The game models the growth and interaction of ancient Civilizations. Each player manages the military, political and economic aspects of their state, competing to create the greatest empire in the world. Disasters such as rebellion, invasion or civil war may occur at any time -- players must seek an optimal balance between growth and stability to succeed. Although military affairs play an important part in Ancient Empires, the game is designed so that this aspect does not dominate game play. Movement and combat are abstracted to a strategic level, and players will find that timing is just as important as brute strength to avoid counterproductive warfare. Players must pay equal attention to trade, diplomacy and internal affairs in order to remain strong enough to discourage aggression. Victory Points are awarded for the size of an empire, and the level of development it achieves relative to its peers. Destroyed players retain their Victory Points and may re-enter the game to carve out a new empire.