Epic long term struggle to become the dominant European empire in the age of colonization. Very clever game indeed - you play a point accumulation game but overlaying this the management of the other players! As it says in the rules - make your enemies your allies and be at war with your friends.
I like games that explore and explain aspects of history. An essential characteristic of European history for a thousand years was the Holy Roman Emperor - usually weak but always important and equally hard to comprehend in our modern world. Here is the fun way of illuminating obscure history, with excellent and innovative game mechanics.
This game has been sometimes misunderstood - the board may make people think it is an ugly route building game. However what it really is, is a rather brilliant exposition of a boom and bust type of economy - e.g. dot.com explosion in modern times. In this case it's pepper in medieval Germany. High costs for quick entry and early market dominance - but the profits don't last.