Empires at War 1805 is a turn-based war game between nations (players) in the Napoleonic Era. The main scenario consists of seventeen different nations and expands in four "Theaters" covering a big part of the globe, but the central theater is Europe where all nations have a starting position. The action then extends to America, Africa and India.
The main game concepts are to manage your nation's economy, build a strong army and navy, forge alliances and crush your enemies under the weight of your soldier's boots or your diplomatic skills. Each nation's economy is based around building production sites and gathering resources like food, wood and stone and even manufacturing goods like textiles and industrial points. Your main source of income is the taxes you collect from the citizens of your empire, each country has its own tax rate, so countries with lower population and a higher tax rate earn a decent income to sustain their army. The system is quite simple but offers the necessary depth to be a crucial part of the game without the need of numerous calculations.
Each nation's armed forces consist of infantry, cavalry and artillery. Apart from the regular forces, fusiliers, musketeers, militia etc. every power has its own special troops, which add more flexibility and flavor to the battlefield. Each troop type has its own characteristics regarding close combat strength, range, formations and efficiency. Army organisation is also something to consider and follows the formations of the time: Your soldiers are organised in "Battalions", which in turn are organised into "Brigades". Then Brigades can all be organised into "Corps" with a famous leader in charge, and Corps can create "Armies" the largest organisation possible.
Everything you do in the game usually has a cost in "administration" or "command" points. That means that sometimes all actions you would like to chose are not possible, and you will have to chose the most important ones. But this is a main element of the game: With several different ways to play an empire, limitations on resources, and possibly treachery lying behind every deal, it needs planning to survive the rough Napoleonic Era, let alone be the victorious side.
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