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God's Playground covers the period of Polish history from the 1400s to the mid 1700s, i.e. from the war against the Teutonic Knights to the period leading up to the first of the three partitions.
Each player takes on the role of one of the major noble families. The game is played over four turns and in each turn there will be a number of enemy powers to deal with. Players secretly decide how many minor nobles they wish to place in each of the five areas within Poland, plus how many will be used to influence the king. The number of nobles placed in each area will determine who is voted to the government, (the Sejm), from there. Nobles also allow a number of other actions to be carried out in that area, such as the claiming of land, building of armies, and launching of campaigns. There is also the possibility to arrange peace treaties, directly attack other players', (known as confederation), invoke the Liberum Veto, and build Jesuit Schools.
Poland's enemies wax and wane in strength as they did in history. In the first turn the major threats are presented by the Teutonic Knights and the Tatars. Later in the game Russia becomes more of a problem, while the Swedes replace the Teutonic Knights, and are in turn surplanted by the Prussians. The Ottoman Empire also has to be dealt with, and there is the possibility that Poland will have to ride to the rescue of Vienna.
Player's have to balance co operation in dealing with these external forces with the selfish acquisition of victory points.
Playing time is around 2 to 3 hours. The name of the game has been 'stolen' from the excellent book on Polish history by Norman Davies.