Imperium (board game)

Imperium (board game)

----

"Imperium" is a science fiction board wargame that was published in 1977 by the Conflict Game Company and GDW. It was designed by Marc W. Miller and developed by Frank Chadwick and John Harshman. The game came in a cardboard box illustrated with a space battle on the exterior. It included a cardboard-mounted, folding map of a local region of the Milky Way galaxy, a set of rules and charts, and the 352 counters representing the various spacecraft, ground units, and markers, and a six-sided die.

A new edition of this game, "Imperium, 3rd Millennium", was published in 2001 by Avalanche Press. This new release had improved graphics and updated rules. In 2002, "I3M" was nominated for four Origins Awards. Avalanche Press has since abandoned the game, having decided not to renew the license to produce it.

Description

This is a two-player game that simulated a conflict between the emerging Terran (human) Confederation and an immense and ancient alien empire, the Imperium. The Sun and nearby stars lie at the extreme edge of this alien space-faring civilization, and the humans struggle to expand against this powerful state.

This setting is the conflict between Earth when it is just beginning to explore space, and the powerful First Imperium in the history of the "Traveller" Universe from the "Traveller" role-playing game. The rules, locations and technologies are based on concepts from "Traveller", and even some seemingly arbitrary rules are based on the history of the "Traveller" Universe. For example in the first edition the Imperial player was prevented from building fighters (F) and Carriers (CV) until after the Terran player had done so, this represented the "historical" inertia of the Imperium to recognise the Terran threat. While the game is to many players just a stand alone wargame, it also allows "Traveller" fans to play out what is known as the first Interstellar War, the conflict that in official "Traveller" history led to the First Imperium (or Ziru Sirka) being replaced by the Second Imperium (or Rule of Man).

The fold-out map depicts a nearby region of the Galaxy that includes important nearby stars as well as hyperspace jump routes between them. This sector forms a single province within the Imperium. The map is printed on a dark background and is overlaid by a hex grid. Each hex represents a half parsec, which would require about 1.7 years to traverse travelling at the speed of light. Along the edges of the map are tracks for marking turns and tallying resources. The map includes a number of commonly-known stars, such as Alpha Centauri, Procyon, Sirius, Epsilon Indi, and Altair, as well as a considerable number with more exotic names. Only a dozen stars have naturally-habitable planets, although many more have planetary systems with outpost-capable worlds.

The game includes a variety of ship types, ranging in size from the small scouts and fighters to the mighty battleships. The ship counters are blue for the Terrans and red for the Imperium. Each counter includes a set of ratings, the ship type, and a silhouette. The combat ratings give the Beam weapon combat factor, the Missile factor, and the Screen factor. Beam weapons are for close range combat, while missiles are fired at long range. Typically a beam weapon is slightly more effective than missiles, and Terrans have better beam weapon ratings while the Imperium favors missiles. Ships with a black silhouette can perform a jump between stars, while a white silhouette can only remain in orbit.

The following ship types are available for production: Scout, destroyer, several different types of cruisers, dreadnaught, improved dreadnaught, battleship, monitor, missile boat, mother ship (similar to an aircraft carrier), fighter, transport and tanker.

The available jump routes can significantly hinder the movement of a side's forces. Certain star systems act as bottle-necks, and can be used by each side as a defensive front. Two of the stars do not allow refueling, so tankers are required to leave these sites. Ships (excepting fighters and missle boats) are allowed to move at sub-light speeds across the hex map, and so can move directly from star to star without following the jump routes. However the movement rate of these ships is only one hex per turn.

Game play

The game consists of a sequence of turns with alternating player-turns, each consisting of multiple phases. Each turn represents a period of two years. The game includes an economic system in which the units on each side are produced and maintained. The Terran income is based on what type of world the player currently possesses, and whether it is connected by friendly jump paths to Sol. The Imperial income has a fixed budget, but an increment for each connected outpost and world.

The Terran player always moves first in each turn. Each player turn begins with an economics phase. The player then performs movement and combat, followed by the opposing player's reaction movement and combat phase, and finally the second movement and combat phases. Then the Imperial player repeats the same sequence and the turn ends.

Combat is somewhat abstracted, with the ships being lined up off map. First the players roll 'initiative' to see who determines combat range (long or short) with the smaller fleet gaining a bonus to their die roll. The defender places the ships down one at a time, and the attacker places a ship down to match. At the end, any left-over ships can be assigned to any enemy vessels, or kept out of combat. Dice are then rolled to determine which ships are destroyed. Combat continues until one side is destroyed or until either player decides to disengage.

The game also includes abstracted rules for ground combat. Terran land units are green while Imperium units are black. In addition to regular land units and planetary defense units that can oppose a landing, there are special drop troops that can land on a planet without requiring a ship to transport them to the surface. If one side is all standard troops and the other side is all drop troops, the standard troops gain a bonus artillery attack against the drop troops to simulate the inability of the drop troops to carry a lot of heavy vehicles with them. The ground units have a single combat factor, plus a symbol and a unit identifier. Surface combat used a combat differential with the defense combat factor subtracted from the attacker's combat factor. A die is then rolled to determine whether the unit is destroyed.

Victory is determined by a "Glory Point" tally earned by the Imperium. Points are gained for conquering worlds and lost for their conquest by the Terrans. A habitable world is worth four Glory Points and an outpost world is worth one. If at the end of a turn the Glory Point total has reached the amount necessary for victory, then the Imperium player wins. If the total drops sufficiently, the Terran player can likewise win. The range between the amount required for Imperium or Terran victory begins to shrink after turn three, representing the decreasing appetite for continued hostilities.

The game system includes a random events table for various Imperium events. These can favor or hinder the Imperium player. The game is fought as a series of wars forming a lengthy campaign. Thus these random events can affect the course of some of the wars. There is also a system built into the game for production, colonization, and other changes during the inter-war periods. Ships can age and be scrapped; the Emperor can grant or withdraw permission to build certain ship types, and territory can be exchanged.

Foreign-language versions

* This game was published in Swedish by Äventyrsspel under the name "Empire". The name change came about because Äventyrspel was concerned about possible confusion with their "Star Wars" licensed role-playing products released at the same time as this game.

External links

*
* [http://www.avalanchepress.com/ThePrecious.php] Page at Avalanche Press detailing the creation of the new edition and why AP has dropped the license.
* [http://www.wargamer.com/reviews/imperium_main.asp Review of "Imperium, 3rd Millennium"] at The Wargamer.
* [http://www.gamingreport.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=606 Reviews of "Imperium, 3rd Millennium"] at GamingReport.com.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dune (board game) — This article is about the 1979 Avalon Hill board game. For the Parker Brothers game, see Dune (1984 board game). Dune is a strategy board game set in Frank Herbert s Dune universe, published by Avalon Hill in 1979. The game was designed by Bill… …   Wikipedia

  • StarCraft: Board Game — StarCraft: the Board Game Вид коробки с игрой Разработчик(и) Corey Konieczka Дата релиза В продаже с осени 2007 года Дизайнер(ы) Corey Konieczka, Cristian T. Petersen Издатель Fantasy Flight Games Жанр Цивилизация, Научная Фантастика, Варгейм… …   Википедия

  • StarCraft Board Game — StarCraft: the Board Game Вид коробки с игрой Разработчик(и) Corey Konieczka Дата релиза В продаже с осени 2007 года Дизайнер(ы) Corey Konieczka, Cristian T. Petersen Издатель Fantasy Flight Games Жанр Цивилизация, Научная Фантастика, Варгейм… …   Википедия

  • StarCraft: The Board Game — Вид коробки с игрой Разработчик(и) Corey Konieczka Дата выпуска В продаже с осени 2007 года Издатель …   Википедия

  • StarCraft: the Board Game — Вид коробки с игрой Разработчик(и) Corey Konieczka Дата релиза В продаже с осени 2007 года Дизайнер(ы) Corey Konieczka, Cristian T. Petersen Издатель Fantasy Flight Games Жанр Цивилизация, Научная Фантастика, Варгейм Количество игроков 2 6 Д …   Википедия

  • StarCraft The Board Game — StarCraft: the Board Game Вид коробки с игрой Разработчик(и) Corey Konieczka Дата релиза В продаже с осени 2007 года Дизайнер(ы) Corey Konieczka, Cristian T. Petersen Издатель Fantasy Flight Games Жанр Цивилизация, Научная Фантастика, Варгейм… …   Википедия

  • StarCraft the Board Game — StarCraft: the Board Game Вид коробки с игрой Разработчик(и) Corey Konieczka Дата релиза В продаже с осени 2007 года Дизайнер(ы) Corey Konieczka, Cristian T. Petersen Издатель Fantasy Flight Games Жанр Цивилизация, Научная Фантастика, Варгейм… …   Википедия

  • Imperium (disambiguation) — Imperium is originally a legal concept of authority in Roman antiquity. The Latin phrase Imperium Romanum is usually translated as Roman Empire ; by analogy Imperium is also applied to every empire, whether ruled by an emperor or not.Other uses… …   Wikipedia

  • Game mechanics — are constructs of rules intended to produce an enjoyable game or gameplay. All games use mechanics; however, theories and styles differ as to their ultimate importance to the game. In general, the process and study of game design are efforts to… …   Wikipedia

  • Game mechanic — A game mechanic is a construct of s intended to produce an enjoyable game or gameplay. All games use mechanics; however, theories and styles differ as to their ultimate importance to the game. In general, the process and study of game design is… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.