The Shitennô are the four great Generals of the legendary Shogun Togukawa Ieyasu who unified Japan at the end of the 16th century. The players will play these loyal and famous samuraïs, with the goal of becoming the Shogun's favorite by controlling as many provinces as possible.
In Shitenno, you do not fight on the battlefield, but through planning and manipulation in the Shogun's court. A game turn starts with a "distribution phase" in which the active player creates card lots, one for each player, but takes the lot remaining after all other players have taken their cards. (All part of following the Japanese code of honor.) In the next stage, players can gain control of provinces.
The rules are easy to understand, but if you want to win, you have to judge your opponents aptly and guess their secret intentions. Every choice is crucial, every move is decisive...