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A city with the structures build menu open

Cities are at the core of any empire. They use the surrounding land to provide the resources to raise armies, research Tomes of Magic and provide the mana to fuel spells. They are also the primary way an empire exerts control over the world. Cities lay claim to the surrounding area, making it difficult for enemies to come close without diplomatic penalties. And during war, cities are bastions that require a serious effort to breach.

Each empire will have a Throne City, which is the city where the empire's ruler resurrects should they be killed. If an empire loses simultaneously its ruler and its Throne City it loses the game. An empire's starting city will be its Throne City. Another city can be designated as the Throne City via the city information screen.

Stability[edit | edit source]

A city's Stability ranged from -100 to 100 and represents how much the population of a city supports the empire controlling the city. It is reduced by each annexed Province and increased by certain city structures. Stability has the following levels:

Level Stability City income
Harmony 80 to 100 +15%
Orderly 40 to 79 +10%
Stable 10 to 39 +5%
Neutral -9 to 9
Unstable -39 to -10 -10%
Unrest -79 to -40 -20%
Rioting -100 to -90 -50%

If a city's Stability reaches Rioting there is a chance that the provinces defect from the city.

The Dark culture Dread Spire (level II Town Hall) eliminates the economic penalties for low stability. The Dark culture city structure Overlord's Tower prevents provinces from defecting if the Stability level reaches Rioting.

Population[edit | edit source]

The number next to a city's name represents its Population. Opening the city menu will also show how many turns will it take for the Population to increase. An empire can also pay 15 Resource imperium.png Imperium (+3 per owned city beyond the first?) per remaining turn to instantly grow the city Population, putting it at 0 Resource food.png Food towards the following Population. Depending on its population, in the city menu the city will be called Village, Town, City or Metropolis. Each population allows the city to annex an adjacent Province, increasing its Domain. Annexing a Province involves constructing a Province improvement. The available Province improvements for each Province depends on its terrain and resource nodes. Province improvements will not produce anything if a hostile army is currently standing on them.

The Resource food.png Food needed to reach the next population is as follows:

Current Population.png Population 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Resource food.png Food to next 120 133 159 198 250 315 393 484 588 705 835 978 1134 1303 1485 1680
Current Population.png Population 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Resource food.png Food to next 2000 2340 2700 3080 3680 4310 4970 5660 6380 7380 8420 9500 10620

This is a piecewise quadratic function with jumps after reaching 17, 21, and 26 population.

Settings[edit | edit source]

Governor[edit | edit source]

Each city may be assigned a Hero as Governor. The Throne City's governor is always the Ruler. The Governor does not have to be physically present in the city.

Each point of the Governor's affinity produces +2 of the corresponding resource for the city:

Affinity Resource
Empire affinity astral.png Astral Resource mana.png Mana
Empire affinity chaos.png Chaos Resource unit production.png Draft
Empire affinity materium.png Materium Resource structure production.png Production
Empire affinity nature.png Nature Resource food.png Food
Empire affinity order.png Order Resource gold.png Gold
Empire affinity shadow.png Shadow Resource knowledge.png Knowledge

Feudal Lord hero skills can give a large bonus to a single resource:

  • +25 Resource food.png Food
  • +25 Resource structure production.png Production
  • +15 Resource mana.png Mana
  • +15 Resource knowledge.png Knowledge

Whispering stone[edit | edit source]

A Whispering Stone may be assigned to an owned city. This increases the city's Stability by 3 per turn, up to a maximum of 30. The bonus decays if the Whispering Stone is withdrawn.

Throne city[edit | edit source]

The Throne City can be changed at a cost in time. This blocks all structure and unit production in the new Throne City while the change happens. All Wizard's Tower structures will be migrated along with the throne.

Outpost[edit | edit source]

An Outpost may be founded by a Hero at the cost of 50 Resource gold.png Gold and 2 turns. Barbarian Pathfinders can also build Outposts at a cost of 100 Resource gold.png Gold and 3 turns. The Military Engineering Empire Skill reduces the Gold cost by half, the time by 1 turn, and grants a free Palisade structure.

The Outpost will annex the Province for the owner, including any Resource Node or Magic Material in that Province. Local resources (Resource food.png Food, Resource structure production.png Production, Resource unit production.png Draft) are wasted (unless/until the Outpost is turned into a full City), but global resources are added to the empire's stocks as normal.

An Outpost costs Resource gold.png 10 Gold in upkeep. Like a full City, an Outpost has a Stability value.

A limited selection of structures may be built in an Outpost:

Structure Resource gold.png Gold time Time Notes
Palisade Walls 60 3 Kept if the Outpost is turned into a full City. Free with the Military Engineering Empire Skill.
Stone Walls 170 3 Requires Palisade Walls. Kept if the Outpost is turned into a full City.
Watch Tower 100 1 +3 Vision and Sensing Range.
Work Camp 100 3 Annexes an adjacent province by building a standard Province Improvement on it. If the Outpost is turned into a city, the city keeps the province and its population.
Teleporter 280 3 Requires the Teleporters Empire Skill.
Found a city - 3 Costs 200 Resource imperium.png Imperium. The time can be reduced by 2 turns with the Fruitful Integration Empire Skill or the Haste Berries Magic Material; with both, founding a city from an Outpost is instant.

Siege[edit | edit source]

To attack an outpost or city with City stats Defense.png fortifications requires a siege. An army with a hero is required to start a siege, and at least one sieging hero must remain in the siege area or else the siege will automatically be lifted.

The objective of the siege is to reduce the City stats Defense.png fortification health to 0, at which point the walls are breached and the defending armies can be attacked. Each strategic turn, the City stats Defense.png fortification health is reduced by the attacker's City stats DefenseBreached.png fortification damage, which has a base of 10 and can be increased by Siege Projects or units with the Siege Breaker attribute.

Siege projects can only be chosen on the turn the siege starts. In addition to City stats DefenseBreached.png fortification damage can affect the battle after the siege has been broken. If multiple Siege Projects add siegecraft units, only the strongest units will be used. Each empire can use two Siege Projects at the same time, and the number can be increased by the Progression siege specialization.png Siege Specialization and Progression siege masters.png Siege Masters empire skills.

Siege Project Cost Fortification damage Start of battle effects Requirements
Headlong Assault None 5 Attacker's units take 20 Physical Damage None
Construct Onagers Resource gold.png 250 Gold 3 Attacker starts with 2 Onager units None
Harass Defenders Resource gold.png 60 Gold 0 Defender's units take 20 Physical Damage None
Tower Bombardment Resource mana.png 100 Mana 1 Half of the defender's Tower units are destroyed None
Undermining the Walls Resource gold.png 100 Gold 3 Additional wall breaches None

Conquest[edit | edit source]

After conquering an enemy city, the victor has the following options.

Absorb[edit | edit source]

The city may be absorbed, becoming part of the victor's empire. This costs 200 Resource imperium.png Imperium.

Migrate[edit | edit source]

Similar to absorption, this additionally replaces the city's race with the victor's own. This also costs 200 Resource imperium.png Imperium but takes longer and reduces the city's population. Migrating a city is considered an Evil act (-10 Evil alignment Alignment).

Vassalize[edit | edit source]

Main article: Free city

The city may be vassalized, behaving the same as a vassalized free city.

Raze[edit | edit source]

The city may be razed, giving the victor a lump sum of Resource gold.png Gold: 75 + 75 per population. Bonuses from razing may be improved by Chaos empire skills. Razing a city is considered an Evil act (-20 Evil alignment Alignment).

A razed city becomes a City Ruins. No province improvement can be built there. The city may be re-founded at the discounted price of 100 Resource imperium.png Imperium, taking 4 turns turns, which can be reduced using the Fruitful Integration empire skill. With a Shadow tome that grants Soul Harvest, the city may be animated for the same effect for 100 Resource souls.png Souls and 2 turns turns, which is not affected by the Fruitful Integration empire skill.

Some realms may start with City Ruins already in place.