Fortress America: Defend the Homeland!

Are you searching for a board game that your friends or family can play during bonding night? Then you should definitely try Fortress America! It’s a must-have for anyone who is into war movies or war games. With cool visuals and an interesting gameplay, your weekend bonding nights will never be boring. Check out this post to learn more about the mechanics of Fortress America.

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The Setting

In the near future, the United States of America creates a highly advanced satellite system capable of firing powerful lasers from space. This allows them to defend against missile attacks from anywhere, whilst having the ability to strike any point on Earth. Such power isolates the USA from other nations, causing immense political tension around the globe. Out of fear, a coalition of governments is formed to ensure that the global laser system must be deactivated before its true power is unleashed. Now, 3 factions are on the move to invade America and take it for their own! This is the thrilling setting of Fortress America, the classic board game by Milton Bradley.


First released in 1986 under the Gamesmaster series, Fortress America has a unique setting largely inspired by the real life Cold War, but with added fictional elements. The game is high on a near-future setting where the entire world attacks America, and the continental United States has to defend its Motherland from all directions: West from Asians, South from South Americans, and East from the Soviets who have conquered all of Europe. Because of its interesting mechanics that aim to challenge a person’s strategic skills, this board game won the Charles S. Roberts Best Twentieth Century Game in 1986.



It is a strategic board game that needs at least 2 players to begin. Ideally, the game needs 4 players to play the roles of all characters. One will play as an American defender, while three will play as the invading armies: The Asian Peoples Alliance (yellow), The Central American Federation (blue), and The Euro-Socialist Pact (red). These 3 players have the common goal of defeating and taking down America, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to work together.

Game On!

Since the setting entails that America is being invaded, all attacking forces have a full suite of armed units at their disposal at the beginning of the game. The U.S. player, on the other hand, will begin with a skeleton defense but can work to build up its military force throughout the game. The objective is to capture 18 of the 30 major states of the U.S. and keep a stronghold on it until the game ends.

Given that the game is set in the future, the military forces of each invading unit include conventional foot soldiers, vehicles like the APC, hover tanks, bombers, and helicopters. The US defender has access to partisan units and their trump card, the “Star Wars” laser system that fires from space and could strike any point on Earth. This is the most powerful weapon of America with a 60% chance to destroy units and overthrow the invaders with each turn.

Since the invading forces already have their full forces at the beginning of the game, there will be no further reinforcements for them. They have to use their units strategically to make it to the end, capture cities, and finally win the game. The U.S., however, will slowly and continuously build its defenses and call for armed support by drawing two cards in each turn.

The U.S. player has the power to call for never-ending reinforcements, put their units behind enemy lines, reconstruct its shattered defenses, and reclaim captured lands. Meanwhile, the invading teams are left with lesser forces as the game draws to an end. This is why strategic usage of each unit is highly essential for the invading forces to win the game.