Trade is an extremely powerful tool for generating wealth.
See also the Wealth Screen.
Standard Exchange Rates
StormAge.lua defines some standard values in the initialValues table. This is what the game considers a fair price. Factors such as bargaining skill, relationship with the other party, treasures, ritual rewards, etc. may influence the final price. The units "Cow" and "Herd" are considered interchangeable.
- 2 Goats = 1 Herd
- 1 Good = 1 Herd
- 1 Horse = 4 Herds
- 1 Spirit = 25 Herds
- 1 Treasure = 50 Herds (Note: Some treasures may be worth more/less than average, so you should pay attention to what your advisors have to say. The full list can be found in StormAge-Treasures.lua.)
Other values in the InitialValues table that may be of interest:
- smallAmountOfGoods = 10 Goods
- moderateAmountOfGoods = 15 Goods
- commonerWergild = 10 Herds
- eliteWergild = 20 Herds (for nobles and elite warriors/swords)
- standardBridePrice = 10 Herds
- highBridePrice = 20 Herds (Note: Redalda has a munificent price, 80+)
Food seems to be a bit harder to nail down, as in-game we can have units of weeks/seasons/years worth of food with vagueness thrown into the mix (e.g., "We traded less than a season's worth of food for..."). Behind the scenes, the initialValues table has:
- 1 Food Unit = 2.5 Herds ≈ 5 Bushels (mentioned in the comments; no idea where/how Bushels are used)
- a variable "foodNeededPerTurn" = 20 Food Units
Let's start with some basic assumptions from the in-game Lore and then work in the info above:
- 1 Year = 5 Seasons + Sacred Time (2 Weeks)
- 1 Season = 8 Weeks = 2 Turns
- ⇒ 1 Turn = 4 Weeks
- ⇒ 1 Year = 42 Weeks
- 1 Turn's worth of food = 50 Herds
- 1 Week's worth of food = 12.5 Herds
- 1 Season's worth of food = 100 Herds
- 1 Year's worth of food = 525 Herds
Standard values from other sources (in-game or other):
- 1 Favor = 2 Weeks Food
- 1 Favor = 20 Herds = 5 Horses
- 1 Favor = 2 Magic or 1-Year Blessing Ritual
- 1 Favor = Information on Other Clans/Ritual Myth/Exploration
- Herds are usually better than their price equivalent of Goods or Horses, since Herds can breed and give milk, whereas the others don't have as much resting value.
The main mechanism by which trade is accomplished is to send caravans to your neighbors. These Caravans can do one of two broad missions
- Exchange something for something else
- Set up a trade route
If you go for an exchange, you will need to indicate what you are trying to buy, and what you are willing to sell, as well as the overall size of the caravan. You may buy and sell multiple things in one caravan, so for instance, you can sell food and horses to buy goods and herds, or just leave it to a strict exchange of one item for one other sort of item. You may not both buy and sell the same item, such as herds, in the same caravan. If you wish to sell a treasure, you must identify which one it will be before you send out the caravan. You will also almost always be given the option to trade the treasure for another treasure, no matter how terrible the one you're flogging is, so don't be afraid to pawn off treasures that you don't find useful.
You will have to select a "size" for your caravan, small, medium, or large. A small caravan is selling 20 goods or the equivalent, a medium one offers 40, and a large one offers 80. How much you get in return will be affected by the bargaining skill of your trader and a bit of luck. Ekarna's Trading blessing will also increase the profit of your caravans.
Setting up a Trade Route is the other sort of mission. If successful, you will have a permanent trade route with another clan, which will bring in goods every year. You will also make a small profit in goods, usually in the 2-10 range. Unsuccessful caravans might still make a profit, but will not create a permanent trade route. They also might lose some goods if your leader has a poor bargaining skill. Factors that seem to affect whether or not a permanent trade route is created are the skill of your leader, whether your clan has access to any exotic goods, and the overall relationship between your two clans; friendlier ones are more likely to agree to regular trade. Also, there is one clan in the valley that is noted for its "aggressive pursuit of trade". They always seem to be willing to set up a permanent route.
Permanent trade routes are great, they generate goods for you without having to do any further work. On an average year, each trade route will generate between 10 and 11 goods, although omens in sacred time for the success of your market can increase or decrease this. Sadly, you cannot create a trade route with every clan in the valley, you have a maximum number that you can support.
- The starting default number of maximum trade routes you can support is 4
- Add one to this if you have at least one Ekarna devotee on the clan circle; more than one, however, does not seem to help.
- Add one if you have a shrine to Ekarna. Add two if you have a full temple to her.
- Sending a caravan to every clan in each of the three "ethnic groups" of the valley (Riders, Wheels, and Rams) will support another trade route; this is cumulative, so you can get an extra three.
- Spending two points of magic on either diplomacy or crafting will support another trade route. This is again cumulative, so you can get an extra two. However, the magic must be spent every year to support the trade route, and it is questionable if such a huge expenditure of magical power is worth it.
The maximum you can get, once you've sent a caravan to every clan in the valley, and if you have an Ekarna worshiper on your circle as well as a temple, is 10. This can rise to 12 if you're willing to shell out 4 magic every year on diplomacy and crafting.
Sending a caravan to every clan of a particular "ethnic group" (Riders, Wheels, and Rams) will support another trade route. It will also make clans of that grouping a little friendlier towards you, and aid in diplomatic negotiations further. There are always 5 Wheel clans, 10 Rider clans, and 7 Ram clans in a game. The Rams will not show up for a few years first. If you want to maximize your trading and are sending a lot of caravans out, the Wheels should be your first focus for trade partners, followed either by the Riders (if you're sending 2-3 out a year) or the Rams (if you're sending them out more slowly). Your general rule should be that you want to send out caravans to clans you haven't dealt with before over clans you've sent caravans to already, and of the group that has the fewest uncontacted clans first.