Unit Upkeep

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See also Honour and Recruitment and Repair and training costs

When you recruit a new group of armed men from your capital city, you will be able to see a "hint" link to the side of each recruitment centre. This information can be very helpful, especially for new players, as it will give you an idea of how long you can maintain this new unit in the field.

General Guidelines

You should aim to make sure that you have enough gold on hand to maintain your unit for at least 1 week (including repair costs), and you should really aim for 2 weeks or more. That is because you get paid in bonds, which you must redeem in a city, but your men insist on being paid in gold. Therefore even if you get paid within a week's time you might not be able to redeem it in time.

Also keep in mind that the hint that is provided does not take into account any other expenses you might have, such as for paraphernalia. Therefore you must take into account those expenses yourself.

Also note that due to rounding (you can't pay in silver after all), the cost tends to shift a bit depending on how frequently you pay them.

This makes it all somewhat of a guessing game, and can be confusing for new players. There's no avoiding that it's a bit odd that the recruitment centres won't tell you how much the men will want to be paid on a weekly basis.

As a general rule though, you can gauge how much a unit's upkeep will cost based on their initial recruitment cost. A unit of 10 soldiers with a recruitment cost of 50 or higher will cost you about 14 gold a week, whereas a unit with a cost closer to 35 gold will cost you about 7 gold a week.

Closer Analysis

However, that's just an easy generalization. For instance, two units with the same initial cost can have very different upkeep costs. Take the following example:

Name Cost / 10 Training Equipment Morale Outcome
Quivers of Truth 36 35 45 / 65 (4) 72 With 42 gold can maintain a unit of 20 for over 3 weeks.
Lissambar Longbows 36 40 60 / 35 (4) 91 With 42 gold can maintain a unit of 20 for over 2 weeks.

From this we can guess that equipment has less of a role (or no role) in the upkeep cost, whereas Training and Morale do have an effect. Presumably though a unit with good equipment will have more of a repair bill to foot compared to a similar unit that has worse equipment.

You'll also note that the cost for a given unit will vary over time. That's likely due to the fact that Morale for a unit from a recruitment centre changes, based on how its region of origin is faring.


Supposedly the wages are as follows (but this still needs to be confirmed):

  • Inf, Arch, MI: Weekly pay = 0.018 * Training * #OfMen
  • Cav/SF: Weekly pay = 0.018 * Training * #OfMen * 1.75

So a unit of 50 infantry of 50% training would cost 45 gold for 7 days.


Based on this analysis, here are some things to consider:

  • Hire militia with high quality equipment
The primary factor for militia is how much CS you're getting per its upkeep cost. This is because militia tend to last a long time, see little action, and do not incur any repair costs. (Note: This is assuming that militia units follow the same general rules, but not necessarily the same cost, for upkeep as normal units do.)
  • Long-term units should have high quality equipment
This is looking at it solely from an upkeep perspective, but it also meshes well with the advice given when you look at it from an initial price perspective. In both cases you'll want a unit with lower morale/training and high equipment. You can fix morale and training, and while you do so your upkeep costs will be lower. On the other hand, if you're more concerned about the repair cost (for instance if you fear you'll be spending a majority of your gold on repairs) then it would be the opposite.
  • For short-term units the upkeep cost is not relevant
This is stated more as a corollary of the above statement, for completeness. Note that the corollary isn't "for short-term units hire units with poor equipment". Rather, the whole issue of upkeep cost is moot for them: if you're in a particularly vicious war and you're turning over troops every week or so, then the only factor that really matters is their initial price per CS.
  • Medium-term units should have medium training costs but high quality equipment
Considering that high quality equipment will only result in high repairs if you repair with a large unit; high quality equipment is less costly since you won't have to repair equipment for those units who died, while you will have to pay for upkeep costs of your men while they were alive and that even after their death. Their wage stop adding up after their death however, so if you intend to have a fight in a very short period of time neither wage nor repairs really matter.