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Food

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Monthly food.png Food is a province-level resource that is required and consumed by pops and along with Population capacity population capacity is one of the main constraints on how large the population of a territory can grow. While food is not a significant concern at the beginning of the game, as cities get larger they will begin to outstrip their local food supply, requiring investments in production infrastructure and trade routes to sustain. Armies will consume food when outstripping the local Supply limit.png supply limit or when operating in hostile areas, requiring management of their food supply to ensure that soldiers are being properly fed during a campaign and avoid the crippling attrition that comes with running out of food.

Production and consumption[edit]

Food production is determined at the territory level, with the base production of a territory determined by the sum of its Monthly food.png local monthly food modifiers. All territories have a baseline level of food production determined by its terrain, ranging from Monthly food.png +4 food for Farmland farmland territories to Monthly food.png +1.5 food for Desert deserts and Mountains mountains. There are also small bonuses to monthly food in Country capital.png country and Province capital province capitals. This is generally sufficient for most provinces in the early game and for those that do not see significant population growth, but even a province full of farmland territories will eventually not be enough to support a large capital city. Notably, this baseline level of food production is not dependent on the number of pops in the territory.

The other major contributor to monthly food is with the food trade good bonuses. Each instance of Grain grain present in a province gives Monthly food.png +5 food, while of the other food goods Fish fish and Livestock give Monthly food.png +3 food each. These trade goods can be accumulated either from importing trade goods, which takes up an Global state trade routes.png import route slot, or from local production within the province, which is generally limited by the number of Slaves slaves that can be sustainably kept inside the food trade good-producing territories (i.e. because of Population capacity population capacity limits). Therefore, the most food-rich capitals will be those in provinces capable of producing the most food trade goods, typically those with many food trade good-producing settlements - ideally Grain grain, but in general any food production is still highly advantageous - particularly on Farmland farmland, as farmland territories have a base Goods from slaves.png surplus threshold bonus that stacks particularly well with Farming Settlement farming settlements. Like with all trade good surplus modifiers, the food production from trade good surpluses is technically applied to the capital of the province, which means that it is additionally affected by any monthly food modifiers there.

The base food production for each territory is also modified locally by the Global monthly food modifier.png local monthly food modifier and country-wide by the Global monthly food modifier.png global monthly food modifier, which can as much as double the base food production when maximized. Food production modifiers are a common Omen.png deity and omen bonus and are available from certain Invention.png inventions and other modifiers, and can also be increased locally with the Policy encourage trade.png Encourage Trade governor policy, Salt salt, Honey honey, and Vegetables vegetables trade good bonuses, and certain settlement buildings. Colder northern and alpine territories have a permanent food modifier malus to represent the relative difficulty of growing food in harsher climates. Blockades, sieges, and occupation will also significantly decrease food production and can become a serious problem for the population if it drags on too long.

Food is added into and consumed from a province-wide pool, which means that a food deficit in one territory can be made up for by a surplus in another territory. There is no way to move food or food production from one province to another, except indirectly by trading food trade goods.

Every pop consumes a certain amount of food according to its class:

  • Pop noble.png Nobles: Monthly food.png -0.5 food per pop
  • Citizens Citizens: Monthly food.png -0.3 food per pop
  • Freemen Freemen: Monthly food.png -0.2 food per pop
  • Tribesmen Tribesmen: Monthly food.png -0.2 food per pop
  • Slaves Slaves: Monthly food.png -0.1 food per pop

Therefore in addition to their larger number of pops, the high noble and citizen ratio of cities contributes further to their high food consumption.

Province food[edit]

Global food capacity.png Monthly food surpluses or deficits goes into the supply of province food, which allows a province to store extra food during periods of higher production as a buffer for when the food balance falls into deficit. The monthly food production balance is the way that the province food supply can grow or shrink, though there are also various events and missions that interact with it. Province food is always capped at the Global food capacity.png province food capacity.

For every 12 months of total food consumption stored, up to a maximum of 120 months (i.e. 10 times), a province will get the following modifiers:

  • Global population growth.png +0.05% Local Population Growth
  • Fort defense +2.5% Local Fort Defense

This means it can be advantageous to increase the food capacity in order to be able to store enough food to get the modifiers even if the province realistically does not need that much stored food, though this becomes increasingly expensive and unfeasible for larger and more populated provinces.

If the food in a province drops to 0, the province will get the Critical Food Supply modifier, giving:

  • Unrest.png +5 Minimum Unrest
  • Unrest.png +5 Local Unrest
  • Population capacity -75% Total Population Capacity
  • Supply limit.png -25% Supply Limit
  • Fort defense -50% Local Fort Defense

In addition, every territory in the province will get the Population Dying modifier, giving:

  • Supply limit.png -25% Supply Limit
  • Migration speed +10 Pop Migration Speed
  • Migration attraction -10 Migration Attraction
  • Local pop demotion speed.png +33% Pop Demotion Speed

Both of these modifiers stack, and the large drop in population capacity will usually have a very large impact on Pop happy.png pop happiness, further exacerbating issues with Unrest.png unrest and Province loyalty province loyalty and giving a severe impact on Local output local population output. The combined effects of these modifiers and resulting overpopulation will also result in pop death and significantly increased migration away from the province and so a lack of food supplies will usually eventually resolve itself, though not before inflicting significant economic damage and possibly triggering rebellions.

There is a Food deficiency.png Low Food Supply warning that appears if any province drops to below 100 food - if the alert appears, it is usually a good idea to look into resolving the food supply issues of that province. Province food cannot go below 0, even if the province is still consuming more food than it produces while having no more remaining food stored.

Food capacity[edit]

Global food capacity.png Every province has a province food capacity that determines how much food it can store. Every territory provides a base of +100 food capacity, which can be further modified locally by the Global food capacity.png provincial food capacity modifier and country-wide by the Global food capacity.png base food capacity modifier. As the cap on provincial food, it usually determines the magnitude of a province's stored food bonus. The easiest way to increase food capacity within a province is to build Granary granaries in the province's Territory city.png cities; it can also be increased country-wide by certain deities and the Idea grain admin.png Grain Stockpile national idea.

Army supply[edit]

See also: Attrition, Supply limit

Each army has its own supply of stored food and maximum Global food capacity.png food capacity. Each cohort contributes a certain amount of food capacity, typically only around 1 to 2 years' supply of food (less for heavier unit types, especially Unit war elephants.png war elephants) with the exception of Unit supply train.png supply trains, which are very weak in combat but have a very high Global food capacity.png food capacity per cohort. Any army that is expected to be involved in sieging or operating in enemy territory for any significant length of time should have enough supply trains to sustain themselves.

An army consumes food if it is in enemy territory or taking Attrition.png attrition, either because it is in a province with a Supply limit.png supply limit that is too low or has a baseline level of attrition. Each cohort has a baseline consumption level based on its type, which is increased by 10% for each point of attrition it is taking. If an army runs out of food, it will begin to lose soldiers from attrition, which rapidly ramps up the longer an army goes without food and can completely wipe it out if left unsupplied for long enough.

The food supply of an army is replenished if it is either in friendly territory or in a controlled enemy territory whose Province capital province capital is occupied, and the province has stored food to resupply it with. An army will always replenish 1/12 of its Global food capacity.png food capacity each month, as long as there is enough stored food in the province; this means that it is possible for an army to be sustainably placed in territory where it is taking Attrition.png attrition, as long as the food supply of the province is sufficient to resupply it. Note that it is possible and common for armies to consume more food than a province's Monthly food.png net food balance, which can eat into its stored food and potentially make it run out, though once the food supply reaches 0, the army will stop resupplying and allow the food supply to rise again for a month.

Cohorts are recruited with 0 food, and so take a few months before they will fill up their food capacity. Armies that are merged will sum their stored food together and splitting the army normally will also divide the food as possible, except with the Detach Support action, which will leave most of the food with the army rather than the Unit supply train.png supply train. This makes it feasible when sieging to detach the supply trains, send them back to friendly territory to resupply, and then return full of food to ensure that the siege can go on without having to move the actual army back and forth to resupply.