Is there a penalty for draining your treasury and earning negative income?


Apr 20, 2001
To place this question in context:

A am playing Communist German on a huge map and have almost finished wiping the rest of the Civs off the map. I haven't bothered to count cities but I am guessing somewhere above 100 maybe even close to 150. Have been on a non-stop blitzkreig for the last 20+ turns. There is only one other Civ left so all trading has dried up!

I now find myself in the situation of a tax rate of 100% and an income of -374 per turn. As I conquer cities that do actually have some cash left I occasionaly sneak up to 10 gold or so, but for the last few turns it has been sitting on zero with that rather hefty negative income. My advisor warns me that my treasury is low (which I had noticed), however that seems to be the only effect.

Unless the computer is selling improvements behind my back without telling me there doesn't actually seem to be any drawback to a negative income (remembering I am communist and have no trading parties left so don't really have any use for cash).

Oh and I can still produce improvements and units at cities so that is not being curtailed either.

Anyone else noticed this or have any thoughts?
I'm wondering what difficulty level you're playing on. When I run out of cash, units are sold off without asking.
It's either the difficulty level, or it got fixed with the patch. When I first used this method (at the start of the game), I was playing Chieftain, with v1.07f, and it had no effect, other than the warning that my treasury was low after every turn. Later on, I tried this on Deity (with v.1.16f), and my temples would be sold off automatically if I ran out of money.
With such a large empire, perhaps units are being sold off without him even noticing?

I've wondered about that too... I'm running a militant-expansionist-dictator type game too and I don't know how long I'll be able to keep up with positive income.

See, the dangers of deficit spending people! Balance the budget :D
On chieftain level, finances don't matter, you can rack up a huge defecit per turn without penalty.
I've only played up to warlord (wimp!) and on both levels, I've noticed the same thing, when you get into -income with your treasury at 0 nothing happens. Odd, I can't remember if I downloaded a patch but maybe that's why. Speaking of patches, where can I find the one that the GOTMs use, the forsests look so much better on those.
That's gotta be a mod, not a patch. I'm sure it says somewhere in the GOTM threads, but maybe somebody will come along and tell us.
Before the patch, I played my first game on chieftain level, and noticed that there were no penalties for having a negative income. Right after I installed the patch, I played a game on warlord level and my domestic advisor told me that some troops would be disbanded because my treasury was low.

So, I'm not quite sure... Patch or game level?
Should have put this in the original post - Chieftan level and 1.16f

Upto negative 419 a turn, still communist and one little island city left before the war and game is over (even as Communist corruption is rampant, when it is over I might keep playing switch to democracy and see if the democrats can keep this humungous empire afloat) .

But back to the money I still have seen no sign of anything being sold off. I am, of course, assuming that the computer will actually tell you if it starts selling off buildings etc.

Actually my number of units at 526 is lower than the maximum allowed of 816 so possibly that could have something to do it, e.g.
1) Computer sees negative income
2) Computer looks for "excess" units (i.e. above the limit) Finds none and gives up. Possible - seems a silly bug, but I have seen worse, and am certainly open to other suggestions including "money doesn't matter at chieftan level"
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