From the publisher web site: Basically, each player owns four territories. Four territories that belong to other players. So, once someone lays down the first strike, everyone starts attacking everyone in the hopes of regaining their four territories. While laying siege to other lands, you must also defend your own, otherwise the bad people sitting next to you will take them. The bloodshed goes on and on until someone throws down a time stop card, or runs out of cards in their deck. At that point, everyone gets to take a breather and tally up damage. If a rival player pushed one of your territories over the damage threshold, he gets to take your land. It's the original meaning of hostile take-over.