Imperial Harvest - Board Game Box Shot

Imperial Harvest

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A tactical pocket-game featuring characters from the world of Royal Strawberries.

Welcome to the wild lands of Feorhyrna, where grow the world’s most desired fruit—the Royal Strawberry! Servants of the Imperial Court have been tasked with the mission of harvesting this magic fruit from the Emperor's private gardens. Upon arriving at the Imperial compound, however, the servants are chagrined to discover Raiders from the North climbing the walls, hastening to harvest the fabled fruit for themselves.

In Imperial Harvest, players take control of two opposing teams and race to collect the greatest number of Royal Strawberries. To be successful, each player must master the powers of their respective characters, navigate the Imperial Gardens, evade enemy attacks, and collect the majority of the realm’s mysterious, magical fruit.

Players construct a board populated with hedges, moats, and hydras, then manage a team of three champions who will raid (or protect) the Imperial strawberry patch.

Will you lead the cunning sorceress and wild barbarian to their conquest? Or will you meet their aggression with the sturdy monk and staunch imperial guardian? Rally your forces with the bard's ballad, outwit your enemies, and snatch those strawberries!

Got a second copy of Imperial Harvest? Expand your board and bring two more players to the table! (Tag Team rules included.) 2 copies = 3-4 players/40 minutes. 3 copies = 5-6 players/60 minutes.

User Reviews (1)

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“Mom! There's Raiders in the magical strawberry patch again!”

No Frills Review:
A tactical, 2 person game with variable player powers, a modular board and magical strawberries. 2 opposing teams of 3 champions collect strawberries to earn victory points, while battling or slowing down the other team. The team with the most points after 14 turns (7 for each side) wins. Games can be played in about 20 minutes. With 14 different characters in the base game and a modular board, this game can have a very different feel each time. Additionally, you can only activate 2 champions each turn making how you play each character very important. If you don’t want to create a new board each time, the game comes with great cloth play mat, so you can just unfold and start playing. Easy to learn and very fun to play.

Longer review–

A Strawberry! A Strawberry! My Kingdom for a Strawberry!
In Imperial Harvest You play as one of two teams, the Raiders or the Imperial Guardians, but the goal is the same:
Your team is in a garden trying to collect strawberries as they battle or block the opposing team for 14 turns (each team has 7 turns). Additionally, teams need to avoid the 2 hydras that live in the moat. At the end, victory points are awarded based on how many strawberries you plucked, how many you are holding at the end, and how many you were able to deposit. There are other ways of gaining points, by meeting conditions of a separate quest deck (expansion), or fulfilling certain character’s goals.

X never, ever marks the spot
One of the strengths of this game is that it is played on a modular board. You can place moat, Hydra tokens, bridge tiles, and garden tiles almost wherever you want, allowing for a different gaming experience each time. The makers of the game also understand that many people don’t feel like setting out a new map each time and included a cloth playmat so you can just unfold, place bridges, strawberries, and Hydras, and basically start playing. I find myself watching TV and just trying out different maps, eventually my wife walks by and says “ooo! let’s play that!” and then we get started.

Feorhyrna, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy
The game has 8 different archetypes for the characters. Each team is made of 3 champions, each of a different archetype (Base game comes with 14 character cards, 2 of them are Bards). However, the champions are not all the same. Both teams have a “Bard” champion with identical abilities, but the rest of the characters and their abilities are very different. Again, this makes the game feel different each time based on who picks what character and how they are used in the game. Some characters are team specific, but many may be drafted by either team.

Despite asymmetrical teams, the characters all seem well balanced. One person having one certain character won’t win or lose you the game in our experience. In fact, the character that my wife and I think is the best, has never won a game. Different powers does make character selection important, as some people will just prefer some character’s abilities and accompanying strategies. What is also important is how these characters work as a team and how you utilize them. As a result, it is important to draft wisely, with the map layout in mind.

Step 1: Get Strawberries. Step 2: … Step 3: Profit!
The players each have 7 turns to get as many points as possible. The characters start with 3 action points (AP) and 2 abilities, but gain an ability and 1 AP once they pick up a strawberry. Also, some characters can give more AP to other players and gain AP in other ways. The player can only activate 2 characters at a time, the other is sleeping. On the next turn, players then MUST activate character who was sleeping, and rest another character. Making it a delicate balance of keeping characters out of danger but still useful.

On the board are 2 hydras that live in the moat or moats depending on your set up. The hydra attacks in the 4 orthogonal directions constantly, and can attack through obstacles, making them quite a threat. A player may forfeit a character’s turn to move the hydra 1 space (in the water), which is costly in a game with limited turns, but the Hydra can be very useful in blocking or defeating opponents. Moving a hydra early on can pay huge dividends later.

At the end of the game (after the 14th turn), the 2 players count up victory points and the one with the most wins!

Pros
-Quick game to set up and play. (Playtime around 20-30 mins)
-Modular board allows for different maps.
-Asymmetrical character abilities allow for unique match ups and different gaming experiences.
-13 different characters (2 bards) allows for many different combinations.
-Easy rules with a good rulebook allows for players to quickly get into the game.
-Turn limit makes the game feel like an exciting race.
-Can combine multiple copies of the base game to make bigger maps and add more players.

Cons
-The game is all tactical, no randomness, which may put off some people.
-Some players may experience analysis paralysis.
-There can be runaway games if players don’t plan well, which makes the last few turns not very exciting.

Overall
This was the first kickstarter game I ever backed, and I do not regret it. I was looking for a 2 player game that would be exciting and fun with high replayability and no luck. Whenever I ask my wife if she wants to play a game and we don’t have much time (or we don’t know when the baby will wake up…), this is the game she wants to play.

It’s just really fun to play. The turn limit makes each move important, and usually encourages a race like feel. The different characters and modular maps force you to work with your characters abilities and try to use the map to your advantage. Maps can be created to have more or less interaction, so it can feel more like a battle with careful maneuvering for position, or a puzzle where you use must your powers to gain an edge in a race to the end. Or, it can feel like a mix of both. The required resting of a character makes things interesting, since one person may never rest one character, but then the other characters will be less useful. Overall, it’s a fun game that I recommend.

 

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