Roads are a critical part of any settlement and serve two main purposes:
- To connect houses to a Marketplace or Bazaar.
- To connect production buildings to Market buildings or Warehouses.
Types of roads
When to use roads for production buildings
Market Buildings act as hubs to the island warehouse and do NOT have to be connected to the sea by road. Anything that goes into a market building anywhere on that island will be available in every market building on that island.
For production buildings, the highlighted area is the area that your journeymen will be able to walk to collect resources from.
For example, an iron smelter that has an ore mine and charcoal hut within its area of effect, the iron smelter will send journeymen to retrieve iron ore.
If a tool maker's shop is then made so that it's area of effect encompasses the iron smelter, the tool maker's shop will send journeymen to retrieve the iron bars. Journeymen do NOT need roads to retrieve goods.
However, Market Buildings DO require roads to send market carts out. In the above mentioned production chain, only the toolmaker's shop needs a road connection because all other steps are done by the shops themselves and only the final product is needed on the island warehouse.
Connecting the ore mine, smelter, and/or charcoal hut to the market building with a road would result in the market building taking any excess components (if any) that were not used by toolmaker's shop.
So therefore, it is only beneficial to connect resource buildings to market buildings when you either want to hoard resources, or the production building's range does not reach the resource building's (which happens often). If this is the case, make the production building so its range is within a market building. Since the market buildings act as warehouse hubs, the production building can send journeymen to the market building and retrieve resources harvested across the island and deposited in a different market building.
List of production and resource buildings that do or do not need a road. (not complete)
| Production building|
Road IS required
Road is not required as long as
production building is within range.
- Dirt roads allow normal speed movement of market carts and inhabitants along the roads. Cobblestone street allows fast movement of market carts and inhabitants along the roads. You always want to build cobblestone street to connect all your production buildings with market buildings (or warehouse) to allow for the fastest pickup of goods.
- It's also recommended to slowly upgrade all your dirt roads around your houses to cobblestone streets. This will allow special inhabitants like the fire fighters and surgeons to travel more quickly to the houses.
- Note that the Magnificent square, Princely square, and Oriental square allow the exact same fast movement as cobblestone street, so you only need to use these if you want to make your settlement look nicer.
- Some production buildings do not need road access to other production buildings. For instance, the Weaver's hut workers will walk right into the hemp plantation fields and take the hemp they require.
- It's best to build all your production buildings as close as possible to market buildings. A general rule is to build roughly 4 production buildings per Small market building and connect them all using cobblestone streets.
- Never build long stretches of road between a production building and market building. It's always more cost efficient to build another cheap 10 gold maintenance Small market building than to build a 10-15 unit long road connection.
- Any bridges produced by laying roads over rivers must be fully demolished and rebuilt with the new road type in order to replace the old bridge type with the new one.
Road ExploitIn a normal road layout a Cart will always make use of the entire unit of a bending road to make a 90 degree turn, which is time inefficient as this increases its traveling time with every turn it has to make. There is, however, a way for the Carts to improve their road usage by lowering their manoeuvrings in corners.
To improve their time efficiency when on the road, it's important to lower the amount of 90 degree turns a Cart has to make. On the screenshot shown, the cobblestone street is laid in a specific way, namely: 3 units forward, 1 unit aside of the 3rd unit, 3 units forward, 1 unit aside of the 3rd unit and so on... This way the Cart makes a slight 30 degree turn with a smooth manoeuvrings on the start of this specific road layout, not using all the road sections in between entirely and turns back 30 degrees when this specific road layout ends. This results in a decrease of a Cart's traveling time as it doesn't need to continuously make 90 degree turns.
It cannot be avoided that - even with the help of this road exploit - Carts have to make 90 degree turns on their way to a destination, but it can help to avoid those 90 degree turns when to go around a building or hillside.
Note: Despite the advantages listed above, it is absolutely always still better to build Market buildings directly next to production buildings to reduce the unit distance to about 1-10 units. If you are placing long distances of roads, just build another cheap 10 maintenance Market building.