Similar to other card driven strategic games, players assume role of political and military commander of their respective (RED and WHITE) forces in this epic struggle of the Russian Civil War.
Three phases in a turn: Political, Action and Logistics.
During the Political Phase, players try to gain control of the 18 factions (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, West Ukraine, Ukraine, Makhno, Transcaucasia, Asktrakhan, Khiva, Turkistan, Central Powers, Czech Legion, Britain, France, USA) using Political Cards. Players are forced to make difficult trade-offs between expending resources in the Political Phase vs the Action Phase and attempting to influence one faction at the expense of others. Players utilize a shared deck of 66 Political Cards.
During the Action Phase, players use Action Cards to conduct operations (activating a space for combat or movement), take replacements, place reinforcements, make strategic moves, seize initiative in combat, gain diplomatic traction with the factions or implement special operations. Leaders have these capabilities including exploitation, reinforcing battles, withdrawing, counter-attacking and conducting multi-space attacks. Players are forced to make difficult decisions thwarting threats and capitalizing on opportunities. Each player has their own deck of 55 Action Cards. Additionally, a deck of 44 Leader Cards (for a combined total of 220 ToC Cards) provide historical details regarding the various personalities in the game.
During the Logistics Phase, players rebuild/repair units, determine if various factions withdraw from the combat, check for the effect of In-Fighting within the RED and WHITE camps, check for attrition, purchase political influence, buy leaders and check for victory.