To develop an understanding of the structure-activity relationships for the inhibition of orthopoxviruses by nucleoside analogues, a variety of novel chemical entities were synthesized. These included a series of pyrimidine 5-hypermodified acyclic nucleoside analogues based upon recently discovered new leads, and some previously unknown "double-headed" or "abbreviated" nucleosides. None of the synthetic products possessed significant activity against two representative orthopoxviruses; namely, vaccinia virus and cowpox virus. They were also devoid of significant activity against a battery of other DNA and RNA viruses. So far as the results with the orthopoxviruses and herpes viruses, the results may point to the necessity for nucleoside analogues 5'-phosphorylation for antiviral efficacy.