How To Play: Imperial

So, you want to conquer at Imperial? My mates and I have been through the ringer, and here's the juice: Get cozy with the bond market early, make smart investments, and don't just throw your military around - think! Plus, keep an eye on that income. Adapt, watch, and negotiate. That's how you win.


Welcome to the ultimate guide for conquering Imperial! Here, we’re not just talking about the basics. Sure, we’ll cover how to play Imperial, but the real gems are the strategies we’ve unearthed. After countless game nights, arguments over rules, and some serious strategy sessions with friends, we’ve compiled a guide that outlines the game rules and dishes out the best strategies for claiming victory. Ready to rule? Let’s get started.

What’s in the box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 48 Nation Bonds
  • 1 Bank
  • 6 Sets of Units (per nation)
  • 6 Factories
  • 60 Octagonal Markers
  • 90 Money Bills
  • 1 Investor Card
  • 6 Nation Markers
  • 6 Flag Tokens
  • 1 Rulebook

How To Play Imperial: Rules Summary

Alright, folks, buckle up! I’m gonna walk you through the basics of Imperial, a game of strategy, diplomacy, and economic maneuvering. I’ve spent quite a few nights wrangling my friends into another round of this gem. So, let’s get you from newbie to scheming financier in no time!


  1. Lay out the game board, depicting Europe’s map.
  2. Each player picks a home country and takes its corresponding bonds, army, and navy units.
  3. Place starting armies and navies on their indicated spots on the board.
  4. Shuffle the investor card into the action card deck.
  5. Deal money and bonds to players as specified in the rulebook.


  1. Players take turns according to the Investor Card’s current order.
  2. On your turn, choose to buy bonds, maneuver units, or collect taxes.
  3. Moving units allows you to control new territories or engage in battles.
  4. Using income from controlled territories, invest in more bonds or build factories.


  1. The game ends when a player triggers the ending condition, typically by reaching a certain financial goal.
  2. The player with the most wealth in bonds and cash combined wins.

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. If two players tie for control of a territory, neither gets the income.
  2. Battles are resolved using a simple majority of units present.
  3. Investor cards can shift game dynamic by changing the turn order.

There you have it! A quick rundown on How To Play Imperial. Trust me, once you get a hang of these basics, you’ll be hooked. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll avoid the rookie mistakes I made… like forgetting to collect taxes and going bankrupt. Not my finest moment. Good luck, and may the best financier win!

Best Imperial Strategies

Unlocking Victory: Smart Investments and Income Maximization

Winning isn’t just about luck; it’s about smart strategies, especially when it comes to managing your resources. Here’s how you can invest wisely and max out your income to secure that win.

Invest Wisely

  1. Look for underappreciated assets. Opportunities often hide where others aren’t looking.
  2. Reinvest profits. It’s tempting to spend, but reinvesting gives you more resources later.
  3. Keep an eye on the market. Shifts happen. Be ready to adapt.

Maximize Income

  1. Control key areas. More territory means more income. Simple as that.
  2. Form alliances. Sometimes, working with others boosts your economy.
  3. Plan for the long game. Quick cash is great, but steady income wins races.

Master the Economy

Every decision impacts your bottom line. Think ahead, act smart, and watch your empire flourish.

Conquering the Bond Market: Your Path to Victory

Mastering the bond market is crucial for winning. First, know when to buy. Buy bonds in countries you can control. Second, sell at the right time. Sell before a country’s economy crashes. Lastly, use bonds to influence countries’ actions. Here are key strategies:

  1. Invest Early in Emerging Powers

    Grab bonds in countries that haven’t peaked yet. They’re cheap and promise big returns.

  2. Balance Your Portfolio

    Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Spread your investments to manage risk.

  3. Strategic Selling

    Sell bonds to fund crucial moves or to destabilize your opponents.

Mastering the Battlefield: Key to Dominance in Imperial

Winning isn’t just about how much cash you’ve got; it’s where your armies march. Here’s how I found out.

Seize Strategic Locations Early

  1. Grabbing key points on the map can choke opponent movements.
  2. It’s all about positioning, not just power.

Keep Your Enemies Close

  1. Watch where rivals are strongest and sneak into their weak spots.
  2. Surprises are your best friend. Make bold moves when they least expect it.

Balance is Key

  1. Don’t just throw all your forces into one big push. Spread them out.
  2. Protect your assets while threatening theirs. It’s a dance, and you’re leading.

Sealing Your Empire: Final Words of Wisdom

After countless hours, strategic maneuvers, and maybe a few friendly disputes, you’ve reached the end of our Imperial strategy guide. Remember, the core of your victory lies not just in the strategies discussed, but in your ability to adapt, predict, and outsmart your opponents. Keep a close eye on the bond market, make every military move count, and never underestimate the power of negotiation. With these final words of wisdom, go forth and conquer, shaping your empire to stand the test of time. Until next time, may your investments be wise and your territories vast. Game on!

Want to know what we think of Imperial? Read our detailed review of Imperial here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.