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Front Cover

Imperial Stars II

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Chris Taylor
2 or more
Play Time:
60 minutes

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The year is 4096.

The survivors of the Northern Union fleet accelerated towards the edge of the system. Left behind were the slowly expanding spheres of debris that had been escorts and capital ships. The Marasian Empire had defended their newly colonized system with two light carriers and a couple of cruisers, one heavy and one light...far too few units to stop the Northerns as it turned out. A Northern destroyer was sliced in half, and a heavy cruiser damaged heavily enough that it was left behind for repairs. But that was a small cost to pay for control of the planetary system and all of its resources.

The Marasian ships were derelict hulks at best.

A Northern industrial platform was already converting itself into a colony. Soon there would be a base station to dominate the system. Reinforcements were already inbound. The Northern fleet would not give up its newly conquered territory without a fight.

In the far, far future, two empires, remnants of the long lost Terran Homeworld, are brought into conflict over dwindling resources and the last few uncolonized planets in their sector. In the distant past, these two empires were allies against the Titans (see Astra Titanus) and Xeno incursions (see Forlorn: Hope), but with their frontiers colliding and diplomacy failing, it is time for admirals, captains, and crews to carry the fate of empires to the stars and find their destiny.

Veteran game designer Chris Taylor has done it again, putting a "Big 4X Game" experience into a small, cleverly-designed package of space exploration and conquest for two players. With multiple maps hosting the asymmetrical forces of the opposing empires, players will discover that there are many paths to dominating their corner of space!

What's In The Box?:

• One 32-page, full-color Rules booklet
• Two 11" x 17" double-sided cardstock game maps
• Two 8½" x 5½" player aid mats
• 102 thick, laser-cut, multi-shaped counter pieces (minor assembly required)
• Four six-sided dice (two yellow, two red)
• One bright red, 9 1/4" x 5 7/8" Standard cardboard VPG game box
• One beautiful box cover sleeve
• One "Wipes-A-Lot" napkin
• One charcoal desiccant packet


Game Design: Chris Taylor
Development: Alan Emrich and Chris Taylor
Ship Illustrations: PROJECT TEAM DoGA
Graphic Design: Chris Taylor and Michelle Ball
Playtesting: Scott Everts, Kevin Fortuna, Nathan Hansen, Chris Kiser, Lance McMillan, Scott Muldoon, Adam Taylor, Nathaniel Taylor, Zachary VandeKamp
Proofreading: Stephen Barber, Simon King, Rick Partin, Morten Monrad Pedersen, Ian Wakeham, Karen Wolterman


Grognard Gateway by Travis Williams (TechRaptor)
Imperial Stars II ... does grand strategy on a small, streamlined scale and is perfect for players who want to get their war game fix yet are time limited. If you are interested in getting in to heavier war games, Imperial Stars II is a great place to dip your toe into the water without jumping fully into the deep end. There are interesting strategic decisions to be made throughout the game, and the four different maps add a good amount of replayability.
Get This Game, Will Robinson by David Dockter (1st MN)
Thumbs up. Plays in a hour or two (with the expansion). Decent strategy choices and some good tactical puzzles. Some chrome & variability. Well designed. FUN. Small footprint with pop. Hope to see this design expanded... multiplayer?... maybe a bigger footprint? Hats off to the designer and VPG!
Imperial Stars II, a great little 4X space game by Mr. Nizz (Third Point of Singularity)
The art direction on this game was stellar (see what I did there?), matched by the production values. The maps are wonderful, depicting space not as black and white dots but with rich purple, green and yellow nebulae. The planets are largish for the scale but then again so are the ships. The ships on the counter art were very deco (I thought) but not cartoonish. I particularly enjoyed the fact that they each had their own visual style and weren’t copies of each other.

I don’t mean to gush here. I didn’t like this game – I loved it. It’s easy to figure out, it contains mechanics that make sense and are simple, it plays briskly once you resolve a few rules questions, and it’s expandable with lots of replay value (four maps, with wildly different terrain, for starters). I suspect strongly there will be an expansion pack for Imperial Stars II at some point in the future – the only criticism I had was that I wanted even more units and more “science fictiony” themed units beyond the decidedly nautical unit mix – like planet destroyers, automated machine ships, espionage, technology upgrades, more and different kinds of combat. IS2 is a fun little SF 4X, delivering so much more with its tiny box and small unit mix than much more expensive game have managed in recent years.
Star Crossed Empires by Jason Meyers (iSlaytheDragon)
In the end, Imperial Stars II is very much a war game which focuses on maneuvering units to attain and control strategic terrain objectives. Thankfully the combat system shines. It is streamlined, unique and flexible. The fighter steps allow for some fleet variability while the bulk of combat results are determined by aggregating your squadron’s strength. It is simple, yet still interesting....

Chalk up another sneaky good, underrated VPG title that will fly under the radar. Imperial Stars II is a nice quick-hitting, medium-weight design that offers surprise, tension, variability and some fun maps. A sweeping galactic experience manageably packaged, it will appeal to sci-fi fans and war gamers of many stripes. Most of all, it delivers what we’ve come to expect in space games – sprawling fleets of interstellar dreadnaughts trading broadside after broadside of scorching laser fire. (8/10)
Imperial Stars II by Michael Peterson (Mad Padre Wargames)
Imperial Stars II is a simple and clever game, well suited to solitaire play because of the Ops Chits system. It could be explained to another person in ten minutes and played to a conclusion in 2-3 hours tops. At a fairly inexpensive price and with its four maps to give high replay ability, I recommend it to SF fans. It could also be used as a scenario generator for miniature SF gamers who want some context for their space battles.
Imperial Stars II by Maurice Fitzgerald (Club Fantasci)
I’m giving Imperial Stars II 7.5 out of 10 stars because it is a really fun and enjoyable wargame that scratches my 4X and big space battle itch without bogging me down in heavy details or bookkeeping and doesn’t require an entire afternoon to play. While streamlined, the game still has good strategic depth that keeps me trying new things each time I play and for the price point, it’s a steal. The economics model is very simple, yet effective and the combat is fun, brutal and fast! If you’re looking for a straightforward space wargame that is all about big fleet battles to expand your empire and only takes about an hour to play, don’t hesitate to pick this one up. Yet another solid title from Victory Point Games.