South China Sea (SCS) provides an integrated political-military simulation of near future contention and conflict around the South China Sea. Players take on the roles of China, the United States, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. They simulate current political tensions through card play and structured negotiation keyed to real world events in an effort to "move the needle" to their side. Unfortunately, the cards with the greatest chance of moving that needle, such as Chinese Coast Guard and U.S. Freedom of Navigation Exercise, are also most likely to trigger armed conflict. If and when that happens, play transitions to traditional hex-and-counter format on a map scaled at 45 nautical miles (nmi) per hex and turns of 3-7 hours.