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Topic Subject: The "Help! I'm losing money!" thread
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posted 29 June 2005 11:37 EDT (US)   
Since there has been made and asked continuous threads and questions about how to stop losing money in Rome: Total War, I decided to make a guide. Person after person have asked for help after they are losing money and can't understand why. "My big cities are losing lots of money! I have to exterminate!". Read this before you do. This guide will help you gain a better grasp on your empire, improve game-strategy, your financial moves and improve overall management of your empire.

Lord Ahm's guide to reducing the army upkeep

First you need to understand what army upkeep is. Army upkeep is an amount of money you have to pay each turn, how much money depends on how big your army is. Food for your soldiers and keeping weapons and armour in good condition are two things that is part of the army upkeep.

The army upkeep is divided on all your cities. For example: You have a huge army in Arretium, that army needs money to maintain itself. The army upkeep in that army will not be paid by Arretium just because the army's location is at Arretium. The upkeep expenditure will be divided to all your settlements, and the one with most citizens will pay most money.

Thats why your bigger cities are loosing money, those cities have so many citizens that they pay a large part of the army upkeep.

Then why not exterminate, so that there will be fewer citizens?

Exterminating won't help you in the long run. Sure, you get some thousand denarii that turn, but the army upkeep will just be divided to other cities. If you exterminate a large city, that pay a lot army upkeep, the income will simply decrease a bit in all other settlements, the amount they will decrease is identical as the one you loose in the big city you exterminated.

Example: Patavium is your biggest city, in Patavium there are 18 000 citizens. The income every turn is -2800 denarii. You exterminate and the population drops to 6000 citizens. You are now making 800 each turn in Patavium. "That's great!" you think, but in the next turns -2400 denarii is divided to the income of your 4 other cities.

How can I reduce the army upkeep?

To reduce the army upkeep, simply reduce the amount of soldiers! You still need forces to defend and expand your territory. You don't need much garrison in cities that are surrounded by your own regions. Have a look at this:

[JPEG, (168.83 KB)]

Here we can see that the player has a lot more garrison than he or she needs. Arretium and Ariminum have full stack garrisons! Both Arretium and Ariminum are surrounded by the players own regions (and the other Roman regions, but the player doesn't have to worry about civil war yet), therefore the player don't need much other garrison than one or two units. The other cities probably don't need that much garrison either, the armies should be out conquering new lands, not stay idle in a city.

As you also can see, the money issue isn't going too well. The player has too many forces, and too few cities to handle the army upkeep. So many forces creates a huge army upkeep. Patavium has 17075 citizens and is the biggest city with most citizens. They pay most of the army upkeep. Segesta have only 556 citizens, and pay very little army upkeep. If the player disbands or fight with some of the garrison, the army upkeep will go down. If the player doesn't get rid of some of the troops, or get some new cities, the money will go even more into minus because the upkeep is too big for just 6 cities.

[JPEG, (167.23 KB)]

This is a much better situation. The player has placed small garrisons in Arretium and Ariminum, and is concentrating the big armies on the borders of the empire. Since the huge garrisons are gone, the army upkeep is now much smaller.

So, if you want to decrease your army upkeep, try smaller garrisons and concentrate your main forces on conquering new lands and defending the borders of the empire.

What units should I use as garrison?

If you left-click on any unit, you will see their stats, if you look at the bottom of this list, you will see: "Upkeep" and there you see how much upkeep the unit require. The most ideal unit for garrison is Peasants. They are cheap, have a lot of men and cost only 100 denarii upkeep. Town Watch/Town Militia also have only 100 denarii upkeep. And remember: 30 Peasants are just as good as 30 Urban Cohort when it comes to garrison. It is the numbers which matters in garrison, not quality. That's why Peasants are so good. It can, however, be smart to keep better quality troops as garrison in cities which are in danger of being besieged (since fighting isn't exactly Peasants forte).

I followed your advice, but the citizens in the city are unhappy since there are so little garrison present!

If there are a governor in the city (or the city not is automanaged), lower the taxes. If the city is automanaged, set the policy to "Growth Policy". This will lower the taxes and make the citizens more happy. You loose some income, but you'll make that up when you get rid of some of the army upkeep. Personally, I use Growth Policy in all my automanaged settlements, and have low tax in my governed settlements. Then I can have a small garrison and I spare a lot from army upkeep.

Update: Some thought it would be a good idea to add some general tips:

- If you is in the possession of a large empire, it can pay off to make your capital more central. Example: If you own all of Italy, Greece and Africa, you would set your capital as Sparta, rather than Rome. This causes most settlements to get less "Distance from capital" and will improve your public order.

- Also (I think most of you know) Greece is the wealthiest area on the map. If you own all of Greece, your sea and land trade will produce heavy money.

- When you hold the cursor over a building, it will say for example: "Paved Roads (Greek)". If you build a Roman Highway, the building will not be Greek anymore. Your Culture Penalty will decrease when you have more buildings of your own culture

Hope this guide has been helpful. Good luck with your campaign!

Ahm Heribeus

Ahm Heribeus
Is a suits murmur

[This message has been edited by Lord Ahm (edited 12-30-2009 @ 08:28 AM).]

posted 01 July 2005 13:53 EDT (US)     26 / 101  


I have a garrison of nearly 15 units cards there with a governer of 7 management, 2 stars, and 10 influence, and the happineed face is still at Blue.

Use peasants as a garrison, get rid of cultural difference, move your capital closer and the like.

Outoi sunechthein,
Alla sunphilein ephun
- Antigonč

Not to hate,
But to Love I was born

posted 01 July 2005 15:01 EDT (US)     27 / 101  
Dude. Its Syracuse. Its close enough already. I do have Peasants and Auxilia, and there is no culture diff. I have a Pantheon, an Amplitheater, ect for happinees but it is sill blue face. This games logistics are F***** up

/I've got nothin...I'm fo like'a bajillion!\
posted 01 July 2005 15:56 EDT (US)     28 / 101  
Unrest is probably your problem. Which means there are enemy spies in your settlement, most likely.

Butchering the population causes unrest too, I think. Oh, and does your governor have some bad traits that could be adding squalor or unrest to the settlement?

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
posted 01 July 2005 17:19 EDT (US)     29 / 101  
Yeah, try to decrease your unrest.

Lord Ahm's guide to decrease unre...

just kidding

Ahm Heribeus
Is a suits murmur

[This message has been edited by Lord Ahm (edited 07-01-2005 @ 05:20 PM).]

posted 01 July 2005 18:09 EDT (US)     30 / 101  
Not much unrest. My leader has good traits like trustworthy, Honest, Stuberly Loyal ect. O and im sure there are no spies because i control all area surrounding the city. Africa, Half of Egypt, The west coast of Greese, and Spain and lower Gual

/I've got nothin...I'm fo like'a bajillion!\
posted 01 July 2005 18:58 EDT (US)     31 / 101  
i think the last thing you can do is exterminate the population, or put a spy in that city

(>< ) this is bunny. copy bunny on to your signature to help him to world domination!


posted 01 July 2005 20:09 EDT (US)     32 / 101  
Yep, putting spies in cities increses public order.

« black_knight_101 »

Wait, does this mean that Elpea is my sister? - GoForGoldenJarls

posted 06 July 2005 11:22 EDT (US)     33 / 101  
Didn't know that. Does putting assasins in your city decrease the enemy assasins percent chance of success?

Ahm Heribeus
Is a suits murmur
posted 06 July 2005 15:26 EDT (US)     34 / 101  


Yep, putting spies in cities increses public order.

Not directly though. I'm pretty sure they don't do it themselves, but they make it harder for enemy spies to get in and occasionally throw enemy spies out, which decreases unrest. Therefore, public order is increased indirectly, but only if there are enemy spies present.

I'm pretty sure that Assassins do the same for assassination and sabotage attempts, as they say "Protecting the troops!" when they join an army.

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posted 06 July 2005 18:12 EDT (US)     35 / 101  
My first tip - never automanage, always manage taxes manually. I do all the taxes myself, largely because it is not always best to have the tax at the limit of what you can get away with without having loyalty drop below 75.

Second tip - Having a larger garrison in a city does have the advantage that it allows you to have higher taxes. But *in general*, the increased army upkeep as outweighs the money gained from the taxes. In very wealthy territories when changing the taxes from low to normal means several hundred denarii, only then is it worth building troops to increase loyalty.

Myself, I only build troops as a garrison to prevent rebellion, not to save money. But then, I like to play as Greece who have one of the best economies in the game, and money isn't usually such an issue.

Third tip - The point of extermination is to eradicate squalor. I use it a lot, probably because I am not a competent campaign player. Also, extermination *can* make you money in certain situations, even if that is not the main purpose of it.

posted 06 July 2005 18:53 EDT (US)     36 / 101  
Generally I always have at least one spy in each of my settlements, partially because in my RTR campaign the Gauls have went crazy and tried to infiltrate nearly all my cities. Having my own spies in all my cities generally means I get an 'Enemy spy found' or 'Enemy spy executed' message every turn, and I've noticed my cities have all remained quite placid (this is the first campaign where I've kept spies in all my cities).

I have a set policy I usually follow on new settlements I capture.

I first demolish any temples/religious buildings the enemy have (for the newbs; enemy temples stay built in settlements once you capture them, but you cannot upgrade them. This means that as your native cities have your own Temples that can 'grow' in their public order affect as you upgrade them, you cannot upgrade enemy temples, so you should demolish them and replace them with your own, upgradable, temples. Also, the more enemy buildings in one of your settlements the higher the cultural difference penalty, and the more of your own settlements the less the cultural difference penalty). I then queue up as many Roman (or whatever culture you play with) buildings as possible and also queue up two units of peasants and one or two units of semi-good troops (e.g. equites, so I have at least a small amount of good troops ready all over the empire in case of rebels, etc.). I also enslave every new settlements (brings in plenty of cash over a series of turns), or in the case of far flung, large settlements, I'll exterminate (because it reduces the rebellious population to a manageable amount while you build a garrison and build your own buildings).

Every so often I shift my capital to be as central in my empire as possible also.

And another little thing, you should try to have most of your cities on the yellow/blue face. Not only does this mean an increased chance for your governers to get good stats (don't ask me why, but that's the way the game files work - your governers get better traits if they suck the blood out of their population and keep them in the blue/yellow face) but also it probably means your taxes are set higher and you'll be getting more money each turn

[This message has been edited by Alleinoir (edited 07-06-2005 @ 06:56 PM).]

posted 07 July 2005 09:09 EDT (US)     37 / 101  
As a settlement develops, you need further garrison because the squalor in the settlement increases due to population growth. Trust me - this is with or without your latest government building constructed.

()> <()
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\This is Bunny roasting on an open fire. Yummy!
posted 07 July 2005 12:30 EDT (US)     38 / 101  
Re: MaxiumsDecimus "This games logistics are F***** up": Some of them may be, but not those related to happiness levels. There's always a reason for settlement unhappiness; check the settlement details scroll, learn what the symbols mean (most of it's not in the manual), learn about spies/counterspying, governor traits, trade, senate popularity -- all and more are possible factors. Just one reason this game is so great, even with all its flaws. There are poor games, and then there's playing a good game poorly.
posted 08 July 2005 09:24 EDT (US)     39 / 101  
You could have pretty much infinite money by editing a game file LOL. computer 2.local disk 3.program files 4.activision 5.rome total-war 6. data 8. maps
9. campaign 10. imperial campaign 11.descr_strat
here you can edit many things ive only messed with playable factions and starting money. AND ALWAYS MAKE A BACKUP FILE IN MY DOCUMENTS INCASE OF MESS UP. i have messed things up before and being able to revert is always nice so you dont have to reinstall. copy and paste any factions into playable factions/unlockable factions. Note- i never got the slaves/rebels to be playable, and when playing as the senate dont open the senta scroll or anything like that or the game will crash. for infinite money scroll down to the faction you want to change or will play and set to 11 9s is the maximum or you will come out with infinite debt thats 99999999999 it will come out as somethiing like around 12000000000-15000000000. i conquered the whole map as julli and did it with out sparing any money i built all that i could and recruited lots and didnt worry about upkeep costs or getting protectors or anything i owned all regions by 213bc
note- this does not change current games you are playing you have to do this then start the campaign and remember when starting a new campaign to clear your previous faction's money or there will be a ot of bribing going on LOL. also you can put taxes at as low as they go and get lots of happiness and pop growth when you have tons of money.

Also read my signature and visit that website cause that game is gonna be big and all of you crazy roman fans will love(hey im one too i have around 210 hrs on my xfire profile of Rome total war)

that is a really long post lol

and for you guy who dont want to "cheat" this isnt cheating its editing files. but if you still dont like it you can still edit it so you can play any faction thats not really cheats its just expanding game capabilities.
have fun!

Septus Siderius Sestianus

[This message has been edited by Septus Sestianus (edited 07-08-2005 @ 09:30 AM).]

posted 08 July 2005 09:52 EDT (US)     40 / 101  


this isnt cheating its editing files.

Now that's bullshit. Editing the files like that is the same thing as cheating. I don't like the game that way. But you can play all the factions, and that's not cheating.

If you download one of the all-factionsmod in in our DL center, you can play with the slaves.

Ahm Heribeus
Is a suits murmur
posted 08 July 2005 09:56 EDT (US)     41 / 101  
when i said it wasnt cheating i was kinda being funny cause having infinite money is no matter what, cheating. LOL but still fun to play around with when you want to destroy the wortless barbarians

Septus Siderius Sestianus
posted 11 July 2005 11:02 EDT (US)     42 / 101  
It helps adding a smiley

Ahm Heribeus
Is a suits murmur
posted 14 July 2005 06:12 EDT (US)     43 / 101  
ill remember that

Septus Siderius Sestianus
posted 27 February 2008 21:29 EDT (US)     44 / 101  
posted 29 February 2008 17:41 EDT (US)     45 / 101  
Well worth reading from our newer players. Great tips here for financial management, and that is key to scenarios at higher difficulty levels.

Total War Heaven Former Angel Cherub and Long-Time Contributor
posted 04 March 2008 16:53 EDT (US)     46 / 101  
I've been finding that I need to have at least 2 Spies in each of my towns closest to the enemy (usually about two towns deep) if I want to keep those pesky Spies out (especially those horsey Scythians!).
Speaking of the Children of the Northern Plains, SubRosa, you mentioned in your fascinating Scythian thread about checking corruption if the treasury went above 50,000? And doing corruption checks on Faction Folk? I was running the Julii and positively drowning in corruption (without the corresponding fun). Could you elaborate?

P.S. Off topic, but I just saw your Amazon mod. I'm reading the Landmark Herotodus right now and can't wait to download it! Will you be adding the one-eyed people who he said lived to the North, below the gold-guarding griffins?
posted 05 March 2008 23:14 EDT (US)     47 / 101  
Hi LibraryGuy, welcome to TWH.

When your treasury reaches 50,000 denarii, the game starts making tests for the Corrupt trait for each of your generals who did not move that turn. Actually it is for that trait and several others, mostly bad. When you hit 100k it gets worse, and then 150k.

One thing to also watch for are Temples of Fun (Dionysus and others). I think the Julii get one. They also create the likelihood for generals in those cities to get lots of bad traits. Build Law temples instead. They keep most of the bad traits away, and that Law bonus not only keeps public order but it lowers the amount of money you lose to corruption in the settlement (not the same as the Corrupt trait).

So it is a good idea to always try to keep your treasury under 50k. Otherwise you end up with a bunch of corrupt, bad administrating, embezzlers (just three of the traits there).

Thanks about ATW. I am not going that far with it however. It is just my own interpretation of what an Amazon nation might be like, given the confines of the game. I am not really adding anything other than them however.
posted 08 March 2008 17:52 EDT (US)     48 / 101  
Thank you, it's great to be here.
And thank you, Mighty Queen, for the sage advice and information on corruption (especially the "Temple of Fun"). I rarely ever get that rich, but one time (silver mines in Laurium?) it happened. Next time I'll put some more expensive buildings in the queue, or buy mercenaries, or bribe a Brutii...
Readaers? How do you like to spend those excess denari, drachmas, or doubloons?
posted 09 March 2008 04:15 EDT (US)     49 / 101  
An army problebly or military buildings.

Calling all new people. USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION before asking a question. Thank you.
Alert the APOCOLYPSE is coming!!!!!!!

"TWH Guild Award (Best Duo/Trio) -Ischenous/IJ"- Tryhard. Why he chose that nomination, I don't know...
posted 09 March 2008 19:51 EDT (US)     50 / 101  
Yeah, sometimes I'd build a big honkin' wall, just because it was the most expensive thing available, just to keep my money down. Not, mind you, that I'm always that rich-far from it.
Of course, I could upgrade my Temple of Fun from Dionysius to Walt Dionysius.
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