Spotlight on Games > War Games > Errata

Empires of the Middle Ages
Errata for the SPI board game

Map Errata

Rules Clarifications

[9.32][9.52] Effectiveness Ratings are halved for multiple sea areas if positive; if negative, use 1.5 times the Effectiveness Rating, round up, and then add gold.

[9.4] A Diplomatic Conquest does not include or imply a Diplomatic Tie.

[18.0] A player may obtain possessions and form a tie in either order.

[21.3] An exile automatically acquires any Area of the identical Language and Religion as his Leader if a Magnate appears there.

[17.22] The Unrest and Rebellion Value of an Area is -2 if the owning player has a Diplomatic Tie to the Area and +2 for one or more unfriendly (unwaived) Diplomatic Ties to the Area.

[22.3] Non-Indo-European Pagans have Proselytic Ability of 0 and Convictional Strength of 16.

House Rules

  1. When attempting to convert an area's religion, fortifications that you own do not subtract from your Leader Effectiveness.
  2. A magnate is destroyed if he retains no areas of the same language and religion as his original court area.
  3. Syrian magnates always attack Jerusalem before any other area.
  4. The Turkish player may obtain Claims under 18.0 #2 and 18.0 #4, provided, of course, that the area is Moslem. This is the only way the Turk may obtain Claims.
  5. The T/C result on Diplomatic Endeavors gives a Tie and a Conquest.* But does it also give a Claim? The rules are not explicit. However, we play that as long as the area's religion meets the requirements for a Claim, a Claim is indeed conferred.

Also ...
*Some disagree, admitting that while the Empires of the Middle Ages rules are silent on what "T/C" exactly means, in the similar, subsequently-released The Sword and the Stars by the same company (SPI), the rule is that one gets a Tie, unless the numerical requirement of the C is met, in which case one gets a Conquest instead.

Here's the take of myself and my gaming friends on that:

  1. SPI was not one mind. The people who designed and developed the first game were not the same as the ones who created the successor. The fact that The Sword and the Stars instructions are so careful to define the result tends to indicate that that group did not know the answer and decided to reach their own solution, which may or may not have been what the original team decided. If they had been completely sure of the answer they would more likely have felt that the original rules were adequate and not gone to those lengths – individual result paragraphs – to define it.
  2. Some Year cards have a result of "T/C" and no numerical requirement. Why have this when there is also C with no minimum? Who cares about a tie when you can get conquest? A tie and conquest, that makes sense. But a tie if zero or higher unless it's zero or higher and therefore a conquest? Makes little sense.
  3. In real life terms, if you are doing so well that you manage to conquer – conquer! – a major area via mere diplomacy it completely makes sense that in addition to the ownership you would also have excellent ties with the area. I mean, how could you not? That would be the more astonishing result. Inded, there's a good argument that all C results should include a T.
  4. Diplomatic conquest is quite rare on the cards and therefore hard to do. Given that, also giving the tie compensates for that a bit, makes this very low probability endeavor more rewarding and therefore makes for a more interesting game. It's a better design choice.
Of course, since it's not defined in the rules everyone is free to do whatever they think best. We bought our copies of the game at the Origins national convention in 1981 and have been playing it this way from the beginning – including two complete Grand Scenarios – and the rule has never caused a problem.
Last updated: Wed Mar 1 22:08:43 UTC 2017
This web page entered: Fri Oct 16 16:16:23 PDT 1998
Created: 1991
spotlightongames.com