Civilians in Imperialism and Imperialism 2 are the non-military ground units who make terrain improvements and do a few other things. They do not need feeding or any other sort of maintenance, and they can move instantly to any land tile in your nation or any nation with which you have an embassy.
You train one by sending an expert worker to University with two pieces of paper and the fee - which can be anything from $500 to over $1500. He requires food in the one turn he is training. When they seem to have no useful work ahead, you can disband them, and they revert to being expert workers.
At the start of a standard game, you need an Engineer and a Prospector. Soon you will want a Farmer and a Miner and maybe a second Engineer (and maybe a third if your coasts and rivers have many good sites for ports or you feel the need for more or stronger forts). Several others will become available as you purchase specific technology.
Engineers cannot work outside your own nation.
Civilians are similar to those of Imperialism, but some have different names. The Engineer is much the same, but also builds roads and can work in a minor nation that has joined your empire. The others are:
- Explorer, similar to Imp1's prospector
- Builder, who does all the tile upgrading that was done in Imp1 by a farmer, a forester, or a rancher, and uses lumber and cast iron in the process
- Railroad Builder, available only after you research Early Steam Engine; he upgrades roads to railroads semi-automatically
- Merchant, like Imp1's Developer, buys land in other nations, to earn royalties
- Spy, with no equivalent in Imp1, concentrates on scientific and some military espionage, and may get caught and change sides!