When your balancing your eco, it’s important to also know how many fishing ships you have working. They might not count the same as villager on farm/boar/sheep, but it’s probably a good rough approximation.
However you need to know the total number of vils without fishing ships, to know where you are in your build order (that’s how I do it at least, not total pop but number of vils).
I guess you got the answer by now: Fishing ships and trade carts inflate the counts per resource, but not the total because it is not the total number of resource-gathering units, it is the total number of villagers.
The idle villager hotkey will also works for idle fishing ships (and possible trade cars). If it is called idle villager hotkey, why does it also works for other resource gathering units?
The end statistics show the maximum vill count of each player. This does also include the non villager resource gathering units.
Everywhere were vill counts are mentioned, it includes also the non villager resource gathering units, except at this spot. As result i consider this counter bugged. It also needs to include the non villager resource gathering units to make it consistent through the game.
Ok, it’s up to you whether or not you accept the fact that the villager count has no relation to the other counts. The rest of us have accepted this fact. Just because sometimes the values add up doesn’t mean that they must every time, as they are fundamentally not really this related. Good luck.
In one of my last games i was surprised i had only 90 villagers, since i thougth i had a lot more. Then i looked at the numbers on each resources and i got to 140-150. The missing number was the number of trade cars again in the total. It is pretty confusing and fixing this should be really easy… It is already fine for each resource. So the devs already know how it should be. Only the total is wrong.
It’s only confusing because you got an idea about that number that is incorrect. It has never meant to be a “Total”. It is just “Villager Count”. That’s all. It has never been “Total Workers”. There’s nothing to fix. Nothing is broken.
The villagers icon is the total amount of those created from TC, and the amount shown in resources storage is counting all available units who can collect these resources, not a bug.
I think the devs just put the amount of created villagers except ships and trade units to significantly indicate how many villagers actually you still have while you are under harassing or attack, and how to plan your next actions with your refugees. I don’t think eco balancing in early time or booming period should be the only consideration for this amount, because you do not consider the different situations.
Villagers are the most important objects in game, the amount should not be combined with f ships and trades. But adding up icons for ships and trades can be good ideas as well.