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Tanto Monta: The Rise of Ferdinand and Isabella covers the period from 1470 to 1516, the height of the Age of Discovery, making it the prequel to the award-winning Here I Stand. This 4-player grand strategy game centers on the Iberian peninsula, and land that has been splintered into numerous caliphates and kingdoms over the previous 700 years. Warfare - part of the desperate competition between Christian and Muslim faiths often referred to as the Reconquista - has been the one constant.

Now age 18, Isabella of Castile has been offered in marriage alliances to both Portugal and France. Against the wishes of her brother, she refuses both deals and instead elopes with her original betrothed, Ferdinand II of Aragon. But can their fragile alliance between Castile and Aragon hope to prosper while facing threats from all sides?

Opposing the Spanish player are three emerging powers. Portugal has been immersed in the exploration of West Africa under the guidance of Prince Henry the Navigator. Can they push further around the coasts of Africa and establish direct trade with the spice merchants of India? Meanwhile, the French are trying to emerge out of the Hundred Years' War against England. Once ready to push south, the French will compete against Spain for lands from Navarre to Italy. And the Muslim forces are still roadblocks to all these ambitions. The Nasrid Kingdoms of Granada will fiercely defend against further incursions against their highland strongholds while the Kingdom of Fez opposes the Portuguese attempts to deny their monopoly over the spice trade.

Players familiar with Here I Stand will find much familiar with Tanto Monta: over half of the rulebook remains unchanged. However, the land combat system has been enriched with the addition of explicit siege artillery units and cavalry units. The spring phase is also extended to include play of Headline Events, chances to use a powerful hand to score bonus VP and sneak in an extra card play before the turn is fully underway. Finally, the enhanced Exploration Map systems depict the arrival of Vasco Da Gama in India and Christopher Columbus in America.
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