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.
- 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.