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Proposed Canon

Upkeep is the amount of money paid by a side every Turn to retain the services of a Unit and cause its rations to pop.[1] Upkeep is paid every turn, but does not need to be paid in full – by consuming provisions in addition to popped rations, a talking Unit's upkeep needs can be cut in half.[2] Non-talking units can have their upkeep replaced by provisions entirely. If the necessary portion of a Unit's upkeep is not paid, then the Unit will disband.

Unusually enough, despite the fact that a unit's upkeep is somehow linked to their eating, not eating will not cause said unit to disband as long as their upkeep is paid.[3] Nevertheless, said unit would still presumably croak after a few turns of starvation.

Field units have higher upkeep than Garrison units.

The Arkenpliers are able to bypass upkeep on behalf of the decrypted by drawing power directly from the source.

Upkeep Examples

Uncroaked units do have upkeep too, even though it's much smaller than that of alive units.


The figures above seem to be the two extremes: Stanley is disgusted that even a Chief Warlord could cost over 1000 per turn (suggesting it is one of the highest he has encountered), and Parson seems surprised that Decrypted Ansom would have no upkeep at all.

It is not known if any upkeep goes to the Unit itself (as a wage), or if it all simply disappears.

When Queen Jillian razed Progrock, she notes the 40,000 shmuckers it generates was enough to pay the upkeep for her entire side for 8-10 turns.[11] This makes Parson's 1000+ upkeep/turn seem truly enormous.

Judging by the upkeep examples above, Upkeep does not depend on how much rations a unit gets at the start of turn, but rather on how valuable that unit is. It's therefore possible that providing provisions for higher-upkeep units, like warlords, would be more cost-effective than giving the same provisions to a low-upkeep unit like a stabber and letting the warlords rations pop.