You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Pharaoh: Game Help
Moderated by VitruviusAIA, Gweilo

Hop to:    
Topic Subject: Building a bounteous Behdet
posted 12-08-21 05:40 ET (US)   
As my slow crawl through the Archaic period continues, I have reached Behdet.

As with the rest of this playthrough, I'll be employing the following 'personal rules':

1. Very Hard difficulty
2. No debt, and no bailout gift
3. Beginning no later than year 2, net positive cashflow every year
4. No personal salary (and therefore no gifts to massage that Kingdom Rating)
5. Maximum possible Prosperity rating
6. Maximum possible Culture rating, with 'Perfect' coverage of all healthcare, religion, entertainment, and - wherever papyrus availability allows - education buildings

Initial observations

The somewhat surprising absence of courthouses means housing will be limited to modest apartment, for a maximum prosperity rating of 50.

All housing will therefore be evolved to modest apartment. Although not necessary to achieve that, all housing will have access to temples of both gods worshipped in Behdet, scribal schools, and all available forms of entertainment.

Startup cash is decidedly stingy (just 3,750 Db on Very Hard), so I'm going to need to generate more cash quickly. Particularly since it appears I'll need to import all the bricks needed for a medium mastaba. Maximum brick imports will set me back 6,000 Db a year.

Clay, barley and reeds are available locally, with more clay and reeds, as well as flax, available to import. Export options are plentiful, with the most lucrative being 50 beer, 50 papyrus and 25 linen. I'll aim to export all of the above.

Usable floodplain is fairly limited (~15 farms on the west bank, with the option of 4 more on the northern half of the east bank). And the first harvest will be in June, so I won't get much from it in year 1.

The only reed beds are inconveniently sited on the southern half of the east bank, where most of the available space will be needed to provide the full complement of services to the housing needed to staff the ferry terminal. Reed gatherers are therefore best sited on the west bank, next to the the papyrus makers. This means a longer journey to harvest the reeds, so additional reed gatherers will be needed.

So, all told, immediate options for exports are somewhat limited, although I could produce papyrus and linen from imported reeds and flax, and/or invest in a river crossing to access local reeds.

Luckily, gold mining is available in Behdet, and careful placement means 20+ gold mines can be sited within optimum distance of the palace. The high startup cost of gold mining means I'll only be able to place 3 mines initially, but that should be enough to get things moving.

Staffing all those gold mines, together with all my planned export industries will require a fairly sizeable population - somewhere in the region of 3,500.

Fishing is available in Behdet, but usable shoreline is at a premium. Factoring in the need for a dock, shipwright and ferry terminal, there is space for 5 fishing wharves on the west bank. Several more could be placed on the east bank, but that's also the best place for the navy Pharaoh so desperately wants.

I plan to feed fish to my main (120 tile) housing block on the west bank and the houses on the east bank (around 2,250 people all told). The 5 possible wharves on the west bank should be enough for that. A smaller (68 tile) housing block on the west bank will eat chickpeas, with 4 floodplain farms supplementing imports from Men-Nefer. The remaining 11 farms on the west bank will be dedicated to barley.

I therefore don't need the extra shoreline and floodplain on the northern half of the east bank. And since a direct ferry connection to the southern half of the east bank means a (much) less circuitous journey for my reed gatherers, I'll forgo building on the northern half.

4 warship wharves will be placed on the east bank. A full complement of forts (4 infantry, 2 archers) will cover the main attack vectors on the west bank.

Completion time is going to be limited by how quickly I can import bricks for the mastaba. Factoring in the cost of the trade route to Perwadjyt, I probably can't afford to start imports in year 1; I will aim for maximum imports beginning in year 2.

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 12-08-2021 @ 03:54 PM).]

posted 12-08-21 15:50 ET (US)     1 / 15  
A brief digression on reed gatherers

I realise I am not entirely sure that reed gatherers are best sited on the west bank. I'm sure someone must have noted this before, but a quick search doesn't immediately provide an answer, so I run a short test.

This confirms my initial suspicion - the bottleneck in the production of usable reeds is the cartpusher who distributes processed reeds. Having him make the journey across the Nile roughly halves production compared to when the reed gatherers do it.

So, if you can't fit your reed gatherers and papyrus makers on the same side of the river as the reed bed (which is always the absolute best option), then you're much better off building your reed gatherers on the same side of the river as the papyrus makers.

In my case, that means reed gatherers and papyrus makers on the west bank...
posted 12-08-21 16:55 ET (US)     2 / 15  
Housing design

I decide to build my main housing area around the festival square - this is quite a pleasing design that I may re-use or adapt later.

Ra TemplePhysicianBazaarBazaarSchoolRoadblockHouseHouseHouseHouse
Tax CollectorWater SupplyPolicepostFire WardenShrineShrineArchitectApothecaryJuggle platformHouseHouse
Dance platformMusic platformPersonal MansionHouseHouse
HouseHouseHouseHouseJuggle platform HouseHouseHouseHouse
HouseHouseHouseHouseFestival PlazaHouseHouseHouseHouse
Osiris TempleHouseHouse
RoadblockHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouseVillage Palace
Dance platformMusic platform
Juggle platform
Fire Warden


At 46 tiles, the main loop road here is as long as I'm prepared to tolerate at Very Hard difficulty.

Performer schools, as well as food and goods, are connected to the roadblocked tiles at the top. Additional road tiles beneath the festival square ensure the pavilion is connected to the outside world.

Note that if you move the entry point to the festival square two tiles to the left, and run a road along its left edge, then all but the five houses on the outer left side of the block get entertainment coverage from the destination walkers headed to the pavilion. In the end, though, this is the variant I think I'll use.

The roads to the south continue to the remaining 18 gold mines (13 connected to the roads to the right, 5 more to the road to the left). The palace gets sufficient protection from the fire marshal in the housing block.

My second, smaller, housing block is largely unremarkable, so won't be discussed further.
posted 12-08-21 18:33 ET (US)     3 / 15  
Year 1

I begin by laying out the loop road for my main housing block, and the first few tiles of the road which will provide labour access to my first 13 gold mines and the palace.

I set my wages to Kingdom +2, and set 'Health & Sanitation' as labour priority 1, and 'Industry & Commerce' as priority 2. This will matter later.

I place 36 tiles of housing, and a water carrier. I have 2,721 Db left, which will just be enough for 3 gold mines and the palace. I add those gold mines as soon as the first housing forms.

In April, the first mined gold hits the palace. I immediately place a 4th gold mine, followed by an architect (to service the mines and palace) and the firehouse in the housing block, which also covers the palace.

I spend the next few months tiptoeing around the edge of my bank balance - adding each additional gold mine (and building the necessary roads as I go) as soon as money permits.

After placing gold mine #7 I'm running out of migrants, so add 4 more housing tiles. I add another 16 tiles of housing after gold mine #8.

By November, I have constructed all the 13 gold mines that will be connected to this initial road, and it's time to add more housing. As the mined gold continues to roll in, I place all the remaining tiles of housing in my first housing block.

I end year 1 with 129Db in the bank.

Year 2

I continue the build-out of my gold mines, pausing only to place a police station to curtail rising crime rates, a temple and a handful of shrines to keep Ra and Osiris content, and a physician, architect, apothecary and tax collector in my housing block.

With the steady stream of mined gold now rather more of a torrent, gold mine construction is soon completed; I construct my 21st and final gold mine in April.

I then turn my attention to brick imports, placing roads to form a shoreline loop that backs onto my housing block, a dock, storage yard, firehouse and architect. Once I have the necessary 1,000Db saved up, I open the trade route to Perwadjyt, and begin brick imports. The first 1,200 bricks arrive in July.

I'm now short a few employees, so build my second housing block (supplying the same basic services) with the steady stream of gold income.

I've just started building my fishing industry, when September brings an unpleasant surprise: Pharaoh would like rather a lot of pottery in rather short order.

I don't like failing requests, so consider my options for meeting this one.

By far the easiest option is to just import the pottery from Men-Nefer. That's a little too easy for my taste, though

Producing all the clay and pottery myself, though, will require massively overbuilding my domestic pottery industry. I'll then need to tear down some of the surplus buildings, or face reworking my entire industrial area. Not tempting.

But if I import some clay initially (handily available from my existing trade partner Perwadjyt), I should be able to get away with only 1 additional potter, which I can easily accommodate. But I will be very tight on time.
posted 12-08-21 20:05 ET (US)     4 / 15  
Year 2 - continued (sort of)

So I place some potters, and begin the wait for clay imports. All appears well, but then one of my potters stubbornly refuses to get any employees.

After a bit of poking, it turns out that I somehow miscalculated the size of my shoreline industrial loop - at 50 tiles, it's just too long for reliable labour access.

Luckily, the fix isn't too complicated. I can't fit my dock, fishing wharves and shipwright in a single loop, but I can still squeeze in everything I need, at the cost of an extra firehouse and engineer.

I rewind to April and build my new, improved, shoreline loop. I choose not to benefit from 'future knowledge', so will still only begin making pottery once the request comes in September.
posted 12-10-21 09:34 ET (US)     5 / 15  
I always like seeing housing blocks with a festival plaza; it's more lively than putting it on the outskirts of the city. Plus the way you did it's always going to have some entertainers performing in it.
posted 12-15-21 09:40 ET (US)     6 / 15  
In the course of tinkering with my shoreline loop, I also realise I've made a fairly major mis-calculation about the number of employees I'm going to need (a simple typo in my spreadsheet, but one with consequences!).

I'm going to need more like 4,000 people to staff all my intended industries. Luckily, there is space to expand my 2nd, smaller, housing block, and doing so will allow me to add the extra bandstand I'll now need to retain perfect entertainment coverage.

For good measure, I also spot an opportunity to rejig the placement of some industrial buildings, which also lets me site my work camps in a better spot. So a happy accident.

Given the number of design changes, I decide to restart the city from scratch, which is not a major hardship since I only have just over a year to re-do.
posted 12-15-21 15:30 ET (US)     7 / 15  
Year 1 (reprise)

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is my mantra for year 1, so I follow the same plan throughout.

As before, I begin by laying out the loop road for my main housing block, and the first few tiles of the road which will provide labour access to my first 13 gold mines and the palace.

I set my wages to Kingdom +2, and set 'Health & Sanitation' as labour priority 1, and 'Industry & Commerce' as priority 2. This will matter later.

I place 36 tiles of housing, and a water carrier. I have 2,721 Db left, which will just be enough for 3 gold mines and the palace. I add those gold mines as soon as the first housing forms.

I add gold mines as funds allow, adding extra housing (as before) after the 7th and 8th mines are constructed. By November, I have my first 13 gold mines built, and add all remaining

At year end, I again have placed all the housing in my main housing block, and have 129Db left.

Year 2 (for real this time)

As before, I continue with the roll-out of gold mining, building the 21st gold mine in April. By this time I have supplied basic services to my main housing block, and placed a handful of shrines to avoid Osiris and Ra seeking vengeance.

I again open the trade route to Perwadjyt as soon as funds allow, and buy the maximum possible 1,200 bricks from the first two ships that reach the dock in June and August.

At the same time, I begin placing my 2nd housing block, using the workers to staff the beginnings of my fishing industry; I place the shipwright and 2 wharves in June, a third wharf in August, and the final 2 in September, alongside my sole granary in this city.

Pharaoh's 'surprise' request for pottery arrives as before in September, just as the 2nd ship from Perwadjyt is leaving. I immediately place 3 clay pits (I'll need them to supplement the clay I'll import to kick-start pottery-making), add some extra housing to my 2nd housing block, then add 5 potters.

When the 3rd ship from Perwadjyt arrives in October, I import 800 clay (plus a further 400 bricks). I move half to a second storage yard (which I set to 'get' clay for just long enough to spawn a single 'getting' cartpusher), so it is distributed to all 5 of my potters as quickly as possible. As the month rolls round to November, all 5 of my potters are now fully-operational. I have 7 months to go to fulfil the request, which should be just enough time for three full pottery production cycles. It's still going to be very tight though...

While I'm doing that, I have spare cash to burn, so place my recruiter and the first of 2 archer forts. This is a military scenario, after all

I also get the slightly irritating news that the next flood will probably fail entirely. I don't have the cash I'd need to butter up Osiris in time to fix that, so that's a problem I'll just have to work around.

The fourth and final ship from Perwadjyt arrives at the beginning of December; careful placement of my storage yards means I have plenty of time to import the full 1,200 bricks left in my quota this year.

To spend the last few Db left this year, I place my personal mansion (setting my salary to 0 as I do so), the roads for a large loop that will hold performer schools, work camps and my papyrus industry, the first 2 work camps, and three chickpea farms on the northern floodplain.

I also add the bazaars to my main housing block, and send the buyers out in search of some tasty fish. They have a slightly longer walk than is strictly ideal (so I can ensure maximum productivity from the fishing wharves), so this housing block will take a little while to fully stabilise.

Finally, I place the mastaba.

I end the year with a net positive cashflow of 65Db, for 194Db in the bank.

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 12-15-2021 @ 03:33 PM).]

posted 12-15-21 16:47 ET (US)     8 / 15  
Year 3

Brick imports continue at full tilt for the whole year. I will have two-and-a half full storage yards at year end (using capacity in storage yards that will later be used for copper, wood and chickpea imports, as well as what will be my main brick storage yard).

I add jugglers to my main housing block, nudging the housing that has food towards ordinary cottage. I also add the festival square, which takes care of most of my desirability problems for now.

I begin my beer industry with three barley farms on the southern plateau. This becomes five when, at the end of January, Pharaoh decides he'd quite like some of my beer. Annoyingly, I'm not going to get even 50% production out of these farms this year (as I'm late placing them), and with a failed flood on its way, productivity will be low next year. So it looks like I'll have limited beer to sell or use for some time. But Pharaoh wants, so Pharaoh gets.

I choose not to add any further chickpea farms, as I want to save some of the floodplain for next year. To compensate for the lost production, I'll start chickpea imports this year if money allows.

In May, with a matter of days to spare, I dispatch the pottery request.

I place a storage yard for chickpeas next to my second housing block, and add 6 breweries near my shipwright. I've only got time for 2 production cycles before the request is due, so I need lots of them.

By the time the harvest arrives in June, around 3/4 of my main housing block now has food (and has evolved to ordinary cottage), so I have just about enough workers to keep everything going. I've also imported 3600 of this year's 4000 bricks. I place my second archer fort to keep my recruiter churning out soldiers.

When the next ship from Perwadjyt arrives in August, I begin importing reeds alongside the final 400 bricks. From now on, I'll turn reed imports off at the start of each year so I get my full quota of bricks first, then restart reed imports.

I also open the trade route to Men-Nefer so I can begin importing chickpeas (I will import the full quota of 2,500 by year-end, and will do so in every subsequent year).

I add the first 4 (of an eventual 13) papyrus makers. Since site preparation over at the mastaba is almost complete, I also add 3 bricklayers' guilds.

When the non-existent floodwaters "recede" in October, I add 4 new chickpea farms to the northern floodplain, and 3 barley farms to the southern floodplain. I leave the remaining exhausted farms in use because I'm going to need everything I can get from the floodplain next year. And next year's flood at least promises to be a good one.

In November, I send Pharaoh's beer on its way.

I will soon need to move on to training infantry, so I also open the trade route to Timna and begin both copper imports and papyrus sales. I import my first 1,600 copper and start weapon production (4 weaponsmiths) before the end of December.

I also place the bazaars in my second housing block, and send them off in search of chickpeas.

Finally, I place the ferries, roads, support services and 4 whole tiles of housing in the small village on the east bank next to the reeds. I will ultimately also site 4 warship wharves here.

Years 4-5

Year 4 begins with the steady accumulation of more bricks, as construction picks up over at the mastaba. The first course completes in March, and the second in July. By this time I have added 4 more breweries, my first infantry fort, and a warehouse on the east bank getting pottery, beer and papyrus for the housing (and eventual school) there.

I've also accumulated enough stock to respond to Pharaoh's latest demand - this time for much-needed fish. On the plus side, my earlier efforts have been rewarded with a gift of 2,500 bricks. All of which will go straight on the pile.

I continue steadily expanding my city - first my papyrus industry (3 reed gatherers and the remaining 9 papyrus makers), then the rest of my breweries (12 total). Once food is available in most housing, I raise wages to 38 and taxes to 15% (I wasn't prepared to risk 17% yet).

As cash from taxes and exports begins to mount up (alongside the continuing torrent of mined gold), I add the remaining religion and entertainment buildings to my housing blocks, and release pottery and beer across the city. I finish by adding scribal schools on both sides of the river.

I open the final trade routes to Byblos and Nekhen, importing wood for warships, and adding weavers to process imported flax for export to Timna. I place the remaining three infantry forts, ensuring my recruiter is never idle.

By the end of year 5, I have built everything I intend to build, and all housing has fully evolved to modest apartment.

All that remains is to complete building the mastaba.

Years 6-7

Well, I say "all that remains"...

February of Year 6 brings another request from Pharaoh, this time for pottery I have plenty of, so it's dispatched immediately.

It also brings notification that a foreign army will invade in 18 months. A quick check of progress on the mastaba suggests I may not be quite finished by then.

But since I'll have 6 full companies soldiers and 4 warships waiting for them, I'm not too worried.

A further gift of 2,500 bricks arrives in July of year 6, which I thought might be enough for me to avoid combat altogether, but no.

In any event, it turns out none of the soldiers are particularly necessary, as the small invasion force is unceremoniously sunk when it rows into view in September of year 7. After some light repairs, my fleet is back to patrolling the river.

The final brick of the mastaba is then laid in November of year 7, and victory has been achieved!

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 12-15-2021 @ 04:49 PM).]

posted 12-15-21 17:12 ET (US)     9 / 15  
Final mission statistics

Culture: 15 (limited by lack of dentists)
Prosperity: 50 (all housing at modest apartment, maximum possible given lack of courthouses)
Monument: 11 (1 medium mastaba)
Population: 3,960
Money: 42,703 Db

In addition, all housing has access to scribal schools, temples of both gods worshipped in Behdet, all available forms of entertainment and all healthcare facilities.

The city also has 'Perfect' coverage of all entertainment, healthcare, education and religion buildings.

Completion time: 83 months.

I am really proud of this particular build; it's definitely one of the best organised and most 'complete' cities I've managed to date. Playing on Very Hard seems to bring out the best in me.

I'll be submitting to the downloads section in the next day or so, and will update the thread with a link when I do.

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 12-15-2021 @ 07:42 PM).]

posted 12-15-21 17:33 ET (US)     10 / 15  
A puzzling coda: where did all my bricks go?

I was initially a little perplexed that my completion time was slower than I'd expected.

Beginning in year 2, I had taken great pains to import the maximum possible 4,000 bricks each year from Perwadjyt, the sole source of bricks in this mission.

I'd also received a total of 5,200 bricks in gifts. Since the medium mastaba requires 24,000 bricks, I should have been able to complete the mission in year 6 (5 years of maximum brick imports, plus the gifts, should have been more than enough). But the final brick laid in the mastaba was the last of the 4,000 bricks I imported in year 7.

Somewhere along the line, some 5,200 bricks appear to have completely vanished.

I went back through my saved game history, and verified that I had in fact imported 4,000 bricks every year for 6 years. I have therefore reached exactly the same conclusion that I reached in my Men-Nefer playthrough: despite what the in-game dialogues say, in at least some situations medium mastabas appear to require more than the reported 24,000 bricks. A lot more.

As best I can tell from my saved game history, all but one of the six courses of the medium mastaba I built here required 4,800 bricks, not the reported 4,000. Weirder still, the 2nd course appears to have needed 5,200 bricks (again, rather than the 4,000 reported in game).

And that accounts for all the 5,200 extra bricks I needed.

I cannot yet rule out the possibility that I've encountered some sort of bug; further tests will hopefully provide a clearer answer.

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 12-15-2021 @ 05:34 PM).]

posted 12-15-21 18:53 ET (US)     11 / 15  
I'm pretty sure that the game miscalculates the number of bricks needed in mastabas, since it doesn't count the entrance square. I think that a medium mastaba (with 21 2x2 squares) would require at least 11 loads per level or at least 26400 bricks.

I haven't paid much attention to mastaba construction, but I have carefully watched mudbrick pyramid construction, and bricks are fairly often lost, sometimes multiple loads per level. I took my old Behdet, deleted the mastaba, watched a few levels being constructed, and I think I saw levels that took 11, 12, and 13 loads.

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 12-15-2021 @ 06:54 PM).]

posted 12-16-21 16:59 ET (US)     12 / 15  
Brugle As ever, you are correct.

Some more detailed testing has confirmed that the minimum number of bricks necessary for a medium mastaba is indeed 26,400 (11 loads per course), and that the extra 2,800 I needed were a result of additional bricks getting 'lost', I think mainly due to what I'm calling 'split pairs' of bricklayers.

Since I think I've also now worked out how to avoid (or at least minimise) such brick losses, I'm mulling another run through Behdet. If I can indeed eliminate brick losses, then that's more than 2 full boatloads fewer bricks required, which should shave several months off my completion time. There are also a couple of minor tweaks to city layout I could weave in, including one which lets me add in those extra 2 gold mines I didn't incorporate previously.

Decisions, decisions...
posted 12-17-21 20:01 ET (US)     13 / 15  
I decided I would make those very minor tweaks to my city - adding the extra 2 gold mines, placing a full complement of 6 bricklayers to service the mastaba, and some fiddling with layout that cost me 4 housing tiles.

That - and getting very lucky with a trade ship from Perwadjyt arriving just as the year rolled over - meant I was able to shave a full 9 months off my completion time, taking it down to 74 months.

The brick gifts I received in this run through were on the stingier side of what I've seen, but still enough that I only needed 1 ship in year 7. I think it's possible, if you're very lucky, to get two gifts totalling 6,400 bricks; that would make completion in year 6 possible, but that's pretty much the only way to do it faster.

One downside of the faster completion time is that I haven't quite finished training my army when I finish the scenario: I still have 3 archers to go! I think it's probably possible to get my first fort built a little earlier, so may have a crack at that.
posted 12-18-21 21:16 ET (US)     14 / 15  
It was indeed possible to get my first archer fort built a little earlier. The ripple effects from that lasted a little longer than I expected, but adding 12 more tiles of housing to my second housing block, and being a little more aggressive building out the gold mines (in this playthrough, I built 23, all within optimum distance of the palace, and all were built by April of year 2) made sure I was able to deal with them.

Revised mission statistics

Culture: 15 (limited by lack of dentists)
Prosperity: 50 (all housing at modest apartment, maximum possible given lack of courthouses)
Kingdom: 56
Monument: 11 (1 medium mastaba)
Population: 4,104
Money: 29,766 Db

Completion time: 74 months

As before, 6 full companies of soldiers (4 infantry, 2 archer), and 4 warships are in the city. All housing has access to temples of both gods, and all available entertainment, healthcare and education buildings. Naturally, coverage of all available culture buildings is also 'perfect'.

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 12-19-2021 @ 04:26 AM).]

posted 12-20-21 16:26 ET (US)     15 / 15  

It's occurred to me that I have overlooked another possible way to complete the mastaba (and thence the scenario) before the end of year 6: importing bricks in year 1.

Thus far, maximum brick imports in years 2-6, plus the first two gifts of bricks have consistently left me around 1 shipload of bricks short. So if I could import 1,200 bricks by the end of year 1, that would probably be enough to do it.

But can I actually do that? A couple of short tests suggest the answer is a resounding "no", or at least "not without breaking far too many personal rules".

The combined cost of the trade route to Perwadjyt, the necessary infrastructure (dock, storage yard, plus maybe an extra firehouse/architect), and the bricks themselves is over 3,000 Db. No matter when in year 1 I choose to pause the buildout of my gold mines, it just isn't possible to generate that much free cash before year end.

But the bigger problem is that - even if I were somehow able to squeeze in those imports in year 1 - the opportunity cost of doing so is too great. My city development is set back so far that I can't afford anything close to maximum brick imports in year 2, and have no hope of meeting the first request either.

So, with that, I think I'm now happy I've squeezed as much out of Behdet as I can, and move on (or rather sideways) to Abedju.
Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Pharaoh: Game Help » Building a bounteous Behdet
You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register
Hop to:    
Caesar IV Heaven | HeavenGames