No. of Players: 2-4
Playtime: 5-15 minutes
Designer: CK Leach
Mechanisms: Card Order, Hand Management
Expansion: Blackmail Edition
The game of influence: Your end goal is to influence the kingdom to vote in your party’s favour. In the game there are 5 tiers or nobility — from His Majesty, the King down to the the knight.The purpose of the game is the build a row of loyal delegates in ascending or descending tier order. Players can affect their opponent’s delegation (played cards) or hand by using either Aggressive or Passive functions on each card. The game is provoking, annoying and sometime loud as you chop, block and trip your opponents to victory — “Rally a list of loyal delegates to sway the favour of the Emperor and his subjects. A 2-4 player game using a deck-building mechanic, secure the hearts of the people as you construct combinations of Nobles in the kingdom.”
Imperial Court was birthed from my interest in micro card games. Game that have 18 or less cards and little to no additional components. In my development I came across a few other game ideas to expand a game components usability. Concepts like double sided and split level cards. This got me thinking, I don’t have to just settle for 2 sides or regions of a card. If I split left and right or top and bottom, or stacking layers, a card can distinguish its state by the any visible areas when another card is stacked on top. For this game only two states was required; Active and Passive. With a class/tier system in place, it gave Imperial Court a sense of order. Create order based on card class, pairing likely ones that will aid and avoid pairings that hinder or handicap a player.
The use of managing one card came directly from my like for Love Letter. After watching it played once I had to have it. Micro games were my new thing. How much depth can one put into an 18 card game that is both light enough to break out basically anywhere AND have substantial strategic decisions. I think I found a good balance.