The army of a player of Imperialism consists of the ground units that have attack capabilities.

Assembling unitsEdit

Army units are built in the Armory, one of the buildings on the left-hand side of your city screen. Units differ from civilian units by having at least one gun (an "arms" unit) put into their construction. They differ from warships by incorporating workers, mostly trained workers. Those on the right-hand side of the menu panel mostly require also a horse.


Like warships, they require no food once they are ready but do cost $25 per turn for each gun that went into their construction.

That suggests the tactic of accumulating arms and cash for quick mobilization, but leaving the citizens in productive jobs, instead of building units before you really want them. However, that should generally not be taken to such an extreme that other nations think you are among the weakest powers militarily so that they suddenly gang up on you.


An army unit has much less movement ability than a civilian, though when it is not attacking it can move to any province of yours in one turn, either by marching to an adjacent province or, subject to a restriction of one "gun" per turn for every five freight cars you have, by "rail" (irrespective of where there are actual rail lines) to other provinces.

It can attack only adjacent provinces but can be teleported from a province containing a port into a hostile province where you have an established beachhead.


Units that survive a battle may suffer damage, graphically illustrated in 5% sections on "Show Garrison Details". Those that have medals tend to suffer less. All survivors regain some health in succeeding turns.

Finding your unitsEdit

On a PC, "F6" lists your army units by location.


When you have researched appropriate technology, most units are able to be replaced with a similar class of unit at a higher grade, if you use the "Show Garrison Details" button. The substitution costs exactly the same as a new unit except that the person is not replaced (nor is the horse if applicable). He continues fighting with the new equipment, retaining all of his medals, which can be of considerable value.

Most of the units available in 1815 will be replaceable by stronger units of similar type from about 1837 to the early 1840s, when you research Bessemer Converter, Rifled Artillery, and Breech-Loading Rifles. In the Recovery of Spain 1820 scenario, those start appearing around 1831.

Further upgrades become available in the 1880s.

Tables of unit statisticsEdit

Overall stats with links (alphabetical)Edit

table under construction

Army units in Imperialism


Carbine CavalryBreech-Loading Rifles2095NoTrained213,500Cuirassiers
Combat Engineers or DemolitionistsBessemer Converter048YesExpert2-7,000Sappers
Cuirassiers-1593NoTrained11500-Carbine cavalry
Field artilleryRifled Artillery17612NoTrained415,000Horse artillery
GuardsBreech-Loading Rifles1748YesTrained2-4,000Grenadiers
1-500-Rifle infantry
Rifle InfantryRifled Artillery1548YesUn-
ScoutsBessemer Converter10115NoUn-
SharpshootersBessemer Converter1068YesUn-
2-3,000Light infantry or Skirmishers
Siege ArtilleryRifled Artillery30314NoTrained4-5,000Heavy artillery

Details from ManualEdit


Dollars per gunEdit

If you have lots of money but few guns, or vice versa, this table can give you a quick idea of which new units make the best use of your resources. Bear in mind that you cannot de-train a trained worker so as to create the lightest units.

table under construction
"Dollars per gun" for army units in Imperialism
DollarsHorseless unitsUnits with horses (number)
250 Cuirassiers (1)
1,000Grenadiers Scouts (1)
1,250Siege Artillery Field artillery (1)
1,500Rifle infantry, Sharpshooters
1,750 Carbine cavalry (1)
3,500Combat Engineers

Immobile defendersEdit

There are also at the start of every game a few Militia or Minutemen defending each province, generally four in a Great Power province and three for Minor Nations, but scenario developers can specify names and numbers differently. Those units cannot be created and they cannot move and have no maintenance cost. They have surprisingly good defensive strength. Four can often resist a weak attack by stronger but fewer units. For example, an attack using only one Regular, one Hussar, and one Light artillery may fail and lose the Regular. Adding a second light artillery may still lose the battle but lose no units.

If you leave any alive after invading, Minutemen work for you.

Forts also contain "free" immobile units: heavy artillery, one per level, graded so that they are one grade above the current grade that you can create.


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