May 21, 2024

#UnboxingDay – Empire at Sunrise (Hollandspiele, 2021)

RockyMountainNavy, 21 January 2021

The first release of 2021 from Hollandspiele is Empire at Sunrise by designer John Gorkowski. This game is set in World War I and recreates the struggles to control the Pacific sealanes in the early days of the war using weekly turns. Like many Hollandspiele titles, there is an innovative mechanic used. Empire at Sunrise is played out on three different maps using “telescoping” scales to refight the land battle around Tsingtao and the larger naval war in the Far East and across the Pacific.

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Empire at Sunrise – Box cover and back

click images to enlarge

Hollandspiele games are printed by their partner, Blue Panther. The box ships with a main map, side map and tracks, 2-sided play aid, 12-page rule book, 96 counters on a single sheet, and two dice. Some people complain about the smell in the box that results from Blue Panther’s production process; I just think of it as a pleasant scent of “Eau de Wargame” that quickly dissipates once the box is opened.

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Empire at Sunrise – Components


The rule book is nicely laid out by Mary Russell and are in color with several illustrations. I like the use of the little ship silhouettes for bullet points!

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Empire at Sunrise – Rule Book


The Player’s Aid is double sided with the Order of Battle for setup on one side and the Sequence of Play and useful modifier tables on the other.

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Empire at Sunrise Player’s Aid Side 1


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Empire at Sunrise Player’s Aid Side 2


Counters are the typical thick Blue Panther style.

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Empire at Sunrise – Counters


The key to the game of Empire of Sunrise is the maps by artist Jose R. Faura. The three “nested” maps are actually spread across the main map (17″x22″) and a side map (11″x17″) that also includes the Game Turn track, Victory Point track, and other organizational aids.

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Empire at Sunrise map-sheet – The “Kiautschou Insert” at 6 miles/hex is upper left, the rest is the “Asia Pacific Map” at 240 miles/hex


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Empire at Sunrise – “Pacific Chart” at 1440 miles/zone below and game tracks above

Thanks for joining this month’s #UnboxingDay with the Armchair Dragoons and we hope you enjoyed our recon of our recent acquisitions.
You can always leave us your feedback in our #UnboxingDay thread, or in the comment area on this article, below.
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