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General information Edit
Caravans generate Wealth by traveling a fixed trade route between two particular cities. The gather rate of a Caravan depends on the distance between the cities and the number of buildings built inside the cities' economic radius. It is shown (along with the route) in the unit information box, when the Caravan is selected. Only one Caravan may trade between a particular pair of cities.Dock, Caravans will also be able to cross oceans, thereby becoming Merchant Fleets (or Modern Merchant Fleets from the Industrial Age and so on).
Setting up a trade route Edit
After a Caravan is created, it first needs to establish its trade route between two cities. This can be done manually by the player by either right-clicking on a city and having the Caravan pick the most favorable second city automatically, or by right-clicking and dragging a line between two cities. However, Caravans will also attempt to set up a trade route automatically, if left idle for some time. This idle time is the same that citizens will wait before looking for something productive to do and it can be set in the game options under Auto-Citizen Delay. While establishing the route, the caravan unit also creates roads.
Once a Caravan has completed setting up its trading route by visiting both cities, the nation receives a one-time Wealth bonus and the Caravan begins to gather Wealth at a constant rate, while continuously traveling between the two cities. The Caravan's actual movement - including any delays from blocking units etc. - have no effect on the Caravan's income.
With Commerce 3 (Trade) researched, caravans may also establish trade routes to friendly and allied cities.
How to calculate the number of Caravans you need Edit
To calculate the amount of Caravans you need, simply add all numbers up to the number of cites you have together. For example, if you have 5 cities, you need ( 4 + 3 + 2 + 1) caravans. This can be calculated with the expression N = 1/2(x^2 - x).
Nation-specific Bonuses Edit
- Chinese Caravans are created instantly.
- The Dutch (Thrones & Patriots) have a unique Caravan unit called the Armed Caravan. It is equipped with a light weapon to provide basic defense against raiding attacks. Unlike the Armed Merchant, the Armed Caravan continues to provide its bonus while attacking.
- Indian (Thrones & Patriots) Caravans produce 15% more Wealth.
- The Nubians' Caravan limit is increased by 1. Their Caravans also receive a 50% increase in hit points and cost 1 Food and 3 Timber less. Prior to version 03.02.12.0800, Nubian Caravans were 5 Food and 15 Timber cheaper.
- Persians (Thrones & Patriots) always have the maximum number of Caravans.