Maximizing money

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Money makes the world go round in the Total War series, and Total War: Warhammer is no different. Although it has different names and icons, it's always the same kind of cash that goes into paying for your armies, maintaining your armies, and otherwise keeping your armies functioning. And your empire. But mostly armies.

Basic principles[edit | edit source]

  • A faction can earn money through taxes, trade, and certain military activities such as 15pxraiding and looting.
  • Certain abilities, heroes, traits and items also help increase money.
  • A penny saved is a penny earned: You need to spend money to earn money, but where you spend that money is important. Never spend cash on buildings and armies that won't be a vital part of your war effort, for example, on building chains that increase the array of cavalry units you have when you principally use infantry, or public order structures when you have a stable empire with plenty of order to spare. Similarly, don't overspend on second rate armies that stabilize the empire and rarely fight on the front. Cheap massed infantry is as good a police force as knights with elite forces backing them up.
  • Infrastructure first: Always start with buildings that give you income, followed by everything else. Money is the lifeblood of conquest and armies drink them up faster than you might think.
  • Trade with everyone: Self-explanatory. If necessary, bribe the faction with payments and gifts first. Trade stacks up over time and eventually becomes one of the major contributors to your income.
  • Prioritize income technologies: Anything that's got to do with increasing income or reducing upkeep for units is fair game insofar maximizing income.
  • Some factions have special unique mechanics that help them earn money, like slaves for Dark Elves.
  • The key to victory is having a positive cash flow. Disband inexperienced units that you don't require anymore to save on upkeep, build plenty of infrastructure buildings, and invest in technologies and skills that increase the amount of cash you receive in the game.
  • Tax provinces as necessary, but watch out for the blowback - high taxes reduce public order and are a good way to get stuck in a feedback loop that will cause you to keep putting down revolts, thus increasing expenditure, thus needing more taxes, thus getting more revolts.

Units and battles[edit | edit source]

  • Heroes help: If you can spare one, always drop off an income-boosting hero in your wealthiest provinces (see the upper right tab, sort by income) to add an edge to your operations.
  • Sack, then occupy: When facing off against large, well-developed settlements belonging to rich factions, consider sacking a settlement before occupying it next turn. This can provide a 300% return on the usual sacking and occupying.

Factions[edit | edit source]

Each faction in campaign has different economic strategies.

The Empire[edit | edit source]

-When taking settlements from Vampire Counts factions, always loot and occupy. Their buildings are useless to you and get tossed out when you take over, so you might as well take the money from them. High vampiric corruption also basically makes a rebellion in the next 3 turns inevitable. You keep the main building at the same tier this way, and get money from the other buildings being ransacked which you dont have to repair since they are destroyed anyway.

Armies, units and time: The dance that fills the coffers.[edit | edit source]

There are many aspects of the game that can help you maximize your army effectiveness, price and output. Lets go over a few of the basic concepts: (note I will be using empire units as the default but just consider their equivalent)

-Go cheap and add in stronger units. Cheap units with lords giving them melee defense bonuses will always make a better line than expensive units designed to do the damage themselves. You can tarpit with those Spears, Skeletons, Boyz, etc and let a hero or cavalry do the killing while being much more economically effective than by putting top of the line infantry out there.

-The way to raise a new army is not by the recruitment cost, but by their upkeep cost. Calculate your monthly income vs the units that you want to keep in that army. If you can afford them, take them. If you cant, plan cheaper.

-Use recruitment cost cut events (such as the empire -25% recruitment cost) to raise new armies. When you see this bonus come up, start a war. Win a battle and sack the settlement. Take that money from the sacking, provided your upkeep can handle it, and raise a new army. You now have not disrupted any further economic plans and have a shiny new stack.

-Chevrons are your friends. Better units get better results on the battlefield. Always try to max out chevrons instead of disbanding units. Example: You have 4 units of empire knights that you dont need? Send all 4 on a suicide charge into the enemy flank. They will lose a lot of men but also kill a lot of men then retreat. Take the 4 decimated units and merge them. You now have a high exp single stack at 25% of the cost. Much better than disbanding all those hard earned units. Beware trying this with units that will not retreat.

-Low exp, 1 turn recruitment units in peacetime? Disband. Absolutely. They're eating up money and can be replaced quickly, so they have to go. Peacetime can mean a lot too. Your lands stretch from estalia to sylvania but you only have a war in sylvania? Disband the estalian regiments and build up your economy and production there, so when you need to launch a campaign from there you can pick up better units quickly. They would take far too long to March across the map, so just disband and build an army in Altdorf instead to march over.

-ALWAYS prioritize research that gives unit exp. You can recruit rank 5 spearmen off the bat with the right talents as the empire. 2 units of high rank spearmen will beat a unit of low rank crypt horrors, making for a massive disparity in the cost you just used to win.

-Is there a cheaper unit? Look at what you want the unit to do. Do you really need halberdiers to hold the line when shielded spearmen will do it better against dwarves, who use lots of range? Are you just using 2 of your 4 regiments of cavalry to chase routing troops? Why not change those reiksguard to pistoleers who can use their melee option and superior speed to actually do a better job than the reiksguard at capturing fleeing troops, at a much lower price. Some units excel in areas that arent their "proper" use but if they excel at it, use them for it!

-Raiding parties: Not actually using the raiding stance, but if you're at relative peace at home and have a large standing army and want some extra income, send an army off to raid in a foreign land. Norsca and the badlands are popular choices, you send an army as large as you want (up to 4 stacks) away to destroy and sack enemy settlements. Anyone who returns home is massively leveled up, you gain lots of income from sacking and destroying enemy settlements, hamstring potential threats and thin out your own upkeep costs all the while gaining credibility with allies and being safe from retaliation (most likely) since they are so far away and you have them on their back foot.

-Be careful what you consider a "priority" unit. Artillery may seem like you need to keep it around, but you dont have to. You can take a 6 artillery stack into battle, then disband 4 units of artillery, raise a new lord and have him ferry in artillery units to the next major engagement instead of letting them eat up so much upkeep in the meantime. Balance out what you need vs how often you need it to determine if its cost effective. If those artillery units have 300 upkeep and wont get used for 10 more turns, thats 12,000 gold when rebuilding them only costs 3600. Higher tech is higher risk.

-Garrisons are an investment for the future. Putting garrisons up gives you walls (Most factions) and makes the enemy have to siege you. Against rebellions, beastment, orcs, etc. This is a massive investment in your future. In the time your garrison holds out you can raise a general, a single turn of recruitment+a few regiments of renown and break the siege. This reduces your standing army costs, savings for the future, and cuts rebuilding costs heavily. A garrison is rarely a "wasted" slot.

-Always build walls on cities. Rebellions happen at the capital as long as you hold it, and a city with a walled in garrison will be able to defend itself against a rebellion for a long time. Even if they cant, raising a general at the next town over and recruiting a turn of the cheapest troops is usually enough to win, if not throw in some regiments of renown.

-Retire an extra general. This way he comes back after a few turns into the recruitment pool for free, just upkeep costs. This makes placing a general strategically for defense much easier.

-Sacking heavy army or have a weak enemy faction nearby? Farm them. Restrict them to an undesirable area and win the battle, sack them, then back off. Wait 5-10 turns for them to build back up, repeat. Consider them your living rainy day fund. Works very well with Orkish and Dwarven settlements tucked in the mountains that belong to a small faction.

Taxation and Income Strategy[edit | edit source]

Depending upon the races you are playing as, you will find that certain provinces and regions you conquer have significantly higher income levels than others. This is likely to be due to the presence of mines, quarries, ports, or other trade based buildings. A wise player singles out the most profitable of their provinces and places a character there to act like a "governor", supporting that character with useful ancillaries and skills, such as "miner", "goldsmith", "daughter of valaya", and so forth, which increase the income gained from the region. But be careful in using such a method. Too many "governor" types will end up having a draining effect upon your coffers and end up reducing your turn-based income significantly.