Trade

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Imperator: Rome - Economy and Trade Rebuilt. An overview of how economy and trade work in Imperator: Rome! Although most of these changes happened in previous free updates, anyone who wants to dive back into Imperator will appreciate the changes.
The trade overview interface

Trade involves the movement of surplus trade goods from one province to another, producing Commerce value.png commerce income for both the importer and the exporter. It is one of the two main ways that a country produces income and allows a country to profit from surplus production, potentially allowing countries with valuable and exotic trade goods to become much wealthier than their population base would suggest. An overview of all trade routes in the country as well as various automatic controls can be viewed in the Menu trade.png Trade Overview screen.

Trade Routes

See also: Trade goods

A Global state trade routes.png trade route is the movement of a trade good from one province, the exporter to another, the importer. One of the main effects of a trade route is to effectively move trade goods from one province to another, meaning that the importing province will get the bonuses from the imported trade good as though it was produced there, and the exporting province will not get the bonus from the exported trade good even though it was produced there. This is particularly useful for accumulating surpluses of trade goods in the Country capital.png capital province, as well as obtaining food trade goods if the population of a province outstrips its food supply.

As a passive modifier, every active import and export route also gives Local pop promotion speed.png +2.50% pop promotion speed to every territory in the province.

Trade income

Trade routes are possibly most important for the Commerce value.png commerce income that they give to both the importing and exporting provinces. The base Commerce value.png commerce value of a trade route is determined by the base trade value of the trade good, varying between Wealth 0.20 gold and Wealth 0.50 gold with valuable and exotic goods like Gemstones gemstones or Incense incense worth much more than common trade goods such as Grain grain and Wood wood. The base trade value is then multiplied by a certain factor based on the the type of the trade route, and whether the province is the importer or the exporter:

  • ×1 for the exporter in a foreign trade route
  • ×0.35 for the importer in a foreign trade route
  • ×0.20 for both the importer and the exporter in a domestic trade route

The commerce income for the importing province is then modified by the province and country Import value import value modifiers, and similarly by the province and country Export value export value modifiers for the exporting province. As it is commerce income that is generated, trade route income is also modified by the local and national Commerce value.png commerce income modifiers.

Therefore, foreign trade routes are always more valuable than domestic trade routes and should always be preferred if possible, compensating for how they are more difficult to create (and keep). Exporters will also in general earn more gold from trade than importers, in exchange for losing the effect of the trade good. Generally speaking exporting is almost always better than keeping the trade good for its bonus, unless a capital surplus would be lost or the province needs the trade good for its Monthly food.png food supply.

Creating trade routes

In order to create a trade route, the potential exporter must have a surplus of that good (i.e. produces at least 2 of that trade good), the potential importer must have at least 1 unused Global state trade routes.png import route, and there must be trade access between the two provinces. Provinces belonging to the same country (i.e. domestic trade routes) always have trade access, but creating a trade route between provinces belonging to different countries (foreign trade routes) requires that the exporter be within Diplomatic range.png diplomatic range of the importer (note that the inverse does not necessarily have to apply) and that the two countries are not at war. For foreign trade routes, the exporting country must also approve the trade, which they will generally do as long as Opinion improvement active.png relations are not poor and doing the trade will not result in the loss of a capital surplus bonus.

Once a trade route is established, it will remain in place as long as the importing province has enough Global state trade routes.png trade routes, the exporting province has enough of the trade good to fulfill all trades, both provinces remain under the same owner as when the trade route was established, and the two countries (if relevant) are not War.png at war. If any of the conditions are not met, trade routes will be automatically cancelled until they are fulfilled again (particularly, this means that all trade routes will be cancelled if at war, which means that going to war with a major trading partner can result in considerable economic disruption).

Import routes

Every province has a maximum number of import routes that they are allowed to have. Once a province reaches its maximum, it will no longer be able to create more import routes, and if the number of import routes is higher than the maximum then the most recent trade routes created will be cancelled until the number of import routes is at the cap again. Note that there is no limit to how many exports a province can have, other than the amount of surplus trade goods it produces.

The base number of import routes in for each territory is determined by the sum of the Local base trade routes.png Local base trade routes modifiers; this is then summed up across all the territories in the province and then rounded down to get the baseline maximum number of import routes for the province. Local base trade routes.png Local import routes are produced only by Pop noble.png noble and Citizens citizen pops, who produce Local base trade routes.png +0.15 Local import routes and Local base trade routes.png +0.03 Local import routes per pop, respectively. There are also multiplicative modifiers mostly determined by infrastructure - bonuses of Local base trade routes.png +5% local base trade routes for every Ability road building.png road connecting the territory to another territory and Local base trade routes.png +2.5% local base trade routes for every Market marketplace in the territory, available only to Territory city.png cities or Territory metropolis.png metropolises, while territories whose Policy cultural assimilation.png dominant culture is not an integrated culture get a Local base trade routes.png -25% malus to their number of trade routes.

This baseline maximum can then be modified at a province level by the Global state trade routes.png Local import routes province modifier, for all provinces in the country by the Global state trade routes.png Province import routes country modifier, and for the Country capital.png capital province specifically by the Global capital trade routes.png Capital import routes modifier. Apart from as a bonus from various events, decisions, and missions, the Oratory province investment Entice Business Investments province investment also gives Global state trade routes.png +1 Local import routes, making it in general the fastest and easiest way to increase the number of trade routes a province has as long as the country has enough Wealth gold and Political influence.png political influence; the Territory metropolis.png metropolis territory rank also gives +1 Local import routes, as does each tier of the Gw effect tax and commerce.png Tax and Commerce effect for Gw map icon.png great wonders. The Global state trade routes.png Province import routes modifier is given only by the Idea tariff exceptions.png Institute Tariff Exceptions national idea, which gives Global state trade routes.png +1 Province import routes, and the Military tradition.png Merchant Coast tradition of the Levantine Maritime Traditions tree. Global capital trade routes.png Capital import routes, though has many possible static sources, listed below:

Type Modifier Global capital trade routes.png Capital import routes
Subject type Vassalized.png League City +2
Country rank Country rank 4.png Regional Power +1
Country rank 5.png Major Power +2
Country rank 6.png Great Power +2
Inventions Invention.png Logistics Bureau (Civic power.png Civic Invention) +1
Invention.png River Barges (Civic power.png Civic Invention) +1
Invention.png Maritime Patrols (Civic power.png Civic Invention) +1
Invention.png River Outposts (Civic power.png Civic Invention) +1
Invention.png Encourage Exploration (Civic power.png Civic Invention) +1
Invention.png Trade Ports (Civic power.png Civic Invention) +2
Invention.png Indigo Dye (Indian Oratory power.png Oratory Invention) +1
Government Menu government.png Plutocratic Monarchy (Monarchy) +1
Menu government.png Plutocratic Republic (Republic) +1
Economic policies Commerce value.png Trading Permits (Commerce policy) +2
Deities State religion.png Al-Quam (Arabic deity)
State religion.png Caleb (Jewish deity)
National ideas Idea trading posts.png Patronized Trading Posts (Civic Tech 4) +3
Heritages Flag of Praesos Minoan Heritage (Praesos) +1
Flag of Epikrateia Epikrateia Heritage (Epikrateia) +1
Bosporan Heritage (cultural) +1

Unused import routes in a province give Commerce value.png +0.07 commerce income, which is not modified by Import value import value but is still affected by Commerce value.png commerce income modifiers. This means that increasing the amount of trade routes a province has is always beneficial even if no imports can actually be made, although importing actual trade goods will almost always produce more gold even before considering the additional benefits of having more trade goods in a province.

The number of unused import routes for every province in the country can be viewed in the Trade Route mapmode.

Automating trade

There are a number of tools that a player can use to automatically create and accept trade deals, rather than having to manually approve every export request and set up import routes every time a province gains (or regains) an empty import route slot.

  • Accept All Trades - A toggle in the Menu trade.png trade menu. When enabled, all export requests are automatically accepted, except for those that would involve losing a capital surplus bonus.
    • Block Surplus - A related toggle in the Menu trade.png trade menu, enabled by default. If disabled, export requests that would involve losing a capital surplus bonus are automatically accepted instead of denied, which may be useful if the country needs the Commerce value.png commerce income more.
    • Permitted/Denied Requests - Two related lists of trade goods at the bottom of the Menu trade.png trade menu. When the Accept All Trades toggle is enabled, all export requests for trade goods in the Permitted Requests list will be accepted, while all those for goods in the Denied Requests will be denied. By default, all trade goods are permitted for export.
  • Automatic Trade - A toggle in the province interface, below the list of trade goods currently in the province. When enabled, the province will automatically import goods from other countries of its own accord, generally prioritizing food, though it can sometimes take up to a few months for unused import route slots to be filled. Disabled by default.

Commerce income

Commerce value.png Trade routes create commerce income on both sides of the trade, with the bulk of the income generally going to the exporter. Commerce income is calculated on a per-province basis as the sum of all trade route income (including import routes, export routes, and income from unused trade routes), modified by the Commerce value.png Province commerce province modifier and the Commerce value.png National commerce income country modifier, the sum of which across all provinces a country determines the country's total commerce income. The value of each individual trade route is determined by the trade value of the trade good involved, whether the trade route is foreign or domestic and if the province is the importer or the exporter, and the effects of either Import value import value and Export value export value modifiers. Note that commerce income modifiers stack additively with each other, but multiplicatively with Import value import value and Export value export value modifiers as they modify the income from trade routes directly.

Important Commerce value.png Commerce Income modifiers include:

  • +2% per ruler Civic power.png finesse (or Consort/co-Consul if higher)
  • +2.5% by each level of Civic power.png Civic Advances
  • +5% with a capital surplus of Dates Dates
  • +2% for each Camels camels trade good in the province
  • +5% with the Invention.png State Harbor Fees and Invention.png Mandated Record Keeping Civic power.png Civic Inventions
  • +5% with the Invention.png Etruscan Pottery Italic Civic power.png Civic Invention
  • +10% with the Invention.png Odometer, Invention.png Cartography, and Invention.png Astrolabe Hellenistic Civic power.png Civic Inventions
  • +5% with the Invention.png Indigo Dye Indian Oratory power.png Oratory Invention
  • +10% with the Invention.png Glass Beads Indian Oratory power.png Oratory Invention
  • -25% for regions with a Position governor, plus an additional -0.125% per governor Corruption.png corruption
  • +2.5% per governor Civic power.png finesse plus a base of +2.5% with the Policy encourage trade.png Encourage Trade governor policy
  • +2% per governor Civic power.png finesse plus a base of +2% with the Policy bleed them dry.png Bleed Them Dry governor policy
  • +1% per governor Civic power.png finesse plus a base of +1% with the Policy acquisition of wealth.png Acquisition of Wealth governor policy
  • +20% with the Idea complex tariffs.png Complex Tariffs National idea
  • +15% for various Change pantheon cost modifier.png pantheon deities
  • +12% per Omen.png 100% omen power for various omens
  • +10% for Menu government.png Plutocratic Monarchies and Menu government.png Republics
  • +15% with the Enact law cost modifier.png Non-Interference Edict Monarchy law
  • +20% with the Enact law cost modifier.png Barter Economy Statutes Tribal law
  • +25% when using the Mercantile stance Mercantile Stance
  • +5%/+7.5%/+10%/+15% for the Gw effect tax and commerce.png Tax and Commerce effect for Gw map icon.png great wonders, depending on the tier
  • +20% for Country rank 2.png City States
  • +10% for Vassalized.png client states and Vassalized.png colonies
  • +5% for each Vassalized.png colony
  • +10% with Flag of Byblos Heritage of Byblos, Flag of Nabatea Nabatean Heritage, Flag of Western Nesiotic League Western Nesiotic Heritage, Aegean Heritage, and Graeco-Pontic Heritage
  • +5% with Bithynian Heritage
  • -5% with Flag of Epirus Epirote Heritage and Flag of Messenia Helot Heritage