Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pocket Imperium Part 3 - How it plays

Part 1. Part 2. Where you can download the ships.

I do tend to get the cart before the horse at times and I focus more on the silly things like tiny little ship tokens and tuck boxes to store them in, but how does Pocket Imperium play, and how has playing it effected the making of it?

Not actual gameplay. This totally could not happen.
My first game of Pocket Imperium was against my son in a Village Inn during breakfast. The game is good for small venues, but not necessary for quick games. Setup is fast, however, and game play is strategic and deep. It's clearly balanced for 3 players, but can be played with only 2.

Game play revolves around planning your moves with the move cards, and then revealing and executing your moves simultaneously, a bit like Squirrel Squabble. But here's the catch, if your opponent reveals the same move at the same time that you did both of you will execute that move at a diminished capacity So if you both choose to "expand" at the same time you can each only add 2 ships to your fleet at a time, where as your buddy who was the only one to choose "explore" will find themselves with 3 movement points to expend.

Another aspect of the game is the limited capacity of the tiles in the games to sustain ships. At the end of your turn any any empty hex with can have no more than 1 ship, level I words can't have more than 2, level II no more than 3, and the central III star can't have more than 4. This prevents you from doing the risk like move of amassing all your units in Alaska and using them to steamroll over North America on your turn. Scoring also encourages you to take over all systems on a card for a higher score, and even more so on the last round where every system you occupy scores double points. With only 3 moves per turn and only 9 turns per game strategies tend to be very tidy.

However, I'm missing a few tokens from my build for this game to be complete. First of all I need a token to march up the score counter to keep track of the rounds. Something generic but spacey. Secondly, I need something to keep track of which player gets priority on each round. It's also probably going to be something generic, but I'd be real happy if I could make a Ming the Merciless ring. But it wouldn't' fit in the box, there's no way to make a one-size-fits-all ring, and trading it around would slow things down. maybe a mini emperor of the galaxy space scepter?

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