City Management Guide by MarekBrutus

Version: 2.0 | Updated: 05/10/06 | Printable Version


                                version 2.0


OK, here it is – improved version of a city / settlement / province management
guide (I will use those three terms extensively – they mean the same thing in
the game).

The purpose of this guide is to give all the basic information to the new 
players and describe how people manage their empires (OK - how I manage my 
empire). More advanced player may find some useful data in this guide, too, 
as my improved guide will cover a bit more than only the most important 
info – I have been doing some serious research lately. This guide is not for 
players, who prefer to set auto-manage option on – I want to show that it is 
possible to do things manually and it requires little game time, when you are 
prepared. Let me also point out that it would be also helpful, if you’d read 
the game manual before you read this.

I will use as an example Roman Julii faction on the 1.3 version of the game – 
most players do start with Romans and since Barbarian invasion is out 1.3 has 
become the basic version (unless you play mods). There aren’t many differences 
between version 1.0 and 1.3 in most of the subjects I will discuss, and I 
shall try to note those most important ones.

Table of contents:

1) Basic stuff you need to know – the City Scroll.

2) The „let’s have a deeper look” stuff – Settlement Details scroll.

   2.1) Population Growth (or PG).

        2.1.1) Positive factors:
        - Base fertility level;
        - Farm upgrades;
        - Health;
        - Buildings increasing PG;
        - Low Taxes;
        - Slaves;
        - Governors;
        - Other factors.

        2.1.2) Negative factors:
        - Squalor;
        - High Taxes;
        - Plague;
        - Capturing a city;
        - Governors.

   2.2) Public Order (or PO).

        2.2.1) Positive factors:
        - Basic happiness level;
        - Garrison;
        - Law;
        - Buildings of entertainment, fun, etc.;
        - Health;
        - Population boom;
        - Low Taxes;
        - Games and Races;
        - Governor;
        - Other factors.

        2.2.2) Negative factors:
        - Squalor;
        - Distance to the Capitol;
        - Culture Penalty;
        - Unrest;
        - High Taxes;
        - No governance;
        - Other factors.

   2.3) Income (or what makes your empire tick).

        2.3.1) Positive income:
        - Mining;
        - Farming;
        - Taxes;
        - Trade;
        - Other income sources.

        2.3.2) Costs:
        - Salaries;
        - Armed forces un-keep cost;
        - Corruption;
        - Devastation;
        - Other costs.

3) Planning of city’s development.

   3.1) What to use while planning – the City Browser.

   3.2) Why plan in the first place? Or: How come my cities are revolting?

   3.3) General plan for your Empire.

4) Keeping the folks happy (or else...) – Best garrison strategy in theory 
& praxis.

5) Additional information.


1) Basic stuff you need to know – the City Scroll.

When you open a City Scroll (takes up the right half of the screen) you have 
a source of the most basic information only – city’s name, population level, 
total income, Population Growth (PG, from now on) and Public Order (PO) levels.
Down the bottom left hand side of the parchment are 4 buttons. From top to 
bottom they are:

- Tech tree for your faction (building browser – very helpful function);
- Victoria’s advise on what to build next (city advisor – I ignore her);
- Show detailed information on the city (settlement details – your best 
- Go to the city’s location on the main map (helps in the beginning, but once 
you know the map...).

You can switch the view to other cities using arrow buttons in top left and 
right corners – you actually can go through full list of your cities.


2) The „let’s have a deeper look” stuff – Settlement Details scroll.

In order to know more, you have to open a Settlement Details scroll (it opens 
on the other half of the screen). This is most important tool for city 
governor (that is you). From top it shows in two rows (positive and negative) 
detail information on:

A) Population Growth  - shows positive and negative influences that either 
cause your city’s population to grow or to diminish.

B) Public Order – how happy your population is. Keep in mind that basic 
happiness level is not shown there – you have to add a positive 100% to come 
to the right quota. 75% total PO is a minimum to keep your citizens from 
rioting. 100% PO and above is a sign of true happiness.
C) Income – how much money your city is making in trade, farming, taxes and 
other sources and how much it pays to keep your empire running (commonly 
misunderstood subject).

Settlement Details also has its own set of buttons in down left corner. They 

- View settlement on the battlemap (useful for planning the defense);
- Set this settlement to be faction’s capital (changing the capital should be 
carefully considered, but it is necessary sometimes);
- Show trade summary scroll for this settlement (useful for determining how 
prosperous the city is).

Let’s list all the major factors in those areas.


2.1) Population Growth (or PG)

Population Growth – shown in percents - all icons mean at least 0.5 %.

2.1.1) Positive factors:

Positive influences (listed from right to left, usually):

- Base farming level of the province (represented by ears of corn) – this is 
an amount of farming done in said province without any improvements, it counts 
toward farming income – and it will not change no matter what you do.

- Farm upgrades (houses with corn) – those are the farms you have build from 
Land Clearance to Latifundia (names taken from Roman factions) - each counts 
as 0.5%, so totally it can be even addition of 2.5% (but not all factions can 
build all of them); they also count towards farming income. WARNING – farms 
can not be destroyed, no matter how much you’d want to.

- Health (red hearts) – each 10% of health bonus causes 1% of population 

- Buildings (houses) – aside from health and farm buildings, there are also 
some buildings, which do cause population to grow – they are Markets and 
Temples with Farming or Population’s Growth bonuses.

- Tax (money bags) – low tax gives 0.5% PG.

- Slaves (legs in shackles) - can also increase PG, but only temporary and 
it’s presence and value does depend on circumstances like: how large the 
enslaved settlement was = how many slaves there are to go around, presence of 
trade route to other cities and presence of governor in those cities. Slaves 
work as PG bonus also for the enslaved city and count as trading resource 
(represented by shackles on campaign map), increasing trade income of that 
city. The resource lasts for about 20 turns and that is also how long the 
enslaved city and cities trading with the slaves will experience increase in 

Personally I only enslave during initial stages of the game. Later on when 
the number of your cities increases it becomes too difficult to micromanage 
where the slaves should end up (by reassigning governors only to cities in 

- Governor presence can have positive influence on PG. Certain traits can 
increase farming output or reduce squalor. Certain governor ancillaries also 
increase farming output or reduce squalor, there are also a few that improve 
the city’s health. Each point usually equals 0.5% of PG increase. Those who 
want to know more – look up “Additional information” section.

- Other factors – One of more mysterious factors of PG are Food Imports 
(grain sacks). Some cities have it, some don’t. Moreover it seems to shift 
from one city to the other mysteriously. The secret behind Food Imports is 
that they are related to wheat resource and it’s presence in list of resources 
being traded in particular city. Whether it is import or export does not 
matter, just that they are on the list. As trade is assigned automatically to 
the most profitable trade routes available, each time something does change 
in the trade situation of the city (like new building, that influences trade, 
is built, here or in nearby city; or new trading agreement is signed), the 
trade route can change – hence the shifting of presence of this factor.

Single wheat resource trade route means 1,5% PG. Combined they usually give 3% 
PG per two trade routes or 4% PG for three.

2.1.2) Negative factors:

- Squalor (rats) – related directly to amount of population in town and 
governor residence (so-called core building) present. Unfortunately squalor 
increase is not linear, especially for first two levels of governor buildings. 
I found out however, that the approximation: 3 000 people cause 1% of 
squalor, works quite well for cities with Imperial Palace built. So, a city 
of 24 000 people (Huge city) has 8% negative PG from squalor alone – remember 
that. Maximum negative value of Squalor is 25% PG (more than enough to stop 
any city from growing). Those who want to know more – look up “Additional 
information” section.

IMPORTANT: there is no known method of permanently reducing Squalor, period. 
All you can do is build core buildings (governor residences) as fast as 
possible. Even if you reduce part of Squalor (using a governor, for instance) 
population will just keep on growing, and Squalor will increase. That is 
because whole game concept of city’s growth is based on principle of Squalor 
being the main counter-balance for positive factors of population growth.

- Tax (money bags) rate penalty – high tax causes 0,5% and very high 1 % 
negative PG.

- Plague (skulls) also has negative effect on PG – at times even -10%. Plague 
is caused by large number of citizens in the province compared to the existing 
sanitation buildings (or simply put – health bonus). This is calculated as a 
percentage based chance and is checked each turn. From my experience the 
danger becomes real if the town is reaching another trier level without this 
trier sanitation building built. Example: town with Sewers that goes above 
12000 people. Therefore if you want to avoid plague – build buildings with 
Health bonus or provide governors with ancillaries that have it.

Off course plague can spread to other cities, usually when infected character 
(spy, diplomat, assassin, admiral or family member) or unit moves there. This 
does not have to be your unit, so keep an eye on those foreigners! BTW, you 
can use plague as a weapon too (by moving infected agents into enemy cities).

- Capturing a city – well it is a one-time event (although it can be repeated 
throughout the campaign), rather than constant influence, but as it is the 
only way of rapidly depopulating a city, available to a player, it deserves 
few sentences.

As you capture a city you are presented with three options:
a) Occupy – you leave the population unharmed and gives you a small amount of 
b) Enslave – 50% of the city population is sold into slavery – immediately 
reducing city’s population, however increase in this and other cities is done 
gradually, by adding Slaves trade resource, already mentioned. NOTE: if you 
are Roman about 25% of the slaves goes to the Senate. The amount of dinarii 
immediately available is the same as in case of occupy option;
c) Exterminate – 75% of the city population is killed and their possessions 
are sold, giving you a nice sum immediately.

IMPORTANT FACT ONE: Population of the city can not drop below 400 people.

IMPORTANT FACT TWO: Exterminating the population to receive the loot money is 
not as profitable as one might think, all things being considered. 
Explanation can be found in section “Keeping the folks happy”.

- Governor presence can also have a negative influence on PG. As there were 
traits increasing Farming output and decreasing Squalor, so there are traits 
that have directly opposite effects. In case of Ancillaries there is only one 
that does increase Squalor, none have negative effect in Health or Farming. 
(Yep, you guessed it => „Additional information”).


2.2) Public Order (or PO).

Public Order – shows how happy the people. Changes in 5% decrements, at least.

2.2.1) Positive factors:

- Basic happiness level (not shown) – it is 100%. Always present if you have 
at least basic core building built in the city (Governor’s House).

- Garrison (soldiers) – presence of soldiers gives PO bonus of up to 80%. The 
exact amount of soldiers depends on Unit Scale setting of the game. One unit 
of say, Peasants always has the same effect on PO, even though on Huge setting 
there are 240 of them and on Small there are only 30 soldiers in a unit. 
(Thanks to Privateer, who made me aware of this – in my previous version of 
guide I did falsely claim that the soldiers / citizens ratio is fixed, 
therefore playing on Huge makes things easier – well, nobody is perfect).

IMPORTANT FACT: The military efficiency of soldiers in the garrison does not 
count – only numbers (although only humans count – wardogs are pretty much 
useless garrison troops, because only one quarter of the unit consists of 
human soldiers). That basically means that Peasants are most cost effective 
in keeping population happy (but remember – they can’t fight worth a damn!).

Almost forgot, here is the equation for garrison bonus efficiency, which I 
have worked out: 

GB = 350*X*(S/C) – 3,5

GB – Garrison bonus
X – Unit scale factor, which value changes thus: 1 for Huge, 2 for Large, 4 
for Normal and 8 for Small units
S- number of soldiers in garrison units
C- number of citizens in town

Mind you, it is not perfect, as the bonus is not entirely linear and rounding 
up to the full 5% values sometimes is based on strange principle that I have 
not grasped yet. The equation above is about 88 % correct and incorrect values 
are both in plus and in minus by 5%. So I came up with another equation, which 
is even more riddled with errors, but at least all off values are in minus by 
5%, so calculated GB is either correct or 5% smaller that in the game:

GB = 335*X*(S/C) – 3,25

BTW, I checked this on about 500 entries taken from the game, so there is only 
a slight possibility that someone will encounter a setting that produces 
result not consistent with the game or lower by 5%. Well, at least I tried.

Additional info on garrison can be found in section “Keeping the folks happy” 
and off course in “Additional Information”.

- Law (scales) –comes from buildings with Law Bonus like Despotic Law 
buildings (Execution Square for instance) and several types of temples. 
Governor traits and ancillaries law bonus shows here (each point equals 5% 
increase or decrease).

- Buildings of entertainment, fun, etc. (houses with a flag) – comes from 
other temples, markets and so on – basically those with “happiness” bonus.

- Population Boom (people) – happens when total PG value exceeds specific base 
value - each 1% more counts as 10% PO. Base values are affected by campaign 
difficulty: Easy – 2%, Medium – 3%, Hard – 4%, Very Hard – 5%.

- Health (hearts) – comes from health temples and buildings. Also Governor’s 
traits / ancillaries effect on health is shown here.

- Tax rate bonus (money bags) - +30% on Low Taxes.

- Games (happy face) - amphitheatres (starting with Arena) let you further 
entertain your subjects: 
Yearly Games – Base building PO increase, 
Monthly Games - Base + 20% public order, 
Daily Games - Base + 30% public order.

Off course you have to pay for more advanced games, which is why I do not use 
them unless I absolutely have to. Mind you, sometimes (especially in case of 
larger cities) it is more cost efficient to use Games instead of garrison. 
Problem with this approach is that one can easily turn on Games when in 
trouble, bringing in a stack of troops (even peasants) in one turn is often 
problematic, though.

- Races – have effects exactly as games, but Races are held in advanced 
cavalry recruiting buildings (that have no base PO increase). Non Roman 
factions can use only Races. Romans can combine Races and Games for greater 

- Governor influence (and traits and ancillaries) - each laurel leaf is +5% PO.
 Effects of traits and ancillaries are shown (as already mentioned) in 
appropriate sections.

- Other factors – mainly Wonders and certain events. Capturing any wonder 
provides a temporary increase of PO (of up to 20%) that goes down to 0 in about 
4 turns. Similar effect (that can usually be seen as unrest going down, 
however) occurs after certain events like Senate throwing games in one of your 
towns – this has even shorter lasting effect, though. Statue of Zeus does 
provide permanent bonus of 10%. Pyramids reduce Culture Penalty, but only in 
towns captured from Egyptians.

2.2.2) Negative influence:

- Squalor (rats) – each 3000 people it is -10% PO (ten times PG penalty). 
Maximum is 125% for Vanilla, 100% for 1.2 version of the game and subsequent 
versions. This estimate is more or less correct, as stated before, if player 
builds core buildings (governor’s residence) as soon as town reaches the 
required threshold. Moreover barbarian factions have problems as they can not 
build more advanced structures – it means that their more fertile provinces 
will have squalor problems much sooner then if they belonged to a civilized 
faction. Squalor is a complicated issue, so more on it in “Additional 

- Distance to capitol (or DTC) (wheel) – determined by distance between the 
city and your factions capitol, obviously. Can be up to 80%. Best strategy is 
to keep your capitol in the middle of your Empire, but if your cities on one 
side of the world are happy you can keep it nearer the problem zones. Web site 
to calculate it:

- Culture penalty (or CP)(black and white mask) – caused by conquering town 
from different culture circle (group). 

Here are culture circles:
I: Romans. SQPR, Julii, Brutii, Scipii.
II: Greeks. Greek cities, Macedon, Selucid Empire, Thrace.
III: Barbarians: Spain, Gauls, Britania, Germania, Dacia, Scythia
IV: Africans: Carthage, Numidia, 
V: Easterns: Parthia, Armenia, Pontus
VI: Egypt

It is calculated (officially) as quota of your culture buildings opposed to 
the other culture buildings – basically buildings you have build to old ones. 
It drops (usually by 5%) when you build a new building, upgrade an old one or 
rebuild demolished building (to the same level). Repairing does not count. If 
there are more than 10 buildings in a city replacing just one may not cause 
CP to drop (although temples and few other buildings seem to make immediate 

Governor buildings have the biggest effect on culture penalty - upgrading 
(since you can not destroy them) one can make CP drop by 25 % (half of 
maximum). However if you have previously upgrades roads, farming upgrades or 
walls, upgrading governors residence may have smaller impact on CP.

Keep in mind that even "old regime" buildings do have bonuses. So destroying 
all the old buildings at once is not a good idea, as it deprives the 
settlement of any positive bonuses. Destroy, build, destroy, build is optimal.

Also take into account that some of those old buildings have bonuses that can 
be useful to you and replacing them (or destroying them) may not be practical. 
For instance buildings like Bardic Circle have bonus of 10% PO but alone cause 
CP penalty of 5% - so by keeping them you actually add 5% to Public Order. 
Some temples may have other useful bonuses - like giving experience point to 
each trained unit - you might want to consider keeping them, as well.

Major problem with CP is that some buildings can not be destroyed (Governors 
residence, farming upgrades ...). Which sucks, basically: in a conquered Huge 
City you usually get stuck with part of Culture Penalty, because you can not 
upgrade nor destroy few important buildings (the possession of Pyramids 
removes that difficulty when conquering Egyptians).

- Unrest (crossed swords on flame) – people do not like being conquered or 
misruled (Imagine that!). Maximum unrest after conquest is -70% (max I’ve 
seen, anyway – usually after conquering a town it is between 60 – 30 %), but 
it will drop by 5% every turn in which you’ll keep control over the town 
(preferably with PO over 75%). Some provinces have a basic unrest level of 
sorts – the population will be of negative disposition, shall we say, no 
matter what you do. That means that you’ll have permanent unrest in some 
provinces (list from North to South, roughly – list by therother from checked by me):

Settlements with 30% base unrest:
Themiskyra, Deva, Londinium, Tarsus, Jerusalem

Settlements with 15% base unrest:
Bordesholm, Domus_Dulcis_Domus, Vicus_Gothi, Batavodurum, Damme, 
Vicus_Marcomannii, Tanais, Mogontiacum, Segestica, Tylis, Asturica, Salona, 
Numantia, Osca, Scallabis, Carthago_Nova, Corduba, Palma, Croton, Dumatha, 
Bostra, Dimmidi, Petra, Nepte

The permanent penalty does not exist for primary owner of the town, though - 
Tarsus for Seleucids is a peaceful town.

Enemy spies cause unrest in your towns (one caused that additional 10% over 
usual 60% I was talking about). Your spies cause unrest in enemy cities, too. 
That allows for an interesting strategy for taking over a town of a faction 
you do not wish to fight openly just yet. Place few spies in it and have 
assassins damage few buildings, namely those that provide PO bonuses. If that 
is enough to bring PO level down below 50% there may be a rebellion and the 
rebels may kick the enemy faction’s forces out. (I say may, because sometimes 
AI cities seem immune to low PO – there aren’t even riots.)  Then you are free 
to siege the town, without the need to declare war. This strategy works 
especially well for big towns far from capitol of the faction in question.

- Tax rate penalty (money bag) – High gives -20% PO, Very High -40% PO.

- No governance penalty – 15% of PO is deduced if there are no military forces 
in your settlement.

- Some governor traits will add to unrest or squalor, lower law and so on.

- There are some fluctuations in PO that I have not been able to explain. They 
are usually below 10% of difference, but happen without a specific reason. I 
thought for a time that those happen when you loose a battle or do not do 
Senate missions or fail in any other way. I have not been able to confirm this 
hypothesis so far. Just be prepared for them.


2.3) Income (or what makes your empire tick).

Income – shows your actual income and deduces your costs – represented in 

Money is the blood that makes your empire alive. Without money the player can 
not build, train military unit and recruit mercenaries or agents. Retraining 
depleted unit is also impossible, as is bribing – without money the game 
simply stops. So I would advise anyone to read the following really carefully.

2.3.1) Positive income:

There are four income sources usually called Gross Income when referred to in 
general: mining, farming, taxes and trade.

- Mining (pickaxe and a gold nuggets) – it is a steady income form mines in 
the region. Each silver mine gives you 200 dinari (350 with upgrade). Each 
gold mine – 300 and 525 dinari, respectively. Governor ancillaries can 
increase this value, there are also two connected traits.

As not everyone of the provinces has a mining resource, mining will be the 
smallest income source. It is however dependable, it does not depend on 
campaign difficulty and has no negative strings attached.

- Farms (houses with corn) – each farming upgrade and basic farming level 
point (1% PG) equals 160 dinarii approximately, with variations depending on 
harvest quality (over witch you have no control) and campaign difficulty. The 
equation is:

FI = 160*(FU+BFL)*H*CD


FI – Farming Income;
FU – Farming Upgrades present;
BFL – Base Fertility Level of the province;
H - Harvest factor – Poor = 0.95; Average = 1; Good = 1.04; Excellent = 1.08
CD - Campaign Difficulty factor – Easy = 1.2; Medium = 1; Hard = 0.92; Very 
Hard = 0.85.

The Gardens of Babylon wonder does increase the farming revenue by 20%. Some 
governor traits and ancillaries also affect that income source, positively or 

Farming income is the most dependable (every province will have it), but 
second least important income source from the four Gross Income sources. 
Moreover farms, apart form income, affect population growth – they add people. 
That may not be so good if the town already has a lot of people and has PO 
problems to boot… More in “Keeping the folks happy”.

- Taxes (money bag) – depend on population of city and tax rate (Low gives a 
20% drop in tax, high and very high, are +20% & +50%, respectively). 
Difficulty of campaign also has an effect - easy adds between 13% and 14% 
(strangely the exact quota can not be specified – I compared starting tax 
levels for different cities of few factions and effects did vary between 
13.1 % and 13,9%), whilst hard and very hard subtracts 5.5% and 11% 
respectively (here the results were very close to each other). Tax income is 
affected by various governor traits and ancillaries.

In previous version of the guide I have quoted therother and his four tax 
rates. Since then I have rechecked them and have to say that they are somewhat 
imprecise, especially the first one. So now I will present both his and my 
findings, so that anyone can compare them:

First quote form the “old” guide:

There are 4 tax rates, to simplify (again, thanks to therother):
1st tier (below 2000 people in town): Tax = 500+ 64 per 1000 men;
2nd Tier (2000-7905): 500 + 62.5 per 1000 men;
3rd Tier (7906-~34000): 750 + 15 per 1000 men;
Last tier: (35000+): 1000 + 8 per 1000 men.

Now my own equations (P – population number):

1st trier (400 – 600 people): 125 + 0.5*P;
2nd trier (600 – 1000 people): 250 + 0.25*P;
3rd trier (1000 – 2000 people): 400 + 0.11*P;
4th trier (2000 – 7900 people): 505 + 0.0625*P;
5th trier (8000 – 32900 people): 750 + 0.016*P (it starts to get a bit 
inaccurate at about 19000 people so you may replace it with 750 + 0.0158*P);
6th trier (33000 and above): 1000 + 0.00815*P (that will also get inaccurate 
as the number of people grows – you may lower the factor to 0.0081 at 40000 
people and lower it by another 0.0005 for each subsequent 10000 people).

My equations provide a bit more accurate results, but for general view 
therother’s are more than enough. Using the example from previous version:

On normal tax, medium difficulty, without governor, Huge City of 24 000 people 
makes 750 + (15*24) = 1110 dinari, as per therother’s equation, or 
750 + (16*24) = 1134 dinari (or 1129 using the second factor, rounded down), 
using mine equations. The actual value (cheats are useful, when trying to 
decipher something) is 1131 dinarii.

One thing is clear however, no matter who’s equations will you use – tax 
increase gradient is going down as the population level is going up. Moreover 
a town of 7750 people will earn (on normal/medium) 990 dinarii , than tax 
income drops quite drastically and returns to the same value as late as in a 
town of 15000 people! That means that although taxes play important role in 
your finances early in the game they will (or rather - should) loose on 
importance later on when the cities get bigger. I guess that is why the 
creator have not “patched” this big gap in tax income level between 7900 and 
8000 people – to make the player consider alternative income sources.

- Trade (wagons) – amount of dinari from land trade and sea import and export. 
It is affected by number of factors:

a) number of trading resources town has to offer (the more the better);
b) type of those resources – their value does differ, plus a town that exports 
olive oil will not import it (particularly visible in case of sea trade where 
exports and imports are divided);
c) distance between trading partners (those are assigned automatically 
according to profitability of trade route - you play no part in it) – 
Vicus Gothi for instance will not ship Amber to Rome, no matter how much more 
profitable it would be to sell it there, than in Londinium, which is so much 
d) presence of trade agreements – it puts in more trading partners in the pool 
for AI to choose from;
e) type and level of buildings present in exporting city (and in some case 
importing as well);
f) population levels of both cities;
g) presence of enemy forces (enemy faction army or brigands blocking land 
trade routes, pirates and enemy ships blocking ports);
h) a lot of traits and ancillaries that governor of the town can acquire;
i) the Colossus of Rhodes wonder increases sea trade income by 40%.

Campaign difficulty has no effect on trade income (another of my mistakes in 
previous guide version).

As I said there is a lot of factors you have no influence over, strangely that 
includes actual forming of a trade route. Therefore it is vital that you 
understand how you can affect the trading income. The obvious answer are 
buildings (and there is a surprise). There are three types of buildings to 
take into account:

a) Roads.

They affect land trade (land exports and imports are counted as one), apart 
from increasing the movement speed (therefore range) of your units and 

Land trade routes are established only between neighboring towns – the town 
connected by road that does not pass through third town. The initial value of 
land trade routes does vary – I have seen values as low as 5 dinarii and 
values of 40 dinarii and more.

The effect of Roads: 

Dirt roads do nothing.
Paved roads add 100 % of initial trade route value.
Highways add another 100% of initial trade route value.

Now the interesting bit – roads work only (in that capacity) if the two 
trading towns are connected by road of the same or next level. Example: 
Trading route between towns A (with paved road) and B (with dirt road) will 
not increase if town A builds the Highway.

b) Ports.

Ports affect sea trade only. Sea trade, unlike land trade, is divided into Sea 
Exports and Sea Imports. Sea Exports are what the town A ships out, Imports 
are what it receives (as sort of VAT, one might say) from towns B, C … . Sea 
Imports (in town A) are always worth 20% of Exports (from town B to town A) 
and they depend solely on what happens in town B.

Each port upgrade allows for creation of one trade route between town A and 
other town. Each trade route serves as way to exchange all the resources town 
A has to offer – there never will be two trade routes from town A to the same 
town B. So the maximum is three sea trade routes town A can initiate 
(3 Exports positions only, but town can have more Imports positions, as any 
town can receive resources from many towns).

Now the important fact – sea trade  routed are much more profitable in 
themselves than land trade routes. With no other structures initial value of 
sea trade route is almost always above 80 and usually above 100 dinarii.

c) Markets and other trade buildings.

There are few types of buildings that also affect trade. They all do it in the 
same way, so I’ll use markets as an example. Each market upgrade increases the 
value of a trade route by 10% of it’s initial value. So 10% for Trader, 20% 
for Market, 30% for Forum, 40% for Great Forum and 50 for Curia. That 
increase affects all trade routes of a town, both land and sea.

Other buildings that do the same (apart from, not instead of markets) are:
 Caravans - from 20% (Caravan) to 40% (Silk Road) increase;
 Temples of trade - from 10% (Shrine) to 50% (Pantheon);
 Pantheons of temples of love, victory, violence – each by 20%.

Ports should be able to do the same (according to export_descr_buildings.txt) 
but somehow they do not.

d) Population

I know population is not a building. But it is something player has influence 
over. I have observed that increases in population do have an effect on trade 
income (I have once claimed otherwise, on a forum, so if I mislead anyone I am 
sorry – I was surprised a bit myself). The effect is an increase of initial 
value of any trade route. The exact amount of increase depends on two factors:
1) the resources traded and the length of trade route – so factors beyond 
players control;
2) the buildings present in a town – actually from theoretical point of view 
it is the other way around – increase in population increases initial value 
of a trade route, which is in turn increased by the buildings, but the most 
important fact is that population and buildings effects are cumulative.

The exact effect of increase of population by 100% (I measured the increase 
from 6000 to 12000 people) do vary from 2 to about 10 %, but they are the same 
for every subsequent increase – it is another 2% - 10% for increase from 12000 
to 18000 people, and another for increase to 24000 and so on. More on 
importance of this in “Keeping the folks happy”.

Trade is the element of Income that player can influence the most. It is the 
element that will bring in most money, if you tend to it, especially if you 
have access to the sea (and the map is such that it is hard to have 15 
provinces – win number for a short campaign – without sea access). Moreover, 
as trade is not affected by campaign difficulty and tax and farming income is, 
trade becomes even more important on higher campaign difficulty levels.

So now we know about four parts of Gross Income. But in Settlement Details 
there is another source of income:

- Admin (scroll) – the effect of your Governors Management (traits can affect 
other income sources) attribute. Each point of Management adds 2% of Gross 
Income to city’s total income. So 10 Management points means additional 20% 
income! That is why player should keep good governors with high Management 
attribute in his most profitable cities.

There are other, faction-wide, sources of income, they are however visible 
only under “finances” tab of your faction information scroll. They include: 
Construction (the cost of buildings destroyed, or those witch build order was 
cancelled), Senate Transactions, Diplomacy / Tributes, Corruption and Other 
(income from extermination is shown here for instance) – they are highly 
dependable on circumstances and I would not advise anyone to depend too much 
on them, while building up your economy.

2.3.2) Costs:

- Salaries (marble bust) – the salaries of your generals, governors, spies, 
assassins and diplomats.

- Armed Forces cost (white banner) – un-keep of all of your military units.

IMPORTANT: Those two are first summarized from all over your empire. This 
total amount is divided among your cities according to population size, so the 
larger the city is in comparison to the rest of your cities, the larger is the 
part of total cost it has to pay. Now, because the increase in taxes and other 
income is not likely to be as directly proportional to increase in population 
– as trade and farming is largely based on other factors, the income is not 
likely to increase in line with the proportional increase in expenses to keep 
the army and your agents going. THAT is where the negative total income of 
large cities comes from.

EVEN MORE IMPORTANT: Exterminating your population will not solve this problem 
– this city will pay less army / salaries costs, but the difference will not 
disappear – it will be transferred to your other cities. Furthermore as you 
will have less income from taxes and trade, you may effectively lower your 
total, empire wide income. More on this in “Keeping the folks happy”.

In version 1.3 (and maybe other versions too) there is a bug – value shown in 
the city that is close or above population level of 24000 people is incorrect. 
More on this in “Additional Information”.

- Corruption – is the leading income cutter in the game. There are two kinds 
of corruption in the game. 

One has close relation to increasing distance to capital. The farther the 
settlement is from the capital, the higher your percentage of corruption 
relative to the settlement’s Gross Income. There is also a grace distance 
where there are no corruption penalties. You can observe this where your 
Capital’s neighbor doesn’t have any corruption penalties. This table clearly 
shows that effect (I have updated table provided by therother from, because his detailed percentage quotas did not always check out 
in my version of the game): 

Distance-To- Capital (in tiles) | Corruption (as Percentage of Gross Income):

< = 15 | 0
20 | 04%
25 | 08%
30 | 11.5%
35 | 15%
40 | 20%
45 | 24,5%
50 | 28%
55 | 31%
60 | 34%
65 | 37,5%
70 | 41,5%
75 | 46%
80 | 51%
85 | 55%
90 | 60%
95 | 64%
100 <= | 68,5%

I’d like to be able to tell you that this Corruption value can be compared to 
Distance to Capitol value form Public Order section. They are related, but it 
is not possible to give an exact equation for this relation, mostly because 
the Corruption changes by single percents or even fractions of it. DTC in PO 
is increasing in increments of 5%. The only relation is the fact that both 
values come from actual distance to capitol in tiles.

The problem with collecting data for this table is that one has to have a 
large empire to collect it from. The small amount of numbers to compare may be 
the cause why my results are not corresponding with therother’s.

So what can you do about this thing that eats up your money? Well, law bonus 
does reduce corruption penalties. More specifically, the amount of corruption 
reduced is based on (0.03 x Gross Income) for every point of Law bonus (where 
Gross Income = sum of income from mining, farming, taxes and trade, before 
costs are deducted off course). What provides this Law bonus? Well:
a) temples of law, governors, justice, leadership, one god provide from 1 to 5 
points (shrine to Pantheon);
b) pantheons of victory, naval, love, hunting, fun, forge, fertility, farming 
provide 2 points each;
c) despotic law buildings (Execution Square and upgrades) provide from 2 to 4 
d) various traits and ancillaries can provide such bonus for a governor.


Settlement A has Gross Income = 1200 denari and Corruption value = 180 denari 
(35 tiles away = 15% corruption). If you construct a level 1 Law Temple:

0.03 * Gross Income = Corruption penalty (in denari) removed per level of Law 

0.03 * 1200 denari = 36 denari. 

Thus Initial Corruption value – Corruption penalty removed = Resultant 
Corruption value:
180 denari – 36 denari = 144 denari.

Building a Level 2 Law Temple decreases corruption by another 36 denari and so 

It is not difficult to understand that building all 5 levels of this temple 
will nullify the corruption is this particular town. That is because each 
point of law bonus removes 3% of corruption value shown in the table.

Also I think Happiness level of city population (PO > 100%) also decreases 
corruption, by a small margin.

The second kind of corruption is related to the traits of your governors. 
Traits that negatively affect Management (there is no negative Management, 
though – the effect is by negating any existing Management abilities) ability 
of the governor, or his ability to influence Trade, Tax, Mining or Farming 
income do lower the general income of the city. Effects of this kind of 
corruption are visible under appropriate income quotas, not under Corruption. 
I have mentioned it here, because many people confuse the two.

- Devastation (burning ruins) – is a result of enemy forces standing for more 
than one turn in one place on your lands. Remember: Brigands and Rebels are 
also enemies! It is calculated as total farming of your province divided by 
number of tiles (land counting towards farming) your province covers. Each 
turn increases the number of tiles devastated.

- Entertainment (happy face) – cost of currently running games and / or races.

Other sources of costs are shown only on the financial details scroll of the 
faction. They are: Recruitment (empire wide cost of recruiting military units 
and agents), Construction (cost of buildings finished this turn – just 
remember that this is deduced right after the build order was given and shown 
after building is completed), Senate Transactions, Diplomacy / Tributes (cost 
of tributes you pay and money gifts you give).


3) Planning of city’s development.

So now that we know what information the game provides us with, we can put it 
to good use – making plans for individual towns and for our whole domain.


3.1) What to use while planning – the City Browser.

As the buildings are a primary means any player has to influence each town’s 
(and therefore his empire’s) growth, one needs to know exactly what each 
building does. I have taken a peak into game files to get detailed 
information, but game designers have provided a very good tool to get most 
information one does need about buildings – the already mentioned Building 

I strongly suggest that you study the Building Browser before and during play. 
It provides the player with information about when each building can be build, 
how long will it take and how much will it cost plus what effects will that 
building have. Most buildings have almost exact replicas that other factions 
can build. Only the name will be different.

That is because player can see only, what I call, a Faction’s Name of the 
building. The file export_descr_buildings.txt that is present in all 
installations of the game lists all buildings by their type and provides said 
Type of each building and a real Name of the building (for each trier of 
development) which for most part I have been using in this guide, as it is 
that name that game uses to differentiate between buildings. More on this 
in “Additional Information”.


3.2) Why plan in the first place? Or: How come my cities are revolting?

Someone may ask why plan, why not decide as it goes? Well partly because this 
is, after all, a strategy game and planning is a huge part of forming a 
strategy. Partly because some decisions can not be revoked in this game – some 
buildings can not be destroyed for instance. Moreover planning allows the 
player to be prepared for most surprises.

I will now give a simple example of how planning helps in capturing and 
retaining cities. I will use data for the Julii faction for this example, 
using only temples of Jupiter (I love Law bonuses).

3.2.1) Capturing a Town (between 400 and 2000 people).

At this level useful Julii buildings are:
- Trader: +0,5% PG;
- Land clearance: +0,5 PG;
- Shrine of Jupiter: +10% PO (+5 happiness, +5 law).

So you have total +1 % PG and + 10% PO, before reaching 2000 population. At 
2000 people, squalor has negative effect of max -1% PG and -10% PO, so the 
buildings alone will counter that. Off course enemy faction will have 
different buildings built, but investigating the city using a spy will 
provide all necessary information.

It would take max culture penalty (-50%), distance from capital (-80%), which 
player can assess by comparing that value in his nearest city, and unrest 
(-60%), right after capturing, to give you problems. 240 men will give you 
+80% garrison bonus, low taxes +30%, and basic happiness is +100% . That puts 
us on +10 - 20 % PO in worst case scenario depending on what buildings there 
are already). Governor with high Influence (6 - 8 points = 30 – 40 %) will 
assure 6 turns of relative peace (some riots perhaps) during witch unrest will 
decrease by 30 % and you should be able to reduce culture penalty by at least 
15% by building or replacing 3 buildings (within first 6 turns from capturing).
That will put us on at least 55% - something young governor with 4 points of 
Influence will be able to cope with, until you’ll build next level of 
buildings, further reducing culture penalty and increasing positive influences.
And that was the worst case scenario.

3.2.2) Capturing a Large Town (between 2000 and 6000 people):

Julii buildings:
- Market: +0,5% PG (so no increase there);
- Sewer: + 0,5% PG & +5% PO;
- Communal Farming: +1% PG (0,5% PG increase);
- Temple of Jupiter: +20% PO (increase of 10% PO).

Total 2% PG and 25% PO. Increase comparing to first trier of buildings: +1%PG 
& +15% PO. At 6 000 people squalor has negative influence of -2% PG and -20% 
PO, which means that buildings alone cover negative PG and add 5% PO above 
squalor – it is even easier to keep such a town in control, although it 
requires 720 men as garrison (and all buildings actually built). Provided that 
you have accurate information about what buildings there are in the town 
already, player can decide what forces and governors he’ll need.

3.2.3) Capturing a Minor City (between 6000 and 12000 people).

Julii buildings:
- Forum: +0,5% PG (0 increase);
- Public Baths: +1% PG & +10% PO (increase of 0,5% PG & 5% PO);
- Crop Rotation: +1,5 % PG (0,5% increase);
- Arena: +5% PO;
- Large Temple of Jupiter: +30% PO (10% increase).

Total: 3% PG & 45% PO. Increase of  1% PG & 20% PO, compared to second trier.
Squalor at 12 000 has -4% PG & -40% PO effect. At this level we still have 5% 
advantage of buildings contra squalor (from now on I’ll assume that there are 
buildings with effects such as Julii have, present in the settlement – 
describing all possibilities would require a book), so again only problem 
with how to hold such city is what buildings are there at the moment of 
capture and how long will the period of riots be (if it will occur at all). 
But as the needed garrison reached 1440 men, it may be better to exterminate 
such a town, in order to free up those men to other tasks. Extermination will 
reduce squalor to about -10% PO and with most provinces will give us 
population boom bonus, further helping us out. Moreover after building the 
Arena will allow us to use Games and have their PO bonus.

At this level buildings (when not using temples with PG bonus) provide less PG 
bonus that is needed to achieve population necessary to achieve next town 
development level (4% PG for 12000 people). That means that for the first time 
we need to take into account basic farming level, as it is needed to reach 
that level of population. Fortunately every region has at least 0,5% of BFL 
and that along with low tax bonus will get you there, although slowly and it 
may require disbanding of a unit or two to get over the number.

3.2.4) Capturing a Large City (between 12000 and 24000 people).

Julii buildings available at this level:
- Grand Forum: +1% PG (0,5% increase);
- Aqueduct: +1,5% PG & 15% PO (increase of 0,5% PG and 5% PO);
- Irrigation: +2% PG (0,5% increase);
- Amphitheatre: +10% PO (5% increase);
- Awesome Temple of Jupiter: +40% PO (10% increase).

Total: 4,5% PG & 65% PO, increase of 1,5% PG & 20% PO. However at 24000 people 
squalor is high, around -80% PO. Therefore city close to 24 000 people should 
be exterminated when far from capitol. Combination of 80% squalor and 80% 
distance from capitol plus culture penalty and unrest, will make it difficult 
to control the town after capture. More so because at that population level 
it is impossible to have 80% garrison bonus.

So it is -270% (80+80+50+60) PO against possible 260% positive PO 
(65 – garrison plus 100+30+65). We would need governor with 85% positive PO 
influence (including traits) to have such town at 75% total PO and such a man 
does not show up on every corner. In fact I do not remember ever having more 
than one such a man during my campaigns (he had 10 Influence, 6 point of Law 
bonus and 1 point of Health bonus all together). Even with Daily Games 
(+30% PO) a very good governor would be required.

Extermination will bring Squalor down to -20% PO penalty at most and at the 
same time allow us to gave full 80 % of garrison. Thus extermination provides 
about 65 % PO “bonus” (not counting Population Boom) making establishing 
control over such town much easier. 

3.2.5) Capturing a Huge Town (24000 people and above)

Julii buildings available for construction:
- Curia: +1% PG & +10% PO; (0 PG & 10% PO increase);
- City Plumbing: +2% PG & +20% PO (0,5% PG & 5% PO increase);
- Latifundia: +2,5% PG (0,5% increase);
- Coliseum: +15% PO (5% increase);
- Pantheon +1% PG & +60% PO (1% PG & 20% PO increase).

Total: 6,5% PG and 105% PO. That gives us increase of 2% in PG and 40% in PO.
Capturing Huge City, located far from capitol simply requires extermination. 
Let’s look at town of 30000 people – with squalor of 100%. Full stack of 
Peasants will give us +50% garrison bonus, but we already know that will be 
not enough. Negative PO influences will be -100% (squalor) -80% (distance) 
-50% (culture) –60% (unrest) = -315% PO. Positive: 100%(base) + 50%(garrison) 
+ 30 (tax) + 105% (buildings) = 285 %. PO total = -30%. 

Governor needs to cover 105% - I will not say it is impossible, but it is 
highly unlikely. Moreover player most likely will not be able to replace 
existing buildings as destruction or any building with PO bonus will mean 

So again extermination is only logical option. After it Squalor will be at 
-25% penalty and garrison bonus will be 80%. Population Boom will also appear. 
So extermination “bonus” will be at least 105% - thus a town can be pacified 
even without a governor. Off course provided that buildings with PO bonus of 
105% are present in the city at capture. Somehow AI almost never build them 
all and that never happens.

Can the player keep such a town happy after culture penalty is reduced 
(but only to 25% - player can’t replace foreign government building) and 
unrest is gone, than? Let’s check: negative -100%-80%-25% = -205%. Positive: 
+100%+50%+30%+105% = 285%. Total = 80%. Even without governor the player will 
keep it from rebelling. No further extermination necessary. But if the town 
grew further? Or if there was an outburst of unrest? 

Games would help. Moreover having a governor in such a big town will most 
likely be prudent – because big towns usually earn more money and therefore 
his Management will bring in more money. Extermination is a last resort 

That was long, wasn’t it? Imagine having to do all those calculations every 
time there is a PO problem. Thus having a plan for city development saves the 
player valuable game time. More in “Additional Information”.


3.3) General plan for your Empire.

Besides having a plan for each city (even a general one) it is useful to have 
a plan for your empire as a whole. Why? Because for instance building all 
military buildings in all towns is not necessary. It costs money. It is done 
in the same time a town can build other structures – for instance economical 
in nature. Even if you build first economical buildings and then military 
ones, there is a problem – what if in the meantime you’ll need technologically 
advanced units? What to do in a town that no doubt will be problematic to hold 
on to? Where to expand? What forces to use?

Each one of you will create your own strategy of playing this game. I will not 
present my strategies (I have a few, depending on factions I play as) because 
forming such strategy is part of fun of playing Rome: Total War. All I am 
saying is this: Isn’t it better to decide what you want to do once, write it 
down (one page of text is enough in my case) and than just follow it, that to 
rethink it over and over again. It is especially useful if you have to stop 
playing for a time – because of school exams or work project. Even the most 
general plan will make coming back to the game easier.


4) Keeping the folks happy (or else...) – Best garrison strategy in theory & 

In this section I am going to present few finer points of managing a town. I 
already presented what to consider when you conquer, so now I will concentrate 
on maintaining provinces. Let's assume that provinces in question ar far from 
the front lines and we do not have to watch out for enemy armies all that much.

First, we have to define what it is exactly we mean to accomplish. So, we want 

1) Keep the population of the city content. Riots are disruptive and demand 
attention that should be focused on the outside conquest. Moreover we would 
like to do it as lowest cost possible.
2) Keep the provinces clear of brigands, so that nothing can interrupt our 
trade or limit income from farming (devastation). Again low cost would be 
3) Keep the towns in our possession for as long as possible and if we loose 
them to a rebellion re-conquer them as quickly as possible.

Now, when we know what to do, we need to define what are the conditions we 
will be working in. That is a difficult thing as each faction has slightly 
different possibilities and each campaign can proceed differently – you will 
not capture every town with exactly the same buildings or level of population. 
So I will have to give an example.

As my example I will use Roman House of Julii and the Gaul region (all data 
come from version 1.0 of the game – they serve better purpose for proving my 
point). Those towns are relatively small in the beginning and you can go 
through whole process of their growth and development during a campaign. Off 
course I will not describe that, I’ll just try to get your attention to what 
you need to think about when you are developing the city, namely limiting 
population growth so that the city will not out grow your capabilities to 
control it.

What you need to take into account:
a) basic farming level of the city (plus existing farming upgrades at the 
moment of capture);
b) the distance to the capitol (important factor, even should you plan to 
change the location of the capitol to a closer one and especially if you plan 
to relocate the capitol further away);
c) the level of development of the city and number of existing buildings.

Ad 1) The existing farming is most important, as you can not destroy farming 
upgrades. So what you find in the beginning of your time as a ruler of a city 
is there to stay. Why it is so important? Because farming is the basic factor 
of population growth – the more of it means the more citizens there will be. 
And as we all know, too many citizens means problems.

Fortunately Gaul is not super fertile (not that it is a complete desert 
either) – few of its cities have base fertility level beyond 3 %. To reach 
Large City level a town needs 12 000 people, which roughly equals 4 % 
Population Growth. To reach Huge City level you need 8 % PG. Unfortunately it 
also means that once you reach the population level required you also have 4% 
(or 8%) squalor in PG department and 40 % (80%) squalor penalty in Public 
Order department. And it does not stop there.

Apart from farming there are other factors that add to PG – health buildings, 
fertility / love temples (and most top levels of other temples), trade 
buildings and so on. And you need to build them or you will not have better 
trade, public order bonuses or health bonuses that keep those plaques away. 
Farming, apart from providing PG bonus also brings in money, but a relatively 
small amount – every experienced player will tell you that trade is where the 
money is at. I have already presented the equation for calculating that 
income. Off course not building farms may not be enough to limit the PG to 
desired level – player may be forced to decide not to build so many health 
buildings or have a governor with few traits and ancillaries that provide 
effects bad for farming. But to make this explanation simpler I will limit my 
explanations to farming as the most obvious method of limiting PG.

A list of Gaul cities with noted base fertility level ( = Population Growth 
bonus) and distance from the capitol (that being starting Arretium) ( = 
Public Order penalty):

- Condate Redorum: 2,5 % PG, -45% PO;
- Lemonum: 2% PG, -40% PO;
- Alesia: 2,5% PG, -25% PO;
- Lugudum: 2,5% PG, -15% PO;
- Narbo Martius: 3% PG, -20% PO;
- Masilia: 3,5% PG, -15% PO;
- Trier: 2% PG, -25% PO;
- Samarobriva: 2,5 % PG, -40% PO.

Those last two provinces aren’t Gaul at the start, however they are more 
accessible from Gaul than from Germania or Britania, so I always include them 
in my Gaul province for administrative reasons.

Now a simple plan of development for two cities: Lemonum and Masilia. One has 
lowest PG starting bonus and high PO penalty, other – vice-versa. The rest of 
towns should be somewhere between.

Ad1) Keeping the town happy.

I) Lemonum by itself should reach Minor City level ( third trier > 6 000 
population) as it has 2% base farming level. The buildings we (or former 
owner) build will just allow us to reach it quicker. At that level cumulative 
effect of Roman buildings (lets assume for now that we have eliminated culture 
penalty) should be: +45% PO bonus (with Jupiter temples) and additional 3% PG 
bonus, of witch 1,5% comes from farming upgrades. Therefore reaching Large 
City level (4th trier >12 000 population) should be easy (using low taxation 
or governor traits), even without building any farming upgrades. At that level 
the effect of Roman buildings is: +65% PO and +4,5% PG of witch 2% is due to 
farming upgrades.

So even without farming upgrades Lemonum can reach around 13 500 people, with 
all of the farms, the number of it’s citizens would rise to 19 500. It is even 
possible to make Lemonum a Huge City – by using governor with farming 
increasing or squalor reducing traits and / or by disbanding units in the 
city. However that might not be prudent (and most likely would require careful 
and time-consuming micromanagement). The reason might be Public Order.

Lemonum had –40% distance from the capitol penalty already. At 13 500 people 
level squalor will ad another 45 % and at 19 500 – 65% of PO penalty. Without 
any governor or garrison (no governance penalty) it would amount to 65 % 
(100+65-40-45-15) total PO or even 45% (100+65-40-65-15) total PO at normal 
tax level. That is too little to hold the city content or just hold it. Adding 
just one unit of any kind would eliminate the „no governance” penalty adding 
15%. At lower population level it is enough to have the citizens disillusioned 
(maybe content), but at higher not. Moreover a sudden outbreak of unrest would 
cause trouble (even with low taxes), not to mention the fact that we could not 
raise taxes under any circumstances. Besides keeping town on lower taxes is 
not that good – we have no room to maneuver and any family member in town 
risks acquiring for instance a BadTaxman trait.

Therefore it is rather obvious that a garrison is needed. How large exactly 
must it be depends on few things, most important at the moment is how much 
Public Order we need. At lower level of 13 500 citizens the town is making 
around 966 dinarii from taxes (on normal difficulty; on normal tax level). So 
on low taxes it should be around 773 dinarii, on high around 1159 and on very 
high – 1449 dinarii. To keep the town at 100% total PO (so that we have room 
to maneuver, so to speak) we need 20% PO garrison bonus on normal taxes, 40 % 
at high level and 60% at very high tax level. That amounts to garrison of 468, 
872 or 1274 soldiers (at Large unit scale), who must remain in town all the 
time to keep it stable or we’ll have to adjust tax levels every time they go 
out. In my opinion those soldiers should be Peasants – they are cheapest to 

Lets compare Peasants with Town Watch (it has the same un-keep). 

468 soldiers corresponds to: 4 units of Peasants or 6 units of Town Watch on 
large unit scale - it is 400 dinarii to 600 dinarii = 200 dinarii lost each 

Larger garrisons make the difference more visible.

871 soldiers: 8 units of Large units of Peasants to 11 of units Town Watch = 
300 dinarii lost each turn;

1274 soldiers: 11 Large units of Peasants to 16 units of Town Watch = 500 
dinarii lost each turn.

I think those numbers clearly show that Peasants are the best unit 
(economically) to keep the population of your town happy. 

But those numbers show another thing – raising taxes is not as profitable as 
you might think, when you have to balance the effect of it by increasing 
garrison. The difference in its un-keep at Large unit scale is 400 to 800 to 
1100 for Normal / High / Very High tax levels. The difference in tax income is 
966 / 1159 / 1449. Even if we add the revenue from additional farming upgrades 
(that we need to build to offset the negative tax influence on Public Growth) 
it is 966 / 1159 + 80 (for one farming upgrade) / 1449 + 160. So we pay 
additional 400 dinarii for 273 additional income at high tax level (a loss) 
or 700 dinarii for additional 643 dinarii at very high tax level (again a 

There are only two types of cities that should, by definition, have higher 
- those that have enough other-than-garrison PO bonuses that allow you to rise 
taxes without increasing garrison (usually cities near your capitol or those 
recently exterminated);
- those with governors that have influence and traits that influence PO 
sufficiently. BTW, very high tax level is one of the conditions of your 
Governor acquiring (or increasing) Good Administrator or GoodTaxman traits.

At 19500 population level all those differences are increased, it should be so 
obvious, that I will not bore you with it. The only thing I will point out is 

At that population level tax income (at normal difficulty; at normal tax 
level) is around 1060 dinarii (taxes grow slower the more people are in town 
and there are several separate tax calculation rates). Adding to it increased 
income from Farming – 4 x 80 dniarii = 320 dinarii (per 4 farming upgrades at 
average harvest), we have 414 dinarii more income than when the town was at 
13500 population level (1060-966+320).

At the same time we have to have garrison of about 1260 soldiers to have 40% 
garrison PO bonus, that would put as on 100% of total PO. Using Large units of 
Peasants for instance it would mean that we have to pay 1100 dinarii each turn 
as unkeep for that garrison. Compared with 400 dinarii we had to pay for the 
468 men at lower population level, this gives us 700 dinarii additional cost. 
So we have 414 – 700 = -286 dinarii is lost each turn, just because we wanted 
to have larger population! The larger the difference between population levels 
the more likely it is that we will make a loss each turn trying to keep larger 
town happy!

My point is this – DO NOT build farming upgrades, unless you plan to reach 
another level of city’s development. Additional income from farming and tax is 
simply rarely worth increasing your garrison troops to a level that will keep 
your population happiness at a stable level.

II) Masilia has 3,5 % basic PG, and that means that building any building that 
increases PG will get it to 12 000 level = Large City. At that level the 
effect of Roman buildings is: +65% PO and +4,5% PG of witch 2% is due to 
farming upgrades. So all we need to do is build all those buildings 
(including farming upgrades) and Masilia will reach Huge City level of 24 000 
people (off course we could not build the last farming upgrade or two and try 
to get there by low taxation, governor traits, or even disbanding few stacks 
of peasants, but lets assume the we did build all those farming upgrades).

At Huge City level there are additional buildings that increase both PG and 
PO. Assuming that we build all the farming upgrades, that gives us 6,5 % 
additional PG and 105 % PO (when we build Pantheon of Jupiter not some other 
god) plus off course 100% base PO bonus. So the city will stop growing at 
about 30 000 people. At that level of population it is impossible to achieve 
80% of garrison bonus (even with full stack of peasants) – the best we can do 
is about 50%. We need to remember that.

PO, without any military unit will be at 75% (100+105-15-100-15) at Normal tax 
level – just perfect if there aren’t any strange occurrences. Putting any 
military unit into the town will bring it to 90 %. Let us however do a 
similar comparison as for Lemonum. So:

- 100% PO at Normal tax level means: 1224 dinarii from taxes and 593 soldiers 
needed for 10% garrison bonus, so 5 units of Peasants (Large scale) or 8 units 
of Town Watch;
- 100% PO at High tax level means: 1467 dinarii from taxes (and no additional 
income from farming because all farming upgrades are already build – that 
means that city population will drop to about 28 500 and tax income will drop 
to about 1440 dinarii – but let’s not use that, just so we don’t have to 
recalculate squalor, too) and 1489 men in garrison 13 units of Peasants or 19 
units of Town Watch;
- 100 % PO at Very High tax level equals: 1836 dinarii and 2384 men in 
garrison = 20 units of Peasants and 30 (sic!) units of Town Watch.

At first glance it is visible that increasing garrison to have bigger tax 
income is not economically sound idea for this town, either. It may not even 
be possible in town with population above 30000 people. Why have I done this 
comparison then? So we can do a calculation for entire province. I’ll assume 
we only want Normal tax levels:

Lemonum: 4 units of Peasants to 6 units of Town Watch = -200 dinarii each 
Masilia: 5 units of Peasants to 8 units of Town Watch = - 300 dinarii each 

An approximation for entire Gaul district (as the rest of towns was in between 
Lemonum and Masilia):

Total loss (for using Town Watch not Peasants as garrison troops) =

(200+300)/2 = 250 (dinarii lost per each town) * 8 (number of towns) = 2000 

So by using peasants as garrison troops in 8 cities of Gaul Julii faction 
“saves” 2000 dinarii each turn.

Ad2)Keeping the provinces brigand-free.

So now we know how our towns can be kept happy, each at about 100% PO. Off 
course that does not eliminate problem of Brigands blocking out trade routes. 
Most people that prefer using actual combat units for garrison, back that 
choice by saying that in case of having brigands they do not have to bring in 
an army from far away. Well remember that 2000 dinarii (I hope you do)? Let’s 
see what units we can maintain on that turn budget.

Pre-Marius troops un-keep (data from export_descr_units.txt):

Principes: 170 dinarii / turn
Equites: 110 dinarii / turn
Roman Archers: 170 dinarii / turn

Post-Marius troops:

Early Legionary Cohorts: 210 dinarii / turn
Roman Cavalry: 110 dinarii / turn
Archer Auxilia: 170 dinarii / turn

Post Marius troops are a bit more expensive to maintain, so I’ll use them. OK 
so for 2 units of infantry, two of archers and two cavalry total un-keep is 
980 dinarii per turn. That means that, for 2000 dinarii, you can have two such 
mini-armies to chase and fight brigands in those 8 provinces of Gaul 
“district”. More than enough I would say, to keep the region brigand free.

Moreover by using them you have other bonuses:
a) you do not have to move garrison out of town, so no need to reduce tax 
level. In fact you can temporarily raise the taxes – when those units are in 
town PO garrison bonus will jump up most likely;
b) you use real combat units; on a forum someone once suggested fighting 
brigands with Town Watch – how less combat effective they are everyone can see 
comparing basic unit data;
c) you use the same units all the time, so they will gather experience faster 
than garrison troops of each province would, if sent to fight brigands nearby;
d) every now and then you can replace those experiences units with fresh ones 
and create one stack out of 3 – 4 such mini-armies. That means experienced 
army to fight “real” threats. The same principle works for young generals – 
they also can gather those precious Command points fighting brigands;
e) since you use relatively low grade troops, you can retrain them locally;
f) by combining two or more such mini-armies you have a stack of troops ready 
to reclaim a town lost to a rebellion or repulse enemy attack (in very 
unlikely case of, for instance, invasion from the sea).

Do I need to say more?

BTW, those rebels are good training for your spies and assassins, too. I 
usually have a pair of young agents “beefing up” in each administrative 
region. They are useful in catching enemy agents that may infiltrate deep into 
your empire (it is rare, but happens, if you do not watch your borders). And 
a spy comes in handy if you have to reclaim a city, too.

Ad 3) Recapturing a town.

Neither of towns in Gaul was in real danger of revolting. But what if we had a 
province with really big BFL, far away from the capitol and with some 
permanent unrest? Lets say: BFL = 7% PG, DTC = 80% and permanent Unrest of 
15%. Moreover we have by mistake build all farming upgrades. Fortunately 
Culture Penalty was eliminated.

So the town would have total positive PG of 6,5 + 7 = 13,5. It means that it 
would grow to population level of 40500 people. PO situation would look like 
Total PO = 100 (base) + 105 (buildings) – 100 (max squalor) – 80 (DTC) – 15 
(Unrest) = 10 %.

Max garrison is (using full stack of peasants) at 35 %. So total rises to 
45 %. Low taxes raise it to 75%, but also increase PG by 0,5 % - town 
population rises to 42000, squalor (already capped) remains the same (and 
thank the patch1.2 for that), but garrison bonus may drop by 5%. Even if it 
remains the same we barely can hold the town. What if unrest rose? Or if 
Culture Penalty was not eliminated? Do we count on governor to pull this one 
out of the fire (they do die and change overtime, you know)? Or have permanent 
games running (they do cost money, off course)?

Maybe it is time for radical measures – the extermination. Problem is that 
extermination may not be economically sound option. Why? Remember the 
influence of population level on trade, I have mentioned? Well – that’s why! 
Let us calculate gains and loses:

A) Taxes.

On 42000 people low tax is 0,8*1340 = 1072 dinarii / turn.

On 10500 people (25% left after extermination) tax can be set even at very 
high level (as squalor will drop by 75% too – to about 35 %) for a time, than 
it will have to be reset to high, normal and again low. Why? Because at this 
high farming level the town will re-grow to 42000 people in about 42 turns – 
and squalor will grow reducing PO, too. So we should have about:
Tax income = 10*(920*1,5)+8*(1095*1,2)+5*1193+19*(0,8*1263) = 49475 from taxes 
in that time. (this is an approximation I have done using one of the Excel 
files I will present in last section).

Compared with 42*1072 = 45024 dinarii it seems as we may have actually gained 
on income (even though there are inaccuracies in my equations and it required 
careful management).

B) Extermination loot.

Extermination gives about 90% of number of citizens killed as a quota of 
dinarii awarded. So we should receive about (31500*0,9) = 28350 dinarii for 
this action.

C) Trade.

I do not have in my current saves a game with such a big city. Most of my 
cities stop growing at about 33000 people or less. So I have done two 
experiments using smaller cities with population of 30000 each (plus-minus 200 

- a city with average trade income for such development level:
trade in the city before loss of 75% of population (I cheated): 3606
trade in the city after loss of population: 3309

sum of trade routes with this city in nearby cities before: 1656
sum of trade routes with this city in nearby cities after: 1228
total trade loss: 725 dinarii

- a city with high trade income for such development level:

 trade in the city before loss of 75% of population (I cheated, again): 6893
 trade in the city after loss of population: 5997

 sum of trade routes with this city in nearby cities before: 2723
 sum of trade routes with this city in nearby cities after: 2186

 total trade loss: 1433 dinarii

So what would be the trade loss for exterminating a city of 42000 people? Well 
as I have said the difference in trade route income varied from about 2,5% to 
10% for each 6000 people more in the settlement. So I will add 10% (2*5%) to 
results of my experiments – a rather cautious estimate.

- for average trade city total trade loss would be about: 725*1,1((42+0)/2) = 
16748 dinarii
- for high trade city total trade loss would be about: 1433*1,1((42+0)/2) = 
33102 dinarii

So total extermination financial outcome would present itself as:

- for average trade city: 49475-45024+28350-16748 = 16053 dinarii for period 
of 42 turns, so about 382 dinarii per turn – that means that extermination of 
such city is profitable, although about 50% less profitable than it would seem 
at a first glance;
- for high trade city: 49475-45024+28350-33102 = -301 dinarii for period of 42 
turns, so about -7 dinarii per turn – a small loss.

Remember - my estimate was cautious. Most of the cities I had overpopulation 
problems with (due to large BFL) were towns with lots of trade resources = 
high trade value cities. That means, that probability of loosing money due to 
extermination is rather high.

The conclusion from all of this is, that the player should be cautious when 
exterminating for any other reason than to hold a city. I exterminate my own 
cities only when I have to resort to games to hold it (additional 400 or 800 
dinarii expenditure per turn is too much even for a town with superb trade).

OK, but how do I exterminate, someone might ask. Well you have to lose the 
city first. So I give it to a faction I am at war with and the city is close 
to (sometimes I even make them pay me). I remove my units, make an offer with 
a diplomat, they accept, city changes owners and than I simply move in again 
in the same turn. I do not have to fight anyone, because the enemy did not 
have a turn to recruit unit or move in with already existing army. Simple, 
isn’t it?

Well, problem is that after two or three such deals AI stops trusting you. And 
not only that faction – all factions think you can not be trusted. Which might 
be problematic, I guess. Me – I could not care less, because by the time I 
have such a problem, I usually am so powerful that I can take on the world. 
However, since the enemy will not take a city, I have to lose it in another 

Easiest way is just to let it rebel: move out of the city, raise taxes, end 
games and end turn. Next turn will welcome you with nice message, informing of 
a rebellion in said town. But when you take a closer look you see a city 
filled with top notch units with armor and weapons upgrades and, at times, a 
lot of experience chevrons. How to prevent that? Well you have to destroy 
military buildings, blacksmiths buildings, arenas (those gladiators really 
know how to fight, you know) and any building that serves as recruiting centre 
or provides unit improvement. BTW – this really increases cost of 
extermination, if you want to rebuild them.

But it is either that, or fighting real hard to regain a city. That is why, if 
during preliminary evaluation (at conquering for instance), I notice that a 
town may become a problem later on, I simply do not build those structures. I 
even do not build stone walls, because my spies can then open those wooden 
gates for me. 

Reclaiming a town is very easy, then: I bring in one or two of those 
mini-armies, make the city go “enemy” on me and attack and conquer within the 
same (in case of wooden walls) or second turn (if I have to build one or two 
towers). Fighting peasants is so easy I sometimes have no casualties. I move 
my combat units out, garrison in and can enjoy 40 turns or so of peace in the 


5) Additional information.

Well, I have promised you some additional information on many occasions. But, 
as I am a bit tired of writing, as I am sure you are of reading, I will 
present this information in form of Excel files. (BTW, this was a attempt at 
humor, if you have not noticed). Those files should open under most versions 
of MS Excel and under Open Office Calc application.

The files are:

- Buildings.xls – file containing information on buildings taken from 
export_descr_buildings.txt file and presented as a table in “All” sheet. I 
have done similar tables for each “unlockable” factions – those that do become 
available to a player by default, after campaign is completed. The columns 
containing Happines Health and Law bonuses were rewritten by me. They do not 
present point of each bonus but PO percentages. To arrive at correct point 
quota you have to divide each entry by 5.

- Traits.xls – data on all traits and their triggers from 
export_descr_character_traits.txt file.

- Ancillaries.xls - data on all ancillaries and their triggers from 
export_descr_ancillaries.txt file.

- CityDevelopmentGuide.xls – a file with prepared table containing all of my 
equations – it will calculate an approximation of how the city development 
will look like.

- DistancetotheCapitol.xls – a file with actual tiles distance calculated.

- Test.xls – data on real game squalor, tax income (on Normal tax level, 
Medium campaign difficulty) and un-keep division among cities. I present this 
file so that you can compare my equations and maybe improve them.

A link to all files (zipped - about 560 KB):

That is all. Enjoy.


If you have problems or questions regarding this Guide or files contact me via 
e-mail: I would ask that each such mail has 
ROME: TOTAL WAR as a subject, so that I can easily select them (and 
differentiate from spam for that matter).

Copyright by MarekBrutus 2006