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.


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 Screen.

Auto-defend Shield

AMBUSH (auto-defend)

At peace Olive Branch


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.

contention illustration


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:

  1. 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 un-owned
  2. 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
  3. Undefended Objects always lose in Contention against Owned or Defended objects.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.