Empires at Sea includes 52 miniature ships. Each nation receives five Transports, four Frigates, and two Ships of the Line. Ships are launched by each player and can be used to attack your enemies, or to attack the Pirate. 

Empires at Sea contains over 170 cards, each featuring a beautiful painting by artists from the 1700-1800's: Rembrandt, Turner, Manet, and many others. 

Cards come in three types: Captain's Cards, History Cards, and Weather Cards. The Captain's Cards are played from a player's hand. These allow you to launch new ships, develop industry, and improve your odds in combat. History and Weather Cards are played at the beginning of each round to set the stage for everyone's upcoming turn, providing a wide variety of situations that each player must manage.

Empires at Sea is played on a map of the Atlantic which is drawn to scale. We found an old, dusty map in the library, took a photo, tilted it about 30 degrees, and then overlaid the grid you find on the actual game board. The islands are exactly where they were thought to be at the time. 

The Deluxe Edition includes beautiful resource tokens. These represent steel, wood, and gold, which are the resources produced by each of the ports on the map.