Aug 7th, 2016
Many years ago my friend J and I used to play a very good board game called Imperial Governor. We played it so much in fact that when J came across our single copy of the game a few weeks ago, it was literally dropping to pieces and not playable in its current state.
So I decided to restore it (as far as possible) to its former glory.
First I restored the map. The original had essentially dropped to pieces down the fold lines, leaving it in six sections. Very unfortunately, the game is so very old that those pieces were not standard A4 and wouldn’t fit into the scanner. So I scanned each section in two images, top and bottom leaving a degree of overlap. Then I used paint.net (free and excellent photo editor) to stich the two sections of each piece back together, and the same process to connect all six sections back together into a single map. I then spent an hour or two cleaning the map up, again using paint.net, as parts of it were so rubbed and dirty as to be unreadable. The result was the image above – I could actually have done a lot better given time, but that is unfortunately not in great supply here at the moment.
The game also featured two sets of cards. These were battered and dirty and a few were missing. I scanned in a sample of each deck, cleaned up the images and then made card outlines of front and back – eight to a sheet, as an MS Publisher template. At this point it was critical to make sure that the two sets of images were aligned correctly so that when printed double sided they would be a single card (in Publisher you have to invert one side of the sets of images to make it print correctly – worth noting that this is not the same if you save and print as a pdf). I then manually typed in the card info for each one – the few that were missing I just made up (if anyone is looking the ‘your very own pyramid’ in the Egypt gift cards is my invention). Once all of these were done, I saved each sheet of cards as a pdf (for portability and compatibility).
I scanned the rule booklet in as a PDF using the HP software (available in Windows Store) that came with the printer. I then opened the PDFs in Word and it made a brilliant job of converting them to .docx files which I then turned into a nice booklet.
Finally, I made the counters. No one seems to sell blank wargaming counters in UK any more, so I copied the originals using paint.net and coloured each sheet. Many of the original generals were also missing so I looked up some suitable names on Wikipedia and then scanned the images in from the originals I did have.
Wanting to make a good go of this after all my efforts, I bought some (rather expensive) card stock which was guaranteed to work on all inkjet printers but wouldn’t on my HP 8620. So I ended up getting it professionally printed at Exacta Print in Glasgow – they made a very nice job of it and even trimmed the cards for me.
But if you want the game for free – I attached all the files to this post (all in printing.zip apart from the rules which are in imperial governor rules.docx). The cards and counters could be printed on paper and then stuck to light card backing, and the map can be printed in ‘poster’ format in MS Office (or other apps I presume – this means that you print in A4 with an overlap and then stick the sheets together).
I’m presuming that after 30 odd years out of print the game is in the public domain – and this is my ‘homage’ to the original designers – but if you own the copyright and want to discuss it with me – please get in touch.