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Thread: DEFCON 1 : an asymmetrical and historical board game about Cold War (on Kickstarter)

  1. #1

    Default DEFCON 1 : an asymmetrical and historical board game about Cold War (on Kickstarter)

    Edited by Asyncron Games (french publisher of Wings of Glory french edition).

    A Kickstarter campaign has just started.
    The game is supposed to be published in both French and English.
    Some YouTube presentation videos in English of every 6 phases are included on the Kickstarter link.

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  2. #2


    Funded in 2 days !
    Are there any members of the Aerodrome among the 312 pledgers worldwide ?

    The stretch goals have been revealed.
    The first one is nearly reached.

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  3. #3


    I remember having to test warning/comms instruments in our police offices in the 80's, the last time we got close, so I'll give this a miss.

    "He is wise who watches"

  4. #4


    The five Stretch Goals have been unlocked, thanks to 376 Bakers.
    Seven new Stretch Goals have been revealed.

    Even if you donít take part to the funding campaign, you can help by supporting DEFCON 1 on BoardGameGeek by clicking on the Heart symbol.

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  5. #5


    Hi everybody, Let me support this project and explain to you its story as far as I know. I met Florian DUMONT his creator in an Historical Games convention in Paris in 2019 (before covid). He is from the east of France and came to show his game on his personnal prototype. Then, he found some positives contacts the public. He's very cool and friendly. I conversed with him by email on his game and he listen to my remarks, or not At last, we had exchange ideas or point of view.
    I pledge on it to help Florian to make his dream of game becoming reality. I invite you to have a look on the campaign, Florian and his game worth it.
    Thanks for your reading.

  6. #6


    Thank you for your explanation, Cedric.
    The last seven Stretch Goals have all been unlocked, a new bunch of SG will be announced tomorrow.

    Asyncron, the editor of DEFCON 1, expects more foreign backers to join the campaign in order to present a Deluxe edition.
    So, a draft of the rulebook is now available in English, you can discover the smart mechanism of this historical Cold War themed game.
    Note that the rules will be proofread after the KS campaign and Ares Games will be the distributor of DEFCON 1 in the US.

    For the historical lovers, one of the unlocked SG includes a historical booklet which will present the 150 Mission cards chronologically listed with some historical context for every event. Thus, you will be able to appreciate Cold War history through DEFCON 1.

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  7. #7


    The seven Stretch Goals of the Defcon 4 level have all been funded.
    Four new SG have just been revealed (Defcon 3 level).

    269 french, 69 American, 18 English, 10 Canadian pledgers ...
    Come on, this campaign needs more international members to reach the Defcon 1 level.
    Afraid of nuke power ?

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  8. #8


    I have been told by SWMBO that there are to be no more KS till 2022!!!

    I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
    Coming down is the hardest thing

  9. #9


    What would the Cold War be without its great charismatic leaders ?
    The LEADERS EXPANSION offers to make your games even more immersive by providing each bloc with 3 Leader markers.
    These Leaders are placed during the Political phase, they grant a small immediate bonus as well as a resource each turn or a special effect while they are in place.
    Some Leaders cannot coexist because they must be placed in the same zone, such as Stalin and Brezhnev.
    Conquering an area containing an enemy Leader brings influence, so protect them !
    Each bloc will also get a new Mission Card linked to one of their Leaders.

    Let's imagine the Atlantic Alliance controls Japan with a Mechanized Corps unit and wants to increase their pressure on the Chinese bloc. They decide to place the General Douglas MacArthur over Japan. The Atlantic Alliance immediately gains 1 R&D cube. From now on, all their attacks will get +1 Combat bonus to overtake a unit of the same Combat power.
    The Atlantic alliance decides to attack Manchuria, defended by a Mechanized Corps unit, with the one fom Japan. This attack is made possible thanks to the expertise of the General MacArthur, it is a success and they complete the Mission "Gaijin Shogun". The Atlantic alliance chooses a unit upgrade as a reward and can also attack China again !

    You will be able to play with very famous historical figures such as Ronald Reagan, Charles De Gaulle, or Mao Zedong, but also characters a little less known to the general public such as the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nerhu, the Chinese General Lin Bao or the Admiral of the Soviet Union Fleet Sergei Gorchkov.

    The Atlantic Alliance
    American General Douglas MacArthur, hero of the Pacific War, to intervene more effectively against China.
    British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, whose legendary resilience will protect the United Kingdom and increase the influence of the bloc.
    The President of America, Ronald Reagan, determined to destroy communism economically, to gain oil and research.

    The Warsaw Pact
    Marshal Joseph Stalin, the Iron Man, to strengthen army and research.
    First Secretary, Leonid Brezhnev, guarantor of communist orthodoxy, to increase the political potential of the Warsaw Pact.
    Admiral Sergei Gorchkov, the great architect of the Red Fleet, to expand the fleet and supply it with oil.

    The Non-Aligned Movement
    Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, herald of pan-Arabism, to undermine the influence of the other blocs.
    The Vietnamese warlord Ho Chi Minh, a great guerrilla tactician, to militarily strengthen South East Asia and gain influence.
    Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, the great founder of modern India, brings uranium and research.

    The French Republic
    President Charles de Gaulle, working for the independence of France, to obtain the nuclear bomb and increase French influence.
    General Jean De Lattre de Tassigny, the great French warlord, to continuously fuel the French war effort in Southeast Asia.
    President Georges Pompidou, builder of modern French industry, to increase research and the supply of oil.

    The People's Republic of China
    The Great Helmsman Mao Zedong, founder of Communist China, to strengthen the power of the Cultural Revolution.
    The reformer Deng Xiaoping, who opened China to the world, to bring prosperity with more oil and research.
    General Lin Bao, the author of the Little Red Book, to fortify the Chinese army.

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    Last edited by monse; 02-17-2021 at 07:06.

  10. #10


    The four Stretch Goals of the Defcon 3 level have all been funded.
    Three new SG have been revealed (Defcon 2 level).

    Right now 526 pledgers worldwide and 5 more days to go :
    299 France, 86 USA, 20 Germany, 19 Great Britain, 17 Belgium, 15 Canada, 13 Switzerland, 7 Japan, 6 Italy, 6 Spain.
    This campaign takes a more international way.
    Never been so close to Defcon 1 level.
    Are you in ?

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  11. #11


    The three Stretch Goals of the Defcon 2 level have all been funded.
    Four new SG have been revealed (Defcon 1 level).

    The last expansion AIR STRIKE involves the aerial aspect including 12 plane meeples and aerial missions.

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    A social stretch goal : 400 likes on the DEFCON 1 BoardGameGeek page.
    Even if you donít take part to the funding campaign, you can help by supporting DEFCON 1 on BoardGameGeek by clicking on the Heart symbol.
    The reward will be The International treaties expansion (Deep Dive VII), that allows to make agreements with other players :
    - The Non-aggression treaty guarantees that the blocs will not attack each other militarily.
    - The Alliance Treaty protects you from political maneuvers and allows you to share sea bridges.
    - The Nuclear Protection Treaty guarantees a reciprocal response in the event of a nuclear missile attack.

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    Last edited by monse; 02-19-2021 at 15:35.

  12. #12


    Here are informations about the design of the Atlantic Alliance, Warsaw Pact, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), China and France blocks.

    Building the Atlantic Alliance

    The Atlantic Alliance had to represent the United States of America, NATO and to a lesser extent the United Kingdom.
    Thus, the bloc is naturally composed of the USA, Canada and the European countries that were members of the Atlantic Alliance in 1949.
    The countries that joined NATO very early in the period, such as Turkey, are accessible very quickly by taking political control.

    The same applies to the British Commonwealth, whose countries are very easy to incorporate into the Atlantic Alliance. For example, Australia, a very close ally of NATO, is accessible by political takeover only by the Atlantic Alliance.
    But other Commonwealth countries, such as South Africa, are also inclined to join the Non-Aligned Movement.

    Overall, the Atlantic Alliance is the bloc that can expand the most by political means, but almost exclusively on neutral countries.

    Forging the Warsaw Pact

    The Warsaw Pact is composed of the USSR and the satellite countries of Central and Eastern Europe, united in a military alliance led by Moscow. The question of Southern Europe, especially Yugoslavia, was complicated. It was chosen to make the Greece-Yugoslav zone a neutral territory, accessible by political capture for both the Atlantic Alliance and the Warsaw Pact. Albania, which joined the Warsaw Pact at its creation and then left it, was incorporated into this bloc but could join the Chinese bloc via political takeover, its communism having been modeled on that of Beijing.

    The Warsaw Pact can carry out multiple coups. It is possible wherever during the Cold War there have been a Marxist rebellion supported by the USSR, such as Angola. It is also possible in territories belonging to other blocs, where the Warsaw Pact was very influential, such as Egypt, for example.

    What is the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) ?

    The Non-Aligned Movement is not an invention for this game, nor a random agglomeration of countries.
    It is a movement that was structured in the 1950s around large Third World countries that refused to be subservient to the USA or the USSR. The Movement was built around several common values and interests.
    The Movement worked in particular to ease and accompany the decolonization and the access to independence of Third World countries.

    How is this expressed in the game ?
    The NAM has special abilities that make it unique.
    They have access to many countries for political takeovers. Thus, they are not forced to systematically use weapons.
    Part of their offensive capabilities is not based on military operations under a flag, but on suicide bombings and dirty bombs.
    They can activate Pacifism. In exchange for more resources, they cannot attack this turn! They can therefore devote themselves to political takeovers while maintaining an illusion of peace .
    When you lead the NAM in this game, you must imagine that you are not leading orderly armies like those of NATO countries, but rather a myriad of rebel, independent and insurgent groups.

    Why China ?

    Communist China is often the big forgotten player in the Cold War games, or relegated to the background. However, its history is singular and is not limited to an alignment with Moscow, it is quite the contrary. After their honeymoon of the 1950s, relations between the two countries degenerated with the Chino-Soviet rupture. The two countries were on the verge of war, which is reflected in the game, through some objectives that oppose them.

    The Chinese bloc has a very specific gameplay. They are very landlocked, and their territories are limited to the Chinese ones, which is not embarrassing, because they have mechanisms allowing it to be self-sufficient behind their borders. But the Maoist influence can allow them to propel themselves into Southeast Asia or even other continents. For example in India, with the Naxalite rebellion of Maoist obedience, or in Peru with the Shining Path rebellion.

    Why France ?

    The first reason is that their foreign policy during this period was not modeled on that of the United States. France was one of the founding members of NATO, but under the impetus of General De Gaulle, they left NATO's integrated command in 1966 because they wanted nuclear independence and to be able to command their army without having to refer to the United States. Moreover, France did not demonize the countries of the East. For example, they quickly recognized Communist China, and De Gaulle was on an official visit to Moscow. France often diplomatically opposed the United States during this period.

    The second reason is that France had their own problems during this period, notably the wars of decolonization (Indochina, Algeria) which intertwined with those of the Cold War. The Indochina War was a war of decolonization, but also the first stage of the Vietnam War! It was very interesting to include it in a dynamic against the Non-Aligned Movement, which seeked to "free" the colonized countries.

    Finally, in terms of gameplay, France has its own way to be played. It is a bloc which is in no way a "mini USA". It is a Swiss Army knife, a scalpel that offers a completely different style of play with a small number of special units.

  13. #13


    All stretch goals have been unlocked.
    The campaign is ending in 24 hours and some of you may be interested in some behind the scene story.
    Let's hear Florian :

    DEFCON 1 is the product of 4 years of work. At the beginning, the game was much more complex, with every player controlling two factions, a bloc and their satellites, not to mention the multitude of special rules for each phase. Despite all their flaws, these early versions already included the main concepts of what was to become DEFCON 1.

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    Board Prototype 2017

    Above all, a game of conquest
    I wanted to refresh the "old-fashioned" strategy game, with territorial conquest and opposition by hidden objectives. I love the Cold War period, and for a strategy game it was the perfect time with its wealth, its well-marked blocs and of course its nuclear weapons. I wanted the game to propose a constant rise in tension and then a critical war rather than a multitude of clashes over the whole game.

    Historical and uchronial
    I wanted both to anchor DEFCON 1 in history, but also for the players to have the opportunity to rewrite it a bit. To do this, every resource placed on the map can be explained geographically, every available technology is historically sourced, and most missions are based on real facts. But that doesn't stop you from going your own way, and most of the objectives are extrapolations of what could have happened if war had broken out.

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    Board Prototype 2017

    Asymmetry and balance
    Making the game as asymmetrical as possible has always been a key objective. Beyond the different technologies, I worked on the available units, the natural influences on territories, resources, so that each block presents a true personality faithful to the history and our cultural references. But all this had to be done with a constant concern for balance, and with each new element introduced, I meticulously checked that it had not impacted this fragile balance.

    The Nuclear War
    In most Cold War games, tension must be kept under control and nuclear war often means defeat. I wanted to take another path with DEFCON 1, since the use of nuclear weapons does not end the game, even if it speeds up the endgame. I wanted players to enjoy building up their nuclear arsenal and then unleashing it on their enemies.

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    Board Prototype 2018

    Development with ASYNCRON games
    Olivier replied that he agreed to publish DEFCON 1 in April 2019, and the development work really started the following summer. After a year and a half of very intense work and meticulous testing with a large panel of testers, DEFCON 1 has evolved a lot towards more ergonomics, more asymmetry and less randomness.

    Olivier immediately called for a change in size, with the integration of zones within territories, with each zone being able to contain only one unit. This decision led to a redesign of the combat system, more direct, with no special rules, which prefigured the level system of the final version.

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    First ASYNCRON Prototype September 2019

    Disappearance of randomness
    Once we had refined the unit system and set up the power levels, it was easy to remove the last dice roll needed for combat. Now, outclassing the opposing unit makes victory automatic, allowing players to be fully rewarded for good planning and placement of their most powerful units.

    DEFCON track and Space Race
    The game initially proposed a tiered system of declaring war, with successive stages from skirmish to nuclear war. As a result, the situation between each block could be different, which led to a paralysis of the game. That's why we set up a Defcon track that increased for evrybody and according to their actions. The space programs were initially bloc-specific technologies. Olivier wanted to give a better place to the Space Race, so it was decided to make it central. But where certain changes required a lot of thought, the Space Race was a dazzling event. In one morning, the concept as it exists today, with this triple function of influence-gain / technology-making / satellites available, was designated.

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    NATO Prototype Bloc Board 2018

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    URSS Prototype Bloc Board 2018

    Graphic design
    In addition to creating the model of the game board, the bloc boards and the cards, Olivier called upon several artists to make the game amazingly beautiful: a base maps specialist, an illustrator for the cards and of course a painter to create this superb cover. The graphic design chosen by Olivier is freely inspired by the WarGames movie and the DEFCON videogame.

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    WarGames movie screenshot

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    DEFCON video game screenshot

    See you for our last day!
    Florian Dumont.

    source :

  14. #14



    Unlocked : the latest expansion of the Deep Dive Pack offered to all backers (and whose MSRP will be 25 euros).
    This Pack now includes 7 expansions that you can mix as you wish.

    The Air Strike Expansion (Deep Dive VI) adds an aerial component to the game.

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    Each block will have access to new technologies that it can develop to gain access to its air forces. These raids act like a naval bombardment, and are launched either from a land area or from an aircraft carrier.

    This expansion will make it possible to strike quickly and hard on an area to clear the way. Coupled with the action of the ships, it is a deluge of fire that will fall on your enemies. But these raids will cost you oil, and making planes will mobilize your factories...

    The planes available for each block are the image of their Gameplay. For example, the Warsaw Pact will be able to count on a heavy bomber while the Non-Aligned Movement will be able to produce a HAL HF-24 Marut without using a factory. Each block also receives a Mission card related to the use of aircraft.

    To finish this campaign on a high note, a great final SG: a sheet of stickers that will to decorate the meeples.

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    Last edited by monse; 02-23-2021 at 10:47.

  15. #15


    You'd have thought it would finish at five to midnight ..

    "He is wise who watches"

  16. #16


    For those who would like to join the campaign later.

    Thanks to you, publishing DEFCON 1 becomes a reality.
    The major part of the content we have imagined will be published in DEFCON 1 and its Deep Dive expansion pack. We are therefore very happy with the result of this campaign!
    More than 800 backers for a game of this category which runs kinda counter to current productions, and also the first game of a designer, is not insignificant.

    However, our satisfaction is not complete, as we believe that DEFCON 1 deserves an even larger audience.

    That's why we're giving you an appointment in about 2 or 3 months to accompany us in a sort of second campaign buring which we will use Backerkit as a pledge manager.

    The goal of that second campaign will be to reach a wider audience, find partners in other languages, offer the Deluxe version and accessories such as a game mat.

    Late pledge will be possible, but early supporters will be rewarded.

    Until then, the available prototype on Tabletopia will remain playable and we will make it evolve. We will also try to make a prototype available on TTS.

    Finally, we have set ourselves the goal of finalizing development at the end of this second campaign in order to begin editing and proofreading work during the summer and have files ready for printing towards the end of fall.

    The next update will announce the opening date of this phase 2.

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