Each faction must feed and water its Population at the end of each even-numbered Round. The cost is 1 F and 1 W for every 2P. If the number of Population tokens is odd, it is rounded up (the cost for 7P would be 4F and 4W).
For any player achieving this, if they started Consumption with one or more Disaffected Population Tokens, one Disaffected must be converted to Spare.
If either the Food or Water count is insufficient to meet the demand, the Consumption Shortfall is based on the resource (Food or Water) that is scarcest, but the more plentiful resource is nonetheless consumed until it runs out or meets demand. For instance, if the Population is 20, the full consumption cost is 10 tokens of each type (10F+10W). If a faction has 5F (enough to feed 10) and 3W (enough to water 6), then only 6 of 20 Population tokens are adequately fed and watered, and the Consumption Shortfall is 14. All 5 Food and all 3 Water are consumed.
The Shortfall must be paid as follows, with each Population token moved accounting for one Unit of Shortfall:
- Step 1: Meet as much Shortfall as possible by removing subjects from the Disaffected region of the Population Mat and placing them in the game’s Death Zone, permanently removed from play – these subjects are already hungry and thirsty and, faced with a Shortfall, succumb immediately.
- Step 2: Meet any remaining Shortfall by moving Spare tokens into the Disaffected region of the Population Mat.
- Step 3: Meet any remaining Shortfall by moving tokens from the Located region of the Population Mat to the Disaffected region, and removing Worker Units or Military Units from the map.
Additional Shortfall not satisfied with steps 1 to 3 above does not need to be met, and must not be paid by starving the recently disaffected created in Steps 2 and 3. In other words, population never changes from well-fed to dead-through-starvation in a single Consumption Phase.
The final Round of the game has a modified Final Consumption Phase, used to determine scores.