Set in the 21st century, the board game begins with the premise that during the Cold War, the United States perfected so-called Star Wars technology and launched into orbit a satellite-based laser system capable of destroying intercontinental ballistic missiles (nuclear ICBM's) before impact. That is, the US made the world safe from nuclear threat.
This creates a great deal of political turmoil, and while the rest of the world realigns in various ways (through alliance and conventional military conflict) the US - complacent in its technical superiority - becomes isolationist in nature.
The game opens with the world divided into three major world powers outside of the US:
- The East Asian Commonwealth (yellow player)
- The Central American Confederacy (blue player)
- The Euro-Soviet Alliance (red player)
These three powers have launched a surprise assault on the now-conventionally weak United States: Asian invaders on the Pacific coast, Central American Invaders along the Southwestern border with Mexico, and the Euro-Soviet invaders along the eastern seaboard. The unique nature of this game is the notion of three of four players cooperating together for the elimination of one player (the US). The game has an interesting dynamic of the US player being outnumbered 3-1 in military strength but the rules of Combat heavily favoring the defender. The result is a rather exciting game that - if played well by all players - will result in a very close contest.
Critics have noted the game's rather complicated set of rules and the large amount of time devoted to setting up the board and pieces. Commercially, this was considered to be the third most successful board game in Milton Bradley's Gamemaster series.