Time of War is dominated by the following resources:
- Food: food is the lifeblood of civilisation, and is used to create units. If your food is at 0, units will not heal if garrisoned in buildings. Settlements can generate a small trickle of food and timber for free, and will also increase your commerce cap for the same.
- Timber: timber is vital for ships, buildings and machines. In Time of War: 1800, the most stable way to generate timber is to build workhouses and sawmills, and to later upgrade workhouses into timber yards, but you can cut down trees using villagers and citizens to generate timber faster, but trees cannot regenerate. Settlements can generate a small trickle of food and timber for free, and will also increase your commerce cap for the same.
- Metal: metal is used in creating some of your better units, and is generated from workhouses built over metal seams. A workhouse over a metal seam can be upgraded into a mine or be boosted by foundries to generate more for you.
- Wealth: created by taxation of all mines, timber yards, and farms, and by trade. Unlike Rise of Nations, caravans will not merely visit towns: they will visit supply depots, markets and friendly deployed merchants. The more places your caravans visit, the more wealth they generate when they return home. If wealth reaches 0, mercenary units will rebel and turn into bandits - and you will have to kill them!
- Knowledge: required for high-level technological research and some units, knowledge can only be generated by citizens garrisoned in universities.
- Tools: tools are created by consuming metal and knowledge at your foundry, and are required for a variety of low-level units, and some high-powered ones. The most distinct usage of tools is in ironclads and in military upgrades.
Workhouses and farms are the lifeblood of your economy. You may only build farms and economic boosters such as foundries, granaries and sawmills within the very vicinity of your towns, but workhouses can be built anywhere. Workhouses can be upgraded to either mines or timber yards for greater gains. While metal can only be generated from workhouses built over metal seams, the amount of timber or food you receive is greatly connected to the biome of the map: desert biomes produce less food and timber, and temperate ones generate more. Snow biomes, however generate high amounts of timber but the lowest amount of food possible from farms and workhouses.
- Can be built anywhere, and generates a small stream of timber
- If built over a metal seam, can generate a small stream of metal
- Can be upgraded to timber yard, or, if over a metal seam, into a mine.
- Upgrade of workhouse
- Produces a good amount of timber over time
- Build near a settlement with a sawmill to increase timber output.
- Upgrade of workhouse
- Produces a good amount of metal only if built over a metal seam.
- Build near a settlement with a foundry to increase metal output.
- Steady but fluctuating stream of food: in temperate or jungle settings can produce lots of food, otherwise produces less in desert and even less in a tundra.