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Economics of Disbanding

This is intended for Crusader Stronghold Extreme and to a lesser degree in Stronghold Crusader.

The following guide will try to explain a method to generating an enormous amount of gold without having to manage or control much at all. However, not every map allows for this technique, though there is a method that can be employed on all maps but it is far less effective. The main criterion is that you own an outpost. In most skirmish maps there will be an outpost available. And in some missions there will be too, such as mission 10 Enclosure in Extreme. The second criterion is that the units that are generated are of low value. If they are let’s say, knights, and you can use them well, it’s no use disbanding them. The best unit would be slaves, or spearmen, as these are worth disbanding.

The basic premise is to disband all the units that are generated at the outpost. They will then be added to your population, causing overcrowding. This will create a negative popularity factor which takes your popularity down to zero slowly, which is fine. After all, even though people leave your castle, you generate units faster than people leave. Thus, your population will grow, and as you don’t need popularity, you set your taxes to the maximum and food to the minimum. See the pattern?

The following statistics I have recorded, all at real-time time values, with the max game speed of 90:

  • For every person, you gain 2 gold pieces every 10 seconds, or 12 gold pieces per minute.
  • My spearmen were generating at a rate of 180 men per minute in mission 10.
  • I did not record the speed at which people left the castle, but it was not more than 1 per second, possibly 1 per two seconds. My population was growing steadily; it would be safe to say that for every 1 person who leaves, about 3 or 4 are generated at the outpost for disbanding.

As such, within 5 minutes I would have a population of 500, adding 12.000 gold pieces every minute. Five minutes later I would have 60.000 gold pieces, but as I was disbanding as well during those 5 minutes and tax revenues kept growing it would be closer to 80.000.

In addition, population is constantly available for training new units. In mission 10 I was able to keep my population between 500 and 1.000, making 12k – 24k a minute, while training 1.000 horse archers which cost me 80k gold. No AI lord could come close to defeating me.

In addition, because popularity is not a factor, one can sell off all food. As there is an obvious advantage in terms of military might, one can also put down bad things which trades off combat bonuses in return for economic production bonuses.

Another, much less effective method would be to take your regular production of population from your hovels, and train as many slaves as you can. Amass say 200 of them, for 1.000 gold. Then disband them. This will give you a decent 2.400 gold pieces per minute of tax revenue, and you can sell off your food. Unfortunately, after the 200 slaves leave the castle, you must invest to bring your popularity back up to train additional units. But it works, if you can master this technique it can be used in any game and the gold beats other industries like stone. This is especially useful for when you let’s say invest your starting gold (-1.000 gold) in a decent defense. Then you can use the disbanding technique to make a quick 15.000 gold in 6 minutes or so, and then use that gold to mount an offensive attack.

Lastly, one can amass 200 slaves and disband them for surprise purposes, not financial purposes. If you send let's say 20 slaves to the enemy castle and disband the other 180, the other player will have little indication that you have 180 peasants waiting to be trained. If you have hoarded gold, then you can create an army of 200 within a minute and surprise your foes who will probably only have 10-15 peasants ready to fortify their defenses. By having a team of archers firing at the fireplace, you can also deny your enemy training of new units as you siege his castle.