Information
Designer
Artist
Publisher
Year Published
2005
# of Players
1 − 2
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 2 players
Recommended with 2 players
(21 voters) [poll]
Mfg Suggested Ages
12 and up
Playing Time
360 minutes
User Suggested Ages
16+
(13 voters) [poll]
Language Dependence
Extensive use of text - massive conversion needed to be playable
(14 voters) [poll]
Honors
Subdomain
(38 voters) [vote]
Category
Mechanism
Reimplemented By
Family
Primary Name
Empire of the Sun
Alternate Names
Empire of the Sun The Pacific War 1941-1945
Empire Of The Sun: The Pacific War
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Description Edit | History

(from GMT website:)

Empire of the Sun (EotS) is Mark Herman's third card driven design since he introduced the system to the hobby in We The People. EotS is a strategic level look at the entire War in the Pacific from the attack on Pearl Harbor until the surrender of Japan. EotS is the first card driven game (CDG) to move the system closer to a classic hexagon wargame, while retaining all of the tension and uncertainty people have come to expect from a CDG. Players are cast in the role of MacArthur, Yamamoto, Nimitz, and Mountbatten as you direct your forces across the breadth of the globe from India to Hawaii and from Alaska to Australia. This is represented on a single map based on a 1942 equal area projection of the entire theater of conflict.

As in other games using the CDG system, players try to maximize the impact of their cards even as they hide their intentions and traps from their opponent. The player is faced with a wide set of clear strategic choices. The focus of EotS is on directing major offensive axes of advance. The Japanese early in the game are challenged to achieve their historical expansion as Allied forces battle the clock to react with their in-place forces trying to achieve maximum damage to the hard-to-replace Japanese veteran units.

Combat in EotS is based on successfully bringing superior combined land, air, and sea forces to bear in a two-tiered combat system. The first tier is the resolution of air-naval combat, the second tier covers ground combat. The culmination of both tiers results in one side prevailing in battle.

The key variable in determining strategic victory is the level of U.S. political will. The Japanese win the game by forcing the U.S. into a negotiated peace, which was not achieved historically. The Japanese achieve this by knocking countries like India, China, and Australia out of the war, while inflicting massive casualties on the United States. The delivery of the A-bomb on its historical schedule is not a guarantee, often necessitating Operation Olympic and the invasion of Japan. It is often in its darkest hour that the Japanese find victory in EotS.
EotS scenarios were designed with the busy enthusiast, grognard, and competitive tournament player in mind. EotS was designed to be played n yearly scenarios (1942, 1943, and 1944) of three turns each that play in under two hours. If you are a fan of CDG's, EotS takes the genre into a familiar, but new direction. If you are a fan of classic hexagon wargames, this game has all of the features that brought you to this hobby in the first place, but with a new level of excitement and replayability. The game is comprehensive, but easy to learn.

TIME SCALE: 4 months per turn
MAP SCALE: 150 miles per hex
UNIT SCALE: Brigade, Division, Corps, and Army

DESIGNER: Mark Herman
DEVELOPER: Stephen Newberg
MAP & CARD ART: Mark Simonitch
COUNTER ART: Mark Simonitch, Dave Lawrence, & Rodger B. MacGowan


(from the designer:)

Empire of the Sun (EOTS), uses a variant of my card driven system. The game has one map that covers the Pacific Theater of operations from India to Hawaii, and from the Aleutians to Australia. EOTS is the first card driven game to use hexes, which facilitates calculating movement and aircraft ranges. Each game turn covers 4 months (three turns per year) with a special December 41 (special two card) game turn, for a total of 12 game turns for the campaign.

The game is at the strategic level using naval units built around a capital ship class (e.g., CV Wasp, BB Washington, etc.), air units at the Air Force/ Air Flotilla/ Air Division level, and most ground units are Corps/ Armies although there are a host of specialized units at the division and below level. The game has 165 cards divided into an Allied and a Japanese deck.

The game uses a two tiered combat system with air-naval combat preceding ground combat. The system has players roll for combat efficiency, which is a strength multiplier from .5 to 2. This value multiplied by the unit strengths is the number of hits the enemy takes in combat, with some special conditions based on number of CVs present and the like.

As far as game play is concerned, China is abstracted using a track whereby the play of certain events and Chinese offensives puts pressure on the Allies to support this theater with resources or see it fall and hurt Allied morale. This is balanced against the fact that Japanese land replacements come from this theater, so the more they draw it down for conflict in other locations, the more likely China will survive.

Northern India and Burma are active theaters of operation where the majority of the continuous ground warfare in the game occurs. If the Japanese can successfully occupy Northern India, they can drive this nation and its Commonwealth units out of the war.

Australia can also be knocked out of the war, although it is hard to keep it out permanently.

Then of course there is the famous island campaigns with the US driving across the Pacific to knock Japan out of the war.

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More Information Edit | History

Second edition rules/aids:

  • Rulebook v3 (52 pages)
  • Card driven Solitaire System (4 pages)
  • Player aid card (4 pages)
  • Combat tables (2 pages)
  • Allied at start/reinforcement units (1 page)
  • Japanese at start units (1 page)
  • Allied erasmus bot opening & middle phase (4 pages)
  • Japanese erasmus bot opening & middle phase (4 pages)
  • Japanese/Allied erasmus bot end phase (4 pages)


Won the Charles S. Roberts award for Best World War II Boardgame (Charles S. Roberts Awards) and for Best Wargame Graphics (Charles S. Roberts Awards) for 2005.

Online Play: Wargameroom (real-time)

Expanded by Empire of the Sun Deluxe Map (first edition) - NOTE: second edition contains hard mounted map.

Microbadge:mb

Versions
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Pg. 1
Empire of the Sun
Nick: 
Second edition
Publisher: GMT Games
Artist: Dave Lawrence, Rodger B. MacGowan, Mark Simonitch
Year: 2015
Size: GMT standard box
English
Release Date:  
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Empire of the Sun
Nick: 
First edition
Publisher: GMT Games
Artist: Dave Lawrence, Rodger B. MacGowan, Mark Simonitch
Year: 2005
Product Code: 0501
Size: GMT standard box
English
Release Date:  
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Files
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Pg. 1 of 4 »
11 Empire of the Sun - 1942 Scenario Scorecard
Similar to the 1943 scorecard I created, here is a 1942 Scenario scorecard. I use JP and AP control markers to show what the current state is (JP when favorable to that player, AP when favorable to that player). Please let me know if there are any mistakes.
English
2016-01-11
32 Helpful Flow Chart Summary of Offensives (7.2 of V3.0 Rules)
Most questions about key concept like HQ and unit activations, movement, battle hexes, intelligence conditions, reaction cards, or special reaction are answered patiently by Mark Herman here and on CSW by a reference to the Offensives sequence in 7.2 of the V3.0 Rules. The sequence is key to making the games mechanics work. I've summarized the sequence in this flowchart, as a handy reference to keep on hand until it becomes second nature.
English
2015-10-15
34 10-page rules summary for Empire of the Sun 2nd edition
10-page rules summary (or should I say condensed rules) for Empire of the Sun 2nd edition. Very useful as a refresh, reminder, reference during play, or to flatten the learning curve.
English
2015-08-21
19 Empire of the Sun - 1943 Scenario Scorecard
I thought it would be helpful to have a scorecard for tracking VPs while playing the 1943 scenario rather than having to repeatedly check the rulebook to see what the different VP conditions were. I use JP and AP control markers to show what the current state is (JP when favorable to that player, AP when favorable to that player). This is a first cut, so please let me know if there are any mistakes.
English
2015-08-13
33 EotS 2.0 Reminders
Updated version.
English
2015-08-10
5 Reglas y Hoja de ayuda para la variante de guerra submarina aparecida en la C3i #19
Traducción de las reglas para usar los counters para la variante de guerra submarina aparecidos en la revista C3i #19.
Spanish
2014-09-07
47 EotS Quick Learning Guide
Adds condition for the +3 amphibious assault modifier for the reaction player during ground combat resolution.
English
2014-08-01
21 EotS Reminders
Updated version with ZOI and SR, and a modified wording for hit distribution.
English
2014-06-25
68 How to play EotS using Vassal tutorial logs
This is a collection of logs I created in response to this thread: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/995805/who-wants-to-learn-empire-of-the-sun This teaches the rules and some basic strategies with a few examples of how to run offensives. To play, you need to go to vassalengine.org, look up this game, and download the 4.07 module. It may work with later editions, but I created these logs with that version.
English
2014-03-03
15 EotS Activation Paths - Version 1.0
This file is a reference for the four different types of activation paths in Empire of the Sun - Unit activation, unit reaction, supply (including ability to exert a ZOI and placement of reinforcements and replacements) and minimum supply required to prevent unit elimination. It shows the HQ supply status and on-map restrictions for each type of activation path, as well as a reference to the relevant rule defining the path. In addition, the file includes the difference in how the winner of a combat is determined in Air/Naval vs Ground Combat, as well as a reminder of the symbology on the optional HQ units from C3i magazine No. 19. Enjoy.
English
2014-02-19
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GrogCast Season 3, Episode Two-o!
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I've Been Diced! episode 67: Mark Herman
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