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There are five levels of difficulty in Imperialism 2 (with the same names as in Imperialism):
  1. Introductory
  2. Easy
  3. Normal - where human and AI players are on almost equal footings
  4. Hard
  5. Nigh-On Impossible ("NOI") - the level routinely chosen by extremely good players

FactorsEdit

The default factors are offered at the start of a game, with points assigned to each level, e.g. 25 for Introductory, 100 for Normal, and 400 for NOI. The points are multiplied by your arithmetical sum of final achievements, such as provinces and ships, then divided by 10 to produce your overall score at the end of the game. You should have no trouble bettering Metternich's score if you win at any level!

Below the table of five, there is a "Custom" option, letting you choose which combinations of factors you want, and varying the "points" accordingly. For most of them, you can choose to set the level to correspond with the default level for that factor at one of the five standard levels. You then see how much difference that makes to the "points".

One reduction in difficulty that seems to have too little deduction from your points is the food disadvantage. At NOI level, 400, you start with no tech discoveries while your rivals each have the techs necessary to give them three levels of development on each grain or cattle tile within the radius of the capital. Reducing that disadvantage so that rivals have only two of each costs you only 10 points, so you start at 390. Cutting rivals down to one per tile drops you to 375. Players may feel that that is a more valuable concession than the points penalty suggests. Being able to increase your population early at half the rate or even the same rate as your rivals can make their other advantages (such as diplomatic lead or larger warehouse stocks and armies) fairly insignificant. Imp2-difficultypage2


Factors that affect pointsEdit

Food Economy
Simple or Complex
Luxury Economy
Simple or Complex
Diplomatic Head Start with Great Powers
Intro or Easy or Normal or Hard or Impossible
Diplomatic Head Start with Old World Minors
Intro or Easy or Normal or Hard or Impossible
Diplomatic Head Start with New World Nations
Intro or Easy or Normal or Hard or Impossible
Research Rate Advantage
Intro or Easy or Normal or Hard or Impossible
Tech Head Start, Food Gathering
Intro or Easy or Normal or Hard or Impossible
Tech Head Start, Miscellaneous
Intro or Easy or Normal or Hard or Impossible
Military Head Start
Intro or Easy or Normal or Hard or Impossible
Warehouse Head Start
Intro or Easy or Normal or Hard or Impossible
Treasury Head Start
Intro or Easy or Normal or Hard or Impossible
Credit Spending
Intro or Easy or Normal or Hard or Impossible
Special AI Rules
Development Game or None or Aggressive Game
Diplomatic Penalty for Human Expansion
Minimized or Reduced or Normal or Increased or Maximized
Computer Player New World Expansion Advantage
Some or Large or Maximum

Other options that do not affect scoringEdit

Select Your Own City Site
Select or Automatic
Random Events
Off or On
Computer Player Personalities
By Country or Random
Foraging Rules
Off or On
Cost of Attacking
Cheap or Normal or Prohibitive
Old World Minors' Military Strength
Weak or Normal or Strong
New World Military Strength
Weak or Normal or Strong
New World Cavalry Unit Timing
Early or Middle or Late

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