Players position armies on a map of countries. They then take turns in fighting battles to take control of as many countries as possible.
In the first stage of the game the players take turns in drawing countries to create a map. The countries can have any shape or position, and the players continue until 20 countries have been created. Here the countries have been labelled A to T, but this is optional:
Each player has 100 armies, and in the next stage of the game they occupy countries by allocating some of their armies to each country.
To do this they take turns in writing the number of armies in the country they want to occupy. This continues until all countries are occupied, or both players have allocated all their armies.
For example, at the end of this stage the map might look like this. Countries B and N have not been occupied:
In the final stage of the game the players take turns in conquering one of their opponent's countries. A player may conquer a country if they have more of their own armies in the adjacent countries than their opponent has in the country under attack.
To count as adjacent, the two countries must have a visible length of common border.
After an attack the number of armies in the conquered country is crossed out, and can no longer be used. The attacking armies are not affected.
For example, in the following game Red has conquered country E using the 34 armies in G, O, and L:
Play continues until neither player can make any more conquests, and then the winner is the player with the largest number of occupied countries.
In the above game Red is the winner with six occupied countries: G, H, L, O, S, and T, against Blue's four: C, J, M, and P.