As you can see on its activation buttons, the Provision house requires various goods to produce provisions for military units. If provisions are in an island's warehouse, they will be supplied to the camps and used to heal them. Provisions don't immediately totally heal an army, but instead, slowly restore its health. It's an important difference in a game where the simplistic combat units can otherwise be fairly equally matched.
The Provisions house provides three options:
- The Small provisions package makes 5 tons of Provisions using 15 tons each of fish, cider, and linen garments
- The Medium provisions package makes 10 tons of Provisions using 15 tons each of bread, beer, and leather jerkins
- The Large provisions package makes 20 tons of Provisions using 10 tons each of meat, wine, and fur coats
All three of these choices take the same time to produce their Provisions (~22.6 seconds at normal game speed), so one difference is that you can make Provisions four times as fast, if you make Large versus Small provision packages (20 tons versus 5 tons, in the same amount of time).
The Provision House is unique in other ways:
- It doesn't need a road connection,
- It has no maintenance when not producing Provisions, and
- It provides 10 tons of storage space to the island.
So it's the cheapest possible storage choice relative to maintenance, but it costs so much to make compared to other Storage buildings that few would choose it for storage alone.
A "Provision Island"Edit
If you make a "Provision chain" on an isolated island, you can queue many Provisions packages, far past the goods that are currently available. They will be produced when the required goods are ready, without any fear of complicating your settlement's consumption needs. While you could opt for Medium or Large provision packages, it's probably too much work to weave an isolated Provision Island into your trade and production routes, given the complexity of the bigger packages. Small provision packages are the most straightforward.
You should make hemp and linen factories, then cider orchards, then fishery huts, in that order, so that goods start showing up around the same time:
- The Fisherman's hut produces 2 tons/minute
- The Cider hut produces 1.5 tons/minute
- A Linen-garment chain (2 hemp plantations and one weaver's hut) produces 2 tons/minute
So, Cider will be a slightly weak link. Four Cider huts and 3 of the others will provide 6 tons/minute for all three resources. This will let you make a new Small provisions package every 2.5 minutes, since 15 tons of each are needed.
For a simpler arrangement, just set up one each of fish, cider, and linen garments. This will make a a small (5) Provisions package every 7.5 minutes. Have a nearby trade-routed ship drop off a cider or 3 and pick up any provisions made, during its circuit. (Or, if the island lacks cider or hemp fertility, ship this in.) If your trade-circuit ship is only otherwise picking things up from some other production island, let it visit the provision island first, so that it is nearly empty (and faster) on these legs of its circuit.
If you make the simplest Provision Island (above; one Fish, one Linen Garment, and one Cider factory, with the Cider supplemented a little), you will be making 5 provisions every 7.5 minutes. In 45 minutes (the Arena cooldown time), a simple Provision Island will make 30 provisions (6 small Provision packages). Likewise, a single Weapons Factory (1 charcoal hut, 1 iron mine, 1 iron smelter, 1 weapon factory) will make 2 weapons/minute, or 90 weapons in 45 minutes. Together, one small Provision Island and one Weapon Factory can keep the Arenas at your 2 or 3 high-population islands holding non-stop Spectacular tournaments every 45 minutes.
If you want to step it up a bit, a balanced Provision Island with 4 Cider and 3 of Fish and Linen Garments makes three times as much (90 provisions every 45 minutes). Together with 3 weapons factories, you can hold 9 non-stop Spectacular tournaments - although the tournaments on your islands with no population will only earn one-third of the maximum honor.
Unlike any other goods, Provision houses require varying amounts of goods, and must be manually triggered. They can't quite be lumped into the usual Profitability chain set up. Instead of gold per minute, they can be considered in terms of profit per provisions package.
For these calculations, one should consider simply the maintenance costs for the relevant chains to produce the required goods, and compare that to the cost of selling the provisions. In other words, instead of a gold per minute basis, do it on a basis of maintenance cost per goods required. Calculations are as follows:
|Package||Total Cost||Provisions||Cost Each||Profit||Tons Each||Good 1||Good 2||Good 3|
|Type||M/T x Tons||Type||M/T x Tons||Type||M/T x Tons|
- Total Cost is the sum of the three M/T x Tons values for each package size.
- M/T x Tons (Maintenance per Ton times Tons Each) is the maintenance cost for producing one ton of the good (from the spreadsheet in the notes on goods profitability) times the number of tons needed in Tons Each.
- Cost Each is the cost of making each provision in the package; it is Total Cost divided by Provisions.
- Profit is 168 (the active sell cost for one provision) minus the Cost Each.
The Medium and Large provisions packages are about as profitable, ~68 gold per provision. The Small package is decidely less profitable, but still very much a money-maker.
If you wanted to, you could turn these into gold/minute profits, since we know it takes 22.6 seconds to produce provision packages. This would assume you have exactly the right production to keep a Provisions house going at 100% with queued build orders. Since it takes 22.6 seconds to make one package, you would be making 2.655 packages per minute (of whatever size you chose). Increasing how quickly you make packages proportionally increases the maintenance costs needed for the required goods. In short, multiplying the Profit value shown above by 2.655 (and subtracting 15 for Provision house maintenance) produces a profitability per minute value that fits right into the Goods Profitability table: 158 gold/minute for the Large package, 154 for Medium, and 30 for the Small package.
Of course, it is a bit more complicated to consider selling provisions as a profit maker, versus some of the other choices. And it would be a hassle to keep queuing the provision package button 27 times every ten minutes! Anyway... there it is.