About War! Age of Imperialism

War! Age of Imperialism is the computer version of the award winning board game. Up to 8 players vie to create the most powerful empire on Earth. Each player starts the game with several regions. They can add regions to their empire by convincing the native peoples to join the empire. Some native peoples are peaceful and will readily join the first great power to approach them. Other native peoples are warlike, often decorating their villages with the heads of unlucky imperial explorers! These regions may have to be taken by military force.

Once a region has been acquired the player may then improve the region. Improvements include developing resources and constructing buildings. The empire gains wealth from these improvements. This wealth may then be invested in raising and equipping new armies and navies, further economic growth, education, construction, and technological advancement.

Technology gives a player’s empire economic and military advantages over rival imperial powers. An empire may build a huge army, only to find that their musket-armed troops are defeated by a smaller, rifle-armed enemy army. Correctly spending the economic surpluses generated by booming industrialization is one of the most challenging parts of ruling a successful empire in the age of imperialism.

Political considerations must not be ignored. Alliances with other imperial powers are sometimes necessary if smaller empires are to survive against larger stronger rivals. The challenge is knowing just when to abandon, or even attack, allies in order to profitably increase your own power.

In the end, only the most powerful empire will win. Will you lead your empire to world domination?


Screenshots can be seen here.


Game Tunnel (March 2005) - Chris Pickering

"As a stand alone strategy title, the quality of the enemy AI, the online options, and the addictive gameplay total up to an addictive title. War is a top quality addition to the genre."

Read the full review at Game Tunnel

The WarGamer.com - Al Berke writes:

"War! Age of Imperialism is an excellent game that brings the board game to life with the convenience of a computer. The flexibility of the game system in providing choices to the gamer is superb and opens War! Age of Imperialism to a wide audience."

Read the full review at The Wargamer.com

Computer Games Magazine (January 2004) - Steve Bauman writes:

"War!'s simplicity is a large part of what makes it such a blast to play .... it's a terrific time. Who doesn't want to conquer the world in a few hours?"

Read the full review in the January 2004 issue

PC Gamer Magazine (February 2004) - Matthew Peckham writes:

"One of War!'s strongest assets is its AI ... It's wicked smart."

Read the full review in the February 2004 issue

The WarGamer.com - Jeff Vitous writes:

"War! Age of Imperialism already appears poised to represent one of the best efforts in the problematic genre of board game conversions ... The host of added features in the computer version of War! Age of Imperialism results in a product that is far greater in scope than its table-top template. For fans of the board game, this version is still a must-have, even if ample supplies of live players are available."

Read the full preview at The Wargamer.com

DIYGames.com - Troy Goodfellow writes:

War! Age of Imperialism is "a better version of Risk and more interesting version of Axis and Allies"

Read the full review at DIYGames.com

Game Features


The computer version is a faithful implementation of the board game's advanced ruleset. The computer eliminates much of the complexity of the advanced rules (tracking PPs, what you can buy and where you can place them, etc.) such that a beginner could be comfortable.

There are some changes and additions to the advanced ruleset including changes in purchasing, revolting and westernizing.  All changes are explained in the FAQ.

Fullscreen & Window modes

You can run War:TCG in fullscreen mode at the current resolution, like other computer games.  However, you also have the option to run it in a normal window, along side other applications.  This makes it easier to play and do other things at the same time (e.g., instant messaging, email, your job).

House Rules

The game includes several popular house rules that the fans of the game have created.  Examples include Rich World, Weak Natives, destroying a fort upon capture, no global region bonus, disabling technology, and changing the number of starting PPs and/or regions.

Battle Simulator

The game includes a battle simulator which computer and board players can use to determine the odds of winning a battle.

Hotseat and AI

The computer version can be played in "Hot Seat" mode with up to 8 human or computer players.

The AI is tough, providing a good challenge to both beginner and experienced players. The AI is configurable, offering Economic, Balanced and Warmonger personalities.


War! is the kind of game that is best enjoyed when played by lots of players.  However because a full game can take hours (or days!), it is often hard to get together the requisite number of players.   A major feature of the computer version is to enable people to play other players using the internet and email in both online and offline modes.

For example, you could have a game where everyone is online at the same time.  They each other's moves as they happen and get notified when they have to act.

However the turn-based nature of the game makes an "asynchronous" mode suitable. Players in online game can also act in an "asynchronous" manner.  This allows each player to perform their moves and purchases regardless of who is currently online at the current time.  At the end of a turn, if not currently online, the next player gets notified via email that it is their turn.  To handle items like battles which typically require the other player, there is an automatic defense algorithm so the computer can handle the offline-player's half of the battle.

The Board

The computer game is based on the beautiful original artwork of the board game and includes the North and South America "expansion" map.  In addition, we have removed the huge War! banner at the top of the game board and added three new sea regions (which are enabled via house rules):  Barents Sea, Kara Sea and East Siberian Sea.   Siberia runs to the top of the playing area and has the Kara Sea to the west and the East Siberian Sea to the east.  Access to the Barents Sea is from Russia and Trans-Ural.

System Requirements


OS: Windows 98 or higher
Processor: 500MHZ (or higher)
Memory: 128M minimum, 256M recommended (or higher)
Disk: 75M hard drive space free
Video Card: SVGA capable of 800x600 and 16 bit colors (or higher)


OS: Mac OS 10.2.6 (or higher) with the Java 1.4.1 Update (for 10.2/Jaguar users - People who upgraded to Panther should already have Java 1.4.1 - see Q3 below).
Processor: 500MHZ (or higher)
Memory: 128M minimum, 256M recommended (or higher)
Disk: 75M hard drive space free
Video Card: SVGA capable of 800x600 and 16 bit colors (or higher)


OS: Linux for x86 (Redhat 7.3 or higher or equivalent)
Processor: 500MHZ (or higher)
Memory: 128M minimum, 256M recommended (or higher)
Disk: 75M hard drive space free
Video Card: SVGA capable of 800x600 and 16 bit colors (or higher)

Online Play requires an email address and internet access with 56K modem minimum. Use subject to license agreement terms.