Empire (Revised Edition)


The 2009 bonus game. A grand strategic simulation game of the Macedonian and Punic Wars from 350 to 150 BC, by Philip Sabin.

Now reprinted and available once again.

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Empire is a very simple game for one to four players, simulating the struggle for imperial dominance between Carthaginians, Romans, Macedonians and Persians/Parthians, from 350 to 150 BC. You will witness the stunning impact of the historical ‘great captains’ (Alexander, Hannibal and Scipio), as you strive to win the contest for supremacy over an arena stretching from Spain to India. The larger an empire gets, the more vulnerable it is to stagnation and random revolts, and the game vividly illustrates the eclipse of the Persian empire by tiny Macedon and later the demise of the Hellenistic kingdoms in the face of attacks from Rome and a resurgent Parthia. You will also gain new insights into the resilience of Rome’s Italian confederacy, and how Rome bounced back to gain unchallenged dominance of the Mediterranean within just three decades of Carthage’s epic triumph at Cannae. 

The two player game (in which one player controls Carthage and Macedon while the other player leads Rome and Persia/Parthia) is if anything even more tense and gripping than the three or four player versions. The game may be played on a stand-alone basis in under an hour, or you may resolve some of the 80 or so campaigns by fighting tactical battles using whatever rules you prefer. Empire works particularly well in conjunction with the designer’s own ‘Strategos’ and ‘Lost Battles’ systems, and he has produced linking rules to allow 22 famous battles from this period to be refought to decide the outcome of strategic campaigns.

Empire was designed at King’s College London by Professor Philip Sabin, whose recent books include not only ‘Lost Battles: Reconstructing the Great Clashes of the Ancient World’ but also the award-winning two-volume ‘Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare’. Empire comes in a zip-loc bag, and includes a full colour 8.5” by 22” game map, 77 full colour card counters, and an 8 page A4 rulebook including ready reference charts, an example of play, and extensive design notes and bibliography. The game’s extreme simplicity, speed of play and flexibility make it ideal for busy individuals and for newcomers to conflict simulation.