“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.”
Struggle of Empires (2004) is a highly regarded strategic wargame by master designer Martin Wallace (Brass, Railroad Tycoon, London) originally published by Warfrog/Treefrog Games. This classic game combined colonization-era war and area control with a simple ruleset, culminating in a satisfying heavy experience for the 2-7 players involved. Now, Eagle-Gryphon Games has a Kickstarter Campaign to bring their deluxe edition mastery to this masterpiece, much as they did for previous big box classics Vinhos and Empires: Age of Discovery.
Struggle of Empires contains several unique mechanisms which has kept this game consistently on people’s top lists for the past 15 years. The game takes place over 3 wars, each lasting 5-6 rounds, wherein players compete for control of Europe and the burgeoning colonies. An auction phase exists before each war which forces players into unlikely alliances, making it impossible to fight certain opponents. A large and varied tile set awards special abilities and bonuses. Additionally, the dice based battle system uses the differences in pairs of thrown dice to add power, a relatively unused but interesting mechanic.
The Deluxe Kickstarter edition of Struggle has new variations from Martin Wallace, and new art from João Tereso, the artist behind the beautiful Railways of Portugal (2019). The original rulebook, which was a bit confusing, has been completely redone including multiple game play examples. A myriad of beautiful wooden components fill the box, including over 150 units and over 200 wooden control and alliance markers. The game also contains a large and re-imagined game board, over 50 thick cardboard action tiles, cloth bags, dice, and a wooden gavel for the auction. The Kickstarter Campaign for Struggle of Empires continues through August 30, and the game is expected to deliver in August 2020.