A Pragmatic War is a two-player game simulating the War of the Austrian Succession. The war like its predecessor, the War of the Spanish Succession (excellently portrayed by Don Herndon’s No Peace Without Spain!) was fought primarily to determine who would succeed to the throne of a great empire, in this case the Austrian Empire. When the current ruler of the Austrian crown lands and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Charles VI died without male issue he had laid the groundwork for his eldest daughter Maria Theresa to succeed to the Hapsburg crown lands. Known as the “Pragmatic Sanction”, this diplomatic effort obtained the agreement of the leading powers of Europe to her accession to the Hapsburg dominions and the election of her paramour as the next Holy Roman Emperor. However, with the opportunistic seizure of Silesia by the young Frederick the Great of Prussia, the agreement unraveled and the war began. In time, it would involve virtually all of Europe.
One player represents the Austrian interest represented by the Austrians and those powers in Europe faithful to the original agreement, (“the Pragmatic Alliance”). The other player represents the challengers to the Austrians, the Bavarian rival for the Imperial title, Charles Albert and his supporters, primarily the Bourbon rulers of France and Spain intermittently joined by Prussia (“the Bourbons”). Each “faction/alliance” consists of a number of allied powers representing the military forces of various states and royal houses of Europe.
The simulation is based upon the "No Peace Without Spain" system, yet adapted to reflect the historical situation of 1741. Victory is determined by the faction that more closely obtains their goals - represented by victory points.