Contention is the underlying principle of how ownership of worlds and fleet engines is determined in Imperial Wars.
This principle holds true when a single fleet enters a world
space or in the resolution of ownership of fleet engines after a gigantic
galactic fleet battle. Once the dust of conflict settles, the
rules of Contention apply. You may never care to know this or
you may find that Contention is invaluable in determining the
outcome of certain situations. It depends on player style. It may seem complex but it delivers the most 'natural and logical outcome for ownership determination throughout the game.
"Contention" can be turned on or off by players in each of their World or Fleet screens. This option t is illustrated by either a "Shield" or an "Olive Branch"toggle switch,
for worlds on the World Symbol and for Fleets, in the Fleet
This Shield icon means your world or fleet engine will automatically return fire from non-allied fleets, or ambush un-allied fleets flying through a world space. It also signifies that the World or Fleet Engine will CONTEND for ownership of any un-owned Fleet Engine in the same world space.
The Olive Branch icon means that a World or Fleet Engine will NOT CONTEND for ownership of un-owned Fleet Engines. It also means that these objects will also not Ambush or automatically return fire if fired upon.
A world or fleet, set to
Ambush always tries to Contend for ownership of everything around
it in a world space. This is the default setting,
the Shield for all objects. Setting a world or fleet At Peace individually
turns off Contention.
The principle of Contention is further defined by diplomatic relationships between Starlords, which impact how Ambush and At Peace are interpreted for
these diplomatic declarations. A player's objects will not Contend for ownership of objects that belong to a player that s/he has
declared an Ally. Un-defended fleets or worlds can never contend against Defended fleets or worlds.
These are the basic tenets:
- All Defended and owned fleets and worlds set to
Ambush, contend for ownership (except for diplomatic immunity)
and will capture all other un-defended or un-owned objects in
a world space if there is no other defended contender object
present. When there is more than one defended object (fleets
or world) contending for ownership of undefended or un-owned
objects, all un-owned or un-defended objects become or stay
- If there are no Defended, owned fleets or worlds
contending for ownership in a world space, all undefended but
owned objects set to Ambush will contend for ownership (except
against a Declared Ally). These owned, but undefended fleets
or worlds will capture all un-owned AND undefended objects unless
there is more than one owner of undefended contender objects
present. When there is more than one owned but undefended object,
that are owned by different owners, contending for ownership,
all undefended objects, owned or not, will become or stay un-owned
- Undefended Objects always lose in Contention against Owned
or Defended objects.
- Defended Worlds have at least one fortress. Defended Fleets have at least one ship. Owned, but un-defended fleets or objects will capture other un-defended, un-owned objects in a world space.
- NPC (Rebel) Fleets or Worlds follow this same principle.
- A. Where there is only one Owner with a Defended object set
to Ambush in a world space, all other objects in that world
space will inherit this Owner (except for exceptions raised
by diplomatic declarations).
- B. If there are two or more un-Allied Owners of objects in
a world space, then each of those objects retain their own ownership
and force all other (Undefended and/or Un-owned) objects to
become or stay un-owned
- C. An Owned and Defended object set At Peace does not
contend for ownership under any conditions. An owned object
does not contend for ownership against objects that belong to
a Declared Ally; NOTE: this is not reciprocal, only the declared
Ally gets the benefit on this non-contention. There is one specific
exception to Ally Contention: The Warlord character will continue
to capture un-defended worlds of players to whom he has been
declared an Ally.
- D. Any un-owned object that becomes defended automatically becomes "owned"
by the Rebels.