Europe, 1702. The death of king Charles II of Habsburg left the throne vacant and started a war all over Europe to settle the matter of the Spanish Succession. The Archduke Charles III of Austria, the Habsburg heir, was discarded by the last will of Charles II, signed almost on his deathbed, in favor of Phillip of Anjou, Louis XIV’s grandson, the Bourbon heir. The Grand Alliance has been formed, by the Treaty of Den Haag, by Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, Austria, Portugal and Savoy to preserve Europe’s balance of power and reclaim the throne for the Archduke Charles.
The players, representing the powers of the Grand Alliance, will fight the Bourbon forces composed by French, Castilian and Bavarian troops. Their goal, defined by a hidden agenda, is to obtain the best commercial and territorial concessions, and conquer the Bourbon territories. But this is no cooperative game: the winning player will need strategy and negotiation skills to achieve the best deals with the enemy and thus be the country with the most benefits thanks to the Peace of Utrecht.
In previous turn reverse order, each player decides how to play one of the seeded cards for the current turn. The players may pay from their resources to use the card’s text or may prefer to “sell” the card to execute one action. Each action is available only once for each turn and the players cannot execute the same action in two consecutive turns. The available actions are Recruit troops, Move them across the map or Attack the enemy in adjacent areas. Other choices include obtaining Resources or paying attention to their own countries Public Opinion (a.k.a. Will to Fight), for this will decide the order in which the new Concessions will be dealed. The card deck, composed by the most relevant battles, events and characters throughout the war, includes the exploits of the Bourbon armies to counter the player’s actions.