It's time for another Imperium: Horizons civilisation spotlight! Learn all about the Inuit...

An illustration of a pair of Inuit sat together in the snow alongside the text: "IMPERIUM: HORIZONS, CIVILISATION SPOTLIGHT: THE INUIT, DESIGNED BY NIGEL BUCKLE AND DÁVID TURCZI"

Today on the blog we are spotlighting the Inuit. We wanted a deck with a unique feel to honour the special circumstances of their life adapted to the harsh conditions of the Arctic. Also, unlike the majority of other civilisations in Imperium, the Inuit still exist as a distinct culture rather than being lost to the annals of history, so it was important to us to do them justice.

The Inuit are the descendants of what anthropologists call the Thule people. They emerged from Western Alaska around 1000 CE. In Imperium: Horizons, we focus on the Inuit during this early period, as they spread across the northern lands of what is now Canada, and onto the ice of the Arctic Sea.

A card from Imperium: Horizons called "Inuit", with art depicting a group of Inuit gathered round a fire

The Inuit have a unique State card, Winter (Barbarian) and Summer (Empire), which players flip at the end of each Solstice to represent the changing seasons. Players are thus restricted to playing or developing Empire/Barbarian cards on alternate turns. Unlike other civilisations (apart from the Atlanteans, found in Imperium: Legends), the Inuit have access to their developments from the start of the game, although playing these will of course be restricted depending on the State card. Furthermore at the end of Summer your hand size is decreased by two, meaning the Winter turns are more challenging with a reduced number of cards to play with.

A sample spread of cards from the Inuit deck of Imperium: Horizons, named left to right: Winter, Summer, Qulliq (Oil Lamp) and Siku (Sea Ice)

You will definitely want to take a look at Qulliq (oil lamp) to be able to regain your flexibility during the cold Winter turns, and figure out how hunting on Siku (sea ice) can allow you to save an extra card between turns if you happened to draw one with the wrong symbol at the wrong time. Do not overlook the “Innovate” turn option when playing the Inuit, especially in Winter. After all, surviving and thriving in such an inhospitable environment requires considerable innovation.

A sample spread of cards from the Inuit deck from Imperium: Horizons, named left to right: Oral History, Bone Carving, Harpoons and Kayaks

Like the Vikings (found in Imperium: Classics), the Inuit have no history pile, relying on oral traditions as a record. This means usual one-use cards that would be put in history can be reused by the Inuit, at the cost of some Unrest. One possible strategy is to develop Oral History and Bone Carving to optimise your deck without needing a written history. Another popular approach is to develop Harpoons along with Kayaks and hunt for fame. Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted two new icons, Hunting Grounds and Ocean, both used across the new content of Horizons, but especially important for the Inuit deck.

Next week, be sure to check back here for the Magyars.
So far this blog series has covered the Japanese, Taíno and Mayans.

And find high res versions of the sample cards above under the images section
of the game's BoardGameGeek page.

Imperium: Horizons is out February 2024.

Pre-order now.