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


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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 PHILOSOPHER Character

Philosopher HintsThe Philosophers claim to trace their mystical beginnings to the legendary birth world of Humans, even though the Prophecy cults today claim converts from nearly every race in the known Galaxy. There are some negative, though carefully chosen comments, from beings that believe this spiky group of Martyrs is in some way related to the stiff-necked Humans. This unique Warrior/Priest/Philosopher cult stressed contentious independence in the early days of the second Empire, to a degree that threatened regional authoritarian governments everywhere..

The attraction to new proselytes seemed to be the individual power and personal strength tapped by the assiduous training, diets, and meditation required by this militant discipline. The followers of this secretive cabal humbly called themselves "Minions" and were untiring proselytizers, always ready and sometimes eager to die for their cause. They considered themselves the "chosen" of the All-knowing Presence and the quickest way to their most incredible heaven was expiring for their beliefs...

- excerpt Encyclopaedia Galactica


Each Turn:

  • 1 point for each Philosopher Minion on non-Owned Worlds
  • 2 points for each Minion Martyred (except those killed by the Philosopher himself or by a Holy War target player)
  • 20 points for each World completely converted by Minions and owned by the Philosopher.
  • Each Philosopher Fleet at a World will convert 1 Population, and each 10 of Fleet strength, rounded down, will convert 1 Population to a Minion per turn.
  • Philosopher Minions in a Population will proselytize and convert 1 Population to a Minion per turn, rounded down.
  • In a declared Holy War, the Philosopher receives 2 points for each Holy War Target Player’s Population killed. (Holy War Target Player becomes automatic declared Enemy. No martyr points from the Holy War target).
  • 1 Credit for each 5 Minions at a World, rounded down, owned by another Player, is deposited at the Philosopher Homeworld (tithe).
  • For each 5 Credits produced by Minions at a World, 1 Credit is produced for the World owner, rounded down (minion tax).



  • The Philosopher's Stone (Also Terminator)
  • The Glass Bead (Also Trader)
  • The Prime Radiant (Also Warlord)
  • The Book of the Dead Gods (Also Terminator)

PHILOSOPHER ADVANTAGES: The Philosopher has two subtle advantages. The first is "presence". Everywhere that a Minion is, the Philosopher has a view of that world. These minions are like little "beacons" allowing the Philosopher to see much more of the universe than most players. The second advantage is the tithe that the minions pay to the Philosopher Homeworld. The Philosopher is as rich as the Baron but has a central point for collecting Imperial Credits, on the most productive world in his empire!

PHILOSOPHER STRATEGIES:The Philosopher, a peaceful traveling caravan of fleets moving quietly through the universe, how could you be dangerous? Was Karl Marx dangerous? Buddha? Was Obi Wan Kanobi dangerous? Through all of history the most dangerous of people have been the philosophers, their ideas and fanatic minions create the wars no matter how peaceful the philosophy it seems. No different in this universe, Philosopher fleets create minion just by being at a world, and they create points and Imperial Credits. Even by dying, minions have value as martyrs. Philosopher minions often mistakenly overthrow a world’s population to take ownership of a world and present it to their Philosopher owner, when in fact that is usually an embarrassment both politically and in point value. The Philosopher must often take steps….

The universe can live without the Philosopher so it is a wise Philosopher who steps cautiously. On the other hand, every Throne needs a state religion to keep the masses happy, maybe even a competitive way of thinking to divert attention from other issues. Characters in Imperial Wars, once they understand that the Philosopher doesn’t necessarily represent any sort of threat to them, that in fact the fellow might offer worlds and other resources to them, might just like the idea of the peaceful Philosopher gliding through their empire.

Like all characters, you can always use a Trader. You need big fleets both to protect yourself and to do that thing you do. Traders working in your home territory can create big fleets. If you do become closely involved with another character type, your Trader can also be a little insurance. They would hate for you to lose control of your universe and to lose a client. Just make sure there are no side deals between your Trader and your patron Baron, if you catch the drift.

Treat the Houri like whomever the Houri is emulating at the moment. You will have to be creative but if the Houri has a plan for how the game is going, you should be willing to listen to how you can work together using the Houri’s special adaptation. It could be very interesting and you need to be creative and aggressive to win.

Philosophers can co-exist with Raiders just fine, particularly on high population, low industry type worlds. Raiders can Raid and Ravage with impunity for the Philosopher. This makes the Philosopher an easy ally for the Raider who doesn’t have so many of those as other characters. Explore the possibility of trading worlds and fleets, should work out great for both sides.

If you border a Baron, you could represent a very peaceful source of expansion and the Baron’s empire represents for you a broad field for infestation. You could put together a nice program, over time, where said Baron takes over your worlds one by one, even your Homeworld, to manage them more efficiently while you move through the high population worlds that he points out for you. The trick in this is not to come so far within the Baron’s grasp that he doesn’t need you anymore so you must be deeply enough invested in the Baron’s empire to pose a dangerous risk that an avaricious Baron should not needlessly take.

Philosophers to Terminator relationships are legend. Philosophers can become embarrassingly successful at seeding some worlds. This works both to the detriment of the world owner, usually not the Philosopher and the Philosopher his or her self. Terminators can knock off minions who have gotten too rowdy. Be certain to explore this relationship with your local Terminator.

The main thing is not to get in the way of a Warlord who is conquering. You mess up his conquering binge by being at the wrong place at the wrong time and you may be his next conquest. On the other hand, being just behind him, converting those worlds is not a bad place to be. Set your fleets At Peace. Perhaps you have some worlds you might let him conquer so that you can covert minions there…

PHILOSOPHER HINTS FROM THE GALACTIC EFFECTUATOR: The Philosopher is not a high scorer at the beginning but is a very likely character to go into the lead during the mid-game since this character should be making points incrementally. Unlike the Terminator who makes big points at the end, or the Warlord and Raider who have to make their points almost every turn, the Philosopher’s points add up over time. This incremental type of scoring is similar to the Baron’s except it is harder for the Baron to continue to grow since there are a finite number of worlds. There is a much larger capacity in the game for minions. Still, there is a challenge in making deals to get your fleets out into other empires and to continuing to grow against the late point getters in the game.

As all players must, grow and expand as early as possible. You need fleets and you need worlds to trade away, carefully, but you need to give them away. Try to find a balance of ownership or some other way to balance the inherent danger in this. You need many fleets and powerful ones; this may incentivize players to be satisfied just to "own" your worlds. Be charismatic and make a lot of friends. Often your relationships are built on trust so look to that trust and decide how you want to spend it.

The Philosopher Player needs to send Fleets all through the known Universe. Eventually, those Minion minorities may take over Worlds that they infect unless they are turned into Martyrs. The Philosopher may find converted Worlds costing him points as high Population Worlds suddenly decrease in value to 20 points to an "owned by the Philosopher" world. As a Philosopher it may be advantageous to lose ownership of a converted World, so that the Imperial Credits donated by the World's Minions are once again paid to the Philosopher's Homeworld and the higher points for Minions on a non-owned world resumes.

Alliances that include a Terminator who kills Minions will works well for everyone. For example, a World with a very large number of Minions, destroyed by a Terminator’s Gravitonic Disrupter brings many points for both Players. The Philosopher gets the Martyr points and the Terminator the Population terminated points as well as points for destroying a World. The Philosopher makes good alliances with the Houri, the Terminator, the Trader, The Baron and, if an alliance includes a Terminator, the Raider and the Warlord.