The Year's Best New Game ...
got great word-of-mouth reviews this year as an economic, euro
non-wargame wargame. This is an event we expect to grow next
The Imperial demo was well
attended. Many GMs have been surprised by how many new players
they can attract with the B-rating and an instructional hour
Imperial is a new release by Rio Grande/Eggert-Spiele
in which players represent investors who shrewdly manipulate
the fates of the Great Nations of pre-WWI Europe in order to
increase their personal wealth. This game has received high praise
from those who favor the "meatier" euro-style games
as well as from those grounded in the classic AH multi-player
games of years past. While the game borrows some mechanics from
the previous Eggert-Spiele release Antike, the game has
been most often described as akin to "18XX on a Diplomacy
The heats drew very well for a vendor-sponsored trial event,
with 38 different players participating over the two preliminary
heats. The demo was very well attended, and nearly a dozen players
participated who had never played the game before WBC. Because
this was a trial event of a new game, the decision was made to
use the "basic" set-up and rules for all heats. The
reasons for this decision were appreciated even by those experienced
players who would have preferred to use the "advanced"
Tenplayers were selected to participate in the semi-final
round, selected from eight heat winners and two alternates. One
of those alternates, Tony DeFeo, was among the four who subsequently
advanced to the Final. It should be noted that Tony learned the
game during a quick run-through of the rules given by Steve Simmons
in the minutes leading up to the second heat. His good showing
can be seen as quite an accomplishment considering that success
in Imperial has very little to do with luck, and that
the rules, while not overly complex, are not really intuitive.
The Final Four were Patrick Maloney, Jim Doughan, Lane Newbury
and the afore-mentioned Tony. Patrick began the game with the
flags of Great Britain and Russia; Tony held Germany and Italy;
Jim controlled France and Lane had Austria.
The game began with fairly standard moves; Austria and Italy
produced units, and France built a Factory. No player held a
minority stake in Britain, so Patrick had more leeway to diversify
his holdings and with Britain's first move took control of Italy.
Lane chose to use Russia's first move to import fleets and armies.
Lane later used his investor move to grab control of Germany.
This game between four skilled players was close throughout.
The Stock Multiplier of all nations was "4" heading
into the final few rounds, with France (by this time controlled
by Lane Newbury) leading on the track. Typically, by the end
of an Imperial game, the leading players use their own cash to
speed the leading nation's markers around the rondel. This allows
the stock price to be increased at a faster rate. This game was
no different, and it seemed that Lane would be able to push France
into the "5" multiplier space and thereby increase
the value of his shares enough to win the game. But he fell just
short of the cash necessary to make the final move, allowing
the others to catch up. By the time France's marker did reach
the end space, Patrick's holdings were large enough for him to
win. The final scores were: Patrick 207, Tony 196, Jim 167 and
Lane 144. The players unanimously declared the game to have been
the "Best Ever".
|Euro Quest 2007 Laurelists
Peter Eirich, MD
Bill Duke, MD
Rob Kircher, RI
John Weber, MD
Helen Powell, MD