Thursday, October 19, 2017

Military City Buildings

Good morning, cannon fodders.

From time to time, I get asked what's inside a military city.

The short answer is: all the typical city infrastructure, plus 2 military buildings, then some other mundane stuff. Most of a military city layout is setting up sufficient basic resource production to support your troop production sovereignty. You specifically try to avoid creating weak points around food production, and leave yourself some flexibility to raise taxes.

For those who prefer the longer version, read on. All structures are level 20 unless otherwise noted. You would be well advised to read the articles on 5/6/7 food military cities, city placement, and basic military cities.


Basic Infrastructure

  • Warehouse
  • Library
  • Barracks
  • Marketplace
  • City Wall

Self explanatory.

  • Storehouse [Optional]

I like a Storehouse 20. It's just more convenient to store 891000 basic resources instead of the warehouse-only 658000. Aside from a few Storehouse levels to complete the City Wall 20, it's purely optional.



  • Mage Tower
  • Consulate

For Mage Tower, level 20 isn't necessary, but you need magical research completed. Military cities need the Ward of Destruction line, Ward of Intentions line, and you would probably find Blights useful plus the Runemaster's Grounding. At least one of your cities should have the Nature's Bounty geomancy spell to cast on your other towns. That being said, you can often use magic to support siege operations and break hostile spells. Most of my mage towers are 20, with big stockpiles of extra mana. The lowest I'd go is maybe 16, because you still want a significant power multiplier when engaging in magical clashes, and the multiplier is based on mage tower level.

Consulate is similar to Mage Tower. You will want all Diplomacy research completed. Even if you don't build all diplomats in all towns, you will always want a small number of every t1 type in your city to deflect casual pokes and diplomatic spam. Tink wrote a great basic tutorial called Diplomatic Units in Illy (Part I and Part II) that describes how to use diplomats, which by reflection is how they will be used against you as well.

The Consulate level also limits the number of diplomatic missions you can send at a given time. I engage in a lot of diplomatic mischief during wars, so all of my Consulates are 19 or 20.


Military Cost Reduction

  • 2x military buildings

My article on 5/6/7 builds reviews military buildings in detail. A typical military city will have 2 cost reduction buildings. If armies are large, up to 2.5 (20, 20, 10). For tournament players or long periods of peace, 3 full (20, 20, 20) isn't out of the question. You tend to level up military buildings sequentially. It's a bang-for-buck thing. Each additional building is half as effective as the previous one, but they all consume the same amount of basic resources per level. First one to 18-20, then next one to 18-20, and then third one 1-10. I do keep the third one at 1, just so I don't forget its location in the layout and accidentally build something else in that spot.


Basic Resources

  • Basic resource plots
  • Basic resource boosters
    • Kiln
    • Stonemason
    • Carpentry
    • Foundry

Your basic resource profile will determine how much military sovereignty you can support without running negative basics. All basic resource plots are built to 20. The 5/6/7 article describes which booster buildings are needed, and approximately what levels. Each booster is 2% per level, so if you see a (+30%) boost that means the resource booster is at level 15.



  • Supply Buildings
    • Brewery
    • Blacksmith
    • Spearmaker
    • Fletcher
    • Forge
    • Common Ground
    • Paddock
    • Saddlemaker
    • Tanner
    • Siege Workshop
    • Book Binder
  • Crafting Buildings
  • Other Random Stuff

It doesn't much matter what filler you add to the city. The one rule I have for filler is that it should never compromise your basic resource production in a way that forces you to lower military sovereignty levels.

I generally prefer supply to 20. Brewery, always. Everyone needs beer, especially orcs and elves. Blacksmith, spear maker, forge, fletcher, common ground, all 20. Same reason, you can never have too many swords, chain, plate, bows, cows. What you don't need, you can swap with your allies to get the correct supplies. Humans and elves often want saddles; dwarves consume a lot of swords, chain, plate; orcs and elves always need beer; orcs always want more spears; elves can always use more bows.

Now we get to more optional supply buildings. I usually have a paddock 20. If population requirements are tight, this is the last supply building I cut, just because horses are cheap in Centrum. Occasionally I build the saddle maker, tanner, siege workshop. You don't need these in every city, because you can't produce enough cows to supply them all. I have a couple Book Makers, but military cities are often running close to balanced on Research Points, so this building is the lowest supply priority. You can always trade swords or saddles for books.



  • Farms
  • Flourmill
  • Nature's Bounty [8%]
  • Geomancer's Retreat [Delete]

Build farms and the flourmill to 20, obviously.

I always have excess food production in troop building mode. The reason is the Farm Slide. To keep bigger peacetime armies, as your armies fill out, you want to raise taxes. To accomplish this, you convert military sovereignty to Farmstead and slide up your taxes. Having excess food at low taxes gives you more room to raise taxes to 65-75% without going negative food. This concept is important for managing gold burn in mature military cities.

I want to say a few words about running negative food. Lots of people do it, especially tournament players. One big thief strike can knock out your warehouse, and if you are negative food, your buildings will implode until population is balanced again. Just understand that it's a risk. If you are running negative food (or really any negative basics) in a military city that gets exposed to enemy fire, you should seriously consider a Vault. The Vault will delay population collapse by several hours: 47000 / (negative food). You should have already learned from Discipline Never Sleeps that your odds of spotting an incoming thief attack are quite low. If you are running negative without using a Vault, you are making a calculated roll of the dice.

Cities with considerable excess food are also more resistant to siege damage. Food implosion does happen, especially if a city is cleared of troops and then emptied of resources while under blockade. Your farms, flourmill, and warehouse can take unlucky hits from siege engines. The enemy can deploy sizable thief strikes. If you are running right on the edge of balanced food, with no room to cut taxes and boost food production, then your city is very brittle against siege engines. The only way to push population like that is to have many high-population buildings, and these are inherently unstable themselves. All the population is concentrated in the upper levels, and a few good catapult hits will bring your population crashing down.

For that very reason, I do not recommend using high-population setups that depend on 1-4 Geomancer's Retreats. These buildings will amplify your Nature's Bounty spell up to 22-24% instead of 8%. Just understand that your geomancy spells will be attacked during sieges. The enemy can break your geomancy spell with a Gift of (Basic) magic from any of their cities within 1500 squares. Even if you counter-break from a nearby city, your Geomancer city is the one that will need to recast Nature's Bounty to get the food boost back up to 22-24%. That recast will immediately get hacked down by yet another enemy city. Point being, if an enemy is determined to break your geomancy spell on a city, there is really nothing you can do to prop up that spell. Centralized magic is by definition fragile.

Save the big population cities, amplified food spells, centralized magic, and running negative food for your gold farm. A true PvP city is squat and sturdy, able to take significant punishment without the danger of population implosion. It avoids creating weak points from magical dependency and top-heavy buildings, just like its map location is carefully selected to remove siege-friendly weak points adjacent to the town.

Always remember, cannon fodders: when the rocks start flying, sturdy is sexy.

Misbehave, kill lots of stuff.

<^^^^^^^^||==O    Skint Jagblade


  1. I find having a huge buffer of basic res also helps against thieves, since T2's do not go for gold and advanced res only. In this light, the vault also adds extra storage capacity.

    I am a tournament player, but I won't fall into the food trap again. In the last tournament, I broke my hip after a week in. When I came back from hospital, I had 2 cities having deleveled because of the red food.