But there are many opportunities the cash system provides. The two most profound are that you can save money for future needs rather than doing your builds immediately, and that you can use money for other things besides standard units. I'll leave special unit tricks for a future article, as well as bribe types, and focus on money management here. The better you do your money management, the more freedom you have to explore the other aspects of cash, or to flood the board with conventional units, whichever you prefer. In a sense, if you need what I say after this paragraph, you've already failed to exercise the best form of money management- avoiding loans completely. Don't get me wrong- I wind up borrowing money in most of my games. But it's never something I'm happy about.
borrow 11d for 1 year
borrow 11d for 2 years
In the first case, your loan will have 3d in interest, and if you renew
the loan at the end of the year for a second year your total interest comes
to 6d. In the second case, you owe 6d of interest at the end of two years.
You have the advantage of avoiding as much of your debt counting as principle,
and the disadvantage of not saving any money paying the debt off early.
In either case, you have a big lump sum to refinance or pay off at the
end of two years. But the wise tyrant takes a different approach:
borrow 5d for 1 year
borrow 6d for 2 years
In this case, the loan has 1d interest the first year on the first loan, and if they renew it and have the 1d to cover the interest at that point, another 1d the next year. Otherwise they renew as another 6d for 2 years at 3d interest. The second loan costs 3d in interest, so they have either saved 1d in interest paying off only 1d early, or they have got half their loan already refinanced into the third year, and it become easier to refinance.
For bigger loan amounts, the savings can be greater. Say you need 18d to buy a unit, make it 10d for 1 year and 8d for 2 years. You get a nice symmetry in owing 12d at each repayment point, and your interest costs are 6 total if you repay at that point, vs 4 for a 18 for 1 year, or 9 for 18 for 2 years.
Another point- if you are borrowing anyway, and you don't make it all the way to an appropriate multiple, borrow up to the multiple anyway. You're already paying for use of the money, so why not keep it in your pocket? It may come in handy for refinancing, or for keeping your units alive if fate turns against you.
The moral: If nothing else prevents you, you should borrow money for 1 year in multiples of 5, and for two years in multiples of two.
The order is very important. The fact that one can transfer some cash
to the bank before borrowing for example, means that one can pay back some
of a loan on the very same season it is due, then borrow the rest of the
money needed to pay the loan. When step four occurs, the bank collects
Note that if you've arranged another country to send you some cash to help out,
this (in theory) occurs simultaneous to other transfers, so the money is useful for expenses and bank collections, but not for immediately sending on to the bank. In practice, I haven't explored the judge code to see if the order of countries affects this, but even if it does, your poor GM would just have to roll the turn back and fix it.
Now lets look at your new loan structure. To maintain this you need only 5d to handle the bare minimums (p5b6, p5b5, p5b5); 9d would let you to do it neatly and wind up paying one of the 5d loans off, or keep 5 ready to help with next cycle. Every other year you need to cycle the 2d loans as well.
The moral: Keep the amount you have to pay spread out through the year, and you can keep a your debt rotating a lot better than if you concentrate it in one place.
This tyrant chooses to get right to work. In spring, he transfers all his cash to the bank. The tyrant has plenty of cash to make it through the year, so figures to set up a nice smooth future debt schedule and borrows 5d for 1 year.
This changes the state to
Debts: 8d + 0 in Summer, 6d+3 in Fall, 7d+2 Spring next year
Treasury: 5d, 4d still available to borrow
Now it's summer. The tyrant continues the nice simple repayment schedule. He pays all his cash to the bank, and borrows another 5. The bank collects 3d of that cash.
Debts: 6d+3 in Fall, 7d+2 Spring next year, 5d+1 Summer next
Treasury: 2d, 7d still available to borrow
Fall at last, the messier month, but he's still in good shape. Pay the cash to the bank, and borrow 5d for the next year, and 2 for 2 years. The bank collects this 7d, and he goes into the next year with the following situation:
Debts: 7d+2 Spring , 5d+1 Summer next, 5d+1 Fall, 2d+1 next
Treasury: Yearly income, 6d available to borrow
Note that when he started the year with 13d, there was 7d in interest due in the year, and there is now 6d more available to borrow. When you're planning a year, this is a good sanity check.
And of course, there is always the chance of a miracle leading to you not getting killed. In one of my games I did the megaloan since I figured I was doomed; my ally did the same. After his assassination and the next income, his income plus mine was enough to keep me from dying when he transferred me a bunch of cash- if I'd used a spread loan instead it would have been a lot less painful. We went on to overrun the board, and I eventually won, so it didn't cost us the game, and the extra cash effectively came out of my ally's pocket, so might have contributed to my eventual edge over him. But that wasn't my intent at the time, and it was a close thing, so I'd not advice trying this sort of thing on purpose (for one thing, allies willing to send you lots of money rather than stabbing at such a juncture are not plentiful).
So now you have chosen the date of your death. You will be assassinated. Your units will all stand around like statues. Dice will be rolled to determine which of your areas goes into rebellion. Any of your units under siege will die. Any sieges you are performing will be broken. You will take no actions at all that phase. Do not pass GO. Do not- well, you get the idea. It's the build phase, and any movement phases right before your death that you need to prepare.
Build as many units as you physically can. When you die, you lose any cash, there is no point in holding back. Get as many garrisons into your cities, especially important ones, as possible before you die. No matter how the rebellion rolls go, it is impossible for a rebellion to occur in a city you have a garrison. Get units in your other cities also, they decrease the chance of rebellion. Provence rebellions are a pain, but a single turn holding can fix them. City rebellions are nasty. Protect yourself from them. If the assassination will happen in spring, don't bother to have units in provinces that have famine, unless an ally will pay the relief. You don't get to. The one exception is of course if you don't have anything else to do with the cash, then of course keep all the scrap units you can to slow enemy advances. Even if the units are frozen, they still discourage the enemy from paying famine relief and marching through.
After your death, if you've got an ally you can trust, use them to remove your rebellions. One of their armies, and one of yours, play follow the leader through your areas in rebellion. Of course, make sure you don't give your ally an opportunity to take you out in the process.
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