Game Mechanics - Basic

Welcome to Imperials!

The game begins with a board generated by the game. Different maps can be chosen from the settings screen. The objective of the game is to flourish your civilization using the resources generated from these tiles. There are various types of hexagonal tiles in the game, which produce resource cards. These are indicated below with the resources produced by them.

  • Forest - produces Wood
  • Kiln - produces Brick
  • Pasture - produces Wool
  • Farm - produces Wheat
  • Mine - produces Ore
  • Desert - produces no resources
  • Fog - revealed when someone builds an adjacent road
  • Gold - produces any resource of the player's choice

To receive resource tiles from a tile on your turn, you must meet two conditions:

  • You must have a settlement adjacent to the tile
  • The dice roll must match the number on the tile for that turn

Thus, to receive the most resources, you must build settlements. Settlements may be villages or towns. A village produces one resource from any adjacent tile while towns produces two resources from adjacent tiles.

At the start of the game, you are allowed to place two villages and one road adjacent to each of them. The first player must start placing, after which each player takes turn to place a village. When all players have placed one village, they place one village in reverse back to the first player. On placing each village, the player must place a road adjacent to the village along the edge of two adjacent hexagonal tiles.

Before building further villages, the player must build a roads. This is because villages may be built only such that

  • They are adjacent to a road belonging to the player
  • Not adjacent to any other village or town (of any player).

The player may build roads adjacent to any settlement belonging to the player or adjacent to another road. However, the player may not build roads adjacent to their own road if another player's settlement lies between the place where the road is being built and the player's old road. To build a road, the player must provide one wood and one brick to the market. A player may have a maximum of 15 roads on the board at any time.

After building a road, the player may build a village in an adjacent valid vertex and start producing resources. To build a village, the player must proide one each of wood, brick, wool and wheat to the market. A player may have a maximum of 5 villages on the board at any time.

After building a road, the player may upgrade it to a town and start producing more resources (2 for each town). To build a town, the player must proide two wheat and three ore to the market. A player may have a maximum of 4 towns on the board at any time.


On the start of each turn, the current player must roll the dice. This will lead to production of resources for all players for their villages and towns. The current player may now build and trade resources with other players. While trading:

  • The player may offer one or more resources in exchange for one or more resources of different or the same type.
  • If another player finds the offer suitable, they may accept the offer. The offering player will then decide if they want to execute the trade.
  • If multiple players accept the offer, the offering player may choose any one of them to trade with.
  • Other players may make counter offers if they wish to.
  • Resources of the same type may not be exchanged during a trade.
  • At least one resource must be given by each player during a trade. In other words, a player may not give another player a resource card for free.
  • Any number of trades may be executed during a turn.

The current player may also trade with the market

  • The player can give any 4 cards of the same type in exchange for one card of any other type to the market.
  • If the player has a village adjacent to a general port, they may do the same trade with 3 cards of the same type for any type of card.
  • If the player has a village adjacent to a resource port, they may do the same trade with 2 cards of the same type for that type of resrouce. If the player has ports for multiple resources, they may trade for all these types.

Victory Conditions

A player wins by accumuating victory points. These are obtained by

  • Building Villages: Each village carries 1 point.
  • Building Towns: Each town carries 2 points.
  • Action Cards: Some action cards may provide extra victory points.
  • Extra Points: Detailed in a separate section.

A player may win only in their own turn after the dice is rolled. Even if they achieve the requisite number of victory points in another player's turn, they must wait until their turn before declaring victory.


Whenever 7 is rolled on the dice, the robber will steal resources from the players. Any player with more resources than the discard limit will have to discard half of their resources (rounded down if the player has an odd number of resources).

After the players have discarded resources, the current player must move the robber to a different tile. While the robber is placed on a tile, the settlements adjacent to this tile will not produce any resources even if the number on the tile is rolled.

After placing the robber, if any other player has a settlement adjacent to the tile on which the robber is placed, the current player must choose one of these players to steal one random resource card from.

Action Cards

During their turn, players may decide to purchase action cards from the market using their resources instead of building settlements or roads. To purchase an action card, the player must provide one each of wool, wheat and ore to the market. The player will then receive a random action card from the top of the deck. Players may play upto one action card every turn to activate the effect described on the card (victory points do not need to be played). An action card may not be played on the turn it is purchased.

There are five types of action cards that the player may receive:

Extra Victory Points

The player holding the longest trade route of roads with a length of at least 5 will receive 2 extra victory points. This trade route must be uninterrupted by any road or settlement of another player. If another player builds a longer trade route, the two victory points will pass to that player.

Similarly, if a player uses 3 or more Warrior action cards, they will receive 2 extra victory points for controlling the strongest army. If any other player uses more Warrior cards, the two extra points will pass to that player.

Wonders & Warriors

This complexity mode provides higher depth of gameplay and is recommended for more experienced players. Read the Basic rules first before starting on this section.

Commodities & Improvements

In this mode, at the start of the game, the players place one village and one town on the board. Towns on wood, wool or ore tiles produce commodities along with resources.

  • Towns on wood produce one wood and one paper. Paper is used to build science improvements.
  • Towns on wool produce one wool and one cloth. Cloth is used to build trade improvements.
  • Towns on ore produce one ore and one coin. Coin is used to build military improvements.

Commodities are used to build town improvements. Upto five improvements may be built to towns, and you may build improvements only when you have at least one town on the board.

For the first improvement of any type,the player must provide one commodity of that type to the market. for the second improvement, the player must provide two commodities of that type to the market, and so on.

Improvements produce action cards for the player (which cannot be purchased). A third dice called the event dice is rolled along with the number dice. The event dice shows colors of the improvements. If the player has at least one and upto one less improvement than the roll of the red dice for the color of the event dice, they receive an action card from the market. For example, if the event dice rolls yellow and the red dice rolls 4, all players with 3 or more trade upgrades will receive an action card.

Strategic Improvements

When any player builds 3 improvements of a type (e.g. Science), they build a strategic improvement. These grant special abilities as follows:

  • Science: The granary provides one resource of the player's choice when a dice roll does not produce any resource for the player's civilization. No resoure is produced if the dice rolls to 7.
  • Trade: The guild allows the player to trade two commodities of the same type for any other resource or commodity with the market.
  • Military: The barracks allow the player to train mighty warriors (more in the Warriors section).


If a player builds 4 improvements of a type, they build a wonder of that type. A wonder carries two extra victory points. If any other player now builds 5 upgrades of that type, they get a great wonder, and these two extra points pass to that player (the points of the player that originally had built a wonder are reduced by 2). A great wonder's points may not be claimed by other players during the rest of the game, since it is not possible to build more than 5 improvements of one type.

On building a wonder or a great wonder, the player must place the wonder on one of their town. One town may only have one wonder at any time. As a result, the player cannot build wonders if they have no towns that have no wonders or great wonders.


Players may place warriors on the board similar to settlements. To build a warrior, the player must provide one each of wool and ore to the market.

After build a warrior, the player may activate it using one wheat.

Activated warriors may fight the dragon or perform an action. An action may be performed only if the warrior was not activated during the current turn. After the action is performed, the warrior is deactivated (and may be reactivated again in the same turn, but not perform another action). These actions are:

  • A warrior may chase away the robber if the robber is on a tile adjacent to the warrior.
  • A warrior may be moved along the player's uninterrupted trade route and placed at a different location. This location must be empty or contain another player's warrior of lesser strength. If the warrior is placed on another player's warrior, the other player must move their warrior to a different location. If there is no such location, the warrior is removed from the board.

The player may increase the strength of a warrior by providing it with one wool and one ore.

On doing this, a regular warrior will be upgraded to a strong warrior. While fighting the dragon, the strength of the warrior is considered equal to two warriors (if activated). Strong warriors may also displace regular warriors of other players.

The player may further upgrade a strong warrior to a mighty warrior, which counts as three warriors and may displace strong or regular warriors of other players. However, the player must first build the barracks before this can be done. Mighty warriors cannot be upgraded further or displaced by another player's warriors.


The wealth of the Imperials attracts dragons from the mountains. If a player is not protected from the dragon, the dragon will destroy one of their towns and reduce it to a village!

If the event dice rolls black, the dragon moves towards the island by one step. The progress of the dragon is shown to the left. When the dragon reaches the island, the combined strength of the players' armies decides the fate of the island. The strength of the dragon is determined by the total number of towns on the board. If the total strength of the army is equal or greater than the strength of the dragon, the players will defeat the dragon. Regardless of the result of the dragon war, all warriors are deactivated after the war.

When the dragon is defeated, if one player has more active warriors than any other player, they receive an extra victory point for being the Dragonslayer. The dragon then moves back to the mountain.

If two or more players have an equal number of active warriors, they receive an action card from the market of any type of their choice.

If the combined strength of all the active warriors on the board is less than the dragon's strength, the player(s) with the fewest number of active knights must choose one town to demote to a village. If a player has no towns, they are not considered in the calculation of the players with the lowest number of active warriors.

Wonders protect towns against the dragon. A player may not demote a town with a wonder to a village. If a player has no towns without wonders, they are treated similarly as having no towns when calculating the players with the least number of active knights.

Town Fence

The player may build a fence for towns to keep out the robber. For each fence built, the discard limit of the player is increased by 2. Upto 3 fences may be built by any player, and a town can have only one fence at any time. If a town is destroyed by the dragon, the fence is also destroyed.

Action Cards

Players receive action cards as detailed in the improvements section. The color of each card corresponds to the improvement type for which it may be received.

Unlike the basic mode, players may use as many action cards as they desire during their turn. However, the player may not hold more than 4 action cards in their hand when it's not their turn. If the player has more than 4 action cards, they must discard one back to the market.