A Town or settlement is a generic term for the Outposts, Hamlets, Villages, Towns, Cities, and Capitals that make up your empire. You start the game with only a single settlement -- a Hamlet with a population of 4,000 (4 figures), but it is important to acquire more, as settlements provide the vast majority of the resources your empire will need.
A Town or settlement can be located on any land square that does not contain a Node, Tower of Wizardry, or Encounter, and is at least 4 squares away from any other other settlement. Settlements may not be constructed on Ocean or Shore. Certain information about locations may only be seen with the Surveyor.
In addition to the square the Settlement is on, nearby tiles also affect the Settlement or Town; all squares in a 5 x 5 area, centered on the settlement, other than the corner squares, contribute to the city. Note that the 4 square minimum distance between cities means that a square can be in more than one catchment area; if so, the bonuses are halved, rounding down (food is rounded to half-points). There are a total of 21 squares in the catchment.
Equal to Maximum Food, or 25, whichever is less. The city will not grow to above this population.
- +1% per shared Desert, Forest, or Hill square in the catchment.
- +2% per shared Mountain square in the catchment.
- +3% per exclusive Desert, Forest, or Hill square in the catchment.
- +5% per exclusive Mountain square in the catchment.
- Increase Forest bonus to +3%/+6% for Gaia's Blessing.
- Terrain tiles with Corruption do not count. However, tiles with unbroken nodes or lairs do count.
- +25% (each) for a Sawmill or Foresters' Guild.
- +50% (each) for a Miners' Guild or Mechanicians' Guild.
- +100% for an Inspirations spell.
- -50% for Cursed Lands.
The production bonus may be seen with the Surveyor.
- +½% x (total population of towns linked by roads of the same race as this settlement). Neutral cities do not count.
- +1% x (total population of towns linked by roads of a different race from this settlement). Neutral cities do not count.
- +10% if adjacent to a Shore.
- +20% if on a River.
- +30% if on a River Mouth
- +50% if a Nomad settlement.
- The above are capped at a total of 3% x Population.
- +50% (each) for a Marketplace or Bank.
- +100% (each) for a Merchants' Guild or Prosperity spell.
The gold bonus may be seen with the Surveyor. However, if pointed at an empty square, it will not cap the gold bonus at 3% x Population.
The Settlement ScreenEdit
A typical settlement screen might look something like (click on a region for details)
The parts of the image are as follows:
Settlement Size and NameEdit
Top left. A settlement is shown as a Hamlet for population 1-4, Village for population 5-8, Town for population 9-12, City for population 13-16, and Capital for population 17+. Other than the size term, this cannot be changed after the Town is founded.
The number of people currently living in the Town. Only the thousands digit has any direct effect on the game; the tens and hundreds digit are just counters until the Town next grows, and the ones digit is always 0.
Population Growth RateEdit
The number of people the Town gains every turn. This will always be zero if the town is at or above its Maximum Population, otherwise it will be calculated as follows:
- 5 x Maximum Food
- -5 x Population/1,000.
- +20 if race is Barbarians.
- +10 if race is Lizardmen.
- -10 if race is Draconians, Gnolls, Klackons, Nomads.
- -20 if race is Dark Elves, Dwarves, High Elves, Trolls.
- +100% for Stream of Life.
- +0-125% for Housing (see that article for details)
- -25% for Dark Rituals
- -100 per point of missing Food. This generally only happens if some of your Subsistence Farmers have been turned into Rebels.
- Rounded to increments of 10 population.
Shows the allocation of your citizens (1 per 1,000 population), as follows, from left to right:
A Town must provide at least 1 per citizen; if this cannot be provided from other sources, enough Farmers will be allocated to fill the need. These farmers may not be allocated to any other purpose, though they may become Rebels. Each Farmer provides base resources as follows:
|Farmers by Race|
¹Increased to 3 with an Animists' Guild.
A Town is permitted to produce more Food than it absolutely needs, which may be used to support your armies. These additional farmers function identically to subsistence farmers, but may be reallocated to Workers if desired. Note that Farmers are less useful once their total output exceeds the town's Base Food Output, only giving half their normal bonus.
|Workers by Race|
The last, and least useful, category of citizens is Rebels, who produce neither Food nor Production, and pay no Taxes. Oddly, they do still provide . They are as follows:
|Rebels by Race|
Leftmost box, under Citizens, with up to 5 rows. If you click on any row it will show what is using or producing that resource, though occasionally it reports incorrectly (possibly due to rounding errors).
Shows the total Production of the city ( indicates 10), used to produce buildings and units in the city. This is equal to the base Production from Farmers and Workers (calculated as above, and rounded up), multiplied by 1 + 0.01 * Production Bonus, with fractions dropped.
When a city is assigned to any product other than Housing or Trade Goods, at the start of every turn, the city builds up this number of Production Points. This is then compared to the Production Cost of the object being built, and if the total equals or exceeds the cost, the object is completed and all excess Production is lost.
Total Upkeep Cost of all buildings in the Town.
Total Gold output in excess of Upkeep Costs; hollow symbols indicate negative totals, and a large symbol indicates 10. This is computed as follows:
- Tax Rate per Farmer or Worker, doubled for Dwarves, and rounded down.
- Any Gold from Minerals: Silver Ore, Gold Ore, or Gems. Tiles with Corruption do not count. However, tiles with unbroken nodes or lairs do count.
- Increase by your Gold Bonus, rounded down.
- Subtract Upkeep Cost of Town Buildings.
Gold income is capped at 255, though this is very difficult to achieve.
- If your Fortress is the city, equal to your Spellbooks, +5 if it is in Myrror.
- ½ per citizen for Beastmen, Draconians, and High Elves.
- 1 per citizen for Dark Elves.
- Any Power bonus from Minerals.
- 3 for an Alchemists' Guild. This is effectively lost if a Wizards' Guild is built, as the Wizards' Guild requires a maintenance of 3.
- 1 for a Shrine.
- 2 for a Temple; replaces the Shrine for total 3.
- 3 for a Parthenon; replaces the Temple for total 6.
- 4 for a Cathedral; replaces the Parthenon for total 10.
- Divine Power and Infernal Power increase Shrine through Cathedral by 50%.
- Dark Rituals doubles the output of Shrine through Cathedral.
- Bad Moon and Good Moon can either double or halve Shrine through Cathedral.
- The above three effects all multiply, and rounding is done at the end; a Cathedral with Infernal Power, Dark Rituals, and a Bad Moon produces 60.
- Evil Presence is supposed to reduce Shrine through Cathedral to 0, but does not seem to work.
Note that Mana Upkeep Costs are not shown.
- 2 for a Library.
- 5 for a Library and a Sages' Guild.
- 10 for a Library, a Sages' Guild, and a University.
- 18 for a Library, a Sages' Guild, a University, and a Wizards' Guild.
Top right, no label. Shows a 5x5 area centered on the Settlement. Will show a red ½ on every tile that is shared with another city.
Shows units in the city.
What the city is currently building.
- If production is expected to complete next turn, you're not allowed to buy.
- 0 Production Points: Production Cost x 4.
- Less than 1/3 of Production Cost: (Production Cost - Production Points) x 3.
- At least 1/3 of Production Cost: (Production Cost - Production Points) x 2.
Due to an oversight, it is possible to change production after clicking buy, which under some conditions can save quite a bit of money -- for example, if you want to buy a Shrine and have 10, you can spend 1 turn on Bowmen, spend 40 to buy (PP=30), switch to Stables, spend 100 to buy, switch to Shrine, and let it complete 2 turns later; total 3 turns and 140, whereas it would be 240 done normally.
Note: the factor of 1/3 deviates from the text in the Offical Strategy Guide that claims a factor of 1/2, which is wrong.
A just-created settlement (generated with the Create Outpost unit power) does not use the Settlement Screen; instead, it uses a special screen, which has only one area of particular note: the row of 10 icons under the name of the race. When the outpost is first created, three are filled in. Once every icon is filled in, the outpost becomes a hamlet with a population of 1,000; if every icon fades, the outpost is deserted. You cannot assign any action to an outpost; instead, it automatically makes two rolls every turn: one to Grow, one to Shrink.
Every turn, an outpost has a chance to grow by 1, 2, or 3 icons. The odds of growth are as follows:
- +1% x Maximum Population
- +2% for Dark Elves.
- +3% for Trolls.
- +5% for Beastmen, Draconians, Gnolls, High Elves, and Klackons.
- +7% for Dwarves.
- +10% for High Men, Lizardmen, Nomads, and Orcs.
- +15% for Barbarians and Halflings.
- +5% for each Iron Ore or Silver Ore in its catchment.
- +10% for each Coal, Gems, Gold Ore, Mithril Ore, Adamantium Ore, Quork Crystals, or Crysx Crystals in its catchment.
- +10% for Stream of Life.
- +20% for Gaia's Blessing.
Every turn, an outpost has a chance to shrink by 1 or 2 icons. The odds of shrinking are as follows:
Outposts cannot be captured; if any hostile unit successfully moves into an outpost, the outpost is immediately destroyed.
Combat in towns has a number of special rules, particularly for the town squares (the 4x4 area with housing in it).
Town Square ProtectionsEdit
There are four effects that specifically protect the 4x4 town area. In all cases, the effect only applies when trying to cross or attack from one side to the other, and do not apply to movement via Merging or Teleporting.
- City Walls: Units that are not Flying or Non-Corporeal can only move or make melee attacks through a single gate square. All units within the walls get 3 against attacks from outside the walls. Walls can be damaged, making them passable and reducing the defensive effect to 1.
- Flying Fortress: Units that are not Flying cannot move or make melee attacks from inside the town to outside, or vice versa.
- Wall of Darkness: Units that lack Illusions Immunity cannot make Ranged Attacks from outside the walls to inside.
- Wall of Fire: units that are not Flying that move or make melee attacks from outside the wall to in are struck by 5 Immolation Damage.
Combat Damage to TownsEdit
In every combat, there is a chance for the Town to lose either buildings or citizens. At the end of a battle, make two checks:
Combat Loss of CitizensEdit
Roll once per Citizen after the first to determine whether it dies. Chance as follows:
- +10% if attacker wins.
- +2% for each attacker that ends its turn in the town area.
- +5% for each turn a Magic Vortex spends in the town area.
- Maximum of 50%.
Units do not need to actually engage in combat to cause damage in this way; if you have units the defenders cannot engage (such as Flying units) you can simply park the unit in town and hit Done until the fight times out to destroy much of the town.
Combat Loss of BuildingsEdit
Roll once per Town Building to determine whether it is destroyed. Chance as follows:
- +10% if attacker wins (+50% if defender is neutral).
- +1% for each attacker that ends its turn in the town area.
- +5% for each turn a Magic Vortex spends in the town area.
- Maximum of 75%.
Again, units do not need to actually fight to cause damage to the town.
Effects when the Attacker WinsEdit
If the attacker wins, several things occur:
- For a neutral city, the attacker gains 1-10 per initial citizen.
- For a non-neutral city, the attacker gains (city population)/(empire population) x (owner Gold reserves), and the defender loses the same amount.
- The defender loses Fame based on the size of the city: 1 for a Hamlet, 2 for a Village, 3 for a Town, 4 for a City, 5 for a Capital.
- If the attacker is a Rampaging Monster, it will either rampage through the town and vanish into the wilderness (no additional effects), or it will destroy the town, creating a Ruins. The ruins will contain the monsters that destroyed the town, and gold equal to the amount they stole.
- Otherwise, the attacker may either Capture or Raze the town. Neutral raiders always capture, turning the city into a neutral city with the raiders as a garrison.
When a town is razed, it is immediately destroyed, and the attacker loses Fame based on the size of the city: 1 for a Hamlet, 2 for a Village, 3 for a Town, 4 for a City, 5 for a Capital. In addition, the attacker gains Gold equal to 10% of the value of any buildings.
While you can name a new settlement however you want, the game will make suggestions, and it also uses those suggestions when creating its own cities. There are a total of 20 standard city names for each race, as follows:
|Barbarians||German / Danish|
| Carn Sul|
| Dragon Pass|
| Iron Wall|
| Crag Keep|
| New Haven|
|Lizardmen||Littoral / Reptilian|
| South Wash|
| Lizard Caves|
| Fell Gorge|
| Giant Peaks|
When a race runs through its entire set of default names, rather less-fitting ones from among the other races are selected at random when a new outpost is built.
While many Settlements will be placed by the computer, limiting your ability to make any decisions about them, there is some strategy to handling towns.
There are, generally, two different types of Settlement:
Economic settlements are expected to provide your empire with Food, Gold, and Power; they may occasionally be tasked with producing other military units, but it's not their specialty. There are two basic strategies to economic settlements: locations with a high Maximum Population will eventually produce a lot of resources but take a while to get going, locations near Minerals provide an early economic boost, though they often have lower long-term potential because most minerals are found in terrain that doesn't provide much Food.
Other than Minerals, it's desirable to have at least one square of Forest and either Mountain or Hill near the town, as well as placement near water. If you have multiple races available, choose one with an Advanced Economy and no more than 10% Unrest.
Recommended buildings in an economic settlement, by size:
- Hamlet: Builders' Hall, Granary
- Village: Smithy, Marketplace, Farmers' Market, Library, Shrine.
- Town: Sawmill, Foresters' Guild, Sages' Guild, Temple
- City: Miners' Guild, University, Bank, Animists' Guild
- Capital: whatever's left.
Military settlements are expected to provide your empire with Normal Units. Because this interferes with constructing Town Buildings, it's best to pick towns with limited long-term economic potential.