Origins of 2300AD
Copyright © 1988
HTMLized with permission
by Steven Alexander
The background history for
2300AD was developed over the course of 1985-1986 using a grand
social-political-economic-military-diplomatic simulation known as The Game. The future course of history depended not on
just one persons ideas of what the future would be like,
but on the interaction of many peoples ideas - the ones
that survived were the ones who understood the conflict and
diplomacy of The Game. Beginning with the conduct of World
War III, players manipulated their nations on 5- or 10-year turns
to bring them into the future of the year 2300. Players in The
John Astell (Mexico, Romania,
Rich Banner (Russia,
Zimbabwe, and Canada)
Kevin Brown (Cuba, the
Ukraine, and Australia)
Timothy Brown (United
Kingdom, Algeria and Manchuria)
Larry Butz (Venezuela, Italy,
Iran, and Angola)
John Harshman (France,
Argentina, and Israel)
David MacDonald (Milgov of
U.S., Poland, and Canton)
Marc W. Miller (Azania,
Japan, Bolivia, and Egypt)
Matt Renner (Civgov of U.S.,
Sweden, and Nigeria)
Wayne Roth (Brazil, Spain,
Loren Wiseman (New America,
Germany, and Indonesia)
Frank Chadwick (referee and
Assuming World War III happens, where
does the world go from there? In worst case scenarios, nuclear
winter destroys the worlds climate, or radioactivity
contaminates the environment to the extent that life as we know
it is destroyed. But what if World War III is contained enough to
allow the lesser developed nations to survive? The Game inflicts
the World War III of Twilight: 2000 on the world and then follows
300 years of future history under the guidance of several
The Game: The Game was the
center of attention for the GDW design staff for nearly six
months (late 1985 to early 1986). Because the staff was already
experienced in playing just this sort of game, the rules (these
rules) were very loose and very open to interpretation. During
the course of the game, they were changed, modified, and upgraded
several times. This set, however, is the original with which the
group began the game.
Warning: Dont expect that
you can actually play The Game using these rules.
Instead, use them to understand the process that was used to
produce the future that became 2300AD.
This package contains this set of
rules, a set of charts, a set of technology coupons, and a map of
the world (the map is missing its individual resource boxes).
2300AD, the role-playing game based on
the future history that The Game produced, was recognized as one
of the best games of the year by Isaac Asimovs SF and
Analog magazines. The detailed future history in 2300AD is a
realistic future role-playing game.
SEQUENCE OF PLAY
I. Sever Diplomatic Relations
A. Primary Production: Food, Minerals,
Oil, Coal, Uranium, and Electricity.
B. Secondary Production: Money
C. Builds: Facilities, Military Units,
Political Influence Points (PIPs), Insurgents, Declarations of
D. Population Growth
E. Labor Reallocation
F. Placement of Builds
A. PIP Conflict
B. PIP Upgrades
IV. Armed Conflict
A. Low Intensity and First Year
B. Second Year
C. Third Year
D. Fourth Year
E. Fifth Year
V. Transportation and Trade
A. Maintenance: Money, Fuel, Energy,
B. Attrition of unmaintained
C. Voluntary stand-down maintained
Territories produce goods and
materials every turn.
Primary Production extracts or
produces food, oil, coal, electricity, uranium and minerals.
Results of primary production are placed in the region in which
they were produced.
Secondary Production is
conducted by labor, transportation and industry and produces
money. Money is held in a countrys central bank for use in
builds and maintenance.
Builds are carried out by
purchasing new facilities, units, PIPs, insurgents, and
declarations of war.
A player may not build more of a
military unit than he already has, but may always build one. The
only ground units which may be built are militia. In the
production phase of later turns a militia may be converted to any
other type of ground unit by paying that units full build
Facilities and units must be placed in
the region which provided minerals, fuel, and/or labor for their
construction. If labor is required, it must be taken from the
regions general labor pool. If only money is required to
build them they can be placed in any owned region.
PIPs and declarations of war may be
placed in any non-player region or any players capital.
Insurgents may be placed in any region which the player does not
All build costs are listed separately
except for declarations of war. A declaration of war costs money
equal to the total of PIPs purchased that turn.
Population growth is conducted
separately for each region. ED1 regions increase by 20%, ED2
regions by 15%, ED3 regions by 10% and ED4 regions by 5%.
Increases are based on non-starving population, and include
facilities with intrinsic labor (factories, transportation,
mechanized agriculture). If increase is less than a whole number,
use a decimal die roll to determine if the population increases.
Labor reallocation within a region may
be from farm to the general labor pool or vice versa. Up to one
labor unit may be moved from one region to an adjacent region and
allocated to either the general labor pool or the farm sector in
that region. The cost to move a labor point is equal to the ED of
the region it comes from plus the difference in ED of the two
regions if it is being moved to a lower ED region. If the region
it is being moved to has no developed transport net, double the
Prerequisites are sometimes listed to
build various items. These can consist of technology levels or
facilities required in the region of production. These
requirements must be met at the moment of production. For
example, mechanized farming requires an active transport net. A
player could not build a transport net and a mechanized farm in a
region at the same time; he would have to build the transport net
first and the mechanized farm later.
Diplomacy is conducted through
Political Influence Points (PIPs). PIPs can be placed in any
non-player region or any player capital. In the diplomacy phase
players can engage in diplomatic conflict and, following
resolution of all diplomatic conflict, upgrading of relations.
Restrictions on PIP Placement:
A player may not place PIPs in a region which has been absorbed
into the home country of another player. A player may not place
PIPs in any region which already has PIPs of a player who has an
Alliance with the player. A player may never place PIPs in a
region which another player Controls. A player may never place
PIPs in a region which another player has militarily occupied.
Diplomatic Conflict: Once all
players have placed their PIPs, players may conduct diplomatic
conflict. If more than one player in a region wishes to conduct
diplomatic conflict, roll a die to determine order.
Each player may make one diplomatic
attack per turn. This is done by totalling the attacking
players PIPs and comparing them to the defending player(s)
PIPs in the region. Reduce this to one of the odds ratios on the
Diplomatic Conflict CRT, roll a die, and check the results.
A player may attack one or several of
the other players PIPs in the region. If several are
attacked, total all PIPs of the defending players. For example,
France has 10 PIPs in Lake Woebegone, Russia has 3, and India has
2 (never mind why). France could attack Russia at 3:1, India at
5:1, or both at 2:1. It could not run two separate attacks,
Upgrading Relations: After all
conflict is done, relations in a region or capital may be
upgraded. If a player has 5 PIPs in a region, he may replace them
with an Understanding. If a player has an Understanding in
a region and 5 additional PIPs, and provided no other player has
a Control or Alliance in the region, he may replace the
Understanding and 5 PIPs with an Alliance. If a player has
an Alliance with a region and 5 additional PIPs, he may replace
them with a Control. If a player has Control of a region
and 10 additional PIPs, and provided I let him, he may absorb the
region into his home country. I will let him if it makes sense.
Russia can absorb all of its former territory, for instance, but
would have trouble absorbing the southwestern United States.
Restrictions on Upgrades:
Players may only have Understandings and Alliances
with player-controlled countries. They may never seize control or
absorb them. The exception to this is that a player may treat any
region of another players country as a non-player region
for purposes of PIP placement and relations provided the player
placing PIPs militarily occupies the region.
Effects of Relations with
Non-player Regions: Understandings allow a player to
station minor military units in the region, conduct low intensity
combat against insurgents, provide economic aid to the region,
and move goods through the region during trade, and will place
the country in a favorable trading position versus other
Alliances allow a player to
station major military units in the region and places it in a
most favored nation status with regards to trade.
Control allows a player to
completely run the country. In addition, no other player may
place PIPs in the region and all existing Understandings and PIPs
from other players are removed.
Absorption causes the region to
be added to the group of regions comprising a players home
Effects of Relations with Player
Countries: Understandings prevent the opposing player
from declaring war on you. Alliances prevent the opposing
player from placing any PIPs in a region in which you already
have PIPs (except his own capital) and prevent him from
conducting any diplomatic conflict with you in any region except
his own capital.
BREAKING DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
At the beginning of each turn a player
may break diplomatic relations with any country he chooses. A
breach in diplomatic relations removes all PIPs and existing
relations of both the breaching and the breached country from
their opponents capitals and prevents them from placing any
additional PIPs in the opponents capital that turn. In
addition, the breaching player must pay double for any PIPs
purchased that turn.
For example, Germany has succeeded in
reabsorbing Bavaria, but is now fearful of a French invasion, and
so has managed to gain an Understanding with France, thus
preventing a declaration of war. At the beginning of the next
turn, France breaks diplomatic relations with Germany. The German Understanding with France is removed, as are all French
PIPs in Germany. Neither Germany nor France may place new PIPs in
each others countries that turn and France must pay double
for any PIPs purchased in the production phase. France can,
however, purchase a declaration of war against Germany that turn,
thus allowing an invasion of Bavaria.
Food Aid: A player does not
need an Understanding with a non-player region to provide
food aid. For each unit of food provided, the player receives 1
free PIP, up to the maximum of labor units in the region
currently starving. These PIPs, unlike normal PIPs, may be
received even in areas under another players Control.
Economic Aid: A player receives
1 PIP in a region for every two dollars of economic aid he
allocates to the region. Note that a player must have an Understanding
with the region in order to give economic aid. Insurgents can be
used to destroy PIPs of an opposing player in a region. See the
Armed Conflict rules.
There are two broad types of units in
the game: major units and minor units. Major units are on big
counters while minor units are on little ones. All minor units
are ground units. Major units comprise ground units, naval units,
air units and spacecraft.
Sequence: Each turn can consist
of up to five combat turns, each representing a year of high
intensity combat. The first combat turn is also used to resolve
low intensity combat. In each combat turn, each player (or allied
group of players) rolls a die to determine order of action. Then
each player (or alliance) conducts all action in turn.
High Intensity Combat actions within a
combat turn consist of:
1. Strategic deployment
2. Operational supply
3. Operational movement
5. Breakthrough Operations
Strategic Redeployment consists
of moving any or all units as many regions as desired within the
1. A unit may only move through
land regions which are part of a players home country,
a region of another player who will allow transit, or a
non-player allied or controlled region.
2. A unit may only move through a
sea region if transported by a merchant ship.
3. A unit may never enter a region
containing a hostile unit.
4. A major unit may not
strategically redeploy though a rough terrain region unless
there is a developed transport net in the region.
Operational Supply consists of
paying the normal maintenance cost for all major units which will
conduct operational movement or combat that combat turn. Fuel for
maintenance may be drawn from any friendly region provided the
unit being supplied could normally conduct strategic movement to
the region containing fuel.
If a unit begins the operational
supply supply phase in the same region as an enemy unit, it must
either be given operational supply, retreated to a non-occupied
region, or removed from play. Ground units removed from play may
either be broken down into minor units or converted to
insurgents, at the owning players option.
In addition, units destroyed in
previous combat turns of that game turn may be replaced by paying
half of their normal build cost, in money (only), and placing
them in any region of the home country not occupied by enemy
Operational Movement consists
of moving units into an adjacent, enemy-occupied region. A major
unit may not operationally move into a rough terrain region
unless there is a developed transport net in the region.
Combat consists of attacks by
operationally supplied units on enemy units. Combat is resolved
in the following general order:
1. Space Combat
2. Air Combat
3. Naval Combat
4. Land Combat
Each general type of combat is
completely resolved before proceeding to the next type. Within
each general type of combat, units attack in order of their
attack priority (the number in the lower left hand corner of the
counter), with higher attack priority units attacking first. Both
the attacker and defender attack during combat.
Each individual attack is resolved by
rolling a die and comparing it to the attack value of the
attacking unit (lower right hand corner) and the defense value of
the defending unit (parenthetical value in the lower center of
the counter). The defense value is subtracted from the attack
value. If the die roll is equal to or less than the modified
attack value, the defending unit is eliminated. Otherwise there
is no effect.
Units are not limited to attacking
enemy units only of the same general category. For example,
during the air phase a bomber could attack a naval unit or a land
unit when its turn to attack came. There are some general
restrictions of which units can attack which. Some of these are:
1. Bombers cannot attack other air
2. Ground units cannot attack naval
3. Spacecraft cannot attack anything
but spacecraft (except that ICBMs are, although they are
spacecraft, can attack just about anything they want to).
4. Air, ground, and naval units cannot
Others will be decided on as we go
along, but these give you the general idea.
If, at the end of all combat, only one
player has ground combat units left in a land region or naval
combat units left in a sea region, that player has won Control
of the region. All hostile air and naval units must be withdrawn
to an adjacent friendly region or eliminated.
Two factors can modify the attack
priority value of units in combat: surveillance satellites and
AWACs aircraft. Whoever has the most surveillance satellites left
in orbit after space combat is completed is given a +1 on all
subsequent combats everywhere. Whoever has the most AWACs
aircraft in a region at the beginning of combat receives a +1 on
all air combat in that region and each adjacent region. Whoever
has the most AWACs aircraft present in a region after air combat
receives a +1 on all naval combat in that region and all adjacent
Breakthrough Operations occur
only if an attacking player destroys all enemy units in a region.
If he does so, the victorious units in that region (and only that
region) may again receive operational supply, conduct an
operational move, and then attack again.
For example, France is attacking
Germany in Bavaria. France attacks with 1 Mech unit, 1 Infantry
unit, and 1 Bomber unit. In addition, France has 1 AWACs aircraft
and an ICBM-launched ASAT system and has 1 surveillance satellite
in orbit. Germany has an Improved Mech unit, a militia unit, and
a fighter unit in Bavaria. [Germany also has 1 surveillance
In space combat, France launches its
ASAT system and succeeds in destroying the German surveillance
satellite. As France has a surveillance superiority, France
receives a +1 on all subsequent attack priorities.
In air combat, France starts with an
AWACs superiority and thus receives an additional +1 to attack
priority. The German fighter has an attack priority number of 3
while the French bomber has a 2. Normally, the German fighter
would attack first. However, the satellite and AWACs advantage
raises the bombers priority to 4, allowing it to attack
before the fighter. It attacks the German improved Mech unit. The
bomber has an attack value of 4 while the Mech unit has a defense
of 1. The French bomber must roll a 3 or less to destroy the Mech
unit, which it does. The German fighter now may attack and elects
to hit the French Mech unit. The fighter has an attack value of 3
while the Mech unit has no defense value. Thus the German fighter
unit must roll a 3 to destroy the French Mech unit, which it
There is no naval combat.
In ground combat, the French infantry
has an attack priority of 2, as does the German militia unit.
However, the French attack priority is raised to 3 due to his
surveillance satellite. He must roll a 2 (the infantrys
attack value) or less to destroy the German militia unit. He
misses. The German militia unit may now attack. He could fire at
the French infantry unit or the French bomber. However, militia
has an attack value of only 1 and since the bomber has a defense
value of 1 no attack against it would succeed. Instead, the
German militia unit attempts to roll a 1 against the French
infantry unit, but fails.
At the end of the turn, Bavaria is
still disputed and contains a French bomber, infantry, and AWACs,
and a German fighter and militia. No Breakthrough Operations are
Low Intensity Combat
Low intensity combat is conducted by
minor units and insurgents. [Note: major units may attack minor
units during high intensity combat, but minor units may never
attack major units]. Low-intensity combat is exactly like
high-intensity combat with the following exceptions:
1. Minor units and insurgents never
require operational supply to attack.
2. Minor units may attack other minor
units, insurgents, or PIPs.
3. Insurgents may never move.
4. Insurgents may attack PIPs and
other insurgents without restriction. Insurgents in a region may
only attack minor units if those units attacked an insurgent that
5. Regardless of whether or not high
intensity combat is being fought, only one combat turn of low
intensity combat is fought per game turn.
TRANSPORTATION & TRADE
Trade has no particular rules: players
can make any deals they want to. However, there are limits on how
much stuff can be moved around in a turn. Stuff is moved by land,
sea, and air. No movement is allowed into or out of a region
which suffered a nuclear strike that turn.
Land Transportation: Food,
coal, and minerals can move through any number of regions that
have a developed transport net. They may move out of one region
and into one region without a developed transport net per turn.
Thus, a unit of coal could move out of a region without a
transport net and into one with a transport net and then any
number of regions, and then finally into a region without a net.
However, if it started in a region without a net and moved
directly into another region without a net, that would end its
movement for the turn. Oil, electricity, hydrogen, and money can
move through any land regions, regardless of whether there is a
Sea Transportation: Any number
of items can be moved through a sea zone which contains a
friendly merchant ship. A string of such ships is referred to as
a merchant pipeline.
If there are insufficient ships
available to construct a pipeline, each merchant ship may move up
to 50 zones per turn. A ship may carry one food, coal, or mineral
or two oils or hydrogen while so doing. The ship may load and
unload as many items as desired, paying one zone of movement each
time it does so.
Any individual item may travel part of
its movement by land and part by sea. However, it may only be
loaded and off-loaded from a ship once per turn. No merchant ship
used to move combat units during the combat portion of the turn
may be used to transport stuff during trade.
Air Transport: Air transport is
used exactly like sea transport. It may be used to fly items by
individually moving them or may form part of a pipeline.
Aircraft, however, may not move coal or minerals.
During the maintenance phase, active
units must be maintained and inactive units may be reactivated.
In order to maintain a unit, all of the prerequisites for its
construction must still be present. For example, a factory
requires an active transport net. If the transport net is
inactive, the factory cannot be maintained. Any units or
facilities not maintained become inactive. If a facility which
absorbed a labor unit in its construction becomes inactive, the
labor unit is placed either in general labor pool (if from a
factory, R&D facility, or transport net) or a food box (if a
mechanized farm). If the labor unit is not fed, it is instead
flipped to its starving side.
Inactive items can be reactivated by
paying twice their normal maintenance. All prerequisites for
their construction must still be present to reactivate them. No
inactive facility may be reactivated in an area which contains
maintenance, attrition is performed on all inactive facilities
and starving labor units. Inactive transport nets are removed on
a die roll of 1 (on a d6). One third of all starving labor and
other facilities are removed. Draw these at random, with a die
roll used to determine removal of excess units not divisible by
Air, naval, and space units which are
not maintained are treated as inactive facilities for purposes of
attrition. Non-maintained ground units turn into insurgents or
disappear. Major units, regardless of type, are removed and
replaced by 2d6-2 insurgents. Minor units which are not
maintained are replaced by insurgents on a die roll of 1-3, and
removed without replacement on a die roll of 4-6. Half of all
insurgents thus created are independent insurgents while the
balance are loyal to the originally controlling character.
Voluntary Stand-Down: A unit
which was maintained during the turn may be voluntarily removed
from play. If it is in hostile territory it may be converted to
loyal insurgents. Each major ground unit becomes ten insurgents;
each minor unit becomes one insurgent.
Each nation received, as part of its
start-up package, a list of it technological achievements and its
current technological levels. Technological levels could be
improved by expending resources on research and development in
Technological Advances: When a
nation reached one less than the required tech level (for
a specific achievement; ie, a beanstalk, star drive, better
armor, etc.), it receives information on the precise requirements
for the specific achievement. This provides the nation with a
foretaste of what it will be capable of. For example, when Japan
reached Energy Tech Level 2, it received the coupon for Hydrogen
Net (use of hydrogen in place of petroleum to support a
transportation network). It then knows that, by applying research
and development efforts to Energy, it can ultimately produce and
field a hydrogen transportation net.