FIRST STRIKE OVERVIEW
Years of research and testing have gone into the design of FIRST STRIKE to create a unique game that reflects the real world.
Geographically, the FIRST STRIKE board closely resembles the Earth made up of squares. The board contains the natural formations of our present world: mountain ranges, seas, bays, headlands, straits, canals, promontories and ice. Product Resources are placed as near as possible to where they exist in the world today. Minerals include everything from coal to titanium. Food, though represented by a wheat stalk, includes everything from bananas to fishing. Industry marks the big industrial centers. Oil includes natural gas and petroleum. Gold includes diamonds, precious metals and gems. Uranium includes any radioactive material whether it is currently mined or not. And Technology represents the scientific and cultural centers of the world.
Growth of Civilizations is an important factor in the game. If everyone started out with whole countries, the game would become a defensive stand-off. Therefore, FIRST STRIKE has a unique beginning: the world is populated by placing “neutrals,” non-aggressive tribes of people covering half the Earth. The other half is occupied by the players. But you don’t get total control of where your tribes start...your opponents place your tribes for you! After picking territories for everyone else, you finally get to choose for youself. This creates a scattered world, where no one starts out strong and your resources are very limited. You will have to choose which regions to grow and defend, and which may have to be left undefended or abandoned altogether.
Military Forces are Armies, Navies, Tactical Missiles and Strategic Missiles. (Armies and navies are considered to include an air force attachment.) The movement of the armies and navies is unlimited except by natural formations. Their attacking capabilities are designed to create offensive and defensive postures that can allow enemies to co-exist next to each other. Missiles have specific attack patterns that create strategic positions to protect or attack key locations. Both types of missiles destroy armies and navies, but the radioactive Strategic Missile also makes the territory unusable for several turns. These attack capabilities give the game it’s multi-level strategy. There is no randomness to a battle. As in chess, the attacker always wins.
Economics are crucial to the game. The various products have different values, where Technology is 9 times more valuable than Minerals. Your military forces are created by using specific product combinations. Their movements and attacks also require product. You will have to exchange excess product for product needed to create your offense and defense. Gold is your medium of exchange. If you convert your product unwisely, you may not be able to complete an objective or may leave yourself open to attack.
FIRST STRIKE is a complex game. The geography creates natural vulnerabilities, key areas that need protection. The economic values of the product create highly-coveted regions. The military possibilities are endless. The game is easy to learn, but a challenge to master. The rule book is only 8 half pages and includes explanatory diagrams. Though the game can take 6 or more hours to play, the world is constantly changing and everyone enjoys the head-to-head competition and has fun.