The big "innovation" of Rise of Empires that every one was talking about prior to its release is the mirrored turn structure. Frankly it sounded like a gimmick to me before I played the game. However, when I heard the reasoning was that "civilizations get stuck into certain ways of doing things", I started to buy into the idea more, then when I actually played the mechanism, I found it really tactically interesting. At first I just worried about doing actions in turn "A" because I knew I'd want to do them in turn "B", but as the game went on I learned that the ordering of those actions became very important (because it can be prohibitively expensive to take actions from early in turn "A" early in turn "B"). So, I consider Rise of Empires's big innovation to be a very successful one.. Rise of Empires breathes new life into the civilization games genre! Balance gold and food, war and agriculture, territory and technology to forge an empire that is destined to rise above all other nations! Each copy of Rise of Empires contains: . 1 large game board . 1 tiles display . 40 resource discs . 150 player cubes in 5 colors . 45 action discs in 5 colors . 8 empire tiles . 40 . Agree with most of your conclusions, Greg. I also think the last-turn fire drill mars the game somewhat. But what bothers me more is from a sense of what should run central to a game of civilizations, and that is geographic relevance..