Thursday, March 20, 2008

Requirements for Empires In Arms AH left off the box

Among the epic wargaming experiences I've had, some of the very best were from taking part in a series of grand campaign games of Empires in Arms.
The entire grand sweep of the Napoleonic Wars is there for the taking in EIA. A would-be-Napoleon can literally change the map of Europe and create the Confederation of the Rhine, the Grand Duchy of Warsaw or the Kingdom of Westphalia.
Indeed, much more than the game actually published as War & Peace, Empires in Arms should have had that title because it's much more epic in scope.
But one might be fooled by the ordinary-sized bookcase box that the game came i. There's a small hint of what's in store on the back of the box, when it says the game can accommodate up to seven players and take up to 200 hours to play.
There are, in fact, a number of requirements left unsaid. (Or if not requirements, very strongly recommendations at least.)
First, you need to have someone in the playing group who has a lot of time on his hands and/or great dedication because someone has to play host to the game. This person will have to be present for every single game session.
That host needs to have a room that can be devoted to holding the game, all set up, for many months on end. (Having to set up and take down the game multiple times will sap everyone's enthusiasm and make it unlikely you'll see it through to the end.
That host can't have kids or cats, because no wargame can lie exposed to those two elemental forces for moths on end and survive.
That host should have no spouse, or a saintly one, because of the aforementioned requirements.

If you can find such a person, be sure to be extra generous with snacks,soda and beer. And a few flowers for the spouse would be in order as well.

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