Struggle of Empires is set in the eighteenth century: an age of discovery and sail, a period of colonization and the beginnings of industrialization, and also a time of almost constant warfare in Europe and its far-flung colonies.
You will assume the leadership of one of the seven European major powers of that time and direct its military, economic, and political development to compete with your rival major powers. You will forge alliances, build armies and fleets, establish colonies, improve your economy, wage war, and manage unrest among your citizenry.
You will decide whether to expand in Europe or take control of colonies in the Americas, Africa, and the Far East. If well made, your choices will guide you to victory in the upcoming Struggle of Empires!
“I’ve suggested a couple variant ideas and Eagle-Gryphon is planning to use them in this edition. The updates to the component quality and the beautiful illustrations by João Tereso, as well as the overall creative realization of the game by Ralph Anderson (including revised rules and variants) look terrific to me. The game board and map now drive the game effortlessly. This will save time and allow players to concentrate on their strategies and negotiations. I fully support this Deluxe revision of the game and the upcoming Kickstarter.”
– Martin Wallace
The game consists of three major Wars each lasting for 5 or 6 rounds of play depending on the number of players. Each War begins with the formation of two grand alliances of the major powers and represents a period of approximately two decades.
In each round of play, you will perform two actions, and if available, any number of free actions. At the end of each War, you will score victory points based on the relative number of each major power’s control markers in each of 11 countries in Europe and the colonies. Although military units can be used to capture or defend control markers, they do not represent control of a country themselves. Your challenge will be to balance your military and economic needs.
Players may take advantage of various tiles and tokens – including local alliances, trade, special abilities, improvements, military tactics, and covert operations – that grant economic, military, and political benefits. It is difficult to win without these.
Gold is essential throughout the game. Although gold is always available through taxation, it comes at the cost of increasing unrest among the citizenry of your nation. Extensive unrest due to over taxation can lead to negative consequences, including the total collapse of your nation!
The era depicted in Struggle of Empires was one in which the barbarous transatlantic slave trade was prominent – centered on what became known as the Gold Coast in western Africa. It has been called one of the greatest tragedies in the history of humanity in terms of scale and duration; and, is often regarded as the first known instance of globalization. In the game, this system is referred to as Gold Coast Commerce.
As a highly regarded strategy game, Struggle of Empires has long been a candidate for a deluxe edition – and Eagle-Gryphon Games is known for its expertise in creating deluxe quality game editions. We have created new art, a large and re-imagined game board, high quality cardboard components, new wooden components, and a larger box with a complete storage solution. Most importantly, we have developed an updated rule book!
The updated rule book clarifies the original rules and examples. It also provides a wealth of variant rules. We are pleased to include 2 new variants by Martin Wallace. Other variants are based on designer and fan suggestions. Some address issues of “balance” and “luck” in the game and others provide new ideas for setup. We have reviewed the many discussions, comments, and files on BoardGameGeek.com – including discussions and comments by Martin Wallace and members of the Warfrog team who originally produced this excellent game. We then developed and curated these variants and have included them so that players may choose those that best enable their own personal play preferences.
Eagle-Gryphon Games has had a long history with Martin Wallace’s Struggle of Empires. It has done well over the years, and is highly rated on BoardGameGeek.com. With the work that we have done on deluxe editions for Vital Lacerda and Glenn Drover, and the entire Railways of the World series, it was time to show some love to this excellent Martin Wallace game.
In the past few weeks, before the Kickstarter launch, we created some Journal Entries on BoardGameGeek. We have linked them below in the Development Journals section. After each link, I have summarized some of the important elements in those Journals along with some updated art. Note: Artwork is not final.