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Trade & Resources guide / strategy?

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:28 am
by Kaede11
Is there a strategy or a logic way to manipulate trade in your own benefit? I've seen people praising the trade aspect of the game a lot, but after some turns I've ignored it for the most part. I'm doing fine, but I would like to understand what is going on with trade and maybe building accordingly to increase my economy.

Is there any guide or strategy?

Re: Trade & Resources guide / strategy?

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:29 am
by gwgardner
There's a trade guide on the Steam Community Hub Guide page.

Re: Trade & Resources guide / strategy?

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:00 pm
by WhapXI
I think the best strategy would just be to know how it works, from reading the manual.

Basically, trade only happens when a building requires a resource that isn't already present in that region. Every resource has a fixed base cost and every region has a trade range that it can trade the resources from. If a region's trade range is 4, it can only look for missing resources within four regions of itself. If none can be found in range, the building needing the resource won't deactivate or anything, but it will cost an additional 3x the missing resource's base cost to operate. If there are two regions in range with a missing resource, then a region will trade with the one with the most trade acumen. I believe if they are tied, it will trade with regions owned by the same faction, or else whichever is closer, but I'm not 100% about that.

If you are trading a resource, the province exporting it receives the base cost of the resource being traded, and the province importing it pays that value. It's a zero-sum game in which the exporter is very much on top. However, if you are trading between two regions in your own state, the importing province only pays 50% of that cost, meaning that the player's state overall makes money from internal trade. Resources are effectively infinite, also. One region can export a resource as many times as possible all at once. I honestly think this is a little goofy and counter-intuitive, because it kind of encourages the player to build resource-using buildings far away from the actual source of their resources. Like you don't build your bank in your gold-producing region, but rather in every other region in trade range of it, so you end up making... well, bank, on all that gold exporting.

However, resources only tend to cost between 4-9 gold per turn, so you really need to be doing dozens to hundreds of trades to actually meaningfully profit from being a trading power. I think the best strategy to trade would be to set up somewhere reasonably central with a lot of big players nearby, and try and get an emporium in order to produce something rare and valuable.

Another thing about resources is boosting. Most buildings get a boost from one or more resources. Buildings won't trade for resources they need to boost their output, but rather will only benefit if the region they are in OR ANY REGION ADJACENT either produces or imports that resource. In this way you can use certain buildings to drag in certain resources, and then stack the region and every region around it with buildings that benefit from that resource, and you'll profit far more than if you built haphazardly. For instance, if you build marble quarries in every region surrounding one with a marble vein, they ALL get the +10 culture. Do be aware though that this doesn't apply if your region cannot import the resource and is paying the 3x cost to operate.

So yeah. Having an actual trading strategy kind of necessitates you knowing what resources you can produce and where, and what buildings you can build in range to benefit from them. Aside from that, just keep your trade acumen high and you'll probably end up exporting a bunch and making a tidy profit.

Re: Trade & Resources guide / strategy?

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:44 pm
by Southern Hunter
The trading game is super interesting (and somewhat flawed). Every time I think I definitely know how it works, I find myself surprised that it doesn't quite work the way I thought.