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Imperium Chronicles - Theater of Operations: The Talion Front
by Philip P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2016 14:58:31

As an old, old 'Traveller' (GDW) grognard, I've been around the sci-fi gaming scene for a long, long time. This game is just the sort of game that I have always had a craving for as long as I can remember. In my not-so-humble opinion, this is sci-fi the way it ought to be!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Imperium Chronicles - Theater of Operations: The Talion Front
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Theater of Operations Printed Components [BUNDLE]
by Philip P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2016 14:52:37

As an old, old 'Traveller' (GDW) grognard, I've been around the sci-fi gaming scene for a long, long time. This game is jut the sort of game that I've I have always craved for as long as I can remember. In my not-so-humble opinion, this is sci-fi the way it ought to be!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Theater of Operations Printed Components [BUNDLE]
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Ports of Call Bundle [BUNDLE]
by Philip P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/09/2016 17:49:46

As an old, old 'Traveller' (GDW) grognard, I've been around the sci-fi gaming scene for a long, long time. This game is jut the sort of game that I've I have always craved for as long as I can remember. In my not-so-humble opinion, this is sci-fi the way it out to be!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ports of Call Bundle [BUNDLE]
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Imperium Chronicles - In Harm's Way Tactics
by Richard S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/08/2016 14:58:35

I originally bought this from the owners website & therefore had to post my review in "Discussions". I now have a copy on Drive thru, so I'm posting my review here too...

This game is fantastic fun. Do yourself a favour and get the tokens and map professionally printed. It was only then that I realised just how good the art is!

This is a rules light, Sci Fi skirmish game that works very well when played solo. This game excels at being fast to learn and fast to play. Crunchy it is not. If you follow this BGG link it will take you to a solo system originally created for 'Song of Blades and Heroes'

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/73730/sbh-solo

It takes very little to adapt this for use with 'In Harms Way'. Now you have a neat A.I. For all your enemies!

Get both the expansions for huge replay-ability. The robot faction is very cool. Gaming heaven!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Imperium Chronicles - In Harm's Way Tactics
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Imperium Chronicles - In Harm's Way Tactics: March of the Metal Horde
by Richard S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/05/2016 12:56:30

More stuff for In Harms Way. More is most definitely more here. The robot faction is the coolest. Officially they are the enemy but I can see myself playing these guys a lot!

Recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Imperium Chronicles - In Harm's Way Tactics: March of the Metal Horde
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Imperium Chronicles - In Harm's Way Tactics
by david k. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/25/2015 08:51:51

The Imp system along with various character profiles in the rules makes this a good storytelling war-game hybrid. I love the inclusion of counters and map tiles. This is a great ready-to-play solo system.

I would really like to see some alternate genre expansions - Horror, Pulp, etc.

Now I just need to find myself a suitable VTT/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Imperium Chronicles - In Harm's Way Tactics
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Imperium Chronicles - Fleets at War: Fighter Wing
by Winchell C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/04/2014 20:38:10

Fighter Wing a game that focuses on fighters and smaller vessels in more detail than Fleets At War. This is more a tactical game of maneuver than it is a huge fleet slug-fest.

The game includes combat starships for the Imperium, the Magna Supermacy, and assorted pirate clans.

A full set of various sizes of ship counters and missile tokens are included, with gorgeous artwork. Also included is a ruler guide for movement. Each ship has a stat card for keeping track of damage. Ten scenarious are included.

To speed up play with a high number of ships, the number die rolls are reduced by using easy to use lookup charts of opposing attributes (i.e., damage vs. armor).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Imperium Chronicles - Fleets at War: Fighter Wing
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Imperium Chronicles - Fleets at War: Claws of Chaos
by Winchell C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/02/2013 11:22:41

This expansion to Fleets At War add two new factions (including the creepy K’thonian Void), nine new ship classes, and ten new weapon types. The dreaded antimatter missile has the added effect of blocking line-of-sight, while the mine launcher in essence adds player controlled terrain to the map. As with the original rules, ship and weapon counters for the new items are included.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Imperium Chronicles - Fleets at War: Claws of Chaos
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Imperium Chronicles - Fleets at War!
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/26/2012 14:56:13

Nicely polished game. It it positioned between a "fleet scale" game (where one hit kills a ship) and a "ship scale" game (where you keep track of each ship's laboratories, crew members, and weapon arming status). So it can handle a fair number of ships without being bogged down yet have some interesting granularity on the individual ship level.

The artwork for the starship tiles is quite spectacular, and the rulebook is professionally laid out. All the vital information tables fit on a single sheet of paper.

The turn sequence uses a "roll for initiative" system, with the winner deciding the action order of all ships (on both sides). There is a wide variety of weapon systems, and starships specific to each of the factions in the game universe. Ten scenarios are included.

About the only thing missing is a ship design system, but that is a minor quibble. There is a lot of gameplay packed into this one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Imperium Chronicles - Fleets at War!
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Imperium Chronicles - Fleets at War!
by Paul E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2012 04:11:21

About me. At time of writing I have yet to play a game but have read the rules a number of times. I have played a number of spaceship games, my favourites being full thrust and colonial battlefleet. For space battles in books i like C J Cherryh and for films itis Star Wars. I mention this just so you know my preferances so you will be aware of bias.

Layout. The style and layout is excellent. Clear well writen rules with easy to understand diagrams and no clutter on the pages such as an annoying water mark. The art is i think computer generated. This has produced spaceship scenes that I personaly find very plasing even though they are not in the gritty, smell the oil style that i usually prefer. I feel that the background races have fared less well from this style. I did find the positioning of the ship descriptions in the middle of the book odd as they are between two psrts of the actual gameplay rules.

Rules The rules themselves (not scenarios, ship stats etc) take up only about 5 pages. This is a huge for me as I find it increasingly difficult to remmember lots of rules across different games. I also believe that good rules should be almost invisible during a game so one can concentrate on the tactics/moves etc.

Gameplay The desine is clearly stated as trying to create a fast moving game allowing many shipsto be used. It succeeds very well at this aim in my opinion. Style is cinematic so ships have a max speed, again I like this in a spaceship game as it makes things playable on my table.

Each turn players secretly give each of thier ships and missiles a speed which can be faster or slower than previous speed by as much as the acceleration. This is done with chits. Next players dice for initiative. Initiative player picks one ship or missile at a time and the owning player resolves its attacks and movement before the next ship is chosen. This looks like it will speed up play compared to order writing systems such as full thrust or star fleet battles si i would be prepared to try bigger battles than i usually do.

There is a good number of weapon systems and each faction has two types of fighter. Weapons use ammo tracking and flights of four fighters separately tack ammo for each fighter but the cards for each ship are very clear so this looks like it won't take up to much time and I like the added tactical consideration of when to fire (though there are no range modifiers and ships do not block line of sight do you want to waste that ammo on the destroyer?). Whilst on the topic of fighters, the imperial carrier has 6 flights and the battleships type have 4 so they probably won't be dominant if that is your thing. I could easily be wrong but the fighter stats dont look that powerfull either. All weapon systems can target fighters. I am not keen on this but ought to prevent the fighter spam that riuns Full thrust.

All characteristics have a value (good poor etc) when ships shoot at each other, try to get missle lock, weapon hit try to penetrate armour etc. these stats are compared on a table to find the resukt required. This is an elegant system that i like but I feel that the writer has been to wedded to this system so it has been utilised everywhere even when it is slightly unsuitable. Weapon damage and armour are effectivly a number but this is hidden by the assigning of a rating. I now have to remmember the rating and idealy also the number. This also aplies to ship speed. A small quible I admit.

Weapons cause damge that destroy hull points. All hull points gone = dead ship. Critical hits (1 on a d10) move damage up one grade.

The ships. There are no ship generation rules or point or tonnage costs. This is coupled with each faction having a single class of heavy cruiser, light cruiser, carrier etc. I would defiantly buy an expansion with more ship classes but wish they had been included. I would like a CL to be an ECM ship, a small ship killer or the flagship of a destroyer squadren. This is not currently possible here but as a limited game it would be possible to become skilled (know the ships) with a small time investment. This is an advantage to some.

Counters/cards. The counters for the ships are great and possibly worth the cost of the game. For miniature enthusiasts it would be very simple to just replace them with ships with only one extra rule (were to measure arcs from). The game provides anumber of individualy named ship counters for each ship class for each faction which is excellent.Each named ship has an acompanying card showing its weapons, ammo and hull points, all very well done and should make game play very fast.

Scenarious. There are a whopping 10 scenarios!

Summary. I am wanting the ship design variety I can get from Colonial Battle fleet or Full Thrust but am loving the play speed and the number of ships it can handle. I think the writer has missed the opportunity to make this game realy appeal to the wide audience it deserves because he focused very much on making it appropriate to his background. This could be addressed by making your own shops. I am very happy with my purchase and think this has a definate place for my gaming, primarily with my friends who like a lighter game and will be using my ships at my house.

I would love the writer to add in a ship point, designe system buy you should buy it now anyway as the price is great.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Imperium Chronicles - Fleets at War!
by Maurice S. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2012 11:54:50

Great layout, excellent rules and game counters for all the fleets. Not having to buy a new set of miniatures is the selling point to me of the game. Other companies need to take a look a doing this,



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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by Peter S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/20/2009 12:33:23

You get some very nice 3d walls and doors for the price and some good information about their system. And did I mention, you can't beat the price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Imperium Chronicles Role Playing Game - Basic Rules
by Matthew C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2008 12:14:53

The introduction to Imperium Chronicles is simple and straightforward, but sets up the game perfectly:

"WHAT IS THE IMPERIUM?

The Imperium is an interstellar empire founded by five powerful families of royal blood. For 700 years the empire has flourished, even in the face of outside foes and rebellions from within. As a player, you take on the role of a character in this sci-fi universe as you search for adventures of your own."

Using his own universe which he has written fiction for, Mitchell's Imperium has a fairly detailed history that is outlined in this book. You get just enough material for the GM to work with without turning the game into a huge minutiae-fest (although I'm sure there's potential for dozens of expansion and fluff books with this game). I'd say the overall flavor of Imperium Chronicles seems to rest somewhere between Star Wars and Traveller (which I've still never gotten to actually play), with maybe just a hint of the original Battlestar Gallactica thrown in for good measure. This doesn't mean the game is a complete rip-off of anything in particular, but it does borrow some of the key elements from the space opera genre. If there's a complaint to be found here, it's that the setting is ever so slightly vanilla. In the grand scheme of things, I suppose the author is still developing his world and giving it a sense of identity, but I couldn't help but feel that certain elements were just a tad generic.

There are seven major races to play as: the ever-present Humans, reptilian Draconians, the slender and erudite Dahl, the canine-like Vogar, the warlike Magna (who look like big, green demons), feline Akiak, and the stocky, ugly Gordians, who fulfill a role similar to Orks in many other role-playing games. Interestingly, there is no class system in this game. A player simply selects the race they wish to play and is assigned a default set of ability scores (here we have Strength, Stamina, Dexterity, Intelligence, Charisma, and Psionics). I'm personally of two minds about this. I don't mind about having a classless system, but I'm not all that keen on default stats for each race, as this can limit the 'uniqueness' of characters (you get a small pool of points to raise whichever stats you wish as you're creating the character, but I feel like the author should have just inserted a complete point-buy system into the game instead).

That said, there is a very detailed skills and abilities section which indeed allows you to tailor your character as you see fit. You can easily groom your character to be a crafty merchant, a slick diplomat, a cunning rogue, a savvy tech-expert, a calm under pressure starship pilot, a jack-of-all-trades, or just a good old fashioned ass kicking mercenary. Again, I'm personally not the biggest fan of skills and abilities systems, but my grumpy, old-school personal preferences aside, Imperium Chronicles has a nice selection of skills to choose from without going completely overboard with an overwhelming or unnecessary number of choices.

I believe this game could attract some combat-junkies towards it, as the section on weapons and armor is quite intensive, and the actual combat chapter itself is long and involved. First of all, weapon selection is very good, you've got weapons that seem like anachronisms in a futuristic sci-fi world, like battle-axes and daggers (even the 9mm pistol seems ancient in this setting), mixed in with the blaster rifles and disruptor pistols one would expect of a high-tech galaxy (The coolest weapon in the game? The chainsword -- it's a sword, but it's a chainsaw too... br00tal.). Also included here are a number of vehicles, gadgets, nano upgrades, and gasp drugs for your characters to exploit in order to leave their enemies lying in a heap.

I don't envy anyone trying to mastermind a combat system in a sci-fi RPG. You've got so many different scenarios to think about: melee, gun fights, ship-to-ship combat, underwater battles, tanks blasting the hell out of one another... However, while the combat system has quite a lot to digest, it still appears to be efficient enough to hopefully finish a battle in a respectable amount of time (I say hopefully because I've not play-tested this game at all, this is merely a guess). Then again, Imperium Chronicles also seems well-suited to some long, epic fights. Judging by the first two add-ons released for this game, a set of cardboard miniatures and a set of paper walls and floors, the game definitely has a bent towards those who like to play with minis and stage huge combat sequences.

There is a bestiary in the rule book, which surprised me a little. I apparently forgot that other games besides D&D actually put their monsters in the main rule book instead of a separate, wallet-draining book. There's some sweet beasties and robot type creatures to battle, but the finest specimen is the Tubby Wubbie, a moment of golden comedy that comes out of left-field in this mostly serious rule book. The author explains it best...

"Tubby Wubbies are the result of toy marketing and biogenetics gone horribly wrong. In an effort to create the perfect holiday gift, a toy company turned to genetic engineering to build a living, breathing teddy bear. Due to corporate shortsightedness and a desire to save money, the company used a subcontractor to design the brain for the Tubby Wubbies. The end result was a cute and lovable toy that began exhibiting psychopathic tendancies shortly after going to market."

Included with the entry is a picture of a cutesy panda and grizzly bear, which reminds me of Kuma and Panda from the Tekken series of fighting games. Very funny. Perhaps the Tubby Wubbies could become to Imperium Chronicles what the spidergoat has become to Mutant Future, a silly yet iconic monster representing the game.

Speaking of pictures, and aesthetics in general, the Imperium Chronicles rule book is laid out in a very neat, easy-to-read manner. Any charts or tables are colored and easy on the eye, and the cartography towards the later half of the book is excellent. However, the art is all computer-generated, and while it indeed looks proficient for CG pieces, some hand drawn illustrations would really help this game come to life. As it stands, the CG art looks very... well, artificial. Of course, this game seems like it was for the most part a one man operation, so I can understand if the art wasn't one of the top concerns. Still, something to think about for any future editions of the book (Might I suggest ATOM for the job?). There were a few spelling and grammatical errors that slipped through ("Climbing a shear wall", etc), but overall the editor seems to have gotten everything in order.

Honestly, if I played this game, I wouldn't know where to start, as the scope is quite enormous. There is a section towards the end of the book that gives GMs a few adventure ideas and hooks to focus on, which seems an inspired decision given the vast sandbox galaxy you've got to work with here. I particularly like the plot that asks players to locate an aging, bloated rock star who's gone on the run within 48 hours. For some reason, I'm imagining Disaster Area's Hotblack Desiato from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in this scenario.

So, maybe it's not exactly my cup of coffee, but I think some of the hardcore sci-fi geeks looking for a new fix will get on board with this game, in addition to those who simply like to show support for independent RPGs.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Imperium Chronicles Role Playing Game - Basic Rules
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Imperium Chronicles Role Playing Game - Basic Rules
by Alvin P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/20/2008 12:37:47
  • Summary

I believe that the ruleset of Imperium Chronicles shows promise, but the setting, while workable, is sub-par compared to the standard Traveller setting, the main competitor and inspiration of this RPG. I admit, the comparison is unfair – Traveller has been under constant development for decades now, with multiple rulesets to suit your taste – but it’s exactly the comparison most interested buyers will make.

  • Provincialism

The setting is a transplant of the late medieval/absolute monarchical Europe of the 1400s - 1700s to space. Fair enough. However, the claim that the Imperium = humanity is risible. There is no way that the Indians, Chinese, Arabs, or Africans are going to live in a single human empire without reshaping it their way. As there is no evidence of their political philosophies or cultures in the Imperium as described, they are either simply absent or make up a tiny and/or unimportant minority of the human population (cough).

Even Second Edition D&D got past such provincialism, back in the 1990s!

I have no particular gripe regarding Medieval Europe in Space! as a RPG setting, but I do dislike treating 9/10ths of humanity as nonexistent. To make the Imperium Chronicles setting more plausible, I suggest that the history be slightly rewritten, with the Imperial stars initially settled by politically romantic humans of European extraction who wished to recreate a medieval era without a medieval church. Perhaps they were fleeing a politically correct regime, or squeezed out by a Chinese or Indian hegemony. At least some nod to reality would be appreciated.

For the science fiction fan, I should note that this version of Medieval Europe in Space! has no Universal Church: the presuppositions of the secular materialism undergird both the universe and the world of the mind. This Imperium has made many scientific discoveries - mainly to improve it's ability in war against her peer competitor, the Magna Supremacy. Despite it's Medieval European trappings, it's far closer to a secularistic, static version of Rome, Greece or Babylon than it is to Christendom.

So why the medieval pose? Most likely, due to the influence of classical D&D on the author. The 'class war' framework is also woven into the basic assumptions of the universe, and is easier illustrated in a feudal setting than elsewhere.

  • That bugbear, religion

The author's phobia on religion - a venerable tradition in the sci-fi field - may originate in the fear of giving offense, or in a personal distaste for the concept. In any case, it lends an air of unreality to the universe – especially when describing the Underclass. I quote: “Disenfranchised, any of the poor have turned to organizations on the fringes of society for both money and self-worth. These include criminal syndicates and the pirate clans, as well as radical environmental groups."

The omission of religious & revolutionary ideological groups is so obvious as to be hilarious. Of course, we all know why: serious, widespread religious & ideological differences will blow up an Imperium grounded only on tradition and guns. That’s why real Empires are all grounded in a particular religion (or its imitation, political ideology.) Naturally, no Empire has ever been truly universal, ruling all humanity, as large groups people differ strongly on the One True Faith/Ideology, and are quite willing to express their differences with lethal force if pressed hard enough.

Once upon a time, sci-fi was about a realistic attempt to See the Future. Now, with The Future looking dark for the West (but great for China, India, and even Africa) it's about the bizarre attempt to recreate a comforting, blinkered version of the Past.

  • Races

In contrast to the unreal political situation, the assorted player races is reasonably satisfactory, if cliché. The cat race, the elves, the reptile men, the orcs – we’ve seen them all before. Filing the serial numbers off isn’t fooling anyone, but people do like familiarity, and besides a certain boredom with the paper-thin characterizations I don’t have much against them either. I do prefer the Traveller races though - they're not that much more creative (wolf-men, cat-men, crab-men, centaurs on a vegan crusade, invisible flying monkeys, swarthy mysterious wizards (err, psions), corporate drones, and space nazis) but they do have the benefit of a long, carefully though-out history and decades of characterization & lore.

  • Rules

OK, enough with the background of the Imperium Chronicle universe. Anyone with some knowledge of history – or even a consistent interest in modern politics and culture – can write up their own setting to taste. (Or just port the Traveller setting whole-hog.) I will now focus on the major contribution you bring to the table, your ruleset. Is it better than your main competition, the various Traveller rules (Classic, GURPS, Mongoose?)

Well, there are real advantages to the Imperium Chronicles ruleset. First, it obvious that most of these rules are inspired by D&D 3.5 mechanics, which is a good thing as it lowers the learning curve for most pen and paper gamers. Skills are OK, but the time penalties are too rigid, and need to be scrapped, or at least modified to fit the circumstance. The sample role modifiers for a given action is appreciated. Treating psionics as magic is an incorrect use of the sci-fi concept, but quite helpful in-play to most RPG players. The expected weapon, vehicle, and toolkit tables are present, and the cybernetic implants and combat drugs are nice to see, adding to the rather thin sci-fi feel of the same.

(When I say ‘thin sci-fi feel’, I mean that there is little science or sensawonder in the Imperium Chronicles setting, but lots of military support and a good (if incomplete) feudal/class-warfare social framework.)

The combat section and animal section hews close to the D20 standard, and is useful and reasonably realistic – which is all I ask of RPG combat. ‘Reputation’ is acceptable as a soft-skill mechanic.

  • Technology

A nice, fat section of easily-built robots is nice to see – and is something notably lacking in many Traveller incarnations. (I blame the unworkable mechanics of the Classic Trav robot book [published 1986] myself.)

Starships are much more easy to build than in most Traveller rulesets, but as a consequence lack distinctiveness. It’s a trade-off that some guys will like, and others won’t, depending on their gear-head quotient. The lack of tech levels is reasonable - today, Africans peasants get the prices for their produce via cell phones, just like trader in New York do. The determining factor is money, not technology. Still, it mildly disappoints my gear-head instincts. 'What if I want to make a Saturn V rocket?'

System generation is close to the Traveller standard, with, again, the interesting exception of tech levels. There is a map of the heartland and capital world of the Imperium Chronicles as the default setting – an interesting contrast to the usual Traveller preference of working in the fringes of Imperial rule. The introductory map of the monastery is classic D&D: providing the setting and NPCs before some adventure nuggets is a workable idea, but the section isn’t organized clearly.

  • Maps

Empires are based on maps, more than anything else. And this Imperium has been backed into a corner by the Magna Supremacy. Relatively few systems have changed hands, out-and-out war is rare, and the Imperium is capable of self-defense - but, besides exploring & settling isolated star clusters, there is no way for the Imperium to outflank the Magna Supremacy. Thus, there is little space exploration in this setting, but lots of potential for war. So this Imperium faces one enemy on a long front, and the void: compare this to Traveller's Third Imperium, which is surrounded by two large, organized enemies on her borders, three large, organized neutral states, one long and deep zone of chaos, and a hostile neutral which is too far away to give a proper beatdown.

There are clusters of Imperial and Magna client states, which provide variety; note that the two groups of clients are quite distant from each other.

An oddity: Provincial (NOT Subsector ) listings stress the star type, rather than the population. Frankly, traders, military men and adventurers are much more interested in population and wealth than in star types. (A consequence of removing the technology levels is that there is no way to know how wealthy a world is.)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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