|Setup time||10-15 minutes|
|Playing time||Up to 14 hours|
|Skill(s) required||Tactics, Strategy, Economics|
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Europe Engulfed is a block wargame designed by Rick Young and Jesse Evans for GMT Games, first published in 2003, and it simulates the European theater of war during World War II featuring a streamlined play structure and multiple well-balanced strategies for both sides, giving players the chance to either relive history or lead the Axis war machine to victory. It is generally considered to be a step up in complexity from Axis & Allies, while being less complex than such games as Advanced Third Reich.
Europe Engulfed is notable for its Special Action mechanism. Special Actions represent concentrated logistical effort, and as such are fairly costly, but also powerful. Special Actions may be spent to allow for large territorial gains in a single turn, such as the German conquest of France; or the British evacuation from Dunkirk. Neither of these require any special rules outside the basic game system. This is a feat which few World War II European Theater games have accomplished.
Now in its 2nd edition, the game features several scenarios: 1939-'45, 1941-'45, 1941-'43 tournament, European War (where Soviet Russia attacks Germany in 1939) and a Patton's Fantasy scenario, which pits the Western Allies against the Soviets after the fall of Germany during the remainder of 1945.
Europe Engulfed makes use of a blocks unit system, with each block representing a unit of either infantry, cavalry, airborne assault troops or armor. Each block can be 1, 2, 3 or 4 step, with 4 steps being the unit at maximum strength, whereas Germany and Soviet Russia can also deploy a number of elite and militia units. The actual nature of each block is hidden from the enemy until actual combat occurs. (The designers considered Blockskrieg! as a name for the game, before settling for Europe Engulfed.
Naval/air warfare is significantly abstracted, leaving ground combat as the essential ingredient of the game.
In 2006, GMT released a second edition of Europe Engulfed with minor changes to the map, counters, markers, and the box.
In 2007, GMT released a sequel, called Asia Engulfed, also designed by Jesse Evans and Rick Young which focuses on the Asian-Pacific theater. This game has a completely revamped naval/air system, although the two games can be played together.
Design and Development
The game was designed by Rick Young and Jesse Evans when they were roommates in California awaiting the release of the board game East Front co-designed by Craig Besinque and Tom Dalgliesh. In January 1994, after play-testing their new game 50 times they sent a copy of Europe Engulfed to Columbia Games who essentially felt that the game was too big for their purposes. The designers tried to develop a version of this game for Columbia Games called Eurowar, but they decided that they had more fun playing their original game Europe Engulfed. Around 1999 or 2000, people started talking about the game on the Internet. Multi-Man Publishing expressed some interest in publishing the game in a few years, but they were too busy acquiring The Gamers, a wargame company from Illinois. The publishing rights eventually went to GMT Games. The game was developed by William Cooper with art and art direction provided by Mark Simonitch and Rodger MacGowan.
Awards and Recognition
- 2003 James F. Dunnigan Award for Playability and Design
- 2003 Charles S. Roberts Award Best World War II game
- 2003 Charles S. Roberts Best Wargame Graphics nominee
- Top 10 ranked board game on BoardGameGeek, with it peaking as the #6 all-time ranked game in May 2005; at #7 the game ranked ahead of all board games except for Puerto Rico, Tigris & Euphrates, The Princes of Florence, El Grande, Power Grid, and War of the Ring (first edition), making Europe Engulfed temporarily the highest ranked historical wargame before it was overtaken by Paths of Glory.
- "Point 2 Point Episode 12: Rick Young and Mark McLaughlin" (Podcast). Retrieved 2021-03-28.
- "Point 2 Point Episode 32: Prezcon 2008 and Rick Young" (Podcast). Retrieved 2021-03-28.
- "James F. Dunnigan Award (Charles S. Roberts Awards)". Retrieved 2021-04-04.
- "2003 Charles S. Roberts Awards". Archived from the original on 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
- "Europe Engulfed: WWII European Theatre Block Game". Retrieved 2021-04-04.
- "BGG Top 100 Analysis May 10, 2005". Retrieved 2021-03-27.
- "Lowest Game Of The Moment - BGG Rank of next game you want to play". Retrieved 2021-03-27.
- "Every Top Ten Game on BGG since March 22, 2005". Retrieved 2021-03-28.
- "Who Replaced Who...The Top Ten". Retrieved 2021-03-28.
- Europe Engulfed at BoardGameGeek
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