Emperor of the Gaels

Discover Emperor of the Gaels, a hybrid strategic board game set in the medieval Ireland!

Explore the land, extract resources and take advantage of the challenging and unique trade system. Build a kingdom that others will envy, complete with a tower up to the sky. Or take another path to victory and fight back against the Vikings. Become the High King!

You play as a provincial king ruling an Irish clan. You have to plan your logistics and be clever to be the first to get hold of new knowledge and scarce resources. And don´t forget to prepare for battle, don’t send out untrained troops to meet the Vikings!

Although the game contains an intriguing battle system, battle between players is downplayed. Focus for the battles is instead the exciting and automated Viking system, which includes both sea raids and ravaging Viking warbands to deal with.

Get resources, produce, trade and raid

Your developing plans for victory need resources. Plan your way forward, how will you acquire those riches? Will your clansmen produce the resources in your own land? Or maybe it’s better to just trade it when the price is right. Or wait! Have you heard that you can steal them from the Vikings in a nightly sea raid?

Build up your kingdom and prosper

Explore the land and build structures for expanded production and prestige! If you succeed in building the famous Round Tower others will envy you. Or maybe you have acquired secret knowledge from a foreign land so you can make valuable resources to trade for silver and become richer than anyone else!

Battle the Vikings

Be prepared to protect your land from Viking attacks. Learn new battle skills and build an army powerful enough to fight back. If you are strong enough you can fight your way through Viking warbands all the way to a Viking town and defeat them once and for all!

Achieve victory

You always have to deal with the circumstances unique for each game play. There are several paths to victory: by kingdom building, conquest or economy. Be aware that you can end the game immediately by conquering a Viking town, so keep an eye on your neighbour’s moves. Finally the king with the most prestige will win and become “Emperor of the Gaels”!

See and read more details in the Gallery


Preview by Lucky Roll

Preview by Board Game Historian on Instagram:

Recently, we were once again able to try out an exciting prototype. In “Emperor of the Gaels” by @triturusgames, we become one of four province kings and want to become the High King of the Green Island in the 11th century. To do this, we have to expand our domain, collect raw materials, carry out developments and raise an army. Although we can also mess with our fellow players, the real danger are the Vikings, who had spread in Ireland at that time. By fighting with the Northmen we can gain important victory points, but you can also buy security with silver and invest your resources in building a mighty round tower of our monastery instead.
“Emperor of the Gaels” is a fascinating civilization game that offers plenty of possibilities. Especially the semi-cooperative game system is fascinating – because if the Vikings get too strong and destroy a monastery, we all lose. But we also really like the trading system, the action selection and the game cards. And the illustrations really put you in the Middle Ages, creating a nice atmosphere!
So if you’re looking for a game with an exciting historical setting and a lot of unusual mechanics, check out the publisher. We would be very happy if the game ends up on the market.”

How to play

How to play by Jenders Gaming


Please note that in the photos below a prototype is used. Details of the game components may differ slightly from the ones in the final game.

  • Playing Emperor at LinCon 2023
The painting on the game box is made by Philip Armstrong. Read more about him and the painting here.

Brian Boru c. 941 – 23 April 1014, was an Irish king from the Dal gCais clan. He ended the domination of the High Kingship of Ireland held by the Uí Néill clan and probably ended the Viking invasion of Ireland. With a population under 500,000 people, Ireland had over 150 kings, with greater or lesser domains. Brian first made himself king of Munster, and after subduing the other provincial kings, eventually becoming High King of Ireland in 1002. Unlike some who had previously held the title, Brian intended to be High King in more than name. Brian was described proudly in both the Annals of Ulster and Book of Armagh as: ‘High King of the Gaels’.

In 1014, Brian’s armies confronted the armies of Leinster and Dublin. The resulting Battle of Clontarf saw Brian killed, but his army was still victorious against the Leinstermen and Norsemen. The battle is widely recognized as a defining moment in Irish history.

The game, while not intended to provide an exact description of history, playfully draws its inspiration from the power struggle, events and situation in early 11th century Ireland.