The map is split into 9 zones with each zone having a different voter-count required to form a majority. The player with the highest majority votes – when all majorities are formed – wins the game. To influence voters, players will need unique combinations of the four resources at their disposal – (campaign) Funds, Media (attention), (public)Trust and (street) Clout. At the start of their turn, players must respond to the political dilemma they are faced with – each question has two answers to pick from. The players must try and gauge the ideological bent of each answer, the resources it would grant them and answer accordingly. At the same time, they must try to build a cohesive manifesto to unlock huge powers.
For instance – giving pro-industry answers will yield Funds, and having 4 Funds answers in your manifesto will allow you to trade resources with the bank. Similarly, building a manifesto with 4 Media answers will allow you to reach out to influence even more voters for the same cost.
Players must constantly juggle with the trade-off of giving answers that grant them the resources they need in that moment or investing in the long term with answers that strengthen their Ideologies to unlock greater combos later in the game.
Players must also navigate the effects of Headlines (triggered by placing votes in volatile zones) and Conspiracy Cards (which can be purchased at any time in the game), providing them with a wide toolset to seize power or throw a spanner in the works for a rival.
SHASN boasts of having no hard RNGs and uses deliberate choice as the core resource gathering and power-building mechanic. As much of the game hinges on political negotiation between players, the gameplay is often aggressive, action-packed and laden with long-term strategy building.