History

Empire players 1963 B

Empire play­ers J.D. Eveland, Alan Arey, Jim Trosper and Peter Clark play­ing in 1963. Image cour­tesy Reed College archives.

The his­tory of Empire is long and com­pli­cated. An early ver­sion was cre­ated in 1938 by a group of UC Berkeley alumni, includ­ing Stillman Drake and Mark W. Eudey. In 1960–64, Stillman’s son Dan Drake devel­oped a descen­dant with friends at Reed College, includ­ing J.D. Eveland, Jim Trosper and Alan Arey. The game con­tin­ued to evolve at Reed, with the rules first com­piled and writ­ten by Andrew Nisbet from 1969–76. The game was only played occa­sion­ally from the mid-​​1980s to the early 90s, and hardly at all thereafter.

Some for­mer Empire play­ers, includ­ing Nisbet and Robert McCullough, instead play a less-​​time-​​consuming descen­dant of Empire called Tac-​​5. It is pri­mar­ily based on the Empire com­bat rules, while nearly elim­i­nat­ing the eco­nomic element.

See also:

  • Long his­tory—lengthy and detailed ver­sion of the history
  • History resources—pri­mary resources, such as records of games and play­ers, arti­cles, ephemera, and tran­scripts of email threads and dis­cus­sions about Empire
  • Community area where peo­ple con­tribute their own rec­ol­lec­tions and reminiscences
  • The Game Resources sec­tion of the site includes his­tor­i­cal pho­tos and/​or scans of rules, maps and pieces.
  • Email
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