Blackfiend, I was not trying to be rude or snotty. I simply didn't know where you got the 640 and 1920 numbers. There are a great many players whose understanding of this game is far more advanced than my own. That said, I think that your numbers are correct, if you cash-rushed all 3 cavalry with 0 shields in the bin. The numbers may be correct, but they are also the maximum value that you could pay for cash-rushing those units. I don't think many players rush without putting at least 1 shield in the bin, either by disbanding, or perhaps even by short-rushing something smaller. I would also comment on this sentence: There's a solid argument that cavalry has a higher return on investment than many improvements. Also, if the cavalry is built over time, those turns do not represent gold that could have gone towards a wealth-generating improvement. If the cavalry is built over time, the citizens generating the shields are usually doing double-duty generating gold at the same time. (I would agree with you that shields spent on military units are necessarily being diverted from city improvements, though.) The question, though, is whether that diversion is worth it. A marketplace, for example, generates gpt and happiness. In some cities, it's an excellent investment of time and shields. But it never goes out and captures cities, kills AI units, captures new luxes, or forces the AI to give you potloads of gold in return for peace. (Granted, markets don't die in battle, either.) So it's not like cavalry (or other military units) don't bring any value into the empire. You only lose the full 1920 gold if: (1) you cash-rushed all 3 cavalry; (2) starting with 0 shields in the bin; and (3) all 3 die in battle without ever accomplishing anything. If they capture a city or even a few workers each, your empire has gained some value to be weighed against their loss when they eventually die.