Ares Games' upcoming DEFCON 1
Image: Ares Games

Ares Games has confirmed that they are planning to release a new Cold War strategy game by Asyncron, the developers. The new title, fittingly called DEFCON 1, is set to hit retail in September 2023

Ares Games Brings New Cold War Game 

Ares Games and Asyncron will work together on the game’s distribution as part of an original agreement signed back in 2021. The game styles itself as a “totally asymmetrical game” which is set in the period between 1950 and 1990

The player count can vary from 2-5 players and participants will experience the game differently depending on how many players are involved. The basic gameplay with 2 will boil down to what the publisher, Asyncron, calls a “Frontal Shock Game” that is nervous and tense.

The gameplay will evolve to feature secret objectives during the “Death Circle Game” with three players and become a “Semi Cooperation Game” for four players. In five-player games, DEFCON 1 will once again resort to secret objectives. 

DEFCON 1 will be played in five distinctly unique games that will feature their own specifics and dynamics. The game will see five power blocks compete for dominance in the world – or to stay neutral. The blocks are based on history and include the Atlantic Alliance, the Warsaw Pact, France, China, and Non-Aligned Movement. 

Each bloc will bring its own unique strengths and weaknesses to the board, asking players to adapt, innovate, and come up with new ways to disrupt their opponents while ensuring that they draw closer to victory themselves. The game also uses a Defcon level system that counts down from 5 to 1, bringing tension and striving. 

Meanwhile, the game box will feature quite a few components. There will be 5 punchboards with Mission and Objective cards, 70 wooden barrels, 95 wooden cubs, and 5 Bloc boards, so you can get ahead of the global superpower race and chart your own course. There is of course the rulebook, 6 wooden Defcon triangles, and more. 

The recommended age is 14+ and the game was designed by Florian Dumont and is his first game to be featured in BoardGameGeek. DEFCON 1 will play in 90-180 minutes and has a complexity rating of 3.20/5 which puts it shoulder and shoulder with other Cold War games such as Twilight Struggle

Stoyan entered the hobby over seven years ago and his collection has been growing at a pace his spouse has described as “concerning.” Willing to push the boundaries of the connubial bliss to its extremes, Stoyan is here to bring you the latest updates and developments from the world of board games.