Traveller Ascension Imperial Warrant

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Review: Traveller Ascension Imperial Warrant

May 9, 2019 by tekwych

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Overview:

Return to Marc Miller’s Traveller universe and help to restore the imperium to its former glory by exploring space and rebuilding trade routes, marshaling armies, delving into diplomacy. This game gives you the tools to create and expand empires as you build an entire universe on your tabletop. This 2017 Kickstarter project was delivered to backers in 2018 and is now available at retail and through the Daring Play website.

From their website:

A 3X (Explore, Expand, and Exploit) Science Fiction board game based in the Traveller Roleplaying Universe.

EXPLORE

Over a millennia has passed since the Terran war left the once all powerful Imperium shattered across the stars. From the ashes rose a renewed empire, the dawn of a Third Imperium has come. The newly crowned emperor has set his sights on reclaiming the lost worlds of their once extensive empire.

EXPAND

Armed with an Imperial Warrant and the full backing of the Imperium, you venture into these forgotten sub-sectors of space in search of worlds rich in resources and wealth.

EXPLOIT

Employ your ships and assets to impose your will on star systems and your opponents as you further your interests and those of the Imperium.

Players: 2-6

Play Time: 90 Minutes per player

Age Range: 12+

Playability:

Anyone who recognizes the Traveller name will know what to expect. This is an epic game the suggested 90minutes per player is, in my experience, for players that are familiar with the game. Setup, even with well organized components, will take2 people almost an hour by itself and new players will need 2-2.5 hours per player to get through game play. After creating a new, unique play space each time players chose 3 warrants from the almost 30 factions in the starter set.  Factions add Budget, Tech Level, Faction type, and Special Abilities  to each player and link with the 6 main actions that can be taken, Military, Diplomacy, Shadow, Science, Economic, and Movement.Using these factions each player creates their starting tableau and gathers a starting hand, then using no more than 3 actions per turn you try to expand the empire by creating trade routes, studying technology, apply diplomatic pressure, spy on or attack other players. With six or more possible actions available in each action type and a limited budget to pay for those actions the choices are boundless. Trade routes, treaties, technology, and society abilities all gain victory points and games are played to a specific VP level or until all star systems have been explored and developed.

Ratting: 5.5 (OTT - 1 Star)

Components:

The cardboard components are thick, about 2-3mm and come fully cut out. No punching out the parts which means no ruff edges or torn components. Every piece is two sided adding more game play without the need for even more pieces. The acrylic pieces are laser cut and have a protective paper on them which should be removed. The ships and pawns are also acrylic and slot together to make wonderful 3d components. The cards are standard playing card size and have a matt finish. There are card racks that can be assembled from cardboard that asset in game play and fit back into the box when storing the game. With 450 components and 200 cards in the base game the US$80.00 price point is well earned.

Ratting: 9 (OTT - 2 Stars)

Writing:

the in game text is clear and concise giving what information is needed for play. The scenario books are laid out well offering what components will be needed, how many players, and what extra rules might be needed. The rulebook, as it is in the box, however, leaves much to be desired. It has been rewritten and is available as a digital download from the company website. The rulebook does not lay out information in a way that makes learning the game easy instead leaving you to move back and forth through the book to find information  during game setup and play. A well written first turn walkthrough, a quick start book or a tutorial video would make a huge impact on overall game play.

Ratting: 2 (OTT - 0 Stars)

Art Direction:

The art style is strong and consistent throughout the design space. Easily legible fonts and a consistent design space make all the components feel like they should interact and keep you in the game space The color palette is solid but does not take into account a player with visual impairments, people with color blindness will have difficulty telling many of the components apart. Things like the fact that every star system, star field, and astroid belt is unique art really adds to the beauty of the game board. The design space calls back to older generations of the RPG game. People who remember the Little Black Books of Traveller will recognize that this game is in that same universe right away

Ratting: 9 (OTT - 2 Stars)

Replayability:

The core box has components for 2 players. There are two expansions that each add 2 additional players to the game and 17 faction packs that add new faction cards and abilities to the game. With 6 players and almost 50 factions there is an amazing amount of replayability in this game. Even the base game by itself offers hundreds of interactions that would change gameplay. The only thing holding this game back in this category is it setup and play time. This is a issue with any epic game and not unique to Traveller Ascension

Ratting: 7.5 (OTT 2 Stars)

Overall Opinion:

This is a great game for taking the Traveller RPG universe and translating it to the board game market. It has wonderful mechanics and a really good design space that keeps you in the game. The number of options and variations mean lots of replayability but like all Epic games the setup time and game length will mean scheduling a full day to bring players together and play. A strong recommendation for those that understand what they’re getting into.

Overall Ratting: 7 - (OTT 7 Stars)

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