Capitals of provinces in Imperialism, except the nation's capital, start life as small hamlets. Then, all by themselves, they may grow, first into villages, then into towns. With each growth spurt, they may start producing materials and then goods without any input of labor but facilitated by industrial capacity.


Developing your economy is job number one in this game. The free stuff that starts showing up on your transportation screen is a bonus that allows your economy to grow faster. This process is not random. The process of getting the free stuff is called Town Development or Industrialization.

How the Manual explains itEdit

Quoting excerpts from the Imperialism User Manual (which uses the term "town" much more broadly than the game messages do):

“ Each province you own includes a town. At the beginning of the game, these towns produce nothing. However, if a connected rail depot is placed on or next to the town, industrialization begins there. Over time, a connected town begins to produce materials that are added to your transport network and appears on your transport screen. The type of materials produced depends on the resources available within the province of the town. The quantity of materials depends on the capacity of the industry that demands those materials. Once materials become available, the town begins to develop the capacity to produce goods as well. The type of goods eventually available depends on the materials being produced; the maximum number of goods available in the town is always one-half the quantity of the materials available.”

Detailed mechanismEdit

Now we will clarify and detail how that manual information is implemented.

Rail depots that have a rail line extending back to your capital are connected. Your Capital has a port and thus any port connects to the Capital.

There is a delay of six turns for the connected town to produce the first material(s). After that, all further industrialization will occur as soon as you meet other requirements. You will get announcements for industrialization in your home country. The manual uses "town" to describe the population of a province; however, during play of the game, announcements are made with a different meaning for "town". The first material from a province is announced as a hamlet growing into a village and the first consumer good from a province as a village growing into a town. We will use the term "town" to mean it as the place for the population of the province.

Two resources produce one material, so the even number of resources define the steps in the industrialization process. The industry that demands the materials is the factory, so that is what you need to develop. Each step in the number of a resource type requires the next larger size of the factory for that resource type. A factory size of two would be all that seems to be needed to get the first material, but the requirement in the game is a factory of size four. They used this as a way of representing the cost of the implicit factory size in the towns. You will get to use the larger factory in your capital and the implicit level of industrialization potential for that level of resources will exist for all of your towns. Industrialization is limited only by the number of resources and your ability/desire to spend those materials upgrading the factory in your Capital for each step.

Worked exampleEdit

There is a two-turn delay between upgrading a factory and the resulting industrialization. That probably is one turn to complete the upgrade and one turn to get the next level of output. We will now describe an example in terms of timber with the upgrades of factory for quickest result. We will call the first turn where you have completed a depot or port as turn 0 and assume we have 8 timber in the province. Eight timber qualifies you to receive, beyond timber gathered, an additional four lumber and two furniture.

You will have to upgrade the furniture factory (spending materials) at or before turn 4 to get the earliest possible town lumber.
Turn 6, one town lumber available, upgrade factory to 8.
Turn 8, second lumber available, upgrade factory to 12.
Turn 10, third lumber available, upgrade factory to size 16.
Turn 11, one furniture available.
Turn 12, fourth lumber available.
Turn 13, second furniture available.

Of course, you might later use a civilian worker to increase the number of resources in the province to allow you to further increase the industrialization. Some players find it useful to write down the turn seasons and years as they play, to keep the factory upgrades and transport builds in mind.

The requirements for Town Development are town connection, sufficient resources in the province, and sufficient appropriate factory size for each of step of the Industrialization appropriate resources. Among the things missing from the requirements were having to collect any of the resources that would go into the industrializations. Of course, the fastest way to develop is to both connect the town and collect maximum resources with the same build (depot or port). What you want to do is to collect the resources that you need the most while also connecting the provinces which are capable of industrializing. If you find coal or iron in some province, consider it a high priority to search all other hills and mountains in that province for the other mineral. Industrialization in a province with both coal and iron is especially valuable.

Factory size table Edit

The following table shows (for each of the three factory types, listed one after the other) the minimum number of resources available in a province that result in the maximum number of free materials and goods for the corresponding factory capacity. Factory capacity = number of goods (e.g. furniture) able to be produced by the factory. Resources available do not need to be connected to the transportation network. The table shows the first four factory sizes, but the pattern continues for larger factory sizes.

Factory Capacity Resources Available in Province Materials and Goods Produced

by Province

4 2 Cotton and/or Wool 1 Fabric
8 4 Cotton and/or Wool 2 Fabric + 1 Clothing
12 6 Cotton and/or Wool 3 Fabric + 1 Clothing
16 8 Cotton and/or Wool 4 Fabric + 2 Clothing
4 2 Timber 1 Lumber
8 4 Timber 2 Lumber + 1 Furniture
12 6 Timber 3 Lumber + 1 Furniture
16 8 Timber 4 Lumber + 2 Furniture
4 2 Coal + 2 Iron 1 Steel
8 4 Coal + 4 Iron 2 Steel + 1 Hardware
12 6 Coal + 6 Iron 3 Steel + 1 Hardware
16 8 Coal + 8 Iron 4 Steel + 2 Hardware

Captured provincesEdit

The AI does not know about industrialization, but does know the location of all minerals in its home country. If you conquer another Great Power, any hill or mountain that cannot be reached by present technology should be searched as soon as possible, while you can put less priority to prospect where the Great Power could reach. Of course, your Engineer should also go in and connect any unconnected towns that are industrialization capable.

Great PowersEdit

Although your home capital never industrializes for you, captured Great Power Capitals industrialize and without the normal time delay. Captured Great Power Non-capital provinces start with the same town size that they had already developed and so immediately start producing the industrialization products that they already were producing.

Minor NationsEdit

Captured Minor Nation Capitals never industrialize. Captured Minor Nation Non-capital provinces industrialize in the same way as your home provinces industrialize.

Comparison with Imperialism 2Edit

In Imperialism 2, you first need to have researched the specific Technology. Then you need to spend a little time and material building to upgrade the original small town into a large town, unless it is your capital or a captured minor nation's capital. Any capital or other large town produces materials automatically on a 1 for 4 basis, not 1 for 2, and Imperialism 2 has no progression to goods.

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