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Pharaoh: Game Help
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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Pharaoh: Game Help » Baki, the hard way
Topic Subject:Baki, the hard way
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HG Alumnus
posted 06-11-01 23:08 ET (US)         
Baki has been discussed in several threads during the past few months, usually mentioning the difficulty of importing sufficient barley/beer. Some players suggested that a second dock is needed to handle the volume of river trade, at least when all roads in the city are connected. Since I long ago convinced myself that "one efficient dock" could handle a great deal of trade, this was a challenge that I just couldn't forget. I had intended to do all of the Pharaoh missions in order, but have now decided to skip the next 17 missions and try to build Baki "the hard way".

Previously, I have reported only my more successful cities. But now, inspired by VitruviusAIA's courageous example, I will describe my plans for Baki in advance.

But first, a disclaimer. Much of what I say here is subjective. Other people may find some things more or less difficult. Other people may have additional personal rules or not care about mine. This is simply one way that I like to play Pharaoh.

I intend to make a series of replies, starting today with the mission in general, later describing some planning details, and finally (perhaps weeks from now, depending on playing time) reporting on the finished city.

HG Alumnus
posted 06-11-01 23:10 ET (US)     1 / 93       
These are personal rules that I always follow (except in a competition):
* Hard difficulty.
* No cheats (such as free gardens or multiple recruiters).
* No personal funds used. (This makes the economy more challenging and the Kingdom Rating more interesting.)
* The final city is stable without interventions except in response to external events. If demographics didn't change, and barring unlikely events (such as many years of unusually bad floods), the city could run forever.
* All houses are at least ordinary cottages.
* All juggle, music, and dance stages have shows frequently.
* All schools, libraries, mortuaries, and senet houses are supplied most of the time (so far, it's been all of the time in the final city).

The last rule listed (buildings are kept supplied) is not very popular. I looked at many of the Bakis in the Downloads, and quite a few have some non-functional libraries that lack papyrus (or will soon run out), although they still count toward Culture. Hard difficulty level is a major factor, since buildings consume twice as much papyrus, linen, and beer as at Normal difficulty.

In Baki, I'd add the following rules since they wouldn't be a problem:
* No debt and no "bailout".
* 100 Prosperity.
* All houses are at least spacious homesteads.

In addition, the following rules are the inspiration for this effort:
* One dock.
* All roads are connected.

Accepting those rules, how would one build Baki "the easy way"? Population would be little more than the required 10000. To avoid the uncertainty of game meat production when herds are widely separated, many people would eat only figs, produced in both floodplain and meadow farms. Beer and linen consumption would be minimized by making most houses spacious homesteads and by having only 1 senet house and perhaps 2 mortuaries (whose embalmers pass at least 40% of the population). A few estates or several manors would raise Prosperity to 100. The only difficulty would be supplying the 3 libraries and several (perhaps 4) schools, since papyrus would have to be imported (along with the maximum reeds). Since there would be little other river trade (no exports would be necessary, with lots of gold mines), even an inefficient dock should be able to handle it.

But this isn't about "the easy way". To make beer precious, add the following rule:
* All houses are at least residences.

This means that the city will have to purchase most of the 4000 barley/year that Rowarty will sell. Rowarty also sells papyrus, so the dock must be efficient. When the dock is disconnected from much of the city, this would be fairly easy. However, since all roads will be connected, this is difficult.

Unless all libraries and schools are quite close to the dock (not an attractive picture), several extra papyrus-distributing storage yards will be required. I haven't tried it, but I'm assuming that it is possible to make a docker deliver papyrus imports to the closest storage yard (perhaps by always having much more room in that storage yard). If that assumption is wrong, then my Baki will fall apart.

Now comes the fun part. To make a nice city even nicer, add these related rules:
* 100 Culture. (With Cleopatra, Culture will be only 70, since there are no zoos.)
* "Perfect" Health, Education, and Entertainment coverage.
* Every house is passed by a teacher and a librarian.

This greatly increases the papyrus required, with 13 libraries and perhaps 6 schools. Since a library consumes about 480 papyrus/year and a school consumes about 240 papyrus/year, about 7680 papyrus/year would be needed, requiring the opening of a fifth river trade route (besides being a major distribution headache). Thoth's oracle is clearly indicated, since it cuts papyrus consumption by 30% (by 40% at Normal difficulty). A side benefit is Ptah's increase in gold production, which will help pay for all that papyrus. Total papyrus consumption is cut to about 5376/year, of which 1500/year will come from imported reeds. A fifth river trade route will not be necessary, but the dock must be highly efficient, with at least 5 ships/year (preferably 6/year most of the time) from Rowarty. Of course, putting a school and a library in each housing block makes papyrus distribution a little harder.

Buying beer by water would mean the same distribution problem (at a smaller scale) that papyrus causes, so beer will not be imported. Since a senet house consumes around 480 beer/year and there will be roughly 120 houses, there will be only 2 senet houses. This means that there must be precisely 10000 people, since any more would drop Culture to 90.

To avoid buying linen (which can be imported by water), total linen consumption is limited to the 2500 flax per year that Abu will sell. Since a mortuary consumes about 480 linen per year, there could be at most 5 housing blocks. To allow more linen-using houses (up to about 24), there will be only 4 housing blocks.

A few more design constraints could be interesting. Let's add:
* Exports of expensive goods, including copper and jewels by water, to stress the dock even more.
* Lots and lots of gold mining.
* The palace, mansion, festival square, and best houses in the same area.

To produce the copper and jewels for export, one housing block will be on the west bank. To maximize gold production, another (with palace and other good stuff) will be in the northeast. One will support the meadow farming area, and one will support the dock near the ship entrance point. All housing block locations are determined.

Since jewels will be exported, the high-class housing block (in the northeast) will have manors instead of estates. Jewels will be stored near that block as well as near the dock. I haven't tried it, but I'm assuming that it is possible to make a docker get jewel exports from the closest storage yard (perhaps by always having much more jewels in that storage yard). If that assumption is wrong, then (unlike imports) nothing bad will happen--jewels just won't be exported.

One last thing before going into details. This will be a long mission, with an aging workforce. To be nice, add:
* People will not be kicked out of their homes to attract younger immigrants.

Therefore, the amount of scribal housing will be minimized. Hopefully, there will be significant unemployment in the final city, which would allow it to run many extra years.

The Architect
posted 06-12-01 00:31 ET (US)     2 / 93       
Oh, what a grand plan and what a great challenge.

I believe that I followed most, if not all, of your rules in my attempt at Baki. It is a fully connected city and it only has one dock. KR, PR and CR are all 100. All health and entertainment ratings are “perfect”. The BIG difference is that I played on Normal Difficulty.

I just pulled up my download and there are quite a few schools and libraries that are presently without papyrus. But there is over 4000 stored in the city, so it is only a matter of storage yard micromanagement (switching “getting” to “accepting”, etc.) to get them all supplied.

Although I was able to meet my objectives with only one dock, when I went back and replayed the last few years adding a second dock the city really stabilized. The second dock (adjacent to the first) did increase trade.

I will be following this thread, and your progress, with great interest. I’ll be the first to download your Baki when you submit it. I can’t wait to see how you did it (and I know you will).

(Could I make a suggestion? When laying out your city, could you leave room for a second adjacent dock. After you are done with your city, it would be very interesting to add the second dock and compare imports/exports to the one-dock city. Just a thought. )

HG Alumnus
posted 06-12-01 04:01 ET (US)     3 / 93       
Thanks for the comments. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to follow your suggestion, for several reasons:
* I'm leaning toward putting the dock in the location that is closest to the ship entry point, which does not have another possible dock location nearby.
* Even if I put the dock somewhere where another dock fits nearby, I'd want to optimize the dock area (arranging storage yards to minimizing docker travel). It's unlikely that I could do that and allow another dock to be easily added.
* If my Baki works as designed, everything needed will be imported and the desired exports will be maximized, so adding another dock won't help. If it doesn't work, then another dock might help, but I don't like the idea of designing with failure in mind. (This is a game, not real life. )
* As you showed, a second dock can increase trade, but I'd guess that it would help only if the dock area is somewhat inefficient (in this case, with the dock not too far from the ship entry point and only 4 river trade routes open). I need to average around 5 ships/year from each city, which means that ships have to turn around quickly, and if they do then there wouldn't be much delay at a single dock. In other words, if a second dock helps then it won't help enough.
posted 06-12-01 05:43 ET (US)     4 / 93       
I hope you're planning on posting this city in the downloads when you succeed...
The Architect
posted 06-12-01 21:31 ET (US)     5 / 93       
Sorry Brugle, how silly of me. I made that post very late last night and added that suggestion at last minute before I went to bed. Once in bed, I realized that it was a foolish suggestion. If (and I know you will) meet your mission objectives, the second dock would be meaningless. I was going to edit the post when I got up this morning to remove the suggestion, but you had already replied.

Why are you making posts at 04:01 in the morning? Even on the west coast that’s 01:01 a.m.

HG Alumnus
posted 06-12-01 22:26 ET (US)     6 / 93       
Late at night is often the only time I have to play (build cities, check forums, read). But sometimes I choose to sleep.

Enough chat. The next reply is "business".

HG Alumnus
posted 06-12-01 22:27 ET (US)     7 / 93       
So far, housing details have been ignored, except for the number of blocks, the location of each, and the one with manors (not estates). Food must be considered first.

No food will be imported. (The dockers work hard enough!) Figs will be the main food, supplied to all houses, and common residences will eat only figs. Game meat will allow some better houses. Since hunting success can be erratic, especially with herds widely separated, game meat production will be deliberately limited.

I ran an experiment to see if the two breeding grounds near housing blocks (and near the Nile) could each supply 3200 game meat/year. A single hunting lodge was built near each breeding ground. Near each hunting lodge, a storage yard was set to "accept" game meat at the beginning of the year, and was replaced with an empty storage yard (set to "accept" nothing) as soon as it had 3200 game meat. The hunting lodge near the east shore (in the southwest) easily produced 3200 game every year. The hunting lodge near the west shore didn't produce as fast, and once took over a year to fill the storage yard, but also managed to average 3200 game meat/year. I decided to use both hunting locations.

The hunting lodge near the west shore will supply game meat to the luxury housing block in the northeast. The other hunting lodge will supply game meat to its own (southwest) housing block. I played around with various housing arrangements, trying to satisfy these criteria:
* exactly 10000 people
* prosperity "cap" of at least 100
* no more than 3000 game meat/year consumed in the luxury housing block
* no more than 3200 game meat/year consumed in the southwest housing block
* no more than 24 linen-using houses

I was willing to provide services to only certain houses in a block (for example, a priest of a third god that walked by a subset of the manors), but would rather not. Happily, I found a nice arrangement where all of the houses in a given block have the same services, and the only thing that prevents certain houses from evolving is lack of space. The houses will be:
4 stately manors (in the luxury block)
17 fancy residences (in the luxury block)
25 spacious residences (in the southwest block)
73 common residences (in the other two blocks)

The population is 10000 and the prosperity "cap" is 101. The luxury housing block consumes 2964 game meat/year and the southwest block consumes 3000 game meat/year. 21 linen-using houses doesn't leave much room for error, but that's OK since Abu's land traders should easily be able to sell 2500 flax plus some straw every year. To prevent excessive linen consumption in mortuaries, short walks by embalmers will be avoided. Therefore, each housing block will be built around an intersection-free loop that is near the maximum length for guaranteed walker coverage (perhaps 48 road tiles).

The number of common residences in each of the two northwest housing blocks will be decided after designing the nearby industrial areas. One of the blocks will have at least 37 common residences, which is fairly large but not unreasonable.

My Baki consumes 23484 figs/year. Fig production will be described in another post (when I figure it out ).

HG Alumnus
posted 06-13-01 17:19 ET (US)     8 / 93       
I forgot to mention one thing. Even though I've read that Baki isn't attacked, I avoid using "future knowledge". Therefore, add the goal:
* good defense.

Since Baki is so spread out, towers will not be built (except, possibly, for animal control). 6 forts of academy-trained soldiers will be spread around--probably 2 on the west bank and 4 on the east bank. Some troops will be infantry and some will be chariots, but I haven't decided about archers. There will be 1 or 2 or 3 transports.

With 3 housing blocks near the Nile to supply labor access, there are sufficient locations for 6 warships, so 6 will be built.

HG Alumnus
posted 06-13-01 18:00 ET (US)     9 / 93       
Now, the crucial part of Baki's design--the dock area. To maximize river trade potential, the dock will be built as close as possible to the ship entry point (in the northwest). The ferry terminals are placed to minimize the road distance to the copper mines on the west bank.

To maximize dock efficiency, the number of river trade storage yards will be minimized, and none of them will "get" goods. Therefore, all river exports will be delivered to the dock area by producer cart pushers.

My original idea was that extra "getting" storage yards would help distribute imported papyrus (and maybe locally produced papyrus too), but that imported barley, reeds, and wood would be distributed by their storage yards near the dock. This would require that the barley storage yard be close to the breweries, since around 3816 barley/year will be imported. However, I recently realized (as described in this thread) that storage yards that "get" goods that are not consumed in houses generally work better if they are completely filled with another appropriate good (such as figs). Not only do such storage yards deliver twice as much, but dockers could never deliver to them. Papyrus will be delivered this way (of course), but so will barley. This makes the placement of the barley storage yard less critical and allows the breweries to be built at a (small) distance from the dock, simplifying the dock area design.

To compensate for this unexpected simplification, I decided to export bricks by water (to Men-Nefer, which will also buy jewels). Some bricks will be produced for the pyramids anyway, and only a few additional clay pits and brickworks will produce enough to maximize brick exports. (Brick exports will be lower during pyramid construction, but that doesn't bother me.) Abu can easily sell the required straw.

What about exporting gems? That sounds tempting, but not nearly as tempting as bricks. This option will be considered when the west bank is designed.

I played with putting storage yards near the dock, and found an arrangement of 5 storage yards with docker travel distances of 0, 1, 4, 4, and 6 road tiles. A tentative arrangement of storage yard "accept" orders is:
SY at distance 0: all papyrus (or 3/4 papyrus & 1/4 gems, if gems are exported)
SY at distance 1: 1/2 barley & 1/2 copper (or perhaps 3/4 barley & 1/4 copper)
SY at distance 4: 1/4 reeds & 3/4 luxury goods
SY at distance 4: 1/4 wood & 3/4 bricks
SY at distance 6: all limestone

Excess jewels (luxury goods) will be stored, since there will be a "get 1/4" luxury goods storage yard near the luxury housing block (in the northeast), and the "export over" number for luxury goods will be set high enough so dockers always get jewels from the nearby storage yard. Hopefully, the storage for limestone and bricks is enough for pyramid construction to use the maximum limestone imports.

I experimented with copper production on the west bank, which is determined by copper cart pusher travel times, which vary slightly due to the ferry crossing. 6 copper mines produced around 2500 copper/year. 7 will probably be built, since ships often buy somewhat more than the maximum amount.

The dock area housing block will be placed so its northern corner touches the road to the dock around 15 tiles from the road's end. With no non-roadblocked intersections, all buildings on the road should have good labor access. A loop road with all of the work camps will extend southwest from the southern corner of the housing block. The housing block could be put a little closer to the dock, but I wanted the work camps to be close to the floodplain farms. (The work camps won't be as close to the farms as I'd like, but fig production should still be more than enough.)

The shipwright will be on the road between the dock area and the ferry terminal. Along that road seems like a good place for the clay pits. The housing block will fit between the clay pits and the nearby sand dunes. But is there room for a full-sized housing block (with 2 pavilions and senet house) plus everything else that would logically go nearby (granaries, pottery and beer storage yards, pyramids, various construction guilds, papyrus makers, chariot maker, recruiter, potters, brickworks, straw and flax storage yards (since Abu sells both), weavers, papyrus distribution storage yards, barley distribution storage yard, breweries)? Some of those things could be moved elsewhere, if necessary. We'll see.

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 06-14-01 18:23 ET (US)     10 / 93       
Just a much deserved bump. This is a great thread, Brugle. Especially as Baki is coming up for me again as well.

A Tale in the Desert
Flogging will continue until morale improves.
HG Alumnus
posted 06-14-01 21:04 ET (US)     11 / 93       
Not much to report today, mainly some industrial design. Also, I decided to export gems, unless there's a worker shortage. (I expect unemployment, but that's just a guess.) Gem sales will be less than the maximum.

Ptah's temple complex was chosen to get the papyrus consumption reduction from Thoth's Oracle. But the production increase from the complex and from Amon's Altar will be quite helpful (for gold mines, sandstone quarries, clay pits, brickworks, jewelers, gem mines to some extent, and weavers slightly). Note: all calculations use data from Nerdicus's classic Musings on Production and Walker Speeds thread.

On the west bank, a 48 tile loop road will touch some houses on the southwest side of the housing block, 7 copper mines, and 5 gem mines (and a hunting lodge and storage yards and maybe other things, but that's another story ). Another 2 gem mines will be added on a dead-end road that touches houses near the west corner of the block. (One more gem mine is possible, but the road network would be complicated.) 4 or 5 jewelers will be fairly close to the ferry terminal, at the maximum distance from the most distant gem mine that permits full gem production. Production by jewelers will be limited by cart pusher travel time to the storage yard near the dock, which is somewhat uncertain due to the ferry crossing. 4 jewelers at 85% efficiency (just a guess) would produce 96 jewels/year for local consumption plus 2742 jewels/year for export, but a 5th jeweler will be built if necessary to maximize jewel exports.

In the northeast there will be 13 gold mines. (As with gem mines, more are possible, but with considerable difficulty.) Some mines will be on a "U" road around the palace that touches houses on the southeast side of the luxury housing block, and some will be on a loop road touching houses near the east corner of the block (with a small roadblocked short-cut to allow full production in the most distant mine). Gold production should be 20800/year. Yum!

Since all of the mining sites on the west bank are occupied by copper and gem mines, sandstone will be quarried in the northeast near the gold mines. (I might have decided to do this anyway, since the Mausoleum should look good near the other "city center" buildings.) This will mean a long walk for laborers going to the sandstone storage yard near the quarries and for stone masons going to the Mausoleum, but with plenty of sandstone production the Mausoleum will hopefully be finished before the pyramids (which are limited by limestone imports). 2 quarries might be enough, but I'll build 3, which should produce 48 sandstone/year.

Brickworks, clay pits, and potters will be fairly close to the dock area, but I haven't decided on their exact locations yet. 4 brickworks should produce 3339 bricks/year for pyramid construction and export. 8 potters should produce 2856 pottery/year for local consumption plus 1661 for export (the excess would be sold if Ra gives his extra trade blessing). 7 clay pits should produce slightly more than enough clay for the brickworks and potters.

The pyramids should fit nicely to the east of the dock. Traders approaching the city (by land or sea) should see the pyramids, and caravans leaving should see the Mausoleum. I like that.

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 06-14-2001 @ 09:34 PM).]

HG Alumnus
posted 06-15-01 19:28 ET (US)     12 / 93       
Even less to report today (probably the last for a couple of days...real life intrudes again). But there are 2 corrections.

First, 15 (not 13) gold mines will be built, producing 24000 (not 20800) gold/year. I didn't edit the previous post, preferring to keep an accurate record of my plans.

Second, I glibly said that Abu could easily sell the required flax and straw. To make sure that 2500 flax can be imported each year (plus straw that averages 835/year but will vary), at least 5 (preferably 6) caravans from Abu must arrive at storage yards each year. With all roads connected (including the "Kingdom Road"), caravans take longer to pass through the city. Ignoring land trade efficiency could be disasterous. (Well, maybe not disasterous, but Culture, population, and Prosperity could fall if mortuaries stop functioning.)

To minimize caravan travel time, all of Abu's trade should be conducted close together, at a location that is near the direct route through the city. Storage yards will contain pottery (export), straw (import), and flax (import). The pottery storage yard there will be closer than any other to the entry point, and it will always contain plenty of pottery (ensured by setting the "export over" number for pottery high enough). Tentatively, there will be 2 storage yards, one that is all flax and one that is 1/4 straw and 3/4 pottery. If necessary, another storage yard (full of figs and set to "get" straw) will help deliver straw, which would permit the "Abu trade area" to be far from the brickworks.

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 06-16-2001 @ 04:15 PM).]

HG Alumnus
posted 06-21-01 00:44 ET (US)     13 / 93       
Due to popular demand (1 request ), here's another report. The mix of housing was changed somewhat, but first an explanation (and an example of the hazard in changing requirements during design).

I decided to finish planning the luxury (east) housing block. One decision was to keep things simple, by making its bazaar buyers go a long distance instead of using "getting" storage yards. The "Abu Trade Area" will be on a loop to the east of the dock area housing block, with a slighly different arrangement of 3 close-together storage yards: one 3/4 pottery and "getting" 1/4 luxury goods, one 1/2 beer and 1/4 linen and 1/4 straw, and one all flax. The first 2 of those storage yards plus 2 granaries (mostly figs but also "getting" game meat) will be at the southeast end of the loop, barely within the 39-tile range of 2 bazaars at the northwest end of the luxury housing block. (Bazaars in the dock area housing block will obtain pottery and beer from the same storage yards but will obtain food from 3 nearby all-fig granaries.) Since there will not be a loop to the west of the luxury housing block, pavilions there would have to be close enough to the loop within the block to get fire protection (to avoid building another firehouse).

I played around for several hours, and finally came up with a plan that I liked a lot. A rectangular 48-tile loop road has its long direction running northwest-southeast, parallel to the Kingdom Road in that area. Ptah's temple complex, aligned the same way, fits nicely between the loop and the Kingdom Road, with its northeast (long) side touching the loop. The mausoleum, aligned the same way, is on the other side of the Kingdom road. (Before leaving the city, caravans will go through a highly decorated area, passing between the temple complex and the mausoleum, across the festival square, and near the mansion.) With the temple complex taking up a lot of real estate on the loop, there isn't much spare room, but I managed to squeeze in everything required (with an extra pavilion touching the mansion and festival square and 2 manors, and some extra booths scattered around).

Then, to my horror, I realized that the luxury block plan had no extra libraries. With only the 4 required libraries in the housing blocks, the city would have 9 extra libraries, and it wouldn't look good to put them all near the dock (although it would make distributing papyrus easier). A library could be added just outside of the luxury block loop, but I had two objections: another firehouse would be needed, and it just seemed better for most librarians to pass a fair number of houses. I eventually decided that each housing block will have 2 "integral" libraries, with 5 extra libraries city-wide (which didn't seem too many to scatter around near the dock area).

Therefore, every house will be passed by at least 2 librarians. This is consistent with a previous decision to have a senet house "integral" in 2 housing blocks (the luxury block and the dock area block), giving around half of the people access to all 4 types of entertainment (and everyone else access to 3 types). Unfortunately, I didn't immediately realize the serious consequences.

So I had to put another library in the luxury housing block. I considered several approaches, including getting rid of the extra pavilion (no--it looks so good!), and decided to rotate the temple complex so the short end touches the loop. The Kingdom Road would be rerouted (no problem) and the mausoleum built somewhat farther away. I redid the beautification, but (although I liked the mansion area better) it didn't appeal to me nearly as much as the previous plan.

With the luxury housing block completed (again!), I returned to the dock area, and worked on several things, including the "Abu Trade Area" and the beer, clay, pottery, and brick industries (to be described in a later post). The dock area housing block plan was slightly changed several times. Eventually, it dawned on me that the block should contain more houses, so the 48-tile loop road was changed from a rectangle to a rectangle with 2 "kinks", which added 2 houses but made it harder to get sufficient desirability (especially with the shipwright and some workshops nearby). Then, for quite a while, I considered how many common residences would fit in the two 48-tile loop housing blocks in the northwest, when each has 2 libraries, each has 2 bazaars, and one has a senet house. The answer (given how I build blocks): 72, when 73 are required!

What to do? Make the loop longer than 48 tiles? No--market traders might not always circle the loop. Create a new housing block design (with more kinks) for the west bank? No--even if that was possible, I didn't want to face desirability problems near a bunch of mines. Use only 1 bazaar in the west bank block? No--it might work, but I didn't want to take the chance that it might not. Eliminate the requirement of 2 libraries in each block? No--too defeatest. Eliminate the requirement of a senet house in the dock area block? No--putting the senet house in the southwest housing block would mean harder beer delivery, but I might have done it if I hadn't found a better solution. Build fewer common residences? Yes!

Consider changing 2 common residences plus 1 fancy residence into 3 spacious residences. The population remains the same and the prosperity "cap" rises slightly. There is plenty of room (only 25 spacious residences) in the southwest housing block, but will the hunting lodge there catch enough additional game meat? I repeated the earlier game meat experiments, but this time took 4000 game meat/year from the east bank. Even with the higher quota, the east bank lodge seemed to have less trouble than the west bank lodge (that was still catching 3200 game meat/year). People in 6 spacious residences would consume 720 game meat/year, so I decided to build them instead of 4 common residences plus 2 fancy residences.

The new housing arrangement is:
4 stately manors (in the luxury block)
15 fancy residences (in the luxury block)
31 spacious residences (in the southwest block)
69 common residences (in the other two blocks)

The population is still 10000 and the prosperity "cap" is 102. The luxury housing block consumes less game meat (2700/year) and the southwest block consumes more (3720/year). With only 19 linen-using houses, consumption is down slightly (456/year plus linen used in 4 mortuaries). There is no change in pottery or beer (2856/year plus beer used in 2 senet houses). Fig consumption is down somewhat (22980/year).

With 4 less common residences required, the housing block on the west bank should be easy to design. The extra room could be used to enhance desirability in key places or to add extra buildings (such as a school).

And now, this post returns to its starting point. With 2 fewer fancy residences, the first luxury housing block plan is easily modified to include an extra library. I'm glad to return to the better plan, but the only thing salvaged from the entire rotated temple complex redesign effort was some beautification around the mansion. D'oh!

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 06-21-2001 @ 01:22 AM).]

posted 06-21-01 02:19 ET (US)     14 / 93       
Hi Brugle,
nice to see you trying to go beyond the point.
I just uploaded my last Baki (My-Baki, just before winning, it just misses some libraries). I added for comments that my Baki is an obvious evidence of still ill-designed blocks. In the next game (Tryhard, 06/18/2001, Hetep-35000population, V.Hard), I managed to go beyond two of my (your) limits:
- papyrus delivery
- stable palatial estates remaining all time long with 200 residents (minus rare accidents)
- libraries and scribal schools burning as little as possible.

To me, last point seems totally utopic. Quoting you: "A city that would last forever being unattended" is to me simply impossible because of this very problem. Pavilion-Ts are the source of the trouble. But I could manage to live on a libray/school burning every 3-4 years.

Sth like one year or so ago, I begged in a forum a totally unknown fellow named "Baltic" (jokin') how to build the best estates, I had never seen them before. Well, thanks to him, I managed to do a bit better since then.
Some days ago, I mailed sincere thanks to him, with the sole reserve that he is still carrying on with the idea that one dock is enough.
You bunch of masochists, stop kidding! Increasing the number of docks increases the flow of boats coming (you mentionned sth about the big potential use of two cart pushers?). When you are dealing with two-three goods, you can set your dock in "a strategic point". That's OK. What about you relying on six or more commercial routes and six or more key imported commodities? And the need for you to get from one city both its 2500 beer and its 1500 meat.
Sure, when you rely on a population limited to statistical and unattended trade, what you say about one dock is fair. Well beyond that, in my Hetep city, I spent the last 20 years following my caravans on a minute-by-minute basis, with everything else nearly unattended.

Went through your goals for Baki. They are mine too, for a new and even better Hetep. As VitruviusAIA replied to you, your goals are, well, just what needs to be done (kind of arrogance from me, needed two years to reach this point).

I will try not to kill off my population in my new Hetep, too. I am already sweating rivers thinking of the inevitable labour shortages.

Thanks to you all, the Pharaoh-Commando Team.

C Franziskus
posted 06-21-01 10:23 ET (US)     15 / 93       

I 'heard' that...

HG Alumnus
posted 06-21-01 20:18 ET (US)     16 / 93       

I don't consider a city stable if any house devolves (and don't know what you call an "accident"). In my mind, once a city stabilizes the population should never change.

I usually have no fires and no collapses. (Now and then, when starting a mission, I wait too long to build a planned firehouse or architect post, and pay the price.) My completed cities typically will run forever without micromanagement, except that changing demographics eventually leads to labor shortages. If you download any of my non-contest cities and let them run, there will probably be no fires and no collapses as long as Infrastructure is fully staffed (and no disease and no malaria as long as Health is fully staffed).

Yes, the intersections in pavilions and bandstands are hard to handle. Pharaoh does have some challenges.

When importing (or exporting) the maximum amount of goods from a river trade city (as in my Baki, importing barley and papyrus from Rowarty), one efficient dock should be best. Ships clearly take longer to "turn around" when they have to visit multiple docks. Multiple docks may be useful either when the docks are inefficient or when trading by river with too many cities for a single dock to handle. (I don't know how many river trade cities one efficient dock can handle--certainly 4, possibly several more.)

Sometimes I micromanage trade, but I don't plan to do it in Baki. I feel that a well-designed city should run by itself.

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 06-21-2001 @ 08:19 PM).]

posted 06-22-01 07:27 ET (US)     17 / 93       
To Brugle,
Very good point to you for the merchant ships to visit every dock even when fully loaded/unloaded. Thought first I was perhaps too fast on posting my "bla,bla,bla" reply.
No, finally, no. Let us agree it on two docks.

Key point, as once again pointed out by you, is the vital importance of trade according to the city size and the philosophy about going well beyong the game population limit.
One fellow here recently said he was aiming now at realistic historical cities, meaning small ones. Historical heresy. Though Thebes, Lutecia (Paris), Athens were probably 20,000-50,000 at their best, Rome, Technochtilan (Mexico), Babylon and many others were well above 200,000 B.C., some likely to have reached the million.

History and archaelogy seem to tell us that medical plagues started to spread in Europe mostly with Central Asia invasions, so after 400 B.C., along with frequent mass slaughters.
Bodies analysis shows for sure that these ancients were on the average reaching higher ages than Cleopatra's contemporaries. It also says that lifespan was higher in isolated kingdoms (the recent food-and-mouth disease makes it obvious why).

I do not believe in forever whatever (libraries never burning). Will right now download your last Baki.

Defender Of The Faith

The thing with tryhard is you can never tell if he's writing a gay erotica on purpose or not - Jax
posted 06-22-01 07:34 ET (US)     18 / 93       
No Baki uploaded from your side, Brugle?
HG Alumnus
posted 06-22-01 16:05 ET (US)     19 / 93       

As I said in the first paragraph of the opening post, I haven't built Baki (or the 16 preceding cities). This thread is a description (longer than I originally expected ) of its design and (eventual) construction. I had been doing all Pharaoh cities in order, with Rostja next, but decided to jump ahead. If you want to download one of my cities with a lot of non-burning libraries (6) for the population (4796), try On.

I certainly don't mean to say that there's something inherently better about a single dock, fire prevention, or anything else that I plan to do. It is simply a way that I have chosen to play (and suspect would interest some other people, since I am describing it here). If you prefer to increase the population or let a library burn down every few years, that's fine. Perhaps you'd like to comment in VitruviusAIA's Advanced Rules for Pharaoh thread.

I will not agree on 2 docks. In some situations multiple docks may be good, but not in Baki as I'm building it.

My Baki needs to import around 3900 (out of 4000) barley and perhaps 2000 (out of 2500) papyrus from Rowarty each year. To make sure (without micromanagement) that enough barley is bought even in years when the maximum papyrus is bought from Rowarty, there should be 6 ships from Rowarty in most years. Therefore, all ships need to enter, trade, and leave quickly.

Multiple docks obviously increase the travel distance for ships. Multiple docks might decrease the waiting time at docks, depending on dock efficiency, distance from the ship entry point, number of river trade routes, and maybe other things. But in my Baki, the dock will be highly efficient and close to the ship entry point. If 2 close-together docks could be put in the same place, they might turn ships around as quickly, but they can't be put there. In Baki, 2 close-together docks would be considerably farther from the ship entry point, and I highly doubt that they would work as well as the planned single dock.

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 06-22-2001 @ 04:11 PM).]

posted 06-22-01 18:34 ET (US)     20 / 93       
Hi once again Brugle,
Thanks for having adressed me to the VitruviusAIA rules. My very comment would be that my first goal was to win a game to see the next one. That is done, so, like you, I am redoing it with better organized cities: naturally, my objectives tend to fit more and more VitruviusAIA's rules.
Most of his points would be subject to polemics. To me, the dilemma when arguing in this forum is: do I have to behave only as game player, or as a Pharaoh-role-game player? I think the software player is progressively turning into playing as a local leader. An a kind of arbitrary one (Ramses?). I thought it funny to feel really some humility while playing a Pharaoh's aide, while I can express my intrinsic megalomania since the New Kingdom. Some king of empathy.
Vitruvius AIA's rules are very aesthetic. I am more pragmatic. But I try my best to obey the most difficult point: incorporate all leisure places into inhabited areas.

I am an History fan: I probably read thousands of history books in the past 20 years. Even wrote some. I believe that VitruviusAIA's rules would suit the incarnation of one leader of the great Babylon or Sumer, rather than an Egyptian one. One evidence is to try to "reach a culture rating of 100", even when not requested. Political regimes were theocraties then. I promise you most egyptian rulers cared very little of everybody having access to culture, contrarily to philosopher in Athens. But this is philosophy...

Nice bunch of professionals amongst you anyway.

A writer told me some weeks ago:
"Philosophy is not the science of The Wisdom, it is the science of The Evolution of The Wisdom"

HG Alumnus
posted 06-22-01 19:39 ET (US)     21 / 93       

A serious mistake is described in the last paragraph, but to keep things in the proper order, I'll first report on some industrial design around the dock area. It could change slightly, since I'm not pleased with my tentative placement of pavilions, which affect industrial roads around the housing block.

Weavers will be built near the imported flax storage yard in the "Abu trade area" (on the southeast end of a loop extending southeast from the east corner of the dock area housing block). Most of the linen will be used by mortuaries, and most linen production will be limited by the delivery time to mortuaries. Estimating the ferry crossing delay and the location of mortuaries in blocks not yet designed, around 6.2 weavers seem to be required, so 7 will be built. (In case the estimate is wrong, it will be possible to add at least 1 more weaver, by putting an extra library in another location.)

Breweries will be on the same loop as the weavers but at the northwest end. Most beer is consumed by houses or the nearby senet house, but the senet house in the luxury housing block is distant enough to somewhat limit beer production, requiring an extra brewery. There will be 8 breweries and 1 storage yard (full of figs) to deliver barley that it "gets" from a storage yard by the dock.

7 clay pits will be west of the dock area housing block (and south of the ferry crossing), near 2 warship wharves and 2 transport wharves. 4 brickworks will be scattered nearby, delivering to a storage yard near the dock. A storage yard will "get 1/4" straw (from a storage yard in the "Abu trade area") and deliver it to the brickworks, and will have 3/4 empty space. (I try to have extra storage yard space in various places--here it would be useful if the city receives a request for clay.) 8 potters will be on the northeast end of the loop (that will have workcamps on the southwest end) extending southwest from the southern corner of the dock area housing block, and will deliver to a storage yard in the "Abu trade area". Deliveries are short enough for maximum clay, brick, and pottery production, except for a couple of extra tiles between the farthest apart clay pits and potters, which is OK since there's a slight excess of clay.

Between the brickworks and the dock area (and between the housing block and the Nile) will be the shipwright, recruiter, probably 2 storage yards for weapons and chariots, and around 4 papyrus makers. It's hard to estimate the production of a papyrus maker, since most papyrus will be imported and distributed by storage yards. If papyrus makers delivered only to a storage yard near the dock, then 3 would be enough for 1500 imported reeds/year. If papyrus makers only delivered to the most distant libraries and schools, then around 9 would be required. I'll leave space for at least 8 papyrus makers. It should be OK to produce a little less than 1500 papyrus/year and import a little more, but only a little.

What is left to fit around the dock area housing block (besides pavilions and related finishing touches)? Some more papyrus makers, 3 all-fig granaries, 1 chariot maker, 1 carpenter guild, 1-2 bricklayer guilds, a few stonemason guilds, some extra libraries, 1-2 extra schools, maybe the academy (it could go anywhere, but I like to put it close to the recruiter), and a lot of storage yards (full of figs) to distribute papyrus. (I hope I didn't forget anything!) I haven't estimated how many papyrus-delivering storage yards will be needed (it's difficult), and there'd better be enough.

Here's the mistake. A Pharaoh bazaar buyer leaves to get more of a non-food good when its stock drops below 100 (or maybe 101). But I had been designing Baki under the assumption that she leaves when the stock drops below 200! Using the incorrect assumption, I thought that 2 bazaars was enough (in the worst case) to guarantee supplies to the luxury housing block from storage yards in the "Abu trade area". As when I redesigned the luxury housing block before, there are several possible fixes, but all are displeasing in some way. Back to the drawing board.

HG Alumnus
posted 06-25-01 03:27 ET (US)     22 / 93       
Finally, the plans for the luxury housing block and the dock area appear to be finished, but I've thought that before.

To fit in an extra 2 bazaars (4 total, each distributing one non-food good) into the luxury housing block, Ptah's temple complex was rotated, as in the previous redesign. However, this time the temple complex was moved from between the mausoleum and the rest of the housing block to just past the end of the mausoleum, so the mausoleum didn't have to be moved farther away from the block. That leaves roughly the same amount of empty space to fill (mainly with gardens), but (in my opinion) appears more compact.

The dock area housing block has 34 common residences. Surrounding it in (what look to me like) reasonable places are 4 extra libraries and 2 extra schools, leaving just 1 extra library somewhere (since each housing block has 2 libraries and 1 school, and assuming that 6 total schools will be enough). I won't bore anyone who has the patience to read this far with the industrial details, except that fairly close to the dock are 8 "getting" storage yards (filled with figs) to distribute papyrus. I'd expect that an average of 1 "getting" cart pusher for each library or 2 schools would be enough, and if it's not then that'll just be something fun to deal with while waiting for limestone imports. There is space for around 3 more storage yards (depending on the number of work camps, guilds, etc) around the housing block but not close to the dock. (The last extra library could be in one of those spaces, but I think it'd look better elsewhere.)

What's left to design? Floodplain farms, the southwest housing block with its meadow farms, and the west bank block with its industries. I'll probably tackle the west bank next, since I've thought more about it.

The west bank housing block has 35 common residences, 1 more than the dock area housing block. However, it should be easier to design, because it doesn't have a senet house, won't be built against sand dunes, and has less stuff to support.

I had intended to have 14 copper and gem mines (on a 48 tile loop road and another short road), with their labor-supplying housing away from the undesirable mines. However, with closer houses, 15 mines can be similarly supported. (16 mines could be built, but supporting them would be considerably more complex.) The lure of more gem exports is hard to resist, so I expect to have 7 copper mines and 8 gem mines. But, if providing a neighborhood that is decent enough for common residences turns out to be difficult, I may go back to the previous plan.

Along with mines, the west bank should have 4-5 jewelers, probably 2 weaponsmiths, 3 all-fig granaries, a hunting lodge (catching game meat for the luxury housing block), 2 storage yards (each set to "accept 3/4" game meat and "get 1/4" of either pottery or beer), a warship wharf, the final extra library, and space for another storage yard (in case the city receives a request for copper or gems). I'll discuss entertainment in another post.

HG Alumnus
posted 06-25-01 05:21 ET (US)     23 / 93       
Entertainment has been considered during my Baki's design, but I forgot to discuss it before now.

With 10000 people, "perfect" city-wide entertainment (ignoring zoos) requires these venues:
2 senet houses,
9 pavilions,
6 bandstands,
10 booths.

The two housing blocks designed so far have used 2 senet houses, 5 pavilions, 1 bandstand, and 6 booths. Each of the other two housing blocks will use 2 pavilions, and it shouldn't be hard to squeeze the remaining booths in somewhere, but a lot of bandstands remain. The southwest housing block has fewer houses than the other non-luxury blocks, so I've assumed that several bandstands could fit there. However, it would be nice to efficiently use 2 bandstands on the west bank, and I'll try.

Since I haven't yet built a city with anything like this much spread-out entertainment, I may not know some of the problems. I recently realized a potential entertainment problem with my housing block style.

Each of the four housing blocks is built around an intersection-free loop road. Dance, music, and (in some cases) juggler coverage is supplied to most houses by entertainers walking from their school to one of two pavilions. The entertainers join the loop at one point, walk almost halfway around (in either direction), and leave the loop to enter a pavilion.

I don't know the algorithm that an entertainer uses to choose a venue when leaving its school. Some venues are ignored until they have no shows. When a venue has no shows, then schools from all over the map may send entertainers to that venue. The combination of those two effects could create a problem.

If entertainers from a distant school go to a pavilion, the pavilion may have shows for a long time. During that time, the local schools may not send entertainers to the pavilion. If the entertainers from the distant school go directly to the pavilion (without passing by the appropriate houses), and if local schools ignore the pavilion for a long enough time, then some houses may lose dance, musician, and (in some cases) juggler coverage.

Actually, the distances involved may be short enough to prevent the problem, but I don't know enough to calculate the worst case. While I'd consider it a flaw if any houses ever lacked dance, music, or juggler coverage (or if the houses that had senet coverage ever lost it), I will allow for the possibility.

The southwest and west bank housing blocks will be designed so that entertainers coming from distant schools will enter the loop in the same place as locally-generated entertainers. Houses in those blocks will never lose their planned entertainment coverage. It would have been nice to design the other two blocks in the same way, but that would have been difficult (not as difficult for the luxury (east) housing block, but it either would have been less efficient or wouldn't have looked as nice).

The dock area and luxury housing blocks each have a senet house. Residences in those blocks have sufficient entertainment to not devolve even if all other entertainment coverage is lost. All 4 villas in the luxury housing block are covered by entertainers generated by pavilions, so they will always have all (non-Cleopatra) entertainment coverage.

By the way, another personal rule of mine is to put every booth on an intersection. (In other words, no "trimming" the side road after building a booth.) I don't really know why I do this--it just seems right. In some past cities I've built booths with a single roadblock for a side road, but the plan for Baki is to put all booths on "real" intersections.

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 06-25-2001 @ 05:31 AM).]

HG Alumnus
posted 06-26-01 15:12 ET (US)     24 / 93       
The west bank design went well, with one dominant issue--making the neighborhood near the mines a decent place to live. One of the houses is affected by 6 mines, with a desirability effect of -48! (The exclamation point is for emphasis, not the factorial function.) For positive desirability, that area has shrines, plazas, shrines, a few medium and large statues, shrines, a bazaar, shrines, the water supply, and shrines. The medium statues could be replaced by shrines, but I thought that the residents might get a bit tired of religion.

Everything hoped for the west bank (including 2 pavilions and 2 bandstands, but no booths) fit. Building the houses somewhat closer to the mines meant that a 2nd warship wharf could be supplied with labor, so the southwest housing block will need to support only 2 warships. The jewelers were moved closer to the mines to increase total gem production somewhat, but that decreases each jeweler's production, so 6 jewelers are planned (although fewer will be built if they are sufficient to maximize jewel exports--the ferry crossing causes uncertainty).

It seems like every decision I make increases the number of workers. I hope there are enough.

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 06-26-2001 @ 03:14 PM).]

HG Alumnus
posted 06-26-01 19:18 ET (US)     25 / 93       
Now to plan fig production. The floodplain, being less predictable, is considered first.

Rather than conservatively estimating, I decided to test, and I'm glad I did, for it revealed a game limitation that I didn't know (but probably should've guessed). As described in this thread, floodplain farms that are too far from workcamps won't get laborers. The workcamps were on a 48-tile loop road extending southwest from the south corner of the dock area housing block, and 5 farms on the large floodplain crescent were just 1 tile too far from the closest 2 workcamps to get laborers. The 2 floodplain farms just over the bridge in the southwest were even more distant. (I immediately gave up the idea of running a long road to some scattered floodplain farms in the east.)

1-2 work camps near the southwest housing block could supply those farms. However, construction laborers from those work camps would have a long journey to building material storage yards, so I preferred to find another solution.

I tried moving the work camps' loop 1 tile to the southwest (putting a 1-tile gap between the loop and houses), but some buildings frequently had poor labor access. Perhaps the labor access would be better when those houses held more people, but I don't know and didn't want to chance it. (I never saw any of those buildings actually lose labor access, but I consider poor labor access a flaw.)

The obvious solution is to make the work camps' loop longer. However, I'd previously noticed that on a longer loop (with a few houses at one point), some buildings may have poor labor access. This occurs because the points at which a labor-seeker exits and enters his building are often not the same, so when he finishes the "random" part of the walk he may return the way he came (instead of continuing around the loop), perhaps missing the houses entirely. A loop longer than 48 road tiles (or even shorter for large buildings) is a risk.

Then it hit me! With the houses at the northeast end of the loop, if a labor-seeker returned the way he came because of the difference between entry and exit points, then (due to the pattern of entry and exit points, see this thread) he would always go by the houses, so the margin of error could be eliminated. And, in my arrangement, there was at least 1 tile difference between the entry and exit points, allowing the loop to be still longer. I decided to make the work camps' loop 52 road tiles (which would be asking for trouble in the general case), putting 4 work camps in range of all crescent floodplain farms. (The over-the-bridge floodplain farms were eliminated.) There are 27 floodplain fig farms, all irrigated.

First I compared using 4, 8, or 12 work camps. The differences were less than expected--the poorest irrigated floodplain farms would produce more than the same workers in extra work camps. However, too few work camps might slow down monument construction. (I don't know how mausoleum and pyramid construction will interact, so I don't want to cut things too close.) Tentatively, I decided to use 8 work camps.

With 8 work camps, one floodplain harvest was:
Over 18000 figs after a mediocre or better flood,
About 16000 figs after a poor flood that followed a mediocre or better flood,
About 12000 figs after no flood that followed a mediocre or better flood,
About 10000 figs after no flood that followed a poor flood that followed a mediocre or better flood,
Under 7000 figs after no flood that followed no flood that followed a mediocre or better flood.

A 10-year period had 3 mediocre or better floods, 3 poor floods, and 4 no floods. I think this was unusually bad (it was followed by 5 years of mediocre or better floods), but it still averaged over 14700 figs/year. Since the final city will consume 22980 figs/year, if the meadow farms produce around 10000 figs/year then my Baki should have plenty of food, unless there's an extreme series of terrible floods. (Granaries store over 1 year's worth of figs, and houses stock at least 2 years worth.)

Time for a meadow farm "reality check". In the southwest, I quickly placed a grid of meadow farms, irrigation ditches, and roads that extended at most 15 tiles from houses (that could be part of a housing block with the desired features). There was nothing fancy--I tried only to have a lot of farms, not to maximize their production. I checked the fertility of each farm (adding 40 for irrigation) and, using the classic Farm production rates thread, calculated meadow fig production to be around 18000/year, far more than needed. Since the farms closest to the housing block had low fertility, they will be eliminated and the block moved a few tiles to the northeast. (Naturally, I'll play with farm positions a little, trying to maximize production and minimize workers.)

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