Posted on 10/16/05 @ 03:24 AM (updated 03/30/06
Hail Risus Bibulus, Praetor,
A new commission has come through for you. Our explorers have discovered an abandoned harbour on the African coast.
There are rich fishingwaters over there and we, the Senate of Rome, order you to start a thriving colony there and bring Roman culture to the barbarians. The locals seem to have retreated from the coast and have mastered irrigation techniques you should try to put to our benefit(let's romanize them and appropriate their lands).
We will send you a handsome treasurechest to start of this new colony, but we explicitly forbid you to tax your new settlers to the full extent. You may build a senate to tax the patricians, but forums are out of the question. As you don't want to antagonize the locals too much we won't allow building any fortifications for now. You should build up a powerfull army instead. Don't tarry with that too long as we have word that the rascal prince Jugurtha from Numidia has started to rally the desert tribes to his aid and he threatens our African colonies. Guard yourself well against this alliance, those desert warriors attack with lightningspeed.
We will give you some time to get organized, but soon we will expect some profit from our investment, so get your economy up and running and meet our future requests in time. You have 25 years to get this job done.
Greetings from the Senate of Rome.
P.S. Try to find out why that harbour was abandoned, it's a bit suspicious.
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Plays fine everywhere - but you just know sprites/buildings limit is going to be a problem later though. I miss well water, always tasted better I thought.
Balance leans towards battles, but really very well balanced overall as intended (competition map).
Map Design: 5
As usual with PP, nice map.
These are fine.
This review of Tangerine is for a survival map where the goal is to survive 25 years. There is no population goal, nor are there any ratings requirements in the map. This slightly modified version of the Summer Contest of 2002 provides an extremely high baseline however. In that contest there were multiple 100's in the ratings with all requests being met on time and large population targets (over 20 000 in the winning entry). The best way to fully appreciate any map is to attempt to push yourself to achieve things with the map that are very difficult - thereby finding nuances within the framework of the map. Anyways, onto the review
Tons of spots for fishing, although not all ideal, particularly after an EQ hits the area. Enough farming spots for well over 40 farms and imports of 25 veggies and 50 fruit (theoretically anyway). All in all, it's there, but getting the food out efficiently is a logistical nightmare in some areas, particularly the southern corner of the map. Some 30+ farms on an island surrounded by natives makes an efficient distribution system critical, and the choices are numerous. You will need to direct your attention to food for a long time in this map.
You start off with a large amount of money at 25000 dn. With normal taxing on typical maps, 25000 is really way too much. This is probably still true for this map if you are simply trying to survive regardless of ratings. If the goal is huge Megalith city, then it is a good sum to start off with. There are 2 land trading partners and multiple sea trade as well as 2 native trade centers. Sounds too good to be true. If your goal is to build a city under 6K or so population exports are going to be your friend and the map will largely turn into a military scenario (see below). If your plan is to move your city into a larger one (particularly over 15 000, although the effect is noticeable at half that), the exports cap on land/sea and speed cap on native traders (even if your warehouses are right beside them) means that eventually your one senate will have to help offset costs to a large degree. In this way, the sooner you are able to tax at a high rate to as many patricians (as possible for one senate) the better.
A major concern can and should be the production of oil and furniture. Pottery and wine (at the expense of food) can be made locally, while both timber and olives (or oil, but not furniture) need to be imported, all by sea. Docks can not be built near the ent/exit by sea, and the need to also export by sea for finances means that the theoretical limit of imports may not be achieved readily (or at least not readily for all things being imported/exported). Pay attention to this early or it will come back to bite you later as your population grows. There will also be requests for all types of manufactured goods at some point in the 25 years, so there is no need not to start producing pretty much everything as you can.
The original competition map had a military academy and lions to supplement your forts (no towers or walls allowed in either) that are not in this updated version. Gladiators are still available, but in this reviewers opinion, gladiator (or lion) defenses defeat the purpose of the military aspect (trivializes any military map) - although I know many disagree. Similarly the scenario is to be designed without cheating (whatever that means ), making multiple barracks a no-no (I think). Analyzing the military aspect without these aids becomes simple, it is very tough. Many of the invasions are easily handled by 1 to 3 forts, but the occasional large attack at critical times makes the military aspect quite challenging. You will need to either allow multiple barracks, gladiator defense or be inventive with something like prefectures (Wolf). Your choice of "inventiveness" will probably decide your choice of legions or javelins. With either choice, Blind-Mans Bluff scare tactics can be used with simultaneous attacks from different spots. Good luck and enjoy, at least 19 of the 20 possible military slots were used. The strength of the attacks varies considerably and unpredictably, well, except you can expect the worst attack to come at the absolute worst possible time
The requests are quite moderate overall. Again, with only one Senate and a high population goal however, you will need to keep your finances profitable in order to handle all 20 requests, with of course the last being the only one of larger size. On this map, goods should constantly be being overproduced to handle the requests, and should you aim for 100 prosperity, for distribution all over the (fairly large) map to houses.
Culture - sadly this will probably push your sprite limits so just worry about this at the end of the game.
Prosperity - Large cities are going to need patricians to pay taxes, smaller ones could get buy with either taxing or exports for money, but time will get you to your housing level max, whatever that is
Peace - There are quite a few extra points to go around for protestors and extra damage. It is hard not to build near an attack point as well the first time through however, and this will quickly lower the extra points.
Favour - There is way too much favor really. I would have preferred if the requests favor points were lower, especially with three distant battles! However, the extra points could certainly be used to allow yourself to go in and out of debt. It was not uncommon the bank total to change by thousands in seconds, so have a hefty surplus of funds around if you don't want to lose any favour.
This map is very very good if you define good to be challenging for its intent (high population/ratings). Even if you define good to be "tough to survive 25 years" this map is quite good. Part of its charm though is the expectation that you are going to try and tweak out as much food as possible and pump it into your people. The open ratings concept or competition style map means you try your best and just succeeding at lasting 25 years is a victory. Then you try again and see how much better you can do. I think anyone who plays this map once will enjoy it. I think most of those would enjoy playing it at least once or twice more to try and improve their results, and PP has done an excellent job testing/making this map morph and change as your population grows. My first attempt went through 3 or 4 paradigm shifts as my population grew. I am excited (although not eager, think I'll play another map in between) to try a second time and hope to improve finances, food/goods production and distribution, more concentrated palace block for easier mass taxing, do better versus very large attacks with 2 forts (gulp) and probably lots more.
I would hazard a guess that I might rate (didn't try to "just" survive) at still 7 out of 10 to just finish the map. If one was to try and achieve all 100s, all requests met on time, all distant battles won and 10K population this would be a 10 out of 10 for difficulty. Caesar Jan's 20K population is outstanding for this (an almost identical anyway) map. It is truly a marathon map with a pace that picks up as you move along.
Anyone who has (at least) completed the career scenarios (both military and peaceful) would enjoy giving this a try I think. Two thumbs way up.
Some people will hit the sprite/data limit on this map.
I would personally have prefered if wells were available, it is imho a valid game mechanic to use as intended (not for cash).
[Edited on 12/07/05 @ 10:09 PM]
Is the scenario captivating and enjoyable? 100% yes. Took me a month of playing (in fact some 50+ play hours) to complete it, but I enjoyed every second of it. And I sure will play it again, this time to make a stable 25k city... Doable? I really don't know.
Very well balanced. Can be played as military challenge, economical or both. Once again, I liked it.
Many unique challenges here, it took my skills to the limit. Lack of forums, divided map are a real test for any governor.
Map Design: 5
What is to be added? Nothing. Beautiful map, feels like desert, feels like North Africa.
Instructions are more then OK, normally would've been a 5, but if I give a perfect score, there is no room for better :D
Additional Comments (possible spoilers):
Seven years gone by when I found, by chance, the CD with Caesar 3. It was my first game bought and installed on my first computer. I loved it then, and still love it now. After installing it and browsing the scenarios I saw this one. Wanted to try, but got too busy. And a year after I remembered that I have some unfinished business here. But what a challenge. It made me learn C3 over again. Walker control, trade control, logistics and distribution, income and so much more. The earthquake splitting the map in two, price raise EXACTLY in the moment I needed those goods the most, gladiator revolt at very very wrong moment (I consider deleting gladiator school at the right moment a cheat), very high requests at the end - all these stretched my limits and I still don't regret it. I can't add anything more that Naghite wouldn't mention.
All distant battle won
All request met