Reviews of Obscure but Interesting Games XI – Nato, Nukes and Nazis

nato-nukes-nazisNato, Nukes & Nazis was one of the weirdest game in the interesting games list I have ever seen. It was one of the several games that saw a daylight during 1990’s XTR alternate history boom. I admit it was not my first choice for alternate history game though. NNN premise was that WWII ended a bit differently, and 3rd Reich survived only to wage war later against Nato.

My first choice would have been Red Sky Morning (which I regret that I did not get a copy) – who could possible reject an idea of Japanese Stealth Carriers and primarily technological war.

So, what makes the Nato, Nukes and Nazis special? First and foremost the mechanics are entertainingly different. Game includes (of course) Nukes, political control, and something very, very wicked. Certain politically oriented commemorations provide wide array of bonuses for the Nazi player. These include things like Hermann Göring Forest which can be deployed in certain place to hinder movement etc.

Game flow was actually quite good for rather low budget magazine game. Units had no Zone of Control (a big thing of the games of that era), so movements were not bogged down. Unit types were interesting and had rather wide scale of applications. Air, airlift and land units dominated the field and proper use of them dictated the outcomes of the battle. Powers were asymmetric, and the challenges on both sides were distinctly different.

NNN was much more political, and much more strategic than many other games I ever played at the time. In fact, the whole idea of the sliding (or land sliding) political ramifications which followed the successes or failures in warfare were entirely new. Deployment of nuclear arsenal against opponent had interestingly correct feel to them. Besides of the destructive power, their utilization cost a lot in public opinion.

If one ever has opportunity to try the game, it will not be wasted effort. For it’s fabricated alternate history with beefy details is something that one seldom comes by. On that note, there is apparently second edition in the works, but I doubt it is half as good as the first one.

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