We played Imperial Struggle a few weeks ago and the game is even better than it’s predecessor Twilight Struggle. Very different, but better. I didn’t think that was possible but it is. I still like TS a lot but this game fills a whole new niche and I have really enjoyed exploring it. Imperial Struggle deals with what historians refer to as the Second Hundred Year’s War and covers the period of 1697 through 1789 stretching over four different wars. The game uses cards and Investment Tiles to allow the player to take various actions that change their fortunes across the globe with diplomacy, economic growth, and if all else fails war. Players will score Victory Points from the domination of Regions, controlling various Markets and from victory on the field of battle. There are so many options and strategies available in this game that it makes for a very deep and lasting experience that only gets better with time and more plays.
Here are links to a series of Action Point posts that dive into the various aspects of the design:
Action Point 1 – the map focusing on the different Regions and Sub-Regions and the various spaces, boxes and lines located in each
Action Point 2 – the very interesting limited action selection mechanic using the Investment Tiles and the Advantage Tiles that enhance them and what that means for the player and their efforts
Action Point 3 – the various Event Cards and Ministry Cards to get an idea for how these fit into the design
Action Point 4 – Game Sequence, including the differences between Peace and War Turns, Action Rounds and the different actions available including Diplomatic, Military and Economic Actions
Action Point 5 – how a Turn is scored including the three major scoring categories of Regional Scoring, Prestige Scoring and Global Demand Scoring and how the game can be automatically won if things get a bit out of hand