Was Empire the one where you'd be doing great, having lots of windmills and shipyards and a grand army of knights...
...then the game would arbitrarily decide you died during a fox hunt?
That game sucked.
Hi Joe, no this was the UNIX classic with little armys, planes, ships and cities. Essentialy discover and take over the world with WWII technology. Yes, it is totally illogical. You start with one city on a map perhaps 1000x1000 grid squares in size. each square holds one icon, except cities which can hold extra and aircraft carriers.
You could play over a network or "hot seat" one terminal (or PC it was ported to Apple II and IBM compatable in the 8088 era). We were hot seating one IBM at the time. After perhaps 3 hours none of us saw each other or fought anything except unoccupied cities since army's only move one square at a time and turns do take a bit of time to think about. Honestly, the time scale involved for some of these games was collosal, but you could play over the network on campus for free so much fun was had, albiet very, very slowly.
We never finished games, just surrendered when one guy's turn started taking 10 times longer then the next person's and he was automating everything he could (e.g. he had sooooo many more troops to move it was just obvious we were all doomed then we would confess our city totals and it would be like 22 to 6 to 5 and the person with 22 was just so far ahead it was insane.)
Acutally, I don't know the game to which you were referring.