed to even get off the launching pad or were duds. This nuclear war was taking a long time to get going!

However, war finally broke out, and ended once we eliminated Ian. Or Laurie. No, I think it was Ian, but Laurie wasn't far behind. This left Randy and me staring at each other with big red buttons near our hands. More correctly, with big red buttons being pummelled furiously by both of us.

I had the population advantage, but I had a big disadvantage as well: I'd run out of warheads! Randy hadn't, and my population was dying at a faster and faster rate as Randy's missiles destroyed a town here, a city there. The few warheads I managed to draw seemed always to be shot down by Randy's superior defensive grid.

Defectors almost wiped me out, and then Randy launched his final missile. I watched it come towards the capital, and pressed the Red button one more time in retaliation.

Later, as we discussed things in Valhalla, I learnt that Randy had himself been down at only a couple of million population - the defectors had doubled it (to 4 million) and my last missile had wiped out all life on Earth.

Oh well. Give me some more of that mead and roast boar!
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Fraser
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Technically I would say Nuclear Escalation is both a stand-alone game and an expansion to Nuclear War. Ditto for Nuclear Proliferation.

We often played with all three together. Way too many secret cards though.

My five word summary of Nuclear War "Long game we all die". Another five word summary "Short game somebody might win".
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Mike Jones
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Karlsen wrote:
Technically I would say Nuclear Escalation is both a stand-alone game and an expansion to Nuclear War. Ditto for Nuclear Proliferation.

We often played with all three together. Way too many secret cards though.

My five word summary of Nuclear War "Long game we all die". Another five word summary "Short game somebody might win".


They do have a recommend % breakout of Secret, missiles, etc. somewhere on their websites. Sometimes you hit a streak of (Top) Secrets, but for the most part it works well. With the booster packs it's easy to adjust to.

I think what makes it a 'long game' sometimes, is people 'try to win'. The game is about having fun and blowing each other up. Smell blood and go for it.

And yes, the 'table talk' is a must.
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I love Melissa, but don't tell her. It's a secret if she can find this. Shhhhh....
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earthboot wrote:
I think this may have indeed been the same game I traded in the Maths Trade...I'm pleased to see someone's enjoying it.



Yes it Was! laugh
 
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