For new players or relatively inexperienced players, it can be hard to know how exactly you’re supposed to gain access to the stronger castle units like knight infantry early on in the game. After all, those castles’ population growth is really, really slow!
Fear not, for I have the solution for you! After you’ve finished reading this simple and short guide, you’ll be pumping out knights before turn twenty comes around!
How it works:
The basic principle for achieving this is very simple: we convert our castles into cities in order to increase our population growth!
However, there’s a little caveat when it comes to doing this – a relatively obscure mechanic that I’m sure many people aren’t aware of. That included me until I managed to stumble across it while doing some research.
Simply put anything from a minor city and upwards (minor city, large city, huge city etc.) can no longer be converted into a castle. It’s stuck as a city for the rest of the game.
What this means in practice is that we need to grow our population to 4500 (the requirement for upgrading to a fortress) without upgrading our settlements past the level of a large town!
The actual population count doesn’t matter when determining a settlement’s ‘convertability’, only the actual settlement level!
In summary, do NOT upgrade your cities past the level of ‘Large Town’ if you have ANY intention of ever converting it into a castle in the future. The option will no longer be available.
Increasing population growth:
Now, here are a few ways to increase your population growth%.
1.) Lowering taxes. Each level of lowered taxes will increase your growth by 0.5%.
2.) Small church. Building a small church (1st level of building) for 800 florins will increase growth by 0.5%.
3.) Brothel. Building a brothel for 800 florins will increase growth by 0.5%.
3.) Farms. Each farm upgrade will increase growth by 0.5%.
4.) Town hall. Building a town hall for 600 florins will increase growth by 0.5%.
Regarding population growth:
It’s important to note that squalor will also increase as your population growth increases. Realistically, your growth will cap out around ~4%.
Do be aware that some buildings will not survive the conversion from town to castle.
From the +growth% buildings I listed earlier, the brothel and town hall will not survive the conversion.
If you are interested in building them purely for more growth, then demolish them before you convert to get some cash back. You will need to wait a turn for the demolishing to finish.
I hope this guide has been helpful. Have fun steamrolling the map with your knight rush.
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