April 18, 2024

#UnboxingDay! Empire of the Sun by GMT Games

Billy Riley, 17 February 2022 ~ #UnboxingDay

I do know why I bought this. I’m super interested in the logistics of an island-hopping campaign. The trouble is, whilst I love the idea of Grand Strategy games, I’m not great at them.

I also thought this might give me a window into how to eventually play War in the Pacific : Admiral’s Edition from Matrix Games. It likely won’t, but it’s a side hope of having the game.

I would also say this game is second hand which is why the counters are punched…but as it’s my fist time into the box, I think I can still call it an unboxing.

I have printed out the Erasmus system designed to help you play this game solo – but I haven’t included screen shots of those as this is an unboxing and those were not included in the box.

This is a Card Driven Game – which is one reason why it’s not made it to my table yet – I’m waiting on the CDG System which I have on pre-order. I suspect there’s other reasons why it’s not made it to my table though. Perhaps I don’t have to if I’m using the Erasmus system.


Box Art

There are some names on there that are familiar in terms of battles I know of – but others are not immediately brought to mind as battles…but I really don’t know a whole lot about the campaign – other than it was a fanatical fight and every island was costing a lot of lives.


click images to enlarge

The back shows the map you’ll be playing the campaign on with some details about the game.



Strategy Cards

There are 165 strategy cards. These are used to drive the campaign forward for both the Allies and the Japanese.



The counters are either 1/2″ or 5/8”. There’s not really a lot given the scale of the game (grand campaign) though I’m certain there’ll be plenty to do.


The Manual

The rule book is 46 pages on plain white decent thickness paper. There’s only actually 24 pages of rules with the rest taken up on Introduction to the game and it’s components, Scenarios of which there are 3 – 1941 (Full Campaign), 1942 and 1943, Master Scenario Setup List, Designer Notes, Bibliography and Index.

I would say the font is rather small.


Player Aids

There are 2 player aids. One double sided and one 4 page fold out. The double sided one has the Quick Start Setup Guide on one side and Terrain Effects, Air/Naval CRT, Ground CRT and Replacement Chart on the reverse side.


The 4 page foldout has a summary of rules and a sequence of play as well as a Battle Factor Calculator


The Map

The map is heavy paper stock and very nice. I have to say – it makes the game look like it’ll be far more simple than it probably is.



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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