From the rules:
“Escalation is a game simulating political and military struggle during the cold war. The object of the game is to accumulate 20 VP by controlling Strategic Theatres. Competition on a Strategic Theatre could be started by triggering a local Crisis. Control over a Strategic Theatre could be gained using political means. Or, if you are a ruthless warmonger, you can make the guns roar. Or even start a nuclear weapon race.”
Escalation is a print and play card game. Components include a custom deck of cards (composed of Crisis, Political, Special, and War Unit Cards) and a set of Strategic Theater boards (Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, U.N. Council, Sea Control, and Nuclear Weapons Race).