Cataclysm: A Second World War is a quick-playing game about politics and war in the 1930s and 40s, designed for two to five players. The three primary ideologies of the time contend to impose their vision of order on the world. The Fascists (Germany, Italy, and Japan) seek to overthrow the status quo, which favors the Democracies (France, the United Kingdom, and the United States), while the Communists (the Soviet Union) look for opportunities to storm the global stage.
There is no sequence of play. Instead, Cataclysm relies upon a strategic chit pull system that randomizes the order of not only your actions, but also the appearance of newly built combat units. This creates riveting tension that keeps players involved at all times. Random crisis events will upset plans, as well as signal the approach of the end of the turn. Not all is governed by luck. Players can use their reserve to carefully time important moves. Each side faces unique challenges managing its political, military, and economic resources in the face of constant uncertainty. Without long-term planning, any crisis can turn into chaos.
The full game of Cataclysm covers the entire globe and runs from 1933 to 1950. The extensive playbook includes several additional scenarios allowing for a range of theatres and start points. Special rules account for Appeasement, the Chinese Civil War, Lend Lease, the Atomic Bomb, the Great Purge, Dreadnought Refits, etc. Great care has been taken to allow a different but plausible alternate history to unfold with every play.