Players are given a 1980svector graphics computer-themed world map, a varied arsenal of nuclear and conventional weaponry, and a primary objective: destroy as much of the enemy'spopulation as possible while having as little of one'sown population destroyed as possible. Atypical game will see civilian casualties numbering in the millions (megadeaths) while playerstry their hand at annihilating their opponents.In most games, all sides take heavy losses, but the player with the highest score wins. Players'scores are determined according to one of three schemes: Default (gain 2 points for 1megadeath caused, lose 1 point for 1 megadeath suffered), Survivor (gain 1 point per millionsurvivors in your territory) or Genocide (gain 1 point for each megadeath caused); thoughfunctionally identical in a one-on-one conflict, each scoring scheme suggests large differencesin strategy in larger multiplayer conflicts.The Default scoring scheme is an average game where players can freely choosetheir ownstrategies and where the largest amount of variability could possibly be seen. It is a friendlybalance of defence and offence. The Survivor scoring system tends to have players be moredefensive and tactful in their exploits, as there are no points for kills, and sometimes drawingout games to many hours. Nuclear weapons are typically employed as a last resort, as it ispossible to win the match using only the initial naval units. The Genocide scoring system ismost akin to a "sudden death" match. All players tend to launch nukes very early on in theround, causing fast games with high death counts, and very limited strategies.Gameplay time can be varied by configuring the speed at which events progress from real-time (1second in-game:1second out-of-game) to 20* real-time. Most games last 30 to40minutes while real-time gameplay can last more than eight hours, depending on the modeof scoring. There is also an "Office" mode of play in which the game is permanently real-timed and can be minimised to run in the background of other computer activities, allowingthe player to check in only when important events take place, and only for so long as it isnecessary to modify the standing orders of each of the player's assets.
Multiplayer and alliances
game can host up to six human orAI players. Alliances can be formed, broken,or renegotiated at will with human players. Alliances with CPU controlled players can only beset at the start of the game. Allied players share radar coverage and line of sight, but there isno allied victory and there is only one winner. This means that almost all alliances are brokenby the end of the game.Thechat system features a public channel, in which all players may communicate, as well aschannels private to specific alliances, and direct player-to-player private messaging.