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Triumph and Tragedy is a geopolitical strategy game for 3 players (also playable by 2) covering the competition for European supremacy during the period 1935-45 between Capitalism (the West), Communism (the Soviet Union) and Fascism (the Axis). It has diplomatic, economic, technological and military components, and can be won by gaining economic hegemony or technological supremacy (A-bomb), or by vanquishing a rival militarily.

The 22" x 34" area map covers Eurasia to India and the Urals, with the Americas and the eastern British Empire represented abstractly. Military units are 1/2" blocks, of 7 types (Infantry/Tank/Fortress/AirForce/Carrier/Fleet/Submarine), in 6 different colors (Germany/Italy/Russia/Britain/France/USA). The mix of approximately 200 blocks allows great flexibility of force composition. There is a 55-card Action deck and a 55-card Investment deck, plus 30 Peace Dividend chits and 50 markers of various types.

The game starts in 1935, with all 3 Great Powers virtually disarmed: Germany has repudiated the Versailles Peace Treaty, initiating an arms race in Europe. With blocks, the nature of military buildups remain unknown to rivals unless/until military conflict breaks out. The game may end peacefully or there may be war. There are game sanctions for attacking neutral minors or declaring war on an opponent, and rewards for remaining peaceful.

Initially, the Axis economy is Population/Resource limited, but ahead in [war] Industry, while the West and Russia are Industry-limited, with adequate empires of Population and Resources. Throttling/limiting rival economies by denial of Population/Resources is a key form of competition. In peacetime, this is primarily done via Diplomacy, committing Action cards to gain control minor nations and their Population/Resources, or to deny or reduce Rival control of them. At war, this can be done more directly by military conquest on land, by Naval/Submarine blockade of trade routes at sea, and by Strategic Bombing of enemy Industry by air forces.

Triumph and Tragedy is a true 3-sided game: there is no requirement that the West and Russia be on the same side (and in fact there are valid reasons to attack each each other), and only ONE player can win the game. "Table talk" is allowed (and encouraged) but agreements are not enforceable. Alliances are shifting and cooperation is undependable. The game can continue as an economic battle of attrition or a sudden military explosion can change everything. There is immense replayability as players can pursue dominance in Europe via land, sea or air military superiority, technological supremacy, or economic hegemony without rivals realizing their strategy until it is TOO LATE! It is a highly interactive, tense, fast-moving game with little downtime between player turns, covering THE crucial geopolitical decade of the 20th century in 4-6 hours.

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Triumph & Tragedy 2nd Edition

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