hard for me to describe just how impressed I am with Conquest of the
Empire. Though it was always
hard not to respect Eagleís production values, in the past Iíve
had some issues with Eagle Games products, especially their rules and
playtesting. Here, we have a short, simple rule set that polishes the
previous editionís rough areas without producing new problems.
Furthermore, the more strategic COE II rules that are included in
the box (though not as clearly written) make for an amazing value.
I was a big fan of the original COE and remain one to this day,
but I really like Droverís new design (CO II), especially the fact
that it can be played in less than three hours and features no player
elimination. Iíll try to
do a follow-up review on COE II when Iíve had more time to get it to
far as the originalís game play goes, I love the fact that tributes
are acquired mid-turn instead of at the beginning of the turn.
This really rewards aggressive play and is one of the reasons COE
doesnít suffer from the ďwait/amass troops/attackĒ rhythm of
similar light war games.
also enjoy the feel that building cities, upgrading them, and building
roads between them provides. A
much greater sense of empire building is present in the game than in
other combat-heavy games with the same theme.
a component review follows, but I must say that the quality of the
components, including the amazingly over-sized map, adds quite a bit to
the gaming experience. This
baby draws a crowd from across the room, and it simply feels cool to
play with all those marvelous bits.
those elements taken into consideration make Conquest of the Empire my
current choice for game of the year.
It would be in my top five with just the basic rules, but the
excellent COE II just pushes it over the edge.
of the Empireís box absolutely crammed full of goodness.
The game comes with nearly 400 large, well-sculpted miniatures
representing the various combat units.
These are so detailed that the catapults even feature moving
arms. I especially liked
that the miniatures were ready to play.
So often with games this size it can take hours to carefully
remove the minis from their sprues.
With COE, these were separated, bagged and ready to go.
game also includes large plastic coins to represent tribute and
high-impact dice with symbols imbedded in the plastic (no stickers
the map has to be seen to be believed.
It is huge (46 x 36 inches) and well drawn by Paul Niemeyer.
I actually have to add the extension to my dining room table in
order to place the map and have a place for the players to organize