Welcome to the kick-of game for the 2023-24 Year End Empire Deluxe Tournament. This year, we saw four finalists fighting for control of the continent of Quon Tali. Due to a technical limitation, this year’s map was distributed via an in-game channel instead of through the website. However, the map will be made public once the tournament concludes. Players had one week to prepare their strategy for the opening game.
This tournament takes place on Empire Deluxe Combined Edition.
This year’s map is Quon Tali, a recreation of the world created by Steven Erikson. The artistic version of the map was drawn by Joshua Butler and shared under CC-BY-SA and is based on the Malazan Book of the Fallen. This is the continent north of the island of Malaz which is the home of the Malazan Empire. The map sports a heavily populated center, nestled within a mountain chain, and several important cities situated in the more desolate areas of the world. As one might expect, the player experience will be vastly different depending on where you choose to start on this map.
This year four players qualified for the tournament. All of them are veterans of past tournaments and are familiar with the rules and the scoring process. As is tradition, winning the tournament gives you the option of changing your username to match the nation you played, meaning the selection of starting location is more important than just how good your production is.
Dalian is one of the founding members of EDTC. Believe it or not, Dalian has won his name TWICE, on separate tournaments on separate maps, each time with the same name. He is renowned for his ability to wheel and deal with other players in order to secure victory diplomatically, not just through world conquest.
Holak is one of our newest members but is a seasoned veteran at this point. She has a reputation for being the kingmaker in tournament games with her aggressive expansion strategy that sees her become neighbors with nearly every player in the game. Hazel is the current reigning champion of EDTC and is looking to hold that title for yet another year.
Itzi, better known as Mar since that was his name for 5 of the past 6 years, is one of the most experienced Empire Deluxe players in the tournament. Mar is one of the writers of the original EDTC scoring rules which has defined the tournament and is a regular face within the game. He is famous for his ability to win tournaments on overall points scored, rather than focusing on winning specific battles or matches. In other words, he is the grand master of the long game.
Keiren is one of the founding members of EDTC and is returning after a long hiatus from the game. He is the group’s resident trainer, often sharing his tactics with other players in the hope of generating new interest in the game. When he is not playing, he is often seen acting as a moderator or game master for others. But in a tournament game itself, he is a serious threat to any other player who wishes to oppose him.
The Tournament Schedule and Rule Changes
This year, we are off to a late start due to scheduling conflicts and a last-minute technical glitch. The Game One Tournament was started on Christmas Eve and is expected to conclude later today. Game Two will start on Wednesday, with Game Three starting sometime this weekend and going until completion into next week.
Due to the layout of the map, the same changes were made to unit values as was agreed in the 2022 Tournament. The change increases flying speed for air units, adds ranged fire to most ground units, and increases range for artillery. Terrain penalties for rivers and swamps were also increased for Game One.