The Influence of Fear Factor on Industry and Food Production in Crusader

by Leaveyou

The Crusader help menu says this about the fear factor: “Bread producing takes a while to start but when it does, it is the most efficient food type.” It also says that at a fear factor of +5 the efficiency is 50% and at a fear factor of -5 the efficiency is 150%

After experimenting, I found that fear factor has a different effect on different food types as shown below. The experiment was made on a population of 56 and it shows the minimum number of peasants needed by every food chain to supply the amount of food needed by the other peasants at 3 different fear factor levels.

Effect of Food Type on Fear Factor Fear Factor
-5 0 +5
Food type APPLES 5 peasants 8 peasants 16 peasants
CHEESE 9 peasants 16 peasants 20 peasants
BREAD* 8 peasants 12 peasants 13 peasants
Red shows the most efficient food type for that specific fear factor value.
*the bread chain needs at least 15 people to work at full capacity so I have made
the count at a higher population and related it to the desired population.

You can see that at a maximum negative fear factor you only need 5 apple orchards to supply the necessary food amount. At a neutral fear factor the apple production remains the most effective food source, but at a positive fear factor I would surely recommend bread as being the most effective. As for Cheese… only use it if you need leather armor although I usually produce crossbows and buy armor (if you lack the gold you can produce more crossbows and sell half of them to get the gold).

Bread Production, Pros and Cons
Let’s suppose you have very little green space. Since the bread chain doesn’t consist only of farms, and the mill and the bakeries don’t need to be placed on grass, I would recommend you use only bread. (Here’s a short tip: use 2-4 wheat farms, one mill and 8-10 bakeries, and place the mill close to the stockpile).

The bread chain also produces intermediary products like wheat and flour which are accumulated on the stockpile. This gives the assurance that in case you are attacked and your farms are ruined, the effect on the granary stocks will be felt only after a long period without farms (you can call that momentum but I call that “FAT”.

Bread production has only 2 disadvantages:

1. It takes a lot of resources and time to start producing.
2. It occupies a lot of space in your castle (but not as much as if you had built the apple orchards inside your castle.

… and gives you 2 main advantages:

1. It allows you to build everything inside the castle.
2. It makes you more resistant to hunger in the long term.

Using Resources to Gather Gold
What happens to main industry chains under the influence of fear factor? For this test I sent all of the peasants to work in a single chain, and after one virtual year, I sold the products to analyze the gold income.

Effect of Fear Factor on
Gathering Resources for Gold
Fear Factor
-5 0 +5
BREAD 3300 2200 2000
CHEESE 2800 1600 1200
ALE 1000 600 450
HOPS 1700 1200 780
WHEAT 7300 5700 3700
APPLES 6000 3300 1500
STONE 1800 1300 1000
IRON 3600 2400 1200
PITCH 1700 1200 900

Red shows the most rewarding food type.
Blue shows the most rewarding resource.

In this table I didn’t include wood and meat because wood is not very rewarding and meat is an unstable food source.

Selling food is quite efficient… yet I still produce mostly stone as it helps build the castle at the beginning of the mission and it represents a constant source of money afterwards.

From my 2 years of experience with this game I have found that it is better to use a positive fear factor but not at maximum. Use it to obtain additional popularity income (if you want to raise the taxes by one level (-4 local effect), but you have just a +2 global income to popularity for example).

I advise you to use a higher population and lower taxes rather than a low population and high taxes. Example: a population of 50, with rations set on double is supported by 12 bakers. The same 12 bakers can supply a population of 100 with rations set to normal but you lose a popularity income of 8. Yet still the higher population will give you twice the gold income you had before and you will have 50 extra people to use on other chains (ale producing, resources, priests, recruits etc.). Why am I telling you this? Because I don’t advise you to use a positive fear factor on a low population. It looks like although higher populations are so unpredictable, the events that might occur are not as bad as if they were applied to a lower population. If you have a higher population it is likely that you will use bread (needs less green space). Well… I have proven before that bread works better than other food types on a positive fear factor… so… I will let you figure out the conclusion.

Like I said, I would use a positive fear factor with a higher population, but if you have very little green space or if the map has plenty of resources, or if you make money from selling resources, being a bad lord may be quite rewarding as well as pleasant (I know that inside you there’s a little demon that wants to satisfy his hunger for violence once in a while:). Plus remember that Caliph (the AI that uses -5 fear factor) isn’t weak at all (his weaknesses are his thin walls, lack of a moat and the square shaped castle.)

I made another experiment recently: I made a custom mission similar to the last one in the crusader trail (a little harder actually) and played it twice: once with +5 fear factor and the second time with -5. Both times it took me two hours to complete but when I used a negative fear factor I had to replace the dead crossbowmen on the walls quite often until I had enough to resist a big attack (luckily I had money because of the fear factor but it was still unpleasant to attack with so many troops) and I couldn’t attack two enemies with the same troops. If that doesn’t bother you, play as a bad lord and enjoy the economical stability of your city.