In this article I will go over a couple economic basics I use that allow me to get a blooming economy. I will not say things you read in other faqs such as priority management, distribution of goods or how to manage gold coins best. The tips I write here are what I believe is mostly original from me on the internet.
Go to menu and take the rightmost button on the middle row. This is the stock and gives a listing of all the materials you’re currently not using. They are either in a storehouse, in transit or in queue. The goal should be to get every number in your stock as low as possible, preferably under 30.
Why? This is a very easy visual indicator that your economy runs as smooth as possible. All merchandise is immediately converted into the end product (soldiers). Less merchandise means less clutter on the roads (numbers tend to rise when a lot of flags are blocked). Easiest to see is how coal, iron, iron bricks and gold should all be as low as possible. This indicated a smooth flowing economy.
In the same vein, wooden planks should be kept under 100 once you’re in contact with the enemy. Less time spent on carrying wood is more time spent carrying gold coins and ores. Stopping wood production is easiest by stopping foresters.
The exception is stone. You want as much as possible so catapulting becomes viable at any moment. When stone drops under 200, you are in trouble.
Two things that tend to clutter are foodstuff, especially grain and water. Keeping grain and water stocks low means less traffic and less clutter from these things. So build up your food industry.
Beer accrues faster than you can make soldiers usually. Keep an eye on beer and if it gets too high, temporarily halt beer production.
In the servants tab of your HQ, try to use up every single worker with a profession. You can always halt production, but at least this gives you a buffer for when your economy slows down.
I read several strategy’s on how to remember mine locations. My solution is to put down the mine AND connect the road. It will build, but when you don’t have miners it will remain empty. No problem, with a smooth economy, mines get exhausted faster than you’d like. Burn a mine and the miner goes to the next mine because it is already built. Saves building time.
Obviously this is based on a very smooth food economy.
When you relocate industry, typically for woodcutters, quarrys and mines, there is a chance that he dies because he doesn’t get into the HQ in time. Keep an eye (in stock) on the total number of certain servants. These can and will drop in time so you will need to make more. Typically you only need to make new pick-axes. Halt production when no longer necessary.
Honestly, I don’t use these, at all. They are most useful in the beginning of the game, however this is a moment when every wood plank counts and clutter on the road is very high. I try to make a farm as soon as possible to give me a little buffer and try to get food industry running based on grain ASAP. This buffer lets me bridge expansion until I find fields that can support more farms.
Often my first farm doesn’t even run on 100%, but once economy runs I cut trees or relocate a building to allow 100% on my first farm. As long as you’re building economy, I try not to build fisheries and hunters as the short-term gain has long-term consequences. Farm+mill+bakery+water gives unlimited food once built.
Number of farms
I read a lot of faqs that claim you need 2 farms to supply a single mill. Untrue. It is cool on the internet to say you need a lot of farms, but one farm per grain-using building is barely enough, and 1-2 farms spare on your whole production will allow full 100% on all buildings.