Empire at Sunrise: The Great War in Asia, 1914 depicts the struggle for control of Pacific sea lanes during the opening months of World War I. Its focus is largely on naval operations – on the cat-and-mouse dance of destroyers and battleships. The game presents its action at three different telescoping scales using nested playing surfaces, representing the area around Tsingtao at six miles per hex, the fight over the Asian Pacific at 240 miles per hex, and the entire Pacific Ocean at 1,440 miles per zone. From the Battle of Coronel off the coast of Chile to the Siege of Tsingtao in China, this game elegantly captures the sweep of a forgotten chapter in the history of World War I.
Another nice treatment of German cruiser operations and commerce interdiction at the beginning of WWI can be found in The Far Seas. It was published in S&T 125 circa late ’80’s, and covers operations beyond the Pacific. It still stands the test of time and carries a 7.1 BGG rating. Punched player copies with the magazine can be had via Noble Knight for $20 and up.
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