So in Imperia you as an emperor have an ADM (admin) rating that determines what you can do on any given turn. When you are just starting out as an 18-year old new emperor you might have 6-8 ADM points to use per turn (and they do not ‘carry over’).
There are essentially 3 ways you can use ADM: by contacting a character directly, by proposing an Edict, or by taking a personal action. It costs 1-2 ADM to contact a character directly, and is useful for asking for small ‘tweaks’ to how they manage their planet/system/sector. The downside is that they can say ‘no’ – after all, this isn’t you proposing law, it’s just you and a character having a conversation and you asking for something in a friendly manner. Edicts, by contrast, ARE law, and they MUST be followed. The downside to Edicts is that they cost a lot more ADM to propose (4-8), they cost planetary ADM to prepare and enact, and if a character who is along the possible ‘chain’ of implementing the Edict doesn’t like you very much, they can make sure your Edict stays ‘in committee’ for quite a while. Here is a list of the types of domestic Edicts that can be enacted:
Change Planet Name
Add Secondary Designation
Change/Assign Primary Designation
Prohibit Economic Sector Expansion
Eliminate Economic Sector
Build Starship Production Center
Change System Capital
Change Sector Capital
Add /Change System to Sector
Set Up Manufacturing Outpost
Set Up Agriculture Outpost
Set Up Scientific Outpost
Cede Garrison Control to Viceroy
Reclaim Garrison Control
Cede System Garrison to Sys Gov
Reclaim System Garrison Control
Designate Planet As Trade Hub
Designate Planet As Culture Hub
Declare Imperial Law
Survey Planet For Materials
Survey Planet For Minerals
As you can see, much more comprehensive than simply dealing with a character directly. Proclaiming an Edict and structuring it so that it will be successful is a large part of your success in Imperia.
Let’s take a small example and say that you want to change a planet’s name. In any other 4X, you simply type in the name and that’s that. In Imperia, simply changing a name can have far-reaching effects (after all, how would we feel in America if the government suddenly wanted to change the country’s name to, say, Goldberg?). The base ADM cost for this Edict is 5 ADM points and $5,000,000 to enact. A system capital might have 5-10 ADM and a sector capital might have 15+ ADM, so they could simply utilize their own planetary government to enact the change and that would be that. But what about a small, outlying planet that barely has a functional government? Say they have 2 ADM. They don’t have enough ADM to enact the change themselves. What can you do?
You can wait and let them build up their government sector until they have enough ADM to enact on their own, or…
You can get their system capital or sector capital involved., or if the need is great enough, you can always use the Imperial Capital planet’s ADM (which is always MUCH higher – 200-400 ADM)
Not all systems have a system capital – some sectors are one-system sectors and having a sector capital overrides a system capital. But if the system does have a system capital and they have some unallocated ADM, you can use some of theirs. It will be less efficient (it takes roughly 1.5 ADM points from a system capital per 1 ADM point you would spend on the planet) and it will take more time, but you can make it work. But… what if the system governor HATES YOUR GUTS!!! He or she can ensure that it takes YEARS to change that name!! So NOW what do you do?
You can go ‘above their head’ and use ADM from the sector capital (at even less efficiency and more time) and there is no guarantee the sector governor will be any more obliging, OR…
You can manipulate the system governor into doing what you want!! You can do this a lot of ways! You can…
..bribe them (maybe, if they’re honest they will refuse and like you even less),
..or you can give them an Imperial title (this costs personal money and takes most of your ADM, but they will always love it),
..or you can create an informer network on the planet in order to discover secrets about the system governor and blackmail them,
..or you can respond to their needs and requests in line with their personality traits and behaviors to improve their loyalty,
..or you can attempt to remove them from their office and promote someone more loyal to you and more friendly to your policies (but this does not always work and is seen as Tyrannical)
..or you can have them assassinated, at great cost to your reputation and Tyrannical rating.
You have another ally at this point for particularly important Edicts: your Influence pools. You don’t have to, but you can, spend 3 different types of Influence from your pools to speed up the Edict’s process with different effects. The types are:
Nationalist – this is your ‘rally the Empire to the cause’ influence. Basically, you are taking your Edict to the people, and if they love you, it is very effective.
Pragmatic – this is your ‘everyday’ influence, working the backchannels of your government, and generally being a good politician. This pool’s effects are abstracted mainly in your Power rating – your efforts have more weight if your have the Power to follow through. This will be your most common Influence, and the fastest to recharge.
Tyrannical – this is your ‘do it or I’ll do something bad to you/your family/your planet’ influence. Much more ‘effective’ short term, but can have far-reaching effects if used too often without the Power to back it up. Very small pool initially, but the way your emperor acts (badly and without morals) can add to this pool over time.
Alternatively, you can structure the Edict to use only planet and sector ADM, thus cutting out the system governor – but taking more time and ADM (total of 8 ADM and 5 months base vs. 6 ADM and 4 months base if the system gov was used) but if the sector governor LOVES you they might just speed the Edict through the planning and committee stages… actually saving more time in the end, even though it cost more ADM! But what if the sector capital’s ADM is already being used for other Edicts and there isn’t any more to spare?
Expand the sector government of course!! Just ask the planetary viceroy of the sector capital to expand the government, add more workers (at a cost, of course) expand the ADM rating for the sector capital, thus allowing your planet’s change name request to be able to be added! If the viceroy is willing, of course…
However you do it, once you have the needed ADM in place, the Edict goes to 3 stages: planning, committee, and implementation. Depending on the loyalty and 2 other factors of each character in the chain, that time might be more or less in each stage. Each Edict has a primary and a secondary character attribute that contribute to the success and time required to implement. The primary attribute for changing a planet’s name is Intelligence and the secondary one is Charisma. If your planetary viceroy and anyone else in the chain have good stats in these attributes (and they like you at least a little!) the time might be less. If you have an exceptionally stupid or boorish viceroy or governor, however, the time in planning and committee will be adversely affected proportional to the amount of ADM that character has in the Edict. For example, to get to the Edict’s 5 ADM requirement, if you allocate 2 ADM from the planet and 3 ADM (but costing the system capital 5 ADM due to inefficiency) from the system capital, your planetary viceroy’s stats will affect the time by 40% and your system governor’s stats will affect the time by 60%.
So you’ve finally manipulated the Edict to be completed, and now the name change takes effect! You’re done thinking about it, right?
First of all, your citizens might love the new name. In which case your retail sector will explode (people are buying T-shirts, bumper stickers, and other clever merchandise with the new planet’s name). You may see a Posup boost. People may have a renewed sense of pride in their planet and their unrest may even drop! Sometimes, people may even migrate to your newly named planet because it’s got such a cool name, affecting an entire system or sector economy! You’re a hero, and your planetary viceroy is pretty pleased too!!
Maybe they hate the name. Maybe they really liked the original name all along. Names have an intrinsic ‘cultural value’ attached to them and it is possible to get information on how the populace might react to a name change, you can do it anyway. But their Posup might go down. People might even leave the planet (rare, but possible) over it. Your viceroy won’t be too pleased about having to change all the software and letterheads to the new planet name, so to speak. In any case, you have your new name, but you have some downside as well.
And all this from just changing a planet’s name, which you would take 3 seconds to do in any other 4X game.
But that’s Imperia, folks. Welcome to the big chair.