Toblerone Pirates

The Swiss are interesting cats. They’ve mostly stayed out of conquest games like diplomacy being happier to spend their time crimping Toblerones (the villians) but when it comes to Imperial 2030, being Swiss is the surest way toNot lose badly
Imperial 2030 is one of my very favourite 6 player games, hands down for years now and I’m too old to change. It’s got everything a conquest game should have, armies (check), conquest (check), world map (check), diplomatic deals (check), backstabbing (check and check). What makes it all the more interesting is it’s not a conquest game. It’s a stock market game. GASP!

The surest way to lose a game of Imperial 2030 (apart from playing it) is to come into the game thinking it’s a conquest game. It’s not. it has all the trappings but the game is all about backing the right horse and that may not always be you. Truth be told you may not have your own best interests at heart when you run a country.
In the same way as “Don’t trust Vic” gets bandied about before a game starts, “You don’t own the country, you just invest in it” is a truth universally acknowledged by losers of this game (usually 5 of them each play). I’ll tell you what write that on the back of your hand in black biro before you start and refer to it often.

The sizzle of 2030 is you INVEST in a country by buying shares in it. The player with the biggest investment gets to control the country and call the shots when it comes to building and moving armies, building factories, taxation and dealing out dividends. unfortunately there’s nearly always lesser investors with their snouts in the trough when it comes to dividend dinner time. This is where the real skills comes in. Having played this game a lot I’ve found that doing a William Reiker and letting someone else make the hard decisions can win you the game. Actually doing a Reiker with multiple people at the same time and not controlling any countries will win the game for you. However like all great games the skill is in judging when to jump ship and become a citizen of the world and egging others into investing in your country and have them take it over when it’s as valuable as stale bread. 
Time and again it’s the Swiss that win the game. Lose you’re country to a higher stake holder and you become a Swiss investment banker (their entry requirements are questionable if you ask me) and critically you can invest every time someone else does unlike landed premiers who are too busy with matters of state and only get to invest every so often. 

Now if you can time it right and you leave office with enough of a wad and a resonable portfolia of investments you have a good shot at winning if you can manage your money and invest in sure things (there are no sure things). Suddenly this doesn’t sound at all like a conquest game does it? No sir. Don’t be fooled your conquest skills are critical early on but like all the presidents before you, you only start to make real cash money once you’ve left office

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