Imperium, 3rd Millennium
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In the not too distant future, humans will journey to the stars in search of their destiny. What we meet out there may be peaceful or it may be something else entirely; an ancient and powerful Imperium with a very different destiny in mind for us.
Imperium, 3rd Millennium is a completely revised and updated edition of the original Imperium by Marc W. Miller. Imperium is a game of interstellar war between outwardly expanding humans and a vast alien Imperium determined to control the stars. Players take the role of the Terran (human) commander or the Imperial Governor and use their starships and troops to control the Sol sector.
I have been endeavoring to write more positive reviews after going on a run of writing a number of 2- or 3-star reviews, but Avalanche Press has foiled me by making such a monumental hash of this much-anticipated re-release.
For fans of the original, excellent Imperium by Game Desiners Workshop (GDW), this new game is going to come as a rude shock. Gone is the centerpiece of the design, the elegent and effective space combat system, replaced with a behemoth of a dice-fest.
Imagine: A moderately large space battle may involve 20 or so ships and fighters. Each unit is going to be rolling perhaps an average of 5 dice in combat, so a single combat round involves rolling 50 or so dice, with the defender rolling maybe 2 dice to block. Now, realize that the attacker must *predesignate* all 20 (or more; some ships can split their fire) of their shots before resolving any. In the old game, when ships were arranged abstractly in a line, this was no problem, but now the ships are all stacked 5+ high in squares on a mapsheet, so this is virtually impossible. In the old game, even large space battles could be resolved in 5 minutes, with plenty of choices; now, individual space battles can take longer than entire wars in the old game, and yet the system involves less decision-making than the original! (However, you do get to roll a truly colossal number of dice. I think any system that requires rolling 250+ dice for a single battle has probably gone over the top.)
This is just the most major of a number of rather serious problems with the game. Comparing and contrasting with the original GDW game makes for an interesting comparative exercise in game design, to see how GDW succeeded where Avalanche failed.
All in all, this game is one to avoid like the plague; it's not just flawed, it's actually unplayable. Try to find the original, a classic, instead.