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The Last Labour of Hercules is a game about the English occupation of Tangier. The port was bequeathed to King Charles II as part of a dowry when he married the Portuguese princess, Catherine of Braganza. It would be another generation before the English captured Gibraltar from Spain, but Tangier seemed an ideal base for many of the same reasons.
It would be a handy staging post for ships bound for West Africa and
the Caribbean, it would place a watch upon the Catholic Spanish, and it might facilitate trade with the Moors, the port being one terminus of the ancient gold-dust caravan route. There were only two problems. The Moors hated outsiders, but more importantly, the port lay open to the worst the Atlantic could throw at it. The anchorage was deep, but it was unprotected.
As the English player you must keep the Moors at bay while gauging how many of your precious resources you can spare to build Tangier’s Great Mole – a breakwater that will protect your ships.
As the Moorish player you must endevour to make the English inclined to leave, ideally by sacking Tangier. At the same time, you also have two problems to deal with. First, there is the small matter of a civil war among the Berber tribes, of whom you represent only a fraction. Then, there is the Sultan at Istanbul. He seems to be under the false impression that Morocco belongs to him.
The Last Labour of Hercules is part card game and part wargame. Covering a period of twenty years, it does not represent a single siege of Tangier but many attempts, some large and some small, by the Moors, to dislodge the English. Some times, in fact, the protagonists might even trade with one another.
So, the wargame portion covers the fighting and the card game covers both the times of peace and the preparations for war. If the English complete the Great Mole they win. If the Moors take the Citadel they win. If neither side can achieve their main objective someone might or might not win on points, comparing the English player’s progress on the Mole against the Moorish player’s ability to secure
Morocco for his dynasty