Today kicks off our civilisation spotlight blogs for Imperium: Horizons! We're starting with the Japanese, so read on to find out how they play...

An image with the text "Imperium: Horizons Civilisation Spotlight: The Japanese, designed by Nigel Buckle and Dávid Turczi" alongside an illustration of an armoured Japanese warrior with banners held up behind him

Today on the blog we are featuring the Japanese, specifically covering from the Asuka Period (538 CE - 710 CE) and Nara Period (710CE - 794 CE), when Buddhism was introduced to Japan from Korea, to the rise of the Heian Period (794 CE - 1185 CE), the peak of the classic Japanese Imperial court. Don’t expect any samurai here, they don’t come to the forefront until the following periods. Japan is an island somewhat poor in natural resources – the pressure of which you’ll feel if you try to use their special power of gaining extra actions frequently.

A card from the Japanese deck for Imperium: Horizons, with art showing two figures, one holding out a scroll and another kneeling in front of them with a sword at their side

Although not a complex deck, you will need to do some planning and timing to create the optimal smooth transition into Empire. An early decision to make is how to use the great reformer Prince Shotoku Taishi: you could get Tendai Buddhism and juggle playing that with your Clans and Shinto, letting the old and the new philosophies clash. Alternatively, if you gain an early pinned white card from the market, then you could start thinning your deck early with Kanji.

An image showing a spread of four cards from the Japanese deck for Imperium: Horizons, titled Prince Shotoku Taishi, Shinto, Tendai Buddhism and Clans

Once you become an Empire, you have choices for the order you undertake your developments too. If you want to concentrate on gaining more fame (while utilising both Shinto and Tendai Buddhism) you could build Jingu-Ji (Shrine Temple), which can be particularly effective when you use your Tea Ceremony to exhaust it twice a turn. Another direction is to focus more on the market with Shogun, and break through for white cards – surprisingly the Tea Ceremony is still an excellent addition to this strategy, it being a white card itself!

A spread of cards from the Japanese deck from Imperium: Horizons, titled Kanji, Shogun, Tea Ceremony and Jingu-Ji (Shrine Temple)

Next week we'll be deep-diving into another civilisation, the Taino.

Imperium: Horizons is out February 2024.

Pre-order now.