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Province Defence

Province Defence (often abbreviated to PD) represents the local defensive force that a province will automatically field if it is attacked. This force will always be present unless control of the province is lost, and is supplemental to any armies the owning player has there.

Starting at a value of 15, PD will contribute 1 to patrol strength, used to detect enemy sneaking units. This increases by 1 for every point of province defence above 15.

Every 10 points of PD (at 10, at 20, at 30, etc) contributes to unrest reduction by 1. More information on the effect of this value can be found on the Unrest page.

Province defence units are like combat summons, in that they are temporary units who disappear at the end of a battle regardless of the outcome, even if charmed or enslaved. Province defence units are replaced and ready for every fight that happens in their province. Because they are not persistent units, they are not susceptible to being worn down by afflictions or disease.

In battle, Province Defense is counted at 1/4 of its actual health when calculating total army HP. With heavy PD dumps this can still lead armies to rout over total HP loss, but at any modest value PD health is rarely impactful.

Scouting Reports

Having a scout in an enemy province will grant information about the local province defence. Keep in mind that, due to the turn-based nature of Dominions, the report will take into account the province defence as it was on the previous turn. It may be increased on the same turn as an enemy army moves into the province.

Depending on the amount of province defence, the scouting reports will include the following:

PD Value Scouting Report
0 The province has not organized any local defence.
1 - 5 The local defence of this province consists of one officer and a few loyal henchmen.
6 - 19 The local defence of this province appears to be quite well organized.
20 - 34 The local defence of this province appears to be very strong and well organized.
35+ The local defence of this province is exceptionally powerful and very well organized.


Province defence costs the player as much as the next number up from its current value. For example at PD 0, the next number is 1, so the first point of PD costs 1. Raising it to 2 costs 2, and so on. Raising PD to 10 from 0 costs 55 gold total, barring Friendly Civilizations, detailed below.

Population Types

The units that make up province defence are generally the same population type (often abbreviated to poptype) of units that were present when the province was independent. When the province contains a fort, however, the units change to the national province defence of its current owner. Other exceptions can occur when an independent province was defended by undead or demons since the start of the game, and when a player capital is successfully stormed and controlled by another player.

Friendly Civilizations

Friendly civilizations reduce the cost of raising PD, owing to an affinity they share with a controlling nation. Each step of PD will cost the player 2 gold less than usual, with a minimum of 1 gold. Thus, getting up from 0 to 3 PD will cost 3 gold; then increasing to 4 will cost 2 gold, and so on.

A green text appears on the Province Defence screen to denote Friendly Civilizations. The following is a list of nations and the population types that count for them as Friendly Civilizations. Note that this is a work in progress, and not yet a complete list.

Early Age
Sauromatia: Jade Amazons
Ulm: Bear Tribe, Deer Tribe, Wolf Tribe
Kailasa: Monkeys
Rus: Bear Tribe

Middle Age
Man: Knights and Longbowmen
Ulm: Knights and Longbowmen
Ind: Monkeys
Ys: Merrows


As mentioned above, initial PD units are generally drawn from the population type defending in and recruitable from the province. Not all available units will appear in province defense, however, and not all provinces gain defenders equally. Additionally, there are special cases at 1 and 20+ PD.


All Province Defense gets a commander at 1 point. This is always the same nation-specific commander, often a 40-80 gold "basic" commander. This commander will act as the leader for all PD types added at levels 1-19, even if this exceeds its unit count or squad count limits. Aside from maximum unit count, other traits (leadership vs squad count, Inspirational, etc.) will apply as normal.

Note that some nations lack a suitable "basic" commander and get drastically stronger units instead. For example, Vanheim's first point of PD adds an A1H1 Vanherse. With a strong bless, this can be a meaningful threat to light raids all on its own. (Even when the national commander is not a thug, it can be highly relevant to certain strategies. A magic weapon commander can shut down Ethereal or Invulnerable raiders, and an H1 commander makes it possible to leave sacred units in a province to defend without needing to commit a priest.)

At 20 PD, another commander is added. This is not a nation-specific unit, so it will generally be the local province's recruitable commander. (Or mage, if nothing else is available.) In forted provinces, it will be a nation-specific unit, generally a stronger 80+ leadership commander or a modest mage. This commander will lead all of the new unit types added at 20+ PD.


From 1 to 19 PD, each province has 1-3 types of "local" PD unit, and each rank of PD gives 0-2 of each unit type. In forted provinces, these will become national troops whenever possible. (i.e. land nations get independent PD in underwater forts.)

From 20 PD onwards, the local PD pattern will continue, but several new unit types will be added. These are consistent national unit types without regard for the local province type (again excluding water).

Population Depletion

Every point of province defence requires 10 population present in the province. For example, a province with 170 population can only support 17 PD. This can become relevant when:

  • Bordering popkill nations such as MA Ermor, LA Lemuria, EA Therodos, or MA Asphodel, whose dominion depletes population. Of note, all these nations except Asphodel can ignore the population limit on PD since their national province defence is undead.
  • When being targeting remote ritual spells that decrease a target province's population.


Typically, PD is held at one of several levels:

  • All provinces should have at least 1 PD, to protect them from capture by scouts and certain events that target undefended provinces, and to give information on attacking armies.
  • Nations with strong Holy PD commanders (elves especially) may with to stop at 1 or <6 to ensure the commander can fight without allies routing.
  • Nations with Holy PD commanders and cheap sacreds may leave behind sacred troops for defense in key provinces. PD counts need to be low enough for sacreds to deploy near the commander and get blessed.
  • 6 PD can prevent certain bad events from occurring that typically result in losing the province to independent forces, and costs only 21 gold. Similarly 11 PD wards against more types of independent attack events, though it costs 45 gold more than 6.
  • Increasing levels of PD (5-15) are sometimes used to protect provinces from light raiding by unsupported enemy troops, weak thugs, and "indy attack" events.
  • Some PD units are not added equally at each point, and can be leveled for peak efficiency. Heavy Cavalry PD, for instance, adds a 30-gold horseman for taking 7 PD over the more common 6.
  • 6-19 PD give the same scouting report, so going up to 6 can deter very light raids. Or, if you've set a precedent of using 6 repeatedly, a sudden jump to 12+ strong PD can bait and kill light raids.
  • 15 PD can be useful to get 1 patrol strength to catch sneaking armies with low stealth values.
  • Most serious enemy armies and many heavier thugs can defeat nearly unlimited amounts of PD. But large amounts of PD (20+) can provide useful support or a screen to supplement other defenders. This tactic – of buying a lot of PD to aid a defending army – is sometimes called a "PD dump". Since only 25% of PD health is counted towards army HP, PD units can outperform real units as a morale-safe screen. They also reappear for each battle, allowing them to screen even after magic-phase field wipes.
  • Specific flavors of PD can be substantially stronger than average, either alone as raid/thug-killers or in large battles as buff targets. Notable raid-killer PD includes Heavy Cavalry, Bone Tribe, and Crossbows. Notable buff targets include any massed archers or javelin users.
game-mechanics/province-defence.txt · Last modified: 2023/05/05 09:47 by arco