Imperial Settlers: All the Expansions in a Custom Campaign

Jul 9, 2024 | Sessions | 0 comments

Explore the possibilities of guiding a faction through the eras to become an empire in a custom campaign for Imperial Settlers.

Several years ago, I started playing Imperial Settlers a lot in order to finally explore all of the content. Such a great game! Yet I found that getting it to my table hasn’t been easy, and I still have lots of unplayed expansions. What could I do? That’s right: Chaos mode activated with everything, along with a set of rules to play through a short solo campaign!

Game Overview

Game Name: Imperial Settlers
Publication Year:
 Ignacy Trzewiczek
 M. Bielski, T. Jedruszek, J. Marcinek, and R. Szyma
Publisher: Portal Games
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game

Producing resources and carefully laying the groundwork for a faction leads to plenty of interesting synergies across just a handful of rounds. With so much content, though, it can be easy to miss out on all of the interesting elements present in this card-based civilization system. Onward!

Adding in All of the Content to Create a Custom Campaign for Imperial Settlers

First Play

January 18, 2020



Latest Play

July 11, 2024



Setup Time

5 Minutes

Lifetime Plays


Play Time

50 Minutes


High Score



Game Area

40" x 24"


Low Score


This Has a Campaign…

It’s true that Imperial Settlers: Rise of the Empire exists, which provides an in-depth campaign. Provinces and bonuses are earned, while technologies are unlocked.

My problem? I had the expansion, but knew that settling in to slowly check off progress wasn’t going to be for me. It would feel drawn out and take around 12-16 plays.

Now, I’m definitely of the mindset that it’s unfair to judge an expansion without playing it, but time is limited.

Instead, I landed on an idea to play through a quick solo campaign that used quests, provinces, and technologies!

Adding in Quests for an Added Challenge in Imperial Settlers

A Full Solo Opponent

The base game includes an excellent solo opponent, which doesn’t require the use of a faction deck. Yet with Imperial Settlers: We Didn’t Start the Fire, conquests are available!

This meant I had another faction in play. With the right timing, I could even add a few of these cards.

Did this introduce more complexity? Yes, but not so much that I felt like I was struggling to keep up. I liked the difficulty levels, too, which aligned with my campaign.

Playing in this open format certainly adds imbalances and strange combinations, so be sure to use with caution!

Setting Up a Full Solo Opponent Faction Deck with the Conquest Action in Imperial Settlers

Through the First Era

I know: That Atlantean token near the bottom right should not be on a faction building. I ended up with extras, but I only used this special ability for common cards. Rules!

Aside from that little snafu and the need to check a handful of rules from each expansion… This was so fun!

I used a random province and technology from the first era, providing asymmetry that wasn’t overpowered.

The Romans felt like they had a personality and a little story with their pile of gold and focus on horse riding. I narrowly won, and then happily moved onto the next era!

A Very Neat Experience of Seeing Lots of Cards and Variety in Imperial Settlers

Expanding Difficulty

With a new province and technology to offer more bonuses, I was mindful of the solo opponent. I used the next step up in conquest difficulty level, which was great!

Things were looking somewhat bleak, with all 4 quests giving me trouble. My goal was to complete at least a pair, but it was all I could do to survive the solo opponent!

I loved my new abilities, though. And this artwork was just so much fun to incorporate with some unique styles.

And I know… Who puts an Atlantean technology token on a faction building?! Me, for photography purposes. Ha!

Making a Story for the Romans Through the Eras of a Custom Campaign of Imperial Settlers

Developing a Custom Campaign Mode for Myself

I think the key takeaway is that I figured out this custom campaign based on what would work for me, and it’s probably not going to be the right thing for you! Making the most of my collection is fun, though, and I didn’t want to let all of these expansions sit on the shelf forever. So, how does this custom campaign work? It’s not too complex!

  • Goal: Complete 2+ quests, build more locations than the solo opponent, and earn a higher score in eras 2 and 3.
  • Every Era: Draw 4 quests during setup and place them face-up. Earn the bonus and flip when completed.
  • Solo Opponent: If using conquests, use the easy difficulty in era 1 and increase the difficulty level with each era.
  • Era 1 Setup: Draw 1 province and 1 technology from the first era.
  • Era 2 Setup: Keep the era 1 province and technology. Draw 1 province and 1 technology from the second era.
  • Era 3 Setup: Keep the era 1 and 2 provinces and technologies. Draw 1 province and 1 technology from the third era.

There is the possibility of changing up the challenge a little bit to have the newest technology card set the minimum number of victory points, which is typically somewhere around 50-70. Could be very fun! I tested out playing just 4 rounds, but that felt a little too constricting. Using 5 rounds was the right amount of time that worked nicely for me.

I ran into a lot of neat combinations that gave me a few bonuses with the open format of using huge decks for the common cards and faction cards. Chaos was what I was after, and fortunately, that’s what I got as I had a lot of fun!

A Most Lucky Round

It looked like I wasn’t going to win, and that was fine. The quests were too tricky… Until the Romans got very lucky!

With that second completed quest, I still narrowly avoided defeat. I built just one more building than the solo opponent and my score wasn’t all that great. Yet I won!

This is the last note about Atlantean production tokens. I may have made a mistake with one of Caesar’s pantry cards with the extra bonus once… Whoops! Still a win.

I found this jump in difficulty level to be very noticeable, yet I had a great time and enjoyed seeing even more cards.

The Narrowest of Victories in the Final Round with a Little Luck in Imperial Settlers

Into the Final Era

To complete the end of this campaign, I drew the last random province and technology card. Who knew banking and cement could work so well together? Ha ha!

Looking at it now, I suppose another part of the challenge might be to simply reach the points threshold listed on the newest technology card: 70, 55, or 60, as shown here.

But this was all about experimenting a little bit and seeing how much fun I could have with a huge amount of content.

This last era was shaping up to be an exciting one, especially after I had one of the worst early rounds ever!

Finding New Technologies and Special Abilities to Use in Imperial Settlers

Empire of the Romans

Now that’s what I call a successful start of an empire! I had a great time converting common locations into faction locations, and even picked up some bonuses.

If you’re wondering why I ended up with some Japanese faction buildings, it all came down to the conquest action!

This mode has a lot more interaction, and a lot of plans can easily be spoiled with the solo opponent’s ruthless activity. Yet that opened up new challenges for me.

By another very narrow margin, I achieved victory this time and could call this custom campaign a success!

Celebrating an Awesome Finish to a Roman Campaign in Imperial Settlers

Quest Adjectives

Not only did the quests help guide some of my choices, but it was nice to look at the adjectives I achieved each era.

The Romans went from enlightened and wily, to dignified and persuasive, and then finally to successful and ablaze!

My goal with this custom campaign wasn’t to create the perfect game mode, but to utilize as much expansion content as possible for a fairly quick and fun series.

I loved it! There are a couple of minor changes I might make to adjust the difficulty level at some point, yet I believe I earned the title of successful for myself. Ha!

Enjoying the Rewards of Completing Quests to Achieve Victory in Imperial Settlers

Session Overview

Play Number: 55-57
Expansions: Many
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
Play Details: Custom Campaign Eras 1-3
Outcome: 35, 52, 62 (3 Wins)

Such a fun time! My final province of newly discovered land didn’t do anything for me, but it tied into the Japanese faction buildings I added. There was a little more of a story to develop, and progressing through the eras in a short time span worked out nicely for me. Now, to just keep on winning with a whole new set of technologies!

A Lovely Little Tale and Some Provinces Purely for Show in Imperial Settlers


60 Plays


Price & Value



Challenges & Mechanics



Design & Theme



Components & Rules



Achievement & Enjoyment



Distinctness & Randomness


+ Pros (Positives)

  • There are so many clever combinations and neat actions to uncover across the common and faction buildings.
  • Gameplay moves pretty quickly, lasting a total of 5 rounds with a clear sequence of steps to follow.
  • With all of the expansions included, there are some neat synergies and more interaction with the solo opponent.
  • Lots of little details help make the artwork delightful with little animals and features to find on the cards.
  • Every faction has its own unique strengths, yet there are many ways to move ahead on a path to victory.
  • Chaining together actions and buildings is a lot of fun to figure out, and this differs from play to play.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • There are a lot of expansions, both big and small, that can lead to many choices and a hard time playing them all.
  • Bad luck can sometimes spoil some rounds, and even though there are alternate options, it can be rather brutal.
  • It isn’t easy to reserve enough room for the play area, since cards stretch out left, right, and up at different times.
  • Discovering all of the content takes a long time, which can feel overwhelming with the level of unique content.

More Imperial Settlers

Explore related posts about Imperial Settlers!

Victory Conditions

Score 70+ Points or Finish an Era

  • Overall Goal Progress 100% 100%

Goals and Milestones


Win at least 1 custom campaign as the Amazons.


Win at least 1 custom campaign as the Romans.

Continue the Conversation

What do you like about Imperial Settlers? Do you have a favorite faction or expansion? I’m thrilled to finally be able to play the expansion content fairly regularly in a fun little campaign! There is a lot more to discover, and plenty of other cards to smile over and enjoy. I’m excited to see what other provinces and technologies I’ll draw during my next play!


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