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.
Read more about it in this blog post on BoardGameGeek.com.
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.
I am very pleased to present a gift to all our Kickstarter Backers of Struggle of Empires Deluxe Edition. Consider this a Final Stretch Goal if you like, but this one does not depend on the number of Backers or the total funds pledged. We will be silk-screening the Victory Point Markers for each player in the same manner as the Control Markers. Both will lie on the board on one side, so therefore the silk-screening will be on just one side as well. Please take a look at the graphic below to see what they will look like. Every copy of the KS Edition of this game will include these silk-screened VP Markers.
Thanks to all of our Backers for their great support of this Kickstarter campaign.
Rick Soued, Owner, Eagle-Gryphon Games
Struggle of Empires has been around for over 15 years. Read what people had to say at various times throughout the years.
Brunswick Maine Play Test on July 27, 2019: Russell P. Smith, Patrick Rael, Mark Leaman, Matthew Miller, and Michael Nerdahl with Ralph H. Anderson. The assembled quotes below originated in this play test session. This was a six player game using the new hidden unrest system and Martin Wallace's 2 new variants: adding in dummy non-player Major Powers and ability to cede victory for combat (no combat dice rolls and no loss of military units).
In the past few weeks, before the Kickstarter launch, I have done 3 Journal Entries on BoardGameGeek. I have provided links to them below. After each link, I have summarized some of the important elements in those Journals.
- Ralph H. Anderson, Struggle of Empires Deluxe Development Director
Summary from Forum Post
We agreed on the concept that the Struggle of Empires Deluxe Edition game board would be designed as an elegant and beautiful engine to drive the game. The key characteristics felt necessary to achieve this goal are:
- Provide game play direction through a single Game Play Track
- Create a Map that facilitates game play
- Re-envision the components and make them easier to comprehend and use
- Provide a deluxe experience in all elements possible, including the rules.
THE GAME TRACK
The Game Track uses simple iconography to guide players through the 6 Phases of each of the 3 wars.
TILES & SPECIAL ACTIONS
Tiles have been redeveloped as various types of Special Actions. Some will be handled by player tokens to place on the game map (Local Alliances), some will go directly on the game map (Trade) and the others have been broken down in to 5 types, each with a different size and color, that will be available on the game board for players to claim.
This Journal takes a closer look at The Components.
1. GAME STATUS MARKERS
The major innovation for the game status markers was the creation of the game track. The game track lists all six Phases for each War along with iconic reminders. This helps organize and speed up game play.
- 1 War Track and 1 Game Track marker (wood): These markers track the current War and the current Phase in the War.
- 1 Auction Gavel (wood): This denotes the player who will make the start the Auction Proposal in Phase II. After each proposal is completed, it is passed to the left for the next player to start the next auction.
- 1 Active Player Wind Rose Marker (wood): This is given to the start player at the beginning of Phase III: Actions. As each player finishes their 2 actions they will pass the Active Player Marker to the person who plays next as determined by the order of play in the Auction Display. This serves as a reminder of who the active player is.
- 65 Neutral Country Markers (cardboard) and Bag (cloth): The neutral country markers will be in the same shape as the player control markers. We have also provided a cloth bag for making the random draws.
- Unrest and Money Counters: Ample Unrest and Money counters will be provided in cardboard. We will have a stretch goal for mini-poker style chips for Unrest and there will be an add on for those who would like metal coins.
One set of the dice described below are included in the game. One of the Stretch Goals will add an additional set of Battle and Distant Sea Move dice.
- 4 Battle Dice: These are regular 6-sided dice in white and red.
- 1 Distant Sea Move Die: This is a special 6-sided die that show success on 4 sides, Sink! on 1 side and Failure to Move on 1 side – the latter 2 will include cost to recover.
3. PLAYER PIECES
Our innovation for the player pieces was removing the Alliance tiles and replacing them with wooden Local Alliance markers in each player’s color. This allows players to create local alliances directly on the game map in the indicated area in each country that has one. This makes it easy to see which alliances are available and which player an alliance for each country directly on the map where is matters.
Each player will have wooden pieces in their own color for the following:
- Player Mat/Aid 120mm x 260mm / 4 ¾ x 10 ¼ inches. Display of the Regular and Special Actions on the Front and a Tiles display along with the number of tiles available for each type on the back.
4. TILES AND MARKERS
Having removed the Alliance Tiles, there were still a lot of tiles making it difficult for players to remember them and how they worked. The innovation here was to break the tiles into categories based on how they are used. This led us to six categories.
- Trade Tiles :Trade tiles are placed directly on the map in the country for which they provide trade income. As a Special Action, players can claim one of these tiles and place them in their personal supply. They can be used as a Free Action once per War. They are flipped when used and refreshed at the end of the War
- Free Action Tiles: As a Special Action, players can claim a Free Action Tile from the general supply on the game board and place them in their personal supply. They can use them as a Free Action once per War. They are flipped when used and refreshed at the end of the War.
- Improvement Tiles: As a Special Action, players can claim an Improvement Tile and place it in their personal supply. Improvements grant specific ongoing abilities during the game.
- Military Tactics Tiles: As a Special Action, players can claim a Military Action tile that the player keeps in their personal supply until they decide to use it. After use, it is returned to the general supply on the game board.
- Immediate Action Tiles: As a Special Action, players can claim an Immediate Action Tile. Immediate actions are used immediately and then removed from the game.
- Covert Action Markers: These are no longer tiles, but are special wooden markers that a player may claim as a Special Action. One is used to Incite Pirate Attack and the other to Incite Colony Revolt. These are special attacks on any other player’s control maker in certain areas of the board (even an ally). The areas of the board where these can be used have icons of the Covert Action as a reminder.
This is the third and final entry in a series of posts to introduce Martin Wallace’s Struggle of Empires Deluxe Edition by Eagle-Gryphon Games.
The rules for Struggle of Empires Deluxe Edition have been completely rewritten and revised to remove ambiguities and clarify concepts and they have been reorganized to create a logical sequence of learning and play. Key concepts have been provided up front and a revised and updated list of all tiles has been included.
There is now a table of contents, a complete list of components, and they will be illustrated examples of play. (Illustrated examples of play are not in the draft rules)
Rule Changes and Variants
I reviewed, tested, and revised many variants and we currently have included 7 at this time (more are being reviewed and tested). Five variants are based on suggestions and discussions from the BoardGameGeek forum for Struggle Of Empires. Two are new variants from Martin Wallace.
The rules have been curated to include these variants, some of which are favored over the original rules. In all cases where new rules have been introduced, the original rules have been preserved as a variant for those players who wish to use them instead.
Variants all appear in the rules where they apply.
CHANGE IN ADJACENCY AND ARMY MOVEMENT RULES
The original adjacency rules are not intuitive and favor some major powers over others.
For Example, Austria has direct access from their home country to 4 of the 5 European VP locations: German States, Central Europe, The Mediterranean, and Ottoman Empire. In contrast, Great Britain and United Provinces only have direct access to German States and Spain only has direct access to The Mediterranean. France only has direct access to 2 countries in Europe while Russia and Prussia are only at a slight disadvantage with direct access to 3 VP areas in Europe.
Closely tied into the adjacency rules, players found the army movement rules to European countries awkward and have little meaningful effect on play.
Not yet ready to jump aboard? This pledge level allows you access to the pledge manager as well as to follow along with the campaign and receive KS updates.
NOTE: Upgrading your pledge in the pledge manager to a pledge containing Struggle of Empires Deluxe Edition will cost $5 more.
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- Struggle of Empires Deluxe Edition
- All applicable unlocked Stretch Goals
NOTE: Shipping will be charged after the campaign within our pledge manager. See the shipping chart below for estimates.
Have two friends who are also interested in Struggle of Empires Deluxe Edition? This pledge level includes three (3) copies of the game which ships for cheaper than three individual copies of the game.
- 3× Struggle of Empires Deluxe Edition
- 3× All applicable unlocked Stretch Goals
NOTE: Shipping will be charged after the campaign within our pledge manager. See the shipping chart below for estimates.
Martin Wallace is a game designer from Manchester, England and currently lives in Australia after living several years in New Zealand. He was a founder of Warfrog/Treefrog Games. Martin started gaming in his teens with titles from SPI and Avalon Hill, as also played Dungeons & Dragons when he was a student. Wallace worked at Games Workshop and then started designing games in the early 1990s. Wallace is now a full-time game designer and publisher.
- 2000 Empires of the Ancient World
- 2001 Liberté
- 2001 Volldampf
- 2003 Princes of the Renaissance
- 2004 Runebound
- 2004 Struggle of Empires
- 2006 Railroad Tycoon
- 2007 Brass
- 2008 Toledo
- 2009 Steam: Rails to Riches
- 2009 Automobile
- 2009 Rise of Empires
- 2009 Last Train to Wensleydale
- 2010 Moongha Invaders
- 2010 Age of Industry
- 2010 London
- 2010 Gettysburg
- 2011 A Few Acres of Snow
- 2011 Diskworld: Ankh-Morpork
- 2012 Aeroplanes: Aviation Ascendant
- 2012 Clash of Wills: Shiloh 1862
- 2013 A Study in Emerald
- 2014 Onward to Venus
- 2014 Mythotopia
- 2015 Ships
- 2015 A Study in Emerald (Second Edition)
- 2018 Wildlands
- 2018 AuZtralia
- 2018 Lincoln
João Tereso is an artist and graphic designer from Portugal. João studied product design and worked as a User Interface Designer before he began illustrating boardgames in 2018.
Ralph is a self employed Professional Games Consultant and is the designer of the card game Chimera.
He has been a play tester and rules editor for several designers and game companies over the past 20+ years. This includes work translating rules from German to English.
He has worked for Eagle-Gryphon Games since 2013 and for the last 3 years has been a consultant for special projects. In this time he has participated in the development of a few dozen games with EGG, most notably Baseball Highlights 2045 and Football Highlights 2052.
All pledges can be refunded in full up to 14 days after the end of the Kickstarter campaign. In addition, if any part of your order cannot be delivered, then we will reimburse you the full cost of this component regardless of the date.
If you apply for a refund more than 14 days after the end of the Kickstarter, we will only be able to refund 80% of your pledge. The difference is the amount of the unrecoverable fees paid to process your order through both Kickstarter and Pledge Manager.
Once we have started to process and pack your order, refunds may no longer be available.
We will ship your rewards, en masse, to these international fulfillment partners: Board Game Bliss (Canada), VFI Asia (Asia Pacific), Boosterbox (The Netherlands), and MeepleLogistics / Philibert (EU), VR Distribution (Australia) and FRED Distribution/Eagle-Gryphon Games (US). Our Fulfillment Partners will then see that your orders get to you quickly and safely, regardless of where you live in the world. While we aim to have the shipments to each fulfillment partner shipped from China at roughly the same time, the speed in which each shipment reaches its regional fulfillment varies as does the speed in which each fulfillment partner can ship out all the pledges for their region.
Since the final weight of Struggle of Empires Deluxe Edition will be determined on what, if any, Stretch Goal content is added to the game, we will be charging the actual shipping cost after the conclusion of this Kickstarter in our pledge manager. An estimate of the shipping charges for each region are listed in the chart below. Note: These are an estimate and may be adjusted prior to the our launching of the pledge manager.
Risks and challenges
At Eagle-Gryphon Games we stand by our products, but sometimes issues do happen. Please contact our customer service department with regard to any such issues within 90 days of receiving your copy of the game.
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