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Subject: Antike vs Imperial rss

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Michael T
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It seems that Antike and Imperial share lots of mechanisms and I was thinking of buying Antike, but now that Imperial has come up...

What is different, which is best?
It seems some users would've liked to see more profit through battle, but I think they have not changed this in Imperial.

As I have played neither of these games, I cannot state anything, except that I like the Antike theme better
 
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Darrell Hanning
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I think the rules for both are downloadable - you could decide for yourself. Very few have had the chance to play Imperial, yet.
 
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Dave Bullions
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Antike & Imperial are both by the same designer, and both games use the rondel idea for deciding what type of turn you are going to play. Combat is similar as well. However, the games are as different to each other as chalk & cheese.
Antike is set in the Mediterranian area during ancient times & each player controls a country for the duration of the game.
Imperial, on the other hand, is set in 1860's Europe. Players are investors who can invest money in countries. The player investing the most will run that country (building factories, fleets & armies, and waging war against other countries. Control of countries can switch during the game. Investors make money through tax.
Imperial was launched at Essen and so hasn't been played by many, but I have a feeling that this game will be very popular once word of it gets around.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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Antike is about using your nation to acquire victory point cards, faster than the other players. That can be achieved in a number of different ways, but you are always using the same basic tools to get the job done.

Imperial has very similar mechanics (rondel, combat etc) but a completely different feel. This is because players only control the nations temprarily - owvnership shifts, like in an 18xx game. At the end of the game, players score based on how well the countries they invested in performed economically. The key appears to be spotting which nations to invest in, and using other nations to disrupt your opponents' investments.

After two games, I can say that I've not got a handle on it at all (unlike Antike, which has a very gentle learning curve once you fix in your mind the lesson "grab the cards when you can, as fast as you can"). However, whereas board position is pretty inconclusive (I maintain that any advantage the Greek has in the Eastern Med is more psychological than real), in Imperial I'm seeing big differences in what the countries can hope to achieve, and which ones are likely to be good investments as a result. My plan for next game is to ensure that the Austrian shares are worth more than x1 at the end of the game, and to prevent the Russian shares hitting x4 or above. Just to see if it can be done.
 
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Thomas Naumann
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RDewsbery wrote:

Imperial has very similar mechanics (rondel, combat etc) but a completely different feel. This is because players only control the nations temprarily - owvnership shifts, like in an 18xx game. At the end of the game, players score based on how well the countries they invested in performed economically. The key appears to be spotting which nations to invest in, and using other nations to disrupt your opponents' investments.


It is elegantly implemented, but there is a serious problem. After a (short) while, when the players have invested a lot and the bigger nations have stabilized themselves somewhat, the Valkyser syndrome sets in (named after a famous German board gamer). Everybody pays 2.000.000 each turn and plays with his nation(s) only the phases investor and taxes. Only small nations can be used to nibble away a little bit at the hated opponent controlled nations.

That makes a long, long, boring endgame phase. It is a pity that this otherwise very elegant design is broken in this way. But alas! There is a remedy. Simply remove the option to pay for the movement of the phase marker on the rondel.

Quote:
After two games, I can say that I've not got a handle on it at all (unlike Antike, which has a very gentle learning curve once you fix in your mind the lesson "grab the cards when you can, as fast as you can"). However, whereas board position is pretty inconclusive (I maintain that any advantage the Greek has in the Eastern Med is more psychological than real), in Imperial I'm seeing big differences in what the countries can hope to achieve, and which ones are likely to be good investments as a result. My plan for next game is to ensure that the Austrian shares are worth more than x1 at the end of the game, and to prevent the Russian shares hitting x4 or above. Just to see if it can be done.


Oh, that is easy. Convince the Russian controller to invest in Austria. Together they are nearly unstoppable.
 
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J C Lawrence
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My summary:

Imperial is an 18XX game without the track.

As such it would seem that all the same degenerate play patterns that apply to 18XX also apply to Imperial. I could really like this.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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khurrad wrote:
It is elegantly implemented, but there is a serious problem. After a (short) while, when the players have invested a lot and the bigger nations have stabilized themselves somewhat, the Valkyser syndrome sets in (named after a famous German board gamer). Everybody pays 2.000.000 each turn and plays with his nation(s) only the phases investor and taxes. Only small nations can be used to nibble away a little bit at the hated opponent controlled nations.

That makes a long, long, boring endgame phase. It is a pity that this otherwise very elegant design is broken in this way. But alas! There is a remedy. Simply remove the option to pay for the movement of the phase marker on the rondel.


Well, as for "long & boring", we managed to complete the "tax, invest, tax" routine in about ten minutes, when it happened. With some nations on the +6 or +7 spaces, it's going to be at most three trips round the rondell, with none of them taking any time to execute. So I'd not say it was that long!

As for boring, if "everybody" is doing this, someone has not done their sums. The game is likely to be won by the big stakeholders in the country that hits the 25 marker, and maybe the runner-up country. You can see as a glance whether that's going to be *you* and your countries, or someone else's. And if it's not yours, you need to disrupt the "tax" action by shutting down some factories and taking some tax chips off the nations that are doing this. Bring them back to the +3 or +4 spaces, to buy some time to re-arrange your investments.

More problematic for me is the fact that as you can't sell shares, the players become locked into the fortunes of one or two countries by the endgame. And other, smaller nations are going to get ignored if they've not been able to manage at least some taxation earlier on.

It does present some interesting dilemmas when it comes to managing your countries, though - on the one hand, it's hard to get enough cash together to expand if only one player invests; on the other, with two players fighting for control the nation can quickly become wealthy, but it's long-term stability can be questionable.

The game needs more table-time before I'm confident that I know what I'm doing, but I'm pretty sure that "tax/invest/tax" will only suit one or two players. Everyone else that follows suit probably needs to re-evaluate what they are doing.
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Ralph H. Anderson
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I think the resondents above have made excellent points comparing the two games.

In any case, this is not an overly long game (nor is it a short game). You can also shorten the game by starting all the nations further along on the bottom track.

I think 2-3 hours is about right though your time will vary depending on play style, attention span of players and number of players.

We actually had some tension in one of our games where the apparent leader was not sure whether to end the game or draw it out. He chose to end it and won by a very few million! If he had let it go on, I would have been able to just buy out the top stock the next turn and may have been able to edge past him.

Here is another perspective to differentiate the two games:

* Antike is a set piece grab and battle for what you can

* Imperial is a wheeling-dealing, stock kiting extravaganza with guns

Personally I favor Imperial but enjoy playing Antike as well.

DragonCat
 
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Akke Monasso
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clearclaw wrote:
My summary:

Imperial is an 18XX game without the track.

As such it would seem that all the same degenerate play patterns that apply to 18XX also apply to Imperial. I could really like this.


These patterns don't really apply since you cannot sell the bonds you have. This means you won't be able to force a country on someone else. You'll like this if you like Struggle of Empires, but don't like the random factor or the variable tile powers.
 
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Gerard Mulder
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In nature Imperial is also much like Princes of the renaissance. Players build up an interest in States and the outcome of wars and Economic devellopment determines the value of the investment in the end.

Imperial is in many ways more elegant. There is only one currency and no special game features are used to distract you. Perhaps this makes the game more straight forward and perhaps it makes it so this game does not require a long term strategy.

When first playing we made the mistake that a player was only allowed one bond that could subsequetntly be upgraded. We also made the mistake that the investor could only invest in the country currently passing the rondel. This combination of mistakes actually gave the game a deeper long term strategy element. All of a sudden you have a reason not to move over the Rondel fast, you want to deny player Y who is now the investor to gain a stake in your country. All of a sudden you speed up movement of one of your countries because you want the inverster Marker to move to the next player. In fact moving your marker slower or faster is the only defence against potential takeover candidates as you cna only buy 1 bond and the small bonds are usually available for everyone to buy and become a competitor in your nation.

I found that if the investor can buy what he wants, the game is too open for our taste. You can just figure out what you should and can buy and that is it....

I realise our way of playing is wrong but we may stick with it. I have yet to try the variant where everyone is allowed to invest in the nation that lands on the rondel. It will be in the interest of the current holder as he is payed the largest divident sum just before investing.

Yours,

Gerard


 
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