This abstract battle simulation game is played on a 7x7 grid divided into three areas and nine regions. Players use green, blue, white, red, and black pieces symbolizing the Aristotelian elements (earth, water, air, fire) and the element of "death" to control the board’s regions and attempt to kill their opponent’s leader piece.
The game has a number of different themes available, ranging from modern combat to space conflict, science fiction, fantasy, classical civilization, and medieval war.
It plays a lot like chess with more freedom to select and customize a starting army and an empty board which fills as the players develop their strategy and use their leader's power to reinforce the battle with more units.
Each player chooses 15 pieces of whichever five main unit colors in whatever numbers they prefer as their army, plus one leader piece.
Each unit has different rules for movement and powers, and as the players take turns vying for positional control and attempting to kill enemy pieces, they can also combine their pieces into stacks, conferring multiple powers or more optional movements to the stack of pieces. On a player’s turn she can use the power of any one of her pieces on the board (which generally involve movement, pushing and killing enemy units, or adding new units to the board). She could also use the powers of multiple pieces if those pieces occupied the same space on the board and formed a stack.
Knowing when to stack and unstack pieces and clever tactical use of the powers of the pieces are key to winning the game.