I bought the original Imperium when I was still in high school and just delving into Traveller. I can't remember playing this game more than two, or three times with my brother. While it was a quick, easy and fairly enjoyable game to play, my main reason for buying it was to incorporate it into the Traveller campaign I was running. Due to my frequent moves while on active duty, I lost the original Imperium. Then, in 2001 Avalanche Press came out with its 3rd Millennium Edition (I3M) to much anticipation--and much disappointment.
I3M's demise is best told by Avalanche Press's owner, Mike Bennighof, in A Tale of Obsession. So with the luke-warm-at-best reviews on sites like Board Game Geek, I held off on buying it.
Because I always purchase boardgames with the idea of incorporating them into other games, primarily miniatures and role playing games (RPGs). I own several versions of Traveller and I'm currently running a Star Wars RPG military campaign. (Yes, I know Star Wars and Traveller are vastly different, but I'm looking for a quick and easy way to resolve large space battles).
Overall, I'm pleased with my purchase. The maps and counters are sturdy and gorgeous! However, in admiring the counters, I wondered what all the numbers and triangle symbols meant. The small rulebook--normally a good sign that the game will be easy to play--doesn't have a single illustrative diagram to explain away the mystery. (These might be buried in the rules, but I haven't read the booklet in-depth yet).
Fortunately, ER Bickford's Illustrated Replay of the First [Terran-Imperial] War solved the counter mystery with this photo: