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In Rise of Empires, you control your own civilization as it changes and evolves from the dawn of history to present times. Even though you start "small" and fairly powerless, through clever play, you can accumulate wealth and territory while progressively developing the other elements needed for a great empire.

Rise of Empires is divided into three eras. Each era consists of two game turns.

The core of the game is the action display, where you record each action you choose during a game turn. The first game turn in an era is called the "A" turn, the second one the "B" turn. In a way, the "B" turn is a mirror image of the "A" turn.


  • 1 large game board
  • 1 tiles display
  • 40 resource discs
  • 150 player cubes
  • 45 action discs
  • 8 empire tiles
  • 40 territory tiles
  • 48 progress tiles
  • 36 city tiles
  • 100 gold markers
  • 5 alliance pieces
  • 5 player aid cards
  • Rules booklet

Object of the Game

Your goal is to have the most victory points at the end of the game. You score victory points by building cities, by having an empire, and by trading goods.


Place the game board in the center of the table. Place the tiles display next to it. Divide the gold by denomination and place it on the table. Place the resource discs next to the gold. This is the "bank".

You and each of the other players:

Take a player aid card. Select a color and take the associated 30 cubes, 9 action discs, and 1 alliance piece. Place one action disc each on: the victory points track ("0" box), the food track ("16" box), and on the board near the turn order track.This means that each player starts with no victory points and 16 food points.

Place five cubes in your pool. Place your other 25 cubes aside-they form your general stock. In addition, you receive 5 gold and 2 resource discs.

Prepare the Tiles Display:

Shuffle the Era-III progress tiles. Place 2 of them face down in each box of the progress track. Then, do the same for the Era-II progress tiles, and finally do the same for the Era-I progress tiles.

When done, there will be 6 tiles in each box (2 each of Era-I,II,and III, with Era-I on top, Era-II in the middle, and Era-III at the bottom each of the stacks).

Shuffle the territory tiles.Place 4 territory tiles face down in each box of the territory track.

Place the 8 Era-III city "B"Tiles,1tile per box, face down on the city track.Next place the 8 Era-III city "A" tiles face down on top of the "B" tiles (one tile per box).

Next, place the 5 Era-II city tiles in the same way, and finally place the Era-I city tiles in the same way (i.e., first Era-II B, then Era-II A, then Era-I B,and finally Era-I A). Note that the Era-I and II city tiles are only placed in the top 5 boxes of the city track.

Note: There are six wonder tiles among the city tiles.They are part of the city tiles mix.

Place 1 empire tile in each box of the empire track, with the Era-I side face up.It does not matter which tile goes in which box.

Determine Turn Order:

Randomly determine the starting player. Place that player's action disc on the "1" space of the turn order track. Place the action disc of the player to the starting player's left on the "2" space. Proceeding clockwise, place each player's action disc on the next available space.

The Starting Tile Display

Game Play

Rise of Empires consists of 3 eras. Each era is split into 2 game turns: an "A" turn and a "B" turn.

Each game turn consists of the following phases:

  1. New Tiles
  2. Player Actions
  3. Food
  4. Income
  5. Victory Points
  6. Turn Order Determination

I. New Tiles

To start the game, flip face up the 8 top progress tiles, the 10 top territory tiles, and the 5 top city tiles.

Note: Only turn over the 5 city tiles of the top row!

At the beginning of each subsequent game turn: first remove any face-up tiles that were not selected by any player. Place all progress, territory, and city tiles not selected by the players to one side of the tile display.

They are still available for selection. However, place unselected wonder tiles back into the game box. Afterward, turn a new set of tiles face up.

Note: Starting with the fifth game turn (the "A" turn of Era-III), turn over 8 city tiles rather than 5 (include the bottom row of the city track).

Note also: The supply of new territory tiles will run out during the "B" turn of Era-II. This is intentional.

Return all empire tiles to the boxes of the empire track. It does not matter which tile goes into which box. (Obviously, this is not done in the first game turn).

Starting on game turn 3 (Era-II "A"), place each empire tile on its side with the colors for Era-II and Era-III.

Finally, remove all resource discs from the trade track and put them into the bank.

Unselected Tiles in A

As an exception, 2 or 3 Player Game place all unselected progress, city, and territory tiles back into the game box. They are out of the game.

Note: Do not remove any tile with its lower part in red. Such tiles are available for use in the next game turn (see the player aid card).

II. Player Actions

During each game turn, you and the other players each conduct 6 actions. In the order of play marked on the turn order track, players take turns performing 1 action at a time until each player has taken 6 action.

In the "A" turn of an era you select an action by placing 1 of your action discs on the action display in the row corresponding to that action.Then,you perform (i.e., resolve) the action. You may only select an action if you can perform it.

For example, you may not "block" a box of the trade track if you do not have sufficient resource discs to actually execute a trade.

Michael is the first player in a five-player game. As his second action of the "A" turn, he places his blue disc into the second circle from the right of the territory row.

Important: Action discs are placed in a row from right to left, one disc per circle.

You may have as many action discs as you like in a row. However, the number of circles in a row limits the total number of times that that action can be selected (by all players).

In a five-player-game, each row has ten circles available; i.e., one type of action can be selected a maximum of ten times. (Exception: There are only eight available empire tiles. So players may only select this action eight times).

In a four-player game, each row has eight circles available, in a three-player-game, each row has six circles available, and in a two-player-game, each row has four circles available.Note the numbers above and below the circles of the action display. They correspond to the number of players.

In the "B" turn of an era,you select an action by removing one of your action discs from a row.Then, you perform (i.e., resolve) that action.

When removing an action disc in the "B" turn, you may always remove an action disc with nothing to its left for free. If there are action discs to its left, you must either pay one gold, one player cube, one resource disc, one food point,or one victory point for each disc to its left. You do not have to pay for empty spaces to the left.

Example: Peter is playing red in the second ("B") turn of the game. He would love to take an empire tile, however, this would cost him two gold, food, victory points, player cubes, or resource discs.

There he waits and hopes that green and white will remove their discs soon.

During a "B" turn you may remove an action disc but then do nothing. However, if there are discs to its left, you still pay the full amount required for removing your disc

Note: If you have the Printing progress tile, you never have to pay due to your action disc position.

The different territory tiles, city tiles, a few progress tiles, and several regions on the world map earn (or cost) food points, resource discs, player cubes, and victory points. All payments and adjustments are resolved in this way:

  • Update the food track in the Food Phase.

  • Take resource discs from the bank and take player cubes from your general stock into your pool in the Income phase.

  • Adjust victory points.

  • Wonder tiles and Trading earn gold or victory points as soon as you choose the action.

Important: Keep all of your tiles fully visible to all other players; no player may hide or cover tiles.

Take Progress Tile

Take one of the face-up progress tiles and place it face up in front of you.This could be either a tile flipped face up at the start of the current game turn or an unselected tile from an earlier game turn.

However, you must to pay 1gold to the bank if the progress tile is from the previous era, or two gold if a Era-I tile is taken during Era-III.

Note: Players may not possess duplicates of the same progress tile (e.g., two Iron Axes).

Some progress tiles are used like a "free action" (see the player aid card). Such a tile can be used in addition to your regular action when it is your turn to perform an action. You may use such a tile before or after performing your regular action.

You may use as many tiles as you like in this way, but each tile may only be used once per game turn (flip the tile face down after using it).

Important: You cannot take a progress tile and immediately use it-you must wait until the other players have taken at least one action each.

Example: It is Dan's player turn. He places an action disc in the Progress row of the Action Display and takes the Agriculture tile. After that he uses the Weapons tile he acquired earlier and removes a green player cube from the world map, flipping the Weapons tile over.

For a list of progress tiles take a look at the player aid card.

Take Territory Tile

Take one of the face-up territory tiles and place it face up in front of you.This could be either a tile flipped face up at the start of the current game turn or an unselected tile from an earlier game turn.There is no extra cost for taking a tile from an earlier game turn.

Note: You may possess exact duplicates of territory tiles (e.g., three Forests).

  • Plains Tiles

    Each Plains tile you possess earns you 1 player cube and 2 food points.

  • Island Tiles

    Each Island tile you possess earns you 1 player cube and 1 food point.

  • Forest Tiles

    Each Forest tile you possess earns you 2 player cubes and costs 2 food points.

  • Mountain Tiles

    Each Mountain tile you possess earns you 3 player cubes and costs 3 food points.

  • Town Tiles

    There are 6 Town tiles offering different benefits. Each Town tile earns you 1 victory point, and either 1gold, 1resource disc, 1 food point, or 1 player cube.

Take City Tiles

Take one of the face up city tiles and place it face up in front of you. Before taking the tile, you must pay the cost shown in the top left corner of the tile in gold to the bank (it may be free).If you cannot pay the costs, you may not take the tile.

This could be either a tile flipped face up at the start of the current game turn or an unselected tile from an earlier game turn.There is no extra cost for taking a tile from an earlier game turn.

Some city tiles also have "upkeep costs" to be paid during the Food phase or the Income phase. If you cannot or do not want to pay the cost, you must discard the city tile before scoring victory points.

Note: There are also six wonder tiles among the city tiles. They are only available during of a "B"game turn of an era. In order to take one of these tiles, you usually pay gold, resource cubes, and player cubes (from your pool).

You earn victory points for a wonder tile immediately (advance your action disc on the victory points track the listed number of boxes) and then put the tile back into the game box.

Empire Tiles

Take one of the empire tiles and place it face up in front of you.

Immediately place any number of your player cubes from your pool (not from your general stock!) on the world map. You may place zero cubes.

You may place cubes into a number of different regions equal to the number on the empire tile you have selected (between 1and 4).All cubes must be placed in or adjacent to regions already containing cubes of the same color.

Example: It is the first game turn of the game. Michael (blue player) has selected a "2" empire tile without water. He places two of his player cubes in NW Africa and two of his player cubes in NE Africa. He saves one cube for later.

If you do not have any cubes on the world map, you may place cubes in any region allowed by the era. This includes regions controlled by other players.

Once you have placed cubes in one region, you may only place cubes in adjacent regions if you are able to place in more than one region. In later game turns,you may only place cubes in regions or adjacent to regions that were already occupied by friendly cubes before the current placement began.

Example: In the previous game turn, Peter (red) placed three cubes in SW Europe (Spain/France/Italy). He now would like to place cubes into both the NE Africa region and the NW Africa region. This is not possible as the NE Africa region is not adjacent to SW Europe before placement.

Before placing cubes, you may voluntarily remove all of your cubes from the world map and put them in your pool.Then you may start a new "empire" in any region(s) according to the above rules.

Placement and Eras

Players may only place cubes in regions with a color corresponding to the current and earlier eras.In Era-I, these regions cluster roughly around the Mediterranean. Era-II adds the New World,Far East, and more European regions. During Era-III,all regions may be entered.

Control of Regions

You control a region if you have more cubes than any other single player with cubes in that region. If two or more players have joint control of a region (i.e., they have the same number of cubes),they share any benefits: victory points, gold, food points, resource discs, or new player cubes equally, dropping any fractions (i.e., each gets half, rounded down).

If you control a region during the Victory Points phase, you earn the leftmost number of victory points (the larger number) shown on the "standard" in the region.If you have the second highest number of player cubes, you earn the rightmost number of points (the lower number).

In the case of a tie for control, add the two victory point numbers together and divide by the number of players tied for control, dropping any fractions.In a region with tie for control,nothing is earned for second place.

If there is a tie for second place, share the second place points equally, again dropping any fractions.

Example: Michael (blue) controls the NW Africa region, with two cubes. Dan (green) has also one cube in that region. For control, Michael receives two player cubes. Dan receives one victory point for his second place.

Pete (red) and Lin (yellow) each have two cubes in the NE Africa region. Dan (green) has one cube. Peter and Lin are tied control of NE Africa and get one food point each. They also receive one victory point each (3 divided by two and rounded down). Dan receives nothing.

The Mediterranean

You may place cubes into the Mediterranean region only if the number on the empire tile is partly in light- blue "water".This is the only "sea region" in the game. (Note: It is the only ocean area having a victory points standard).

The New World and the Far East

In Era-II and Era-III, empire tiles depicting light blue "water" also allow you to place cubes in the New World or the Far East parts of the world map (which consist of two regions each).

Depending on the number on the empire tile, this may be in addition to cubes placed in the European/North African/Near East part of the world map.

In the "A"turn of Era-II,you and the other players may only place cubes in the New World or Far East if a player has already selected the Navigation progress tile. Note that a player entering the New World or Far East does not need to possess Navigation himself.

This restriction is removed during the "B"turn of Era-II.

If you do not have any cubes in the Old World (Europe,Africa,Near East) but have at least one in the New World or Far East, you may use an empire tile depicting "water" to place cubes in any one region (this can be a region occupied by other players) in the Old World that is allowed by the era.

This may be in addition to cubes placed in the New World/Far East part of the world map.


After taking an empire tile and placing any cubes (i.e., 0+ cubes), you may fight one or more battles. In order to do so, select one region in which you have cubes and at least one other player has cubes. Remove a number of (defending) cubes belonging to one other player equal to the rightmost number of cubes on the bottom row of the empire tile.

Then remove (attacking) cubes of your color equal to the leftmost number of cubes. All of these cubes must be removed from one region-surplus removals are ignored.All removed cubes are put into to the general stock.

Example: Dan wants to take over control of the centrally located Mediterranean. He takes the "1" (water) empire tile and places 3 of his (green) cubes into the Med. Peter (red) currently controls the area with 2 cubes.

After placement, Dan announces that he is attacking Peter. Peter loses both cubes (the rightmost number on the empire tile), Dan loses one (the leftmost number of cubes).

You are never forced to initiate a battle. A battle does not have to take place in a region that the active player has just placed cubes in. A player may fight a battle in a region without placing any new cubes due to the current empire card.

Note: Two empire tiles allow you to fight two separate battles (however, the second battle may only be initiated in Era-III).

With the appropriate empire tile, you may initiate none, 1, or 2 battles in Era-III. Using such a tile in Era-II allows you to fight only 1 battle-use the top row for cube removal.

If you decide to fight only 1 battle during Era-III, select the empire tile row of your choice for cube removal. If you decide to fight 2 battles, you must initiate them in different regions in the order of your choice.

Battles may be fought in the Mediterranean region.


Select one box of the trade track and place the required number of resource discs into it. Afterward, immediately take either the amount of gold specified in the box from the bank or add victory points to your total (advancing his marker on the victory points track), as indicated.

Note: Each box on the trade track may be only selected by one player per game turn.

Note also: Each trade track box has a number of color-coded boxes at its bottom which refer to the three eras of the game. A player may only use a box if the present era is indicated in the box, i.e., a player could not select a box from Era-I that is not cream-colored.

Example: It is Era-I of the game. Michael has two resource discs and places them in the 2-4 box of the trade track. This earns him 4 gold from the bank.

In Era-III Dan has a large amount of resource discs. He takes seven and places them in the 7-6 box. The six victory points move him into first place...

III. Food

In turn, order, calculate how far your food points go up or down on the food track.

Most territory and city tiles will either earn additional food points or cost food points. The "fish" symbol plus a white number means positive (additional) food points, and the "fish" symbol plus a red number means negative (to be deducted) food points.

Some regions on the world map will also provide food points. You earn food points from a region if you control it. Finally, you earn food points for certain progress tiles.

Add up all of your "white"points and then subtract all of your "red" points. Adjust your action disc on the food track up or down based on your total.

Important Special Rule: In the last game turn, double the amount of food points gained/lost.

If you reach the zero box of the food track, you lose one victory point for each food point you are unable to go down. A player can never go below zero victory points or below zero food points.

Example: If you had two food points and had to go down four, you would go down two food to zero, and lose two victory points.

If you reach the top of the food track, you gain one gold for each two food points you are unable to go up.

Example: If you had 19 food points and had to go up four, you would go up one food and take one gold (the remaining food point would be "lost").

IV. Income

In turn order, collect gold, resource discs, & player cubes.

You earn gold and resources for certain city tiles, territory tiles, and for controlling certain regions.

On tiles, the amount of gold earned is shown in a golden coin, the number of resource discs earned is shown in a black disc, and the number of player cubes earned in a grey cube. The world map depicts the respective earnings for each region.

To retain some city tiles, you must pay one resource disc per game turn.If unable to pay, you must put the tile back into the game box. However, you may first receive any resource disc income (from the world map or from a territory tile) before paying for the city tile in question.

Your gold, resource discs, and player cubes must always be visible to all other players.

V. Victory Points

Players now earn victory points for: city tiles, some territory tiles, some progress tiles, and for controlling a region.

In turn order, adjust your victory points on the victory point track.

VI. Turn Order Determination

Determine the turn order for the next game turn.

The player with the least number of total victory points chooses any position on the turn order track, putting his action disc in the corresponding circle.

Proceeding based upon increasing victory point totals, each other player, in turn, chooses one of the remaining unchosen turn order track positions. Already occupied circles on the turn order track may not be chosen.

In the case of a tie, the player with the least number of game tokens takes precedence. "Game tokens" are: gold, cubes, and resource discs. If there is still a tie, the player who was furthest back in turn order on the previous game turn takes precedence.

End of the Game

Rise of Empires is divided into three eras. An era ends after the "Victory Points" segment but before "Turn Order Determination".

End of an Era

At the end of each era, there will be no action discs on the action display.

Players now potentially lose progress and/or city tiles. Return tiles lost to the game box, with the following exceptions:

  • You may choose to retain progress tiles but must pay one gold to the bank for each tile you keep.

  • You may choose to retain city tiles but must pay one player cube from your pool to your general stock for each tile you keep.

Keep all territory tiles in your possession. Finally, remove half, rounding up, of your player cubes from each region on the world map.

Note: The above "upkeep" for tiles and cubes is not conducted at the end of the last Era-III.

The game ends at the end of Era-III (the sixth game turn)-after earning victory points normally. At that point, you receive additional victory points:

  • You receive one victory point for every three gold you have, rounding down. (Keep your gold in front of you for tiebreaking purposes).

  • You also receive one victory point for every three resource discs (again rounding down).

  • You score no points for cubes in your pool or for food points.

Add these victory points to your total victory points. The player with the most victory points wins the game.

In case of a tie, the player with the most gold wins.

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