Towns merge is rather complex and the game is missing a preview. This guide explains the basics but also how manage it, and various typical use cases. For now this guides doesn’t contain alternate methods that can replace merge, nor how manage your number of towns.
Guide to Towns Merge
The option is enabled when you research Military Architecture during 3rd era (Medieval Era).
The two towns need have contiguous territories, select one town, then in global map, all towns that can be merged into it have a merge button at right to the town name, and above the merge button you have the price.
A towns merge does:
- The targeted town (town selected before the merge) will become the only town, the other town has its central plazza changed into an administrative center.
- All territories of both towns are now attached to the town merged, which means the merged town has the sum of districts of both towns.
- The town merged has all infrastructures of the targeted town.
- The town merged has the sum of population of both towns.
- The town merged statuses (events) and bonuses (building actions as prayer) are those of the targeted town.
- The town merge build queue includes the sum of build queues of both towns, but not the infrastructures the targeted town already build.
In general after a town merge there are various problems:
- Lack of food for the sum of population, it’s because one population food usage increases with population size.
- Stability can drop down a lot if you didn’t prepared it, it’s much better to prepare this before the merge.
- Significantly longuer time of district building, it’s because district build time is decreased by the amount of districts already build, but don’t forget that build so many districts in one town would have require a lot of time.
- Infrastructures have a shorter build time.
- Units have a shorter build time.
- Money and Influence output should not change much or lowered a bit compared to the sum. Again, those outputs would have requite time to achieve in one town.
Implement Yourself the Merge Preview
Merge should offer a preview, without it, its design is a bit weird because it’s complex with potentially dramatic effects.
In single player I advise implement yourself the preview, save, merge, see the result, load back, done, perhaps you can even give yourself the badge, game developer.
There’s only two good use cases of merge:
- Reduce the number of towns to build a new town elsewhere.
- Assimilate or capture two Independent towns and merge them, in some cases it’s better in term of territory expansion management.
A few elements can favor the merge:
- A few Emblematic Building apply a bonus per population, which means each will apply on a higher population size after the merge, and will have their effects significantly increased.
- A few wonders and one culture bonus apply a bonus on capital or one city, merge a town into the city having the bonus with apply the bonus on both towns merged instead of only one.
But in a wide majority of the cases, the two towns will be more efficient than the town resulting from the merge.
Still the two towns won’t compare well to the merged town and the new extra town. Moreover it allows have a new town at a totally different location, or this could be a fully build captured town with all territories, so often rather efficient instantly, no build time.
Instead of merging you can also:
- Ransack the central plaza of one of the two towns, and build an outpost instead. Later attach the territories to existing towns nearby.
- Detach territories of one on the two towns, liberate the town, later, optionally attach the territories to existing towns nearby.
- Liberate one of the two towns, patronage it, and later assimilate it to get it back.
- Ignore and accept have higher penalty on influence points income, then you’ll build another town elsewhere.
This guide doesn’t compare the various methods, nor detail the methods other than merge.
Effects of the Merge
The merge ten be just an addition of two towns, but as the game uses many formula with increased costs that aren’t linear but more exponential, the merge has many effects that can look surprising:
- As there’s a scaling of districts costs based on of districts already build, the merge can have a serious impact, but it can be tempered by considering the time required to build so many districts in one town.
- As there’s a scaling of food consumed by one population with population size, the merged town has a serious increase of food requirement for the cumulated population.
- Infrastructures don’t have such cost scaling so their build time should decrease significantly.
- Units building also don’t have such cost scaling so their build time should decrease significantly.
- Often stability will drop down a lot because all global stability bonuses will be applied only once instead of twice, once of reach town. Some other stability bonus are per town so will be applied once instead of twice like units presence stability bonus.
- Total number of jobs will decrease because of the jobs provided by the infrastructures of the second town will be lost.
- For the town outputs, the outputs will be lower than the sum for the two towns, but they should also be quite higher outputs than for you other towns as old.
If you want formulas, check the Humankind wiki, but sometimes it isn’t up to date.
Quote that since Vitruvian update, the merge price is rarely symmetrical, select each town to compare, but the location of the town merged is an important element that can justify pay a higher price.
The merge price is dependent of:
- The difference of infrastructures between both towns, this is the most important source of price increase. It’s not symmetrical, extra infrastructures of the targeted town will increase less the price than the extra infrastructures the second town, but those infrastructures won’t be added to the town merged.
- The amount of territories of both towns, it’s the second factor of price increase but a part is also because it decreases/increases the number of districts.
- The amount of districts for both towns.
Pay Merge with Influence Points or Money
There’s a civic, Privatization, that allows pay the merge and some other actions with money instead of influence points.
For merge, the price in money is about twice the influence points points price. It’s a bargain because it’s easy to get a money income 4 times higher than the influence points income.
But money is useful for many actions and pay merges with influence points is often a strong option anyway, because it gives more money to other actions paid in money.
Remind also that you can change a civic and take the other option, or in this case just enable the civic when needed, later disable it, and eventually enable it again later.
Reducing Merge Price
The merge price can be reduced by targeting the elements increasing the price:
- Build infrastructures so both towns have the same infrastructures. That’s the most logical method, most often it’s just about continuing develop the towns and the plan for merge is later if ever. There’s a synchronization aspect, but it shouldn’t damages significantly the town grows, at least not in most cases.
- Detach territories, that’s definitely a strong option to do at same turn than the merge. Beside price decrease it can also lower stability problems, but it will increase population and jobs problems. It can be done right after the merge but the price decrease justify to consider do it right before the merge.
- Destroy districts, the price decrease is too small to justify it, not for the price, eventually for the stability but this can be done after the merge.
Anticipate the Merge Result
In single player don’t bother and use a preview
A previous section reminds how implement yourself a merge preview in single player with simples save and load.
But you can also do some (serious) efforts and compute more or less the result of the merge, see next sections.
Stability After Merge
Annoying to do but the less complex to anticipate and the most important to anticipate before the merge
Firstly, know the current stability bonus of the town targeted (town selected before the merge). There are two cases:
- The stability tooltip shows a Stability base, then if stability is at 100 bonus stability is <stability base reference> – this stability base.
- The stability tooltip shows an instability base, then stability bonus is instability base + <stability base reference>.
The is 40 at Endless, to know its value you can get a town with stability lower than 100 and then check in tooltip the Stability base value and you get the <stability base reference>.
So get the stability bonus of the town targeted for the merge.
Then you need compute all the stability lost from the second town that will bring many instability and will lost most stability bonus that can’t be applied twice like:
- From units presence.
- From infrastructures but when they scale stability on population size.
- All global stability bonus that aren’t applied by district nor by population, which means resources and many empire bonuses.
To compute the instability added by the second town:
- Add instability from districts.
- Add instability from number of territories attached is more complex because it can scale up, at least you can add the territories instability number shown in the tooltips.
- Remove all stability bonuses that won’t be lost, I can’t list all cases, it’s not easy but doable.
- You can ignore stability or instability coming from events, those of the second town will be lost.
And then you can remove the instability added by the second town to the stability bonus of the targeted town.
Outputs After Merge
No formula here, just some general information:
- Food, the game doesn’t really show the food output, only the extra food output, and as more pop increase food used per pop, the output should lower a lot and often will be negative.
- Science, it depends on the jobs lost and the jobs used. Science jobs lost not used change nothing. More job used can happen and will increase the output, otherwise the output decrease.
- Factory, same than science it depends of number of jobs used before and after the merge. But unlike science, infrastructures provide only some factory jobs so the effect should be a bit less important than for Science.
- Influence points, mostly the same, the only lost are a few infrastructures proving stability in the second town. Sometimes it can even increase a bit because of some more proximity bonus. You can as well ignore this point, it works well enough.
- Money, money infrastructures don’t bring any job, but some trade lost can go through two towns and a merge can lost this double effect. Overall the money income don’t decrease much but always a bit. In practice you don’t need bother on that.
- Faith, beside faith building actions used are only those of the targeted town, there’s no impact on Faith.
Prepare a Merge
Manage the Merge Price
I prefer start merges plans in advance, typically since second era, with the purpose to prepare a low price with same infrastructures for both towns.
But that’s no way the unique approach. Pay a higher merge price and continue develop the tow towns with a more adapted approach can make sense. And obviously the choice starts be complex when any intermediate approach can be the best.
I would suggest consider a targeted merge price, not the cheaper but what seems ok for your play. And then plan the merge with that goal in target.
Manage the Stability
One you know the merge will result in stability problems you must anticipate it or give up on this merge:
- The main solution if build districts helping on stability in both towns, it’s often Common Quarters but later Garrisons can also add a lot of stability with more flexibility.
- A more global solution, increase amount of resources owned by buying more trades.
- A weak solution is destroy a few districts with ransack. Remind that the merged town will have higher district building time, and for the gain in speed of building districts it’s rather fake or you really need have a hugely better positions, or really pointless districts.
- In case you are merging two Independent towns, or even one, it’s probably a solid option to increae merge stavility with some districts ransack, and then use a cheap buyout to clean the ruins. It’s a less bad solution more when there’s a lot of jobs unused, but even then, don’t forget that build the districts again with take turns. Even with two independents towns merged it’s often fine to do it after the merge. And never forget in case of independent towns that they don’t have yet any infrastructures, so it’s lowest efficiency.
Manage the Population
Sometimes it’s possible to anticipate merge population problems by having a lot of food produced and many jobs available. But it’s not obviously the best approach because it tends focus the two towns a lot too much on food during multiple turns.
It’s also possible to consider pop buyout right before the merge, the buyout price will be lower. But prices are quickly high and in general I don’t advise it. The reason is past the merge you’ll lost only one pop per turn with a lot of pop for one town, the pop buyout will involve a brutal drop down and won’t improve anything on that.
The only pop buyout I would suggest are in targeted town buyout a few of the cheaper infrastructures adding stability, if you need it for the merged town, and at Endless it’s hardly anything else than the first of those infrastructures.
Otherwise, for population after merge, relax and mostly ignore or focus a bit more on food infrastructures, focus a bit more in getting faster tech helping on food, in case luxury factories are not far rush to them, but you should always rush to them, I mean without loosing the focus on collecting fame.
Manage District Build Time
The build time of districts should increase a lot. But if you consider one town perspective, a town would have required a lot of time to build so many districts.
To prepare the district building duration increase:
- Consider build all Emblematic Buildings before the merge.
- Consider put a bit more focus on districts increasing factory.
- Consider build special districts before, like Harbors and resources extractors with detach, build harbor with influence points, attach. This will cost less before the merge.
- Right before the merge consider buyout, typically to finish a district building.
After the Merge
Don’t panic in case district build time is weirdly long. Always remind build all those districts would be very long but it’s already done.
Moreover as game progress the town district building time should decrease thanks to extra global bonus coming from techs or cultures. Most chance that no non merged town will be able compete in term of output, except for sure for one, typically capital if it’s not the merged town as capital is the best target to merge into.
Right after the merge focus mainly on:
- Building infrastructure, eventually with a priority on food and jobs.
- Building units, perfect time to build an extra army, your town is already over developed, it’s not pure time lost.
- Try build possible new Emblematic Buildings.
- Don’t hesitate still do some district building, eventually prioritize factory, then food.
- Consider era switch and more infrastructures to build but also more bonuses decreasing build times of districts. For sure consider this in your merge plans.