Clash of Monarchs - The Seven Years War In Europe

By: GMT Games

Type: Boxed Game

Product Line: Card-Driven Games

Product Info

Clash of Monarchs - The Seven Years War In Europe
Product Line
Bob Kalinowski
Publish Year
NKG Part #
MFG. Part #
Boxed Game
Age Range
12 Years and Up
# Players
2 - 4 Players
Game Length
360 Minutes


Clash of Monarchs lets two to four players recreate the titanic struggle that raged across Europe and the world, pitting Frederick the Great’s Prussia and its Hanoverian allies against Maria Theresa’s Coalition of Austrian, French, Russian, Saxon, Swedish, and Holy Roman Empire forces. Each player directs the effort of one or more of the major powers, plus their minor allies, using the card-driven operations and point-to-point movement system of many of GMT’s most highly-regarded games. The cards help players enact Frederick’s pre-war invasion planning, Austrian minister Kaunitz’s diplomatic triumph in the 2nd Treaty of Versailles, the operational ascendancy of Prussian and Hanoverian light troops, formation of the Austrian General Staff, huge financial loans, court intrigue at Versailles, Vienna, and St. Petersburg, and dozens of other key political, economic, and military events.

COM also uses split decks, which foster play of each power’s events in two phases -- Early War (usually through mid-1758), and Wider War (1758 to conclusion) – and allow a multi-player game to use exactly the same rules as a 2-player contest. COM augments the CDG system with a Colonial Conflict sub-game, a fully-integrated treatment of light unit operations, and a Fortunes of War chit pull, which varies the occurrence and/or timing of events beyond players’ control each year -- severe weather, desertion, attrition, possible deaths of English king George II, Empress Elizabeth of Russia, et al, and Madame Pompadour’s political influence over the French commanders, to add further uncertainty and drama to the campaigns.

Yet COM’s overall feel leans in a more traditional wargame direction; card events are important, but players’ fates rest squarely on their operations in the field, using rich battle and siege subsystems. The armies are colorfully articulated, with line infantry strength points, and distinct line and light cavalry, field and siege artillery, and light infantry units. Over 50 leaders are rated for initiative, movement, and offensive/ defensive skills, and their willingness to drive their armies to endure horrendous combat losses. Forces clash in battles that are influenced by commanders’ abilities, artillery strength, cavalry superiority, entrenchments, fortifications, supply state, and a wide array of over 60 Tactics chits, historically suited to each power and war phase. Players must accrue as many battlefield advantages as they can, but the wide variety of combat outcomes and effects always makes battles risky.

Measured and Intense battle Combat Result Tables generate relatively light casualty battles between conservative commanders, and often severe losses when determined commanders like Frederick, Marshal Daun, or Marshal Saltikov face off. Sieges can become a subgame in themselves, dependent on fortress class, siege artillery, defensive commander, besiegers’ supply status, and the lurking opportunities for quick Coup attempts (exhilarating when successful, bloody in failure). The Hanoverian and French players must also contend with each other overseas, using Royal Navy and French Fleet “home cards” in their efforts to gain the upper hand in America and India. These operations are abstracted on the Colonial Conflict Track, where success abroad can have significant effects on the enemy’s treasury, will to fight, and ultimately Victory Points.


One 22" x 34" map
110 Strategy cards
456 9/16 inch counters
280 1/2 inch markers
Five 8-1/2" x 11" Player Aid cards
Four 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" Power Displays
One 24-page Rule Book
One 20-page Play Book
Two six-sided dice

Complexity: 6
Solitaire Suitability: 5

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