Recruits are a consumable resource that represent the men available in a city to build new workers and combat units or to replace units lost in the field. Highly trained units may require multiple recruits for every successfully trained soldier. Vehicles such as siege engines and ships use wood instead of recruits.
Recruits are automatically generated in cities at a rate proportional to the population of the city. If a city has its maximum number of recruits it will not generate more until some of the recruits are used.
When a unit is disbanded in a city of its native faction, its men will rejoin that city's recruitment pool, but those in excess of the city's maximum will be lost. When a unit routs, some of its surviving men might make it home to be added to the home city's recruits.
When building a new unit it will begin to draw recruits from what is available and it must have at least one man in order to leave the city. Units will stop recruiting while they are in the field. If a partially complete unit is moved into a different camp or city than its home, it can still recruit members as long as there is an unbroken series of supply lines back to their home city. Recruiting away from home is much slower than when in their home city.