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All Backgammon \ Articles \ Nuclear Backgammon


In 1983 Matthew Broderick starred in a movie that opened the world's eyes to the possibility of a nuclear strike happening, whether by mistake or intentional. The film illustrated that access to a computer that was operated by NORAD was possible and once in, a program called Thermo Nuclear War could be played. Broderick's messing kicked off a real alert and the instruments of mass destruction were triggered. This was the premise of the film, with the outcome in the hands of the computer that controlled the program and its creator. The conclusion of the movie was a stalemate based on a TIC TAC TOE scenario which thankfully was the only outcome. This film highlighted the thin thread between the realities of fiction and its proximity to fact. The fear of Nuclear holocaust either from a man made assault or man made accident is a constant worry in our daily lives. Therefore the idea of making a game out of such a horrific disaster is a shade trite, especially within a game as conventional as backgammon. But back in 1997 you could play a game called Nuclear Backgammon. If you would like to play the game today, here are the rules for Nuclear Backgammon. (Walt Swan, Apr 1997) Game creator.

Objective: NUCLEAR BACKGAMMON is when a player launches an attack, at any point during the match, causing all bolts to be on the bar.

Game Play: You start with a missile token this can be made out of cardboard or can be a coin. Move this missile to the center position. Launching a nuclear missile: Place nuclear missile on right side of board and roll. The forces must be In conflict i.e.: there must be a contact position, plus the player must have missile access. (Missile is then centered, or under players control, the cube) How a nuclear roll works: Launcher plays roll, pick up dice, but leaves nuke on right side of board. Launcher may not make a conventional warfare attack unless forced. (Launcher's move may not hit any opponent's blots unless forced) Response to a nuclear attack. Target player plays normally. Rolls, moves (hitting is ok), Picks up dice, picks up missile and gains control of it (a la the cube). At this point the missile detonates. Missile detonation: All blots on board, friend or foe, are placed on the bar as victims of nuclear fallout. Strategy: Missile ownership is important, but not deadly. Two on bar, with a missile means opponent can't spread out blots. Before you launch you must be reasonably sure that you can clean up your own blots. Some positions are too good to launch, 'coming under the gun' is literal. It is configured as a conventional 'gun' attack will can be used instead of a nuclear attack where you can't point on an opponent. These are the basic rules of Nuclear Backgammon, playing the double cube could also make for an interesting development or add on to the game, but it would be a good idea to practice the moves several times before embarking on any global conflict. As the computer said in War Games 'Shall we play a game?

All Backgammon \ Articles \ Nuclear Backgammon
The first version of what would later become backgammon is the Egyptian game of Senat, also known as Thirty Squares.

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