Romance of the Nine Empires

From Alderac Entertainments site:

What is Romance of the Nine Empires? There’s been a lot of questions!

Late last year our friends at Zombie Orpheus got in touch with us and said that they were making a new Gamers movie. A follow on to the very successful Gamers: Dorkness Rising.

This one was to be called Gamers: Hands of Fate and tells how one of the protagonists from Dorkness Rising takes up a collectible card game.  This card game in the movie is a spoof of Legend of the Five Rings (L5R), our very successful CCG. They were running a Kickstarter project to fund the film, and we agreed that it would be a great idea to make the “game of the movie” as one of the levels on Kickstarter.

Some of the filming took place at Gen Con 2012, with L5R players from all over the world taking part in the raucous crowd scenes.

When we talked to them about the game, some of their ideas and the way things worked in their fictional world of Countermay, it became clear that we had an old game not only that shared some of the same nuances as Legend of the Five Rings game-play, but also lent it self to features like “food”, “starvation decks” and “questing” – all of which were critical features in the movie.

That game was Legend of the Burning Sands. (LBS)

So, Romance of the Nine Empires was born. It shares many of the features of game play that LBS had, but in many ways has been refined. Some of the older rules have been changed or taken out, and the old story mechanic is now a questing mechanic, but the shell of the game remains the same.

The game is a tense interaction between different styles of play or play options. There is hard-core military, through theft or depletion of other players food, or winning a renown victory through questing. Turns are synchronous, with alternate actions between players, making skill, timing and recognising the opportunity to capitalise on opportunity, or another player’s temporary weakness critical. It basically has the feel and nuance that you would expect of a CCG style of play.

The turn takes place over four seasons spring through winter, with battles occurring in summer and raiding of opponents’ food supplies in Autumn (after the harvest of course!). Each player begins the game with a series of “castles” strongholds that defend their land and store their food.

The other difference is that this game is not a collectible card game. The box comes with at least a play set of each card (either one or three copies), and for some of the more widely used cards there are many more than that. It also features all of the in-game tokens that you need to play.

The box has five ready-to-play decks in it – balanced to generally give each of the others a close game (although some are more tricky to pilot than others). But there is also plenty of opportunity to customise any of the decks for the five featured factions, amongst the 400 plus cards in the box.

The game is expandable, and we are working on an expansion to come out in the early part of the next year, with more cards based on requests made by fans that backed the Kickstarter. This expansion will introduce new factions and expand on the options for the existing five. This set will also not be collectible, with everything you need in the box.


“It’s fun as hell. I enjoyed it more than most CCGs I’ve played, because of its remarkable blend of tough decisions, cool art, and battles that come down to trickery and planning rather than luck and raw power. You’ll have to wade through some rules to play, but it’s worth it.” –Drake’s Flames

“A lot to really like with R9E. Many of the mechanics which make CCGs so popular are here so you get that same addictive gameplay without the seemingly never ending expense of purchasing more and more cards.” –The Gaming Gang

“R9E is quite an enjoyable CCG. It has all the tense decision-making and tournament feel of any other similar card game, while being fully complete in a single set.” –Giant Fire Breathing Robot

“R9E is a colorful and interesting game that is fun to play. The more time you spend with it the more engrossed you become.” –Initiative: TableTop

“This game does exactly what I wanted it to do. It is a self contained CCG experience. This made even better in that the game comes with extra cards so that the pre-constructed decks can be tweaked. I also like the flow of the game. The economy is tight and using food is always a difficult decision, because it is such a precious resource. I like that the game has three unique victory conditions, and overall I feel like it is a solid design.” –RPGGeek