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Caesar III: Game Help
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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Caesar III: Game Help » Finished Campaign, New Challenges Now
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Topic Subject:Finished Campaign, New Challenges Now
Ace Gladiator
Pleb
posted 01-24-19 18:48 ET (US)         
Hey all!

I recently replayed the campaign both peaceful and dangerous. Self-imposed rules:
-very hard
-no debt allowed (and no rescue funds obviously)
-no personal funds allowed
That's not very impressive to this forum, but it was an accomplishment for me!

I then decided to try a "no-trade" challenge in Caesarea (City Construction Kit) which is a "trivial" assignment with low Roman wages. I plunged into debt (broke my rule), and eventually passed my 5k credit limit down to -7000Dn, and gradually clawed my way back into the black as my patrician houses developed. I eventually had a roaring tax income and built a huge city. Folks on this forum would probably argue that I failed the challenge, but I had fun.

I'd like to redo the "no-trade" challenge without going into debt, but I wanted to ask this forum if that's even possible on VERY HARD. Any tips? I read up on some of the "no trade" threads here and it seems that people leverage the god blessings a lot.

Consider for the sake of argument:
-very hard
-no trade
-god effects on, but no "exalted" status allowed (no blessings allowed)
-no festivals

Is that even possible?
Some back-of-the-envelope math for Very Hard:

Maps without vines or without olives limit you to Grand Insulae (or worse) which according to this, one building would produce:
0.005 * 3 * 7 * 84 = 8.82 dn = 8 dn (rounded down)
Tax per year = 12 * 8 = 96 dn

For 40% being workers (not sure if that is right), 33.6 workers at 10% wage rule (also not sure if that is right) = 100.8 dn

So with Grand Insulae, we're looking at -4 dn/year.

EDIT: redoing the math with +8 wages, 18% tax, and ~0% unemployment, (which I think would balance city mood) brings the balance to +136 dn/year. Maybe I'll give this a shot!

[This message has been edited by Ace Gladiator (edited 01-24-2019 @ 08:10 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 01-25-19 00:27 ET (US)     1 / 10       
I'd like to redo the "no-trade" challenge without going into debt, but I wanted to ask this forum if that's even possible on VERY HARD.
Yes. I've done it twice, in the career Valentia (not too difficult) and the career Lugdunum (much harder).
I read up on some of the "no trade" threads here and it seems that people leverage the god blessings a lot.
In Lugdunum, I only had two blessings: Ceres early on and Mars later. Mars's obviously didn't matter, but Ceres did help significantly. I think I could do it without Ceres's blessing, but it would be even harder.

In Valentia I had more blessings, but I don't think I needed them since Valentia started with significantly more funds.
god effects on, but no "exalted" status allowed (no blessings allowed)
How do you prevent a blessing in the first year? Don't build temples until late in the first year (and therefore keep the population below 200 for most of it)?
Is that even possible?
Sure, in missions with sufficient starting funds and either no early invasions or good income.
+8 wages, 18% tax, and ~0% unemployment, (which I think would balance city mood)
No, you should be able to charge 25% tax rate with all people fed. With all houses grand insulae or better, you should be able to charge 25% tax rate and either have modest unemployment (up to 10%) or somewhat lower wages (Rome+5).

During development taxes may need to be lower at times, since people first settling in vacant lots won't be fed right away.

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 01-25-2019 @ 00:29 AM).]

trolgu
Pleb
posted 01-25-19 01:07 ET (US)     2 / 10       
How do you prevent a blessing in the first year? Don't build temples until late in the first year (and therefore keep the population below 200 for most of it)?

That's how I did it.
Then all gods were treated the same, i.e. either a new oracle or 5 new temples at the same time.
But I'm not sure if this also applies to the very easy level.
jaroslav80
Pleb
posted 01-25-19 06:20 ET (US)     3 / 10       
Wouldn't it help if Venus should have one more temple as others? (To prevent blessings totally ... with festivals forbidden)

Or there could be Neptune blessing allowed (because of the no-trade rule) and then Neptune having one more temple as others.

There could be also import-trade allowed. To be able to play whole campaign. And additional rule to build every December three oracles per every 1000 people in your city.

[This message has been edited by jaroslav80 (edited 01-25-2019 @ 06:26 AM).]

Ace Gladiator
Pleb
posted 01-26-19 01:10 ET (US)     4 / 10       
A blessing here or there is fine, I just didn't want my design strategy to depend on a particular blessing (hence the hypothetical)... but it sounds like that isn't a problem. However, it's good to know that if I wanted to prevent them I could try trolgu's approach. So, can you explain the Venus and festivals thing? I've heard this before, but does it not apply with pop<200? Because I got a Venus blessing at the beginning of my game, but it was at the beginning when mood is locked in. I also think the Neptune blessing suggestion is a good idea.

I didn't realize you could get away with taxes that high (25%) - probably because I usually have a few tents scattered to guarantee labor. I'll factor that into my strategy.

I crunched a few numbers started a new Caesarea. I got a "no-trade" VH block of 15 Grand Insulae up and running without going into debt! As the "trivial" nature of the map dropped the Rome Wages, I kept mine at 38 just to sort of simulate what I might expect on a less-easy map. I guess it's all downhill from there once you have a relatively stable income.

Yes, Lugdunum sounds like it would be quite the challenge being limited to housing without furniture. In my experiment just now, I jumped to Small Insulae first to stabilize before gradually upgrading. I guess on Lugdunum, you just have to live with the limited income. Sounds fun.

EDIT: Does anyone know if there are any Caesar requests in the campaign that REQUIRE an import? If so, maybe I'll allow personal funds within a given level, but they have to be spent before continuing on. The reason for this is to allow sending gifts to Caesar to compensate. I don't know the math or whether this compensation would even be enough.

-------------------------------------------

EDIT: So I decided to try it and see how it goes. BRUNDISIUM was the standard VH challenge: overcoming the 300 population with such a small map. Then towards the end, when it tells you to start a trade route, you can simply ignore it. That map has pottery so it should be possible to create a stable income/wages balance. I didn't bother - I just managed the funds I had until victory conditions.

EDIT: I then played TARENTUM which has no clay. This means that, practically speaking, you can only break even with small casas. With a healthy margin of unemployment, it seems possible to eek out a razor-thin profit but I wasn't expecting to build a prosperous city. It might be possible to go straight for victory conditions with the starting funds, but I wasn't sure (especially considering the needed military defenses). So I decided to try something unconventional by leveraging the <200 population conditions. I made a small stable loop of 13 large hovels, taxed at 25% and no wages. I had just enough extra workers to fullfil Caesar requests and strategically move labor allocation to satisfy a barracks when needed. I had this stable loop with only 600 Dn left, but I had a solid military defense! From here, I just left the game running on 100% speed and waited until my starting funds were recovered (let's just say many many years). Then made a mad dash to get the target population while maintaining 10 prosperity and not going into debt. I won with 500 Dn left and with wages~=taxes! Caesar did request olives, which I ignored. By fulfilling the other requests, had no problem satisfying the favor conditions.

I've counted 5 other campaign maps (more or less) that also don't have clay. This poses an interesting problem when higher population and prosperity are expected. I'm wondering if I need to change my rules like jaroslav80 suggests and allow imports. Still thinking about this. Some additional back-of-the-envelope math suggests that if you carefully maintain 20% unemployment, 38Dn wages, and 25% tax, small casas will render a yearly profit of about 2Dn per square. So it's conceivable that a block with 8 wheat farms could sustain a neighborhood of 2500 people that produces ~300 Dn/year. Not lucrative, but it's better than hovering at <200 population for years on end!

[This message has been edited by Ace Gladiator (edited 01-26-2019 @ 08:23 PM).]

trolgu
Pleb
posted 01-28-19 01:22 ET (US)     5 / 10       
That's an interesting approach
But you will probably get problems with lower starting funds or rising wages.

I got bored with the campaign maps.
As new challenges, I can highly recommend some scenarios (e.g. bihary's).
Ace Gladiator
Pleb
posted 01-28-19 08:27 ET (US)     6 / 10       
I've decided to play with imports allowed. Sure, some levels get easier with this rule, but several others become possible without using strange exploits.

I'm open to playing custom scenarios. I'll get there eventually.

[This message has been edited by Ace Gladiator (edited 01-28-2019 @ 08:30 AM).]

jaroslav80
Pleb
posted 02-01-19 15:05 ET (US)     7 / 10       
A blessing here or there is fine, I just didn't want my design strategy to depend on a particular blessing (hence the hypothetical)... but it sounds like that isn't a problem. However, it's good to know that if I wanted to prevent them I could try trolgu's approach. So, can you explain the Venus and festivals thing? I've heard this before, but does it not apply with pop<200? Because I got a Venus blessing at the beginning of my game, but it was at the beginning when mood is locked in. I also think the Neptune blessing suggestion is a good idea.
Common exploit of blessings is to have minimum number of sets of small temples and everything else about religion to solve using oracles. For repeated blessings god's favor must fall from extalted to displeased (or worse) and then again reach exalted level. One of the easiest ways to reach this is to use "jealousy effect". Oscillate two gods between exalted and displeased, e.g. Neptune and Ceres. For small city 5 small temples, where one god has 2 temples and one god zero. After blessing reached crushing the 2 temples of blessing provider and building it for the angry god with zero temples.

Venus is immune about jealousy - so giving to Venus more temples as to others will stop blessings. In condition of gameplay without festivals.
Festival can make god exalted, but after festival it takes longer time for the god to reach displeased state even if using jealousy effect.
Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 02-01-19 15:55 ET (US)     8 / 10       
After blessing reached crushing the 2 temples of blessing provider and building it for the angry god with zero temples.
Waiting for a blessing risks getting cursed. Build a temple as soon as the god becomes displeased, then build a second temple after the blessing (for the other god).
so giving to Venus more temples as to others will stop blessings. In condition of gameplay without festivals
More temples to Venus will not stop blessings in the first year.

More temples to Venus is not necessary to stop blessings after the first year, just not giving any god more temples than the others. (If a city needs 1 more temple than a multiple of 5, such as 6 or 11, it makes sense to give the extra to Venus if you want to prevent blessings.)
Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 02-01-19 17:14 ET (US)     9 / 10       
I missed the third edit to reply #4.
if you carefully maintain 20% unemployment, 38Dn wages, and 25% tax, small casas will render a yearly profit of about 2Dn per square
With no festivals and a constant 25% tax rate, this shouldn't work. Small casas would be stable only with unemployment below 5%.

If you use mid-month tax manipulation (tax rate is 0 in the middle of every month and 25% at the end of every month), I think this would work.
Ace Gladiator
Pleb
posted 02-02-19 18:36 ET (US)     10 / 10       
Yep, I stand corrected.
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