Imperial User's Building Guide

  • Originally posted by ImperialUser October 25, 2009

    Obviously this was written when the game was much younger, but many of the tenants still apply. (some things are changed as there are more than 11 building slots currently and additional buildings to choose from)

    This is a guide to help you choose which buildings you want to put in your towns. If anyone wants to add anything feel free to pm me and I'll work it in.


    Every town has 11 building spots, a town hall, town wall and 2 shore spots. Since there is nothing you can change about the town hall, town wall, or the 2 shore spots this guide will not be mentioning them past this point.


    Terms Used

    Luxury Building: Every island produces a specific Luxury good, and a corresponding building to increase its production.

    Resource Production Building: Either the Foresters Building or the Luxury Building.

    -- Updates --

    I'll list the most recent updates or changes I make here, so folks already familiar with the guide don't have to read the whole thing over again.

    --Jan 21, 2012

    Formatted links at top to open in the same window "scroll down" instead of opening in new windows.

    --Dec 28, 2011--

    Added comparison between Warehouse and Dump in Building Comparisons.


  • Every town needs...

    Every town needs a few buildings and should have a few others

    • Palace / Governors Residence: Removes / Prevents corruption in your towns.
    • Warehouse: You need at least 1 warehouse in every town. I prefer having 2 in my own towns.
    • Museum & Tavern: Both buildings increase your towns happiness, allowing you to have more citizens
    • Carpenters Building: Not only is it cheap, but it will reduce the amount of warehouses you need for some buildings such as the Governors Residence. Since it reduces the cost of wood needed to build every building and to train units it never stops being useful.
    • Spy Hideout: Having this in every town will almost always guarantee that pillagers will not come to you. If they can not get a spy into your town to see what resources you have most people won't even both trying to raid you.
    • Optional Building Slot: This is reserved for buildings you would not want to have in every town, explained in detail later on. If there are no optional buildings that you want to use, this building spot can be used for another preference building.


  • Preference Buildings

    With the above needed buildings and the optional building space, that leaves you with 4 preference buildings. These are buildings that could go in any town that has extra building spaces. I will list them here so you can make an educated decision yourself to whatever will best suit your needs. If you choose not to use one of the optional buildings in the next list, that would give you an extra preference building slot.

    • Extra Warehouse(s): Having an extra warehouse will give you multiple benefits.
      You save both time and resources as higher level warehouse upgrades demand both. It also increases your warehouse protection limit, making your resources safer should you ever be pillaged.
    • Resource Production Building: Every town should have either a Luxury Goods or Foresters building unless you are a raider and don't have many workers hired for the increased gold flow.
    • Second Resource Production Building: Having both is good, but that only leaves you 2 building spaces left (3 counting the optional building space). Choose wisely.
    • Architects Building: A lot of people like it, and its not a bad building. If your a builder its definitely worth investing in both for early and end game. It allows you to build buildings cheaper when you may only have 1 stone town, and also makes those really expensive late game upgrades easier to afford.
    • Wine Press: This building is fairly useless early game as you should be serving very little wine. And even late game the wine saved is minimal. But the real jewel of this building is for raiders or people that actively go to war. The reduced wine consumption means you don't need to ship as much wine to each of your towns as often allowing you to use those ships to raid more often. And if you are ever attacked your wine will last longer, giving you a larger window of opportunity to ship wine to the town(s) that are under siege. In short, its not really a profit building as much as it is a building to increase the survivability and stability of your towns. Also the decreased wine required to upgrade your GR's is very nice. Until you get your third wine town most people find it hard to supply enough wine for both their taverns and the GR upgrades as well. Having that wine cost reduced is another functional benefit of the Wine Press.
    • Barracks: You don't need one in every town, but you need more then just 1. I would suggest a minimum of 3. If you plan on never having to defend yourself because you only raid inactives/small targets you could survive with only 1, but even then I would suggest having 2.
    • Academy: Research is always a good thing, having it in as many towns as possible is very important if you plan on researching the futures. It is a drain on your economy and some consider a waste of money and a building space to research the futures as the only benefit to researching is an increase in gold which could just as easily be obtained by firing your researchers and using the building spot for something more profitable. But if you plan on playing for a long time and want something more then just "functional" I would highly advise using as many as you can. Should you ever need the income to support a military later on then you can fire some or all of the scientists.


  • Optional Buildings:

    These are buildings that should never be built in every town. Most of them may have a use in the extra building slot in 1 town, but any more then that and your wasting potential. If you do not want any of these buildings, the space can be used for another preference building.

    • Firework Test Area: This building should usually not be built. But for folks looking at using a dump it is almost required, and for folks considering keeping the dump as a permanent building it is required. The dump requires almost as much sulfur as it does wood. Other then that use or a town you designate as your troop production town to reduce the cost of troops I would never advise you build a Fireworks Testing Area.
    • Optician: Could be built in any town really, if you plan on building academies very high. If you plan on buying research points with crystal then I would suggest building one in your crystal town to reduce the costs. Other then the reduction of buying research points or the long term planning of getting your academies to as high as you can, I would advise against building this as well.
    • Workshop: Should only be built in one town. And it can be destroyed once you have upgraded all of your units. If you can get it into your crystal town with the Optician's building, you would have a reduced crystal cost on the upgrades.
    • Trading Post: I would advise having 1 of these so you are able to trade gold with other players, or sell your own resources for gold. If your towns are spread out enough you may want to have 2.
    • Embassy: Other then large alliance leaders you probably won't need more then 1. If you actively use a lot of garrison treaties and/or trade treaties you may want a second one.
    • Extra Warehouse: There comes a time when everyone needs more warehouses to upgrade their Palace / Governors Residence. This is a perfect building slot to use for that.
    • Temple: Most players ignore them completely, but used strategically they have some use. Put in any random town they are just a drain on your gold (hired priests do not produce gold) and a waste of a building slot for something more profitable, but there are a few good miracles out there even at lvl 1 and 2 that can be achieved by a single person on a populated island and a couple others at lvl 5 if you use a floater to go to a far off island and be the only person on the island so you can acquire it.
    • Dump: For a majority of your game play this building will be a waste of resources and I would not advise you consider building one until you are looking at lvl 9+ Palace/GR upgrades and/or considering on maxing out your towns. You could also choose to keep the dump as the second warehouse that I suggest you keep permanent, but that would decrease your warehouse protection.


  • Which building?

    Some buildings have similar effects, and have been questioned over time. This is an overview of which building is better and why.

    • Museum or Wine Press: Museum is better, if you are able to fill it with CAT's. All you need to do is drop the amount of wine you are serving in the tavern to match what it would be with the wine press, and you will not only be serving the same amount of wine but have more happiness because of the Museum.
    • Winegrower or Wine Press: Winegrower is much better, if you always have your workers hired in the wine mines. The amount of wine produced by the winegrower will be more then the wine saved by your wine press.
    • Shipyard or Second Trading Port: I would suggest keeping a shipyard in most of your towns. The only times I would advise otherwise are if you plan on never using your navy or you are a score chaser. But for the purposes of this guide I will suggest going with a shipyard for functionality. You can get the same exact effect with a bit more work by loading 40k resources out of 2 towns rather then 80k resources out of 1 town, and towards the "end game" a high lvl trading port can load 80k resources in under 10 minutes. So you really have no "need" for a second one.
    • Warehouse or Dump: Some people prefer to have either 1 or the other, and really this decision has no right answer. Whichever you choose to do is up to you. For warehouses they provide resource protection and are relatively cheap to upgrade. For dumps they hold much more resources in 1 space. With 5.0 coming up I think this choice will be an outdated one, and you can use both a dump and warehouse with room to spare for other buildings, allowing you to gain the benefits of both.


  • The four preference slots

    This is a "cookie cutter" guide for town buildings setup.

    • Basic Raider: Barracks, Resource Production Building, ?, ?
    • Basic Research Colony: Academy, Resource Production Building, ?, ?
    • Research Colony: Opticians building, Academy, Workshop, Glass Blower
      This colony should be on a glass island. Once you are done with the workshop upgrades you can demolish it for another building.
    • Warehouse Colony: +3 warehouses (total of 4), ?.
      This town has one use and one use only, using the ambrosia trader to convert resources.
      With the 3.3 patch this colony has a second purpose. It increases the protection of resources by your warehouses so you do not need to worry about being raided. Read more about it (insert link to upcoming guide here).


  • You and 10 colonies

    Many people have asked what resource type they should settle, this section will hopefully help you decide.

    The first 4 towns you have should be 1 of each resource type and settled in this order. Whichever resource island your capital started, you should skip that one in the list.

    • Stone
    • Wine
    • Sulfur
    • Glass

    So lets say your capital was a sulfur town. You would settle a stone town, wine town, skip the sulfur and settle a glass town.

    After you have 1 of each resource it becomes more of a preference, but I have found this to be the most effective.

    • Stone
    • Wine
    • Stone
    • Wine

    This will give you enough stone to upgrade buildings, and give you enough extra wine to upgrade your GR without relying on outside sources to collect it.

    That will bring you up to 8 towns. The next 2 are completely optional and there is no way to say which type you should take. You could go with 2 more stone towns, a wine and sulfur town, its completely up to you and how you want to play the game.


  • Quote from ImperialUser

    List of people that have contributed.

    • Me :P
    • DarthGadget - Suggested I make a post for building combinations.
      Added, work in progress; Ideas/Information needed.
    • Shapur - Suggested I add an order to settle towns in for resources, I.E. marble colony then wine.
    • Sid - Suggested I add the part about the wine press also saving on GR upgrades.
    • shiner - Pointed out I don't have Temples in the guide.
    • Quartz - Clarified the potential need of a second embassy, and found an embarrassing grammar error.
      Done and fixed. :thumbup:


  • This is a really good guide!

    I don't agree with everything on here, but very sound advice. I am going to link this to the new players in my alliance.

    Thanks for posting this!

    Thanks goes out to Ratna for the awesome Sig

  • All I really want to know is how to train troops. When I go into my barracks, there's nowhere to choose which troop type I want to train or how many of them I want to train. Well, there is but it's greyed out. I can't access it. Thanks

  • Nope. I've got plenty rss and population. I've got 5 citizens and only need 3 spearmen but it still won't let me recruit anybody. I keep upgrading the barracks thinking that they might need to be a particular level or something but that's not it either. I don't know what's wrong. I even upgraded the town hall and that didn't make any difference either.

  • Nope. I've got plenty rss and population. I've got 5 citizens and only need 3 spearmen but it still won't let me recruit anybody. I keep upgrading the barracks thinking that they might need to be a particular level or something but that's not it either. I don't know what's wrong. I even upgraded the town hall and that didn't make any difference either.

    Spearmen only need a lvl 1 barracks (check the help for details on the unit requirements.) The other possibility I can think of is your citizens aren't free. I get 'insufficient resources' if I have all mine in the mine. I need to move some out to allow me to train them.

    Reverence for life affords me my fundamental principle of morality.
    — Albert Schweitzer

  • Yeah that's what I did. I didn't think to scroll down the barracks menu to see more LOL Do you know if there are quests in this game or is it just building, upgrading, and training when and where you see fit? Thanks

  • Yeah that's what I did. I didn't think to scroll down the barracks menu to see more LOL Do you know if there are quests in this game or is it just building, upgrading, and training when and where you see fit? Thanks

    there are no quests to the game, but there are goals that the game has set up that you can get small rewiards for. But they are all centered around building stuff or fighting.

    there are only five primary things to do in this game:

    1: build stuff

    2: fight (pillage, raid, war)

    3: communicate (build online friends)

    4: play the pirate game (within the game)

    5: any combination of the first four

    Thanks goes out to Ratna for the awesome Sig