Funding Canceled Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on September 18, 2012.
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A turn-based strategic world domination game with economic/industrial, resource and military planning components.

The Inspiration Behind WW3:TBG

World War 3: The Board Game is a game that we believe will bring fresh new blood to the turn-based war/strategy game genre.  When we sat down to design WW3, we wanted to create a game that would fill an empty niche in the market for this genre.  It needed more realism and sophistication than Risk, but not to be so complicated that players would drown in the complexity of a 58-page rule book.  We have fallen in love with the game that resulted from this mission!  The current project status is that the game is fully-designed and play-tested, but we only have the prototype!  We need your support to move our product from the prototype to full-production.

Depth of Game Play

There are three main layers to WW3.  The first is industrial/economic production.  Control the centers of industry, and you earn their production points.  However, such control can be gained either through economic investment OR military adventurism.  To invade or to invest, that is the question! 

The second layer is fuel and resource production.  Fuel helps your armies move faster, and your fleets to move MUCH faster.  But use up all your fuel on movement, and you may not have much left over for battle.  Remember that an army fighting without fuel will be struggling for its very survival.

The final layer to game play is, of course, the military dimension.  The basic version of the game will have two types of military units: armies and fleets (see Stretch Goals for details on how we might extend this model even further).  Unlike in Risk, where ridiculous numbers of armies start crowding the board very quickly, WW3 forces you to make tough choices with limited military forces.  The loss of just one critical army at a key moment could prove lethal; every strategic choice in this game is critical.

Exquisite care was taken on the game board's design
Exquisite care was taken on the game board's design

What's Included in the Game

Each set will include the following elements:

-The game board you see pictured above.

-Numerous armies and fleets for all 6 superpowers.

-Financial currency system (your industry earns you money, which you can either invest in minor powers, spend on enhancing your military, or turn to the open market to purchase precious fuel)

-Events cards that will add a dramatic and unexpected element to game play. In many cases, these cards will also serve to introduce events that will help guide the game in realistic directions, such as encouraging natural allies (the United States and the European Union, for example) to work together.

-Financial investment chips (stacked on a minor power when you invest in their economy; the superpower with the most investment will control the minor power, unless another superpower invades and tosses out foreign financial interests).

-Flag counters to denote military control when the course of conflict turns hot.

-A set of dice that you will use for resolving conflicts.  However, we should stress that we have designed a game that has far less dice-rolling than a game like Risk.  This game is about strategy, not about incessant rolling.

-A rules book that will not exceed 6 pages!!  A critical design condition that we imposed on ourselves was "playability": too many games (such as Axis & Allies) cause new gamers to become lost in long and detailed rules conditions.  We've designed a game that you can sit down and play.  Of course, since it is more complex than Risk, the rules have more details than that game, but they don't begin to approach other games in the genre.  A draft version of our full game rules is now available on our game page.

A sample of the game-piece design
A sample of the game-piece design

More Details on the World Economy

The game’s designers are very proud of the simple yet critically-important economic model that is built into World War 3.  Each superpower has an ongoing economic growth rate, reflecting how hot their economy is at any given moment.  This is a nod to realism... China, of course, starts the game with a stronger economy than the U.S., for example.  Over the course of the game, your economy will move up and down.  You have no control over the state of your economy, but it will affect your game play considerably, in a very realistic manner.

Another aspect to the economy is that you can invest economically in minor states to gain influence; the superpower with the most money invested in South Africa, for example, will gain South Africa’s industrial output for their annual economy.  However, another superpower can add to their own investment in South Africa and take that benefit for themselves by their next turn. 

Remember, of course, that anyone can invade South Africa at any time, thus controlling South Africa’s economy and rendering all previous investments useless.  However, such invasions are costly, and maintaining control on a territory after invading it is tricky.  Economic investments will not carry the day (the name of the game is “World War 3”, after all!), but they introduce an important dynamic into the game’s strategy.

Game cards add realism to the flow of game play
Game cards add realism to the flow of game play

The Thirsty War Machine

The resource/fuel component is one of the most innovative parts of the game, and one which makes the realism component intense.  Your armed forces depend on fuel to be effective.  They will move faster, giving you the mobility to project your military force wherever and whenever you wish.  You can choose to expend your fuel cards with movement if you wish, but your forces also need a full tank to be effective in battle. 

When you attack an opponent, your chances at victory are significantly greater if you expend fuel to support the campaign.  Glory on the battlefront!  But be cautious, if you use up all your fuel on your own turn, the other players will know that you have left yourself vulnerable... because you will have no fuel leftover to support your forces if they are attacked by others on their turns.

So if fuel is so important, how do you get more of it?  Just like in real life, oil doesn’t produce itself out of thin air.  To get more fuel for your armed forces, you must control more resource production territories on the board (the countries with the oil can icons).  And of course, as a mirror to reality, a large portion of the world oil reserves are in the Middle East.  Expect this to be a hotly-contested region!

Military Strategy: Projecting Your Power Globally

Modern warfare has taught us that the aircraft carrier battle group is the key to projecting military force around the planet.  This is represented by the fleets in the game: they serve as mobile bases from which an attack can be launched anywhere in the world.  But an aircraft carrier battle group is not cheap to build (the game’s cost of $20 billion for a fleet is actually pretty realistic), and losing one in battle could prove costly.  The United States player starts with 2 fleets as opposed to just 1 for the other players; this important strategic advantage will help offset the poor state of the U.S. economy.  But beware China and India: their economies are strong, and they are developing their militaries quickly!

A key difference in this game is that the war map doesn’t get cluttered up with a million pieces.  In keeping with modern warfare, armed forces are very expensive to build, and therefore you must use them carefully.  The loss of one or two key armies at a decisive moment could be strategically devastating, so the modern military planner has to think foremost about the safety of the troops.

Stretch Goals

Our initial target of $15,000, coupled with our own personal investments we have made in the early development of this game, will enable the product we have described above to go to full print.  However, we wanted to dream big, and we feel Kickstarter is the perfect venue for doing so.  With that in mind, here are a few of the early stretch goals we are shooting for:

$22,000 Introduction of Air Units

This would be an optional game play addition, allowing for some additional complexity and strategic planning during the game.

$25,000 Introduction of Additional Sea and Land Units

Again, this would be purely an optional addition to the flow of game play, but the box would ship with a lot more units and there would be much more potential for complex decision-making in game play.

$30,000 Advanced Combat Module

This would be a separate, smaller game board component, allowing combat to proceed in a more detailed and sophisticated manner.  It would also introduce new realism elements to how combat unfolds, allowing battles to have specific strategic decisions as a part of the planning within the battle.

$50,000 European Theater Version of the Game Included

This would include a second game board, new powers to play (with corresponding game pieces), and an entirely new strategic theater of play to learn and enjoy.

Beyond?

If the game takes off and our armies start heading north of $75,000-$80,000, the next stop on the Stretch Goal Express we will be investigating will be a re-design and increased investment in special game pieces.  We will update this Stretch Goal if our campaign begins to approach these lofty levels.

A Note on a Change in the Leadership Rewards

We are making a small change to the rewards for the leadership pledges ($550 and $750) and the currency pledge ($450), but we cannot amend this directly in the column at the right, because people have already selected these rewards.  It states that you will receive a copy of the game with this pledge.  We will actually be giving you the Big Pack, which includes the other items as well.  Although you're not supposed to change rewards after people have selected them, we didn't think anybody would mind us adding things to the reward!!

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    THE COOLEST DESKTOP WALLPAPER SINCE... LIKE EVER! Five exclusive downloadable hi-res desktop wallpapers featuring different game-related motifs, including the game logo itself.

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    ADVANCED STRATEGY BOOK FOR WW3:TBG. Book will be downloadable on PDF, will feature the game creators' sophisticated game strategy play hints and suggestions, as well as some tips from our prototype testers. Readers will of course be tortured with our painful and dark sense of World War 3 humor.

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    ADVANCED SCENARIOS ADD-ON: Includes 5 scenarios with accompanying extra printed rules and additional game pieces

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    DECORATE YOUR PLACE BEFORE THE BLAST WAVE HITS! High-resolution full color game logo poster delivered anywhere within the United States or Canada. Add $15 for other destinations.

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    WEAR YOUR WW3 PRIDE! Exclusive black T-Shirt available. Front reads: "I started World War 3". Back will have the game's name and logo. Includes S&H to the United States and Canada, add $15 for other destinations.

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    IT'S THE GAME!!! Be the first to own a brand-new soon-to-be-collector's-edition copy of World War 3: The Board Game. Exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign, pledge now! This amount includes S&H across the United States and Canada. Add $25 for other destinations.

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    THE GAME + PDF STRATEGY BOOK (each as described above). This amount includes S&H across the United States and Canada. Add $25 for other destinations.

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    GAMER'S EXTENDED EDITION. (THE GAME + ADVANCED SCENARIOS ADD-ON + STRATEGY BOOK). This amount includes S&H across the United States and Canada. Add $25 for other destinations.

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    THE GAME + T-SHIRT + PDF STRATEGY BOOK (each as described above). This amount includes S&H across the United States and Canada. Add $25 for other destinations.

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    THE BIG PACK! THE GAME + ADVANCED SCENARIOS ADD-ON + T-SHIRT + PDF STRATEGY BOOK + WALLPAPERS (each as described above). This amount includes S&H across the United States and Canada. Add $25 for other destinations.

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    YOU AND A FRIEND. Two copies of the game itself. This amount includes S&H across the United States and Canada. Add $35 for other destinations.

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    DOUBLE BIG PACK. Everything in the BIG PACK listed above, except you get 2 of each item. This amount includes S&H across the United States and Canada. Add $40 for other destinations. Est. Delivery: Sep 2012

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    RETAILERS' COMBO PACK: Intended for game and hobby store owners who like to offer a broad selection of quality games. You will get 5 copies of the game as well as 1 promotional poster and 2 T-shirts. Please add $75 if you are outside the United States or Canada. We will also honor your store as a "Game Builder" on our website, with an active link to your own retail store site, helping promote you and improving your webranking. Recommended retail sales price is $59.95; your profit margin for the five copies would be $125.

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    YOUR LIKENESS ON OUR GAME CURRENCY! Always wanted to your name on billion dollar bank notes? We will have five denominations in our game currency system, and the first five people to support at this level will have their likeness placed on one of the bills. You will, of course, receive a copy of the game as well with our appreciation!!

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    1 backer Limited (5 left of 6)

    RETAILER'S OFFICIAL GAME SPONSORSHIP! Your store's name, city, and state/province will be printed on the actual game board playing surface! We are limiting this to six names only. You will also receive the same as the "Retailer's Combo Pack" (5 game copies, 1 poster, 2 T-shirts), and you will be listed as a major game sponsor on our website. Please add $75 if you are outside the United States or Canada.

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    BECOME PRESIDENT/LEADER OF A SUPER POWER. Just five individuals who fund at this level will become the leaders of the E.U., China, Russia, Brazil and India. Your name will actually be printed on the gameboard along with your official new title. One of the game cards will also have your likeness printed on it. As above, you will receive a copy of the game as well with our appreciation!! Note that the selection of which superpower you will become leader of will follow the sequence of those who have sponsored at this level. The first person will get first choice, etc.

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    1 backer All gone!

    YOU ARE THE NEW PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! Same as above, but you are specifically President of the U.S. You might ask, why is this particular reward more expensive? Simply because our advance research was saying there'd be far more interest in this position, so we should reserve it for someone who is truly dedicated to showing deep support for this game. As above, your name will be on the playing board, and your likeness will be on a game card. You will also receive a full-color certificate honoring your term as President (which, in this case, will be from 2024-2028).

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Funding period

- (50 days)