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List Price: $59.99
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Only 2 left in stock.
Sold by THE BT GROUP and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
  • For 2 to 6 players
  • Playtime of 120 to 180 minutes
  • Six imperial nations build their empires
  • It is a board game
  • Challenging strategy game
18 new from $43.66

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Imperial + Power Grid
Price for both: $78.97

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Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.1 x 15.6 inches ; 4.3 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B000L326XU
  • Item model number: 75RGG
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 12 years and up
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,612 in Toys & Games (See Top 100 in Toys & Games)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Product Description

Rio grande strategy games - imperial game - item: rio075

From the Manufacturer

Internationally operating investors aim for the highest political influence in Europe. By giving credits they gain influence over the six imperial nations Great Britain, Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, Italy and France. These nations desperately need money to build up their economy and to buy troops and fleets. With their growing power in Europe, they collect more taxes and pay their rising interests to their investors. Because the six imperial nations are under changing influence of different investors, strategic alliances and conflicts arise between them. Sometimes this leads even to war. The players represent internationally operating investors who stay in the background. The turns in the game are executed by the six imperial nations, not by the investors themselves, who only impose their financial influence onto various nations. Only the investor who gets the best return on his investments, who gains influence over the most powerful imperial nations, and who can influence the European diplomacy to his benefit, may win the game. Imperial is a challenging strategy game without any luck of cards or dice. To see an example of the first 5 rounds of a 4 player game, please click.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Lauffenburger on February 14, 2009
Format: Toy
This game is a blast to play. I've played it quite a few times with friends and family (male and female, from ages 16 - 50), and each time we all had fun. The game turns go fast, and the total game playing time is generally well under 2 hours. There are very few historical board games that can handle from 2 to 6 players, and have no luck or random elements, and are fun - this is the one.

It appears to be like a Diplomacy game; it is set in Europe prior to WWI; but it is much more fun and without the deceit that seems to be fundamental to Diplomacy. (If you haven't played Diplomacy, that's OK, or even better as you won't have bad habits...) The active countries are Russia, Austria, Germany, Britain, France, and Italy, and there are all the smaller countries of the Balkans, Benelux, Iberia, and North Africa. All 6 major countries are active, even if there are less than 6 players, and so unlike many games, it is still very enjoyable at any number of players. The playing pieces are very high quality wood items, plus money and "bonds".

And the "bonds" are the key to the game. You are not a political leader of a country; rather, you are an international investor in all the countries. You buy bonds in the various countries. At any given time, whomever has the most total investment into a given country will control its actions. This control can (and will) change over time. So, the investors want to build up countries they control, but not to such an extent that those countries become clear "takeover" targets. In fact, it is not too uncommon for the lead investor to "trash" his country (not so hard to do) in order to "milk" the country of its treasury. This generally makes the country less desirable for obvious reasons.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Shah on August 12, 2012
Format: Toy Verified Purchase
Imperial is a strategy board game for 2-6 players that lasts for an average of 2-3 hours. The pieces of the game are very well made. The bonds, wooden pieces and the board are very durable. The look and feel is 'classic German board game', which is excellent. The idea behind the game is that the players are investors buying bonds of the various European imperial powers. Your goal is not to raise a mighty empire, or to conquer or anything like that, but instead is to make yourself as rich as possible by the end of the game. Imperial is a game that has no luck involved in the gameplay. There is some luck in what the initial distribution of bonds is, but there are good and bad strategies for all starting distributions. I particularly like being majority in the UK early (i.e. either start with UK majority or minority), but that is just my personal preference. While I have played this game many times, I would not consider myself an expert I just purchased a copy to keep with me where I currently am so I can start playing again and explore this game a bit more.

I will provide a basic overview of what gameplay looks like below, but I must say that this is one of the best board games I have played. It has a slightly steep learning curve but the depth to the game will make sure that you can play this game repeatedly and have interesting experiences each time.

The starting bond and money distributions vary based on the number of players, but the idea is each country starts with a majority stakeholder and minority stakeholder (a player might be majority or minority for more than one country). The majority stakeholder 'controls' the country during its turn.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dominic Crapuchettes on November 8, 2009
Format: Toy Verified Purchase
Imperial takes a long time to teach and play. Don't try to play it with non-gamers (I learned my lesson the hard way). But it is a great game none the less. It is an economic, diplomatic, war game, but very different from most war games. Instead of playing a country, you buy stock in countries, and win through a type of economic victory. It's a little weird, and hard to get your head around the theme, but the game play works great.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dman64 on June 1, 2013
Format: Toy Verified Purchase
I am a committed gamer, with a group that meets once a week. We have been gaming for years, so I have had some experience with different types of games. We played this once three player, and I enjoyed the game. I feel that 4 player would be better, but three player is definitely fun. The rules a fairly simple, and after one round, we pretty much had them down. The strategy, however, will take a few more games to get. This is an economic game with a simple war mechanic, and you represent investors helping European nations fund their wars. The tendency is to feel you "own" the countries you start with, but that is not the case, as another player can invest in more bonds than you, and you lose control of the country.
This is not Monopoly or Risk! This is a deep strategy game, and I wouldn't consider this a family game.
Rules can be vague, but a quick view of a review video at www.boardgamegeek.com will go a long way to getting a handle on them.
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