The world of the Imperial Miners
3. January 2024 Pegasus

Imperial Miners is the latest game in the Imperial Settlers family. It was written by Tim Armstrong (Arcana Rising, Orbis) and illustrated by Hanna Kuik (Batman – Everybody Lies, Dune – Secrets of the Houses).

Imperial Miners, like the other games in the series, is a card-based engine builder in which you construct your own “machines” and create synergies between cards and combinations – all with the aim of gaining as many victory points as possible.

Tim Armstrong designed the game not only as an engine builder, but also exactly as modern games should be: with maximum freedom of choice for the players and minimal rules at the same time: In Imperial Miners, we play exactly ten rounds.

In each round, exactly one event card is revealed and we play exactly one card in our mine. This means that we always activate one of the three basic abilities of our mine in each round.

What’s more, we always play at the same time, regardless of whether there are two or five people at the table, so the game always runs at the same speed. We play a card, evaluate it, trigger the mine’s ability, and then it’s on to the next round. That’s it!

The world of the Imperial Miners

A shot of adrenaline

Every card we play in our mine gives us a bonus. Sometimes it’s gold, sometimes it’s victory points, and most of the time it’s a really cool ability or special action. Every time, in every round, something positive happens. There is no downtime, no rounds in which we just build and wait for an effect that won’t take effect for another 40 minutes. The positive effects happen immediately in each of the ten game rounds. And since we are building an engine, i.e. a machine, the positive effects are not just limited to one card that we have played, but also to other cards that we have played in the past.

In Imperial Miners, we take on the role of miners who are searching for valuable gemstones and resources in a mine. The maps depict underground passages. With new maps, we create deep underground passages on four levels. Every card we play triggers its effect first and then the effects of the cards above it! Imperial Miners is a paradise for anyone who loves synergies, combinations and victory points that come from every corner of our mine or “machine”.

The world of the Imperial Miners

The diversity of the settlers

n contrast to Imperial Settlers and Empires of the North, you don’t lead a specific faction in Imperial Miners, but instead use a common deck with miners from six different factions or races!

There are the classic factions from Imperial Settlers, such as Romans, Japanese, Egyptians and Barbarians, but also Atlanteans and Scots. Each race has its own characteristics and strengths, and by hiring miners from a particular race, we build up certain synergies. The Scots, for example, work extremely well together; the more Scottish cards you have in your mine, the more favorable their effects become. The Atlanteans, on the other hand, build mysterious machines. Barbarians are – traditionally – reckless and sometimes cause explosions and riots during their mighty actions, while the Japanese rely on diplomacy and benefit from having representatives of all nations working in the mine!

The world of the Imperial Miners

“Machine” construction

Card games with engine-building mechanisms are extremely popular, also with our partner Portal Games, who developed Imperial Miners as well as other games of this genre, for example 51st State, Alien Artifacts and, as already mentioned, Imperial Settlers.

But Imperial Miners is a simpler, faster game that can also be played with five people without any problems. But above all, it encourages us to find synergies between our cards, to combine cards with each other and sometimes to form crazy combinations. After all, there’s nothing more satisfying than scoring 19 victory points with a single brilliant move, is there?

The world of the Imperial Miners

Ignacy Trzewiczek: “We are publishing Imperial Miners because we fell in love with it at first sight. We’re publishing it because we all believe in it. We’re publishing it because it’s a clever, fast, sophisticated card game that you can play in 45 minutes, and those 45 minutes are filled to the brim with combos, victory points and card synergies.”

*This article was originally published by Portal Games and translated by Pegasus Spiele with the permission of their partner.

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