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Pharaoh: Game Help
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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Pharaoh: Game Help » Do hard and very hard do much more besides slow you down?
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Topic Subject:Do hard and very hard do much more besides slow you down?
TheBuilder
Pleb
posted 01-09-19 20:03 ET (US)         
As I've gotten back into the game I decided to give very hard a try on several missions where military is unnecessary or minimal. Adjusting to tougher desirability requirements and so forth didn't really phase me too much. I found that it didn't really change how I play the game much, other than slowing me down somewhat due to needing more debens, which I don't necessarily perceive as an increase in difficulty. Is this what others find as well? Perhaps the thing for me to do would be to customize the VH difficulty file with normal build prices and leave everything else.
AuthorReplies:
Slingshotmo
Pleb
posted 01-10-19 07:50 ET (US)     1 / 27       
If you ignore military missions, it's very hard to be defeated on Pharaoh, so in essence, yes, all that higher difficulty does is slow you down.

I haven't played on Hard, I went from Normal to VH, so I don't know how H->VH feels, but with things being more expensive, gods requiring more temples/shrines, desirability, entertainment covering less, houses needing more to evolve in later stages and so on, it requires you to perfect the way you do things. The gamestyle I used on Normal was the same as on VH, but often I had to go in-depth on how many industry buildings I need etc, simply because money is tight. Buildings costing more is the biggest difference maker imo.

If we include military missions, there's a world of difference in how you play.
evil_live_vile
Pleb
posted 01-10-19 15:46 ET (US)     2 / 27       
I would agree that, if you designed a map which would work at VHard, than yes, other difficulties wouldn't do much more than speed up the completion (by this I mean the build, not the map and win-conditions, which are often limited by monuments that do not, inter alia, speed up relative to difficulty).

However, I'd say the better way to view difficulties is, like most games, mistakes are less forgiving. Money is tighter so you have less flexibility. Design flaws are more likely to be caught out. You can build a housing block that works on VHard and it will work on all difficulties. But at Normal or Hard, you could build a block which works at that difficulty but not on VHard due to the increased fire/disease/malaria risk.

Also, the changes in Culture requirements can need noticeably more buildings and more employees, especially when high ratings are needed.

I'd say that the gap in difficulty between Hard-VHard feels about the same as going from VEasy-Easy or Easy-Hard. Going from Easy-Normal or Normal-Hard doesn't present as much of a change as the other difficulty gaps do.

If you are good enough to play VHard, try not to just complete the map but add your own challenges too like large populations, high Culture, fast completion or lots of scribal housing. When you start playing around and finding your own personal challenges you like, you'll find yourself pushing maps to the limits and then that's when the difficulty changes become more apparent.

Eagles may soar, but weasels do not get sucked into jet engines
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, Proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too

[This message has been edited by evil_live_vile (edited 01-10-2019 @ 03:53 PM).]

Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 01-10-19 16:27 ET (US)     3 / 27       
Slingshotmo said much of what I wanted to say. I was about ready to submit a reply, but then saw that evil_live_vile had covered most of them. The only thing left:
If we include military missions, there's a world of difference in how you play.
My military play didn't change much at all when I switched to Very Hard. I did come much closer to losing a few missions, but that may have been because I switched before the military missions became difficult. (I still have quite a few left to play, mainly the Cleopatra missions.)

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 01-10-2019 @ 04:30 PM).]

Slingshotmo
Pleb
posted 01-10-19 18:06 ET (US)     4 / 27       
@Brugle, what difficulty did you play before switching to VH? In my case it was Normal. I understand that switch in military gameplay N->VH and H->VH is different, but from videos I saw of people playing on H, you can get away with a lot more (or with less military numbers/control) than on VH. I would say on most military missions you can play exactly the same, but on the few that stand out, all your planing has to go toward the next invasion, and often because of the bottleneck that is recruiter, you have to think few invasions ahead. Off top of my head, I'm refering to Migdol, Qadesh, Dunqul Oasis, Maritis and Heh to name a few.
Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 01-10-19 20:30 ET (US)     5 / 27       
@Brugle, what difficulty did you play before switching to VH?
Hard.
on H, you can get away with a lot more (or with less military numbers/control) than on VH
Sure, but I haven't been interested in getting away with stuff. I tried to defend well at Hard and at Very Hard.
Off top of my head, I'm refering to Migdol, Qadesh, Dunqul Oasis, Maritis and Heh to name a few
The only ones of those I've played are Dunqul Oasis and Heh. I did lose more soldiers in them (and Iken and perhaps Kebet) than in any mission I played at Hard (which were all easier).
Slingshotmo
Pleb
posted 01-11-19 05:49 ET (US)     6 / 27       
Sure, but I haven't been interested in getting away with stuff. I tried to defend well at Hard and at Very Hard.
I guess I should have been more precise with my statement about there being a world of difference in military missions. Better way of putting it, considering TheBuilder doesn't prefer military missions, would be - For players who aren't skilled with military and played military missions on Hard just to win them with minimum extra effort, moving to Very Hard probably requires switching things up (feeding people later, prioritizing industries that ensure enough money for fast military buildup, going into debt when they otherwise wouldn't) on some of the hardest military missions, but not all.
evil_live_vile
Pleb
posted 01-11-19 06:44 ET (US)     7 / 27       
I find the military missions ramp up the difficulty much more than the economic missions, not due to the enemy stats (enemy chariots being the exception), but the cost of military buildings. On most military maps, your early costs increase dramatically when merely trying to afford a recruiter, fort/warship and copper mine/importing wood/copper, let alone an academy, towers and additional forts. Yet your first and second export don't tend to be any more profitable than on the same-branched peaceful map where delaying the monument by a year or two to invest in more exports doesn't cause city-wide destruction.

Yes you may just "get away" with a battle on VHard which you would have "defended well" on Hard but affording that extra 1/2 fort worth of soldiers + imported copper or adding those 3-4 towers which would make the battle easier would be hard enough on the easier difficulty without the extra building costs you need to endure early-map.

The only peaceful mission I consider which would have an equivalent jump between difficulties due to funding limitations would be Hetep with very low starting funds and limited early exports.
For players who aren't skilled with military ... probably requires switching things up
I think what you described as "switching things up" is nothign more than the OP describes as slowing down, but I think VHard military missions are much more than this. They contain the most amount of RNG and micro in a game famously lacking in both. It would make sense then that, for want of a more precise term, "more skill" is required to play these maps. Its uncontroversial to say that VHard military missions (especially Dunqul and Qadesh) are the hardest in the game.

Eagles may soar, but weasels do not get sucked into jet engines
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, Proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too

[This message has been edited by evil_live_vile (edited 01-11-2019 @ 07:07 AM).]

Slingshotmo
Pleb
posted 01-11-19 08:37 ET (US)     8 / 27       
I think what you described as "switching things up" is nothign more than the OP describes as slowing down, but I think VHard military missions are much more than this. They contain the most amount of RNG and micro in a game famously lacking in both. It would make sense then that, for want of a more precise term, "more skill" is required to play these maps. Its uncontroversial to say that VHard military missions (especially Dunqul and Qadesh) are the hardest in the game.
I agree that for the most part it means slowing down, especially the examples I brought up, so I'll add some that could be considered more of a gameplay change. The term gameplay is somewhat broad and it depends on a player so it's hard to say how much it changes. Generally I would say the lower the difficulty, the more leeway you have and your personal style varies more. On VH, you're forced to making certain decisions on military missions or you will face defeat.

To bring up more specific scenarios, in Migdol, I had to export fish (I don't know if I can do it without this) and I never export food. I know you can get by without it on Hard. In Maritis, I had to get as many immigrants as possible in the first month because two invasions required kiting for a long time and people don't move in during this. I also had to manage the city while controlling my army. Same in Migdol, Dunqul Oasis and some other missions where invasions last very long because of the strenght of enemy military. In Qadesh I also had to export food and had to judge exactly when to get out of debt before the 2nd anniversary, otherwise I wouldn't have made it, so it took preparation when on Hard I don't think I'd have to spend that much time carefully planing.

In the end, you get to the same point, just later, fair enough, but in my opinion some of these changes in how you approach a military mission mean your gameplay is different. Could you do the same thing on Hard? Of course, but why would you if you don't have to? Some players like to make their towns look pretty, but in timed military missions or if you're rushing to win a mission before the next invasion, you don't have money for it and you are more focused on requirements.

I admit, this is specific to a handful of missions, but I believe in addition to forcing you to improve your skill, your gameplay needs to shift too.
TheBuilder
Pleb
posted 01-12-19 01:24 ET (US)     9 / 27       
I think at minimum on military missions I'm going to need to stick to normal. As much as I enjoy watching others do VH Qadesh and so forth, those are challenges that I just don't think I'd ever want to undertake for myself, I've just never found the military mechanics of the game to be engaging. I don't mind military aspects of a mission if they can be over and done with quickly. It's slowing the game down and kiting and all that fiddly stuff that I just can't get into. I've never had much taste for RTS games, so maybe this makes sense.
Heleen
Pleb
posted 01-12-19 05:30 ET (US)     10 / 27       
I've been reading this thread with much interest. I'm a bit like TheBuilder I think in the sense that the military aspect of the game isn't my favourite. I don't dislike it per se, and sometimes I actually enjoy it, but not if the focus of a mission is too much on fighting. I like building and managing my city, and sometimes when there are many consecutive invasions it can actually feel a bit to me like an interruption of what I'm actually trying to achieve (I did thoroughly enjoy Rowarty though, for some reason).

I recently went back to Pharaoh after um, going back to C3 from Emperor, and I switched from N to H. I've been contemplating switching to VH, but haven't decided yet precisely because of the military aspects. I think I would enjoy the extra economic/planning challenge of having to build forts etc. earlier in the game, if only if it was to see if I could do it and still maintain my personal rule of "no debt, no bail-out" with the increased up-front cost of those. But the invasions itself? Meh. Probably not so much. Especially if I lose ;-)
Yahya
Pleb
posted 01-12-19 10:16 ET (US)     11 / 27       
I'm in the middle of re-learning how to play C3 on VH, and I know what you both mean. Invasion after invasion are to me a silly interruption of the reason I play the game.

There are missions where invasions happen one on top of the other, at opposite sides of the map, for example, where you can barely get your main troops over in time. That just adds a level of stress to the game I don't enjoy.

But still, the VH challenge is fun, so say the least. The only thing I don't like about it in C3 is the 200-300 population bug.
Heleen
Pleb
posted 01-12-19 11:09 ET (US)     12 / 27       
Glad to see I'm not the only one :-)

The population bug in C3 on VH is the reason I've never even tried it. It's a bit silly to be, to make well mazes or other things like that that have nothing to do with building and managing the city, all to try to counteract an effect of the game that wasn't even intended by the creators.
Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 01-12-19 13:45 ET (US)     13 / 27       
I find the military missions ramp up the difficulty much more than the economic missions,
I find it amusing that the "military" missions are usually much more economically challenging than the "economic" missions.
Could you do the same thing on Hard? Of course, but why would you if you don't have to?
Perhaps because you don't know that you don't have to. I usually play a mission without "future history", so I want to prepare good defenses just in case the invasions are strong (or I defend poorly).
the military aspect of the game isn't my favourite. I don't dislike it per se, and sometimes I actually enjoy it, but not if the focus of a mission is too much on fighting. I like building and managing my city,
Dunqul has been mentioned more than once as a difficult military mission, but to me it's challenge was more in preparing to fight than in fighting itself. Make lots of money so you can equip and train soldiers (and later, police stations). A simple economic challenge, assuming your generalship isn't too bad.

I haven't played any Cleopatra missions such as Qadesh or Migdol, and from what I've read the fighting itself is very important (which may be a problem for me).
the VH challenge is fun, so say the least. The only thing I don't like about it in C3 is the 200-300 population bug.
I found it annoying at first (which is why I played at Hard for a long time), but now it doesn't affect my play much except for slowing me down by a couple of months. Of course, losing a couple of months can mean something I might have done in the first year isn't done until the second year, but that usually isn't very important.
It's a bit silly to be, to make well mazes or other things like that that have nothing to do with building and managing the city,
I've never built "well mazes or other things like that". I haven't built a small map like Brundisium at Very Hard, but I suppose I could do it without building anything extraneous.
Yahya
Pleb
posted 01-12-19 14:41 ET (US)     14 / 27       
I've never built "well mazes or other things like that". I haven't built a small map like Brundisium at Very Hard, but I suppose I could do it without building anything extraneous.
I actually played Brundisium at Very Hard recently, using only the few wells necessary to plug existing gaps, and found it fairly simple to perform.

You're right; it's really only mildly inconvenient, but part of me really wants to write a patch to fix that if I can figure out how.
TheBuilder
Pleb
posted 01-12-19 14:59 ET (US)     15 / 27       
Dunqul has been mentioned more than once as a difficult military mission, but to me it's challenge was more in preparing to fight than in fighting itself. Make lots of money so you can equip and train soldiers (and later, police stations). A simple economic challenge, assuming your generalship isn't too bad.

I haven't played any Cleopatra missions such as Qadesh or Migdol, and from what I've read the fighting itself is very important (which may be a problem for me).
This is pretty much the conundrum for me. I like the economic challenges the military aspect of the game creates, but when it gets to the military gameplay, I want to check out. If there were an 'auto' option that just instantly resolved invasions, win or lose, I would press it every time and accept whatever damage in a loss. The military gameplay in Pharaoh didn't get enough development love.
Yahya
Pleb
posted 01-12-19 15:42 ET (US)     16 / 27       
I think that's by design. These are intended as pure building games, and everything thrown at you is intended as a distraction or challenge in achieving your goals.

Military is no exception. It requires far better money management, as Brugle mentioned, and adds a considerable distraction, as well as planning and tactics you don't encounter otherwise. If you're not adequately prepared for an invasion, you get sacked (in more ways that one), and if you manage to defeat the enemy but your city isn't ready, you can end up with fires, or devolving housing.

As much as I don't care for the distraction the military invasions provide, I've become accustomed to them due to the lack of roadblocks in C3, which necessitates using a gatehouse as an equivalent.

(Queue calls for me to make a roadblock-less, interconnected city )

And now all this talk has me itching for some C3. My Pharaoh disc is queued up, however.

[This message has been edited by Yahya (edited 01-12-2019 @ 03:43 PM).]

evil_live_vile
Pleb
posted 01-12-19 18:01 ET (US)     17 / 27       
C3 military is much easier because of the effectiveness and predictability of hit and run tactics. With Pharaoh it's harder because archers are slower, fire inconsistently and you can't always tell when an enemy will chase you to engage or stop.

The square fighting style in C3 is also really good for putting a strong line of defence in-front of your ranged units. In Pharaoh, the enemy can always push through a 2 man deep defence, no matter how thickly you layer it with infantry on top of each other. You can replicate it in Pharaoh by having your infantry line up in-front of each other but that way the font line will take the bulk of the losses and reduce morale army-wide.
I like the economic challenges the military aspect of the game creates, but when it gets to the military gameplay, I want to check out.
You could always play the map on VHard with all the economic challenges that come with it and then reduce the difficulty just before the enemy spawns and then back again after the spawn ends. So long as you don't care about the score or mission completed message.
There are missions where invasions happen one on top of the other, at opposite sides of the map, for example, where you can barely get your main troops over in time. That just adds a level of stress to the game I don't enjoy.
Sometimes you can limit this by building only on one side of the Nile.
I find the military missions ramp up the difficulty much more than the economic missions,
I find it amusing that the "military" missions are usually much more economically challenging than the "economic" missions.
I agree but don't get me wrong, they are militarily hard too. Remind me, have you ever battled just 1 VHard chariot yet?

Now I'm wanting to do a quick run-though of Khmun again just for fun. It won't have any goals or fun techniques other than completion so I won't detail anything here.

Eagles may soar, but weasels do not get sucked into jet engines
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, Proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too

[This message has been edited by evil_live_vile (edited 01-12-2019 @ 06:18 PM).]

Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 01-13-19 07:13 ET (US)     18 / 27       
I find the military missions ramp up the difficulty much more than the economic missions,
I find it amusing that the "military" missions are usually much more economically challenging than the "economic" missions.
I agree but don't get me wrong, they are militarily hard too.
Certainly. I expect the "military" missions to be much more militarily challenging than the "economic" missions.

To get a challenge in any "economic" mission (that I've played), you need to add significant personal rules. Some "military" missions are challenging even without any personal rules.
Remind me, have you ever battled just 1 VHard chariot yet?
No.
Now I'm wanting to do a quick run-though of Khmun again just for fun.
Khmun may be a problem for me (from the little I remember reading), and I'm not eager to build it. However, Sauty looks like a lot of fun.

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 01-13-2019 @ 07:24 AM).]

Heleen
Pleb
posted 01-15-19 11:30 ET (US)     19 / 27       
I've never built "well mazes or other things like that".
That's just one of the techniques I've read people use to counteract the effect. With "other things" I mean e.g. building houses as far away from the entry point as you can, if you wouldn't have done so otherwise. It somehow doesn't appeal to me. It might though, sone day. Knowing myself, I'll probably do it one day just to see if I can.
I haven't built a small map like Brundisium at Very Hard, but I suppose I could do it without building anything extraneous
You probably would. But you're a pro in the genre. I am.. not.

But to leave the C3 discussion on the side:
Coming back to the Pharaoh H/VH issue: I just went back in my saves and discovered I already played at least Rostja at VH a couple of years ago. Now I feel obligated somehow to play the other missions at VH too, lol. Although I must say, looking at my saves I mostly build the same way as I did on other difficulty settings. It did take me two years longer to finish the mission than it did on H though, so to come back to the main question of this thread: yes, I think the increase in difficulty mostly slows you down. On the economic missions, that is. I DO agree however that some of the military missions would be quite tough to get through - at least for me it would. Khmun for example, as mentioned earlier by others, comes to mind as a mission I had to start over a couple of times on my first playthrough. I don't remember much of it, but I DO remember that!

And yes - I agree it's probably intended to distract from the actual city building, in a way. But to me personally, it feels overdone at times. I personally don't mind tough invasions, but when they come every couple of months and from every corner of the map, it gets tiring sometimes. That's just a personal preference though.

BTW, does anyone else find it very hard sometimes NOT to use prior knowledge of attacks when starting a mission over?
TheBuilder
Pleb
posted 01-15-19 20:35 ET (US)     20 / 27       
And yes - I agree it's probably intended to distract from the actual city building, in a way. But to me personally, it feels overdone at times. I personally don't mind tough invasions, but when they come every couple of months and from every corner of the map, it gets tiring sometimes. That's just a personal preference though.

BTW, does anyone else find it very hard sometimes NOT to use prior knowledge of attacks when starting a mission over?
Requests for goods and other events are all distractions, but they all make sense within the genre of city builders. The problem I have is when to face a distraction, you are forced to play a poorly designed RTS or be devastated. Not that the military system in Zeus was great either, but at least it gave you the opportunity to never be forced out of the genre, you could just set military to auto, or bride invaders without drawing weapons at all.

Future knowledge of military events is definitely one of the single most useful things you can have. The mission select screen says "much military activity" in Itjtawy, but in fact it is trivially easy to avoid fights happening in your city, and there aren't even requests to send troops to other fights. You may as well not build any military, thus greatly simplifying the mission economically. Given its limited coastline, the need for warships, transports, and to defend both sides of the river could introduce huge headaches.

Even just saving and reloading to learn which side of the map an invasion is coming from is a huge deal, as getting your troops from one side of the map to the other takes way too long. Especially if you need to load them onto transports, because soldiers inexplicably can't use ferries. You can either reload and have your troops ready to meet the invaders, or you potentially have to let invaders ravage your city for months first. Maps like Timna and Sawu are great examples of this, where your palace and gold mines are likely to be located very close to invasion points, and getting troops there in time makes a huge difference in the amount of rebuilding you will need to do.

I'm all for any sort of distractions that put the whip on you to play efficiently while altering the route you'd take to build your city. Most people would never produce meat early. In Iunet you'd be tempted to subsist only on fish and in Itjtawy only on farming for a perhaps many years. But then come the requests for meat, and suddenly you're under the gun.

If you're playing with no future knowledge at all, the potential for all of these events present many questions. You could develop your city for maximum efficiency in early growth and economic development and hope you get no requests for anything early on. Then down the road if you do get requests, you will presumably be in great shape to respond to them quickly because you focused 100% on building a strong economy, and have plenty of workers and debens to throw at distractions which arise. Any map with gold mines is a nice example of this, where you have an excellent but expensive economic resource to develop. But for instance in Behdet, if you want to develop gold mines early, you're then going to have a very tough time meeting the early requests you get. And blowing off requests might mean losing access to trade routes forever (happens in Iunet), or your KR hits 0 and you get invaded which then forces yet another economic distraction, if you even survive.
evil_live_vile
Pleb
posted 01-16-19 03:20 ET (US)     21 / 27       
I don't consider the requests and invasions to be a distraction so much as the actual mission. Without them, all you'd have is a sandbox map. If you were playing only for the ratings, I wouldn't call any map as it stands difficult at VHard. Imagine Menat Khufu without food requests, or Byblos without invasions. These are amazingly simple maps which turn into some of the most intense and fun missions due to those "distractions". Otherwise you'd need all missions to be 70+ culture, 100 Prosperity and maybe even timed to put pressure on your monument building in order to present a challenge.

Most things like invasion points and weird requests I can't forget but I've played all the maps at least half a dozen times over the years. Sometimes it's bad and ruins the fun to know that an early grain request is coming and so you might purposefully delay giving houses food after the first flood. But it can't be helped. I look at it like re-reading a good book. You know what the twist is or which character will die but you still always forget some things and find new things which you didn't see the first time around.

Eagles may soar, but weasels do not get sucked into jet engines
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, Proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too
Yahya
Pleb
posted 01-16-19 06:26 ET (US)     22 / 27       
Yeah, I follow what's being said, and something I recently did just because it was easier was build every industry I could and add towers to a city.

I tend to have quite a few gaggles of unemployed, so that soaks up the rabble nicely.

But it also allows me to play without future knowledge. I just maximize everything possible on the map. If I don't need the resources, I stockpile them. If I don't need the military, they sit idle.

But it keeps my unemployment down under 5% and causes me to be recognized as a god, and I like that.
Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 01-16-19 13:32 ET (US)     23 / 27       
does anyone else find it very hard sometimes NOT to use prior knowledge of attacks when starting a mission over?
I didn't want to be the first to respond to this question. But now...

Actually, aside from Abedju (which I started over fairly early because I didn't like my plan), the only time I've started over is when I replay a mission, and I've only done that on two missions: Iunet (twice) and Abu. However, I do read almost all threads in this forum and sometimes remember important things.

I find it very easy to not use "future history". I generally have some reason (hopefully a good one) for doing something, and that doesn't change even if know that something else would end up being better.

Sometimes I use a little bit of "future history". I sometimes check how much of a good will become available: in Djedu there wouldn't be much linen (so many houses would be spacious residences), and in Itjtawy more barley would eventually be available (since I wanted a high population). I sometimes check the exact fertility of meadow farms. But I never use knowledge of invasions or requests.
Future knowledge of military events is definitely one of the single most useful things you can have.
Certainly, if you want to use it. Many of us have "personal rules" to make missions harder. One of my rules is to not use "future history" of requests or invasions (and often, of anything). But some personal rules that other players use (such as not fencing in hyenas) I don't follow. Whatever floats your boat is fine.
in Itjtawy ... You may as well not build any military, thus greatly simplifying the mission economically
I didn't think that Itjtawy would need a military quickly since it was a required (not military or economic) mission and the mission briefing suggested that "provide for your new subjects" (presumably by satisfying requests) would "prevent these unfortunate people from taking up arms against you". Since Itjtawy can make a lot of money, it wasn't that difficult to create a reasonable (only 4 warships) defense after a few years.
You can either reload and have your troops ready to meet the invaders, or you potentially have to let invaders ravage your city for months first.
Not if you put a fort or two near any place where your city is near the map edge. Those troops may not be enough to defeat a large invasion, but they should keep the invaders occupied long enough to allow other troops to arrive. (This happened a few times in Heh, which I recently finished, although none of the battles lasted long enough for all of my troops to arrive.)
Maps like Timna and Sawu are great examples of this, where your palace and gold mines are likely to be located very close to invasion points,
I think I had little trouble with invasions in Timna playing at Hard, but I'd guess I'd have even less trouble if I replayed it now at Very Hard. I also had little trouble in Sawu at Very Hard. I don't think either mission required more than two companies to easily defeat an invasion. It's possible that I finished those missions before you did and therefore didn't see a large invasion that you saw.
In Iunet you'd be tempted to subsist only on fish and in Itjtawy only on farming for a perhaps many years. But then come the requests for meat, and suddenly you're under the gun.
In Iunet you're asked for 200 meat in 12 months, which is extremely easy. In Itjtawy you're asked for 900 meat in 8 months, which is harder, but not especially difficult if you have enough straw available (which you probably do since grain is the obvious choice for the first food), and even if you satisfy it late the only consequence is your Kingdom Rating falling a little instead of rising a little.
in Behdet, if you want to develop gold mines early, you're then going to have a very tough time meeting the early requests
No, it's easy. If you have to, just buy the pottery or beer. My Behdet had 20 gold mines and I remember buying at least part of at least one of the first two requests. I played Behdet at Hard, but Very Hard should be similar.
Imagine Menat Khufu without food requests
I didn't find the food requests in Menat Khufu very difficult to satisfy. The first one (1100 pomegranates in 7 months) just needed 3 more irrigated fig farms (in addition to the 1 already there). Once I sold some linen, I had the money to build several more food farms.
TheBuilder
Pleb
posted 01-16-19 20:36 ET (US)     24 / 27       
Many excellent points! After all these years I still have much strategy to learn. Though for some things the point wasn't necessarily to say those were difficult obstacles, just to point out how they affect your course. Still, I have many new strategy ideas now.
Not if you put a fort or two near any place where your city is near the map edge. Those troops may not be enough to defeat a large invasion, but they should keep the invaders occupied long enough to allow other troops to arrive. (This happened a few times in Heh, which I recently finished, although none of the battles lasted long enough for all of my troops to arrive.)

I think I had little trouble with invasions in Timna playing at Hard, but I'd guess I'd have even less trouble if I replayed it now at Very Hard. I also had little trouble in Sawu at Very Hard. I don't think either mission required more than two companies to easily defeat an invasion. It's possible that I finished those missions before you did and therefore didn't see a large invasion that you saw.
Fort placement itself still benefits heavily from future knowledge. Timna perhaps isn't a great example because it's an easy mission that you can finish very quickly. Even if you delay completion to have some fun your limited options and map limits will probably make you move on in a few years anyway.

However, Sawu is very spread out, and without future knowledge you need to figure out how to defend multiple key settlements spread across the map that are separated by water. On VH, your first defenders might very well be slaughtered and still give aggressors a month to rampage as you fiddle with transport-borne reinforcements. I remember the invasion points, but I don't recall invasion sizes. I've also never played it at VH or even H, I'd be curious about the experience of others here.

I think it's this whole idea of troops taking months to effectively mobilize that punches through the 4th wall a bit too much for me. If troops just instantly deployed to the site of an invasion and the 6 fort, 6 ship limit were removed, that would satisfy 80% of my gripes.

[This message has been edited by TheBuilder (edited 01-16-2019 @ 08:39 PM).]

evil_live_vile
Pleb
posted 01-17-19 04:29 ET (US)     25 / 27       
However, Sawu is very spread out, and without future knowledge you need to figure out how to defend multiple key settlements spread across the map that are separated by water.
I'd agree with Brugle on this point. For Sawu you have, at most, 3 settlements to defend - which I would guess for most people will be a large one on the eastern side, a small one in the north and a small/medium group by the entry in the west. You could also put a small settlement on the north island but that can be defended by only ships.

Thinking from a "no-future-knowledge concerned about the invasions" POV, your north and west areas will be fairly compact, mainly used as routing towards the large eastern landmass. So 1-2 forts each, closely located near these settlements should be enough because if it's a bigger force that'd require 4-6 forts defending, you just aren't as concerned about these settlements being destroyed. You want to concentrate the defences where the biggest devastation will occur, which in this case will be the eastern side. And then for the east you have the benefit of knowing that all attacks will come from the south. So that map awareness gives you the space for funnelling a large force into walls, towers and police with a minimal force of 2-3 forts.

I'd say a better example of a map where, without future knowledge, an attack could come from anywhere and it be potentially problematic are Heh or Sauty. The Nile on these maps makes it quite difficult and you need/want multiple settlements, all of which will be all the way along the Nile while also being quite close the edge of the map.

But like I've said before, that's just the challenge of the game and it can be more fun when you steer into the skid and embrace it. If I had one complaint it would be the clunkiness of the loading/unloading mechanic from transports (but not the role of transports themselves which I quite like the idea of). But then I just don't use transports and plan around this instead.

Eagles may soar, but weasels do not get sucked into jet engines
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, Proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too
Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 01-17-19 08:47 ET (US)     26 / 27       
Sawu ... On VH, your first defenders might very well be slaughtered
I thought that unlikely, since it's an economic mission and the mission briefing only mentions sending "resources" to Iken.
I don't recall invasion sizes. I've also never played it at VH or even H, I'd be curious about the experience of others here
The only invasion I faced at Very Hard was 10 Bedouins in the southeast, at the same time that troops had been sent to Iken. I sent archers to Iken, and the only soldiers nearby were 14 infantry, but they easily beat the Bedouins with 3 casualties.

If victory is prevented, less than a year later there was a Canaanite invasion of 2 warships and 1 transport that was easily defeated. There were more invasions later, and my comments say they were easily defeated--I could get more details if you're interested.
For Sawu you have, at most, 3 settlements to defend - which I would guess for most people will be a large one on the eastern side, a small one in the north and a small/medium group by the entry in the west.
If I had expected much military activity I would probably have built like that. But I didn't, and wanted at least 10000 people, so I built good-sized blocks in all 3 places.

If invasions had come in the worst places I would have lost some buildings, maybe a few houses. But they are easily replaced when there is lots of money.
Yahya
Pleb
posted 01-20-19 13:59 ET (US)     27 / 27       
For the record, all this talking about warships made me forego C3, put in my Pharaoh disc, and start a family history there. Having been in the navy it'll be interesting to use ships.

I hope you all are happy.
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