[BNW] I going bankrupt in BC. -25 gold/turn


Nov 6, 2023
I playing already on Immortal. I won several times on lower diffculties but many times I had gold problems.
I try few times now on immortal loading the same map from 4000 BC and I bankrupt around 200 BC
My gold per turn is -25
I was huge bag 700 gold from ruins / neutral cities discovery but it to small
I trying many things: build roads - fail: I payed more than road give me. Last time I play without any roads but I go bankrupt too.
I have 4 cities. (5,4,3,3)
I have 9 military units (but 2 scouts) , few (~7) workers and 4 cities. My unit costs 23 gold per turn. Buildings 8 gold per turn.
But AI attacking like crazy each time I loaded someone attack me last time I defending from Chyngis-Khan with 15+ units and in middle battle second AI declare me war and came with 10+ units too.
Probably I won military aspect if try hard I can do many things and usually other AI attack me and only one at time but I must build marketplaces and caravan (trade routers) and cant build units to defending because I must build uselles marketplace or trade routers. They kill my trade routers over and over AI or barbarians. My trade routers no long to take save cities because all time other AI attack me and kill my routers. On South and East I have water so cant go send there caravans. 2 left directions are on war most time they kill my caravans. Most time I have 0-1/2 trade routers later 1/3 trade routers but I cant build caravans over and over it cost me more than miitary units I cant win fight with AI if I not build units because those caravans/marketplace and where time for other important buildings.
How is possible play in this game when I lose gold each turn ??
I am forced to build marketplaces but 25% from 0 gold from my city = still 0 gold. My cities are small 4-5 citiziens. (5,4,3,3)
Other lower diffculty games I won and have gold problems too but usually after road connected all cities + marketplace + max trade routers give me around 0 gold/turn so I not bankrupt. Sometimes I was even +100 gold/turn but in late AD with banks and 6 trade routers. But on Immortal I few times bankrupt I dont know what to do I not have yet this tech with trade outpost but anyway its 1 gold from each and small cities not rising working on this. And I build this trade outpost usually only on jungle because 2 blue bubble with univercity and this outpost not clean jungle or on other terrain max 5 trade outpost per city. But I never build this in BC because I just started rising my cities and trying grab some units to fight. Whats wrong with this game. Lose because lack of gold ? This game is broken.
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You could try following a basic guide, like this one:


If you find yourself near a known warmonger, you should prioritise defences first. Make six archers as soon as you can, and don't settle a city in their direction -- they will interpret that as an aggressive move, and also as an opportunity to come and attack you. You can also get a diplomatic positive by sending a trade route to them.

The game is not broken (plenty of people win on Deity very regularly) it is just that you need to adjust your play for a higher level. It takes time to learn this. On lower levels micro-managing the citizens is less important than it is on higher levels. I find that I need to constantly monitor which city tiles are being worked and change them according to the needs of the moment -- or rather I need to predict what the situation is going to be a number of turns ahead.

You might find it useful to watch some videos of games. There are plenty by good players like Acken (https://www.youtube.com/@RezoAcken) and peddroelm (
) if you look on YouTube. You could also look at Consentient's Domination guide:

Remember, it will take a little time to get used to a higher level. Practice is required.
Yeah I survive to 1500 AD and still playing. I focused this start on make traderoutes to only one safe directions to 2 Neutral Cities on South and set up guardian to kill barbs. I do fast building to make longer range my caravans by 50% to work. This first 1-2 trade routers most time working fine at this game so I sustaine my gold this time but it was not easy all time 0 gold per turn or just few gold on +.
This time I build one city less on north than usually but build 2 cities more on South and 2 AI's not attack me this time. I always was attackied by Napoleon and Indonesian boss and Wilhelm from Sweden and Chyngis-Khan. All those 4 bosses are my neigborns so atttack me often when I lack military units. Its normal that every AI attacking so often on higher difculty or I have roll warmongers near me? Total is 12 AI and 12 Neutral Cities and Large map.
But I wanted not boring game and set up raging barbarians it was to much for my first time Immortal game. So I reload few times from 4000BC to handle this game I dont wanted change map I know my cities spots and wanted learn play on Immortal so I do few time the same map. But last time I live still in 1500 AD but lacking tech and gold to pay for upgrades units so its not very good but at least I still live and I have now 6 cities I not set up last planed 7th city because it was to near Wilhelm from Sweden he is insane powerfull and ususally attack me all time but on this game not yet.
Key is all timehave max trade routers working and have building 50% range and 2 more gold + marketplace in capitol. I even connect my all cities by roads and still gold is few on plus. Just needed play few times to practice and handle it.
Something I forgot to mention is that on higher levels the AIs have more gold, so it is easier to sell them things. Trading with them also makes them more friendly. In the early stages of the game I will sell as many horses and as much iron as I can. I rarely need more than two horses, and I usually need almost no iron at all until I get to Frigates.

The best method is to offer the AI 1 horse or iron, and ask for 2 gold. This will also tell you whether they view you negatively -- if they refuse, this is a sign that your diplomatic position with them is not good. But you can usually sell them 2 horses or iron for 3 gold. It is a pain in the neck, but to get maximum gold you need to sell one horse or iron at a time. If you offer 2 horses or iron and ask for 4 gold, you will not get it. But if you offer 1 horse or iron for 2 gold and they agree, you can do exactly the same thing again and again until they don't want any more. You should also sell as many luxuries as you can, which is also good for diplomatic relations.

The Mongols will always attack City States, and can usually be bribed to attack them in preference to attacking you. This is useful because it means they get a lot of warmonger hate, so you can easily bribe others to attack them. AIs tend to become more aggressive when they get their unique units, because that is the best opportunity for them to win wars. Indonesia will become aggressive when they get Kris swordsmen, and France and Sweden will become more aggressive when they get Musketeers and Caroleans.

Try to steal workers if you can, rather than building them. It saves time and hammers. Never steal from more than one City State, however. I have played games on Deity in which I have stolen as many as 8-10 workers from AIs and a City State.
Thanks for the tip with sell horse or iron. I heard about it. But I in settings set up "strategic balance" about resource so I think each civilisation capitol start with Iron and Horses. I try selling horses few times but AI decline because I think they have few already. I set up this things because before my playstyle was 3 big cities not more but sometimes I not have iron horses or coal or aluminium or gas so I thought when I set up this strategic balance I can have maybe this resources with small number cities because I dont wanted make more cities. But it was on smaller maps I now testing Large pangea and 3 cities are to low number when I see other AI with 15 cities or something. They sunk me by tons of units with so many cities so I decide play with more cities like 6-7 cities.
You can always get around a "missing" resource by becoming allies with a city-state or just building a new city near that resource. Some cities are strategic and not intended to develop into large population. Move quickly to Gunpowder for better melee units if you lack iron.

I agree with mbbcam about selling early resources like horse or iron -- only need a couple of each for units if you play defensively.

I will even trade aluminum if the opponent is still far from spaceships and Rocket Artillery.
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