Trade circles or TCs are groups of up to six nations, generally on the same sphere, who usually trade a variety of resources to make overall trade combinations that give great boosts to an individual nation.
Types of trade circlesEdit
Trade circles usually try to produce long-term trades of very beneficial combinations of resources. Generally, trade circles are named by the number of bonus resources they give. For instance, if a trade circle gave Microchips, Steel, and Scholars, then it would probably be called a 3BR or 3 Bonus Resource Trade Circle. However, there are tons of types of trade circles, all offering varying resources and trying different combinations of resources to try to provide the greatest benefit for the individual member nations of each trade circle.
Refer to the link found in the External links section for information on common trade circle setups.
Reasons for trade circlesEdit
Trade circles generally form to try to provide individual member nations with great benefits, usually economical. They generally form on the same sphere to take advantage of the bonus for trading on the same sphere. Trade circles are generally formed by nations looking to find solid, long lasting, and highly beneficial trades, or by the Financial or Internal Affairs departments of various alliances. Trade circles can commonly hold members from multiple alliances, though some prefer to have all members of their trade circle from the same alliance.
In order to attempt to maximize the benefits of trades, some alliances and groups have tried to implement something called "Trade Swapping." Trade Swapping is rotating series of Trade Circles to give certain benefits in specific situations, such as an infrastructure jump or war. Alternatively, some nations look for Temp (temporary) trades in order to, for example, get a bonus on the day they collect taxes. Temp trades usually last a short time, such as a few hours or a couple days.
Many nations and players generally consider finding trades a difficult or annoying task, and some even call finding a solid trade circle the "low point of the game." Some also have difficulties keeping trade partners active. However, these experiences are certainly not representative of all trade circle experiences; some can be formed within a few days and last for years.
In 2011, it was instituted where players could change their resources once every 30 days, thus making finding and creating trade circles much easier and simpler for the average player.