(from the rulebook:)
The game starts in October 1791, when the Legislative Assembly is installed. It ends in September 1795. The game mechanics are mainly diplomacy and negotiations. Each player represents a "Political Current" (or simply a Current), because at this time, there was no permanent political party, but only shifting groups of politicians. Each Current acts to strengthen its position and increase its fame. The game uses also elements under no player's control, but which react to the players' actions.
A game can end in several ways, depending on the current political regime, and depending on each player's victory points. In the real world, the end was the installation of the Directorate in September 1795.
One interesting feature of the game is the strict seating arrangement: Players are seated from left to right depending on the political stance of their "Current" (Sans-Culottes on the left, Royalists on the right, and everyone else in between). One cannot leave the room to conduct negotiations, but one can whisper--thus it's easier to secretly negotiate with one's neighbor than with someone on the "other side of the aisle".