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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Pharaoh: Game Help » Make Dakhla a challenge!
Topic Subject:Make Dakhla a challenge!
HG Alumnus
posted 05-27-02 01:52 ET (US)         
Continuing my glacial pace through the family history, it was time to build Dakhla Oasis. A regular reader of this forum would know that Dakhla isn't too challenging, so I wanted significant extra "rules". In the hope that some forumers will enjoy them, I'll describe Dakhla's design and construction in subsequent posts. I like the way my Dakhla Oasis works and looks, so I'll submit it to the Downloads soon.
HG Alumnus
posted 05-27-02 01:53 ET (US)     1 / 20       
If I remember correctly, this is how I designed Dakhla Oasis.

For a start, the design has the following rules:
* Very Hard difficulty (and, accordingly, very good fire protection).
* A stable city, consuming no more of anything than it produces and imports.
* Prosperity 100.
* Schools, libraries, mortuaries, and senet houses are well supplied.
* All roads (including the Kingdom Road) are connected.
* Good defense (6 forts with academy-trained soldiers).
* A city center has most of the best buildings and houses.

Dakhla's highest possible houses are palatial estates. Since I didn't bother with them in Iunet (and am building Dakhla before Dunqul), my family history has not yet seen any estates (although I have built a few in contests). Dakhla seems the right time and place to build a fair number of estates, but palatial estates will need imported meat. On, the only source of meat and reeds, will send only 2 caravans at a time, so I'll count on no more than 4000 total meat and reeds per year. Since I need lots of papyrus (from reeds) to get a high Culture rating, most of the estates will be modest estates.

With just the initial trade routes, Dakhla can make a lot of money from trade, selling significant amounts of beer, wood, pottery, and bricks, and perhaps a little papyrus and linen. I love to export massive amounts of expensive goods, and will do so in Dakhla (even though wood exports alone would support reasonably fast development until taxes become huge). However, even with 3 caravans at a time, Saqqara cannot buy its entire quota of pottery, bricks, and wood, so pottery and brick production will be reduced slightly. Still, a lot of people will be employed in the export industries.

How about food? Ideally, 2 ostrich herds could feed about 5000 people, but I'd hate to depend on them feeding even 4000 people. There is a great deal of meadow farmland around the lake, which (with irrigation) has the potential to feed far more people. So one question is whether to feed everyone at least 2 foods with a maximum population of less than 8000, or to build a more populous city with some people eating only grain. I like having all houses at a high level, so tentatively the choice is to have the smaller city with everyone in at least a spacious residence.

Can the minimum housing level be higher? To provide superior fire protection at Very Hard difficulty, (among other things) housing block loops must be intersection-free and fairly short, and I decided to use a housing loop of 42 road tiles. Therefore, embalmer walks will be somewhat shorter than with longer loops, and I'll assume that a mortuary may use as much as 720 linen per year. By buying both flax and linen from Nekken, there would be enough linen to supply 8000 people in fancy residences plus 2 mortuaries. However, I'd greatly prefer to avoid importing linen, by having 1 mortuary and fewer houses. In any case, another rule is:
* All houses are fancy residences or better.

To get a Culture rating greater than 55, 40% of the people must have embalmer coverage. To achieve this with a single mortuary, the estate housing block must contain enough people. I designed a housing block with a 42-tile loop, 12 estates, and 5 fancy residences. If 2 of the estates are palatial estates (supplied meat from an additional bazaar outside of the block) and 44 other fancy residences exist, then (assuming all houses are full) the mortuary will service just over 40% of the 6748 people in the city. Moreover, if the palatial estate count is 3 then scribes will be just over one-third of the 6764 people in the city, which sounds very nice. 61 linen-using houses and a single mortuary shouldn't consume more than 2184 linen per year. With Ptah's temple complex, 3 weavers are slightly more than enough to convert Nekken's 2500 flax per year to linen, and a little linen will be exported! This sounds great, so:
* Scribes live in 12 estates, at least 3 of them palatial.
* Workers live in 49 fancy residences, 5 of them in the luxury block.

Culture is also limited by schools and libraries. With less than 7000 people, 3 schools are probably enough for 60% city-wide coverage, and Culture 70 would also require 2 libraries. With Thoth's oracle at Very Hard difficulty, I'll assume that 3 schools and 2 libraries may use as much as 2592 papyrus per year. 5 papyrus makers could produce 2820 papyrus per year, but it probably will be a little less since some production will be lost whenever a cart pusher spends too much time travelling between buildings trying to deliver his load. (If the distances involved aren't too large then the weaver cart pushers shouldn't have that problem, since a failure to deliver at the single mortuary will simply cause the remaining linen to be delivered to the linen storage yard.) On should be able to sell 2820 reeds per year plus the meat for up to 6 palatial estates (1152 per year). Since it's possible, I'll go for:
* Culture 70.

Time for a reality check. If 40% of the non-scribal population works (which should be fairly accurate) then 49 fancy residences will supply 1803 workers. Assuming that there will be 2 non-scribal housing blocks and a small overproduction of exports, and with guesses for the average farm fertility and the number of wood cutters, storage yards, firehouses, and architect posts required, then I estimate that around 1900 workers are needed. Oops! Cutting export production a bit brings the estimate closer to 1800. It might be OK to run with a slight worker shortage (perhaps in Military), but the rest of the design will emphasize worker efficiency, and there will definitely be only 2 non-scribal housing blocks. At worst, a few modest estates could be replaced by pairs of fancy residences (which won't change the population), but I wouldn't want to do that.

It turned out to be much harder than I expected to decide where to build things (an indication of a good map). For just one example, I generally prefer (for at least 3 reasons) to have a "trade area" not too far from the map entrance, which would place it somewhere west of the lake. However, I eventually decided that the trade area will be north-northeast of the lake, closer to the map exit, since that's not far from a good place for wood cutters on the east shore. In addition to the 6 storage yards that will handle all trade goods except granite (for the obelisk), the trade area loop road includes the papyrus makers, the weavers, a hunting lodge near the eastern ostrich breeding grounds (and perhaps another one, if it later seems desirable), storage yards for game meat and grain, and a granary.

The luxury housing block is northeast of the lake (as far from the lake as the water supply allows) and supplies labor access to the trade area. The palace, mansion, and festival square touch the southwesternmost estates. The road from the trade area to the wood cutters (and points south) goes through the festival square.

One non-scribal housing block, with 29 fancy residences, is north-northwest of the lake. It supplies labor access to the hunting lodge and associated buildings (storage yards, granary) near the western ostrich breeding grounds, and to the water lift and various farms on the north and northwest shores. The farming loop road on the north shore (near the trade area) also includes 6 clay pits (production increased by Ptah's temple complex), 2 brickworks (production increased by Amon's altar), and 9 potters. The bazaars in this housing block are the only ones that obtain food from the nearby granary.

The other non-scribal housing block, with 15 fancy residences, is east of the lake. It supplies labor access to the 5 wood cutters and various farms on the east shore. I had originally planned to put it a little farther from the luxury housing block, but that would have put its bazaars too far from the granary (and maybe from the pottery, beer, and linen storage yards) in the trade area. With so few houses, this housing block includes the 2nd library, barracks, academy, and temple complex.

The 13 breweries were left until now because their requirements are simple--labor access and close enough to the beer storage yard (in the trade area) to maximize production. They (and their 2 barley storage yards) fit nicely to the northeast of the luxury block.

I had considered putting the meat bazaar on the breweries loop and evolving 4 of the northeasternmost estates to palatial estates, but I got a better idea. Assuming that the bazaar trader won't always be trapped by a 1-tile stub road, the meat bazaar will be near the mansion to evolve the 3 southernmost estates to palatial estates. It's much nicer to have the best houses beside the mansion! (Flash forward: there is a design problem here (teleporting bazaar traders) that I forgot until the middle of construction, but I was very lucky to find that it was easily corrected.)

The extra entertainment venues that are required for Culture 70 are in places that look good to me and that have labor access and the appropriate intersection. Entertainment schools are in places that should supply shows most of the time to all of the venues. Enough shrines are near houses for 100% religious coverage. Up to 3 granite storage yards may be on the brewery loop, but I hope that fewer will be required (with more of the granite temporarily in other storage yards).

That leaves the obelisk, which could (if necessary) be almost anywhere. However, there is a perfect spot right in front of the palace! And there are places nearby with fire and damage protection, just right for construction guilds. (In fact, I had been slightly peeved by the necessity of building an architect post for the palace and mansion, but it doesn't seem so wasteful when it also protects a stonemason guild.)

I didn't describe many of the details, such as farm placement. The 8 most fertile farms maximize production when harvested twice per year, so they are barley farms whose harvests are 6 months apart. The remaining 22 farms can be harvested once per year without losing production, so they are grain farms whose harvests are 4 months and 8 months apart (which makes it much more likely that a harvest will be missed).

After completing the design, I rechecked workers. Mainly because fewer farms are required than I had guessed (since their average fertility is higher), the number of workers needed is only a little over 1700. Looking good!

HG Alumnus
posted 05-27-02 01:54 ET (US)     2 / 20       
This is some of the planning for the construction of Dakhla Oasis, done during and after design, starting with these rules:
* No cheats, of course.
* No personal funds (and therefore no gifts to Egypt).
* No debt and no "rescue gift".

What about a fast completion? Construction of the obelisk is an obvious limit, since a trade route has to open to a city that sells granite. If the trade route opens because a request is satisfied (as is often the case), then the fastest possible construction probably requires knowing "future history" (since requests can be satisfied quicker if goods are stockpiled in advance). I won't try for the fastest construction, but will do some things (stockpile goods after a request is received, try for Ra's blessings) to make it reasonably fast.

A low Kingdom Rating might delay completion, especially since it starts at 40 at Very Hard difficulty. All I can do is satisfy requests, build the mansion (with no salary) early, and try for Ra's blessings.

However, I am more concerned that development will be slow. If necessary, the requirements can remain unsatisfied by not building the stonemason guild, but I'd prefer to avoid that. Therefore, my primary focus will be rapid growth (shared with making money at the beginning).

The estates will fill slower than the residences, because they hold more people. The luxury block is a long way from the entrance point, so I'd expect each estate to gain perhaps 4 immigrant families per year. Since the final city will have Culture below 70 if the luxury block has fewer than 40% of the people, efforts will be concentrated on getting people into the houses that will become estates. At an appropriate time (not too early since some of them won't have fire protection), some vacant lots will be placed around the manors, which will get residents and then be absorbed when the stately manors expand into modest estates. (Doing the same thing when fancy residences expand into common manors is possible, but would have less benefit and won't be tried.)

The houses in the luxury block won't supply labor access to the trade area until they expand into manors (which won't happen for years). My initial solution was to build some huts along the trade area loop, which I'll want to do eventually (since they'll be absorbed by estates). Without physician coverage, those huts will become diseased now and then, which probably won't affect labor access (since they'll get new residents after several months). Some people don't mind this, but I do, so I added the rule:
* No disease (at the very least, none deliberately).

Preventing disease in the huts along the trade area is easy--build a temporary physician. That was my plan for a while, but it bothered me a little. Just a little, but it didn't stop. So eventually I rejected the whole idea, and decided to temporarily expand the trade area loop by 4 road tiles, moving it 2 tiles into space that would eventually be estates. When those houses are ready to expand into manors, that part of the trade area loop will be rebuilt in its final location. That plan felt much better.

In fact, avoiding a temporary physician gave me a great idea! I decided to use this new (to me) rule:
* Only roads and trees will be deleted.

The limited-delete rule means more than just being careful with placement and fire/damage protection. It also prevent things like: building a temporary extra wood cutter to maximize the first year's trade income, building grain farms (later replaced by barley farms) in the most fertile locations, and building shrines and beautification haphazardly (knowing they can be rearranged later to improve aesthetics). This rule should be lots of fun (at least once ).

Wood will be the first export industry. Saqqara will be the first trade route opened, since it can buy more wood than On. Therefore, clay/pottery will be the second export industry. The hunting lodge near the eastern ostrich breeding grounds will also be built early.

Some of the first vacant lots will be for houses that provide labor access for the wood cutters, clay pits, and potters. If I was concentrating (as usual) on making money, then the rest of the early vacant lots would be among those that are closest to the entrance point. But, instead, the rest of the early vacant lots will be in the luxury block. Enough planning--it's time to see what actually happens.

HG Alumnus
posted 05-27-02 01:55 ET (US)     3 / 20       
This is a few highlights from the building of Dakhla.

Dakhla Oasis starts in Jan 2246BC with 4500 Db (at Very Hard difficulty). Immediately, the hyenas are enclosed with small statues, some roads are built, and the first 51 vacant lots are placed (3 for wood cutter labor access, 3 for clay pit/potter/etc labor access, 36 for the 12 estates, and 9 for the 3 residences in the luxury block that are not adjacent to the loop road). In Mar, all 5 wood cutters and the first firehouse are built. In Apr, the first 2 clay pits, first storage yard, and first hunting lodge are built. In Jun, the first potter is built. In Jul, funds drop to 30 Db, then traders from Saqqara buy 1300 wood, which allows the first water supply and lots more vacant lots, and later the first granary and first 2 bazaars. In Oct, some houses get food (in the luxury block), and the first architect post, last hunting lodge and (because the gods are Displeased) first 3 temples (1 to each god) are built. In Dec, the first physician, first grain farm (on the north shore, to produce straw), and first brickworks are built. The year ends with 169 Db and 535 people.

In Jan 2245BC, all houses in the luxury block have food. In Mar, Ptah is Displeased again, so his temple complex is built. Later, the last granary, last brickworks, and first entertainment (2 pavilions and a conservatory) are built, and some houses evolve to ordinary cottage. In Dec, the mansion is built with salary set to 0. The year ends with 178 Db and 1333 people.

In Jan 2244BC, some houses evolve to spacious homestead, and the water lift, first irrigation ditches, first 4 barley farms, first courthouse, and last physician are built. In Mar, traders from On sell 400 reeds, and the first papyrus maker, palace, and first 2 tax collectors are built. Later, the last courthouse, last temple, and first 2 shrines are built. In Jul, the first 2 weavers and first 4 breweries are built. In Aug, all remaining farms on the north and northwest shores (grain) are built. Later, the last water supply, last tax collector, and first scribal school are built. In Dec, some houses evolve to spacious apartment. The year ends with 808 Db and 2433 people.

In Jan 2243BC, at least part of every eventual house is at least an ordinary cottage, some houses evolve to common residence, 8 grain farms are built on the east shore, and the first dentist is built. In Feb, the last 4 grain farms are built, and irrigation is completed by extending it to the east shore. In Mar, the festival square and last architect post are built. At the end of Apr, the first request (from Dunqul Oasis) is received. In May, the first festival (to Ra) is held and some houses evolve to fancy residence. In Jun, 1800 wood is dispatched to Dunqul Oasis, and some houses evolve to common manor. In Aug, the recruiter, academy, and first fort are built. Later, Amon's altar and Thoth's oracle are added to the temple complex. The year ends with 3574 Db and 3511 people.

Near the end of 2243BC, with the city finally making more than enough money, I stopped to think about the evolution of modest and palatial estates. To my horror, I realized that I had forgotten to consider teleportation of bazaar traders. Only the meat bazaar was likely to have a problem, but its traders would probably teleport into the non-scribal block east of the lake, causing too much meat consumption. Even though the meat bazaar was near a fort, it was also close to such desirable structures (such as the mansion) that it would upgrade (allowing trader teleportation). What could I do? Then I noticed that the meat bazaar could be switched with a juggler school (neither was built yet) and be prevented from upgrading in the new location. 2 additional estates would be palatial estates (for a total of 5, raising the city's population to 6796), but that would be OK. I had been extremely fortunate.

Early in 2242BC, the mortuary is built. At the end of Mar, Dunqul Oasis offers a gift of meat, but there isn't enough room. In Apr, all 12 houses that will eventually be estates evolve to spacious manor. At the end of Apr, Dunqul gives 1100 meat. In Jul, all houses are at least spacious homestead, and extra vacant lots are placed around the manors in places that are within 2 tiles of the luxury housing loop road. Later, the last clay pit, last school, and first library are built. In Sep, some houses evolve to elegant manor, and more vacant lots are placed around manors. In Oct, all manors are evolved to elegant manor, all houses except those recently placed around manors are at least common residence, and the last (meat) bazaar is built. At the beginning of Dec, a new trade route to Dunqul Oasis becomes available, which will sell granite (too late to import any this year), and gems (good news, since there is room for a now-available jeweler on the trade area loop). In Dec, the jeweler and senet house are built. The year ends with 15209 Db and 4657 people.

In Jan 2241BC, all 12 manors evolve to estates, 2 of them to palatial estates, so all houses are at their eventual size. In May, the last farms (barley), last potter, and last weaver are built. Later, the last storage yards are built. In Dec, all 5 palatial estates exist, and the last papyrus maker and last dentist are built. The year ends with 25 granite, 40672 Db, and 5618 people.

In early 2240BC, the last firehouses (for extra protection) and first carpenter guild are built. In May, the last breweries are built. In Jul, the last fort is built, when the other 5 forts have 12 soldiers each. In Sep, I finally receive Ra's "trade more" blessing (after several "lift your reputation" blessings). Sometime around then, the last statues and last shrines are built. The year ends with 65 granite, 74603 Db, and 6133 people.

In Mar 2239BC, with 89 granite on hand and another 8 about to be purchased, the stonemason guild and last carpenter guild are built. In May, the (unfinished) obelisk is built. In Jun, all houses are at least spacious residence. Later, the last library and last entertainment structure are built. In Oct, all houses exist in their final form (at least fancy residence). In Dec, the last roads (connecting the Kingdom Road) are built. The year ends with 117345 Db and 6708 people.

In Feb 2238BC, the last soldier is trained. In Mar, the last gardens are built and the obelisk is completed. At the end of Mar, with the last 2 immigrant families heading toward their palatial estates, victory is declared with:
Culture: 70
Prosperity: 100
Kingdom: 87
Funds: 132514
Population: 6789
Months: 99
Level: Very Hard
Score: 72763

It worked out rather nicely. I may use the limited-delete rule again, but probably not right away.

Satanic Cowboy
(id: Octavius Maximus)
posted 05-27-02 23:20 ET (US)     4 / 20       
Very nice,Brugle, but way out of my league. Looking forward to taking a look at it!

[This message has been edited by Octavius Maximus (edited 05-27-2002 @ 11:21 PM).]

posted 03-23-04 09:24 ET (US)     5 / 20       
I have not played Dakhlah for years. I downloaded Brugle’s ’Make Dakhla a challenge!". It is a very nice game, especially since it was made in 8 years :
Culture: 70
Prosperity: 100
Kingdom: 87
Funds: 132,514
Population: 6,789
Months: 99
Level: Very Hard
Score: 72,763
The score in itself is high but does not even reflect the performance : instead of finishing the obelisk, I waited six more months and the score became 85,000. Etc, etc. I was especially impressed with the perfect location of the 2 hunting lodges, working like an automated 21st century factory (A.D., not B.C.). His score on exports is also exceptional while his population worships him as a God with a tax rate of 17%.

This game is a great success and will be my reference as a challenge. I do not intend to ‘compete’ with Brugle because it is a non sense : Brugle worked a lot on the deities’ goodwill but does not force the blessings, what I generally do. As said, I let Brugle’s game run for six months and got four more minor blessings without doing anything. Brugle’s game has some ‘points of interest’, quoting Brugle himself. It is what I call ‘extreme’ gaming and enjoy, another is that it is typical of Brugle’s style :
* Personal funds, debt, and the "rescue" gift were not used.
* Nothing was deleted except for roads and trees.
* Every house is a fancy residence, modest estate, or palatial estate.
* Over one-third of the people are scribes.
* Plenty of expensive stuff is exported.
* The libraries, schools, mortuary, and senet house are kept supplied.
* The city centre includes the obelisk, palace, mansion, festival square, and best houses.
* All roads (including the rerouted Kingdom Road) are connected
* There are 6 full forts, with academy-trained soldiers.
* Fire protection is better than would be needed at a lower difficulty.

So I am interested in following Brugle’s guidelines to have comparable games, but to use my own known style, which differs from Brugle’s on some issues.
* = Personal funds, debt, and the "rescue" gift will also not be used. I said about my recent Abedju, in a time frame of 8 years, this would make a critical difference. My time frame will also be 99 months.
* >=< Anything I want to delete will be deleted. Though I do not delete much anymore.
* >=< The industrial block is generally isolated, its staff comes from nearby huts. On the other hand, all houses will touch a city road.
* >=< I do not know exactly what Brugle means by ‘Over one-third of the people are scribes’. I assume my Culture rating will stick at the required 50, not Brugle’s 70.
* = Plenty of expensive stuff is exported.
* = The libraries, schools, mortuary, and senet house are kept supplied.
* >=< I used not to care about the location of the obelisk, palace, mansion, festival square, and best houses. The mapping will dictate it.
* = All roads (including the rerouted Kingdom Road) are connected, though I generally disconnect now, because it fastens the caravans and trade.
* = There are 6 full forts, with academy-trained soldiers. Though it is a non-military mission, because it meant for Brugle to find money early enough.
* >=< My populations are generally pleased only. Whenever they are happy I beat my people with an extra 1% tax.

There are some major differences between our ways : the size of the blocks, the global final repartition of the housing status, the dispatching of the industrial area, the entertainment display, the dock management (irrelevant in this case). Moreover, Brugle knows his figures exactly, while I am still pragmatic and do not know, for example, how many bandstands and schools I need with 7000 people. Neither do I manage the number of shrines or temples required.
Another critical difference is that Brugle plays ‘no restart’ games, when I just played the first year of Abedju three times for it to be optimized. But then, after the third year, I can generally play the game at 100% speed.
I am really disappointed not to have access to Brugle’s two first years. Assuming he is not like me, changing his country of residence, company and computer every year, he may still have the files. We will see later. They would be worth an upload.

I would like to have only palatial estates, no modest estates. But it would mean that my residences would have to evolve later, so I would lose a lot of money in taxes.
Eventually, I consider that I must have a comparable treasury, what is the evidence of a comparable evolution.

I know I am good, but I am really scratching my head wondering if I will be able to do it. That is a challenge!

Edit: I wrote thois out of my cyber-cafe. I will now bring back home some of Brugle's notes...

HG Alumnus
posted 03-23-04 15:55 ET (US)     6 / 20       
Hi Tryhard,

I'm glad that you find my Dakhla Oasis to be a worthy basis for comparison. I'll be following your exploits and hope that you'll enjoy the process.

Scribes are non-working people that live in manors or estates. Like you, I enjoy building lots of scribal houses. Sometimes I "score" myself by the fraction of people that live in manors and estates, typically trying at the same time to engage in a lot of trade (and gold mining if available) and have a fairly high Culture rating. (My Waset has just over 40% scribes but Culture of only 65.) For variety, I often change my mission goals, so some of my cities (On, Baki, Dunqul Oasis) have few scribal houses--just enough for Prosperity 100.

In one way I do restart missions. I typically play a few months to see where carvans and ships enter and leave the map, and often (including in Dakhla Oasis) test where 2x2 sub-residence houses will form. Then I restart and play "for real".

I have lots of Dakhla Oasis saves. I submitted a package of five (Jun the first year and Dec each of the first 4 years) to the Downloads.

posted 03-24-04 07:58 ET (US)     7 / 20       
Brugle: "I submitted a package of five (Just the first year and Dec each of the first 4 years) to the Downloads".

Negative. I just checked again searching for 'Brugle'. One file 152k. Keep ready.

I Went through your notes, found new self-imposed rules.

I have a clue about the location of the housing blocks, but it may fail as one is maybe too close to ostriches. I have already checked for some of my old PE blocks, smaller than the current ones. Wondering about a reliable number of PE / ME.

I know I will never make it one go, at least the two first years.

posted 03-25-04 08:32 ET (US)     8 / 20       
Reading the notes from Brugle shows how our strategies nearly always differ. It looks like Brugle is describing me here:
(I –Brugle- do not want) building a temporary extra wood cutter to maximize the first year's trade income, building grain farms (later replaced by barley farms) in the most fertile locations, and building shrines and beautification haphazardly (knowing they can be rearranged later to improve aesthetics).
Brugle also does not want to send gifts to Egypt. I will as it is the purpose of the mansion.

My aim is to maximize the sales on the first year. The main risk is to go indebted. When you are such short of money, even a road tile could cost too much.
The planning of my city is made. I have a huge advantage over Brugle: as I do not need fancy residences only, I can plan the meadow farms wherever I want on the map. The disadvantage is that Brugle made precise calculations for production where I will be less accurate and probably need more workforce to get eventually the same productions.

First year

After some tries, I eventually do like Brugle, open first the road to Actif. Brugle always talks about the city of On but it does not exist on my game (Cleopatra?).
As usual, I open the road when there is not yet wood in the Storage Yard (SY), so I ask for importing Clay, what I do not do, of course. But I import reeds as soon as I have reached enough money to open first the route to Saqqara, while the caravans are still buying. The two first caravans from Saqqara buy some wood and are sent away for being able to come back before the end of the year, the third one is told to go to another SY to deliver Luxuries. Of course, I do not buy any jewel but, on its way back, this caravan buys my first papyrus roll and some more wood.
I have now enough money and it is time: population reaches 400, crime, unemployment and disease and climbing. I set the missing infrastructure and three temples, still import reeds, set more papyrus factories, my finances always being around 200 debens. The possibility of selling of papyrus was a nice surprise.
I make my last sales in December. For a question of seconds, a caravan would have missed the SY. I eventually sell 8120 debens of goods: 2500 wood + 800 papyrus to Saqqara, 1500 wood to Actif. My population is only 588. My balance in January is +2636 debens, 8 wood factories and 7 papyrus factories. Ra and Bast are ‘approving’, Ptah is simply pleased.
As you can see in Brugle’s notes, our strategy has differed widely in this first year. My advantage seems in January 2545 to have a budget of 2500 debens Brugle did not have.

[This message has been edited by Tryhard (edited 03-25-2004 @ 08:38 AM).]

HG Alumnus
posted 03-25-04 11:29 ET (US)     9 / 20       

Since my Dakhla progressive saves are not yet in the Downloads, I'll describe the end of its first year. It had sold 2500 wood and 400 pottery to Saqqara (the only open trade route) for 4670 Db, with 900 wood and 100 pottery unsold. It had 5 wood cutters, 5 clay pits, 5 potters (1 unstaffed), 1 unstaffed brickworks, 1 grain farm (for straw), and 2 hunting lodges. Over half of the people were eating (in shanties and cottages). I guess that the main reason that your Dakhla is making a lot more money than mine did is that your industries and housing are considerably closer to the entry point (which might also allow you to ignore the hyenas--my small statue "fences" cost 450 Db).

By the way, the city of On (apparently your Actif) has the Classical name Heliopolis. I suspect that the translators who made the French Pharaoh treated the city name "On" as a switch label (the opposite of "Off") and translated it to the French "Actif" (meaning "active" according to my pocket French-English dictionary).

posted 03-29-04 09:04 ET (US)     10 / 20       
LOL. You may well be right, Brugle. But we French players have a city of ON / Heliopolis which is much further South.

I will start (writing for the third time) with the conclusion: end of March 2238.
I have to play the game three times as, first, the city was nice and worked perfectly but was a bit of a mess, what is not a surprise with a rough planning. The evolution, especially the handling of proper figures, shows at the end when one player (Brugle) remains better than the other (Tryhard).

For my second version, the try was used for a proper mapping, still leaving some margin for more industries or farms. But I still missed some 550 people. Though my future estates evolved eventually some months before Brugle for all status above cottage, people were not coming fast enough in the 17 estates. Nearly all missing people should have been estate inhabitants. Writing these notes, I realized that the clue would have been to set 1x1 apartments nearby every residence made to become a manor and make them merge while evolving. I would have then have had up to 38 more people available for every manor/estate when merging and would have made it.

So I replayed since the beginning of the third year and it worked. Otherwise the two games were comparable. Of course I finish this last version with 20,000 more debens as I have more rich tax payers.

In my first run, my obelisk was not yet finished, it would be in July. I simply did not notice that Brugle fulfilled the request for wood nearly immediately, while I voluntarily delayed a bit to sell more wood. So Dunqul opened 4 months later, hence my delay. In the second game, I also finished in March. I noted that fulfilling the request immediately would allow to finish the obelisk some months before. The route to Dunqul opened in October, some seconds missing not to be able to import the first 24 granite stones. While playing for the third time, I took the opportunity. Dunqul opened in July and I imported 40 granite this year. The obelisk was finished in 91 months and I made a win to see the results.
Completion: 91 months
Culture: 55
Prosperity: 100
Kingdom: 94
Treasury: 160,000
Population 6,992
Score: 98,500
Then I finished the obelisk and omitted one bandstand until the 99 months deadline. Add the bandstand on the ready tiles near the temple complex and you win as soon as it gets staffed.

My first game saw nearly exactly the same evolution in money, housing status and population as Brugle and ended with the same results in terms of finances. My second version worked faster and better than the first one, the third one worked again one month faster and way better.
Completion: 99 months
Culture: 55
Prosperity: 100
Kingdom: 100
Treasury: 208,000
Population 7,147
Score: 111,500
I miss 45 people; 15 in a residence which devolved late, 26 in one estate and 2 in another. For the 26 missing, I had forgotten to set the hut, so 19 people are missing who should be there otherwise. I also thought of using, but too late, groups of 1x1 huts nearby the block. As soon as the immigrants come in, I kick everybody out. Some go into an estate.

My Culture rating is 55. I do not like reaching ratings much above the requirements.

As declared my objective, my intention was to show how the two games are typical of each style, Brugle and mine. So the games had to be comparable, contrarily to our Baki or Waset which are totally different from each other. Hence the 6 forts.

Workers housing block
made of 40 fancy residences, all touching the road, even if it is a corner. The inside is 20 tiles long by 7 wide. So most workers nearly never make a complete loop, while they always do in Brugle’s game.
I started with these blocks years ago but they are now working perfectly, except maybe for the tax collector who has a 99% efficiency. In the past, I often faced accidents but I know now where to locate all buildings for their workers to work efficiently. For example, even with Bast, 4 bazaars scattered around the block are needed for the block to evolve at a correct speed and an homogeneous way.
During my two last games, a priest ignored some houses, but I am used to this when I am expecting 1500+ immigrants in many different locations, in this common case when all residences had evolved in a go. When the figures went down, the priest performed normally.
I eventually started the game with this block to have more people in my city in December.

Estates block
Made of 17 estates, it is not my current block but an older version as I could not expect enough meat for more houses without taking risks. In my second game, I was lucky enough to get a Bast Best Blessing when I had just received the gift of 1400 meat and had purchased 800 more. So the amounts in the bazaars increased and allowed to deliver to the last 3 spacious manors still missing meat. In the third game, it took me time to realize that my last modest estate did not have a problem of desirability but was missing meat. I loaded two months before and imported meat instead of reeds. Fortunately, it worked.
I do not like houses which have a housing status below the maximum possible, in this case modest estate. So I imported meat early, when my houses were still cottages.
My population does not worship me, they simply like me, what is normal with a tax rate of 19%.

I first never worked on Ptah but, on my third game, I realized Ptah was very angry and was forced to add shrines fast to cool down his temper. I did it so well that I was blessed some months later. As usual, I forced some of the major blessings from Bast and trade blessings from Ra. I was blessed first by Ra as soon as September 2245 and by Bast in September 2244.

The Kingdom road kept disconnected for three years, until I noticed I was missing one tile on the way and connected it
Everything was made to maximize the exports on the first years, even micromanagement of the caravans. In 2246, I exported 4,000 wood and 1,200 papyrus. In 2245, I exported 20,400 of goods. Then a gap (16,500 then 17,500) as my people were starting to prey on my own goods meanwhile I lost the sale of 1800 wood needed for the request. Afterwards, the exports stood between 26,000 and 31,000.
I imported the first clay to save the workforce for other duties.
Brugle declared he did not want to delete anything, what I did without remorse, even if it is not too much, mostly small statues to forbid early mergers. As Brugle said in his recent reply, he checked where were the merging tiles, what I ignored.
I had set more woodcutters, potteries, bricks and linen factories that are eventually useful in a completed city. On the opposite, I did not concentrate much on barley and beer, until late in the game. Neither do I fabricate jewels. I rather buy 100, what makes the caravan from Saqqara and Selima roam between nearby storage yards, improving their purchases of the most valuable items wood and papyrus.
However I keep some huts, I made efforts to minimize their number. Eventually, I realize that I could even have made the game without any hut, using the merges of my estates block. I would have oriented both blocks the other way round. My city would then be full of funny roads East, like Brugle. The chosen location of the farms and water lifts would have been different.

My hunting lodges do not work as well as Brugle’s because I managed to build items where ostriches may appear. So they vanish and hunters have sometimes to fetch ostriches from the other flock. In my last game, I did not build the two shrines where I had seen ostriches vanishing and the lodges worked way better.
I had to invest more than Brugle in the first years to justify the end. While I had much more money than Brugle at the end of each of the first years, I had eventually just a bit more after 5 years. Afterwards, the tax collection compensated.

Conclusion: after the third game, I am eventually very satisfied with my city. But it took me three rounds and several ‘replays’ to submit a city which is worth the comparison with Brugle’s Dakhlah. That was a really nice challenge.

I will submit the two Win files and separately the early stages.

[This message has been edited by Tryhard (edited 03-29-2004 @ 09:14 AM).]

posted 03-30-04 02:49 ET (US)     11 / 20       
Brugle was right about ON. In the French version, Heliopolis is ON everywhere except on the world map, where it is called Actif.
posted 06-21-19 12:03 ET (US)     12 / 20       
I have downloaded the the city and it looks amazing! I especially loved those L-shaped blocks. Any chance to get the posted in housing block thread?

Also, how do you got the hunting loges to work so efficiently? What keeps the ostriches from running away?
HG Alumnus
posted 06-21-19 17:04 ET (US)     13 / 20       
those L-shaped blocks
My Dakhla's housing blocks are built around rectangular loop roads. Are you looking at blocks in Tryhard's Dakhla Oasis?
how do you got the hunting loges to work so efficiently? What keeps the ostriches from running away?
On the other hand, Tryhard said my hunters worked better, so perhaps you are looking at my Dakhla Oasis.

One hunting lodges is built close to each breeding ground, so much of the time there are ostriches nearby which the hunters can catch quickly. Now and then hunters will chase a more distant ostrich. The only major delay is when hunters chase an ostrich from the other herd, but that doesn't happen too often.

If the ostrich breeding grounds were farther apart, it would be harder to catch enough. Note: ostriches aren't as quick as antelopes (although they are faster than birds).
posted 06-22-19 06:21 ET (US)     14 / 20       
But how they catch the ostriches so fast? In my experience, every second hunter chases his target ostriche over half the map until it finally kills it.
HG Alumnus
posted 06-22-19 12:26 ET (US)     15 / 20       
One reason the hunters in my Dakhla Oasis were effective is that each lodge was very close to a breeding ground. So it often happened that when a hunter leaves the lodge , there is an ostrich nearby, which he can catch easily, quickly return to the lodge, and then leave the lodge again (to probably catch another nearby ostrich). Also, since the other breeding ground isn't too far away means that when a hunter chooses to chase an ostrich from the other breeding ground, he doesn't waste too much time going there.

I used a simpler approach in some other missions which had more breeding grounds, including Dunqul Oasis (which I build right after Dakhla) and the earlier Rostja: 7 or 8 hunting lodges were built near one breeding ground. Game meat production was high from the nearby breeding ground and enough was caught from the other breeding grounds.

If breeding grounds are fairly far apart and the simpler approach isn't good enough, you may want to read reply #1 (after "Saqqara:") of Plebus's 3 new speed record and 3 new blocks. A while ago I though of using a similar approach to catch a lot of game meat in "Super Saqqara", but I lost interest (although I may go back and finish it some day).
posted 06-22-19 16:40 ET (US)     16 / 20       
But my problem is, that the hunter often misses his target ostriche and scares him. The ostrich then runs and the hunter starts chasing him, repeatedly firing and missing, until he finally kills his target after some 10-20 shots. Is there a way to prevent it?
HG Alumnus
posted 06-22-19 18:53 ET (US)     17 / 20       
my problem is, that the hunter often misses his target ostriche and scares him. The ostrich then runs and the hunter starts chasing him,
Yes, that can happen. While he is doing that, the other two hunters may be catching ostriches quickly. Eventually he (or another hunter) catches the ostrich.
Is there a way to prevent it?
No. If your approach doesn't produce enough game meat, either try a different approach or don't feed as many people game meat.
posted 06-22-19 21:51 ET (US)     18 / 20       
Is there a way to prevent it?
No. If your approach doesn't produce enough game meat, either try a different approach or don't feed as many people game meat.
I haven't seen Brugle's layout but, generally, you can control antelope and ostriches by building a pen around them (not birds as they are usually in more difficult areas of the map to build on and dont move around as much).

Look for the spawn tile and build buildings around it, with a one tile funnel of entry/exit. Then put the hunters either as the buildings you use as the pen, or just near the entrance of the pen. That'll stop the animals being able to run away as much and leading the hunters on a long chase.

If you dont want your hunters wasting time going over to a different hunt and spending forever chasing them across the map, you can pen all the unnecessary ones in with statues or wells like with hyenas.

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
posted 06-24-19 03:48 ET (US)     19 / 20       
Dance platformJuggle platform
ApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentTax CollectorApartment
Music platform
Dance platformJuggle platformApartmentApartment
ShrineFire WardenApartmentApartmentShrineArchitectBazaar
Music platform ApartmentBazaarDentist
Water SupplyApartment
ApartmentBastet TempleRa TempleSchool
ApartmentFire WardenJuggle platformShrine


My first work with Pharaoh Glyph generator is a success . Posted the worker block Burgle used in one of his cities (he played on Very hard difficulty). All roads should be plazas of course.

If entertainment walkers from schools are guarantied to come from right side, then the empty grid near the lower pavilion can be replaced with a roadblock for an easier access to a supply block, if such one is situated to the left of the block.

[This message has been edited by GUdrusltd (edited 06-24-2019 @ 03:54 AM).]

HG Alumnus
posted 06-24-19 07:04 ET (US)     20 / 20       
Posted the worker block Burgle used in one of his cities (he played on Very hard difficulty). All roads should be plazas of course.
That housing block appears similar to the western housing block in my Dakhla Oasis, but is not the same. My block gives fire protection to the leftmost pavilion and provides enough desirability for the bottom left house to evolve to a fancy residence. There are a few minor differences that mattered to me but might not to you.
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