Gearing Bonus

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When producing units for your nation, you will receive a Gearing Bonus for each unit you produce in serial. This represents the specialization and tooling of factories to produce large production runs of a given type. As you produce more units of the same type, the amount of time required to produce each consecutive unit is reduced. Anything that can be built in a long run can benefit greatly from the gearing bonus. You might even want to start all unit production in a very long series and then cancel the series when it's no longer needed; this will ensure that you have the option to keep on getting the gearing bonus.

The gearing bonus only affects time to producing units, not the Industrial Capacity cost associated with the unit. It also does not apply to non deployable province improvements produced in serial. Province improvements than can be deployed such as province AA benefit from the gearing bonus; improvements like factories than can not be moved do NOT benefit from the gearing bonus.

A little more info about the effect of gearing.

For comparison here is a short tab of a serial production of BB ships; first column is with full drafted army, second with full standing army setting:

     Drafted Army                     Standing Army
   Days for   Days for            #  Days for   Days for
     series    ship                    series    ship
 1     584      584                1     584      584
 2    1139      525                2    1139      525
 3    1664      497                3    1664      497
 4    2161      467                4    2161      467
 5    2628      438                5    2628      438
 6    3066      409                6    3066      438
 7    3475      379                7    3504      438
 8    3854      351                8    3942      438
 9    4205      321                9    4380      438
10    4526      321               10    4818      438
11    4847      321               11    5256      438
12    5168      321               12    5694      438

For the first 5 ships the bonus is the same, the gearing bonus maxes out at the 9th ship (with slider setting for army in the middle this is the same, at the 9th ship bonus is maxed).

While having the drafted army slider maximized is great for gearing, there are other benefits that make the standing army preferable in most circumstances. Standing army gives more organization and less upgrade time and cost. The last 4 standing army positions also give newly produced units experience.