Empires of Steam: A Steampunk Themed Strategy Card Game
Build an empire powered by steam greater than any other. Outgrow your opponents thru strategy. A deck building and card placing game.
Review by UndeadVikingVideos
A revolution of industry is in full swing. Everywhere you look, people and animal power are being replaced by steam-powered machines. Steam rises from every street corner, filling the city with noise and commotion. It is the industrial revolution at the height of Victorian England. A new technology called the link is on the rise and you want to profit from it. The link makes it possible to live in the sky. People are clamoring for the chance to visit or live high overhead. You decide to sink all you have into the venture. It is all or nothing. Empires of steam documents the rise of your empire as it grows on water, land and in the great expanse overhead.
MANEUVER phase: In this phase, the player may play one population/maneuver card. Maneuver cards are cards labeled as population/maneuver at the bottom of the card. In this phase, only consider the maneuver portion of the card. Since players do not start the game with any maneuver cards in their initial deck of (5) cards, a player will not have any maneuvers to play during the first turn, but may be able to shortly after. Normally, a player may play only one maneuver card, but this number may be modified by playing other maneuver cards from their hand. To play a MANEUVER card, the player takes the maneuver card from his hand and lays it face-up in his play area. He announces which card he is playing and follows the instructions written on that card. The player may still play a maneuver card even if he is not able to do everything the maneuver card tells him to do/ but the player must do as much as he can. Also, the player must fully resolve the maneuver card before playing another one (if he is able to play another maneuver card). For example, if a card played gives +1 maneuver, the player uses his given maneuver to play that card. Then, because of the +1 maneuver, the player gets an additional maneuver. If the card gives +2 maneuvers, then the player has an additional 2 maneuvers remaining on that turn, etc. After accumulating more maneuvers and purchases, you can use these to place cards into your empire, attack another player (counts as a maneuver) until you have used all of your maneuvers for that turn.
PURCHASE phase: In the PURCHASE phase the player can gain a card from the supply by paying its cost. Any card in the SUPPLY may be PURCHASED (support, platforms, population/maneuver, people and coin cards). Players automatically get 1 PURCHASE per turn, but he may buy more if he played certain cards earlier in his MANEUVER phase that gave him additional PURCHASES. The cost of a card is in the lower right corner. The player may play some or all of the gold cards from his hand to his play area and add to their value the coins provided by MANEUVER cards played this turn. The player may then gain any card in the supply of equal or lesser value. He takes the purchased card from its SUPPLY pile and either places it face-down on his discard pile or placing it into his empire. He may not use the ability of the card when it is gained toward maneuvers or purchases on this turn. If you do not have enough coins to purchase a card, you can always get a (1) coin card valued at 0 coins.
PLACE phase: This phase is where your empire grows. Placing cards means the card expands your empire, but will not go back to your discard pile. Cards used for maneuver and purchases cannot be placed in your empire on this turn. Placing cards into your empire will shrink your playing deck, but gains you population points which is the goal of the game. Many cards require other cards in order for them to be placed and count toward your population total. When you have completed all maneuvers, purchases and placings, put all cards into your discard pile. Then draw 5 new cards from your DRAW pile to prepare for your next turn Remember you can place up to 3 cards at any point in your turn, but only from cards in your hand.
COINS: Coins allow you to PURCHASE additional cards from the SUPPLY. The large number in the center of the card represents the cards purchasing power. The number in the lower right corner represents the number of coins needed to purchase the card.
POPULATION: The number in blue on the bottom of all population cards represents its population value. To win the game simply add up all population cards that are placed correctly in your empire. The player with the highest population wins. Remember that only the cards correctly placed in the empire count toward your score.
ATTACK/DEFEND: Using Attack/Defense cards are optional to gameplay. If you want to add a bit more chaos and bite to your game then use these cards. Empires of Steam has 3 attack cards and 1 defend card. To play an attack card, it needs to be one of the 5 cards drawn from your deck. Place your card next to your opponent’s card you wish to attack. This card will remain until the opponent shows a defend card, at which time you will retrieve the attack card and place it immediately into your discard pile. The DEFEND card can be shown at the same time as the initial attack or as soon as the player draws their DEFEND card from their DRAW pile. Whenever the DEFEND card is shown, then the ATTACK card goes directly to the DISCARD pile. The DEFEND card remains in the player’s hand If the opponent has the attack card in place at the end of the game, any cards beyond the attacked cards will not count toward their final population score.
EACH TURN: During each turn you are allowed 1 MANEUVER, 1 PURCHASE and up to 3 PLACES. Additional MANEUVERS and PURCHASES can be obtained thru the MANEUVER phase.
POPULATION/MANEUVER cards while in your hand use the “abilities” of the card to gain extra maneuvers, purchases or coins. These population values cannot be used toward a winning total.
When POPULATION/MANEUVER cards are placed into an empire, their abilities can no longer be used, but the population values count toward your final winning population total.
Source of Water: Many cards require a source of water. Unless otherwise noted, as long as an empire has a source of water, then it is sufficient for the entire empire. Cards do not need their own individual source of water.
“Exclusively”: A few cards require exclusive use. For example, the Grand Hall card requires a sky platform exclusively. No other cards can use the same sky platform as the Grand Hall. To continue to build that empire, another sky platform will need to be added. Remember, you are not limited to just one land or one Ocean Empire. These empires can be numerous.
As soon as (3) “Grand Hall” cards have been placed into any empire the game is over. At this time, each player totals their population points that are correctly placed into their empires. The player with the highest population total wins.
2 players – highest population totals after 15 minutes
3 players – highest population totals after 20 minutes
4 players – highest population totals after 30 minutes
Each player starts the game with 5 coin cards in their DRAW deck. At the beginning of each turn, a player draws the top 5 cards from their DRAW deck. Begin each turn with the MANEUVER phase. On your first turn, there are no maneuvers so move to the next phase of your turn, the PURCHASE phase. Total all coins in your HAND and from your MANEUVERED cards. On your first turn there are no MANEUVERED cards so you have 5 coins to make a PURCHASE. With 5 coins, PURCHASE any card from the SUPPLY and discard the new card and your coin cards to the DISCARD pile. Next draw the next 5 cards from the DRAW pile. Because there are no cards in your DRAW pile, shuffle the cards from your DISCARD pile and place them in the DRAW pile. This ends your first turn.
At the end of your previous turn, you should have drawn a new hand of 5 cards from your DRAW pile. Let’s assume that in your hand are now 4 coin cards and 1 card from the SUPPLY. With this new turn, you have a MANEUVER, PURCHASE and PLACE available. Let’s also assume the card you purchased from TURN 1 gives you an additional coin. With your MANEUVER, play your card, gaining an additional coin. With the other 4 coins in your hand you can now PURCHASE another card worth up to 5 coins. PURCHASE a new card from the SUPPLY. With no more MANEUVERS or PURCHASES, discard all cards to the DISCARD pile. Next draw another 5 cards from the DRAW pile. Because there are not enough cards, shuffle all the cards in your DISCARD pile and place them under the cards in your DRAW pile. Now you have enough to draw a complete HAND. This ends your second turn.
At the end of your previous turn, you should have drawn a new hand of 5 cards from your DRAW pile. Let’s assume that in your hand are now 3 coin cards and 2 cards from the SUPPLY. With this new turn, you have a MANEUVER, PURCHASE and PLACE available. Let’s also assume the 2 cards now give you an extra coin and an extra MANEUVER. First place the MANEUVER card. This gives you an additional MANEUVER, allowing you to play the card gaining you another coin. As you build your HAND, you may be able to play several cards as long as you gain enough additional MANEUVERS to play the extra cards. Once you play all your cards or run out of MANEUVERS, then total up your additional PURCHASES and coins. PURCHASE additional cards from the SUPPLY and place them in the DISCARD pile. PLACE cards into your empire at any point in the turn if you wish. Again, draw another 5 cards from the DRAW pile. This ends your turn.
At the end of your previous turn, you should have drawn a new hand of 5 cards from your DRAW pile. Continue to play cards from your HAND thru MANEUVERS. Gain additional MANEUVERS, PURCHASES and coins, thus growing your deck. Also consider strategic times to PLACE cards into your empire. Also consider times to use ATTACK cards to slow the growth of your opponents. Your opponents may also use ATTACK cards so keep defend cards on hand as well. Again, draw another 5 cards from the DRAW pile. This ends your turn.
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Empires of Steam: a strategy card game for 2 to 4 players
A deck building/card placing game of strategy.
How to Play
1. Every player starts with a few coins
2. Purchase steam-powered stations, cathedrals and giant ships
3. Play strategically: expand your deck or grow your empire?
4. But protect your empire...saboteurs may be closer than you think
To win: simple, have the greatest population
Beautifully designed and completely unique
What's in the box
Complete set of cards for up to 4 players. No need to buy extra sets or additional packs. Guide book, including the story of Empires of Steam, rules and individual card descriptions also included.
official "Art of Empires of Steam" book
Official "Empires of Steam" embroidered patch
$66,007 - 16 page booklet of exclusive unused artwork (see artwork cards that did not make the cut in "Empires of Steam")
$77,009 - 26 card "Rusted Pipes" bonus pack (from 486 cards to 512 cards)
$88,113 - 26 card "Building Pressure" bonus pack (from 512 to 540 cards)
Risks and challenges
It is true that all projects come with built-in barriers, and this project is no exception. As we speak, additional artwork is still being created for "Empires of Steam." Additionally, hoping we reach our stretch goals adds more imagery to be included. I am confident that all these hurdles can be overcome though. We have met countless deadlines in the past and I am sure we will meet this one.
Printers can be their own set of problems, but I have established a relationship with a reputable game printer and I believe they will deliver what is expected as well.
I have run my own graphic design company for the past 18 years (fishergraphix.com). I have met with many obstacles in the past and currently as well, and we have always found a way to meet our goals.
Thanks again for your consideration in "Empires of Steam."
- (37 days)