Empires at Sea is a new strategy board game two to five players.
Check out the video below to see how you play the game:
It is worth it.
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- Beautiful Art. Our art comes from the greatest artists of the 18th and 17th centuries, from Turner and Manet to Stanfield and a host of contemporaries who painted these beautiful ships.
- History Cards. History dramatically drives strategy for the Round. If the US throw a Tea Party, they dump 5 gold into the ocean. After the Congress of Vienna, the European nations can't initiate military action. History can be brutal and unpredictable, and a wise leader anticipates the future and plans accordingly.
- Movement System. The Weather Cards and movement actually make it feel like sailing. You get stuck. You can't quite make it. Ships run away to avoid war, or hide behind islands and in little coves. The map is almost perfectly to scale and really mirrors the 18th century naval experience.
- Combat Consequences. In naval warfare of the 1800s, both ships were able to fire cannons and so even an attacking ship risked being sunk by the defender. The same is true in Empires at Sea, both attacker and defender fire their cannons (i.e., roll the dice) and if the total attack is great enough, sink the opponent's ship.
- Bribing the Pirate. Every Round ends with all players effectively playing poker for strongest battle unit on the game board. You secretly select an amount of gold to bribe the Pirate, and if you win, you get to use this Ship of the Line against your opponents this turn. But Bribes cost gold, which translates to Empire Points at the end of the game. "What do you do Jack? What do you do?"
- Dynamic Gameplay. Empires feels like 2 or 3 different games in one. The First Era is all about expansion, bribery of the pirate, and resource accumulation. The Second Era is where you begin to launch the more powerful elements of your fleet and advance your military. The Third Era is mostly warfare and fortification of your holdings.
- Great Replay Value. The game begins with each player assigned to a random port. Sometimes you can expand unhindered, sometimes war is brutal even from the first turn. Sometimes your Frigate is trapped in New Orleans because of the weather, and sometimes every single setback that could befall a nation over the course of History comes to pass in a single game.
- The Proper Length. The two player variant takes about 60 minutes after you learn to play, and the four player game is just under two hours. If you prefer to extend gameplay, you can do so by playing Empires to 18 or 21 rounds.