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Nuclear War
Store:  Card Games, Strategy Games
Edition:  Nuclear War
Series:  Nuclear War
Genre:  Beer & Pretzels
Format:  Card Games

Nuclear War


List Price: $29.95
Your Price: $23.95
(20% savings!)
(Worth 2,395 Funagain Points!)

This item is temporarily out of stock [] (expected availability: Wednesday, May 6, 2015). You can still add the item to your cart and we will ship it to you as soon as it becomes available!

Quantity:

Play Time Players
25-60 minutes 2-6

Designer(s): Douglas Malewicki

Manufacturer(s): Flying Buffalo

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Product Description

A humorous card game with a tongue-in-cheek view of international diplomacy, propaganda, and finally: holocaust! Two to six players engage in touchy negotiations until a warmonger pushes the button! This hilarious card game is easy to learn and fast to play. But watch out: if everyone is wiped out -- nobody wins!

Zoom In Cover Image: Nuclear War
Close Zoomed Image aNuclear Warb
Cover

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Douglas Malewicki

  • Manufacturer(s): Flying Buffalo

  • Artist(s): S S Crompton

  • Year: 1996

  • Players: 2 - 6

  • Time: 25 - 60 minutes

  • Weight: 410 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are printed in English. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. This is a domestic item.

Contents:

  • 100 Playing Cards, including:
    • 34 Warhead Cards
    • 31 Missile & Anti-Missile Cards
    • 15 Secret & Top Secret Cards
    • 20 Propaganda Cards
  • 40 Population Markers
  • 1 Bomb Effects Spinner
  • 1 Page of Rules
  • Player Mats
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Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 3.5 in 13 reviews

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Great game
September 18, 2009

Really funny game! It's fun to play and it's not a long game to play!

 
 
 
 
 
This is a classic!
February 27, 2004

This Game is the best. I have been playing it for 15 years now, and it just is so awesome! While it is certainly not as sophisticated as some of the newer magic type card games, it is a classic, and should be experienced by all true game players! Check it out if you ever get a chance.

 
 
 
 
 
Nuke Your Neighbor!
August 14, 2002

This is the game to play when you are waiting for the last guy to show up, or you don't have enough time left play a 'real' game. This game is not about 'counting up points at the end of a round'. It is a man's game, sort of like getting drunk and arm-wrestling, or getting drunk and seeing who can slap the other guy faster, or getting drunk and... Well, you get the picture.

Sure, there is a lot of strategy, but most of it amounts to not pissing people off while simultaneously not looking like a pushover. So drink a beer to Kruschev's ghost and hide your last 25 million people in your pocket...

 
 
 
 
 
Best game ever.
June 08, 2002

Greatest game I've played, it get's better with more add-ons and more people playing.

I'm very sad to see that Funagain games is out of stock in this game. I hope they get more...I think my deck(s) is getting worn out after only 3 months of use!

In order to have the maximum amount of fun get a minimum of 5 warmongers (players), 1 box of Nuclear War, 1 box of Nuclear Escalation, and 1 box of Nuclear Proliferation, and 3-5 expansion decks would never hurt either.

WARNING: Not for the pacifist type....

 
 
 
 
 
Pick enemy, launch missiles, die laughing
December 12, 2000

'Nothing beats launching that MX missile with a 100 megaton warhead' said one reviewer. Sure! Try the 200 megaton warhead from the 'collectible' set of Nuclear War cards.

I love this game. It is 'educational' (it is a frequent occurence that all players lose), it is fun, particularly when you throw a little bit of role-playing into it.

This plays best if you put together the basic set, Nuclear Escalation, Nuclear Proliferation, the Bonus Pack and a deck made out of the 'collectible' cards. That's over 400 cards' worth of mayhem! Putting all those rules together does get a little confusing, so I wrote a little booklet that keeps them all in one place (available at my web page: e-mail me to obtain it).

The basic set is almost unattractive because of its old (~1965) artwork and lack of variety. If you end up playing a lot, the cards will deteriorate somewhat faster than they really ought to. Hopefully Flying Buffalo/BLADE will spruce the cards up (have them printed by Carta Mundi) and produce a Deluxe Set with all the cards in it?

Why do I like it so much? Well, it accommodates a large number of players (up to 27 with the 'full deck'). Decisions are relatively simple, luck messes with all your plans (how much population the enemy got, whether you'll draw a launcher big enough for your big warhead, whether the warhead will go off at all!), and the 'final strike' capability of each player frequently ends the game for everyone--thus decreasing the time you must wait for the next game when killed off.

 
 
 
 
 
Cold War Nostalgia -- Or how to kill an hour and 25M people
July 26, 2003

I can't help but like this game, but I know it can be awkward to the wrong type of person. People who grew up in the Cold War and remember 'Duck and Cover!' can appreciate this game. Additionally, every time I see the movie 'Dr. Strangelove -- or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb' I can't help but think of this game and conversely I think of 'Dr. Strangelove' when I play Nuclear War. As both the game and the movie were released in the same year, I can't help but wonder if Douglas Malewicki was influenced by the movie.

This game dealt well with the absurd notions of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) and Cold War propaganda (like listening and laughing to Radio Moscow on the short-wave radio). If you're looking for high-strategy, geopolitical realism, play Mega Supremacy. If you're looking for a few laughs while incinerating 25 million Bananalanders with a 100 Megaton bomb or having 2 million of your people flee your country because your president made a boring speech on TV, then this is your game.

 
 
 
 
 
Beer and Pretzels game for the slightly sadistic.
June 26, 2002

(actually 3.5 stars)

My gaming group has been playing Nuclear War for about ten years now. It doesn't come out of the cabinet every weekend or when the younger folk are playing, but it comes out at least once a month. We have all of the expansions and collectable cards, and over the course of the past decade have fine tuned a deck of about 150 cards made from all of the sets. After the tuning, wasted turns have become rare and the game moves at a brisk pace. Is this a gamer's game? No. It is simply a fun diversion--a great tweener game to wind down after Diplomacy or A&A before heading off into marathon sessions of Catan.

(a comment on the review a few steps above. I can hardly imagine the kind of struggle you describe to learn the simple, intuitive rules of NW. I'll make it easy. Players plan out their attacks, preferably in the order of early propaganda, then the basic delivery system/warhead combos. When someone is eliminated, propaganda comes back in to play. I think maybe you took the 'beer and pretzels' designation a little to seriously. Remember to always start the beer after you have studied the rules.)

 
 
 
 
 
As Chaotic as a Nuclear War
March 26, 2002

I am actually a big fan of this game. Why only three stars? Several reasons. For 23.95 (the same price as Mexica) the game is poorly made. You have to cut the cards out, its old and it shows. The game is the apex of beer and pretzel game.. all luck and chaos. The person who is dealt the lowest population usually wins. No strategy, but great fun readying a nuke to launch at your friends.

 
 
 
 
 
The definitive beer and pretzels game
January 29, 2002

Nuclear War dates back a long way, well into Cold War days. I remember it dating back at least to the early 1980's and possibly back into the 70's/ The game has not changed much over the years, and it really doesn't need to.

The basics are simple enough. Players use cards to send missiles at one another, destroying their populations. There is blessed little in the way of strategy, and it is usually a clear-cut case of beating up on the leader, or whoever has most recently p*ssed you off.

The fun of the game is in the trash-talking and backstabbing that comes along with it. The whole game is based on retaliation, and given the lightness of the actual play, the darkness of the subject matter seems almost quaintly politically incorrect. Send a missile into my midst, will you? Well I have an even bigger missile with your name on it...

This is a game of the most casual nature, and should not be taken serioulsly as either a game or by its subject matter. It is the granddaddy of PDW (politically dead wrong) games, which has brought us lesser offerings such as Plague and Pestilence.

Don't fault it for its rather tasteless subject matter too much. The game is sufficiently light as to be treated as the gaming equivalent of a cartoon. On some levels it might even be a satire. At any rate, this is a game for good friends who want some beer, some pretzels, and some fun.

 
 
 
 
 
Good old thermonuclear fun.
November 26, 1999

I write this only to counter the previous review, which I found grossly unfair. Nuclear War (and its expansions, all of which can be played independently of each other) are simple, funny games in which you try to decimate each others' populations with nuclear weapons. The rules and mechanics are fairly easy to understand. There's no real depth here, and the game is basically based totally on luck, but nothing beats launching that MX missle with a 100 megaton warhead.

 
 
 
 
 
Watch 'Dr. Strangelove' instead.
October 08, 2002

Nuclear War really fits in the category of novelty games, in that the subject is more important than the game system. The game components --- cards and cheap 'population' chits -- are nothing to write home about.

Unlike many novelty games, the game system here actually works. But like so many games of this genre, it essentially runs in auto-mode.

- There aren't any real options. The best 'strategy' is try to get as much population on your side as possible before someone starts lobbing nukes. When the nuke war starts, don't hold back -- lead with your strongest platforms/weapons.

- It's totally dependent on luck of the draw. If you draw weak cards, there's nothing you can about it except hope that another player doesn't come after you before you can imnprove your hand. If you draw strong cards, go 'nuclear' as early as you can.

As others have noted here, this game works as a 'filler,' but isn't interesting enough to play repeatedly in one sitting. Not even beer and pretzels can make this game more interesting. Checkers is more challenging.

If you want a parody on nuclear warfare, watch the classic movie 'Dr. Strangelove ...' instead. Unlike Nuclear War, you can enjoy the film over and over again.

 
 
 
 
 
by EvilO
A Keg of Bud and a Costco Plentipak of Pretzels
April 01, 2002

It is hard for me to understand why this is regarded as a classic, except that maybe gamers back when this was first published were really bored or just sick of playing 18 hour long games.

This is THE quintessential beer and pretzels game. I enjoy a lighter game occasionally but this one was so light it almost flew off the table. The game is predominantly dictated by the cards that you draw from a facedown pile and, with the exception of potentially a little bit of bluffing and the planning of your cardplay (which isn't really that difficult), it is completely just 'whack on your opponents' type gameplay.

I guess some people get into the whole 'roleplaying' aspect of being some crazed world leader with nuclear weapons but there's a reason I've never played any RPG's - I don't like them. Maybe I'm just unimaginative and can't see the humor and fun of the whole game, but this is one of those rare ones that I will never have any desire to play again.

 
 
 
 
 
by Mark U
EEEEK! Back to the Drawing Board!
November 25, 1999

Be prepared for vague, incomplete rules and very low production quality on the cards and other materials if you purchase this game. 2 people with a combined 19 years of college education attempted to decode the rules, to no avail. An e-mail rules consultation was obtained from the game manufacturer, and 2 subsequent attempts to sit down and actually play the game beyond the first 3 turns failed!!! If you are one of those creative individuals that likes making up your own rules 'on the fly' to fill in gaping holes in the rulebook, then have at it! Otherwise, if you're like me and you prefer to experience the game exactly as the author/designer originally intended, then save yourself the heartache!

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