Militia are a special unit automatically generated in cities to serve as the first line of defense. Militia are garrisoned in cities, but do not count against the number of units that can be garrisoned in them, and will be automatically generated up to 4 by default so long as the city is not under siege. Additionally, militia are automatically equipped with the highest-tier Iron or Dust Longspear available, and cannot have their equipment changed. Militia also do not possess the same capacities as other units from that faction might - for example, the Broken Lords militia does not possess the Dust Care capacity, and so does regenerate health normally.
Generally speaking, while militia provide a city with some additional defense, the militia units are fairly weak, and should not be the only thing defending a city if it under threat. If you expect your city to be attacked soon, it would be advisable to place some more units in the garrison for the city.
Every city can call up conscripts when its walls are threatened. The last line of defense, these civilian troops are ready to lay their lives down to protect their families.
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