2. OVERVIEW

2.1        OUTLINE OF PLAY

2.2        NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2.3        DURATION OF PLAY

2.4        TURNS

2.5        PHASES

2.1  OUTLINE OF PLAY:

2.11  Gathering Storm recreates the diplomatic and military maneuvering which preceded the Second World War. The winner may be determined when war between two or more European major powers breaks out by using the Gathering Storm victory conditions (34), or the game may be continued as an A World at War game.

2.12  While the players, as leaders of these major powers, recognize the inevitability of war from the outset, the same cannot be said of the countries they lead. In the democracies, the general population is convinced that war can be avoided, while in the totalitarian states factions may oppose war, sometimes secretly and for their own reasons.

2.13  The task of each player is to maximize his freedom of action and take whatever steps best position his major power for war.  The game simulates this by the acquisition and expenditure of tile points, which are used for a wide variety of economic, political, military and diplo­matic purposes - provided the major power has sufficient activity counters available.

2.14  At the start of each game turn, random events are drawn that affect the economic, political, military and diplo­matic environment for that turn. Some random events are public, but others are secret, leaving each player uncertain as to the capabilities of his opponents.

2.15  Each turn, the European Aggression Index (EAI) and the relative Axis-Allied balance of power modify Axis aggressions and major power declarations of war, making it easier or more difficult for different major powers to carry out those actions.

2.16  When a crisis arises as a result of the actions of an Axis major power, various factors, including the EAI and Axis-Allied balance of power, determine whether the Allies back down, postponing the outbreak of war at the expense of the minor country that is the target of aggression, or confront the Axis aggressor, risking the outbreak of war and the end of the game.

2.2  NUMBER OF PLAYERS:

2.21  Gathering Storm may be played by two to five players, each of whom controls one or more of five major European powers represented in the game (Germany, Italy, Britain, France and Russia) as follows:

A. TWO PLAYERS:

B. THREE PLAYERS:

C. FOUR PLAYERS:

D. FIVE PLAYERS:

2.22  The United States, Japan and China do not take part in Gathering Storm.

2.3  DURATION OF PLAY:

2.31  The game begins in 1935 and ends when war between two or more European major powers breaks out.

2.4  TURNS:

2.41  GAME TURNS:  Gathering Storm is played in game turns of three months each (spring, summer, fall and winter).

2.5  PHASES:

2.51  Each game turn consists of a number of phases as set out in the sequence of play (7)