Empire of York

Play Details: 2-4 Players, 60 Minutes, Ages 12+

The Empire of York is in shambles after a century of misrule. The imperial family has fled with what’s left of the treasury, leading the citizenry to the path of revolution and anarchy. Civil war is imminent. The old Imperial Army has mobilized to maintain order, but the old empire was vast and filled with a patchwork of cultures and factions. They aren’t the only ones with a stomach for a fight. The future of the empire will be determined in the coming months. The time to march is upon you!

I’ve long wanted to design a war game. It’s not only my favorite genre of board game, but also one of the most crowded. Not merely crowded, but it’s packed with outstanding games, ranging from the beautifully accessible Memoir ’44, the wonderful 1812: The Invasion of Canada, Heroscape, Conflict of Heroes, and recently the ridiculously innovative Risk: Legacy.

Early prototype components

Empire of York is accessible, rich with player interaction, and plays with up to 4 players with 4 unique factions, all in a short one hour play period. The game features no dice and instead gives each player an Army deck using 5 simple card types: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, General, and Fog of War. That’s it.

Cards are played to add Reinforcements to the board, but more importantly, to activate powerful Tactics and Staff Orders. These do things like Infantry Charges, Ambushes, or sending the enemy False Orders. The uncertainty of the cards drawn paired with the actions of your opponents will allow for a great deal of variety that’s easy to learn. If you’re put off by war games, here’s a secret: Empire of York is actually a light area control Euro with a heavily incorporated war theme.

I’m also excited by how expandable the core system is. I already see great potential for small and large expansions that add a naval aspect to the war, additional players, unique armies (i.e. new decks with new Tactics), terrain modifications, Leader units, and more.

All told, Empire of York is a unique war game that works just at well at lunch, game night, or the Thanksgiving table after dinner. The game is deep into beta and balance testing now.

If you have any thoughts, comments, or questions regarding Empire of York, please . I am looking for a publisher, so don’t be shy!

Below are some helpful links! Please keep in mind that everything is in progress. Also, all art images on this page were obtained using Google Image search. They are purely reference and are not final art.

You can download the Print-n-Play version of the game here.

  • Visual Reference on Pinterest
  • Rules for Empire of York
  • Game Board Explanation
  • Reference Board Explanation
  • Card Layout Example
  • Card Distribution and Tactics Tuning
  • Map Layout

12 thoughts on “Empire of York

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  3. How has pinterest been for organizing info? Have you used it more than just visual reference? I have a pmwiki and a blog for organizing some ideas, but I wouldn’t mind something more visual. What sort of content can you post/link on there?

    • I use Pinterest primarily for visual reference (i.e. something I would show to an illustrator I hire to create art for the game) and just for thematic inspiration. For example, when searching for Empire Reborn I discovered that Camel Artillery is a thing. Very helpful. Looking up the Native Americans versus T. Roosevelt’s Rough Riders gave me inspiration for two different army types. Pinterest is only for posting images. Honestly, it’s free — you should just get it and try it for yourself.

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  5. Thanks again Grant for allowing us to play test your game at GenCon. I cant wait for this game to hit the market!

    • It was a pleasure! GenCon was really awesome. If you have time, I’d love for you to check out the rules (linked above) which show the new board, new cards, new reference boards, and new rules. I’d love your input. I hope to have a Print-and-Play available in a few weeks.

      • Absolutely fantastic changes! I love the explainations of the rules in such detail. The ability to read the rules and understand what other players are capiable is also invaluable. The board is much cleaner and easier to understand. You have done so much amazing work on this game, we can’t wait to try it again!

        • Awesome, glad to hear you’re excited. Adam Goodmurphy, one of the GenCon testers, has been playing the old prototype and the new changes. He’s been very positive so far (and has made many great suggestions to improve it further). I’m very optimistic.

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