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"Empire III vs V" Topic

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948 hits since 15 Mar 2019
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GlacierMI15 Mar 2019 8:17 a.m. PST

When I started out with Napoleonics Empire II was it. I switched up to III and thought they were the bees knees (ok I'm double dating myself). Now that I retired I'm all excited to go back to III, but see that there is a IV, V and Revolution & Empire. As it appears that all of these are out of print do they offer a greater game in searching and maybe paying a premium for a used copy?

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2019 9:42 a.m. PST

Welcome back. In a way, this reminds me of the Rip Van Winkle story. In its day, Empire was revolutionary although some said revolting.

First, if you find self double dating to be an exercise in futility, I would look around and see if there are any Napoleonic gamers in your locale. See what they are playing and if you might be interested.

Second, are you are still interested in 15mm or have your tastes changed to larger or smaller sized figures. There are great heaps of beautiful miniatures in all scales.

Take a look around this site and others via Mr. Google and see what has changed rules, figures and terrain wise in those intervening years. Have a good time and enjoy "retirement" gaming. Its a lot of fun!

If all fails, I may have a copy of Empire III down in the dungeon that I would be more than willing to send to you.

Mike Petro15 Mar 2019 10:05 a.m. PST

If you are deadset on Empire, V is the best and what mostly I have encountered groups playing. My old group in Va used V.

I would gladly change Empire over to General de' Armee for a "simulation-ish" type wargame. Other quality sets are out there, Black Poweder, Piquet FOB, March ATtack, Rank and File, General de Brigade.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian15 Mar 2019 12:14 p.m. PST

Consider Age of Eagles. Plays well (historical results)

corona66 Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2019 12:48 p.m. PST

Another vote for General d'Armee.

GlacierMI15 Mar 2019 1:15 p.m. PST

Ha.. I thought this was the Empire group :) but it sounds like the consensus is to abort and look elsewhere. Someone wanted $120 USD for Empire V on Ebay, so that is what worried me and was wondering if I should have taken that plunge. Everything i own is mounted for Empire, and I have close to 3000 figures (Russian Army, 3 French Corp, 2 Prussian Corp, British = Waterloo without Allies, Misc etc.) so have no interest in re-basing. I do recall a lot of "Just roll and if it's low enough we will look it up" but i never thought it that bad. A bit pro French, but then again I was a bit Pro-French myself :)

Thank you!

14Bore15 Mar 2019 2:05 p.m. PST

I play EIII and in same boat as I am not ever rebasing again, did it once. Pondered something faster but time isn't of the essence so its not a motivation to change.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2019 2:06 p.m. PST

Very few people play any version anymore and, then, it is in someone's basement. I haven't seen an Empire convention game in decades. I played many Empire games back in the day but, unless you have like minded folks near you, I don't think anyone is going to bite.

Mike Petro15 Mar 2019 2:21 p.m. PST

I never forget when we all switched from Empire to Busck Surdu's Battles for Empire, what a relief.

Oh btw OP, have you looked at Le Fue Sacre?! It is based for Empire, yet uses a modern quick play with realistic results. Still 1:60 and uses the classic Empire basing. I am a fan of them. link

A $10 USD pdf to take a look. They might just be up your alley.

Timmo uk15 Mar 2019 3:26 p.m. PST

Second recommendation for Le Feu Scare. I've read it being described before as Empire but without the heavy lifting.

It's not expensive to buy and you may really enjoy it.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2019 4:07 p.m. PST

On military Matters has a new copy of Revolution to Empire for $50.00 USD.


Musketballs15 Mar 2019 5:46 p.m. PST

Might also be worth taking a look at Elan Deluxe…also 'Empire-scale', but with the added advantage of being free.


GlacierMI15 Mar 2019 5:49 p.m. PST

Thank you everyone

21eRegt15 Mar 2019 7:03 p.m. PST

Don't give up, I've purchased several dozen Napoleonic sets and actually played a dozen and keep coming back to Empire. Everywhere I've lived, well four cities, there have been Empire groups. En avant!

Winston Smith16 Mar 2019 8:51 a.m. PST

We play Empire V Lite all the time in the OFM's basement. grin

If you like "+2 for being French" rules, you will love Empire.
Of course if you play with the actual quality of the French involved, and there is a sliding scale of quality, the real advantage only comes in initiative.
You still have to play and roll well.

GlacierMI16 Mar 2019 10:42 a.m. PST

Hello Winston, are these rules written out?, what is the sliding scale of quality? Thanks!

GlacierMI16 Mar 2019 10:43 a.m. PST

plus its kind of the nature of the beast, aren't most WWII rules basically +5 for being German :)

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2019 11:29 a.m. PST

If you are only using your own figures, or those of friends who also have theirs based for Empire, you could easily switch to a system like Black Powder that is relatively agnostic on basing specifics. You just need to organize your current bases into units that approximate the size/frontage of standard Black Powder units (keeping in mind BP has small, standard, and large units which should make it all the easier).

Winston Smith16 Mar 2019 11:33 a.m. PST

The sliding scale of quality is in the Empire V rules themselves. From Landwehr or worse up to Imperial Guard.
I can't summarize them. They're the heart of the rules.
As for "Lite", they're a private version of the original rules by a club member who refuses to distribute them outside the club for moral and ethical copyright issues.

SCOTT BOWDEN17 Mar 2019 6:19 p.m. PST


John raised a good point of whether to upgrade to V vs. III. I think it is worth the investment. Now, having said that, a lot of 5th edition players love Todd Fisher's upgrade known as Revolution and Empire (not to be confused with another rules set of a similar name), and sometimes I enjoy a game of that then switch back to V (5th edition).

I have been fortune enough to play in some big EV games over the past three years from Ohio to California and with seasoned players; the full-scale battle games all went off extremely well.

With regards to a newer version, a significant amount of time and effort was spent throughout the mid-to-late 90s and early 2000s in developing another edition. The playtests of that upgrade/version/whatever you call it went extremely well with all involved. On a tactical level, the basic maneuver element was still the battalion with many improvements on many levels.

However, by the early 2000s I didn't think it economically feasible to do the next edition of the rules, and so the project was shelved in favor of several books that have been released since then. These have been: Last Chance for Victory: Robert E. Lee and the Gettysburg Campaign (released in 2001), Napoleon's Finest (Davout's combat journal of 1805-06 translated and substantially augmented and expanded…2006), Napoleon's Apogee (Pascal Bressonnet's famous tactical studies of the 1806 campaign translated and substantially augmented…2009), followed by the multi-volume "Robert E. Lee at War" series, the first volume having come out in 2012 and the second volume having been released last year, with the other volumes in production, etc. So…from doing the research (a lot of it at the National Archives) to the numerous speaking engagements connected to the Lee project (I average about 40 per year), plus the desire to re-visit as another project the Armee du Nord of 1815 now that the complete official documents from the various archives have been published that augment the reproduction of the documents within the cartons from Vincennes already in my possession, plus working a job full time and more, there isn't a whole lot of time remaining, unless I can somehow figure out how be productive without sleep.

So it is a "never say never" situation but rather a "why" would it make sense to do the next version of the Empire rules situation that continues to be asked in my mind. Make sense?

Thanks to all who have the rules and still enjoy them.



marshalGreg18 Mar 2019 7:29 a.m. PST

Its a shame Scotty has not achieve zero sleep and can still function. Of coarse that is reserved for "be in your 20s and changing diapers" only :-P.

The welcome of a better Empire/New, many of us Empire players still hope for. Maybe some day.
There were many suggestions for other rules sets. And they can make a reasonable game in a reasonable time. What I found, with growing up playing Empire is when have choice ( and time) I wood rather spend it/ keep going back to, playing a Empire game. It presents the best/closet game to waging that period's warfare.
Since you already know Empire III- I think you find it easy and possibly more enjoyable to do Empire V.
There was some subtle changes made to have the game flow and understood better.
R&E are very good equivalent.The only issue is players and the size of the learning curve to learn them. They are significantly different in play mechanisms that would have to be learned. It is also in thickness of rules pages as that of Empire V and will take many many hours just to read through. Like Empire, once you achieve a level of skill/ understanding and have equivalent level players to game with, makes for a good game.
Steve and I have gone back to playing Empire, but scaled back the size of the action for just 2 man play to allow faster flow/ finish time.
Yes there is not been any at conventions. These rules are not really suited for that kind of venue/ time frame. Players today do not seem to have the same commitment.

marshalGreg18 Mar 2019 7:43 a.m. PST

as to clarification of scaled back=
If 1 or 2 per side:
No one plays Corp level command-Orders set prior to game start- goal is to execute/fulfill those orders ( orders TYP. will not change or if have to the game can be called.
Each player plays a INF division and one may have a supporting cavalry brigade or two.

IF 3 or more per side:
Corp level is in play.
One player plays Corps Commander sand issues this level of order s appropriately per the rules. Players still push Division or two typical in Empire game but try to have min 2 players per Corps to facilitate game flow.

SCOTT BOWDEN21 Mar 2019 5:31 p.m. PST

Thanks, Greg. Hopefully, conditions will return to make it possible for the next edition to appear. We'll see.

With regards to typical convention games, Greg is absolutely right. The best EMPIRE convention games I ran were all based on scenerios involving the specific forces that fought at Rivoli.


bkim417508 Apr 2019 12:09 p.m. PST

Milkshake, where in VA is your group, if it still playing. I have been look for a group close enough to play EV for ages.

Shadyt20 Apr 2019 6:33 p.m. PST

Our Empire group recently reformed and we switched from E2 to E4, Is EV significantly better than 4?

bkim417522 Apr 2019 1:02 p.m. PST

I think so. It does away with the skirmish combat phase. Which speeds things up. Besides the French always seem to win it anyway. This seems more realistic.

14Bore23 Aug 2019 2:13 p.m. PST

Going to V is a possibility

bkim417525 Aug 2019 8:19 a.m. PST

Where do they play?

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