NATO – Designer Signature Edition
NATO – Designer Signature Edition marks the return of a true wargaming classic by Bruce Maxwell. NATO simulates a potential NATO/Warsaw Pact conflict in Central Europe during the Cold War years of the 1980’s. First published in 1983, this game was Victory Games best-selling title, purchased by over 75,000 gamers worldwide. This new edition is based on an exhaustive two-year study by the Designer of the records that have come to light since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The game combines highly accurate information on the forces the Warsaw Pact actually had with now de-classified reports from the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency regarding what satellite surveillance and HUMINT revealed about their actual plans. The map has also been extensively updated with new satellite geography. Finally, the game system has been reworked to better reflect the fluid, fast paced and deadly nature of modern warfare, while retaining the original intention of simple and intuitive play. Here is the ultimate Cold War game, remastered, and playable in a single sitting.
NATO is a division/brigade level simulation of a Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe. The game map depicts the area from Denmark to the Swiss Alps, and from France to Poland. The time frame covers the first 14 days of war, after which one side or the other has usually run out of an army. The game offers four different Scenarios, covering 1) a surprise attack from a standing start, 2) an attempt by the WP to quietly prepare without tipping NATO off beforehand, 3) an extended buildup of forces by both sides before war breaks out, and 4) an introductory scenario covering the invasion of Denmark.
Each Scenario can be played with an Order of Battle from 1983, when NATO was still relatively weak, or with an Order of Battle from 1988, when NATO had rearmed and reorganized and was at the peak of its strength. The difference is impressive.
The game features infantry, armor, airborne and airmobile troops, marines, with easy mechanics to leverage combined arms operations. It also has extensive options for employing air power, chemical weapons and, for the truly desperate player, a last resort to nuclear weapons. The combat system is built around the concept that the best defense is a good offense, and features artillery, tactical and operational air strikes, reserves, counterattacks and deep exploitation, allowing for a rich set of tactical nuances in play. This is not a game where the WP attacks and NATO defends. Both players have to attack relentlessly if they want to defeat their opponent.
This NATO – Designer Signature Edition of the classic Bruce Maxwell game has been upgraded with new units, new scenarios, new terrain, new tables and new player aid cards. Additional enhancements introduced in this edition include:
- Super-sized components feature 9/16” counters and two game maps with larger hexes
- Game map information has been updated and includes all-new map artwork
- New units have been added, unit information has been updated and all units produced with new artwork
- Existing scenarios have been updated and two new scenarios added
- Orders of Battle are provided for all Scenarios both 1983 and 1988, allowing players to see the impact of the Reagan Era rearmament programs
- The game system has been redesigned and the new rules include extensive illustrations, examples of play and Designer’s Notes to aid clarity
- Each rules section now begins with a summary, allowing experienced players to skip many rules sections that embody classic game mechanics they already know
- Rules details and restriction have been summarized graphically in Player Aids for faster reference and easier play
- Enhanced ergonomics are provided for Scenario set up and Reinforcement charts
- A new set of Designer’s Notes contain a wealth of historical information on what the West discovered after the Warsaw Pact collapsed and most of its members joined NATO.
- Complexity: 7 out of 10
- Solitaire Suitability: 7 out of 10 (no hidden units)
- Time Scale: 24 hours per turn
- Map Scale: 15 miles per hex
- Unit Scale: regiments, brigades, and divisions, abstract air and naval forces
- Players: one to four, best with two
- Playing Time: 3-8 hours depending upon scenario
Components of NATO – Designer Signature Edition:
- One Rules Booklet
- One Play Booklet with Scenarios & Designer’s Notes
- Two 22″ x 34″ Maps
- Four Counter Sheets (9/16″ size playing pieces)
- One WP Player Charts & Tables Card
- One NATO Player Charts & Tables Card
- One WP Sequence of Play Card
- One NATO Sequence of Play Card
- One Warsaw Pact Strategic Surprise Reinforcement Schedule Card
- One Warsaw Pact Extended Buildup Reinforcement Schedule Card
- One NATO Strategic Surprise Reinforcement Schedule Card
- One NATO Extended Buildup Reinforcement Schedule Card
- Two 6-Sided Dice
- One Game Box and Lid
- Designer: Bruce Maxwell
- Artist: Bruce Yearian
- Project Director: John Kranz