'The Road to War: Europe 1936' seeks to portray the geopolitical turmoil on the eve of World War II. Players assume the role of European statesmen seeking to outclass their geopolitical rivals and attain a position of predominance.
The game is based upon Allan B. Calhamer's classic Diplomacy. However, its treatment of minor powers is strikingly different as these have their own military units. Players secretly bid influence points in order to obtain the support of these lesser powers.
The game closely resembles the designer's previous geopolitical game Locarno: Europe 1926, though various changes were made in order to take account of the spectacular rise of the USSR as an industrial power since 1926 and the looming Spanish Civil War - pitting the foreign-backed Nationalist and Republican factions against each other.
The rules and maps are provided further below.