From the box cover:
The time is the late twentieth century. Your country and a neighboring country have recently developed nuclear capability. Never the best of friends in the first place, your countries are now engaged in a massive nuclear arms build-up that has come to be known as "cold war". The stakes are as high as they come: literal survival for your citizens and your democratic way of life.
Each year, you must decide to allocate some resources into massive espionage efforts to locate enemy bases and industrial centers, or concentrate effort into producing more engines of nuclear destruction. You must choose among jet fighter-bombers, land-based missiles, missile submarines, or anti-ballistic missiles.
Your neighboring country is controlled by a cold and calculating computer whose sole objective is to annihilate you utterly! Tension mounts until either all weapons are expended or a truce is negotiated. Victory is determined by population remaining and world political opinion, which is usually against the side that started the war. If both sides loose enough people, neither one will win!
This computer simulation creates a hypothetical conflict between two abstract countries. NUKEWAR is very fast-paced amd easy to learn, amd can be enjoyed equally by game players of all ages and levels of experience. Best of all, once the nuclear war is over, you can bring the two countries back to life and try it all over again!
NUKEWAR is a semi-serious simulation of the choices facing the leaders of democratic nations as they attempt to provide strategic defenses for their countries in the nuclear age. The key assumption in this simulation is that strategic nuclear war will occur as the arms race causes continued stockpiling of nuclear weapons. This makes for a lively game, but let us hope that we can prevent nuclear war from happening in real life!
The winner is generally the side with the greater population at the end. Cities have 11 million people each, while other non-bombed grid locations have 1 million each. If world opinion goes against the side that declared war, it is harder for that side to win. The winning country and the degree of victory are given after the final printing of the maps, this time with total and correct information for both sides. There is no winner if the population is reduced far enough.