Soldier Kings:
Pragmatic Sanction

Europe at War, 1740 - 1748

In October 1740, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI ate a poisonous mushroom and died, leaving no sons. Over the weeks that followed, one European power after another reneged on their promises to support his daughter Maria Theresa’s inheritance of the “crown lands” of Austria, Bohemia and Hungary. In December the newly-crowned King Frederick II invaded Austrian territory without the courtesy of a declaration of war.

Maria Theresa’s ministers counseled compromise. Her husband urged Maria Theresa to placate Frederick with gifts of territory. The 23-year old Archduchess refused. “I found myself,” she wrote later, “without money, without credit, without an army, without experience and knowledge of my own and finally, also without any counsel because each one of them wanted to wait and see how things would develop.”

The War of the Austrian Succession would last for eight years and eventually involve almost all of Europe. The resolve of Maria Theresa and the fierce loyalty of her soldiers assured that Austria would not perish.

Pragmatic Sanction is a complete game for two to eight players, based on the events of the War of the Austrian Succession. Players represent the crowned heads of the great powers of Europe: Austria, Prussia, Russia, Sweden, Britain, France, Spain and the Ottoman Empire. It uses the same game engine as our Soldier Kings game, and is very similar to Soldier Emperor.

Each of those players wields fleets and armies to achieve their goals, usually – but not always – depending on the seizure of territory. Equally important for most is the installation of their favored candidate as Holy Roman Emperor, which requires control of electors. Adding chaos to the game is card play. Players can slap down a card at any moment and induce unexpected change to the situation: Bonnie Prince Charlie can raise the Highlanders in rebellion against the English. Hungarian nobles can rally around Maria Theresa. Colonial entanglements can divert the English, Spanish or French. Combat is resolved simply; leaders play an important role in both moving units and fighting with them.

The map covers all of Europe, from Tunisia in the south to Sweden in the north; from Ireland in the west to the Caucasus Mountains in the east.

There are 216 playing pieces: 96 of them large pieces representing fleets and armies, 120 of them standard-sized ones representing leaders and markers

There are 52 high-quality poker-style playing cards, just like those in the new edition of Soldier Emperor.

And there are full-color player aids.


Components: 216 playing pieces, 52 playing cards, full-color charts, one 28"x22" map, 16-page rulebook.

Stock Code: APL0053

Price: $59.99

Status: Coming Soon