This game is incredibly complicated, and is supposed to replicate (unsuccessfully, some say) parts of life, and governance. At the beginning of each round you play a card game, similar to whist, where you basically auction certain attributes that you will have later in the game (i.e. Self Made Man). This part of the game is vital to your success.
Shouat is played on three main boards, with various side boards to each of these.
The First board to be played on is the Board of War. Each player starts off with a group of three cities, and has to conquer as much of the board as possible. There are six sub-boards on which to be played: Politics, Religion, Finance, Resources, Technology and Battle.
The Second Board is the Commercial Board. Here the player tries to gain as much wealth as possible, making his company more successful than the others. The sub boards are Social, Workers, Resources, Investment and Stocks
The Third and final Board is the Social Board. Here the player tries to become allied with as many people as possible.