Your replacement, Germanius Tarsus, hurriedly enters. "Ex-Governor Lethargic, the Emperor has just made a another demand for more pottery and oil, an army to serve in Gaul, and more Helvetti barbarians are approaching through the forest. What am I going to do now that you've been promoted?"
Lethargic shakes his head in sympathy for the new governor. "Another impossible request? What does that old drunk want, blood? You'll just have to do the best you can. When the Emperor first assigned me to this province he promised rich resources and trade. He also forgot to mention that the land was plagued with every disaster the gods could think of, inflation was rampant, and that he expected me to fight major battles in Gaul instead of Julius Caesar. I should have been suspicious when he gave me 20,000 dinarii to start. With 100 percent Culture, the city ended up looking like a cross between Disneyland and Cambridge University. I have a strange premonition that if I stay around any longer, other nasty surprises are due."
Germanius shrugs. "But you handled it well governor, I mean ex-governor. You only provided pottery, furniture and oil to the two large and four luxury patrician palaces you built. You kept the rest of the population in small casas and a few large tents. You sold the excess pottery, lumber, oil, fish and fruit to the natives while taxing everyone 10 percent. You've won two foreign battles and defeated the local raiders. Your income has been quite large despite rising worker costs and prices. You have created the most cultured city in the empire with a rating of 100. And just now your population has just reached 10,002 and with a peace rating is 52. You also have a 98 favor rating with the emperor. All this was accomplished in just 12 years. And now you've just been promoted. What are you going to do now?"
"I'm going shark fishing with Pontius Pilate. He doesn't know it yet but he's the bait after talking me into taking this assignment."
Playability - 4.0
Hard level not for the faint of heart. Overall well done but I had two minor complaints. Dock space is limited with no location available to place two docks together. As a result shipping has a tendency to jam up. You have to allow for dock waiting lines. With it being a large map, traders will not be able to get across the map fast enough to allow full trading capability even with the help of the natives villages. Imports don't reach their full potential due to the length of time it takes for traders to walk from the south to the north of the map even with an efficient trade route. An entry and exit located on adjoining sides of the map instead of opposite sides would have allowed faster land trading providing more clay and olives for local manufacturing. But these are my only complaints.
Balance - 5.0
On the hard side but with enough interest throughout the scenario. After the first two demands, the requests tend to be too large to fill. You might end up ignoring them and just bribing Caesar to make up the favor lost. The foreign battles are winnable if you build your military quickly enough. Handled the first one with two full cavalry legions and the second with one infantry and a cavalry legion. Sent only a token force of one cavalry legion for the third distant battle expecting a major attack on my city and then bribed Caesar to make up for the favor loss. Money tends to be critical until you build your palace block. After that income is not a problem.
Creativity - 5.0
The scenario has a nice combination of items in the design. It is a unique combination of requests, battles, and city building.
Map - 5.0
It's an outstanding looking map. Well detailed with a great textured look. Looks and feels like the south of France. It has an interesting starting puzzle about the road to Rome when you start up. There's also enough room to build the large blocks of housing I prefer to make.
Story line - 5.0
The story line correctly covered all the essentials needed to play the scenario.
With a lot of prior planning and some bribes I was able to solve it in Oct 62 BC with a final score of 100 Culture, 67 Prosperity, 52 Peace, 98 Favor and a population of 10,002 with 34,110 dinarii in the treasury.
This difficult scenario is meant for advanced players willing to plan out their city before they start playing. Going for the fastest win time can offset some of its difficulty level. Beginning players may get frustrated trying to balance everything at once and make it a profitable city. Players looking for more military action could delay winning it past 61 BC to get involved with large numbers of enemy invasions that will occur.
Nice scenario Pontius!