It starts a bit like a wargame with boats and tanks. Then you think, this map is the one of Diplomacy so there should be some diplomacy inside. In the end you realize that control of countries changes very fast.
To sumarize Imperial it's a bit of all of this and the sum is more than each parts.
Imperial is a combination of area control and stock holding. This is a game that is all strategy and very little luck. This gamer's game might not be right for the family, but your game group will really enjoy it.