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Subject: Mr. Gerdts, why did you include the Investor Card? rss

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Teacher Fletcher
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I've followed the back-and-forth on these forums about the benefit (or lack thereof) of including the Investor Card in Imperial.

For my part, I haven't yet played enough each way to form a preference.

I want to ask Mac Gerdts personally, since I know he uses the forums, WHY he included the card in the game?

Somewhere in the Imperial rulebook it says that this game was playtested for years and years with a small group. I'd be interested to know at what point the Investor Card was included in the base game. Specifically:

(1) What do you, as the designer, feel the Investor Card adds to the game?
(2) What is lacking in the game played without the Investor Card that made you decide to make the Investor Card "standard"?
(3) Why did you decide to have the game give 2m to the Investor Card player when it is his turn to invest?
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Adam McLean
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Lawnjob wrote:
I've followed the back-and-forth on these forums about the benefit (or lack thereof) of including the Investor Card in Imperial.

For my part, I haven't yet played enough each way to form a preference.

I want to ask Mac Gerdts personally, since I know he uses the forums, WHY he included the card in the game?

Somewhere in the Imperial rulebook it says that this game was playtested for years and years with a small group. I'd be interested to know at what point the Investor Card was included in the base game. Specifically:

(1) What do you, as the designer, feel the Investor Card adds to the game?
(2) What is lacking in the game played without the Investor Card that made you decide to make the Investor Card "standard"?
(3) Why did you decide to have the game give 2m to the Investor Card player when it is his turn to invest?



While I am in no way, shape or form, Mr. Gerdts ---- your question interested me, although it would be answered far better by the deigner.

For while, I came under the only NO investor card variant, and I do still admit, it is a great way to play the game, possibly a little more strategic as you have to be more conscience about your money.

But, the card helps take some pressure off (especially for newer players)as only 1 player (occaisonally 1 more if they have no flag) has to make a decision, and I have found it does also makes for a fun game, albeit with slightly less strategy if your group is up for it. The flags change hands quite a bit more as there is more capital being injected into the game each time it is activated and only 1 player can invest keeping players from trumping each other. The 2m wouldn't be unheard of either, as banks and private investors often pony up that kind of capital for new opportunites to invest in hoping for a good return. I also think the game moves a bit quicker with the card, since you do not have to go through every player trying to make a decision each time a nation makes a move.

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Walther Gerdts
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This is an interesting question.
In the original game as it was played for many years before publication, the bonds were auctioned. "Auction" was a separate field on the rondel. During playtests, it was very difficult for new players to evaluate "correct" bids for a bond, and it took a lot of playtime for them doing so. Therefore we decided to create bonds with given values.
The opportunity to purchase new bonds had to be limited in a way, and the rotation of these opportunities had to be organized. This was when the investorcard was introduced, which also injected a little more money into the game. Our impression was, that new players now found it easier to get into the game.
We had interesting discussions about adding a no investorcard variant as well, because the investorcard already was fine. But in the end we decided to offer both variants, which both make for an exciting and challenging game. The publisher insisted on calling the investorcard the standard, because he was afraid that playing without the investorcard would be too difficult for new players. For me personally, both ways are fine and I could live without stating that anyone of the variants should be the standard way to play.
As a side note, we also had a variant with rotating auctions. That was the way the game was played at the gathering of friends only a few months before publication. What followed was a summer of intense playtests and huge discussions. The game as it is would not have been possible without the many playgroups worldwide who did not refuse to try and discuss very different approaches in a very short period of time. They all deserve a big "thank you" for helping to create this game!
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Teacher Fletcher
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Thank you, Mac, for your detailed response.

(1) Could you go into a little more detail about how the rotating auctions worked? When the auction action was hit on the rondel, was a specific bond put up for auction or what?

(2) If you absolutely had to limit yourself to one method of playing Imperial for the rest of your life, would you play with or without the Investor Card?
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Walther Gerdts
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(1) The auctions rotated by country: after a bond from GB, the next bond had to be from Germany etc. Each bond/flag granted leadership of the nation until the next auction of that nation (=for six auction rounds).

(2) I would never limit myself in a way like this ;-)

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Teacher Fletcher
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MacGerdts wrote:
(1) The auctions rotated by country: after a bond from GB, the next bond had to be from Germany etc. Each bond/flag granted leadership of the nation until the next auction of that nation (=for six auction rounds).


Really? So even if it was the first bond that new player had purchased, he got to take over said country for six auctions? The game must have had 20 or so flag changes in a match!

MacGerdts wrote:

(2) I would never limit myself in a way like this ;-)



You're not limiting yourself, you're being limited by an external force. Let's say a leprechaun has planted an atomic bomb under your home, and it will go off if you do not limit yourself to one way of playing Imperial.

WHICH WOULD IT BE?

C'mon, Mac. Are you really not going to let us pin you down on this?
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Walther Gerdts
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Yes, there were more than 20 possible changes. If you had won the auction of a given country twice in a row, there was no change of government however.
Your atomic bomb is a powerful threat! I think I would throw away the investor card then. But it remains: I like it both ways!
Yours
Mac
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Teacher Fletcher
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Thanks Mac, for your honesty!

This has given me an interesting perspective on the game.

Don't worry, Mac, I'll make sure no a-bomb carrying leprechauns go toward Germany....
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Richard Dewsbery
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I *really* must get this one to the table at our games night sometime soon. I don't think that they ever tried Imperial - although we loved Antike, Imperial looked a little long. But we've been starting earlier and finishing later, so maybe it's time to try this one out.

Any hints on speeding the game up?
 
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J C Lawrence
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RDewsbery wrote:
Any hints on speeding the game up?


Poker chips and one player to act as a metronome.
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Henri Harju
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clearclaw wrote:
RDewsbery wrote:
Any hints on speeding the game up?

Poker chips and one player to act as a metronome.
I fail to see how poker chips would speed this game up (slow money handling isn't that much of an issue), but a metronome sounds like a plan.

"Okay, guys. Each of you have about 10 4/4 beats of time to make your move with tempo of say.. 189."
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Hawaka Winada
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RDewsbery wrote:
Any hints on speeding the game up?


Never skip over Taxation unless the nation would advance 0.
Play with the Investor card, that tends to speed up the game.
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Richard Dewsbery
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I correctly predicted the first, and ordered a nice set last week:
http://www.pilsbier.net/CERgal01-3stars-samples.php

As for the second, I now have this unshakeable mental image of JC swaying backwards and forwards, making a clicking sound as he does.
 
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J C Lawrence
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RDewsbery wrote:
As for the second, I now have this unshakeable mental image of JC swaying backwards and forwards, making a clicking sound as he does. :D


Nahh, that's a Bill Gates thing, not me. I just play the part of the pointing finger of It is your turn!
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Fabio Guerini Rocco
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RDewsbery wrote:


Any hints on speeding the game up?


- Play essentially with the scope of getting on the Investor and Taxation spaces of the roundel as often as possible. The other actions are essentially collaterals to these two.

- Poker chips

- Always keep one eye on the national treasuries, one eye on the bonds market... and the other eye on the victory track!goo

- Think your move before your turn.
 
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Matthew Giglia
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So... Any new updates on Imperial 2030?
 
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Walther Gerdts
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fragilehalos wrote:
So... Any new updates on Imperial 2030?


No real update: Imperial2030 is still scheduled for Essen this year. Current playtests are very promising, the artwork still has to be done.
For the box cover - it should represent internationally operating financial investors in the future - we are looking for suggestions!
Mac
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Nick Szegedi
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Thats cool to hear! Love playing the base game!
 
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Nick Szegedi
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...Oh btw, forgive me if this has been asked before but, Is there any possibility I:2030 will include plastic units? I have to be honest with you, I am not the Biggest fan of "wooden bits" in fact We use the nice pewter pieces from Diplomacy to play... just so darn awesome to look at especially than an upside down/wooden artillery piece because someone may have been using it wrong.- lol
 
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J S
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MacGerdts wrote:
fragilehalos wrote:
So... Any new updates on Imperial 2030?


No real update: Imperial2030 is still scheduled for Essen this year. Current playtests are very promising, the artwork still has to be done.
For the box cover - it should represent internationally operating financial investors in the future - we are looking for suggestions!
Mac

Thanks for the non-update anyways.

holywolfman wrote:
...Oh btw, forgive me if this has been asked before but, Is there any possibility I:2030 will include plastic units?

Please stay with the wooden bits - I definitely prefer them to plastic components - they seem cheap to me. This just shows that people have different preferences when it comes to components/bits.
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Walther Gerdts
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holywolfman wrote:
...Oh btw, forgive me if this has been asked before but, Is there any possibility I:2030 will include plastic units? I have to be honest with you, I am not the Biggest fan of "wooden bits" in fact We use the nice pewter pieces from Diplomacy to play... just so darn awesome to look at especially than an upside down/wooden artillery piece because someone may have been using it wrong.- lol

Sorry, definitely no chance for plastic bits! It would be simply too expensive for you (because we do not make such big print runs, where plastic bits become economic).
Fine to hear that you already possess the Diplomacy tiles though...
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Shawn
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what the heck is imperial 2030!?!!?!
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Teacher Fletcher
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MacGerdts wrote:
Imperial2030 is still scheduled for Essen this year. Current playtests are very promising, the artwork still has to be done.
For the box cover - it should represent internationally operating financial investors in the future - we are looking for suggestions!
Mac


It would be great if the 2030 cover was a close analogue of the standard cover. Think 3 investors huddled over a flat-top digital map, or perhaps a holographic projection of a map, wearing fine clothes (nothing "futuristic", please, more like suits and ties you'd see a Wall Street shark wearing today.) And looming large behind them, instead of a large boat, could be a gigantic war plane, or a huge row of tanks. Same art style as on original cover.
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Jason Kimmings
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MacGerdts wrote:

Sorry, definitely no chance for plastic bits! It would be simply too expensive for you (because we do not make such big print runs, where plastic bits become economic).


Glad to hear it! I always prefer wooden pieces over plastic every time and I know there are a lot of people out there who would agree. Imperial is one of my favourite games and I can't wait to get to Essen and see Imperial II!!!
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Rick Weckermann
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I feel the investor card makes the game unique, without it this game becomes similar to other investment type games i have played.
1) The change of control of nations is greater with the card.
2) The game goes quicker with the card.
3) The game is easier to teach to new players with the card.

I love any extra bits/variants included in a game and am glad the standard is with the card for this game. Our games group is quite inflexible with rules.
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