Theme and What is it?
Immortals is about the eternal struggle of a race that lives in a Shadow Realm or a Light Realm, which are represented by two areas of the board. It is eternal war. Immortals is a territory control game, there are cards that you use to indicate what options you will take.
Immortals uses the Queen tower to randomize combat. The Queen tower (looks like a dice tower) is from Wallenstein and Shogun.
The Queen tower has shelves, nooks and crannies that can temporarily capture cubes. For example, for the first battle, six green cubes and six blue cubes are put in the top of the tower; and two green cubes and four blue cubes come out. In this case, blue wins. In the next battle, four red cubes and four green cubes go in the top; and three red cubes and FIVE green cubes come out (one of the greens came out from the earlier battle), so green wins. This reflects the random element of combat.
You use cards to program eight actions plus two magic actions. These cards are the second random element in the game, but the game is not strongly random.
When cubes are removed in battle, they go to either a light limbo or dark limbo, depending upon where they came from. During a reinforcement phase, the player can choose where to place the cubes with the caveat that cubes from the Light Realm are reborn in the Shadow Realm and vice versa. This mechanic is similar to re-spawning in video games.
Each of the two realms has several regions and each region has five provinces. There are two ways to move cubes from one realm to the other: portals and combat. Players can construct one-way portals that enables players to move units from one realm to the other. If you need reinforcements in the Light Realm, you could get some cubes removed in the Shadow Realm by attacking an opponent. Then the cubes lost in combat would be placed in the Light Realm during the reinforcement phase.
At the end of each turn, you get one point for every province that you control. If you own three or four provinces in a given region, you get two points. If you own all five, then you get three points. Players can get additional points by placing a building in each province that they control.
Immortals is an epic game that comes in a big box and takes up a decent amount of space on a table.
It took me one hour to read the rules, and set up the game from a new box. It took me and two other players one hour to go through the rules and do initial army placement. The first turn took an hour, and the next six turns each took forty-five minutes; for a total for the others of six and a half hours. We believe that playing it again would take three to four hours.
Quality of Components and Insert
The components and artwork are high quality. This is a game that can be played many times.
The artwork is appropriate for an epic-level game that takes place between Dark and Light Realms.
The game requires a lot of strategic thinking as your pieces move from realm to realm. There is a lot of combat churn.
Once you know the rules, this is the kind of game that you can play while socializing.
I would suggest that new players limit their first game to three turns.
Difficulty and age range suggestion
The game is listed as appropriate for ages 14+ due to the strategic thought required.
This is a heavy game that is designed for a night full of entertainment.