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Subject: Empires Review (with a short comparison to Sidereal Confluence) rss

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John J
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Premise: Players representing developing empires compete to achieve the highest number of ‘victory points’, calculated as the difference between support and revolt cards gained throughout the game. Players need to manage their resources effectively in navigating the three phases within each of the 5 round gameplay: Develop, Market and War. Each phase presents different opportunities to organically gain/spend resources, in addition to this, players can negotiate and trade anything for anything. The trading is really where the game can shine and stand out. But with any negotiating game, it will entirely depend on the players and their ability to have fun.

My views are based on a few 6 player games, the first of which we were learning. Due to my previous experience with Sidereal Confluence (SC), I opted to tweak some of the rules to improve flow and help with learning:

- I didn’t bother with the numerical deck of cards for the War and Market phase, instead we just had players gather their resources below the table, select the amount they want to bid into a closed fist and drop it in front of them at the same time with everyone else. The dropping has a bit of dramatic effect and it helped reduce the amount of stuff people had to manage (This is how the blind bidding happens in SC)

- For our learning game, we used the recommended starting resources as indicated by each nation’s card. The rules suggests everyone starting with the same resources for the first game, but I found that teaching the benefits of trade was easier when certain people had an excess of stuff that other people needed. We also allowed people to trade support/revolt cards as well, to really emphasize the ‘trade anything for anything premise’

- For the learning game, we also opted to ignore nation powers until the 2nd round of play, only after people understood each phase properly, were they able to use their powers effectively

- We discussed openly what people were planning to bring to the market in the market phase to try and raise tensions around the risk of not getting any money for good brought to the market. People would then drop the resources and of course, we had backstabbing as people dropped extra goods even though they promised they wouldn’t

My general thoughts are below:

+ Components are high quality, thick cardboard pieces for all tokens and nation, reference and war cards (think TI4 thick) and nice purple meeples for workers. My only complaint is that the support/revolt cards are mini cards, which (like planet cards in TI4) are not very nice to handle

+ Play is light enough to learn quickly, which allows people to start considering strategy and long term plans.

+ Amazingly High player count (10!) with low play-time makes this a possible advanced party game (akin to ultimate werewolf: Inquisition) for those wanting a party game with a bit more ‘meat’

+/- The right play group, willing to joke around with negotiating and offering outlandish deals, really takes the game to a new level. People took the diplomacy role seriously and acted like a FIFA committee member, shopping around for favour and tips throughout the war phase

+ Game feels well balanced even with asymmetrical nation powers and starting abilities

+ Manual is well written with lots of examples and walkthroughs. I’m glad the developer made it available on BGG months before release. Reading it over a few times prior to buying sold me on the game

+/- The game isn’t very deep, which is not necessarily bad if you know what you’re getting into, but those looking for a mini SC game should look elsewhere (Come on, 30 minutes minimum playtime in Empires vs 120 in SC)

- It is expensive for what the game is ($50 CDN), but the components are high quality, which maybe is why the price is so high

I also own Sidereal Confluence (SC), and I know people may be wondering if they are similar games. My view is that they are very different games. They only share the mechanic of trading, but the flow, the types of deals, the strategy are very different between the two. At a high level, my thoughts on the two are as follows:

- In SC, you do many mini-trades to help gather resources to feed your conversion engines, where empires you do more substantial trades, to actually build more engines (or reduce them)

- SC Setup, even though they have little stars on cards you need to pull out to start, takes more time and can be confusing. Empires is very quick to set-up

- SC is much deeper in strategy and abstraction, which can be confusing to new players, Empires is much more straight forward

- SC has significant asymmetry, which can make learning much harder, where the asymmetry in Empires is lighter but still enough to require players to change strategies depending on the nation they are playing

- Empires has simple, recognizable nations, which players enjoyed teasing (i.e. Russia’s power rewards its player for having unemployed workers).

Overall, I’m happy to add this to my collection. It works much better than SC for my lighter playgroups, and fits in well when we want to have fun negotiations and trades in a short play time. SC does work well for more complex abstract play, but I can see myself bringing Empires out more often due to its accessibility, easy setup/takedown and high play count.

John
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Peter Hayward
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"I didn’t bother with the numerical deck of cards for the War and Market phase"

The main disadvantage I can see with playing like this is that it removes a subtle-but-significant part of the trading aspect: you can trade these numbers. I've played many a game where I've traded away my 1 and 2, or gotten someone else's 3-10. It adds an interesting depth to the trading, where you literally trade away your options (and sometimes will work hard to get them back).
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PeterCHayward wrote:
"I didn’t bother with the numerical deck of cards for the War and Market phase"

The main disadvantage I can see with playing like this is that it removes a subtle-but-significant part of the trading aspect: you can trade these numbers. I've played many a game where I've traded away my 1 and 2, or gotten someone else's 3-10. It adds an interesting depth to the trading, where you literally trade away your options (and sometimes will work hard to get them back).


Despite the rule that says you can trade ANYthing, it didn't occur to me that your number cards were part of ANYthing. Huh. laugh
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Mark Gilbertson
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~ Thanks for the great review John, my gamer pals and I feel the same way about Empires! We tend to
prefer playing any game we really enjoy "more often" (like Empires!), than playing an "event" game we
equally enjoy "less often", as SC seems likely to become the case for us (we have yet to play SC however).

We all have our own collection of outstanding games that have become "dust collectors", but "Empires" is
in no danger of that in my game room. Maybe that's why the components of "Empires" are so top-notch, so
they won't get worn out by our abundant play!

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John J
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Malacandra wrote:
PeterCHayward wrote:
"I didn’t bother with the numerical deck of cards for the War and Market phase"

The main disadvantage I can see with playing like this is that it removes a subtle-but-significant part of the trading aspect: you can trade these numbers. I've played many a game where I've traded away my 1 and 2, or gotten someone else's 3-10. It adds an interesting depth to the trading, where you literally trade away your options (and sometimes will work hard to get them back).


Despite the rule that says you can trade ANYthing, it didn't occur to me that your number cards were part of ANYthing. Huh. laugh


Wow... that just blows my mind! It never occurred to me that you may trade your number cards away as well... But you're right, it says there in the rules that selection cards may be traded.

But the rules also state that: "If a player has fewer Good than the number indicated by their selection card, they just deliver as many as they have."

Which I think kind of ruins the impact of trading them in the first place. An example being, if I know someone can produce 5 goods per round, and I demand their 5 and 4 selection cards through trade to limit their ability to sell that quantity, they could just play 6 through 10, which would also allow them to provide 5 goods anyway.

It's still an interesting twist I'd like to try in our next game...
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Mark Gilbertson
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jcore82 wrote:
Malacandra wrote:
PeterCHayward wrote:
"I didn’t bother with the numerical deck of cards for the War and Market phase"

The main disadvantage I can see with playing like this is that it removes a subtle-but-significant part of the trading aspect: you can trade these numbers. I've played many a game where I've traded away my 1 and 2, or gotten someone else's 3-10. It adds an interesting depth to the trading, where you literally trade away your options (and sometimes will work hard to get them back).


Despite the rule that says you can trade ANYthing, it didn't occur to me that your number cards were part of ANYthing. Huh. laugh


Wow... that just blows my mind! It never occurred to me that you may trade your number cards away as well... But you're right, it says there in the rules that selection cards may be traded.

But the rules also state that: "If a player has fewer Good than the number indicated by their selection card, they just deliver as many as they have."

Which I think kind of ruins the impact of trading them in the first place. An example being, if I know someone can produce 5 goods per round, and I demand their 5 and 4 selection cards through trade to limit their ability to sell that quantity, they could just play 6 through 10, which would also allow them to provide 5 goods anyway.

It's still an interesting twist I'd like to try in our next game...


Designer comment about numerical cards ---> https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1898156/war-phase


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David Stephenson
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Grim Norsefury wrote:
jcore82 wrote:
Malacandra wrote:
PeterCHayward wrote:
"I didn’t bother with the numerical deck of cards for the War and Market phase"

The main disadvantage I can see with playing like this is that it removes a subtle-but-significant part of the trading aspect: you can trade these numbers. I've played many a game where I've traded away my 1 and 2, or gotten someone else's 3-10. It adds an interesting depth to the trading, where you literally trade away your options (and sometimes will work hard to get them back).


Despite the rule that says you can trade ANYthing, it didn't occur to me that your number cards were part of ANYthing. Huh. laugh


Wow... that just blows my mind! It never occurred to me that you may trade your number cards away as well... But you're right, it says there in the rules that selection cards may be traded.

But the rules also state that: "If a player has fewer Good than the number indicated by their selection card, they just deliver as many as they have."

Which I think kind of ruins the impact of trading them in the first place. An example being, if I know someone can produce 5 goods per round, and I demand their 5 and 4 selection cards through trade to limit their ability to sell that quantity, they could just play 6 through 10, which would also allow them to provide 5 goods anyway.

It's still an interesting twist I'd like to try in our next game...


Designer comment about numerical cards ---> https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1898156/war-phase




jcore82 is making a good point here. If a player trades away their 1 and 2 selection cards, but then, during the market phase, they have only 1 good, and then play their 3 selection card, they sell only 1 good. Taking away someone's selection cards can only prevent them from using those numbers when they have more goods.

I wouldn't underestimate how big of an effect this can still have. When you are forced to always select all of your goods or gold, it can put significant strain on your efficiency and trading flexibility. I suggest targeting nations whose powers encourage a similar gameplan to yours. Some players are willing to give up their 1 and/or 2 selection cards for 3 or less gold. It's most effective when you get multiple players to do so. You can sometimes end up leasing the cards back when they need them for a particular selection.

A relevant point - players may play selection cards they receive from other players. If you give your 1 selection card to another player, you can trade for third player's 1 selection card and use it to sell goods and raise armies.

By the way, thanks so much for this clear and helpful review. And yes, you really can trade trade ANYthing with ANYone at ANY time .

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Mark Gilbertson
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davidystephenson wrote:
Grim Norsefury wrote:
jcore82 wrote:
Malacandra wrote:
PeterCHayward wrote:
"I didn’t bother with the numerical deck of cards for the War and Market phase"

The main disadvantage I can see with playing like this is that it removes a subtle-but-significant part of the trading aspect: you can trade these numbers. I've played many a game where I've traded away my 1 and 2, or gotten someone else's 3-10. It adds an interesting depth to the trading, where you literally trade away your options (and sometimes will work hard to get them back).


Despite the rule that says you can trade ANYthing, it didn't occur to me that your number cards were part of ANYthing. Huh. laugh


Wow... that just blows my mind! It never occurred to me that you may trade your number cards away as well... But you're right, it says there in the rules that selection cards may be traded.

But the rules also state that: "If a player has fewer Good than the number indicated by their selection card, they just deliver as many as they have."

Which I think kind of ruins the impact of trading them in the first place. An example being, if I know someone can produce 5 goods per round, and I demand their 5 and 4 selection cards through trade to limit their ability to sell that quantity, they could just play 6 through 10, which would also allow them to provide 5 goods anyway.

It's still an interesting twist I'd like to try in our next game...


Designer comment about numerical cards ---> https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1898156/war-phase




jcore82 is making a good point here. If a player trades away their 1 and 2 selection cards, but then, during the market phase, they have only 1 good, and then play their 3 selection card, they sell only 1 good. Taking away someone's selection cards can only prevent them from using those numbers when they have more goods.

I wouldn't underestimate how big of an effect this can still have. When you are forced to set your total goods or gold to your intended selection along with all of your other balancing concerns, it can put some strain on your efficiency and trading flexibility. I suggest targeting nations whose powers encourage a similar gameplan to yours. Some players are willing to give up their 1 and/or 2 selection cards for 3 or less gold. It's most effective when you get multiple players to do so. You can sometimes end up leasing the cards back when they need them for a particular selection.

A relevant point - players may play selection cards they receive from other players. If you give your 1 selection card to another player, you can trade for third player's 1 selection card and use it to sell goods and raise armies.

By the way, thanks so much for this clear and helpful review. And yes, you really can trade trade ANYthing with ANYone at ANY time .


~ So succinctly:

1) A player may ALWAYS send less goods to sell at the market than the number on the
card they chose to do so, but may NEVER send more goods to sell at the market than
the number on the card they chose to do so.

2) A player may ALWAYS spend less gold to raise armies than the number on the
card they chose to do so, but may NEVER spend more gold to raise armies than
the number on the card they chose to do so.

~ Correct?


Thanks again David!
 
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David Stephenson
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Grim Norsefury wrote:
[/b]1) A player may ALWAYS send less goods to sell at the market than the number on the
card they chose to do so, but may NEVER send more goods to sell at the market than
the number on the card they chose to do so.

2) A player may ALWAYS spend less gold to raise armies than the number on the
card they chose to do so, but may NEVER spend more gold to raise armies than
the number on the card they chose to do so.

~ Correct?

That is true. You can play a card higher than you have at any time, and it will always make you select as much as you have.

Don't forget, this includes resources in your institutions. The money in your banks and the goods in your luxuries are always available for your selection.
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Mark Gilbertson
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davidystephenson wrote:
Grim Norsefury wrote:
[/b]1) A player may ALWAYS send less goods to sell at the market than the number on the
card they chose to do so, but may NEVER send more goods to sell at the market than
the number on the card they chose to do so.

2) A player may ALWAYS spend less gold to raise armies than the number on the
card they chose to do so, but may NEVER spend more gold to raise armies than
the number on the card they chose to do so.

~ Correct?

That is true. You can play a card higher than you have at any time, and it will always make you select as much as you have.

Don't forget, this includes resources in your institutions. The money in your banks and the goods in your luxuries are always available for your selection.

jcore82 wrote:
- I didn’t bother with the numerical deck of cards for the War and Market phase, instead we just had players gather their resources below the table, select the amount they want to bid into a closed fist and drop it in front of them at the same time with everyone else. The dropping has a bit of dramatic effect and it helped reduce the amount of stuff people had to manage (This is how the blind bidding happens in SC)


~ Played this neat game twice last evening; first game using the cards for market and
war phases as we always have, second game we just grabbed the goods chits for the
market and gold chits for the wars, then revealed them as "jcore82" did in his review.

~ Unless there's some restrictions on card play or card availability, I'm now unable
to see the reason for using the cards any more. Cards of all denomination remain
available throughout the game, so there doesn't seem to be any reward OR penalty
for simply playing ANY card equal or greater than the number of goods or gold you
intend to play, i.e. ALWAYS play a 10 card (a rules misunderstanding on my part?).

~ The rules state:

5. Return Delivered Goods to Supply

All goods delivered to the market are then
returned to the supply, and players take
back their selection cards
.

6. Remove Wars/Activate Wars

Remove the left-most war tile, placing it back in
the box, and flip the first inactive tile so that it
is active side up. During the war phase of the
penultimate round, the last war tile will be active,
so no further tiles can be flipped.
All players then take back their selection cards.

We'll be playing a few six-player sessions of "Empires" this evening, and
I hope to continue looking for the absolute "best" way to play it, since we
all really love and enjoy the heck out of this neat little game!


 
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Grim Norsefury wrote:
~ Played this neat game twice last evening; first game using the cards for market and
war phases as we always have, second game we just grabbed the goods chits for the
market and gold chits for the wars, then revealed them as "jcore82" did in his review.

~ Unless there's some restrictions on card play or card availability, I'm now unable
to see the reason for using the cards any more. Cards of all denomination remain
available throughout the game, so there doesn't seem to be any reward OR penalty
for simply playing ANY card equal or greater than the number of goods or gold you
intend to play, i.e. ALWAYS play a 10 card (a rules misunderstanding on my part?).

During the war phase, do you you always raise the absolute most armies that you can? If you play 10 and you have less, you spend all of your gold, including the gold in your banks. Do you sell all your goods to the market every round? If you play 10 and you have less, you have to deliver all of your goods, including the goods in luxuries to the market. Do you really want to spend all of your gold and sell all of your goods each and every round?

Grim Norsefury wrote:
~ The rules state:

5. Return Delivered Goods to Supply

All goods delivered to the market are then
returned to the supply, and players take
back their selection cards
.

6. Remove Wars/Activate Wars

Remove the left-most war tile, placing it back in
the box, and flip the first inactive tile so that it
is active side up. During the war phase of the
penultimate round, the last war tile will be active,
so no further tiles can be flipped.
All players then take back their selection cards.

To be clear, you're taking back the selection cards you own. If you trade a card away, you don't get to take it back.

Grim Norsefury wrote:
We'll be playing a few six-player sessions of "Empires" this evening, and
I hope to continue looking for the absolute "best" way to play it, since we
all really love and enjoy the heck out of this neat little game.

I'm glad you're enjoying the game! Please encourage your friends to rate and share it with others .
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Mark Gilbertson
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davidystephenson wrote:
Grim Norsefury wrote:
~ Played this neat game twice last evening; first game using the cards for market and
war phases as we always have, second game we just grabbed the goods chits for the
market and gold chits for the wars, then revealed them as "jcore82" did in his review.

~ Unless there's some restrictions on card play or card availability, I'm now unable
to see the reason for using the cards any more. Cards of all denomination remain
available throughout the game, so there doesn't seem to be any reward OR penalty
for simply playing ANY card equal or greater than the number of goods or gold you
intend to play, i.e. ALWAYS play a 10 card (a rules misunderstanding on my part?).

During the war phase, do you you always raise the absolute most armies that you can? If you play 10, you spend all of your gold, including the gold in your banks. Do you sell all your goods to the market every round? If you play 10, you have to deliver all of your goods, including the goods in luxuries to the market. Do you really want to spend all of your gold and sell all of your goods each and every round?

Grim Norsefury wrote:
~ The rules state:

5. Return Delivered Goods to Supply

All goods delivered to the market are then
returned to the supply, and players take
back their selection cards
.

6. Remove Wars/Activate Wars

Remove the left-most war tile, placing it back in
the box, and flip the first inactive tile so that it
is active side up. During the war phase of the
penultimate round, the last war tile will be active,
so no further tiles can be flipped.
All players then take back their selection cards.

To be clear, you're taking back the selection cards you own. If you trade a card away, you don't get to take it back.

Grim Norsefury wrote:
We'll be playing a few six-player sessions of "Empires" this evening, and
I hope to continue looking for the absolute "best" way to play it, since we
all really love and enjoy the heck out of this neat little game.

I'm glad you're enjoying the game! Please encourage your friends to rate and share it with others .

~ Thanks for your quick and kind response David!

~ The "Nations" will soon be gathered around the table for another go at each other, and I
have a "house rule" idea for the selection cards I hope to try out. Afterwards I'll tell you
what it is (and if it succeeded or failed!). HINT: the idea has to do with making the selection
cards slightly more precious after every "war phase" (war is hell).


 
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Great, good luck and let me know how it goes.
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Mark Gilbertson
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davidystephenson wrote:
Great, good luck and let me know how it goes.

~ A quick report of last evening's FOUR game session of "Empires":

~ 1st game: We played our first game using the "selection cards", with
the rule that you MUST play a card that exactly matches the number of
goods or gold chits you will ultimately play during the "market phase" and
the "war phase".

~ 2nd game: We played our second game as "jcore82" did in his review
above, just grabbing the goods chits for the "market phase" and gold chits
for the "war phase", then revealing them simultaneously.

~ 3rd game: We played our third game using the "selection cards", with the
rule that whatever "selection card" a player used to play their gold chits during
the "war phase" was removed from the game, rather than ultimately being returned
to the player who used it. The card was considered a "casualty of war".

~ 4th game: We played our fourth game using the "selection cards", with the
same rule we used in our 3rd game for the "casualty of war" variant, adding
the rule that ALL eleven "nation tiles" were available for the initial drafting,
and whatever "selection card" a player used to successfully draft the "nation tile"
they would begin this 4th session with would also removed from the game.

~ We couldn't all agree on which way we preferred to play as "a group", but
we did all agree to continue playing this neat little game as often as possible!


Thanks again David!

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Cool variants! I like the "casualty of war" description, the hardest part of that type of mechanic is thematic integration.

I'm glad you're enjoying the game so much. The deep replay value was a big goal of the design. You should consider having a game night where you play a tournament and determine a grand champion! Empires shines in competitive environments, and it can still be light and casual when played that way.

Thanks again for your kind words and support.
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davidystephenson wrote:
Cool variants! I like the "casualty of war" description, the hardest part of that type of mechanic is thematic integration.

I'm glad you're enjoying the game so much. The deep replay value was a big goal of the design. You should consider having a game night where you play a tournament and determine a grand champion! Empires shines in competitive environments, and it can still be light and casual when played that way.

Thanks again for your kind words and support.


Just out of curiosity, had you thought of (or tried) a variant where played cards could not be reused?

I’m only theorycrafting here, since I haven’t played the game yet, but I thought it might make the trading of the number cards more valuable if they’re a limited resource...
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chayashida wrote:
davidystephenson wrote:
Cool variants! I like the "casualty of war" description, the hardest part of that type of mechanic is thematic integration.

I'm glad you're enjoying the game so much. The deep replay value was a big goal of the design. You should consider having a game night where you play a tournament and determine a grand champion! Empires shines in competitive environments, and it can still be light and casual when played that way.

Thanks again for your kind words and support.


Just out of curiosity, had you thought of (or tried) a variant where played cards could not be reused?

I’m only theorycrafting here, since I haven’t played the game yet, but I thought it might make the trading of the number cards more valuable if they’re a limited resource...


We have tried it, and it can work. Bonds are meaningfully more expensive, as markets flood and large armies become more common. It can put even more focus on trading, as players have to be more strategic about their total good and gold reserves.

Overall, the game is more punishing but also more tense. Feel free to experiment and see if its fun. I think experienced players would gain more from it than newer ones.
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Grim Norsefury wrote:

5. Return Delivered Goods to Supply

All goods delivered to the market are then
returned to the supply, and players take
back their selection cards.

6. Remove Wars/Activate Wars

Remove the left-most war tile, placing it back in
the box, and flip the first inactive tile so that it
is active side up. During the war phase of the
penultimate round, the last war tile will be active,
so no further tiles can be flipped.
All players then take back their selection cards.


We played last night for the first time and had a good time but a question came up that we couldn't seem to answer from the rules (unless we just missed it).

Regarding the use of "cards" (above) as plural. Can you play multiple cards, say a 10 and a 5? This was especially important in the last round.

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jcarvin wrote:
Grim Norsefury wrote:

5. Return Delivered Goods to Supply

All goods delivered to the market are then
returned to the supply, and players take
back their selection cards.

6. Remove Wars/Activate Wars

Remove the left-most war tile, placing it back in
the box, and flip the first inactive tile so that it
is active side up. During the war phase of the
penultimate round, the last war tile will be active,
so no further tiles can be flipped.
All players then take back their selection cards.


We played last night for the first time and had a good time but a question came up that we couldn't seem to answer from the rules (unless we just missed it).

Regarding the use of "cards" (above) as plural. Can you play multiple cards, say a 10 and a 5? This was especially important in the last round.

According the rules, you can only play 1. On page 10, in step 1, it says:
Quote:
Each player decides the number of armies they want to raise, and places the corresponding selection card face down.

This intentionally caps the armies at 10, largely to help counter runaway winners. To quote from an answer in this thread: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2009780/few-concerns
davidystephenson wrote:
With all that said, playing multiple selection cards would work, and we did experiment with it in a variety of playtesting environments. We decided to keep the limit at 10 mainly to prevent a player with a goods and gold lead from having too much advantage in the war phase. Controlling the "runaway winner" is always a challenge in zero-luck games like Empires. The hard cap at 10 means that no matter how big of a gold lead you have, it can only help you so much.

If you think this won't worry your players, feel free to give it a try. Being able to "bluff" with multiple low value cards and spend a ton of money at just the right time can be very exciting. I would recommend returning the cards 6 or higher to the box and keeping only the 0 through 5 cards after the draft. This keeps the maximum at 15. You should be able to make the highest values you need just by combining, and it will make trading selection cards that much more tense. Let me know how it goes!

I hope that answers your question. Please let me know if I can provide any more information. Thanks for giving the game a try!
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Jim Carvin
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Thanks for the reply!
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Ryucoo
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Nice review, interesting comparison and a good game.

I think the one thing that lets the game down a bit is the terminology. I like games where the mechanics make sense through intuitive nomenclature that compliments and reinforces the theme, but Empires seems to go slightly off the rails with the institutions.

First, I don’t think “institutions” is the right word for the merging of assets. A person being set to work isn’t an institution, nor is the act of paying debt or consuming goods. Thematically when assets combine they really are just “resolutions”, a natural outcome of one entity meeting another. I appreciate that the term “institution” can relate to social order but generally Institutions are understood to be organisations and I just think the phrase feels a little ambiguous here.

Perhaps more importantly the individual institutions don’t feel intuitively named either. Combining gold with a bond is the act of an empire paying its debt. Calling that resolution a “bank” is erroneous - I’m not building a bank, It’s a “renumeration” or “remittance”.

When citizens consumes goods, it is never described as a “luxury” that just sounds kinda weird. Thematically here, the population is having their needs met, they are being fed and/or provided with clothes or resources - here a better term would be an “appeasement”, “pacification” or even simply a “consumer”. I dunno but “Luxury” feels like it is describing a type of good, which doesn’t sit right.

Finally, the game sees citizens and territories coming together to form “industries” - not as jarring as the other terms but still slightly missing the mark of being intuitive. Thematically this is representing an individual being placed in employment- so why not label it as such? Recruit, recruitment, employment, employee - there are quite a few terms out there that would have better indicated what was happening with this merge of assets.

It’s not gamebreaking, and I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m laying into the game here - I think it’s great. But personally I think a better marriage between the terminology and the mechanics would have lifted the theme and made the game that much more intuitive. As it stands I’m often finding myself answering questions like “why is it called a bank?” or explaining to people “it’s called a luxury but really it’s a citizen consuming goods.” Which just adds a few hurdles in people’s understanding of the game.

Maybe on the second release the designer might consider a little tweak of The phraseology and sharpen up this otherwise awesome design.
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