Imperial Warfare is half RPG and half RTS. The intense and intimate PvP competitions engaged by means of its customizable Heroes, Priests, and Merchants highlight its RPG nature, while the Building system underscores its RTS aspects.
Imperial Warfare has several types of buildings categorizable by the areas and Ages where and when you might build them:
- City: Town Center (S), Production Center (S), Barracks (S), Tavern (S), Civilian House (S), Warehouse (S), City Defense Office (S), Hero Memorial (S), Military Affairs Center (D), Market (D), City Defense Office (D), Archery Range (D), Wonder (D), East-West City Gate (D), North-South City Gate (D), East-West City Wall (D), North-South City Wall (D), Tower (D), Domestic Affairs Center (F), Stable (F), Trade Center (F), Hero Academy (C), Arsenal (C), Castle (I)
- City Grounds: Farm (S), Quarry (S), Metal Mine (S), Lumber Mill (S)
- World Map: Temple (D), Camp, City
Constructing a building costs a certain amount of Wood, Stone, and Metal but not Food (except insofar as it feeds your civilian population). Only if you have a defined number of idle workers (whose numbers are increased with the construction and upgrading of Civilian Houses) can you begin construction tasks. All buildings are assigned numeric Levels that determine how effectively it performs its assigned functions; after being constructed, most buildings can be upgraded to a maximum level determined by the levels of related building units and the player's present Age. The amount of resources and especially time consumed by each construction and upgrade increases with the complexity and level of the building being dealt with. Upgrades for high-level units can take several hours and eat many thousands of resource units, so the acquisition of resource packs and time-saving Items like Building Books becomes more important as the game progresses.