2 Minutes to Midnight is live
2 Minutes to Midnight is a 1-2 player asymmetrical strategy game about the cold war. It's a detailed simulation from 1946 to 1990, covering military, economics, politics, intelligence and trade. The game is now live on Kickstarter, and the campaign will run for 23 days.
The game takes 9 turns, each covering 5 years. A full game will take up to 7 hours, but there are scenarios for each period of the cold war that will take 1, 2 or 4 hours. The US will worry about national debt (or loan money and make the most of it). Main focus of the USSR is the balancing act with freedom and reforms. The different US presidents and the leaders of the USSR each have their own way of influencing the game.
There's only one deck of cards, you don't have your own hand. On your turn, you'll turn over the top card and go with the flow - if it's a money card, you can use it for actions, if it's an event card, something will happen in the world.
With money cards you can take an action. For example, gain influence in a country. To get them alligned to you, or to change their government type in one you prefer. This is not just a matter of placing cubes for as many action points you've got though. You roll a die and will use modifiers. This calls for some planning ahead. Another action to take is to invest in a country. This will help in future attempts to gain influence. You can also place a spy, work on your technological development, build your army - and much more.
Event cards need a die roll to resolve. The chances are leaning towards the historical outcome, but you may end up in a parallel universe.
There are separate charts for tracking the technological research of both sides, and for the strategic outlook (what's their status for nuclear, military, naval and intelligence).
Below you can see some examples from the deck. The two blue ones are added in turn 3 (1956). The French-Israeli Nuclear Bomb will be more probable to get developed in later years. The card gets removed once successful. NASA is a money card for the USA that gets removed after turn 7 (1980). GADAFFI can come to power in turn 6 (1971-1975) but every turn there's a chance he will be removed.
For the solo game, you can play either as the US or the USSR. You'll use some rules (printed on a quicksheet) for prioritizing opponent actions, and there's a solo card deck to determine what to do with money cards. Still, you'll have to use your best judgement for some opponent actions as well - or decide to roll a die. The solo deck has two difficulty settings and can be constructed in a way to have your opponent play in different styles per session.