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fish lo
Hong Kong
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In Brinkmanship, you play as one of the six representatives in the Six-parties Talks. Using the North-Korean crisis as a pretext, you will wrangle the most diplomatic capital through a myriad of feint, sabotage, and brinkmanship. The player with the highest victory points will be the winner.


North Korea has just gone nuclear.

All the meetings behind closed doors, all the military exercises in the Yellow Sea, all the bottled-water and camera flashes at press conferences, have prepared the six nations for this moment. The United States has its seventh fleet poised. Russia let loose a quiet yawn in its seat. China is sitting on the fence. South Korea is wringing its hands. Japan builds up its military.

No one knows what’s in Pyongyang’s mind.

Game Setup:

The Country Boards are distributed to players before the game starts.

Shuffle the Action Card Pool and the North Korea Event Card Pool.

Starting hands - Each player draw 5 cards from the Action Card Pool.

North Korea Economic Index - Put the North Korea Economic Index Indicator here to mark the current economic prosperity of North Korea. The North Korea Economic Index starts at 5.

North Korea Friendliness Index - Put the North Korea Friendliness Index Indicator here to mark the current aggression of North Korea. The North Korea Friendliness Index starts at 5.


The game starts with South Korea. The turn is then passed to Japan, China, USA, Russia, and lastly North Korea.

Turn outline for Japan, China, USA, Russia:
1. Draw 2 cards from the Action Card Pool

2. Play cards - Each player can either play 1 Action Card or discard 2 cards and pass the turn.

3. Effects on Action Cards are activated after the diplomatic costs on the cards are paid by discarding the number of hands specified on the cards.

4. Some Action Cards are counterable: another player can pay the counter cost to counter the action.

5. Some Action Cards have a contribution cost: any number of players can discard any number of cards in hand up to the Contribution Cost. The action of the card is activated only if the total contribution equals or exceeds the Contribution Cost.

North Korea's turn:

North Korea's turn comes last and plays quite differently from the other countries.

1. Draw a card from both the North Korea Event Card Pool and the North Korea Action Card Pool.The North Korea Event Card Pool contains Nuclear Weaponry Resources and Events that would happen in North Korea while diplomats try to unravel the crisis.

2. Perform the effect of the Event Card - Place the Event Card upside down if you already have the matching Event Card. The North Korea Event Cards are designed in matching sets. The effect on a North Korea Event Card would only activate if the North Korean player already has the matching card. So a different order of cards drawn would result in a different scenario every game.

3. Play a North Korea Action Card. Unlike the normal Action Cards, North Korea Action Cards do not have a direct effect on North Korea's state of Affairs. Rather, they try to manipulate other countries into acting according to North Korea's benefits. Other countries would have to take North Korea's response into account when they act.

Final Countdown

When North Korea gathers all three Nuclear Weaponry Resource Cards, the game enters the Final Countdown. The Final Countdown is the last turn before the game concludes.

End Game

North Korea’s final outcome is determined by the sum of the North Korea Economic Index, North Korea Friendliness Index and the North Korea Political Index.
If the sum of the three is 13 or less, North Korea would collapse; If the sum is anywhere between 14 to 18, North Korea would maintain its status quo; and if the sum is 19 or more, North Korea would reach out to the world and transform into a normalized country.

The player with the highest Victory Point wins the game. Victory Points are calculated by adding the number of cards in hand plus the bonus given if the country achieved its victory condition. Throughout the game, the player would have to weigh its actions carefully. More powerful actions would consume higher diplomatic costs which means a loss of hands but would steer North Korea towards its agenda more effectively. Player would have to decide if they should reserve their hands or go all out to try to achieve their victory condition base on how the game plays out, making every game unique.

We are currently in the process of creating the rulebook of the game and we will update you as soon as we are done finalizing it. Thanks for your time in reading this postlaugh

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Mark Perry
United States
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Sounds interesting!

Two thoughts:

1) You should strongly consider entering this game is the 2018 Wargame PnP contest. I think this could be a very strong entry.

2) When does this occur? I am wondering because the statement about Japan doesn't ring quite possible, at least presently or historically after WW2, even with the establishment of the JSDF.

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fish lo
Hong Kong
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Thanks for your suggestions!

1. This sounds exciting! We are planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign of the game within the week so all our manpower is currently devoted to it.

2. The game is set in the current time. We try to stay abreast of current events and important milestones that happened during development like the Panmunjom Declaration are included in the game. Japan has always wanted to rebuild its military ever since WW2, secretly in the past and openly now.

More on the topic:
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