Empires of the Ancient World
Rules Summary
Mon May 10 20:07:32 UTC 2010

Set Up

  1. Give each player all of the pieces of a color and a Warehouse card.
  2. Shuffle the deck of mercenary armies and deal out the top 6. These are available to be drafted.
  3. Randomly choose the first player to set up.
  4. The game begins by each player in turn picking a starting land province by placing a round "base" marker. The map is divided into "north" and "south" by the Black and Mediterranean Seas. No more than 3 players may begin in the north and no more than 3 may begin in the south. (Sicily is north; Crete and Cyprus are south.)
  5. Each player also draws sight unseen an army from either the 3 north groups (A, B, C) or the 3 south groups (D, E, F), depending on the location of their province.
  6. Players take turns placing 1 base at a time in a province which borders their existing one(s). Placement in a named sea is now legal. The number of markers each places is equal to 10 minus the number of players.
  7. When all are done, each places a black fortress under one of their base markers in a land province.
  8. Determine the start player randomly.


  1. Roll a Revolt. First roll on the Revolt Table to determine either north or south. Then make a second roll to see which provinces are hit. Each such province loses one base marker, unless it has a fort.
  2. Receive Trade Tokens. Each player receives trade tokens (cubes) on their warehouse card. The number received is 5 + the number of provinces owned containing the Amphora symbol + the number of Merchants held.
  3. Players take their turns. Then first player takes his turn and they proceed around the table. When 10 rounds are complete, it will be a new game turn and start player goes to the next player clockwise. But game turn II has just 9 rounds, game turn III just 8 rounds and game turn IV, 7 rounds. Score VPs at the ends of turns II - IV.


Each player gets just one action per turn. Choices are
  1. Place a Base -add a base where you already control the province [only useful against revolt and the Diplomat]
  2. Place a Fort -costs 4 cubes (2 if you have an engineer) No forts at sea.
  3. Recruit an Army -take any of the mercenaries from the 6 draftable ones. If you don't like any, you may, at the cost of 1 cube, once first discard all of them and bring out a whole new set. This commits you to the recruit activity however. Taking a personality means that you play it immediately. No more than one personality type per player except for the merchant. A player cannot recruit an army labeled "N" unless he owns a province in the north, same with "S" and south.
  4. Disband an Army -put one of the mercenary armies from your hand into the discard pile. [Some mercenaries have high maintenance costs] Personalities may never be discarded.
  5. Expand Trade Routes -place two cubes from your warehouse on the board. One extra cube may be placed for each Merchant. These may be in your own area or that of others. But each cube must be in or adjacent to one of your own controlled areas or an area containing one of your cubes. These placements are sequential so you can "build out" a trade route. At the end of the game turn, anyone having more cubes in an area than anyone else gets half the area's VP value (rounded down). An area cannot have more cubes in it than the VP value. If it is full, if you roll a 5+, you can replace an enemy cube. Downside is that if you fail the cube is returned to your stock (not your warehouse). Each Merchant adds a +1 bonus to do this. Cubes are countermix limited.
  6. Diplomatic Attack -If you want to take over a neutral area bordering your empire, just pay two cubes, roll a 2 or better and the area is yours. Place a base there. If you hold the Diplomat, the cost is just 1 cube and no roll is needed. If you have a Diplomat, you can also try to take over an enemy province: pay one cube and if you roll a 6+, you replace one enemy base with one of your own. You may spend extra cubes to help your chances, each one adds +1 to the roll, but you can only spend 3. Diplomatic conquest does not permit plunder of trade, but do take over any fort.
  7. Attack -attack a province which borders your empire. If crossing mountains roll 1 die. On a 1 you never make it and your turn is over. Crossing a black sea connector (strait) is just like crossing mountains. Crossing a blue sea connector (sea lane) is like attacking across a sea area (see below), but the player gets a +1 on the roll. To attack into or through a sea area, you need to roll a 4 or better for each such area (it is legal to attack an area which is more than one sea area away). You also get +1 if the target is adjacent to a sea zone that you control, but you need not control the sea to try.

    Attacking an unowned area is just a matter of rolling a 3 or better.

    Attacking another player, each player arranges their army into a deck of 5 ordered cards. All fast cards must come before slow cards (slow cards being Sword, Spear, Pike, Warband). Each player turns up one card at a time, simultaneously and the battle is judged. Most cards have a rating, some with modifiers. The higher rating wins. Some cards are merely blockers and prevent anyone from winning it. There are 3 black tokens in the Battle Display. They start in the center spot. When you win a battle, you move a token to your side. If there are no more tokens in the center, move one out of your opponent's side to the center. If at any time anyone gets all 3 on their side the battle is over immediately – it is a rout (see below).

    After combat, each player holds out all the cards they used and the opponent draws one at random for each loss that army took. If the cards drawn are mercenaries, they are discarded. Originally owned armies are simply returned to their owner. [Card backs are slightly different, so only let players see the white parts.]

    The winner is the player with the most black tokens on his side. On a tie, the defender wins. Otherwise the winner removes all of the enemy bases from the province and takes it over for himself. If the attacker won, he also takes any enemy trade tokens in the province and places them on his warehouse. They are not usable, but each counts a VP at the next scoring round and then is returned to the original owner.

    If the defender has a military leader, he can declare an Ambush. In this case, Foot Skirmishers, Archers and Light Horse for both sides get +1. [One of the armies starts with 2 Foot Skirmisher cards.]

    Any player who has a military leader can place one card out of order.

    If the defender has a fort, he must decide whether he is inside or outside. If inside, combat will have only 3 cards and special rules apply:

    • No mounted units.
    • Siege Towers for either side are rated at 9.
    • Artillery hits on a 5 or 6.
    • Engineer gives +1 to Artillery and Siege Towers.
    • No restrictions on army order.
    If the attacker wins, the fort is destroyed unless attacker has an engineer in which case it is converted over to his use.

    If the combat is at sea ...

    • At most one card can be a Sword or Spear.
    • At most one card can be a Foot Skirmisher or Archer.
    • At most one card can be an Artillery.
    • The rest of the cards may only be Galley.
    • No restrictions on army order.
    • Artillery v. Skirmisher or Archer: roll for the Artillery first with target treated as Galley. Artillery's result overrides Skirmisher result.

    If the defender is routed, in addition to the normal after battle effects, the attacker gets to take an immediate extra action, which may be another attack. However, there is only one extra action allowed per player turn.

    If the attacker is routed, defender gets 2 trade tokens from the attacker's warehouse (if available).


Receive points (on paper) as follows: + VP for regions owned
+ Halved VP (rounded down) for most trade tokens in a region
+ 1 for each VP from plundered trade tokens
- VP for the numbers in the upper corner of the army and personality cards.
IINames __________________________________________________

Also ...

Created April 2001.
Rick Heli