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3.1 Your Headquarters

Your Headquarters page is the home page for your House, and you will start from here each time you sign in. From this page you access all other House functions via the Main Menu or from links on the HQ page itself.

The page displays your Housename, coat-of-arms and motto at the top of the screen. Following this is an indication of your current status score and position in the galaxy. Your Homeworld and Spheres of Activity are then displayed. You may click on your homeworld to go to the Planet Information Panel for that planet, and you may click on a Sphere Of Activity to enter a more detailed view for this Sphere, from where you can issue instructions for and control the activities of that Sphere. See the Spheres of Activity section for more details.

You may view the Headquarters page of another House (and vice versa) by clicking on that House's coat-of-arms wherever this is displayed, but obviously you will not be able to amend any details unless it is your own House. If you are viewing a different House you will also see an indication of the time of that player's latest login and whether or not the player is currently logged on, at the bottom of the screen. You can also send the player a message by clicking the link here.

Apart from your spheres of activity, most of your House information is accessed via the menu on the left of the screen. The options on this menu are dealt with in turn in the following sections.

3.1.1 Status and Influence

Before examining the menu options available from your HQ it is worth discussing the concepts of Status and Influence, by which your House will be rated in the game.

Each time you log in to your HQ you will see your status score beneath your House crest and motto, together with your ranking in the galaxy. Clicking on the ranking link will take you to a list of all Houses in the galaxy ranked by descending status. Your status score will determine the title that is displayed beneath your House name beside your crest. These titles are as follows:

  • Status <0  Contemptible
  • Status 1-25  Minnow
  • Status 26-75  Lesser House
  • Status 76-250  Minor House
  • Status 251-500  Major House
  • Status 501-1000  Great House
  • Status 1001+  Imperial House

There is one additional status bracket - 'Renegade'. This applies to Houses that have undertaken attacks on other Houses illegally and without due cause - see the Feud Scores section for further information.

Status is derived from two areas. Firstly, the sum of your influence on each of the planets within your operational range. You increase your influence on a planet mainly by through building facilities there, but winning the Senate seat for the planet also provides a major influence boost, and successful propaganda directed against a rival House on the planet can help. You can also commission permanent public works on a planet to gain a significant influence boost (see below). The levels of influence you can achieve are as follows:

  • Negligible
  • Insignificant
  • Minor
  • Moderate
  • Substantial
  • Major
  • Huge
  • Enormous
  • Supreme

At the higher levels of influence (substantial and above), your House will benefit financially from reduced costs in all activities carried out on that planet - reaching a 25% cost reduction when you have Supreme influence on a planet.

Aside from planetary influence, you also gain or lose status based on actions carried out within the game. This 'temporary' status will fade over time, with gains and losses accrued in this way halving each game year as past events fade into memory. The causes for these status changes vary widely, from gaining status through a dynastic marriage or victory in a duel or battle, through losing status due to insulting another House or being warned by the Emperor for piracy. Whatever the reason, such status adjustments are immediately added to your overall status and will be halved after each game year, until they fade into insignificance.

Status also dictates how many spheres of activity you will be able to operate. At certain levels you will become eligible to open a new sphere of activity. See the Spheres of Activity section for details.

Public Works In addition to building income-generating or other useful facilities on a planet, you can also boost your influence considerably by commissioning public works. These are expensive works that serve the good of the planetary populace, and their creation will bring a rise in popularity and hence in influence for your House. The work is named as you see fit, and cannot be destroyed - the populace is assumed to rebuild them in the event of a destructive event. Public Works have no in-game effect other than to grant an influence boost. The works available to build are listed below, together with the average build price. Note that there is no cost to maintain a Public Work, any such burden is taken on by the local Government or volunteers from the population.

  • Charitable Foundation  Costs around $20000 to commission. Brings a small influence boost
  • Monument  Costs around $20000 to commission. Brings a small influence boost
  • Hospice  Costs around $30000 to commission. Brings a moderate influence boost
  • Library  Costs around $30000 to commission. Brings a moderate influence boost
  • Museum/Gallery  Costs around $50000 to commission. Brings a fairly large influence boost
  • Medical Research Centre  Costs around $50000 to commission. Brings a fairly large influence boost
  • Planetary Reserve  Costs around $100000 to commission. Brings a very large influence boost

Since the influence boost from construction of a public work reflects appreciation of the work by the populace, there is a rule of diminishing returns in place when it comes to building multiple public works on the same planet. The influence gain you will receive is considerably less for the second and subsequent public works on a planet, and if the same House builds many works there, that House will receive little or no benefit once the first few works are in place. This reflects the fact that once such works become commonplace, the impact of a new public work on the populace is much less apparent - "Oh, House <xxx> built another monument? Big deal".

You can view the public works on a planet and commission new ones by following the 'Public Works' link from the main Planetary Information Panel for a planet (see section 3.2 below).

3.1.2 Dynasty

This screen, the first option beneath your Headquarters on the main menu, displays information about all of your important dynasty members. Your House Leader is listed first followed by all his/her relations.

The description of each individual and his or her skills is given beneath the name. Beneath this, any additional information is displayed - such as whether or not the individual is expecting a child, suffering from illness, and so on. Be aware that a character will age twice in each game year - a 'year' in the game being an Imperial standard measure, whereas ages are measured in the equivalent of our own Earth years, for clarity.

There are two settings you may adjust from the Dynasty screen - Security level and Education (for younger adults only).

Security Level is an indication of the protection afforded to this individual by your security forces. This will depend upon how at risk you believe the individual to be from assassination attempts. Higher security levels are very expensive to maintain and will eat a big hole in your budget, so should only be used if you judge the risk to this individual to be serious. Otherwise, your money is better spent expanding your empire!
There are five available levels of security for each individual, as follows:

  • Minimal       ($100/month) The individual has protection only on special request, from the House pool of bodyguards.
  • Standard     ($500/month) The individual is assigned one or two bodyguards at almost all times.
  • Enhanced   ($1000/month) The individual is assigned one or two bodyguards with psionic support at almost all times.
  • Formidable ($2000/month) The individual is protected by a retinue of bodyguards with psionic support at all times.
  • Maximum    ($4000/month) The individual is protected by a retinue of specially trained elite bodyguards with substantial psionic support at all times.

All costs are in Galactic Solars, the standard unit of currency in Imperium Nova (see the treasury section). By default, your House Leader has standard security and all your other House members minimal security. Once you have begun play you may adjust this as you see fit with immediate effect.

Education. Your dynasty members aged 18-25 are eligible to benefit from education in order to improve their duelling and administrative skills. Unless you choose In-House education, which has very limited benefit, this will have a significant cost attached and will also prevent the selection of that individual as the leader of any of your spheres of activity, until the education is complete or the individual is recalled In-House.

Skills of those in education improve slowly over time, with a new level attainable perhaps every game year or so. However, the higher levels of skill are harder to reach. Additionally, younger characters will find it easier to improve their duelling skills, whereas older students will find it easier to improve their administrative skills. You may of course switch between different educational regimes as you see fit.

There are five educational options available, as follows:

  • In-House              No cost. The individual studies in his/her spare time and is available for duties as normal.
  • Military Academy ($500/month) The individual is trained militarily with the emphasis on duelling skills.
  • University              ($500/month) The individual is trained academically with the emphasis on administrative skills.
  • Elite Academy      ($2000/month) As per military academy but a higher standard of education.
  • Elite University     ($2000/month) As per university but a higher standard of education.

Cost considerations are likely to play a major part in determining whether you send away your younger House members to be educated. The elite institutes will help improve a student's skills faster, but at greatly increased cost. It is also worth noting that should you opt to send a student to Military Academy or Elite Academy, a portion of the fees you pay will go to any Houses who are maintaining Military Academies on your homeworld.

Marriages. At the start of the game, your 'older generation' characters are assumed to be married or otherwise unavailable for marriage, regardless of whether or not their partner is listed on your dynasty screen as an active member of your House. Younger dynasty members and those that come of age after you join the game will be able to marry into other dynasties, which can have benefits both in terms of increased status and improved relations between the two Houses - not to mention the prospect of bringing more children into the galaxy to prolong your dynasty. If this option is available to a particular character, you will see an 'eligible to marry' link beside the character name in the dynasty screen. Once married, the name of the partner will appear alongside the character name instead. See the section on Dynastic Marriages for more details.

Retainers. Aside from your dynasty members themselves, you may also hire retainers to take charge of your spheres of activity or for other purposes, such as standing on behalf of your House in senate elections, or acting as House Champion for duels. Retainers have the same characteristics as any other person in the game - charisma, intellect etc. Each retainer will require a set wage to be paid each month, the better the retainer the higher the wage will generally be. For more details, see the Retainers section.

Faiths. Any of your characters may adopt a Faith. This is a process largely outside of your control, the chances being related to the strength of a given Faith on your homeworld, although if you adopt a House official Faith, your characters will be more likely to convert to that particular Faith. You will receive an event message when this occurs and the Faith and rank of a character will be displayed. You will also be able to carry out certain actions on behalf of your Faith and may be able to rise through the Faith hierarchy to higher ranks. See the Character Faiths section for more details.

That concludes the Dynasty section. Note that you can also view the Dynasty screen for another House through the link provided on their HQ page, however you will not see their security or education settings. To discover the security arrangements of another House you must have first successfully infiltrated that House with an agent (see Covert Operations).

3.1.3 Treasury

The Treasury screen is where you can find a summary of your House finances. You should consult this screen regularly, to determine what you can afford to do in each game month, and to keep an eye on your costs. The galactic currency is the Solar ($).

Each House begins the game with a treasury of at least $10,000 (more in well-established galaxies). This is enough to pay for maintenance of your operations for the first month and to build one or two additional facilities, so that you can generate enough income to balance your outgoings.

It is strongly recommended that all players retain a balance of over $1000 at all times, to prevent any sudden unexpected cost or income fluctuations driving a House into bankruptcy!

Financial updates occur on a daily basis. On the first day of each new month (see the calendar) your total costs and income are applied to your balance, and the new balance carried forward into the next month. During any given month, you can see from the Treasury screen a running total of your currently accrued income and costs for each activity, and a projection of the total income or outlay that will be applied to your balance at the end of the current month. This projection is approximate, since numerous factors can result in small changes to your costs and income, and so you should be careful when planning expenditure if your projected balance is close to zero - should you unintentionally fall into the red you may go bankrupt and lose everything (see below).

Income and Costs are broken down into individual items, so you can see exactly where your money is coming from and going to. There are several set monthly costs, some of which are listed below:

  • Infrastructure The cost of maintaining your spheres of activity. Depends on the number spheres you operate in and increases dramatically the more facilities you have in that sphere.
  • Security The cost of your security arrangements for your Dynasty.
  • Defence Upkeep costs associated with your military units. The larger your military, the higher the costs.
  • Technology Cost invested in technological research.
  • Covert Operations Cost to keep your spies out in the field. Increases for each spy you plant.
  • Facility Maintenance Cost to maintain your existing facilities. Set cost for each facility.
  • Education Cost to fund the education of your younger House members.

Apart from variable regular maintenance costs such as these, you will also incur one-time costs for building new facilities, creating new military units, and numerous other activities, from funding space piracy to paying the dowry for a noble marriage.

Turning to income, the majority should come from profitable facilities that you have constructed. Income is broken down according to the Sphere of Activity of each facility. Individual facility profitability can be viewed from the Facility Management Screen for that Sphere, accessed from your HQ screen. You can also gain income from other sources, such as gifts. All profits from facility operations are taxed by the Emperor at a standard rate. This can vary over time according to the will of the Emperor and the Senate. The Emperor is charged with using this money to combat piracy and renegade houses, and to maintain peace and order throughout the galaxy.

It is important to bear in mind that your relative level of technological advancement affects both your profits and costs. The further ahead you are of others in your galaxy in technological terms, the more your profits will be boosted, but your costs will also be correspondingly higher. See the Technology section for more information.

You should keep a close eye on the 'Projected Closing Balance' figure at the bottom of the screen. If this is less than your 'Monthly Opening Balance' figure, then you are losing money and need to either cut costs or generate more profit! At the start of play this will be the case, so your first action should be to build a facility or two in order to begin to generate profits. Diligent research will of course assist you in the decision as to which facilities to build and where.

It is, however, also worth bearing in mind that inflation and other factors will result in a depreciation of your cash reserves by 3% per game month. For this reason it is best not to sit on a very large end-of-month balance, once you are in the enviable position of being able to amass great wealth. Instead, consider commencing operations in the Financial sphere, and loaning out your excess funds - or simply use the 'gift/tribute' function to help those less well-off than yourself!

Gifts/Tributes If you have been in the game for a month or more real-time, you may access the 'Gifts/Tributes' screen. This enables you to pay money to another House for whatever reason - gifts, blackmail, bribery, or payment for services rendered. You cannot pay the same House more than once per game month.

Borrowing You may also take out loans, either from the Imperial Bank (the Emperor) or from another player operating in the Finance sphere. Interest rates are normally high and so this is not a good idea unless you are desperate. The total amount you may borrow is determined by your credit rating, as follows:

  • X   May not borrow money
  • D   Maximum debt $5000
  • C   Maximum debt $10000
  • B   Maximum debt $25000
  • A   Maximum debt $50000

You will begin with a credit rating of 'D', and gain in credit rating as your status reaches new levels. Rating 'X' is reserved for those who have defaulted on previous loans (and lived to tell the tale...). Your credit rating and outstanding loans are visible at the top right of the Treasury page. Click on the 'Loans' link to access further details of your existing loans, and arrange new ones.

From the 'Loans' page you can see all loans available to you as well as any loans you have already taken out and their due date. Loans are not repaid incrementally, but in full upon completion of the loan period. At this time your loan plus total interest will be repaid automatically providing you have enough funds in your treasury to do so. You can of course take out an additional loan in order to repay the first one, as long as your total debt does not exceed the totals listed above. You may repay a loan early if your treasury allows it by clicking the 'Repay' link beside each loan. In this case the amount repaid includes the full interest amount even if the loan did not proceed to its full term. You may also choose to deliberately withhold a loan repayment by checking the box against each loan.

Should you fail to repay a loan at the due date, for whatever reason, the House that lent you the money will accrue Feud Score against you, as will the Emperor and all allied Houses. This situation is highly likely to lead to the downfall of your House, and so should be avoided!

Bankruptcy  Should your maintenance costs take your monthly balance below zero, you will automatically take out any available loans to cover the deficit. If there are no loans available, or if you have already borrowed the maximum allowed and your balance falls below zero, you will be declared bankrupt and your existing facilities, military units, spies and so on will be subject to liquidation one by one in order to recover the deficit. Your balance will be reset to $5000.00, with all remaining loans cancelled. Any Houses who lent you money will accrue Feud Score against you as if you had deliberately withheld the repayment, as above. Most of your expenditures (e.g. tech research and so on) will be reset to the lowest level automatically. You will also take a large drop in status and your credit rating will be set to 'X', preventing you from borrowing again. Needless to say, you do not want this to happen, not least because the actual money recovered from dismantled facilities to balance your debts is only one third of the original build cost.

3.1.4 Technology

The Technology screen shows your current Technology Level (see below), together with the average Technology Level for the galaxy. This is also the place where you set your desired Technology Research Budget. Your research budget will directly affect how quickly you increase your tech level. The budgetary levels are as follows:

  • None     No cost - but your tech level will soon fall behind the average
  • Minimal  $500/month
  • Small     $2000/month
  • Medium $5000/month
  • Large     $10000/month
  • Huge      $25000/month

Anyone can set a research level of 'Small' or lower, however to set the budget above this requires technology as a sphere of activity. To set it to 'Huge', technology must be your primary sphere of activity.

Your Technology level affects numerous factors throughout the game to a small degree. Often it is not your actual Tech Level itself that is the important factor, but your Tech Level relative to the rest of the Galaxy. If you are behind the Galactic average Tech Level your costs will be slightly reduced, but your income also reduced. If on the other hand you are ahead of the rest of the Galaxy in technology terms, your costs will be higher (reflecting the more expensive technologies in use) but your income will be boosted by the same factor. Since your income should be higher than your costs, having a higher Tech Level is a definite advantage. The only exception would be for facilities that are not profitable at all. These would be even more of a liability if you are ahead on Tech than if you are not!

Importantly, your Technology Level also determines the 'Operational Range' of your House. This figure (arrived at by rounding your Tech Level down to a whole number) indicates how many sectors distance from your homeworld your operations can reach. Outside of this range you may not build facilities, launch attacks, or carry out any covert operations. Within the range you may perform all of these activities, although costs will be higher the further the target sector lies from your homeworld. Note that those Houses that specialise in Transportation benefit from an increased Operational Range due to the specialised nature of their technology.

It also goes without saying that in Military terms an improved Tech Level gives you an advantage over your enemies with a lower Tech Level.

To progress to a higher Tech Level takes a large amount of research. In real-time terms it takes many months of research to increase your Tech Level by a full point. Each game month your research will progress further. The actual progress will depend on your research budget, the number of technology research facilities you have built (if 'Technology' is one of your Spheres of Activity), and your relative technology level. If you are ahead of the rest of the galaxy your research is slowed down somewhat to reflect the fact that your are already at the leading edge. Similarly if you are behind, you gain a small boost to research as more and more technologies become common knowledge. Your Tech Level will show increases of 0.01 of a point or more, so you have some idea how close to the next level you are as time goes by.

You will see that getting and staying ahead of your rivals technologically is expensive and resource-consuming. Given the benefits outlined above, it is up to each individual House Leader to decide how much of that House's resources to put into the Tech Race.

3.1.5 Defence

From this screen you can view and maintain your military units and facilities. The screen is divided into two sections: firstly, a list of all your fortresses and secondly a list of your military units.

From here you can also follow the links at the top right of the screen to launch military operations, and to view any military operations ongoing or previously carried out, as well as any attacks currently or recently ongoing against you. See the Military Operations section for full details.

You begin the game with a single medium fortress - your headquarters - and a single Company, the smallest military unit available. You may build new and upgrade existing fortresses and units as you see fit once the money to create and maintain these becomes available. Your fortresses form a crucial defensive buffer should you come under attack during a feud. Before any of your profit-making facilities can be destroyed on a planet, your fortresses on that planet must be neutralised, which means the destruction of all units based there. It follows that the more fortresses you have on a planet the harder it is to get to you during a feud.

There are six types of fortress that may be built, each correspondingly greater in defensive strength and capable of garrisoning more units. These are as follows:

  • Guard Post Cost $1200 and $500/month to maintain. Can hold 2 Companies or equivalent.
  • Small Cost $2400 and $750/month to maintain. Can hold 4 Companies or equivalent.
  • Medium Cost $4800 and $1000/month to maintain. Can hold 6 Companies or equivalent.
  • Large Cost $9600 and $1250/month to maintain. Can hold 8 Companies or equivalent.
  • Huge Cost $18000 and $1500/month to maintain. Can hold 10 Companies or equivalent.
  • Indomitable Cost $36000 and $1750/month to maintain. Can hold 12 Companies or equivalent.

Note that the maintenance for your Headquarters fortress is always free. However, should your HQ be destroyed, you will suffer a 10% increase to all your infrastructure costs (see Treasury, 3.1.3 above) until you build or allocate a new one - so be sure to ensure you always have an operational HQ.

As with all facilities, the cost to upgrade to the next level is 75% of the cost to build a new facility of that level. So to upgrade a small fortress to a medium fortress has a basic cost of $1500. (Note the term 'basic cost' is used as the actual cost of any operation will be modified by a variety of factors, such as the efficacy of your House Leadership and the distance of the site from your homeworld).

We have already mentioned that a Company is the smallest unit. There are two other units available, as the following list illustrates:

  • Company Basic unit. Basic recruitment cost $4000, monthly maintenance $1000.
  • Battalion Equivalent to 2 Companies. Basic recruitment cost $8000, monthly maintenance $1750.
  • Legion Equivalent to 3 Companies. Basic recruitment cost $12000, monthly maintenance $2500.

Each unit must be based in a particular fortress, specified when the unit is recruited (your initial unit is based in your HQ). You may move units between fortresses at any time for a small cost, related to the distance between the planets concerned. However bear in mind that an unmanned fortress will have a greatly reduced defensive capacity should it come under attack. Note that if you overfill a fortress with units (not normally allowed but possible under certain circumstances), the units in excess of the capacity listed above will not receive any defensive bonus from the fortress in the event of any attack, as they are caught out in the open and must fight a field battle.

As with any operation, building and upgrading fortresses and recruiting or moving units will take a certain amount of game time. You will see approximately how long, together with the potential cost and resulting treasury balance when you are transferred to the Task Confirmation screen after selecting your desired action. You may then confirm or cancel the operation.

From the defence screen you may carry out the following actions:

  • Build a new fortress
  •  Click the '+' icon to the right of the 'Fortresses' heading and select required details.
  • Upgrade an existing fortress
  •  Click the upgrade icon at the far right of the fortress row to order an upgrade of that fortress to the next level.
  • Rename an existing fortress
  •  Click on a fortress name. Input the new name, then click the 'tick' icon to confirm or the 'cross' icon to cancel.
  • Recruit a new unit
  •  Click the '+' icon to the right of the 'Military Units' heading and select required details.
  • Move a unit
  •  Select the destination from the dropdown box in the 'Reassign To' column, and click the 'update' button.
  • Rename an existing unit
  •  Click on a unit name. Input the new name, then click the 'tick' icon to confirm or the 'cross' icon to cancel.
  • Reinforce a unit to 100% health
  •  If a unit has taken damage, you may click on the upgrade icon next to the unit health to reinforce to 100%.
  • Disband a unit
  •  Click the large 'cross' icon at the far right of the unit row. Use only if you cannot afford your maintenance costs!

Note that you can only reinforce a damaged unit if that unit has returned to base, and is not currently in transit or involved in a military operation. Also, if the planet on which the unit is based is currently under attack from one of your enemies, you will be unable to reinforce the unit, since the available manpower will be otherwise engaged.

Reinforcing existing units is approximately 25% cheaper than building new ones, and the units will retain their experience, so it is usually better to reinforce a badly damaged unit than to build a new one.


Mercenaries In addition to military units you recruit yourself, you may also be able to hire mercenaries from another House - any House operating within the Military sphere is eligible to offer out their units for hire in this way, to all Houses within range. Although hiring mercenaries is naturally more expensive than recruiting them yourself, there are certain advantages to this.

Firstly, the unit is available as soon as it can be transferred to one of your fortresses, a matter of a couple of game days, rather than 20 or 30 for recruiting a new unit. Also, the unit may be of higher quality or tech level than your own troops, and may therefore confer an advantage in battle that you would otherwise not have had. Finally, you only have to pay the maintenance costs for the unit for as long as it is under your control, so regardless of whether the unit survives to return to the owning House or is destroyed, your costs will return to their previous level.

To view mercenaries for hire in your range, click the 'Mercenaries' link from your Defence screen. You will first see a list of all mercenaries currently under your employ - initially none. From this screen, you may view the list of available mercenaries by following the 'Hire Mercenaries' link at the top right. This will show you a list of all available mercenaries together with the fee to hire and the term of hire. The fee is decided by the hirer and will be market-driven - but it will always be higher than the cost to recruit a new unit yourself. The term is the period in game time for which the unit becomes yours. This term can range from 5 months to 5 years. It is important to note that you will pay the maintenance costs for any hired mercenaries as if they were your own units, so bear this in mind when evaluating the associated costs of any mercenaries.

Once you confirm hire of a unit, there is a short delay whilst the unit is transferred from it's current fortress to the fortress you have selected to receive it. Obviously, a mercenary unit already on the same planet will arrive at your fortress a lot quicker than one a long distance away when you hire it. The unit will appear as if it were one of your own units in your Defence military units section, however you will notice a double asterisk after the unit name, to indicate this is a mercenary. You will also be unable to rename or disband any mercenary units you have hired. Once arrived at the initial fortress, the mercenary unit may take part in military operations as if it were one of your own units. However, you may not include this unit in attacks against the power that hired you the unit!

As already stated, the mercenaries currently in your pay are listed on the 'Mercenaries' screen together with an indication of the original hire cost and term remaining. If the unit survives the term of hire, it will return to the hiring House at the end of this period. You can also return a mercenary early if you do not want to continue to pay the maintenance costs - however, you won't get any of the hire fee refunded.

3.1.6 Covert Ops

Given that outright war is expensive and requires a good reason if you are not to become a renegade, covert operations remain one of the best ways to get and stay ahead of your rivals for power in the galaxy. From this screen you can set your covert operations budget, recruit and assign agents and fund space piracy if you so desire.

Your covert ops budget determines how many agents you can support at a given time.

  • None     No cost - but you may not use any agents
  • Minimal  ($500/month) Maximum 2 agents active
  • Small     ($2000/month) Maximum 5 agents active
  • Medium ($5000/month) Maximum 10 agents active
  • Large     ($10000/month) Maximum 20 agents active
  • Huge      ($25000/month) Maximum 40 agents active

Anyone can set a budget of 'Small' or lower, however to set the budget above this requires covert operations as a sphere of activity. To set it to 'Huge', covert ops must be your primary sphere of activity.

Agents You can activate a new agent by clicking the link in the 'Agents' section. There is a small cost attached. Your newly activated agent will be inexperienced - a rookie - unless you have covert operations as your primary sphere of activity in which case the agent will begin with standard experience. Agents gain further experience over time and for carrying out missions, until they reach 'Master' status.

Your covert operatives can have one of two roles. When first activated, an agent will be assigned to 'Counterespionage' at your HQ. The agent will attempt to prevent any infiltration of your House by rival factions. The more agents you have assigned to counterespionage, the less chance an enemy has of successfully carrying out covert operations against you. If you operate in the Psionics sphere of activity, your counterespionage agents are even more effective. Agent experience is also very important.

Alternatively, you can assign your agents to infiltrate another House rather than concentrate on counterespionage. Only Houses with headquarters on planets within your operational range may be infiltrated. Your agent may be placed in a specialist area in order to increase the chances of certain missions, or else in no particular area, giving no advantage for any one mission or disadvantage for any other. The potential areas an agent may infiltrate are:

  • General
    The agent will not infiltrate a specialist area and receives no bonuses or penalties for specific missions
  • Commercial
    The agent will infiltrate the commercial operations of the target. Intelligence from commercial activities will be easier to obtain
  • Covert Operations
    The agent will attempt infiltrate the target's covert operations network. More risky than any other operation but the only way to examine another player's spies
  • Military
    An agent in the military can provide intelligence on troop placements more easily
  • Political
    Infiltrating the political infrastructure of a rival makes it easier to spread propaganda
  • Security
    Knowledge of the security arrangements of a target improves the chances of successful assassinations
  • Treasury
    An agent in the treasury expedites Fraud as well as improving the chances of obtaining intelligence on the target's finances

If successful, your agent will be placed in the target House at the lowest level of infiltration. There are four levels of infiltration:

  • Alpha    The agent has an unimportant position and is not trusted with sensitive information
  • Beta      The agent has acquired a position of minor responsibility
  • Gamma The agent has penetrated to a position of some power
  • Delta      The agent is in deep and close to the top of the House hierarchy

Once placed, you may attempt to increase the agent's infiltration level. Since any position requires trust before the agent can infiltrate deeper, there are huge disadvantages if you attempt to increase your infiltration too soon after the agent has reached his current level. As a rule, you should leave at least three months (game time) before attempting to increase infiltration - the longer the better. If an agent is discovered he will be terminated, and worse still your House may be implicated giving the player you were spying on Feud Score against you!

Once you have an agent within another House, you may assign that agent to missions. The higher the infiltration level and experience of the agent, the greater the chance of success. The types of mission available are as follows:

  • Intelligence Report
    Your agent attempts to report back details of the target's operations. An intelligence report can be ordered for each of the areas within which an agent may be placed (e.g. commercial, treasury, military etc).
  • Fraud
    Your agent attempts to defraud the target out of a sum of money. The difficulty of such a mission increases dramatically with the size of the amount involved.
  • Sabotage
    Your agent will attempt to damage and ideally destroy one of the target's facilities. Military facilities are much harder to sabotage than commercial facilities.
  • Steal Explorations
    An agent may try to access the private explorations data of the target House. If successful you may gain knowledge of new sectors known to that House but not your own.
  • Steal Technology
    An agent may try to access sensitive research information from the target House in order to boost your own tech level. Only worthwhile if the target is siginficantly ahead of you in tech level.
  • Propaganda
    Your agent will spread propaganda against the target House. If successful, the target will lose influence on the selected planet, and your own House may gain influence.
  • Provoke Diplomatic Incident
    This mission allows you to gain Feud Score against an innocent House. Your agent will arrange things so that your own House can claim a justifiable cause for feud with the target House, increasing your Feud Score agains them by one or more points.
  • Misinformation
    Create 'fake' intelligence to throw enemy agents off the scent. Must be targeted at a particular House. If that House attempts to file an intelligence report concerning your operations, your misinformation may be picked up instead.
  • Assassination
    The most expensive mission. Success chance depends on the security level of the target as well as the usual factors of agent experience and infiltration level, and target counterespionage level.

All missions have a cost associated, the exact amount being dictated by the difficulty and complexity of the mission. You may choose to meticulously plan a mission, paying extra to do so, in order to increase the chance of success. Conversely you can rush a mission through if you need results quickly, although your success chances will then be significantly reduced. The target player's counterespionage arrangements will also be crucial in determining whether or not your agent succeeds. A rough estimate of the chances of the mission succeeding will be displayed on the task confirmation screen before you confirm whether the mission should go ahead.

As with increasing infiltration, if your agent fails he may be caught, with potentially serious consequences. For this reason you should think carefully before ordering a mission which your agent is likely to fail.

All agents placed in other Houses have a small ongoing chance of exposure. The longer an agent remains at a given infiltration level within a House, the lower this chance.

Space Piracy Aside from your agents, the other aspect of Covert Operations concerns the funding of space piracy. This is rarely a profitable activity, unless there is a huge amount of trade involving the planet concerned. Most often you will make a net loss on funding piracy if you choose to do so. However, piracy can be a real thorn in the side of Houses trading on a particular planet and can be used as a tool to disadvantage your opponents.

To fund piracy on a particular planet, just add it to the list using the 'plus' sign on the piracy screen. You can only fund piracy on planets within your operational range. There are three levels of funding - the more funding you provide the more the profits of anyone trading there will be hit. If several players are heavily funding piracy on a planet the effect can be devastating.

Piracy can be combated by two means - firstly, each trade route has a 'security' level (see the description of the Mercantile sphere). If this level is set above 'none' then the route will be less prone to piracy, although trade route security has its own costs attached. Secondly, the Imperial Police presence in that planetary system will play a major part in reducing piracy. Additionally, a high police presence increases the chance that those players supporting Piracy will receive an Imperial Warning for their activities. Should such a warning be issued the offending House will receive an immediate -2 Status hit. If a House receives three warnings within a three-month period, the Emperor will receive Feud Score against that House and is bound by the senate to take action - either through negotiating some kind of settlement between the affected parties or else through more direct means of punishment.

3.1.7 Embassy

Your embassy is the diplomatic and communications nerve centre of your operation. From here you can join and maintain alliances, keep abreast of any agreements and monopolies you have, and send and view personal messages.

Message Bank This section of the Embassy screen lists all unread messages received. You will see a number in brackets on the main menu against the 'Embassy' section wbenever you have new messages, indicating how many new messages there are. To read a message, click on it in the list. You can reply to the message or delete it.

You can view all your read and sent personal messages by clicking the 'View All Messages' link on the right hand side of this section of the Embassy. Additionally, you can always create a new message from the 'Write New Message' link that appears on both the Embassy and the Message Bank screens.

When writing a new message, you must select the 'To' House. You can either input the correct name, or else use the 'Search' function to display a list of the Houses in your Galaxy. You can search for only Houses whose name contains certain text by selecting the 'substring' option from the dropdown box.

Your messages will be stored indefinitely until you delete them.

Alliances You may, if you wish, form or join an alliance with one or more other Houses. By entering into such an alliance, you are making a commitment to assist your allies and do what you can to ensure the well-being of allied Houses as well as your own.

You may only enter one 'official' alliance, so you should choose your allies carefully. You do not want to be dragged into damaging conflicts for no good reason by a foolhardy ally. The position of your allies' homeworld in relation to your own is also important. If an ally is out of your operational range then you may not be able to assist in defending his/her homeworld, and vice versa. But if an ally is very close by, the overall area of influence of your alliance will be limited. A further consideration might be the real-world time zone of your ally. If you are logged on at different times then perhaps your ally will pick up on events that occur when you are offline and be able to react quickly to stave off disaster. This is particularly relevant if you are on holiday or otherwise unable to log in for a lengthy period.

When you first join an alliance, you should access the 'Alliance Defence' screen from the main Alliance Details page, and set your preferences for defending your allies. If you are very weak militarily, you may wish to hold off from selecting the 'Defend All Allies' option. However it is good manners to ensure that your fortresses and patrols will defend any ally who should come under attack on a planet where you have a military presence, and most alliances will encourage you to do so.

You can create your own alliance (requires a status score of more than 25, and costs $5000), or request permission to join an existing alliance, by clicking the 'View/Join Alliance' link from the Embassy page. This screen will list all existing alliances. If you wish to join an alliance you can click the appropriate link and input a message to accompany your application. There is no limit to the number of players that may enter into a given alliance. A large alliance will be politically and militarily powerful - if all of its members are loyal and reliable.

Feud Scores This section of the embassy indicates how many Houses you have earnt feud score against. You may only legitimately conduct military operations against a House on planets that fall within Imperial Jurisdication if you have adequate Feud Score against that House - normally two points for a full-scale military operation.

For details of the military actions you may take against such enemies, see the Feuds section of the rulebook.

Feud Score against a given House is normally accrued whenever that House conducts hostile operations against you. A 'Feud Score' indicates recognition from the Senate and Galactic populace as a whole that your House has been wronged and you have justifiable reason to take action against your enemy to the extent that your Feud Score allows. Feud Score can be increased through many situations, including the discovery of enemy agents attempting covert operations against you, the receipt of an insult from another House, or the failure of a House to repay a debt due to you. Additionally, the Emperor gains Feud Score against tax dodgers, loan defaulters and those who receive repeated warnings for funding piracy or trading in outlawed commodities.

Agreements Your House is likely to compete in its economic activities both with local small Houses and also the more important large Houses in the galaxy. In order to minimize potential conflict and increase your own growth potential, you may wish to cement official agreements with your competitors, to allow you to operate unimpeded in certain economic areas, in return for similar concessions elsewhere from your own House. You may offer new agreements and view those proposed to your House from others, from the 'Agreement Offers' link alongside the Agreements section of your embassy. There are three broad types of agreement: Anti-Competition Agreements, Concessions, and Financial Subsidies.

An Anti-Competition Agreement will restrict the activities of the House concerned within a certain sphere, and may apply to one particular planet, or to all planets. Such agreements are particular to one sphere of activity and will vary in nature depending on the sphere chosen. In the simplest case, such as for the Psionics or Construction spheres, the party concerned would be agreeing not to build any facilities of that particular sphere on the planet(s) concerned. For the other spheres, such as Mercantile or Geological, there are additional details that may be required, such as agreeing not to trade in a certain commodity, or agreeing not to build a particular type of facility on a planet. For these cases, a second screen will be displayed when you create an agreement offer, in which you can input the required details.

In this way, you can attempt to monopolise a certain area on one or more planets, through diplomatic means - although this will of course mean giving up certain rights elsewhere in return.

The second agreement type is the Concession. Only certain spheres qualify for a Concession, and these are outlined below together with the effects for the parties concerned:

  • Construction  The House receiving the concession receives a 10% discount on construction costs on the planet(s) concerned*. This will affect the income of the granting House and any others with Construction facilities on the planet in question.
  • Defence  The House receiving the concession receives a 10% discount on all military recruitment and reinforcement costs on the planet(s) concerned*. This will affect the income of the granting House and any others with Military Academies on the planet in question.
  • Exploration The House receiving the concession will automatically share all of the future sector and planet discoveries of the granting House.
  • Geological The House receiving the concession may freely build mines on the Geological Deposits of the granting House. May be limited by planet and/or commodity type.
  • Transportation  The House receiving the concession gains a small bonus (0.1) to operational range***. The amount added is reduced by 10% for each additional transportation concession negotiated. The granter of the concession receives a 5% penalty to transportation income for each such concession granted.**
  • Research  The House receiving the concession gains the benefits of all the research facilities of the granting House on the planet(s) concerned, although the actual research efficiency of these facilities for the receiving House is reduced by 20%. There is no penalty for the granting party.
  • Psionics  The House receiving the concession gains a 10% discount to security costs and a 1% bonus to the success chance of covert operations for each concession. The granting House suffers a 5% penalty to overall psionics income for each concession granted.**
* The party granting the concession must have one or more relevant facilities on the planet concerned in order for the concession to take effect.
** Planet has no relevance to this concession type.
*** Facilities rendered out of range when the concession expires will remain, however no new construction on such a planet could occur until range is re-extended.

Be aware that bonuses for multiple concessions are compounded rather than simply added - three construction concessions on the same planet reduce your costs by 27% (not 30% as you might expect) since each new 10% is applied to a progressively smaller amount. Still, negotiating multiple concessions is highly desirable if you have something to offer. However, you may only receive or grant each type of concession once for any one given House.

The third agreement type is the Financial Subsidy. Under this agreement you simply pay or receive a set amount per month (maximum $25000) to or from the other agreement party. This may be in return for another type of agreement, or it may be a one-way subsidy. You can only have one such agreement with any one other House - you can't have one agreement where you receive a subsidy, and a second agreement where you are paying a subsidy to the same House. Note that all outgoing subsidies are terminated if your House goes bankrupt!

You can also make an agreement where one party grants or receives nothing from the other - i.e. a one-way agreement. To do this, select the 'none' option for 'Agreement Type' when preparing your proposal.

All agreements between Houses last for one game year, after which time they are voided - although you are always free to renegotiate them. Should you attempt to carry out an action in violation of one of your agreements, you will be warned on the task confirmation screen that this is the case. Should you proceed regardless, the agreement will be broken and the other party will accrue feud score against you.

You also have the option to terminate an agreement before it expires, from the agreement details screen. Should you do this, the other party will gain feud score as above, unless they have checked the 'Allow Termination by other Party' box on their own details screen for this agreement. Using this method, it is possible to terminate an agreement through mutual consent. You will see on the task confirmation screen whether or not any feud score will be generated by terminating the agreement in this way.

Making an agreement with another House serves to reduce any accrued Feud Score between the Houses. In this way, you can come to terms peacefully with a rival House through the creation of Agreements.

Embargoes Once you reach Lesser House status (>25 status points) you are able to impose economic embargoes against rival Houses, if you so desire. You may also find yourself subject to such measures from other Houses. You will see a section on your Embassy screen once you reach the appropriate status, listing any embargoes currently imposed either by or upon your House. You may impose a new embargo against a House, either on a single planet or for all planets in the galaxy, by following the 'Impose Embargo' link in this section.

The effects of an embargo will depend upon your influence on a given planet. The more influence you have, relative to that of other Houses on the planet, the more damaging an embargo imposed by you will be. It is quite possible to cripple a rival's operations on a planet through the imposition of an embargo, if you have a lot of influence on the planet in question, and other Houses have little influence there. However, should several Houses have more influence than you do on the planet concerned, there is little point in an embargo unless they also join in.

Imposing an embargo against another House does have some negative effects on your own operations. The act will cost you status, since such economic aggression is considered distasteful. An embargo on a single planet will cost you 1 status, whilst a pan-galactic embargo against a House, will cost you 3 status. Additionally, the target House will accrue Feud Score against you, and may choose to escalate the issue with military action. Finally, all of your own operations on the planet concerned will suffer a slightly increased maintenance cost for each embargo you impose, representing the effort of administering such an embargo and ensuring all goods and services on the planet(s) in question are not purchased from this House.

Note that once imposed, you may not lift an embargo until at least ten game days have passed.

Diplomatic Functions Clicking this link will take you to a page from where you may host a one-off diplomatic function in order to boost your status temporarily. If your function is lavish enough, it will even make the news headlines. All status gains from such functions are temporary and will be removed again after one game year - so keeping up your status can be a costly business if you rely heavily on such functions! There are five types of function, varying in cost from $1500 to host a low-key reception up to $15000 to stage a festival spanning several days. The status you will gain ranges from 1-10 points and is directly proportional to the cost of the function.

3.1.8 Event Log

Your Event Log will probably be your most accessed page after your HQ itself. Every time something happens in the game that affects you, an entry is made in the event log. This includes confirmation of all your orders issued, as well as indication that an operation has been completed. A number in brackets beside the Event Log option on the main menu indicates that there are new events since you last looked at the log.

Most of your event log information is private and will never be seen by other players. Some important events will however also make the news, and be displayed in the News Ticker that runs across the top of the screen. You can click on this news ticker to take you to a 'News' page where you may view all the most recent news affecting your Galaxy.

3.2 Planetary Chart and Planet Information Panel

The Planetary Chart shows all the known planets in the galaxy and will prove vital to the planning of your operations. The chart is always centred on your homeworld when you first access it, and it is schematic rather than realistic in nature. The chart is divided into square sectors. Your operational range is indicated by the sectors with a yellow border. Those sectors with a grey border are outside your range, and a dotted grey border indicates an unexplored sector of the galaxy. You can scroll the map 3 sectors in an up-down or left-right direction by using the arrows at each edge, and you can recentre the map on your homeworld by clicking the green 'Homeworld Location' square to the top right.

Many sectors contain planets. By hovering your mouse over a planet you can see the planet name and the Imperial Co-ordinates of the planet - which indicate the distance of this planet from the Emperor's Homeworld on an X-axis/Y-axis basis. Clicking on a planet will take you to the planet information panel for that world, where you will be able to see which Houses have influence there and also follow links to view the trade prices offered, facilities that have been built on that planet, and other important information such as Government policy there. You can also build facilities of your own on the planet by following this path.

Remember, the more planets you have influence on, the greater your status, so appearing high on the list of influential Houses on the planet information panel should be a primary goal in your quest for supremacy.

Planetary Characteristics  There are several different categories of planets, each having a different appearance on the galactic chart. These categories are as follows:

  • Temperate
    A world with a warm, moist climate much like our own
  • Arid
    A dry and rocky planet dominated by desert and semi-desert
  • Marine
    A world dominated by lakes, seas and oceans, with limited dry land
  • Frozen
    A planet in the grip of an ice age
  • Airless
    A planet with little or no breathable atmosphere - the inhabitants dwell in buildings adapted for this, or orbiting space stations

Aside from its climate category, each planet is described in terms of size, type, geology, wealth and population, together with any peculiarities particular to that world. These factors may all have a bearing on trade prices and the profitability of certain activities. In particular, the wealth of a planet will affect both the labour costs and market prices there. A richer planet will have higher labour costs and hence the cost to build and maintain facilities there will be more than on a corresponding but poorer planet. Similarly, goods will be more expensive on rich worlds and trade prices higher in relation to the demand.

Crime and Disorder  Every planet also has a level of crime and disorder, visible from the planet information panel. This level depends on various factors, including the wealth and population of the planet - the higher the population and lower the wealth, the higher the crime rate will tend to be. The Senate representative for this planet is responsible for the budget and if crime is getting out of hand, it is likely the Governor has not set a high enough law and order budget, or is not raising enough tax income from the Houses operating here to effectively tackle crime. Take up your concerns with the Governing House, if this becomes an issue for you.

High crime levels will increase the maintenance costs of all facilities you have on the planet concerned. Very high levels may see outbreaks of civil disorder and attacks against the governing Senator and any facilities owned by his or her House. Note that trade in arms, narcotics and slaves serves to increase the crime level, as does high levels of space piracy in the area.

Random Planetary Events  Planets may occasionally be affected by a significant event such as an outbreak of disease, global famine, or economic recession. The chances of such an event occurring often depend upon the characteristics of the planet and the nature of the activities carried out there - for example, a planet which sees a large amount of trading activity is more likely to experience an economic boom. As another example, a planet which has trade routes with another planet that is suffering from plague, is more likely to itself fall victim to an outbreak of plague. These planetary events will permanently affect one or more of the planetary characteristics, either increasing or decreasing the wealth or population, for example.

Watch out for planetary events on the galactic news ticker. You may want to alter your plans or take other action as a result of these events - particularly in the case of plague, which is rare, but can infect and even kill your dynasty members and retainers should it spread to your homeworld.

3.3 Galactic Affairs

From this screen you can view the news, major events and political policies in effect in your galaxy, and also any upcoming elections for positions on the Imperial Senate.

News  A link to the most recent news items for this galaxy. You can filter the news by type, and view up to 100 items. You may also access this page by clicking the scrolling news marquee at the top of the screen.

Galactic Relations  This page lists the feud scores accrued between Houses in the Galaxy and gives an indication of the relations between the various Houses.

Duels and Prizefighting  This page displays a list of upcoming duels in this galaxy (see Duelling). From here you can also access details of recently fought duels, and view or enrol fighters in the prizefighting pool (see Prizefighting).

Tax Rates  This link allows you to view the tax rates that the Emperor has set for income from each sphere of activity within your galaxy. All income you receive from these spheres is taxed according to these rates. Monthly income below the 'base threshold' is free of tax. Income between the base threshold and mid threshold is taxed at the base rate, income between the mid and top threshold is taxed at the mid rate, and any income above the top threshold is taxed at the top rate. The Emperor will normally require Senate approval via a senate motion in order to change these taxes.

You can also see from this screen which Houses the Emperor has exempted from taxes. These will usually be Houses who are assisting the Emperor in upholding law and order in the Galaxy, i.e. the members of the Emperors alliance.

Planetary Government  This link allows you to view the policies the Emperor and local Senators have in place with regard to each planet in the galaxy. This includes the policing level on the planet, which the Emperor must fund from Imperial Taxes, as well as any trade restrictions that are in place for ethical or other reasons. Trade in these commodities on the planets concerned will lead to Imperial Warnings and ultimately force the Emperor and allies to take action against the offending party.

Another important piece of information on this screen concerns whether or not the planet is under Imperial Jurisdiction. Most planets in the galaxy are under this jurisdiction and may be policed and governed by the Emperor. On these planets, military action against another House can only take place if the attacker has adequate Feud Score against the target. If the planet is not under Imperial Jurisdiction, this does not apply. Anyone may attack anyone else without fear of reprisal and these lawless worlds are a free-for-all. It is strongly recommended that you do not move your homeworld to a planet that is outside Imperial Jurisdiction!

Renegade Houses List  Check this screen to see which Houses have Renegade status. You do not need to have accrued any Feud Score to attack such Houses. The Emperor encourages all law-abiding Houses to attack renegade houses where possible, since these outlaws have waged feuds against other parties without the required Senate backing, and can be considered a threat to galactic order.

Senate Elections  This section contains links to all upcoming elections for Senate positions. Each planet that is under Imperial Jurisdiction will have a senate representative who will be able to vote on motions in the senate and propose his or her own. All Houses with any influence on a planet get a block vote in that election, the size of the vote being related to their degree of influence on that world. Your House can only field candidates in an election if you are operating within the sphere of Politics (See Spheres of Activity for more details).

3.4 Game Forums

The game forums are only accessible when you are logged in. This is the place to come if you have any questions about the game that the rules do not answer, or if you want to make any announcements or enter into general discussions with the Imperium Nova community as a whole. There are a number of forums each with a different subject and purpose. Please try to keep your posts on-topic for the forum in which you are posting, since the admins may well delete any off-topic or spam posts. The forums are monitored. Abusive or offensive posts will be deleted and you may be suspended as a result, so please bear this in mind when posting.

3.5 Calendar

Clicking on the game date displayed in the bottom left hand portion of the screen will take you to a page where you can view the current game time, and a calendar showing progress through the game year. Each game year consists of ten months of 40 days in length - 400 days in total. The months are, from earliest to latest; Origins, Hope, Faith, Virtue, Fates, Glory, Vigilance, Tributes, Resolve and Culminations.

Years within the game are counted in accordance with the length of the reign of the current Imperial House. When a new Imperial House rises to power and takes on the mantle of Emperor, the current game year will become Year One in the reign of the new House.

As previously stated, each game day in Imperium Nova takes 2 hours of real time to pass. Within an individual game day there are five separate times of day; very early, early, midway through, late and very late. This gives an indication of how long remains until the next day. These descriptions are the Imperial Standard time, since different planets will of course have widely differing and asynchronous 'actual' day lengths.

3.6 Online Users

Just below the game date in the bottom left section of the screen is an indication of how many users are (or have recently been) online in this particular galaxy. Clicking on this section of the screen will take you to a page listing all those currently and recently online. You may click on any House in this list to view the HQ of the selected House.

3.7 Changing your User Details

If you need to change your email address, password or security question you can do so from the 'Change User Details' option near at the bottom of the main menu. You will first be prompted for the answer to your security question. Should you chance any details on the following screen, you will be issued with a new Authorization Code that will be sent to your (new if you changed it) email address. When you first log in after changing your details you will need to enter this Authorization Code, just like when you first signed up, before being taken to your HQ page.

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