Conquest of the Empire & Railroad Tycoon - Eagle Games
The GameWire has a preview posted of Eagle Games' new game Conquest of the Empire, which I hear should be arriving in stores soon; perhaps next week.
I've heard good things about this game but I have to admit to being a little skeptical. Eagle Games has acquired a reputation by releasing a string of near misses. Their games are beautiful to look at, that's for sure, but they've always fallen short for me in one way or another.
Take for instance Age of Mythology. This is perhaps their best effort yet and it's a pretty decent game but it just didn't quite do it for me. The similarities to Puerto Rico were a step in the right direction but they couldn't make up for the fact that the game ran too long and the combat system was basically a flawed and more complicated form of rock/paper/scissors. It's an improvement over their previous games but it still didn't inspire me to play it more than two or three times before relegating it to the shelf.
Eagle Games seems to be moving toward games that are a little shorter and a little less complicated, with rules that are more thoroughly tested than in games past. In short, more "eurogameish" if you will. They seem to be heading in the right direction but I'm not sure that they've arrived yet.
The rules to Conquest of the Empire are posted in PDF form. I'm going to have to read them soon. I'll probably play it. I really want to like it but I have to admit that I'm approaching it with a bit of a bias.
(I should note that there are actually two rule sets to Conquest of the Empire. This game is essentially a remake of the classic 1984 Milton Bradley game by the same name and the first rule set is based on that game. The second rule set is based on Martin Wallace's Struggle of Empires which is a truly fantastic game.)
Surprise me Eagle Games! Please!
And while we're on the subject of Eagle Games, you should also check out the preview of Railroad Tycoon. This is basically a re-theming of Martin Wallace's classic game Age of Steam (a game whose reprint is LONG LONG overdue). I think this looks very good indeed. I have high hopes for this one.