How do Lombards work?

my honest thoughts on the subject are simply that Lombards were an idea developed for the civ that simply didn’t need to exist. They’re fiddly apm traps that sponge up res that could be spent on better things. The cards that ship the lombard deposits are good cards, but you have to build the things in order to profit therefrom. All in all, I think the future meta of Italy will eventually be to reject lombards entirely before the very lategame. The devs absolutely overestimated them when designing the civ with only 1 factory and their other oddball economic bonuses. (And their lacklustre military too)


They’re a compromise to give Italy “Banks” without actually giving them Banks. Italy was just as much a center of banking as the Netherlands so it would be obvious for them to have them. But regular Banks + Architects would be beyond busted so they needed to come up with something else that isn’t broken in conjunction with free buildings. That compromise gets a clunky barely functional building like Lombards.

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You COULD, make em a bit more expensive and turn them into mini porcelain towers that can’t be changed in output. Then for every age you are in you can build one. Which in Age 4 would be a bit better than a factory that is unupgraded and in age 5 you get a factory that is upgraded if you have built all .

Or you keep the exchange mechanic, however add in a second factory, remove some of the cards for it and limit it to 2-3 “special taverns”.

They’re a lovely idea. The problem is they need a buff to be usable. They’re not even niche-usable currently unless you’re playing treaty in which case they’re like a factory with way too much upfront investment.

I’d make it so you can only put one type of resource in them, you can take that resource out at any point you want it back and it gives you a proportional trickle of the other two resources without depleting the stockpile. Obviously it needs a cap, which I would increase every time you age up.

Needs to be roughly equivalent to a Brit houseboom investment in terms of cost and reward and cap out at roughly that of an extra factory, although I wouldn’t object to cards buffing it past that.

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As easy as set them as Consulate rates.

-x% at gatherers’ rates which goes to lombards with buttons to set each resource rate

But, even in treaty, they do not replace the second factory. Lombards require too much micromanagement without being as profitable as other booms with that feature, such as cowing. You could say that instead of providing an economic bonus, the Lombards are more of an economic burden


I was just about to try Italy, having avoided it until now because I considered it ‘op’ due to a variety of broken exploits players were using. Now that those exploits are fixed, I’d like to try them, but I can’t figure out lombards. Especially after reading this thread :).

The only thing that makes sense is to use the lombards as a way to have villagers only gather wood, as Desertpage has described. That way, you can research only wood upgrades, have your villagers specialize in gathering wood, and not having to worry about running out of hunts or gold mines, which is actually a big issue even in 1v1 ranked. Hunts especially seem to run out fast in the recent map pool. Obviously in an RTS, resources now are worth more than resources later (you might be dead later because you didn’t have the resources for army now). One thing Whitby fails to take into account is that villagers die and have idle time walking around to different resources. That is why it is debatable whether or not a trickle card such as capitalism is better or worse than 3 villagers.

As a noob Italy player (though not an AOE noob)

  1. Is it possible to play as Italy and just ignore lombards altogether, or will this mess up my economy too much? Does Italy ‘need’ lombards to stay competitive with other civs?

  2. Can I do a ‘kancha boom’ and just use lombards instead of kanchas? And just keep most all of my villagers on wood all of the time, safe next to my TC? And do as Desert suggests and send wood gathering upgrade cards? (At least I think thats what he is suggesting, not sure).

  3. What simple build order is advisable for Italy, if lombards are in fact advisable to use. I have never played vs an Italy player who didn’t have lombards so it seems most people want to use them for some reason.

that is with 5 lombards right? Then you still need to consider cost of 5 lombards OR cost of 5 architects + pop + time to build it, which factory doesn’t have.

You can do a kind of a merch build by sending capitalism and the 3 tavern card. From there you send only companies and papal units, supplemented by the mercs and outlaws from the taverns.

It was a viable option at the release of Italy, but it’s been a while since I personally play it/saw it.

You put all lombards card into your deck and use lombards with them only. You can occasionally invest a surplus of food to age up faster, but mainly lombards are good because you can get more resources from HC.

You basically do a semi FF, you send capitalism, then uffizi, monte di pietà, and then the various lombard investments. Use architects to build more lombards and train musks to defend and turtle.

The correct play is to completely ignore the lombards unless you want to make some use of the mercenaries.

A good way to mess up your economy, is to invest in lombards instead of literally any other means of growing your economy.

After playing with them a bit, it certainly does seem that way. I think they were put in the game to give the architects something to do. In other words, instead of having the Architects sitting there doing nothing after all the houses are built, they can do something. When gold mines or hunts run out, then they can be useful. I find when I play I end up having lots of papal lancers qued all the time and being unable to get my shipments, it is kind of frustrating to be given cool units and be unable to buy as many as I want/need of them. Reminds me of influence units. The papal aresenal card speeds up the que by 25% but it still isn’t fast enough for age IV. It would be cool if each basilica sped up the que by some amount as well.