Each empire has its own set of strengths and liabilities which are drawn from the historical realities of 1714, the games starting point. You can win with any of the six, but the strategies that serve you best for one will be disastrous for another, giving each empire a unique flavor and play style. Your victory will depend on making the best use of your empire’s particular strengths while exploiting the weaknesses of your rival empires.
Read on for more details on each of the Empires.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain came into being on 1 May 1707, fusing the long-standing institutions of the various British nations to a single purpose. This newly united nation made strong gains in the War of the Spanish Succession, winning control of Gibraltar from the Spanish as well as French recognition of British claims in North America.
United Kingdom, British Colonies, Ireland, Jamaica, Gibraltar, Rupert's Land
Playing as the United Kingdom, you will start with the strongest navy of any player, but your territories are scattered, and your army is small. If you allow your position as the dominant naval power become threatened, you may have difficulties defending the far reaches of your empire. Can your leadership enhance the power of the British armies until they are as dominant as your fleets?
The successful campaigns of Louis XIV launched France to the forefront of power in Europe. However, the possibility that Louis might inherit the territories of Spain shocked an array of France’s jealous foes into forming the Grand Alliance, which defeated France in the War of the Spanish Succession, forcing Louis to relinquish his claims on Spain.
France, Quebec, Champagne & Alsace, Louisiana
Playing as France, you will begin with a powerful army and navy. Your military power could help you establish an early lead, but France shares more borders with rivals than any other empire, and a large proportion of your forces may be tied down defending your homelands. Can you reestablish France’s as the empire no single nation can confront?
Following the death of King Charles II, the Duke of Anjou was unexpectedly raised to King Phillip V of Spain, uniting the empires of France and Spain under a single royal family and pushing them into a disastrous confrontation with the Grand Alliance in the War of the Spanish Succession. Spain’s defeats forced it to give up Gibraltar, Naples, and the Spanish Netherlands.
Spain, New Spain, Caribbean, New Granada, Florida
Playing as Spain, you will have an unrivaled base of power in the New World, but your foothold in Europe will be the weakest of any of the Six Empires, and the Spanish fleet is not ready to challenge either of the other empires occupying North America. Can you reverse the course of Spain’s decline and return it to its former glory?
A half century of conflict with France in the west and the Ottomans in the East has reshaped what was once known as the Holy Roman Empire. The house of Habsburg’s traditional influence over the increasingly independent German States is waning, but recent acquisitions of the Netherlands and Naples have added new peoples to this growing multi-cultural empire.
Austria, Hungary, Netherlands, Naples
Playing as Austria, your dominance in central Europe allows you to expand in any direction, but you’ll have to guard against attacks from all sides. Savvy diplomacy may be more vital to your success than victory on any battlefield. Can you expand the Austrian Empire without exposing yourself to a devastating attack from your rivals?
The Ottoman Empire enjoys an iron grip on the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and a strong foothold in Europe. However, recent defeats at the battles of Vienna and Zenta halted centuries of unchecked Ottoman expansions, and the rise of Russia in the North presents a serious threat to Ottoman interests.
Rumelia, Anatolia, Egypt, Perisa, Syria
Playing as the Ottoman Empire, your territories will be well insulated from attack, but you’ll have to expand quickly or risk being confined to your corner of the map. Can you renew the Ottoman conquests without exposing you homelands to a devastating attack?
Peter the Great’s campaign to Westernize Russia brought his empire into closer contact with Europe and conflict with Sweden. Peter’s victory at the Battle of Poltava altered the balance of power in the North, allowing Russia to take Sweden’s place as the greatest power on the Baltic Sea.
Ingria & Karelia, Muskovy, Ukraine
Playing as Russia, you’ll be geographically isolated and better able to defend your starting territories than any other player, but your tiny fleet limits your ability to project your power beyond the territories that neighbor your empire. Can you maintain Peter the Great’s momentum and transform Russia into an unchallengeable behemoth?