Imperial Wars
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Birth of a Rebel
Meet Melissa Hooven

Birth of a rebel, how Melissa Hoven modeled to become our NPC rebel character


The Imperial Dispatch Newsletters

"Imperial Wars has exceeded my expectations. I knew when I read the design document that it had the 'simple complexity' that always results in a great game, with exceptionally high re-playability and fun. It is that and much more;"

- Aaron Cammarata
Designer, Tony Hawk, Pro Skater
Versions 1,2,3,& 4
IWars beta tester


© Intelligent Life Games
2002 - 2013
All rights reserved
All art & graphics protected under US copyright laws.
Imperial Wars® & Intelligent Life Games® are Registered Trademarks.



IMPERIAL WARS© is a richly detailed, completely graphical, online, turn-based, science fiction meta-game of strategy, diplomacy, exploration and conquest. It is set among 350 worlds of an ancient stellar empire, with ancient and powerful artifacts such as the Jewels of Power and Imperial relics and gems. 16 Starlords playing one of seven character types must cooperate and compete via in-game email to fully develop their empires and character attributes. While role-playing is not required, it is often the important diplomatic difference in how players determine allies or enemies in their inter-twined empires. Game turns are controlled by the players themselves turning as quickly as all moves are submitted but no later than a paced deadline of 1 to 4 days. Each universe is automatically and uniquely created for each new set of worldwide players.

EACH GAME CREATES a personalized and compelling experience that can sometimes feel like living in a classic science fiction story. Imperial Wars is an excellent way to experience a visceral, satisfyingly long-term science fiction adventure in a virtual stellar empire. Anyone who enjoys speculative fiction in any media will find a home in Imperial Wars.


AS ONE OF THE STARLORDS of the Second Empire and owner of a Homeworld, embark upon on a journey into Galactic History through the recently discovered Stargate.

IMPERIAL WARS is more than a computer game, more than a strategy game, more than a story and to describe it as a role-playing game is too limiting. It challenges players to create and manage empires like some of the great classic sci-fi strategy games but players are also challenged to develop characters and exercise subtle diplomacy to fully reach their character's potential. Each Starlord character's growth depends upon the strengh and knowledge of his or her allies.

PLAYERS will explore and discover an ever expanding niverse with powerful ancient artifacts and black holes and Imperial Worlds and more. But more importantly each Starlord will find other Starlords from the seven different character classes inhabiting the universe. The game space can become contentious and suspenseful. The developing stories created by these interactions will evoke honor, courage, fear, passion, defiance, and often long lasting relationships, well beyond the game. This is a game that can be re-played again and again. Each game has a life and tempo of its own as the tension mounts higher and the endgame approaches.

AN IMPERIAL WARS UNIVERSE consists 350 worlds connected by Stargates and 300 fleet engines for moving between these worlds, once these engines have been populated with ships. 16 Players choose from one of seven character classes and enter a unique universe where they must communicate, negotiate, team up with and compete with one another to maximize their character attributes. Each player/character in a game universe begins with a Home World, a Stargate and five Star Engines, left from the extinct Imperium. While there are ancient relics and powerful jewels, NPC Rebels, Novas, Black holes, Wormholes, Imperial Planets and many other game objects, the true game imperative is to explore this rich universe and discover the motivations and opportunities the other Starlords offer. Players are brought together as they meet each other in the game through various e-mail and virtual connections to build the diplomatic relationships and attitudes that are keys to success.

THE SEVEN STARLORD character types are at the heart of the Imperial Wars experience. Each has different objectives, attributes, and dynamics, each requiring a different approach to successfully play the game. Each unique Imperial Wars universe creates a suspenseful, dramatic game experience that results from the social interaction of these character classes and their human counterparts.

STARSHIPS RUMBLE AND FLASH across the screen and worlds pulse with industry and population. Suns explode and Jewels of Power and other artifacts quicken as the each episode's game turn reveals each world in the player's "known" universe. Diplomatic messages from other players arrive through special anonymous in-game e-mail accounts or instant messenger. A starmap of each player's "known" universe ties the worlds together. When all moves are in or when the time limit is exceeded, the unique IWars game engine moderates the moves, updates the universe to create the new episode and notifies all players through their choice of communication, up to and including wireless.

IN THE WARROOM exists a persistent, virtual meta-game game space somewhere between the game client and the Internet. Here avatars can see each other online, meet, e-mail, and exchange game components like map filters, information and strategies. Players within a game meet online and share diplomatic game stratagems no matter where they are in the world. Links from the player’s client to the Imperial Wars bulletin boards allow players to post messages to a dedicated Universe forum or to the rich Imperial Wars community at large.



Each of the worlds in the Imperial Wars universe is connected through ancient Star Gates to between 1 and 4 other worlds. These connections form a network of 352 worlds which fleets, formed around another ancient artifact, the interstellar engine can travel. The immense distance between worlds has been eliminated by travel on this pre-historical interstellar subway through the old Empire's Star Gate connections.

Here are some of Bruce Dean's Worlds that are on the other side of these Stargates...


Many worlds have Population and Mines that can produce Raw Materials. In factories they produce Imperial Credits. Conquer them for fun and profit. Manage them well and use the Imperial Credits they produce to build up your fleets and worlds. Maybe you better build some fortresses to protect them!


Every Starlord starts with one of these. Here you are treated with the respect of your world's citizens. But be careful! Don't let some greedy Raider take it from from you. Only one to a customer...


These automated factory worlds from the old Empire will sell to anyone with Imperial Credits. Here your fleets can be outfitted with powerful attributes available nowhere else. Now fleets can traverse the universe with awe-inspiring weapons and defense mechanisms not seen in the galaxy for millennia. Your technology isn't near powerful enough to capture one of these massive automated factory worlds so don't even try.


It's been a long time since anyone has been through these Star Gates. A world's star could have gone Nova during the thousands of years of the Interregnum. A Star Gate could open into a raging stellar furnace. Just one way to find out.

There is a weapon at an Imperial World that will let you create one of these out of the other worlds in the IWars universe That might interest a Terminator!


Discontinuities in the Imperial Wars universe. Novas, in time, become Black Holes. Going into one is easy. But when and where do you come out? Is this your private tunnel halfway across the universe?


Worlds whose Stargates only go one way. Travelers may find themselves in far unknown reaches of the galaxy. So where do you want to go today?

Dead Worlds

Not every world in the universe has population and mines and factories. But, surprisingly even these rocks, gas giants or watery worlds have a value to an exploring Starlord.



Fleet Engines are represented by a Fleet symbol as shown to the right. These pieces of ancient of technology are matched to the ancient Stargates and the way players move between worlds in an Imperial Wars universe. Fleet engines alone have no value or mobility and their ownership can't be protected until they have ships attached to them. The combination of ship types added to the fleet are what defines a fleets characteristics. These properties are Fleet Strength, Shield Strength, and how many Stargates it can pass through per turn. A fleet can travel through Stargates no faster than the lowest rated ship in its complement.




The Scout is the basic fleet component. Though It has almost no offensive or defensive strength it is the most important ship type. It's mainattributes are range of movement and flexibility. Scouts can be Converted to Probes monitoring neighboring worlds, world fortresses, or Terminator robot missiles. They can caputre unowned fleets. They even are converted into the ammunition of the dreaded Gravitonic Disruptor, the Planet Destroyer!

Scouts allow a fleet to move up to 4 worlds per move, but add only 1 to defense and 0 to offensive strength and have no cargo space..


Cruisers are the most common ship on all players' fleets with the exception of Traders who have no Cruisers but are the only Starlords who can own Freighters. These ships are the best compromise between Cargo hauling capacity, defensive strength, offensive firepower and range of movement.

Cruisers can move a fleet up to 3 worlds per move, and add 2 to fleet defense and 2 to fleet defense. They can carry 1 raw material each.





The Freighter is the backbone of the Trader' fleets. Fully loaded Freighters have a great advantage in cargo carrying capacity but give up most offensive and defensive strength to do so.

The Trader's Freighters move similarly to the Cruiser but can carry 2 raw materials. When fully loaded, they are the most vulnerable ships on a fleet and add 0 firepower.


BattleStars are the behemoths of the galaxy. They are slow, limited in range but powerful and have special attributes for certain players. They get the most offensive bang for the buck. They can operate as Mobile Factories for a Trader and are the required platform for the most feared weapon in Imperial Wars, the Gravitonic Disruptor Projector. The Warlord's Battlestars travel as fast and as far as a Cruiser.

Only 2 worlds per move for all Starlords except Warlords, but they add 5 to offensive fleet strength and 5 to defensive fleet strength. Add 1 point offense and defense for Warlord BattleStars and 1 move world of movement.



The Imperial Gems are game tokens. They have differing values, both positive and negative, for the Characters who own them. The Old Relics of the Empire have certain subtle powers in the universe but also have value to their owners. The Jewels of Power have powerful effects upon the fleets and worlds where they reside.

ancient artifacts from the galactic empire

Ancient relics from the old empire in Imperial Wars IMPERIAL RELICS - The ancient relics left scattered throughout the universe are valued for their beauty and the power they have over the minds of the denizens of the populated worlds. But only certain characters can gain value from certain artifacts depending upon their nature.
IMPERIAL GEMS - It is rumored that the 149 lost gems from the Imperial Crown Jewels were scattered through the Stargate of the ancient Throne of The Worlds by a mad Emperor, near the beginning of the Interregnum. Legend also has it that these gems were gifts to the Empire by the ancient baronies of the Worldsraad. Their heirs game subtle power from their possession. ancient gems from the Imperial Wars galactic empire
Jewels of power from the ancient empire in Imperial Wars THE JEWELS OF POWER - Of all the artifacts, the most powerful are those ancient jewels fabricated by the Mathmatists of the Mensa Theliot. Possessors of the jewels not only own these magnificent pieces of artistry far beyond the craft and skill of the current races but an awesome mystical force that can affect entire worlds.


After the assassination of Vasselius XXI, the last great Imperator of the Meringalian Dynasty, the dissolution of the star-spanning Terramonah Empire that he had ruled began. It took a hundred years for the Six Sectors to break away from one another and fifty more for the powerful Mensa Theliot Priesthood, the last of the great political factions, to splinter. The schism of the Mensa Theliots, the Priesthood of Science, and the resultant loss of the technological secrets which had kept the gigantic interstellar kingdom intact, insured the disintegration of the failing Empire.During the next two hundred years the Imperial Sector Wars devastated hundreds of worlds as petty rulers tried to reestablish some semblance of the great Empire. Without the ability to repair the Imperial technology, "Empires" in the following centuries became trivial 4 and 5 system confederations, well on their way to barbarism. Nine centuries after the fall of the Terramonah Empire, interstellar travel and the old Empire were nothing but legends and myths on worlds where they were remembered at all. Cultures that had once stretched across parsecs had been hammered back to the stone age on a thousand planets.

But in the dark night of the Interregnum tiny indomitable sparks of intelligence and imagination flickered, banked and hidden. Certain diverse races and cultures, using archaic fusion and chemical propulsion, reached their satellites and companion planets. There, some of them found the gigantic Stargates, a terrible remnant and rumor of the dark night from which they recently had emerged; and the indestructible interstellar engines that would trigger the Stargates once ships to direct and power them were put in place. Most recoiled with fear back to their home planets, overwhelmed by the implications of a suddenly discovered mythical technology. But sixteen of the most daring cultures accepted the challenge of the stars and within a few short years reached out to grasp their heritage. These sixteen rough and ready interstellar pioneers began the renaissance that would change the face of the galaxy. History has recorded them as the Starlords of the Restoration, authors of the rebirth of the Second Empire and...

...combatants of the Imperial Wars.

excerpt Encyclopedia Galactica
The Restoration
The Expansion Wars


During the reign of the great Meringalian Dynasty, the final Dynastic rulers of the First Imperium, the Terramonah Empire was divided into six political sectors, known simply as the Six. Each of the Six contended with one another and with the Mensa Theliot Priesthood in seeking Imperial favor. As more and more power swung between these political factions, it became increasingly apparent to Emperor Vasselius XXI (R'Ameeyn Meringeli) that to rule successfully required balancing one or another of the seven powerful forces against one another. Vasselius contrived to foment the natural antagonism that existed between the seven forces to prevent alliances which could destroy the dynasty. No longer did the long and implacable arm of the Emperor's Cyborg Legions reach to all corners of the Empire as the Six Baronies grew in power and influence. Perhaps the Emperor could no longer rule without question but he could still rule by diversion and division.

Vasselius began his scheme by requesting that an Imperial Crown be designed. The Emperor's Imperial Crown was to be set with seven sets of seven different kinds of Gems, each set of seven, a dazzling perfection of the rarest and most beautiful stones in the known galaxy. These Gems were to be a gift of homage and fealty from the Six and the Mensa Theliots. The seven factions would each submit Gems of each of the seven kinds and they would be judged. The resulting fierce competition brought the Emperor a number of secret smiles and more time to consolidate his position. History does not record a clear winner but that was likely a part of Vasselius' policy.

Other gifts, what we refer to now as the Imperial relics, each one rivaling the next in expense, glamour and power followed the gemstones as the Imperially stimulated competition grew. Vasselius granted titles and worlds and favor to keep the Six, and particularly the Priesthood, off balance and divided. Never, not even in the time of Vasselius' grandfather, had there been more intrigue in the Terramonah Empire and especially at the Imperial Throneworld of Humm.

The Emperor could not have foreseen that his machinations would make him midwife to the birth of the deadly beauty and force of the Jewels of Power, artifacts so compelling that their very existence changed the course of history of the entire Empire.

The first Jewel of Power was given to the Emperor by the Mensa Theliot Priests. The Scientific Priesthood spent over 30 years in secret laboratories and radiant baths developing the solid state technique to set powers into a synthetic circuit shaped as a Jewel. For the Imperial presentation, it was mounted in an amulet of Maussite, cunningly wrought by the miniature jewel smiths of Amphidor. It's beauty and perfection brought tears from the eyes of the ladies and open mouths to the nobles of the Imperial Court. The First Mathmatist of the Mensa Theliots basked in the envy and bitterness that the Jewel inspired.

The Jewel of Enchantment, as the first Jewel was known, was meant specifically, as a slap in the face from the Priesthood to the Arcturians, the most independent and powerful of the Six Terramonah domains, as much as an Imperial gift. Recently, the Arcturian Viceroy had demanded the right of Arcturian tax collectors to collect the Imperial taxes in their own sector before they were turned over to the Empire. Vasselius knew, of course, that a huge percentage of these tax revenues would never find their way into the Imperial coffers if this were allowed. As important, the other members of the Six would see any wavering on such an issue as a sign of weakness. At the least, they would immediately move for the same rights in their sectors. Vasselius responded with an arrogant disdain he was secretly not sure he could back up. One Imperial BattleStar with one Cyborg Legion, a token force, he decreed, would arrive in the Arcturian home system within a year, at the normal tax collection time to enforce collection by the Imperial tax collectors. One BattleStar was hardly a powerful fleet but the Emperor would count on the hundreds of years of Meringalian rule to overcome the insult to the Arcturians this show of force represented.

The gift of the Jewel of Enchantment from the Theliots arrived in time to assure the power of Vasselius' gesture, as the Theliots well knew. No one except Vasselius and the Mensa Theliot hierarchy knew what power the Jewel of Enchantment represented until the Arcturians attempted to storm the hated Imperial BattleStar. The mystical Jewel, locked into a specially designed socket on the battleship's bridge by a perspiring First Officer, froze all hostile fire against the giant ship. Disconcerted boarding crews found themselves unable to lock onto the impervious BattleStar. The Arcturian navy itself was forced to destroy the attempted boarding craft to provide a political excuse for the Arcturian ambassador who, positioned for such an emergency, immediately begged for Imperial audience back on Humm. He explained away the intended use of force against a ship of the Imperium as the work of insurgents. Vasselius, with an oily graciousness, and in full view of the Imperial court, granted forgiveness (along with hefty penalties) to the wayward sector. The Arcturians were forced to accede humbly. The loss of face, particularly for the stiff-necked Arcturians, was almost unbearable. The Arcturians knew who to blame - the detestable Mensa Theliot Priesthood.

A hand picked Arcturian TAC force, sworn to suicide, and a renegade priest penetrated the deepest laboratories of the Mensa Theliot Temple on the sacred planet of Mitre. The ultimate theft of the mystical technology used to make the Jewels cost the lives of the entire 150 Imperially conditioned Arcturian warriors (and the priest) and nearly a year of patient waiting while four separate copies of the secret technology moved through various Theliot channels. The superbly trained suicide squad had not actually stolen the secrets but placed the papers and machines in non-sensitive areas where the general movement of papers and equipment could eventually be recovered through normal covert operations. The Mensa Theliots, thinking they had foiled the plot, actually only uncovered its top layer and became unwitting accessories in the theft.

Within ten years, using heretic Theliot priest-scientists and a previously deposed Chief Mathmatist, the Arcturians were able to duplicate the mystical science which created the first Jewel of Power. Meanwhile, the Priesthood, whose star had risen to such favor with the Emperor was fading. Vasselius now demanded more Jewels. The Mensa Theliots were unwilling to provide them claiming that no more could be fabricated. It was a satisfying coup for Rath Woer-Halin, the Arcturian Viceroy to present a Jewel even more powerful and breathtaking than the Jewel of Enchantment - the Jewel of Protection, to Emperor Vasselius XXI with his compliments. The Grand Council of Mathmatists of the Mensa Theliots had been outfaced.

The official history of the old Imperium ends not long after this but we do know that others of the Six besides the Arcturians acquired the knowledge stolen from the Mensa Theliot laboratories. Various bits of information hint that the development of the Jewels of Power continued. Vasselius, in an abortive attempt to regain his great grandfather's iron grip over the Priesthood and the Six interstellar domains, precipitated the disintegration of the old Empire. It appears to us, thousands of years later, that the Emperor believed the Jewels of Power he possessed and the ancient force of the Cyborg Legions created a temporary balance of power in his favor that would last long enough for him to regain the Imperial domination for which the Meringalian dynasty was known.

Legend has it, now that history can no longer be depended upon, that Vasselius instigated a revolt in Vega and began a campaign to crush the weakest of the Six. The assassination of Emperor Vasselius XXI by an exotic poison administered by a trusted courtesan moved the Imperial Crown, somewhat shakily, to the head of the Imperial Sisterson, the dynastic Beneficent X (R'Anselm Meringeli). Young R'Anselm seems poor material to follow up the Imperial dreams of Vasselius. The incestuous dynastic bloodline (son of Vasselius' sister by his Grandfather) did nothing to inspire confidence in his mental stability. After causing the Gems of the Imperial Crown to be scattered through Humm's interstellar Star Gates in a fit of pique and refusing to meet with any of the envoys from the Six or the Grand Mathmatists of the Theliots for over a year, the feuding Viceroys banded together against the Imperium and the Theliots. The disintegration of the Empire was assured.

The Mensa Theliots cursed the Gems they had donated to the Emperor's Crown in response to Beneficent's faux pas but near the end, became the only ally of the Imperial throne. Most of the other relics of the ancient Empire were scattered throughout the Empire as it disintegrated. Seven Jewels of Power are rumored to have surfaced at one time or another since the breakup of the old Empire. The most powerful of these, and some say the most uncontrollable was the Jewel of Fate - the last Jewel ever made, designed by the devious priest-scientists of the Mensa Theliot.

In later years, as interstellar travel revived, political power often fell to the owners of the old Imperial Relics and Gems through the legends and mysteries they represented - and always, raw power to the owners of the legendary Jewels.

- excerpt from the Encyclopedia Galactica
The Interregnum