Factions of Imperial Settlers

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Discovering the Different Factions in Imperial Settlers

Let’s dive into the fascinating world of factions in the Imperial Settlers base game. Each faction has its own unique features and abilities that make it stand out from the rest. One faction that truly stands apart is the Japanese faction.

The Japanese faction introduces a new element to the game with its special Faction cards. These cards have Raze fields, which can be targeted and destroyed by a Raze action.

What makes the Japanese faction even more distinct is how their Faction Locations are treated when razed. Instead of being turned into a Foundation like other factions, these locations are discarded. It adds a layer of strategic thinking and decision-making to the gameplay.

Become a Master of Strategy with the Samurai

The Japanese player has another extraordinary ability – the power to use their Workers as Samurai to protect their Faction Locations. The use of Samurai adds a clever twist to the game and allows for different strategies to unfold.

As the Japanese player, at any given moment during your turn, you have the option to deploy your Workers as Samurai in front of your Faction Locations. These brave warriors will defend your locations with their lives.

Remember, though, that each Faction Location can only have one Samurai guarding it. So, choose wisely where to allocate your Workers and unleash the power of the Samurai.

It’s noteworthy that Samurai can even protect Faction Locations that are normally immune to razes, such as the Shrine and Gate. The versatility of the Japanese faction truly puts you in control of your fate.

When you assign a Samurai to a card, they become its protector and can’t be taken away or used for anything else. Samurai don’t get discarded during the Cleanup phase at the end of a round. They have an important function – each Samurai increases the number of Raze tokens needed for an enemy to destroy the Location by 1. If the Location does get razed, the Samurai goes back to the general supply.

About the Cards:


I can discard a Location using my Action. This means I completely remove it from another player’s Empire. It’s a powerful move, but it’s not the same as Razing a Location.


When I choose to place cards under the Gate, I can’t take them back into my hand. These cards stay there until the end of the game and are not removed during the Cleanup phase. The Gate is a permanent Location and cannot be Razed.


When you activate the Action of this card, you get to choose one of your Deals, which is a card that represents an agreement or arrangement, and build it as a Location. Normally, when you build a Location, you have to pay its cost in resources, but with this Action, you don’t have to discard a Location from your Empire to pay the cost. However, if the Deal requires you to include a Location in its building cost, you can’t choose that Deal when you activate this Action. Let me tell you about some specific Faction Locations:


When you have this Location, you get a bonus of 2 Samurai, which are warrior units. However, if you only have 1 Faction Location where you can deploy a Samurai, the other one will be lost, so be careful!


This Location has a special rule. Normally, in the Cleanup phase, you remove any Resources placed on your Locations, but the Shrine is an exception. When you have this Location, any Resources placed on it will stay there until the end of the game. Also, the Shrine cannot be destroyed or removed by any means.

Trade Route

The Trade Route card works differently than other Faction Locations. Instead of building it as a Location, you can use its ability to establish trade deals with enemy Locations. This allows you to gain certain benefits from those enemy Locations. However, remember that you cannot choose a Deal with an enemy Location when you activate the Action of another Location. I hope this explanation helps you understand how Faction Locations work in the game. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

If you lose this Location (for example, if the enemy destroys it), the Deals it allowed you to make still work.

About the Egyptians



This place doesn’t cost any resources to build. You can construct it for free, but you still need to use your turn to take the “Build Location” action.

Note: When you activate an action location, you normally place the goods on the location card. However, covering the location with another card can be inconvenient. It’s better to discard the card and take a worker from the general supply to show that the action has been executed.

Chariot Builder

This action allows you to destroy any enemy location without using any extra destruction tokens. You only need to use one token to activate the action. You can even destroy a location that is protected by a samurai or a defense token.


If an opponent spends multiple pairs of workers at once, you will receive one worker for each pair that they spend.


When you use the Action of the Sphinx, it’s not considered destroying a Location. Instead, you can immediately place a card from your hand as a Foundation in your Empire. Plus, you get 1 stone (instead of Wood) when you turn a Location into a Foundation.

The Sphinx

During the Production phase, the Feature of the Sphinx is also active.

The Temple of Ra

If you take over a Location that belongs to another player, you can’t discard it to construct other Locations. And if the previous owner of the Location had already used it the maximum number of times, you can’t use it either. The Temple of Ra uses a special Egyptian token to indicate the takeover. To show that the Action has been executed, use a Worker from the general supply.

The Romans



I can totally get rid of an enemy Location by discarding it from someone else’s Empire. It’s not the same as completely destroying it, though.

Trade Colony

When this Location is built, it counts as brown, grey, and red at the same time. It’s pretty versatile!


My action as a Spy doesn’t count as Making a Deal. So, if you want to pick a player who commands the Japanese and they have Deals with your enemy Locations (because of the Trade Route card), you can’t take those Deals away. You can only choose a Deal that’s under an enemy Faction board.


So, imagine this scenario: you lose a Location in your Empire. It could be because you decided to get rid of it in order to build another Faction Location, or maybe it was razed by someone else. Either way, you might be worried about losing the Resources that were stored in that Location.

Well, here’s the good news: those Resources aren’t immediately lost! Instead, they’re added to your supply. What does that mean? It means that you can still use those Resources until the Cleanup phase of the current round.

Let’s talk about the Barbarians.



Let me tell you about the Saboteurs. These sneaky folks have a tricky move up their sleeves. They can take 1 Resource from another player’s supply (but not one they spent to activate a Location) and add it to their own supply.

Dark Chapel

The Dark Chapel is an interesting location. When you want to raze an enemy Location that’s protected by a Samurai or a Defense token, you need to use more Raze tokens. It’s like the Dark Chapel amps up the destruction, making it harder for you to take down your opponent’s Location.


Next up, we have the Pack. This card works a bit differently. When you activate its Action, you don’t raze an enemy Location. Instead, you get to choose any of the Goods depicted in the card’s Raze field from the general supply. It’s like a shopping spree for free!


Get ready for the Rabble! When you turn a Location into a Foundation, you’ll receive 1 Wood, just like normal. It’s a little bonus for your hard work. Who doesn’t love a little extra something?


The Mission card is something special. When you draw cards because of this Location’s Action, you have a chance to get either a Common card or a Faction card. It’s like a surprise every time you draw. You never know what you’ll get!


Last but not least, let’s talk about the Robbers. These guys have a knack for thievery. They can pilfer Resources from other players and keep it for themselves. Watch out for these tricksters!

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