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.


Hints for playing the HOURI Character

Hour HintsThe matriarchies of the Houris (pronounced Ooh-ree) provide a curious contrast to the furious quest for dominance of each of the expanding races in the early days of the Second Empire. While most races involved in the expansion were swift and direct in their relationships, the chameleon-like Houri were subtle and indirect. Dealing with the Houri was like dealing with shifting sands.

The Houri were in some ways, the most powerful of the star-faring Starlords but their power was that of the wind. And when the wind blew strong, even the strongest of the Starlords bent like grass. The nature of the Houri seemed alien and their capricious whims to bestow favor seemed arbitrary. But it was a rare Star Lord of any persuasion that chose to be on the wrong side of one. The ethereal and exotic beauty of the Houri brought them admiring Minions from the worlds, even from those who had reason to fear these alien but compelling beings.

- excerpt Encyclopaedia Galactica


Each Turn:

  • Houris can Declare any player (non-Houri) they meet a Client and take on that player’s character type attributes including scoring, except for gems and relics. They will continue to score collection points for their own Houri artifacts.
  • Houris will appear to other players as the character type of the Client they have assumed. Houris without a Declared Client appear as a Baron to all other players except another Houri. Houris always recognize one another.
  • The Houri may change Client on any given turn, points for Client Character Type assessed at the end of each turn.
  • The Declared Client receives 25% of the number of points that the HOURI receives each turn, excluding collections (Gems and Relic points).
  • When playing as a Philosopher, Houris will create and keep Minions. Minions will continue to pay tribute in Imperial Credits and remain HOURI Minions even after the HOURI changes to another Client Character Type. Minion points are generated the same as for a Philosopher. But the Minions will only generate points for the HOURI when the Houri is a Philosopher.



  • The Golden Diadem (Also Raider)
  • The Pearl Pendant (Also Trader)
  • The Silmarin (Also Trader)
  • The Jade Scepter (Also Baron)

HOURI ADVANTAGES: The Houri advantage is simply part of their character; they can assume any other Starlord's character type in the game without any choice on the part of the client Starlord. And that Starlord client gets points for it. The tricky part here is the Houri switch is at the end of a turn. On the turn the change takes place, the Houri must carefully consider how to set their Empire for the change. This can impact points they might get as their current character or how their empire will be setup for them beginning in the next turn in their new persona.


Despite the Terminator or Raider, the Houri is the most feared and the most alien of the characters in Imperial Wars. It is the fear of the unknown. The awesome power of changing character types mid-game creates the disadvantages as well as the advantage. As a Houri, the character is weak and has little opportunity to make points. However, the Houri can become any other character in the game. Do you think that might be intimidating to the other Starlords?

Houris cannot change into another character type until they actually meet or are introduced to a Starlord who is playing that type of character. So to become a Trader, the Houri must meet or be introduced to one. Hi there, Trader! Good to be you! This character presents the greatest challenge to play in Imperial Wars. As noted everywhere in the game documentation, players need to maximize their potential by working with other players in their Universe. The Houri seems so self-sufficient it is tempting to play independently. To play certain parts of the game as one type of character and set yourself up as another one, say one of the late chargers in the game. On the other hand, most veteran Houris will tell say you need to be especially charismatic and involve some other allies to fully realize the character. Oh, and when you declare a client, that client, the client being the Starlord whose character type you are "borrowing", gets points equal to 25% of what you get – be careful who you help!

A common approach to the Houri is to have a generalized plan with lots of flexibility. Houris will need to make tactical decisions all through the game based on this special ability. There will be times when it is frustrating because the timing will be just a little off, which is part of the challenge. Houris should not change characters too often, partly because it will ruin the disguise, and partly because Houris need to set themselves up for the change in character by arranging resources carefully. It will get increasingly difficult to change for political reasons. A Baron who suddenly finds that a peaceful Philosopher (Houri) has become a rapacious Raider (Houri) in his empire may become motivated to smack that Houri. That also may be an advantage but the Houri cannot afford to turn everyone in the game into an enemy. That is very dangerous. No one Starlord can stand before an alliance of several characters determined to eradicate them.

Houri decisions will depend greatly upon the situation. For example, the Houri cannot become someone else until they meet someone playing another character so the Starlords met early in the game may well dictate early strategy. Then the Houri might need to settle into some appropriate role to play the middle game and try to stay with it for either the whole game or to set up for a final switch entering the end game.

The most important task in getting ready to play the Houri successfully is studying the other character types. Their attributes will be how you will decide what to be along with who you meet, and these same attributes will be how you work out how to interact with them. Look at all of the other character type strategy hints in the links below for how to play them from the viewpoint of a Houri.

HOURI HINTS FROM THE GALACTIC EFFECTUATOR: The Houri may be the most fascinating Character Type but it is not recommended for inexperienced Players. Though it is probably the most powerful Character Type, It is also the most difficult to play since there is a need to understand the point of view of all the potential characters - and then a step beyond that as you consider the next change that is coming. A great deal of cleverness will be required by the Houri to create stable Alliances and to avoid game "schizophrenia" as Character changes are made. The Houri cannot gain points until a Client can be declared so meeting another Player in the game has the highest early priority. The Houri must be careful in choosing Clients so that the Client points do not make too many points for the wrong Player.

The Client declaration for the Houri occurs at the end of a Turn. The Houri will have the attributes and score according to the attributes of the last client in the current Turn, prior to the change. Houris and their declared Starlord Clients immediately become reciprocal Allies regardless of any other diplomatic declarations. See Diplomatic Status for more information on Houri Clients.