Categories: strategy games
Cold War was based on the assumption that both sides have equal number of the nuclear warheads and both sides are able to destroy each other within hours. In DEFCON we put that assumption to the test - we take over one of the sides of the conflict and face the enemy that has equal number and types of the units in their nuclear triad (land, air and sea based nuclear missiles). First step is to deploy your forces while taking under consideration both offensive and defensive scenarios. In basic mode we have to set up 7 radar stations that will detect incoming enemy planes and missiles, 7 missile silos (that play dual role), 4 airfields and 36 warships (12 aircraft carriers, 12 major battleships and 12 submarines).
The missile silos are used in one of two modes - as air defence (capable of shooting down enemy airplanes and missiles) or as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) launchers. It takes time to switch between the modes, but also once you launch ballistic missile enemy will know the exact position of your silo and can nuke it since it is defenceless during the firing procedure. Similar functions are with airfields and aircraft carriers that can either launch fighters or bombers, submarines can launch ICBMs, but they are vulnerable during firing procedure. Bombers themselves can attack ground targets using ICBMs or in naval mode attack enemy warships.
One of the American analytics from Cold War era once said that the conflict was like game of chess while you can’t see opponents pieces and in DEFCON we have a taste of that rule - at the beginning all we know about the enemy is location of his major cities, while usually we can’t see his units. Radars that we deployed at the beginning plus those aboard our planes and ships are the tools that we have to use to learn the position of enemy installation, so we can nuke them and prevent further attacks from the enemy. The final score is determined by the number of civilians killed or survived, but in general the subtitle Everybody Dies explains how the end of the gameplay looks like.
Even though the game is very simplified and some of the options have very little to do with reality DEFCON is quite intriguing game that gives good idea how the real conflict might have looked like.