«Imperial 2030» review

Imperial 2030

Imperial 2030 was published in 2009 by PD-Verlag and Rio Grande Games, the company that introduced us to Puerto Rico, Bohnanza, and Carcassonne. The game was designed by Mac Gerdts, known for the Rondel Series, and illustrated by Alexander Jung.

Imperial 2030 belongs to the Rondel Series family and reimplements Imperial.

Game Components

  • Printed tiles
    • a gameboard
    • an investor card
    • a quick intro
    • an instruction booklet
    • 90 flags in 6 colors (15 per nation)
    • 54 bond cards of the six nations (in denominations of 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 16, 20, 25, and 30 million)
    • 6 nation flag cards
    • 130 Bank notes (35 x 1 million, 55 x 2 million, 25 x 5 million, 15 x 10 million)
  • Wooden components
    • a turn maker (a wooden pawn)
    • 18 octagonal markers in the six nation colors (for the rondel, for the scoring track and for the tax chart)
    • 48 fleets in the six nation colors (10 red, 6 yellow, all others 8 each)
    • 48 armies in the six nation colors (10 yellow, 6 red, all others 8 each)
    • 24 factories (12 brown armament facilities and 12 light blue shipyards)


Each country starts with two factories.

The bonds are sorted into piles according to the countries they belong to in ascending order.

The starting stocks are distributed depending on how many players are there. See the full rules for instructions.

The nation flags are distributed randomly to players.

Imperial 2030 - Gameboard


Imperial 2030 is an independent game based on the rules of the board game Imperial.

The gameplay takes place in 2030. Now the whole world wants to join the race for political domination: Europe, Russia, China, India, Brazil, and the USA are fighting over the neutral areas and sea areas. Every nation wants to become the greatest power in the world with the most significant influence.

Players do not represent the nations, they stand for independent investors who reside in Switzerland. If you are the biggest investor in a specific country, you get to influence their politics.

This is an economical and political game, military domination is not essential. The game is purely strategical: there is no chance, no randomness, no dice.

Two to six people can play. However, playing with just two people may seem a bit dull. The game takes two hours.

Imperial 2030 - Gameplay


Nations take turns. To take an action, you choose a field on the rondel: Investor, Import, Production, Maneuver, Taxation, or Factory. Without paying additional fees, you can move the nation’s marker to one of the first three spaces clockwise on the rondel from the position the marker is at.

Over the course of the game, the nations collect power points for their factories and occupied regions. When one nation reaches 25 points, the game ends. Your final score is the interest of your bonds multiplied by power factors of nations on the scoring track plus your cash.

The game usually runs for about 120 turns, i.e. each nation gets to take 20 turns. Typically, by the end of the game the winning nation will have entered Taxation four times. But it does not necessarily mean that the player who runs the government of this country will win the game.

The rondel:

Imperial 2030 - Rondel


You can build one factory


You can produce one army or one fleet.


You can buy up to three military units from the bank.


You can move fleets and armies and place nation flags in newly occupied regions. When your unit comes to a neutral space, you declare it your own. To conquer a space that belongs to somebody else, you have to conquer all the units on that space.


You pay out interest, activate the investor, and invest as Swiss Bank.


The nation collects taxes, pays its soldiers, gets bonuses in case of success, and add power points.

Note that all these actions are performed by nations, not by players. Players who have an interest in the active nation’s bonds, participate.

Download the full rules in PDF from Rio Grande Games.

The official rulebook includes FAQ and some tips on strategy and tactics that you may find useful especially if you are new to the game. So, do not ignore them!

Imperial 2030 - Money

Imperial 2030 Upgrade Kit

There are upgrade kits both for Imperial and Imperial 2030. The Imperial 2030 Upgrade Kit provides you with a new map, cardboard sheets, and a rulebook in English. This expansion will upgrade your Imperial 2030 for a new game scenario.

Imperial 2030 vs Imperial

Imperial Board Game

Imperial 2030 takes place on the whole planet, not just in Europe. The national territories are more limited compared to Imperial, the neutral regions now take more space.

Fleets and armies can move through the Suez and Panama canals. The nation that controls Colombia may forbid other nations to use the Panama canal. The same with North Africa. They may close the Suez canal for others.

A new taxing system is introduced in Imperial 2030.

Differences between the two games are rather insignificant. If you enjoyed Imperial, you will most likely enjoy Imperial 2030 as well.


Q: Can I play Imperial 2030 solo?

A: No, unless you play it in order to learn the rules. Still, doing it with a friend is more fun.

Q: Is there an app to play Imperial 2030 on iOS or Android?

A: There is no app for Imperial 2030, but there is an app for the original game Imperial at AppStore. The app also has a tutorial. Plus, you can play Imperial 2030 online on BrettspielWelt in real-time on your iPad or PC.

Q: Can armies fight fleets?

A: Yes, they can, but only if the fleet is still in the harbor, and there is a foreign army in the home province of the harbor.

Q: Can players borrow money?

A: No, they absolutely cannot. They also cannot receive money as a gift from other players.

Q: Can players make agreements between themselves?

A: Yes, the rules do not prohibit that. You can make arrangements about non-aggression pacts, for instance. However, nothing apart from the code of honesty will make your opponents stick to their agreement. The game has a potential to get dirty here. Anyway, all agreements will feel rather unsafe due to constant and sometimes unexpected changes in the governments.



Imperial 2030 is a classic economic strategy that calls for quite a lot of thinking on your part plus provides you with a great time. Interesting use of the rondel gives you an opportunity to develop a good strategy.

Before the original game Imperial was commercially released, it went through ages of play-testing. Various variants of rules exist for the game. You can consult with the rulebook and play using different game variants. This guarantees Imperial will stand the trial of replaying and will never grow old and too stable for you and your gaming friends.

Imperial 2030 - Fleet

Imperial 2030 is a deep game and you might not be able to easily start playing right away. You will have to carefully study the rules. So, probably it is not the right game for someone who only wants to play it once or is not ready to invest time into learning the rules. However, if you do that, you will be rewarded by the fantastic gaming experience Imperial provides to economy strategy lovers!

Do not concentrate on leading wars, rather think about investing your funds smartly.

Buy Imperial 2030 on Amazon.

One thought on “«Imperial 2030» review

  1. Pingback: «Imperial» review | Board Game Reviews | BoardGameKing

Comments are closed.