City Resource Distribution - 5f VS 7f

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City Resource Distribution - 5f VS 7f

Post by Djehuti on Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:44 am

There are a few limiting factors to consider when planning a city, regardless of whether or not you have a military focus, and they are all in some way or another tied in with each other. They are:

Resource Production
Research Points
Nearby Sovereignty

Taxes contribute towards how much gold, research points, and resources your city generates per hour. The higher the population in the city, the more gold you get from taxes. A higher tax rate generates more gold, but less resources and research points (at 25% tax, there is no bonus to either taxes or resources/research production, meaning your taxes will equal your population, and your resources/research generation will be determined by the production buildings (lumbermill, quarry, farm, library, etc), as well as geomancy magics, res boosting buildings (Carpentry, Kiln, Foundry, Stonemason, & Flourmill), and resource focused sovereignty buildings). Lower than 25% tax will give a % bonus to your resource/research output, but a -% to your gold output. Above 25% does the opposite, with a % bonus to gold, but -% to resources/research.

The population is determined by the food requirements of each building constructed in your city - the higher the food requirement, the higher the population. Cities generating low food per hour will not be able to maintain as many high population buildings. The population is also a base for how much gold you get from taxes.

Resources are primarily determined by the number of corresponding res plots found in the city (how many wood plots, how many food plots, etc). Some buildings, such as a Spearmens Billets or Trade Center, will have an hourly resource upkeep cost on a certain type of resource, like wood or clay, which contribute to your overall hourly output. Additionally, most sovereignty buildings also require an hourly res upkeep, determined by the level of the building. Each resource can be boosted by a maximum 40% by using a Carpentry, Kiln, Foundry, Stonemason, or Flourmill (respectively), and can further be increased by the sovereignty buildings: Farmsteads, Fisheries, Earthworks, Logging Camps, Gravel Pits, and Mineshafts (which do not require an hourly res upkeep to maintain). Lastly, geomancy magic can be used to increase a single res output per city. The amount of resources generated per hour is also directly effected by your tax rate. If resources go negative in a city with no reserve stock, the buildings that require that particular res - either in the city, or outside via sov - will begin to de-level; in the case of negative food, this means any building within the city could de-level until the food goes into positive standings (or until food is added to the reserve stocks).

Research Points are generated by your library. They are used for researching new technology/skills, as well as used for hourly upkeep of sovereignty claims - the farther out from your city, and the higher level the claim, the more research points are used to maintain a claimed sov tile. Books can be acquired to convert into research points to supplement the hourly production. The 'Scribes of Allembine' quest/mystery will also increase your libraries research point output. The amount of research points generated per hour is also directly effected by your tax rate. If research points go negative without a reserve stock, sov will begin de-leveling.

Gold is determined by a combination of your taxes and population, though it can be supplement through trade sales (and on a smaller scale, through hunting and thieving). Gold is required for hourly unit upkeep costs and for the hourly upkeep costs of claimed sovereignty tiles. If the gold in a city is at negative, with no reserve stock, the units will begin dis-banning, and/or the sov claims will begin de-leveling.

Sovereignty is used for adding a % bonus to resource output, craftable production, or troop production. Claiming the inner ring (the 8 tiles directly around your city), plus the 12 closest in the outer ring (2 tiles away from city) is the most commonly suggested recommendation for claiming all 20 sov tiles (20 is the maximum number of sov buildings that can be constructed per city). Claiming and building on tiles further out will cost a player more upkeep, in terms of gold and research points. Depending on your goals, scouting your possible city locations for bonuses corresponding to your goals (troop production, high food availability, etc) can greatly increase the cities output. Water tiles cannot support anything but fisheries (food sov), so players focused on military need to take this into account. Players focused on increasing city population might not want tiles offering less than 5 food within the inner ring, and would be well off to consider finding tiles offering food in the double digits. More on this topic can be found in the post [City Placement - Surroundings and Proximity]

A couple things to note before continuing:

(a) The following mathematics involving troop sovereignty claims are based on the standard 5% production bonus per level of the sov building, and does not account for buildings placed on tiles that offer addition troop production bonuses (such as Wooded Glade for +2% Spear Unit production per level, or Open Plains for +1% Cavalry Unit production per level). Having those type of sov bonuses with the corresponding buildings constructed on them around your city will increase the production bonuses listed in the examples provided in this post.

(b) Regardless of the choice between 5 food or 7 food, it's important to plan the other resource distribution (wood/clay/iron/stone) according to what you want to have built in the city. The examples in this post will focus around a spear-unit producing city (in part because spears are the Orcs strength). A spear-unit producing city will be building 2-3 Spearmens Billets to reduce the upkeep cost of troops, so clay is an important factor, as well as iron. Each unit upkeep-reducing building has its own primary resource dependent, as well as a secondary resource dependent - in the case of Spearmens Billets, clay upkeep is 2,400k p/h, with iron at 1,100 p/h. The other unit upkeep-reducing buildings have the same amount of res used for upkeep, but with different kind of resources used (wood, clay, iron, or stone), so players wishing to specialize in units other than spearmen should take that into account when choosing their plot distribution, and supplement the information found in the below examples accordingly.

(c) Plot distributions are written as #|#|#|#|# (example: 5|5|5|5|5 or 3|5|5|5|7), with the first number being wood, then clay, iron, stone, and finally food.

Non-Military Focused Cities -

For cities not focused towards warfare, the vast majority of players prefer to place cities on a 7 food plot. It allows for more high level buildings per city, which also translates to higher population empires (enabling a player to settle/capture more total cities).

REACHING 10 CITIES - A popular goal in Illyriad is to create an empire with many cities - this can translate to any combination of the following: more gold, more production types, more harvesting, more troops (without negative gold upkeep), and more cities specializing in different tasks. However, the ability to claim each additional city after the first requires a steadily increasing population requirement (450 pop for city #2, 2000 pop for city #3, 5000 for #4, and so on). By the time you reach your 9th city, the jump to get #10 is a total population of 233,550 population - This is, arguably, one of the more challenging feats of the game. In order to do this, one must have an average city population of 25,950.

In order to do this on an account with cities placed on 5-food tiles, a city would need 133% on combined food production bonuses from magic, the flourmill, and sovereignty (farmsteads and fisheries), and that's running on 0% tax (which means you'd need to supplement your income for the sov upkeep costs, which would be fairly high, plus the upkeep for any units in the city). In short, it's just not feasible to reach 10 cities on 5-food plots.

On a 7-food tile, the goal of 25,950 population or higher in a city is far more achievable. At 25% tax, you'd only need a combined 85% food production bonus from magic, the flourmill, and sovereignty, and this would not bring you negative in gold for the upkeep. Lowering the tax to 1% allows for over 29k population, though depending on the source of your food production bonuses this might begin to require a small amount of gold supplementing. I prefer to have a city in my empire that has 2 geomancers retreats, so that I can cast the +20% food bonus on all my cities from there. With another 40% offered from the flourmill, this leaves me with only 25% sov needed from farmsteads/fisheries, which can be maintained with a 1% or 2% tax rate without going negative on food or gold - increasing units in the city will mean having to increase the taxes, which may also require you to add an addition food sov claim - but these factors vary, depending on the sov numbers offered around your city. 7-food cities that have good food sov available nearby can easily surpass 30k population without going negative in any resources (gold, RP, res, etc), and in many cases still will produce a decent surplus of resources p/h.

Military City Builds -

There is an ongoing debate between what is best for a military city, a 5-food or a 7-food (or even a 6-food). I am of the opinion that there is no absolute right or wrong choice, but rather the choice is dependent on your short and long term goals, play style, and how much time you are willing/able to devote towards the game. Below is an explanation to some of the benefits and drawbacks of either choice, with a few examples of city layouts constructed within the perimeters of 5 or 7-food plot cities.


A 5-food plot city is sometimes favored by military players due to the ability to claim a higher number of sov claim before going negative in hourly res production (wood/clay/iron/stone). According to He-man - a player widely considered to be an Illy military expert - a plot distribution of 5|6|5|4|5 (small hill plot) is optimal for spearmen production. The 6 clay allows for the additional clay used in maintaining 3 Spearmens Billets for an approx. total of a 50% reduction to unit upkeep cost (in this example, all three Billets would not be at max level, usually having the first two at level 20, and the third around level 11 or 12).

He-mans states that, in war-time, he runs his cities on 0% tax, and can claim around 17 level 4 sov and 3 level 3 sov with minimal upkeep, and supplements gold income via other means, such as an alt, large gold reserve, or constant selling of gatherables or other items. Here is a excerpt from a post he made on the subject:

Troop Sov all stems from your basic res production. The better balanced your basics are, the higher the level of troop sov that is available to you without causing to much headache.

Ideally, for exceptionally fast troop production, you will need 6 of the basic that is required by the type of troop cost reduction building (for example for spears it is clay and iron) so a 6 clay is required.
Using that, with only prestiging the basic that only has 4 plots, you can get 18x lvl 3 and 2 lvl 4 (roughly).
If you decide to prestige everything, you can run close to 17 lvl 3 and 3 lvl 3, though you are still negative on 3 of them, though it is manageable.

See the pic below on one of my setups. If you do run out of basics (and it has happened), it normally drops one or two off, so it doesnt take long to get back there again.
As for switching, it does not take that long to switch from lvl 3 to a different lvl 3.

It all depends on the setup you are running.  This is not a viable set up for a 7 food town as it is simply not able to be sustained easily. You could do it, but really who would want to, it is bad enough with the small levels of negatives that I have in this town if you decided to really run high negatives, then you are chaining yourself to your account. With these level, I can leave them for a while and not bother checking them.

For players that run 200% or so, that is a very easily doable and sustainable amount to achieve. At a minimum, you really only need 6000 basics to do and if you prestige build the town, you can get there very quickly and start producing troops.


In his example, many of his sov buildings are placed on tiles that provide additional troop production bonuses - without those extra bonuses, 17 lvl 4 and 3 lvl 3 buildings would equal a total 385% troop production bonus for the city.

A possible drawback to this approach (depending on your goals as a player) is that these types of cities are fairly limited to just military play. Because the food produced is not high, and no food sov is used, the city is limited to around 15k-18k population, and can support little more than the 8 basic buildings (Barracks, Market, Library, Mage Tower, Consulate, Paddocks, and Common Grounds) and a 2-4 other high level buildings (such as a spearmaker, bookmaker, blacksmith, etc). A player can still fit in a Flourmill, Vault, Brewery, Cottages, and other lower population buildings will little trouble. There is also the option to have some of the 8 basic buildings not at max level, which would allow for a couple more high level buildings.

Furthermore, an account with multiple cities running on this type of setup will not be able to surpass 9 cities. In order to reach city #10 you need a total population of 233,550 across all your cities, which averages to 25,950 per city. Even with sov claiming focused towards food, food magic, and a flourmill, one would need 133% food bonus in EACH city and 0% taxes to meet those requirements (upping the tax would increase the need for more food sov), which is implausible - and perhaps bordering impossible without the perfect food sov found outside the city.


A 7-food city for military purposes will not be able to match the production rate found in 5-food cities without going farther into negative hourly res upkeep, because having a 7 food plot means one of your other plots will be a 3. When you begin building level 4 sov, this becomes a problem, as each level 4 building takes 1,200 of each resource p/h to maintain. Therefore, a 7 food city potentially can comfortably reach 300% troop production bonuses through sov, having all 20 claimed sov tiles with level 3 structures, and not be negative with gold (not counting unit upkeep), research, or any res.

Example for a 5|5|5|3|7 city:

A 7-food city could have the following level 20 buildings: Marketplace (37pop), Barracks (37pop), Library (37pop), Consulate (1497pop), Warehouse (370), Common Ground (1497), Paddocks (1497), Mage Tower (1497), Spearmaker (1497), Blacksmith (1497), Tannery (1497), Brewery (37), x2 Vaults (37x2), Flourmill (16), Kiln (1497), Foundry (1497), Stonemason (1497), x5 Cottages (5x4), and x2 Spearmens Billets. Additionally, in this example, the city could have all 20 of the nearest tiles claimed through sovereignty, each at level 3.

Wartime setup-
If another city nearby could cast a 20% stone bonus (which requires 2 Geomancers retreats in the city casting the spell), the player could place level 3 troop production buildings on all 20 sov tiles and have a resting tax rate of 25% , receiving 690 wood p/h, 366 clay p/h, 3566 iron p/h, 182 stone p/h, 544 food p/h, 43 research points p/h, and 8525 gold p/h.

By dropping the taxes to 0% and by increasing the sov claim to the nearest 4 tiles to level 4, the gold upkeep would be -11068 (due to the sov upkeep), the stone would begin to go negative at -320 p/h, and the production sov bonus would increase to 320%.

Peacetime setup-
If another city nearby could cast a 20% food bonus (which requires 2 Geomancers retreats in the city casting the spell), and the player used all 20 sov claims to place level 3 farmsteads for a 60% food production bonus (assuming the sov tiles were on 5 food; tiles that offered more or less food would cause the % to increase or decrease), with a 100% tax rate the player would be receiving 3173 wood p/h, 2849 clay p/h, 6049 iron p/h, 4949 stone p/h, 1249 food p/h, -792 research points p/h, and 66,104 gold p/h.

note: this would require books be shipped in to turn into research points, unless a very large stock of RP was already present - this is approx 40 books needed per hour. At the time of writing this, books cost around 500g each, so you'd be looking at an hourly cost of 20,000 gold in book costs. It would be recommended to stockpile books in your local hub for safe keeping prior to using all your hourly gold income towards unit upkeep.

If you dropped the tax to 28%, research points would be at 9p/h, and your res incomings would all be over 10k p/h, with gold around 11.4k p/h. Adding more high pop buildings in place of some of the lower pop ones could increase the gold income and population levels, but would in turn greatly decrease the hourly food income (turning it negative in the wartime setup example above). However, this is a way to temporarily reach your populations requirements for city #10 and beyond, at which point one could demolish those buildings back down to be prepared for maintaining the sov in the wartime setup.

In peacetime, a 7-food city has the ability to focus their construction efforts towards surpassing the 9 city mark. Some players plan long term, starting off their empires to work towards getting as many cities as possible - then, when they've reached their goal in terms of how many cities they want, they convert the cities to a military setup by replacing food sov with troop production sov, de-leveling unnecessary buildings (that were initially built for increasing population), and even exodusing from their 7-food tile onto a 5-food tile. Once you have the cities under your control, you no longer need to maintain the population requirements to keep them - however, if the city gets razed or captured by another player, you will not be able to reclaim another one without first achieving the population requirements again, so - as with most aspects of the military side of the game - there is a risk to this strategy.


While I haven't done any mock-ups for the specific outputs of a city with 6 food plots (as far as per hour resources, upkeeps, gold, food, population, etc), you can get an idea from the above descriptions of a 5 or 7-food layout of what a 6-food food plot might offer: the closer-to-even spread of resources would allow for more troop production sov before going negative in hourly upkeep than a 7-food city, but make it a little more difficult to surpass the 9th city in your empire. In contrast, compared to a 5-food, you might not get as much troop production sov without going negative in upkeep, but you would have a better shot at surpassing city #9 via higher population in the city and your could house larger armies before going negative in gold. A six food might be considered a happy-medium between your options.


For the maximum troop production, a 5-food makes reaching the highest bonuses more achievable without incurring a heavy burden of negative hourly res, though it will limit your ability to surpass 9 cities, as well as cost you more gold in hourly upkeep to maintain sizable armies.

For larger standing armies with less or no hourly gold upkeep, a 7-food is optimal - though when trying to match the troop production bonuses offered by a 5-food city,  you will incur double or triple the negative hourly upkeep costs on at least 1 of your res types (the one with only 3 plots present). A 7-food will also allow you the possibility to surpass 9 cities in your empire, though this effort should not be attempted during war times as it will likely require sov devoted to food, and possibly more total buildings at higher levels and a lower tax rate than one might prefer for war efforts.

While the difference between the 320% and 385% troop production bonuses offered by a 5-food or 7-food (respectively) may not seem like a huge deal at a glance, one may feel different when an entire alliances worth of troops begin barreling towards your cities and you've already expended all your standing armies. This statement isn't meant to say that a 5-food is better in all cases, but it certainly has its merits.

In either example, during times of war, the gold upkeep would significantly increase because of troop upkeep, even with the 45%-50% discounted granted by the 2-3 Spearmens Billets. This is always to be expected during war, regardless of city design. One simply cant have a high level of claimed sovereignty with a large standing army at the same time, without going negative in hourly gold. While it is an option to run a city with no troop production sov to allow for a larger standing army without going negative in hourly gold income, it is not recommended. During war, it is just as important - if not more important - to be able to reproduce troops quickly between battles.

The decision between a 5 or 7-food plot should also take into consideration your allies in the area - balance between the alliance can be important as well. If the majority of your alliance is on 7 foods and can maintain larger standing armies, perhaps the need for a 5-food city that excels in troop production is in order. If your nearby allies are mainly focused on fast troop production on 5-food tiles, maybe it would be good to have your city holding a large standing army for breaking those early sieges against your team while the others are building up troops. Be sure to consult with your alliance members and leadership, as military warfare in this game is largely a team sport.


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