Rules for Nuclear Destruction

(a strategic missile game with an emphasis on diplomacy)

Copyright 1970,1981 by Richard F Loomis (revised 1978, 1981)

Nuclear Destruction is a game for any number of players and a computer. Each player will have a country with a population between 25 and 99 million people. There will also be a number of minor countries (minors) with a population of 20 million each. The object of the game is to destroy the population of all the other players, while keeping at least one million of your own alive.

Starting: Each player will have $100 million in cash, 9 factories, 20 missiles (msls), and 10 antimissiles (ABMs). Minors will have 1 factory, 5 missiles, and a popularity index (index) for each player (which starts at zero). During a war, the minor will fire its missiles wherever directed by the player whose index is highest in that country at that time. If there is a tie for the highest index, the minor will not fire its missiles. Beginning each normal turn, the moderator will give each player a list of his or her present assets (including $5 income), a list of all the minors where his index is either first or second (Note: you will only be told the names of these countries - to find out whether you are first or second, you will have to send a spy there.), all diplomatic messages (msgs) sent to him by other players last turn, and the results of his spies.

Playing (normal turn): When you receive this information, you should do two things, and may do any of seven other things.

You should:

  1. Say what to build with your factories. Each turn a factory will produce either a msl, an ABM, or 1/3 of another factory. You may not spend more than 1/2 (rounded up) of all your factory production on ABMs. You must build with the number of factories that you had at the beginning of the turn, even if you are selling one or giving some away. No, you cannot build with factories you are building this turn, or expect to receive this turn. There are 3 spaces for building on the turn sheet; in each space, fill in the number of factories DOING the building. If you want to build 3 new factories on turn one, write "9" in the "factories" space. If you write "3" you will have 6 factories unused. Unused factories build missiles; fractions of factories do not build anything.
  2. Say where to send your spies. You get 3 spies per turn, which can be sent to 3 different minors, or 1 to a player and 2 to minors (you may not send more than one spy to player countries on the same turn). A spy to a player will tell you now many msls and ABMs he has at the end of the turn. A spy to a minor will tell you all the indices there. You can't save up spies - if you forget to send a spy, it goes where it went last turn.
You may:
  1. Give any amount of cash to any minor(s). (You may not go in debt). $1 million is the smallest amount of money on your turnsheets. "$1" means one million dollars. Each $1 given to a minor makes your index in that minor go up one point. You may only give away the money you hve at the start of the turn; you may not give away money you expect to get for selling a factory, nor may you give away the $5 income you will get for the next turn. There is a space on the turnsheet that says "Give ___ to every minor in the game". Leave this space blank unless you want to give the same amount of money to every minor in the game. You may NOT use this space to give money to "every minor except....".
  2. Give any number of missiles to any minor(s). Each msl given to a minor increases your index in that minor by 10 points. You may give away the missiles you are building this turn. Under NO circumstances will ABMs ever be given away or sold. Note that the player who gains control of this minor will be able to fire all of the missiles given that minor by all the players.
  3. Give things to players. You may give money, missiles, or factories to other players. You may give one or two factories to any player, but you may not give more than two factories to the same player on the same turn. You cannot give factories to minors. You cannot make conditional gifts (Example: "Give $10 to China if he gives me a missile.")
  4. Offer a factory for sale. Minors will each bid all the cash they have been given (including they cash they received this turn). The minor with the most cash will get the factory, and the player who sold the factory will get the cash. If two players offer factories, they will each receive the second highest bid, and so on. A minor can buy more than one factory in a turn if it has more than twice as much cash as the minors bidding against it. (Example: A has $80, B has $50, and C has $30. Three factories are offered for sale. A will get 2 and B will get 1, and they will pay $40 for each factory. If only two factories are sold, A and B will each get one for $50. ) You cannot sell a factory to a particular minor, nor can you sell or give away a fraction of a factory, nor can you sell more than one factory per turn to minors.
  5. Send diplomatic msgs to other players. They should be on 3x5 index cards, or on paper folded to 3x5 size. (If you use odd-sized or shaped cards or paper, or sticky note paper, you greatly increase the chance your msg will be mis-delivered or not delivered at all.) They must be addressed to a COUNTRY. (From Nigeria to Egypt). They will be delivered to those players next turn. You may say anything you want in a message (even lie) except profanity, obscenities, and racial slurs are prohibited. (We don't read every message, but if we see messages in really bad taste, we will throw them away and not even tell you that the intended recipient never got it.) You may send your name and address or phone number in order to correspond directly. You may send unsigned (anonymous) messages, but you may not sign another player's name or country name to a message. Msgs that claim to be from a country other than the one who actually sent it will be thrown away, or perhaps delivered with the correct country name added. Players caught trying to cheat the moderator are subject to expulsion from ALL games.
  6. Start Nuclear War. This starts the battle portion of the game. You start war by checking the "YES" box after "Declare War?" on the turn sheet. War may not be declared on the first turn.
  7. Submit World News. Each turn you may submit one World News item (no more than 60 letters and spaces total). It may say anything you want (not in bad taste) and may be signed anonymously. The last four letters of each world news item is the signature. A signature of "****" means the news item is anonymous. Country names are abbreviated by their first four letters. You are not allowed to sign a world news item with another player's name or country name.

BATTLE TURN: At the beginning of the next turn (after war is declared) each player will be informed that nuclear war has been started (and who started it). Also each player will be given a list of the minors which will follow his orders on where to fire their missiles (and how many missiles they have). You may then instruct these countries on where to fire, and also say where you want your missiles fired. (You do not have to fire any missiles, unless you were the one who declared war. That player (or players) must fire at least one missile from his or her own country. If he does not, one missile will be fired at himself.) You may fire at minors. You may divide up your missiles any way you wish. (The only other things done on battle turns is sending msgs and world news. You do not build, or send spies on battle turns.) After all the players have fired their msls (or chosen not to fire), the computer will add up the number of msls fired at each player, and subtract the number of ABMs that player has. The remainder is the number of msls that got through. For each msls that gets through, you lose 1 million population and 1/3 of a factory. Minors only lose population, not factories. (20 msls, though, will wipe out a minor and thus all its factories). ABMs are only used once. Each player will be given a list of which countries fired at whom, and a list of the remaining populations of all the countries which were damaged. Then all of the players who still have at least 1 million people left will have another normal turn, then another battle turn, and so on as long as there are at least two players left. If, in one turn, all the remaining players are wiped out, no one wins. Note that once someone has declared war, turns alternate normal/battle/normal/battle until the game is over. War is only declared once per game. The player(s) who starts war has a slight advantage of surprise. To allow for this, on the first battle turn he is given 5 extra missiles to fire from his home country. These must be fired on the first battle turn, or they disappear. These will be added to your total missiles automatically by the computer, so the total msls shown on your printout includes the five missile bonus. Also, if a player loses all his factories, but is still in the game, each normal turn that he has less than one complete factory, he receives 1/3 of a factory free. Minor countries always build msls with their factories. If all the minors in a game are destroyed, the moderator will add 5 new minors. You do not fire missiles on the turn you declare war. You wait until the battle turn. The only time anyone is ever required to fire missiles is the first battle turn, and then only the player who declared war is required to fire at least one. War may not be declared on the first turn.

To Start A Game: write us a letter asking to be included in an ND game. Enclose enough money to pay for the setup fee and a turn or two (see our catalog for current prices). If you do not specify a particular variant (see catalog), we will start you in a regular game (turns due every two weeks). We will not send you a copy of the rules unless you request them, so if you are reading a friend's rules, please request your own set. Please allow up to 10 weeks before asking why your game hasn't started yet - we don't start a new game until we get enough requests to make a reasonable game. Once your game has started, we will send you an account statement with every turn; when your account has less than one turn fee in it, it is time to send more money.

Nuclear Destruction is the very first pbm game run commercially by Flying Buffalo Inc, and has been run continuously since 1970.