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Subject: First time for everyone - 4 player Imperial game rss

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Nate Simons
United States
Johnston
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Imperial was originally given to me by a friend as a birthday present over 6 months ago. Because of the intimidating nature of the rules as well thoroughly being confused after reading through them several times, this game sat unplayed on my shelf longer than a game of its rank should have. An impromptu gaming session was established to conquer this game. The night prior to playing I set the game board up and played through the "example" scenario included with the rules. I highly recommend this for those who are struggling to grasp the rules simply by reading through the book. After being much more comfortable with the rules, our first attempt at playing was quite enjoyable, although I must say that explaining the mechanics of this game to 3 people who have also never played is quite a daunting task.
Some of the novice mistakes that we made (and realized mid-way through the game) is allowing the player moving the rondel piece to fully complete their move BEFORE activating the Investor card (steps 2 and 3 when applicable). Furthermore it was not discovered that troops could be convoyed through several ships in adjacent bodies of water on the same turn in order to be established in land regions that were more than 1 body of water away. This was hugely detrimental to me, as I controlled Great Britain for the entire game and was only able to place tax chips by moving my fleets. All in all, I still enjoyed the game and came to some game-changing realizations that will dictate how I play the next time.
Realization #1 - Any country with less than 5 power points will net you 0 points/money at the end of the game.
Realization #2 - quickly investing (no matter how small) in Nations with large amounts of power points is a sure-fire way to be a contender in this game.
Realization #3 - controlling too many governments too quickly can easily leave you strapped for cash and pulled in too many directions.
Realization #4 - this game ends much quicker than one would think, especially as Nations quickly climb up the tax chart.
I am looking forward to playing this game again and employing new strategies. I am also intrigued at the advanced version which calls for leaving the investor card out and bidding for beginning bonds. It's nice to see that this game's rank is truly reflective of it's playability.
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James Hemsley
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g00sep00p wrote:

Realization #3 - controlling too many governments too quickly can easily leave you strapped for cash and pulled in too many directions.


Good report! I think you'll get much enjoyment out of Imperial. I know I have.

I agree with most of your realizations, but I think #3 might not always be true. When you control countries, you control when they "investor" and that is how you can "milk" them for money. If you control a lot of countries, then it might be best to continually try and get them on a Tax and Investor "spin." Your general gist of being pulled in too many directions can be correct. When I teach the game to new players, I usually point out that the game can be easier to focus on if you have an "enemy." This means not investing in every country, because you need someone to beat up on without it directly hurting yourself.

That being said in a 3-player game, you might find you have bonds in every country, and then you focus on fighting the countries where you have the lowest investment, because it will hurt your opponents the most.

Good gaming and welcome to the Imperial bandwagon!

--James
 
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Nate Simons
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Johnston
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Thanks for the feedback. I believe my initial mistake was being the first player to control 3 and 4 countries, but then also attacking individually with those countries. All of a sudden I found myself being attacked on several different fronts, and was unable to maintain funds to keep my defenses up. My strategy for next game would be to simply maintain the additional countries I acquire and perhaps only "attack" with one country (preferably the one I have the most money invested in). I am very anxious to play this game again and see how new strategies flesh themselves out.
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