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Empire is a complex and involving game against other players on the internet. However, the complexity of the game makes for a steep learning curve. This guide is designed to give the new user the absolute essentials to playing Empire. This guide is nowhere near to being a comprehensive guide, but just a quick introduction on how to play. Keep in to mind that you can always type "info command" where command is whatever command you are having difficulty with.

 

It is already assumed that the reader has sucessfully run a client and connected to a game. If you do not know how to do this, look at The Empire Pages. The complete and comprehensive manual can also be found there.

 

One aspect of Empire that needs to be explained first is the Update. Empire is essentially a large database. Every Update (a time predetermined by the Diety of the game) the game updates your production, population, money, and everything else. New sector designations do not take effect until the the next update.

 

OK, you have sucessfully connected to an empire game and you are looking at the command prompt. "[0:640] Command:" Not much help there, hmm? Well, the first command that should be entered is "map #". You will get a display like the following:

     --------00000000001
     8765432101234567890
  -5                     -5  
  -4       . . . . .     -4  
  -3      . s s s s . .  -3  
  -2     . s s s s s s . -2  
  -1    . s s s s s s .  -1  
   0   . . s s s s . .   0   
   1  . s . s s s . .    1   
   2   . s s s s . .     2   
   3  . s . . . s .      3   
   4   . .     . .       4   
   5                     5   
     --------00000000001
     8765432101234567890
[0:640] Command:

This is a map of your country. The "." sectors are oceans/water sectors, and everything else is land. In some games most of the "s"'s will be "-".I will get to those in a moment. "MAP tells the empire server to show you what you look like. The map will show everything that you can see in the area defined. Empire works on a sector system. Much like the X,Y coordinates all high-school studemts learn, the world is laid out on a grid. For example, the bottom-left 's' sector has the coordinate of "-5,3". The coordinates are read by the X (or horizontal), then Y (vertical). However, unlike the standard grid the sectors are laid out in a 6-sided format. From any given sector you can move up-left, up-right, left, down-left, down-right. Occasionally a user will get confused because in the 5-sided format, some sector coordinates do not actually exist. Anyway, a "s" sector is called a sancturary. It cannot in any way hurt, attacked, or modified by an enemy. Unfortunately you cannot do anything meaningful while you are still in your sanctuary. To "break" out of your sancturary, type "break". You get a listing of messages similar to:

> break
-3,-1 is no longer a sanctuary.
-1,-1 is no longer a sanctuary.
1,-1 is no longer a sanctuary.
3,-1 is no longer a sanctuary.
5,-1 is no longer a sanctuary.
7,-1 is no longer a sanctuary.
-2,0 is no longer a sanctuary.
0,0 is no longer a sanctuary.
2,0 is no longer a sanctuary.
4,0 is no longer a sanctuary.
-5,1 is no longer a sanctuary.

These message tell you that your santuaries no longer exist. Type "map #" again. You will get:

> map #
     --------00000000001
     8765432101234567890
  -5                     -5  
  -4       . . . . .     -4  
  -3      . + + + + . .  -3  
  -2     . + + + + + + . -2  
  -1    . + + + + + + .  -1  
   0   . . + c c + . .   0   
   1  . + . + + + . .    1   
   2   . + + + + . .     2   
   3  . + . . . + .      3   
   4   . .     . .       4   
   5                     5   
     --------00000000001
     8765432101234567890

Notice that in this game the deity has already given you some land already set to '+', or highway sectors. Highway sector cost nothing to move across and are key to a functioning economy. If you do not have this, I suggest you try a different blitz to start out on.

 

The next step is to find out where the geological resources are. Type "resource #".

> resource #
Mon Oct 21 17:07:57 1996
RESOURCE
  sect        eff  min gold fert oil uran ter
  -1,-3   +    0%   39   14   25   0    0
   1,-3   +    0%    0    0  106  72    0
   3,-3   +    0%   67   37    0   0   25
   5,-3   +    0%   74   42    0   0   37
  -2,-2   +    0%   45   19   15   0    0
   0,-2   +    0%   91   56    0   0   68
   2,-2   +    0%   96   60    0   0   77
   4,-2   +    0%   85   51    0   0   57
   6,-2   +    0%    0    0  117  87    0
   8,-2   +    0%    0    0  120  98    0
  -3,-1   +    0%   56   28    0   0    5
  -1,-1   +    0%  100   65    0   0   88
   1,-1   +    0%  100   80    0   0  100
   3,-1   +    0%  100   74    0   0  100
   5,-1   +    0%   63   33    0   0   17
   7,-1   +    0%   28    5   43   0    0
  -2,0    +    0%   78   46    0   0   45
   0,0    c  100%  100  100  100 100  100
   2,0    c  100%  100  100  100 100  100
   4,0    +    0%   34   10   33   0    0
  -5,1    +    0%    6    0   78  32    0
  -1,1    +    0%   23    1   50   0    0
   1,1    +    0%  100   69    0   0   97
   3,1    +    0%   50   23    7   0    0
  -4,2    +    0%   11    0   71  21    0
  -2,2    +    0%   17    0   61   7    0
   0,2    +    0%    0    0   89  47    0
   2,2    +    0%    0    0  120 100    0
  -5,3    +    0%    0    0   96  58    0
   3,3    +    0%    0    0  120 100    0

This table lists the resources that each sector has. Notice that sector -1,-1 has a 100% content of minterals. An iron mine in that sector would produce the most as compared to a lesser sector. Also notice that the two sectors marked as a 'c' sector are perfect. Those are the capitals. They provide the money and government to run your country. You must always have at least one high-efficiency 'c' or else you will run out of government-time to run commands. In a blitz game the government does not matter as much, but if you run out of it in a long-game you are dead. Don't worry about moving them now. To make a sector into something else, you designate it. Let's designate sector -1,1 as a mine. Type "designate -1,1 m". Continue the process for goldmines and oil wells. You will probably only need one of each for the time being. I went ahead and put them in.

     --------00000000001
     8765432101234567890
  -5    . . . . . . . .  -5  
  -4   . . . . . . . . . -4  
  -3  . . . + o + + . .  -3  
  -2 . . . + + + + + + . -2  
  -1  . . + + + g + + .  -1  
   0 . . . + c c + . . . 0   
   1  . + . m + + . . .  1   
   2 . . + + + + . . . . 2   
   3  . + . . . + . . .  3   
   4 . . . . . . . . .   4   
   5  . . . . ? ? ? .    5   
     --------00000000001
     8765432101234567890

The next step is to drop in some of the manufacturing complexes. designate a 'j' and a 'k' sector. A 'j' sector turns ore from the mines into light construction materials, and the 'k' sector turns ore into heavy construction materials. They can be anywhere you like.

> map #
     --------00000000001
     8765432101234567890
  -5    . . . . . . . .  -5  
  -4   . . . . . . . . . -4  
  -3  . . . + o + + . .  -3  
  -2 . . . j + + + + + . -2  
  -1  . . k + w g + + .  -1  
   0 . . . + c c + . . . 0   
   1  . + . m + + . . .  1   
   2 . . + + + + . . . . 2   
   3  . + . . . + . . .  3   
   4 . . . . . . . . .   4   
   5  . . . . ? ? ? .    5   
     --------00000000001
     8765432101234567890

Next decided where the focal point of distribution shall be. The best place is a central location that is connected to every non-highway sector by a path of highways. This keeps movement costs down and prevents bottlenecks. Sector -1,1 looks good. "designate 1,-1 w". A 'w' sector is a warehouse that can store large numbers of goods. Now the country needs to be told where its distribution focal point is. Type "distribute * 1,-1" to tell the country that all (*) sectors distribute to and from sector 1,-1.

 

Thresholds and distribution are the key to a functioning economy. It is possible to move all the goods around by hand, but not feasible. In a long term game you will spend all your time on economic micromanagement and not on long-term strategy. Empire's system of thresholds takes care of this. Take the mines for example. When ore is mined it piles up in the sector. Logic says that the one place we do not want ore is in the mine sector. We can tell the Empire server: "Whenever there is more then x ore in sector -1,1 take it to the warehouse." The command is "threshold i 1,-1 1". 'i' stands for iron ore. The ending '1' is the threshold. We cannot specify 0 because that cancels the threshold. Next time the server updates, it will try to move all of the 'i' above 1 to the warehouse.

 

In effect we can do the reverse for factories. We want ore to be automatically transported to them. First we must know how much ore we are getter per turn. Type "production #". This will tell you how much you are getting and can make of a certain substance.

Mon Oct 21 17:44:54 1996
PRODUCTION SIMULATION
   sect  des eff wkfc will make- p.e. cost  use1 use2 use3  max1 max2 max3  max
  -3,-1   k 100%  999    0 hcm   0.85 $0      0i            598i            252
   3,-1   g   0%  999    0 dust  1.00 $0                                      0
  -1,1    m  23%  999  137 iron  1.00 $0                                    137
   1,-3   o   5%  999   25 oil   0.85 $0                                     24
  -2,-2   j 100%  999    0 lcm   0.85 $0      0i            598i            505
5 sectors

In sector -1,1, under the column of "will", it says next turn it will produce 137 ore. We know that 136 of that will automatically be transported out of the sector and will sit in the warehouse available to us. The 'j' and 'k' sectors can both handle up to 598 ore per turn, but we are not producing enough. Instead, lets have half of the ore go to each factory. Remember, the warehouse will try to deliver goods so that each sector has up to its threshold of a certain good -- whether that is a delivery or take-away. I type "threshold i -3,-1 68" and "threshold i -2,-2 68". Next I want the products of those two factories to be delivered to the warehouse. 'K' sectors make heavy, 'j' make light. Therefor, "threshold h -3,-1 1", and "threshold l -2,-2 1". Heavy and Light will now accumulate automatically in the warehouse.

 

Elsewhere, you need a library, technolgy center, harbor, defense plant, shell industry, and enlistment center. A library is important to build up your education level, which makes producing technology that much easier and cheaper. A library requires Light to produce education. A technolgy plant is needed to produce the technology to build bridges, ships, planes, army units, and nuclear missles. It requires gold dust, oil, and light.


Note: The game in which I was modeling this guide reset, so the map, sectors, and numbers used in further examples have changed.


     --------00000000001
     8765432101234567890
  -5  . . . . . . . .    -5  
  -4 . . . ) . . . . .   -4  
  -3  . . . + + . . . ?  -3  
  -2 . . h + + + + . . . -2  
  -1  - . + m g + . . .  -1  
   0 - . j + c c + . . . 0   
   1  . k + w + + . . .  1   
   2 - . o + + + l . . . 2   
   3  - . . + t . . . .  3   
   4 - - . + . . . . .   4   
   5  - - . . . . . .    5   
     --------00000000001
     8765432101234567890

To get off the island you first need the technology to build bridges. Designate a '#' sector. A '#' is a bridge head from which you can build bridges. You need to have sufficiently fed a technology center first. Type "nation".

(#7) 7 Nation Report    Mon Oct 21 21:43:10 1996
Nation status is ACTIVE     Bureaucratic Time Units: 630
100% eff capital at 0,0 has 999 civilians & 55 military
 The treasury has $127394.00     Military reserves: 0
Education.......... 22.39       Happiness.......  0.00
Technology......... 10.55       Research........  0.00
Technology factor : 28.76%     Plague factor :   0.00%
Max population : 999
Max safe population for civs/uws: 768/868
Happiness needed is 6.726408

Now that I have enough technology, I am going to move some Heavy into the bridge head sector. I type "move h -1,1 100". That says that I am moving heavy from -1,1, and that I am moving 100 of it. It will then ask me what direction to move it. After you type the above command you will get a display like the following:

    + c      eff   mob   civ  mil   uw food  work  avail
   + w +     100   127   999    0    0    0   100   599
    + +
<127.0: w -1,1> 

If you type a '?' you will get:

 y u
g   j
 b n
'h' to stop 'v' to view & 'm' to map

The letters represent directions. On the following map:

     --------00000000001
     8765432101234567890
  -5  . . . . . . . .    -5  
  -4 . . . ) . . . . .   -4  
  -3  . . . + + . . . ?  -3  
  -2 . . h + m + + . . . -2  
  -1  - . + m g + . . .  -1  
   0 - . j + c c + . . . 0   
   1  . k + w + + . . .  1   
   2 - . + + + + l . . . 2   
   3  - . . + t . . . .  3   
   4 - - . # . . . . .   4   
   5  - - . . . . . .    5   
     --------00000000001
     8765432101234567890

we would type "bnb" to move it to the '#' sector. You can type each direction seperately, with a return after each one. If you want to do it all at once, you can add a 'h' to the end. 'h' is the code for stopping the movement. You can use the move command to move any commodity anywhere -- from civlizans to uranium. After moving the heavy materials into the bridge head, type "build b -2,4 g". This builds a bridge from sector -2,4 in direction g, or to the left.

 

Now the explore command comes into use. Lets say that we want to move in to the island we have just connected our bridge too. The bridge span counts like any other sector. So, type "explore c -2,4 5". You then have to use the directinoal keys shown above to move them around. After you have explored into a new sector, I suggest you designate it as a '+', or highway sector. Then move more civilians into it.

 

From this point you are going to need to widen your map. You do this by typing "realm #0 -12:12,-5:7". This makes the "map #" and anything else involving the # operator have effect from -12 lef to 12 right; from -5 up to 7 down.

 

You can build ships from the 'h' sector, and move them around with the "nav" command. You can load things onto many of them with the "load" command.


This should be enough to at least get yourself started in Empire. The full manual is a better resource for war stratagies, but this way you will have a country to play with. If you have any suggestions/comments for this page, please let me know.

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