Farm/Mine Upgrade Return On Investment

I have been chaffing at the Mine being out of commission while upgrading it. I don’t like losing hours of production to only gain +100 ish more iron per hour. I want more iron, and upgrading would seem to be the way to go to get it over time. However, with build times getting longer and longer, at some point it would be better to hold off upgrading until SH 20 is reached to maximize the production of the mine.

For Example, on a farm, going from lvl 13 to 14, takes 9 hours even to complete. During that 9 hours nothing is produced. You lose (9 X 3,202) 28,818 food during this time. It takes 97.35 hours to recoup the lost food so you break even and are where you would of been had you not upgraded. However after that 97.35 hours you are now producing 302 more per hour than you would have been. But you’ve also lost time.

Time is the real currency in this game. It’s harder to place a value on. During these 3+ days you could have been spending that time doing other things to advance.

Comparatively, taking a lvl 13 Mine to a lvl 14 Mine, takes the same 9 hours and you lose (9 X 2,899) 26,091 iron. It takes a much longer 250.87 hours to recoup the lost iron, before breaking even. After breaking even you then are gaining 104 more iron per hour than you would have if you had not upgraded. It seems a paltry amount to me at this level. 10.5 days before breaking even is REALLY long time.

I am asking for help determining when the optimum time to stop upgrading the Mine would be.

Looking at the chart of costs, time to upgrade, and production per hour, it would seem that Mine level 11 is the last largest increase to production per hour. I would guess that this is the best place to stop to maximize the return on investment and push for SH 20.

Can anyone, who is better at maths, help me out with this?

*Referenced from

(Sorry for editing after your post Aunty… I had more time later in the day to further explain)


I don’t have any calculations but my junior account stopped leveling mines when those were level 14. Stronghold is now maxed and I’m working with training camps and mills. Iron is still not a problem, there’s a plenty to use and I don’t need to wait for it when upgrading.

I started junior may 12.

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Level 9 mines are fine while you’re heading to SH20 without VIP. I only put my mines up to 14-15 because needed to consume food with second builder. But after iron storages were at 18, even with VIP there was enough iron for both builders through TC20.

Sorry for editing after your reply. I had more time later in the day to edit and explain further.

I believe @Wharflord and @Gryphonknight had a discussion on this exact subject.

Found here
Advanced Farm and Mine Analysis

Hope this helps?

Maybe a merge @Rook, @Garanwyn, @Kerridoc, @zephyr1??

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You’re right, that was an extremely similar discussion, except it was about the Advanced Farm and Mine. The OP appears to be discussing regular Levels of the Mine:

I’m going to leave them separate, since they’re discussing different things, but I agree that other thread is a good reference point to how to approach the question.


You will regret stopping


Good point @zephyr1. I was assuming that they were they same. My bad. Thanks :+1:


What is the level of mine storage to get to sh20? Got 5 storage 1 at 16, 4 at 15
My sh at 17 soon be 18
Got 4 mines at 16

I promise that I searched the forums well before I posted. I don’t know where that post is buried. But I am certainly grateful for that link. It did enlighten me very much.
Thank you @PapaHeavy


No problem, I find this point very interesting. My thoughts are, it depends on how long you believe you will play. If you are one to move on quickly, it’s probably makes sense to stop leveling. If you believe you’ll be playing for quite some time, it definitely makes sense to level up.

It’s obviously not as clear cut as that but after awhile you’ll find you have extra food/iron. So what do you do with it? Of course if you use it to increase production, you’ll have more…almost a catch22

Of course with the new heroes, new houses, hunters lodge, future buildings, I don’t think we will have a surplus of anything for long :wink:


I think it’s 4 at 19 and 1 at 18? Of course I’m old and my memory is crap
@zephyr1 or @Garanwyn, could either of you chime in on this one?

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All 5 storage at lvl 18. I have been researching my push to SH 20.


Thank you Sir!! Appreciate the assistance!

Oh and @Oriontron, I think this conversation may interest you too
I find these little tidbits here and there as I “work” all day :joy:
🧪 The Beta Beat (v23) – Sharing the Big Picture on What's Going on in Beta: Stronghold 22/23 & Alchemy Lab, New Challenge Event Heroes, Costumes

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@PapaHeavy @Oriontron

I’m thinking just level up all my storage got VIP for one week left! My 8 farms are at 14 and 3 storage at 15 ! Got 3 camps at 13 so I’m ok on that!
Should I hot shot it to sh20 ?

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@Dudeious.Maximus, your SH will need to be 20 to max out everything else. So that’s always 1st.
There is a SH21 now too, which mine is currently at. It eventually will go up to SH25, so I’d definitely work on SH20 now. It tied to the upcoming Alchemy lab and Hero Academy

There’s also Advanced Buildings such as Farms, storage, Recruit houses etc

Here’s all the fun. ***There have been several changes in Beta so read through


I agree.

Considering Harpoons are a 5* Battle items that only requires 1* ingredients, they make a very good iron sink.

Click for discussion of Titanium shield and Panacea

5* Titanium shield, and 5* Panacea, only require T1* / T2* rarity parts. Both are also incredibly useful for triple Boss waves. While not as good an iron sink, or food sink, as Harpoons they will consume a lot of my iron, and food, production because they are so versatile.

Titanium shield acts as a perfect armor, and reflects enemy special skills. Really helpful when three bosses fire their specials at once.

Panacea works a a combination of 3x Super Antidote ( 500 HP heal instead of 150 HP
heal ) and a Dragon banner.

Play style


It depends on your play style.

The game is oddly unbalanced after you get Stronghold 12. Diminishing returns are common in endless games like MMO. But returns in Empires drop like the Mariana Trench.

I have found it helps to just be flexible


Click for notes


(Build Order)

(Which building to convert after SH21)



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5 Iron Storages at Level 18 are enough for SH20.

1969k is required for the upgrade

392k per Level 18 Iron Storage * 5 Iron Storages = 1960k

The Stronghold itself holds 10k Iron, which covers the rest.


Thanks @zephyr1, knew my memory was crap…I also need to remember the fridge is NOT the bathroom. Wife gets upset :wink:

Always appreciate the logic @Gryphonknight. It’s actually saved me some bad mistakes an awful lot of times already.


Thanks @zephyr1 @PapaHeavy Ok cool Be at sh18 soon soo then just level my storage up all to 18! Then just make it to sh20 next 3-4 weeks I’ll be there!


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