A New Outpost in Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North

September 25, 2020 | Sessions | 2 comments

Build a thriving outpost with another challenging solo scenario from Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North.

Right back to it! After a relatively simple victory in the first solo scenario included with Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North, I decided to take the Glenn Clan for another outing. This time, it looked like I was in for a building challenge as a new outpost took shape. What fun! I only hoped I had the right strategies to sail to faraway, mysterious islands…

Game Overview

Game Name: Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North
Publication Year:
 2019
Designers:
 Joanna Kijanka and Ignacy Trzewiczek
Artist:
 Roman Kucharski
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game

Like the hapless sailors who perished near Sea Serpent Island, I dove right in! With a quick setup time, there was almost no time to pause before I found myself leading the Glenn Clan towards greatness. The strategies are quite interesting, too! Sailing is often lucrative, yet getting the resources to conquer distant islands takes some effort.

Surviving the Dangers of Sea Serpent Island in Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North

Covering Building Sites

With this scenario, my action buildings were limited by the number of building sites. This helped simulate the rather small area available to a budding outpost. Nice!

I thought I was on the right track, yet I kept spending my raze tokens to get more and more building sites.

In effect, only a couple of islands could ever be conquered. Leader Glenn was a little upset with this tactic. Ha!

As usual, I was fascinated by the little scenes on each card. Maybe the highland cow appears a lot, though I enjoyed looking for him! He’s an honorary Stealthy Elephant.

A Very Bright and Cheery Empire in Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North

Sink or Swim

Unfortunately, the little outpost just couldn’t cut it. Many locations were built, yet some of the raze tokens would have been more lucrative for conquering islands.

My final spot on the scoreboard was most fitting! The minimum threshold was 40 points, but I ended up right near a rapidly sinking ship. The poor little settler on top!

No worries, though. I’m pretty sure he swam back home to help the rest of the Glenn Clan do something productive.

This loss was also promising because I dislike winning too many times early on… What is wrong with me?! Ha ha!

A Fitting Way to Sink on the Scoreboard in Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North

At Headquarters

Aside from a set of unique rules and random events, each solo scenario includes a special action space.

In this case, I could assign 1 worker per round in order to explore. This reduced my population and forced me to take the populate action more often, though. So why do it?

During scoring, each worker in the headquarters grants 1 victory point each. Rather a nice way to guarantee points!

This still put me in a predicament, though. Many of the Glenn Clan buildings required workers, so I sometimes gave up on other actions in order to populate.

Making the Most of the Outpost Headquarters in Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North

Taking a Risk

A Glenn Clan field shows a large monster sleeping in a lagoon filled with treasure. Here we go with continuity!

Another card in the deck is called Riding the Monster, and it’s exactly what you would expect! Now, I think the treasure might actually belong to the Glenn Clan.

This lovely guy is more of a friendly ally than anything else. Just watch out if you bring a ship along! Dangerous.

With this duo, I had the chance to discard 2 cards each round for 2 gold and 2 victory points. That was definitely worth the risk! The monster happily went home to rest.

Making Proper Use of the Monster in Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North

Session Overview

Play Number: 2 and 3
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
Play Details: Outpost Scenario
Required Play Space: 26″ x 24″
Setup Time: 5 Minutes
Play Time: 25 Minutes per Play
Outcome: 32 and 44 (1 Win and 1 Loss)

Success! Just barely, but all of the conquered islands made a big difference. I also took advantage of the extra points for covering up locations, rather than just adding on a bunch of new building sites. Exciting times!

Taking Over Many Different Islands to Win in Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North

%

1 Play

Affordability

Price & Value

7

Functionality

Challenges & Mechanics

10

Originality

Design & Theme

7

Quality

Components & Rules

10

Reusability

Achievement & Enjoyment

10

Variability

Distinctness & Randomness

9

+ Pros (Positives)

  • Each card provides a very happy sort of scene, and many are linked together in thematically relevant ways.
  • Gameplay only takes a total of 4 rounds, so it’s very easy to understand how long a typical play will take.
  • Every icon is easy to locate and understand since they match up with most of the physical resources.
  • The basic mechanic centers around building an engine, yet the setting brings every card to life with little effort.
  • Every clan has its own strengths to uncover during play, and the order of the cards changes the strategies.
  • The scoreboard is double-sided with different orientations for scoring, which is a small but very helpful detail.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • Even with multiple clans and several solo scenarios, the overall long-term variability may not be present.
  • Although minor, the solo scenarios don’t tie together in a campaign nor narrative way so they feel disjointed.
  • The total number of islands is somewhat limited and it’s possible to see almost all of them in a single play.
  • Card quality continues to be questionable with clear warping and a general lightweight feel to the decks.

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Continue the Conversation

How well have you fared with Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North? I’m still very early on my journey, yet it’s been fun so far! Do you have any thoughts about the expansion clans? There might not be an overly complex game here, but my very consistent play time is something to appreciate! Here’s to hoping for future success as the Glenn Clan!

2 Comments

  1. “As usual, I was fascinated by the little scenes on each card. Maybe the yak appears everywhere, though I enjoyed looking for him! He’s an honorary Stealthy Elephant.”
    I love this game, but as a person of Scot ancestry I have to let you know that it isn’t a “yak” on the cards, it is a highland cow. 🙂

    Reply
    • My goodness! Apparently, my animal knowledge is severely lacking. My apologies! A quick search has revealed how awesome highland cows (or cattle) are. I assumed only the bulls had horns, but I stand corrected. The wooly fuzziness is irresistible. I shall have to go edit that section to make sure it’s accurate.

      Thank you for correcting me! I guess in a way, this was one stealthy highland cow… Hidden by a supposed yak in my mind. Ha ha!

      Reply

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