This entry is part of the PBM List.

Costs: free
Frequency: 3 per week
Email: gilgarn@gmail.com
URL: http://pawlicki.kaelri.com/empire [ dead link ]
Type: Fantasy Wargame
Last-Update: 2020Sep30
Keywords: free, closed-ended, www, computer, fantasy, wargame


A quarter of the known world will starve by midsummer. Can you provide for your people, with twenty other rulers trying to do the same?

Empire is a computer-moderated diplomatic game for up to 26 players, played on the web. Each player commands a nation and has specific goals that they are rewarded for accomplishing (avoiding starvation, expanding territory, spreading their religion, etc). The game has a light fantasy theme and is inspired by the Christianization of Scandinavia.

Whether the game is cooperative or competitive is left up to the players: every player is playing for their own national high score, so "winning" doesn't necessarily mean that the other players in your game lose. At the same time, some national goals are more compatible than others, and seizing food and land from other players will strengthen your position.

Players should expect to engage in diplomacy and subterfuge by writing letters to other players, strategize by maneuvering their armies and spies around a map, and manage a lightweight economy to keep their people fed and their soldiers paid.

I built it as a fun side project and as an exploration of semi-cooperative games. It's definitely in beta and I would love your help playing, testing, providing feedback on it! If you're at all interested, send me a note!

The game runs for 26 turns with an option to extend it by player vote. At the common pace of 3 turns / week, the game lasts about 2.5 months. Time commitment in filling a turn is usually 25-45 minutes, depending on how creative a player chooses to be with their letters. There are no events or communication that happens outside of the turn cadence, so these minutes can be taken any time during the turn.

Up-to-date detailed game rules can be found on the game's web page, along with links to the user group. If you're interested, mail me or simply join the user group to get notified of the next game!

The game recommends the use of an e-mail address to provide turn advancement notifications and account recovery options.


Played the game? You can send me comments to be placed on this page by writing lindahl@pbm.com. But don't write me attempting to join the game -- write the GM, whose address is above.

Are you the GM? You can update your listing by writing lindahl@pbm.com. If you have something new to say about your game, for example an opening for new players, you can create an announcement for your game.

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Greg Lindahl