I usually play Civ 5 on Prince difficulty level with Raging Barbarians checkbox ticked. And I always ecnounter situation when AI players have zero gold and negative gold per turn however even with these problems they fight and conquer other civ cities. Shouldn't they have they army deserted, building destroyed or something like this? Or can I build more and more untis decreasing my GPT but having gold stay at zero level?

  • btw you start losing units at -5 gpt
    – Jubatus
    Feb 17, 2015 at 13:48
  • 1
    Made me immediately think of this. Warning: TV Tropes link!!
    – JonK
    Feb 17, 2015 at 19:00

1 Answer 1


When your gold hits 0 and you're still in the negatives, the first thing that happens is your Science production is tapped to make up the difference.

Eventually, units will start to disband, but this happens over time. Thus, if they've only been running a debt for a short period they may still be able to effectively war.

Since capturing enemy cities usually results in negative things happening in the short term, it's probably not the best strategy for digging themselves out of debt.

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    You do typically loot a decent chunk of gold when you capture a city tho, probably enough to cover a few turns, depending on how negative you are. Feb 17, 2015 at 17:01
  • @GeneralMike, The best choice would probably be to capture and raze if you were doing it just for the lump sum gold. Although, I'd almost suggest negotiating peace and getting gold from that deal if you've got the military might to impose. All of this is rather tangential to the question, though.
    – agent86
    Feb 17, 2015 at 18:41
  • My impression is that units are never disbanded unless your Science has gone all the way to zero.
    – Kyralessa
    Feb 26, 2015 at 4:26

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