How to pay for your army – unit maintenance

Unit maintenance is a major pain when building up your awesome force. You need a good looking budget along with your army for it to be useful, because when you go bankrupt your units magically disappear one after the other.

A dangerous situation is going into minus and not caring much for it. “No biggie, as long as I got my great army.. where’d they go?”. When your treasury is empty and you can’t pay your costs with gold - you’ll have to pay with units. “Yes, now is a good time to panic”. Take care of your economy, as soon as it starts to decline start doing preventive actions like building more trading posts or putting more tiles on gold. Notice that everything’s relative: ie. you don’t need to do this if you have 1k gold and are plundering several cities. I’m merely outlining that you’ll be severely handicapped with a bad economy and it can be a cause for disaster.

Image of a trading post
Trading posts are a great way to increase your gold income.

One simple and effective measure is putting workers you don’t know what to do with on automatic improvement mode. Whenever they see your economy is having trouble they start building trading posts. This way your economy will often balance up and not “suddenly go haywire”.

Another tip is to delete or get rid of excessive units. This includes workers as well as combat units, as all units are included in the total unit maintenance cost.

  • Delete unnecessary workers
    Try out with one worker per city, give or take. When you see you have idle workers it might be time to delete one of ‘em.
  • Delete obsolete, unnecessary units
    You may have scattered around a few units for scouting and such. Maybe you have some obsolete warriors that just hang around and dry out your treasury. By getting rid of these units your economy might improve just enough for you to hang on.
    Note: Reconsider deleting obsolete units if you are able to upgrade them

Setting the cities’ tile priority mode to gold or manually putting more work on gold tiles will also naturally improve your economy. You may have cities that are producing a more-than-average amount of gold, these you could improve further by for example creating markets which multiplies your base gold income percentagewise.

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