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"A new version of Empire, anyone?" Topic

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11 Dec 2013 4:32 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "A new version of EMpire anyone?" to "A new version of Empire, anyone?"

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2,536 hits since 11 Dec 2013
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

BattleGuys11 Dec 2013 4:12 p.m. PST

So does Scot Bowden or Todd Fisher own Empire now?

Have there been any serious considerations toward updating Empire and re-releasing the rules?

It would seem with its name recognition that Empire would immediately have a solid place int eh market if it were brought up to date with full support, updated rules and things like iPad support and maybe even integrating the iPad (Android also) into playing the game.

All my most fond memories of playing Napoleonic's are around games played using Empire from 2-5.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP11 Dec 2013 4:46 p.m. PST

I was raised on Empire so it is an interesting question. I would hope for quicker game resolution.

14Bore11 Dec 2013 4:49 p.m. PST


John the OFM11 Dec 2013 6:09 p.m. PST

We play Dummy-downed Empire and like it.
No heavy lifting.

epturner Supporting Member of TMP11 Dec 2013 6:40 p.m. PST

I'll reserve judgement on the "OFM Model Empire" until after next weekend…

Empire III and IV were enough to put me into spasms everytime I saw a bricole…



Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP11 Dec 2013 7:20 p.m. PST

I sure did suffer commanding Austrians against them darned French. Kinda like being Whiley Kyote facing the Roadrunner. Without the help from Acme.

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP11 Dec 2013 7:21 p.m. PST

But you know what? I'd do 'er again.

Skarper11 Dec 2013 9:58 p.m. PST

Unlikely IMO. Revolution and Empire is the 'new thing'. Better I hear but still pricey and a big commitment to learn and play.

Empire had some really good ideas but suffered from being too detailed and a huge mental arithmetic burden for really little gain. All those % x no figs x modifier was a stoopid mechanic and resulted in all your little lead men removed as casualties.

An Empire lite could work if the players were willing to get on board.

BattleGuys11 Dec 2013 10:32 p.m. PST

I have never understood why people thought the Empire system was/is so difficult. It was just never a problem for our group. I think a lot has to do with playing with a group who can run all the numbers quickly in their heads.

The only thing we found slowed things down badly is the flow chart. It is a cool mechanic but it cumbersome.

I was thinking that something which merged the accuracy of Empires combat resolution with the pure number crunching and unit detail of Carnage and Glory.

I have given serious consideration to a Kickstarter offering this solution to the community. Right now it seems like everything out there are the highly abstract ugoigo British style rules. It would be nice to get a system with that American simulation accuracy and the British playability.

WarDepotDavid11 Dec 2013 11:08 p.m. PST

From my understanding there is little to gain from so much effort doing anything new here. R&E was an update/rewrite but a lot of us still play Empire V with house mods. I play in 1 weekly group and my own solo games.

If you like and want to see it back then do it yourself. Its a good base to work from.


langobard Supporting Member of TMP12 Dec 2013 3:05 a.m. PST

A lot depends on the level of command you want to simulate. I found Empire to be a great division level game. In my view, the problem with Empire was that it was marketed as a corps/army level game. These days it would take something quite exceptional to pry me away from Age of Eagles if I want to command a corps or two, or Black Powder if I want to command a division. Contentment is a funny thing, a former rules junkie, I haven't bought a single Napoleonic rules set since I got my hands on BP.

marshalGreg12 Dec 2013 7:31 a.m. PST

If the combat was streamlined with or without the help of I-pad, the upper level mechanics were still sound and made for interesting play at the Corps level.

I would trade that in for my AoE and again attempt to put on some games(Sorry my AoE still feels too much like FnF ACW with inferior fire power).
The R&E seems to have some streamline improvement for the combat. Agree to the comments above… it is a lot and would need regular play to master. It becomes a commitment most gamers locally do not seem to want to make and that much commitment to any single period & getting them to play once a year is enough of a challenge.

Regardless, I am looking forward to the Legacy of Glory II re-issue, which well really put a challenge to a restart of Empire.

Other things fighting against such….it does seem there is more interest in tactical play these days and attempting a strategic play has been by having monster games of tactical rules systems such as BP or GdB or Gonsalvo's piquet/FOB monster games at the Historicons.

One has to wonder…. if the Carnage and Glory system could be incorporated to a more strategic play, if the author so choose to create such a derivation of his tactical system. If so…. new revised Empire would be mute, wouldn't it?

My last Empire was ~1999 and being out of play until back in saddle some 2 yrs ago, I cannot find those Lads anymore and believe they have moved on to other games or moved away. So I will not be able to look for forward to such a dream at this time. I did have it streamline in custom CRS at that time in order to speed up tactical combat, if anyone would be interested in what I did.


BattleGuys12 Dec 2013 10:55 a.m. PST

Marshal Greg,

Interesting comments. The way I see it is that these things go in cycles for popularity. Right now it is tactical and tomorrow it will be grand tactical full battle games again.

I figure the rules set that will harken back larger games is being developed right now just like the ones that brought us tactical games were developed while large scale games were the popular thing.

21eRegt12 Dec 2013 1:13 p.m. PST

Sunday we will resume play on a big multi-corps per side Empire game. In it the Austrians and Russians are giving the French and their German allies all they can handle.
The system is just that, a system. If you take time to *learn* it and play a few times a year it goes very well. But the modern gamer doesn't want to read or digest or savor a game. They want a quick, clean resolution with little commitment beyond the toys and rolling dice. The "slam, bam, thank 'ya ma'am" mentality if you will.
So while I like a quickie now and then too, I don't see games like Empire or Legacy of Glory making a revival. I'd really love to be wrong though.

John Miller14 Dec 2013 7:23 p.m. PST

I would like to second what 21eRegt stated above. The rules take effort to learn but the result is as rewarding a wargame experiance as I have ever had. I have played in very many "beer & pretzel" games and never found one I liked. How many games have there been since Empire V was released that were going to do it better? Personally, I havn't found one yet that did. How many of the Napoleonic games currently in favor on the TMP site will still be played as long as Empire has? Very few IMHO. Like 21eRegt above I don't see a revival in the wind. Having said all this however, I believe wargamers are not about to be told what they should enjoy and why they should enjoy it or they wouldn't be playing with toy soldiers in the first place.

John Miller

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP16 Dec 2013 5:48 a.m. PST

Agreed, well put.

MarescialloDiCampo16 May 2014 10:55 a.m. PST

The original question of this posting was:

"So does Scot Bowden or Todd Fisher own Empire now?

Have there been any serious considerations toward updating Empire and re-releasing the rules?"

Can anyone answer this? It sounds like an interesting. Re-releasing a cleaned up version would sell

SCOTT BOWDEN20 May 2014 10:33 p.m. PST

Bob, et al…

I have not conveyed or assigned my copyright interest in EMPIRE to anyone.

Insofar as EMPIRE updates are concerned, I did a lot of work on the rules in the late 90s-to-early 2000s. A lot of work, and, I believe, many improvements. Had several large playtests with these updates, including a couple of monster games hosted by some serious players in Southern California. For one 1813 monster game, guys came from all over. One from Hawaii. Another from Puerto Rico. I flew in from Dallas/Fort Worth. It all went better than I had dreamed possible.

That is where it still stands today.

All the time I was developing these updates (and before), I was also working on a duel track involving Robert E. Lee. The first result of that duel track emerged in 2001 with the release of Last Chance for Victory. In between the release of that title and the present, I finished two other Napoleonic titles (Napoleon's Finest and Napoleon's Apogee), and have been working on a multi-volume series titled Robert E. Lee at War( I am highly motivated towards the completion of the Lee series. Consequently, the Lee series is at this time my primary focus; the travels, research and energies expended on these volumes occupy many hours each day in order to meet the deadlines of the publisher.

As the work on the Lee series continues, the EMPIRE rules are contemplated and notes taken. It was as recently as last Saturday that I worked on the rules. In assessing the revision work done-to-date, and in thinking back over the past 15 years about these revisions, I can assure you that I am more committed now than ever to this update/re-release of EMPIRE. It is only a matter of when the time is right to re-polish the officially unveil the system that flew so well in the test games mentioned.

I want to thank each one of you whose interest in EMPIRE continues. Folks like John Miller and the other knowledagble players in his wonderful group, and those in dozens of other groups in the USA, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, know that I will always take time to answer questions whenever possible.



Blackyorky25 May 2014 11:01 p.m. PST

The " One True Rules to rule over all others "
Cant wait

14Bore26 May 2014 4:14 p.m. PST

Well I've keep a ear out.

MarescialloDiCampo27 May 2014 6:56 a.m. PST


Thank you for the update. I started with EMPIRE II in a garage in Alief, TX, gaming 25mm figures during the mid seventies. I'd be glad to see a new updated version.

Thanks again,
Bob Maresciallo Di Campo F

SCOTT BOWDEN27 May 2014 8:49 p.m. PST

Thanks Bob, Skip and Andrew…I promise that when it is released, it will be worth your time. Before then, however, there will be some additional monster playtests.



MarescialloDiCampo29 May 2014 12:17 p.m. PST

I'll volunteer to playtest – LoL

heavyhorse30 May 2014 2:11 p.m. PST

I started in 77 on CLS but went to Empire 2 then 3 even wrote to Scott in the ealy 80's for some Austrian unit ratings…..moved and life put gaming on hold till now…would love to see an updated version myself..Had a signed copy of the original Armies on the Danube in the box set..lost it in a housefire 2 years ago along with Empire 2 and 3..working on GdB now in 20mm..but would love to see that update Don Settle

John Miller04 Jun 2014 2:37 p.m. PST

Scott: Looking forward to any updating of Empire and still believe the basics are what makes it great. I enjoyed the first book of the set on Robert E. Lee very much and wonder if there is any estimate of when Vol. 2 might be ready.

Thanks, John Miller

SCOTT BOWDEN04 Jun 2014 9:15 p.m. PST

Thanks, John. Will advise you and your group when the EMPIRE playtest version is ready. Next volume of the Robert E. Lee at War series is in production…and it is a substantial improvement in every visual/quality respect. If you sign up at the website (listed above), which I hope you have, updates will be forthcoming. You can call me anytime to discuss specifics.

Best regards,


John Miller06 Jun 2014 3:13 p.m. PST

Scott: Thanks for the update on the Robert E. Lee book, looking forward to it. My e-mail address is, (where I work, I don't have a computer at home). Also thanks for your interest in our opinions. John Miller

heavyhorse06 Jun 2014 5:46 p.m. PST

count me in on that Empire playtest as well Don

SCOTT BOWDEN06 Jun 2014 7:35 p.m. PST

Don, John, et al---

When the time comes and the big game(s) are scheduled, I will post something on this site. Thanks very much for your interest.


nsolomon9907 Jun 2014 5:05 a.m. PST

Wow! What wonderfully exciting news, a potential updated version of Empire, and by Scott. Count me in.

zaevor200013 Oct 2014 9:25 p.m. PST


Let me know if you need any playtesters for the new Empire system. I enjoyed Empire III and would be very interested.

My house is here in Forney and I enjoyed gaming with you and your group when I was on leave before I went to Germany in 85.

If you are still in Arlington then it would not be too much out of the way, since I am used to making the commute to North Plano as a data/business analyst for Bank of America.

You can also email me at



SCOTT BOWDEN14 Oct 2014 8:57 p.m. PST


Thanks very much for the comments and thanks for your past participation. I'll take you up on your offer when the time draws near.



WarDepotDavid19 Oct 2014 7:47 p.m. PST

Awesome update. Our Empire gaming group here in Brisbane would be keen to help if needed. It comprises of myself, Peter Cross and a few other guys and we meet every Tuesday night.

nsolomon9921 Nov 2014 4:09 a.m. PST

Wow! The possibility of an updated release of EMPIRE, now there is a mouth-watering prospect. Still the benchmark IMHO. Best of luck with it Scott.


bkim417510 Jan 2015 9:24 p.m. PST

Scott, I would like to be added to your list of players should you need any. Its been 15 yrs since I last played due to no one who plays Empire where I live.


MarescialloDiCampo16 Jan 2015 12:08 p.m. PST

I actually found my Empire II and Empire III…now to find gamers – We'd love to see the rewrite Scott!

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