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Pharaoh: Game Help
Moderated by VitruviusAIA, Gweilo

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Topic Subject: Abundant Abedju
posted 12-20-21 17:39 ET (US)   
So my journey through the Archaic period has now reached its apex as I arrive in Abedju.

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 religion, entertainment, and - wherever papyrus and linen availability allows - education and healthcare buildings

Initial observations

Unlike Behdet, Abedju has not only courthouses, but also dentists. Only one god is worshipped in Abedju, though, so housing cannot evolve past elegant residence.

Local resources are limited to fish, barley, flax and reeds. There is plentiful shoreline available for wharves, and lots of easily-accessible floodplain (although most is located on the east bank of the Nile, away from the Kingdom road).

Reeds are a bit more finicky to access, with only a small patch on the west bank. The larger patch on the east bank is largely cut off from the rest of the city, and there is only a small area in which to build services that might support housing necessary to man a ferry.

A variety of other foodstuffs, as well as copper for weapons, are available for import. As are enormous quantities of clay and straw, which is just as well, because we're going to need a whole lot of bricks for the 3 mastabas needed here, and even the substantial quantity available for import is unlikely to cut it.

Exports are potentially lucrative, with up to 6500 linen, 5000 beer and 2500 papyrus the obvious highlights. I'll be aiming to export all of those.

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 04-14-2022 @ 03:09 PM).]

posted 12-20-21 18:25 ET (US)     1 / 22  

Achieving the maximum possible prosperity rating (70) requires evolving all housing to elegant residence. That may be tricky for the housing on the east bank by the reeds, as there's limited space to fit in quite a lot of services.

I really don't want to forgo those reeds though, so I have a little fun playing with different possible layouts. After several false starts, I finally alight on this one, that just manages to cram everything in:

FloodplainLush grassLush grassReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReeds
FloodplainFloodplainWater SupplyArchitectReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReeds
FloodplainFloodplainOsiris TempleApartmentMusic platformDance platformReedsBazaarReedsReedsReeds
FloodplainFloodplainFire WardenPhysicianLush grass
FloodplainFloodplainDentistShrineJuggle platform

The top right tile of the house has 52 desirability, which is just enough for elegant residence.

It's possible to raise the desirability of that tile to 55 (replace the architect with a second shrine, then add another road tile under the pavilion so you can re-site the architect opposite the firehouse), but there's no need for that here.

Since this layout uses all but 3 of the buildable tiles in this location, there is sadly no space for a tax collector, so my ferrymen will get to be the only citizens exempt from taxation. That's a compromise I'm happy to accept.

All other housing will be evolved to elegant residence, with access to all available amenities.

Speaking of that other housing, elegant residences require 2 food types. While everyone will be eating locally-sourced fish, the second food type will need to be imported.

Perwadjyt, Men-Nefer and Nubt sell 2,500 figs, chickpeas and game meat, respectively, so one-third of my citizens will eat each type. 2,500 food is enough for a second food type for 1666 people, or not quite 19 fully-occupied elegant residences. I'll therefore have three separate housing blocks, with 18, 18 and 17 elegant residences in each (with the lone house by the reed bed making the 18th residence eating the third imported food - probably game meat).

I'll be able to 'store' game meat in the houses that will eventually eat it, as people in those houses will preferentially eat fish until the house evolves to spacious residence. But both figs and chickpeas are more preferred food types than fish, so unless I want to 'waste' that imported food, I'll have to hold it back until housing is ready to evolve. And because each common residence will grab 480 figs/chickpeas from a passing market trader, I'll need almost 9,000 figs/chickpeas on hand if I want to evolve all the common residences in a block at the same time. The alternative is to accept a very slow evolution to spacious residence spread over as much as 6 years. Not tempting.

I think my best plan is to accumulate two full storage yards of figs/chickpeas, then release them to housing at the very beginning of a year. The following year's imports should then be just about enough to fully-stock the remaining houses in the block. But I'll have to see how well that works.

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 12-20-2021 @ 06:35 PM).]

posted 12-20-21 20:57 ET (US)     2 / 22  
That is a lovely housing block! I also hate having low-level feeder huts, so I appreciate the work that goes into upgrading even the remote houses... The suggestion I have is that we can make room for an extra 1x1 building if we use an unusual pavilion configuration. Also, after the house is upgraded to residence we shouldn't need the apothecary anymore (although maybe it counts for the self-imposed health coverage challenge).

Music platformDance platform Bazaar
Fire Warden
Juggle platform


By the way, I am not sure if you're aware of that but there is a way reach the eastern reed field by road. It becomes inaccessible during the flood but in my experience it's possible to gather enough reeds during the dry season.
posted 12-21-21 08:27 ET (US)     3 / 22  
The suggestion I have is that we can make room for an extra 1x1 building if we use an unusual pavilion configuration.
I did spot that opportunity at the very end, but chose not to use it as I don't need any more 1x1 buildings, and I'm conscious I may be tight on workers across the city as a whole.

But, on reflection, I could use it for a police station, so I don't have to build the (much more expensive) courthouse to control crime when the housing is still at lower levels.
By the way, I am not sure if you're aware of that but there is a way reach the eastern reed field by road. It becomes inaccessible during the flood but in my experience it's possible to gather enough reeds during the dry season.
I was dimly aware of that possibility - if I remember correctly, a bridge over the small lake in the northeast corner and some carefully-placed roads lets the reed gatherers cut across the floodplain. I think year-round access by ferry probably works slightly better for the overall design I have in mind, but I may revisit the over-land route if that proves not to work as well as I hope!
posted 12-21-21 08:47 ET (US)     4 / 22  

Domestic consumption of goods is going to be relatively modest in Abedju: 54 elegant residences will consume 1,296 of each of pottery, beer and linen a year. Even under worse-case assumptions, four scribal schools should consume no more than 1,920 papyrus.

I'd like to produce enough beer, linen and papyrus to maximise exports, so that's another 5,000, 6,500 and 2,500 (respectively).

Provided I can keep them stocked with the appropriate raw materials, that means I'll need 3 potters, 12 brewers, 8 papyrus makers and 14 weavers. Allowing for a reasonably generous safety margin, I'll build 12 barley and 14 flax farms - filling the small floodplain on the west bank and the more accessible half of the floodplain on the east bank.

Factoring in the clay used by those 3 potters, there's enough left over from imports to supply 25 brickworks, which is what I'll aim for.

I'll also build 4 (possibly 5) weaponsmiths to keep my recruiter fully-supplied with weapons for infantry.

Given the sheer quantity of goods I need to import (12000 clay, just under 3000 straw, plus 2500 each of the 3 imported food types, and copper for weapons), maximising trade efficiency is going to be vital. I'll need to think very carefully about where I site my industrial areas.

Which is what I will now do!
posted 12-21-21 10:48 ET (US)     5 / 22  
housing on the east bank by the reeds
I'd be concerned about fire protection for the school, but maybe I worry too much.
goods I need to import (12000 clay, just under 3000 straw, plus 2500 each of the 3 imported food types, and copper for weapons)
A little wood for warships?
posted 12-22-21 22:36 ET (US)     6 / 22  
I'd be concerned about fire protection for the school, but maybe I worry too much.
If you're worried, there's usually a pretty good reason. All that papyrus tends to be a little too flammable, particularly on very hard.

Luckily, I have just enough desirability to spare that swapping the dentist and firehouse, so the school gets fire coverage at the beginning and end of every walk, is going to be fine. The top right tile of the house still has 50 desirability here.

FloodplainLush grassLush grassReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReeds
FloodplainFloodplainWater SupplyArchitectReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReedsReeds
FloodplainFloodplainOsiris TempleApartmentMusic platformDance platformReedsBazaarReedsReedsReeds
FloodplainFloodplainDentistPhysicianLush grass
FloodplainFloodplainFirehouseShrineJuggle platform

If that still proves to be insufficient fire coverage (and I worry it might), then I can swap both the water supply and school, and the firehouse and architect. But I think I'll keep the school next to the ferry terminal if I can get away with it as that's better for papyrus distribution.
A little wood for warships?

That too. Must remember to have somewhere to put that close to the dock...

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 12-22-2021 @ 11:48 PM).]

posted 12-22-21 23:23 ET (US)     7 / 22  
Could also swap the temple and courthouse. Not only is the courthouse more desirable to put next to the house, but temples are immune to fire and therefore should do fine farther away from the fire house.
posted 12-23-21 06:43 ET (US)     8 / 22  
Could also swap the temple and courthouse. Not only is the courthouse more desirable to put next to the house, but temples are immune to fire
Desirability effect of the temple and courthouse on the east corner of the house is +12 either way. Courthouses are also immune to spontaneously catching fire.
there is a way reach the eastern reed field by road
Here's an idea: get rid of the pavilion and run the road through the floodplain and over the bridge to entertainer "schools" (whose entertainers would have to walk by the house). The flood should be short enough so the house keeps its entertainment.

I don't think I'd do that, but it is interesting.
posted 12-23-21 08:52 ET (US)     9 / 22  
Here's an idea: get rid of the pavilion and run the road through the floodplain and over the bridge to entertainer "schools" (whose entertainers would have to walk by the house). The flood should be short enough so the house keeps its entertainment.
Presumably the performers would need to have a valid destination somewhere on the other side of the ferry crossing, but that's not hard to arrange.

Engineering the necessary desirability might also be a bit of a pain without the pavilion, which supplies a surprisingly large proportion of it. There's always the option of more shrines, though.

It is, as you say, an interesting option. Not one I think I'll try this time, as I don't think it fits with the design I have in mind.

Speaking of which, I have now finally got a high-level city plan I'm happy with.

|City layout

I plan for 2 housing blocks on the west bank - one towards the south which supplies labour to my papyrus industry and the bulk of the fishing wharves, and one squeezed in between the rocks and the small area of floodplain that supplies labour to my dock district (to the north) and a large industrial area with breweries and weavers (to the west).

A third block on the east bank supplies labour to my many brickworks, all my work camps and construction guilds, as well as 4 more fishing wharves and a full complement of 6 warships. 3 troop transports will be located in the dock area.


In a bid to maximise trade throughput, I'm attempting to ensure as much trade as possible happens in either the dock area or the industrial district (which is close to the kingdom road exit.

The only storage yards in the city accepting clay and straw are in the dock area: Brugle storage yards filled with fish will fetch both and distribute them to the brickworks on the east bank. Three further storage yards in the dock area (all within 5 tiles of the dock) accept the remaining seaborne imports (figs, game meat, copper and wood) and the only seaborne export (linen).

My weapons and pottery industries, as well as the shipwright, are also sited in the dock district. I'll use some of the space in the game meat storage yard for both weapons and wood.

I'm intentionally working deliverymen for industrial buildings pretty hard throughout the city. Papyrus makers will make a lengthy (almost the maximum possible without losing production) trek to the only warehouse accepting it in the industrial district. That warehouse, and the papyrus makers themselves, will supply both the schools on the west bank and in the reed colony, all of which are closer to the papyrus makers than the storage yard. A Brugle storage yard will supply the school on the east bank.

My brickworks will deliver bricks right to the mastaba building site; potters will deliver to a small supply zone located between the two housing blocks on the west bank; weavers will deliver both to that supply zone and to the storage yard in the dock district. Only the brewers have it relatively easy; their deliveries will go to another warehouse in the industrial district.

All this effort on their part means traders should be able to move through quickly; traders from Timna will drop off any copper required in the dock area, buy linen at the same storage yard, head to the industrial district for beer and papyrus, then swiftly exit. Traders from Men-Nefer will drop off chickpeas in the small supply zone on the east bank, then head to the industrial district for beer on their way out. All ships should be able to drop off goods (and, in the case of those from Behdet, buy oodles of linen) with the minimum of fuss.

A strategically-placed bazaar in the northern housing block will grab game meat and linen directly from the dock area. A second bazaar will get fish and pottery from the supply zone, and beer via a direct connection to the industrial zone.

In the southern housing block, bazaars will get fish, chickpeas, pottery and linen from the supply zone, and beer via another direct connection to the industrial zone.

The block on the east bank will consume figs as well as fish. In addition to the Brugle storage yard for papyrus, another 'normal' storage yard near the block on the east bank will get figs (and later linen); another will store fish, and get pottery and beer.

The bazaar in the reed colony will need to fetch most of its goods from the supply zone on the east bank; to take some of the stress off its buyers, a fish storage yard close to the ferry (which is needed to maximise fish production) will also fetch beer (and possibly linen).

A worry...

All of this planning looks just fine so far, but I'm nervous that I won't have enough employees to staff all the buildings I'm going to need. In order to keep everyone in elegant residences and properly fed, I'm limited to a population of 4,752. Which I don't think is quite enough for the vast industrial complex I have in mind.

Some of those employees could be freed up once I've finished producing bricks, but that'll be more or less when I'm finished the scenario, so doesn't help much.

I'm not yet sure what I'll cut back on if the need arises. Beer exports will probably be the casualty, but I will see how things go.
posted 01-02-22 00:20 ET (US)     10 / 22  
A cautionary tale

After a bit more planning, I launch into building my Abedju. All is proceeding relatively smoothly until I place my dock to begin linen exports to Behdet, at which point I discover I have made a cataclysmic error.

For some reason I had neglected to check where trade ships would enter the map. When the answer is "from the South", I am immediately nervous that my dock placement (to the North, near the entry point for land traders) isn't going to cut it.

And that nervousness proves warranted. Waterborne trade is nowhere near efficient enough to sustain the import levels I will need. The only solution is a ground-up redesign of the city, so back to the drawing board I go.

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 01-02-2022 @ 00:23 AM).]

posted 01-16-22 02:32 ET (US)     11 / 22  
A solution

After a lot of tinkering, I think I've finally come up with a redesign I'm happy with.

While I initially recycled quite a bit of my original design, in the end the only part that has survived completely unscathed is the small settlement on the east bank that supplies labour to the southern ferry (which allows access to the reed beds).

On the west bank, I've moved my papyrus industry slightly further south to accommodate my dock district (which also includes a single warship wharf and the shipwright, as well as five storage yards for waterborne imports and exports). Potters and weaponsmiths are located just outside the dock district, close to the storage yards that will hold imported clay and copper, respectively. The recruiter and academy sit just north of the dock district, near the weaponsmiths and 3 of my fishing wharves.

Speaking of which, one consequence of moving all those shoreline buildings is I will have 3 fewer fishing wharves. But some quick calculations suggest I should nonetheless have more than enough - both before and after ​I make the jump to spacious residences and begin consuming imported food.

Relocating the dock (and its associated storage yards) means I also need to rethink the placement of my linen and beer industries. In the end I relocate them to the space between the west bank floodplain and the rocks. To make room for all that industry, I shift my northern housing block further north to the area where I'd previously placed my dock.

But by far the biggest change is that I also need to relocate my brick industry, guilds and mastabas. With the dock far to the south, it's no longer practical to move imported clay and straw to the east bank. So I relocate my brickworks and bricklayers' guilds to a single industrial loop to the west of the rocks on the west bank. Labour access is provided by housing on the northern side of a redesigned southern housing block built around the festival square.

The southern housing block also provides labour to the dock district (via housing on its eastern edge), and a large loop with the papyrus industry, ferry landing, fishing wharves, performer schools and the main storage yards for beer, papyrus and pottery. This support zone also serves the ferry colony on the east bank.

Bazaar buyers from there and the southern block will get linen and the second food type (in their case, figs) directly from storage yards in the dock district.

Because consumption of non-food goods is going to be really quite low (just barely over 400 units a year in each of my 3 housing blocks), I decide to make some of the bazaar buyers in the northern and east bank housing blocks work pretty hard. The only storage yards in the city holding beer and linen will be in the dock district - greatly simplifying land trade. That means a looooong journey for buyers fetching those goods, but it's one they will only have to make every 10-11 months. Both housing blocks will have 2 bazaars: one will buy beer, the other linen. The bazaar buying linen will also buy pottery, which will be available in a nearby storage yard.

I also decide that the northern housing block will eat game meat. The bazaar buyer will ultimately get that directly from the dock district, but I may move some closer to speed up evolution to spacious residence.

Chickpeas will be deposited in storage yards on the west bank, next to the ferry that connects to the east bank housing block. Aside from some fishing wharves, warship wharves, work camps, farms and a couple of forts, only the 3rd housing block will be built there. Again, bazaar buyers will make the long journey to the dock district to fetch beer and linen, but pottery and food will be close at hand.
posted 04-14-22 00:19 ET (US)     12 / 22  
Another cautionary tale

A second abortive attempt at has revealed a critical flaw in my revised design: the bazaars in the northern housing block aren't close enough to the beer/linen storage in the dock area, so won't fetch goods as planned.

Ironically, the bazaar buyers from the east bank, who have a much longer walk, are actually closer (as the crow flies) to the dock district. So they'll merrily walk right past the northern housing block to fetch their supplies.

I briefly consider moving some beer and linen closer to the northern block, but that will severely disrupt my carefully planned land trade with Timna. Once again, more drastic surgery is required.

This abortive run also confirms my suspicion that I won't have enough workers for all the industry I want to build. Something will have to give...

A new(ish) design

After yet more tinkering, and several iterations I dislike for aesthetic and/or practical reasons, I end up with something that looks a lot like my original design - with the northern housing block squeezed in between the west bank floodplain and rocks. Its bazaars are now very close to the linen/beer storage.

Moving the northern housing back to its original location means I now need to find somewhere else to put my linen and beer industries. After a fair bit of head-scratching, I realise that I can fit two industrial loops in the desert to the west.

One (with the beer and linen industries) will get labor access from, and connect to the city via, the western edge of the northern housing block.

The other, located immediately to the south of that, houses my brick industry, construction guilds, and some additional work camps to speed monument construction. It gets labour access, as before, from the northern edge of the south housing block, and is the only part of the city that is disconnected.

Some further thought on trade

Land-based trade in Abedju is fairly straightforward, with only two trade partners (Timna and Men-Nefer) to worry about.

Trade with Men-Nefer is relatively simple (just 2500 chickpea imports and 2500 beer exports), so requires little active management. I decide to finesse my original plan slightly, and have them drop off chickpeas close to the east bank housing before buying beer from the dock district on their way home.

Since I'd very much like to sell my full quota of beer, linen and papyrus to Timna, it's critical traders from there don't waste time bouncing between storage yards. So all trade with Timna will happen as close to the dock as possible. But since beer and papyrus aren't tradeable by water, they can (and will) be stored a little further away from the dock.

Waterborne trade is altogether more complicated. Nubt and Perwadjyt are both willing to sell far more goods than their ships can carry. I'll need the maximum possible food imports from both, so that further limits how much clay, straw and/or bricks I can buy from them.

It eventually dawns on me that one way to ease some of the pressure on those trade routes is to import as many bricks as possible. Every 100 bricks bought means a total of 125 clay and straw I don't need to buy.

With (normally) 6 ships a year from each, I can import 2500 food, 4000 bricks and 700 straw from both; that's enough straw for 10 brickworks. Clay imports from Behdet and Timna will be more than sufficient for them, and my small domestic pottery industry. Conveniently, scaling back brick production means I now have enough workers for all my planned export industries. Maximising beer exports will go a long way towards paying for all those bricks.

It is likely that - left to their own devices - Nubt and Perwadjyt will sell at least some clay each year, reducing straw, bricks and/or food imports. I will micromanage trade where needed for the first few years, but will eventually rely of the steady stream of clay from Behdet and Timna to minimise unwanted clay purchases from them.

Meanwhile, on the waterfront

Aided by the realisation that, with intelligent use of import quotas, I only really need 4 storage yards for waterborne traded goods, I also redesign the dock district, relocating those storage yards a little further north. This helpfully moves linen storage a little closer (both as the crow flies, and as the bazaar lady walks) to the bazaars on the east bank.

It also allows me to make much better use of the space between my southern housing block and the Nile, which is pleasing to me.

A final change

My planned site for the mastabas is now occupied by my beer and linen industries, so I relocate them further north, where they fit rather neatly between the Kingdom road and the rocks.

It would probably be slightly more efficient to move them further south (shortening distances for both bricklayers and labourers hauling bricks). But build time will be limited primarily by brick acquisition, and I much prefer the look of my city with them nestled in the gap to the north, so that's where they're going!

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 04-14-2022 @ 00:24 AM).]

posted 04-14-22 16:03 ET (US)     13 / 22  
Finally, a build log!

I've now satisfactorily completed a run through Abedju. This post (and perhaps some subsequent ones) will detail how it went.

Industrial strategy

But I'll begin with a minor digression on my initial moneymaking strategy.

With the year 1 harvest coming at the beginning of July, and factoring in the time for immigrants to arrive, and work camps to generate farmers, there's only about 4 growing months in year 1. And even with the comparatively generous startup funds, developing the east bank floodplain in time for a year 1 harvest is just too costly.

That means beer/linen exports will initially be limited by the amount of barley/flax I can harvest from the west bank floodplain in year 1. There'll also only be a maximum of 2 production cycles between the year 2 harvest and the end of year 2.

All of which means the total amount of beer/linen I can sell across years 1+2 will be less than a single year's export quota. In turn, that means I'm better served building only flax farms on the west bank (and prioritising them when building out the east bank farms for the year 2 harvest), as linen is more lucrative than beer.

It also means that any linen sold in year 1 isn't true additional income: it simply reduces the amount of linen I will be able to sell in year two. I'm not saying bringing that income forward isn't helpful, but it's worth bearing in mind that it not as valuable as some other early income sources.

My which I, of course, mean papyrus exports. They are initially only limited by production capacity; with enough reed gatherers and papyrus makers, you can hit the full export quota in year 1. And in every other year after that. And that means every papyrus sold in year 1 is true additional income that is 'lost' if you miss out on it.

So my initial strategy is to focus hard on growing my papyrus industry. Migrants will need time to move to the right place and provide labour to buildings, and there will be a further delay once the reed gatherers must cross to the east bank for more reeds, so I'm going to need several extra papyrus makers in the early going.

Some rough back of the envelope calculations suggest I'll need about 10 papyrus makers and 4 reed gatherers to have a chance of hitting that all important year 1 quota (thereafter, I will have a happy surplus). I'll also need to try to ensure at least one trade caravan from Timna arrives close to the end of December.

Onward to describe how well this went...
posted 04-15-22 07:11 ET (US)     14 / 22  
Year 1

I begin by placing the roads for the east bank ferry colony by the reeds, the large loop far to the south for my papyrus industry, the south and east parts of my southern housing block (where houses will be needed early to supply labour to the papyrus industry, and - a bit later - the fishing industry, shipwright and dock), most of my northern housing block (I leave out a handful of roads on the interior of the block, which will not be needed until later), and a few tiles of my main industrial loop (so I will have somewhere to put a storage yard for flax later).

I place six flax farms on the west bank floodplain, and connect them to the northern housing block loop road via short, roadblocked stub roads.

Interlude #1 - the northern housing block

Unusually for me, the northern housing block will include a work camp to service the farms on the west bank floodplain. Liberal use of shrines will offset the negative desirability, meaning it can stay there forever.

When fully-developed, the northern housing block will look like this:

Flax FarmFlax Farm
Flax Farm
Flax FarmFlax FarmFlax Farm
Juggler School Work CampRoadblock
ShrineRoadblock DentistShrineRoadblockShrineApothecaryArchitectFire Warden Roadblock
ApartmentJuggle platformApartmentApartmentApartmentApartmentShrineShrineShrineShrineSchool
ShrineJuggle platformBazaar
Juggle platformMusic platformPersonal MansionShrineShrineShrineShrineDance platformMusic platformRoadblockRoadblockRoadblock
Osiris TempleApartmentApartmentApartmentTax CollectorApartmentWater SupplyApartmentRoadblockPhysician


Note that the main housing block loop road, the road in the centre by the pavilion, and the two road tiles between the roadblocks by the juggler school and physician, will all eventually be plazas. The rest don't need to be.

The road by the ferry (which links to the east bank housing block and main farming area) continues along the river bank to 5 transport wharves, an architect and firehouse. This is where musicians and dancers (from performer schools on the east bank) will enter.

The road that runs behind the water supply is the top of my first (beer + linen) industrial loop. A couple of shrines at the top of that loop are sufficient to offset the desirability impact of the 3 breweries and 1 weaver that will be close enough to affect any of the houses.

The road out past the courthouse leads to the dock district, where food and goods can be found, and beyond that to the southern housing block and papyrus industry.

Of course, at this stage, the northern housing block is a long way from fully developed...

End of interlude #1

Having laid out all my roads, I now add housing. Where 2x2 houses will form in places I want them, I place 3 of the four tiles to maximise immigration. I'll add the fourth tile when they evolve to sturdy hut, so 2x2s form gradually over time.

Where 2x2 housing won't form where I want it, I add only 2 of the 4 housing tiles. In most places, roads and other buildings will then force 2x2 formation in the correct place when they evolve to common residence. In the handful of places where that's not guaranteed (usually where there are 2 or more such housing sites next to each other), I'll use temporary small statues to 'guide' formation of 2x2s where I want them.

All told, I add a total of 84 housing tiles (which will ultimately become 30 elegant residences), in the following order:

* 3 tiles in the ferryman's village on the east bank
* 9 tiles in the southern block which will provide labour access to the papyrus industry
* 46 in the northern block (beginning with those opposite the work camp, then prioritising those closest to the map entry point).
* a further 15 along the eastern edge of the southern block (these will provide labour access to the dock district)
* a final (for now) 11 tiles in the southern block.

I set wages to Kingdom +5, and the following labour priorities:

#1: Food production and distribution (so can start flax production ASAP)
#2: Health and Sanitation (so I can begin supplying water to the northern housing block)
#3: Infrastructure (so the southern ferry is ready in time for when my reed gatherers clear out the reeds on the west bank).

I will note later a couple of occasions where I manipulate labour priorities to my advantage, but in the main I will be operating with a small labour surplus so won't discuss them otherwise.

As soon as the first immigrants arrive (by design, this in the northern block, as those heading to the first houses built still haven't made it to their destination) in February, I place my work camp and the water supply in the northern block.

I place my first 2 reed gatherers just before the immigrants arrive at the southern housing block. This means the labour seekers will have arrive at their feeder housing just after it gets populated.

I also stagger the building of the two reed gatherers, waiting until after the first has spawned a labour-seeker to build the second. This helps ensure initial reed deliveries are spread across papyrus makers by preventing two reed gatherers spawning a deliveryman at the same time.

The initial reed harvest will yield 250 reeds in each gatherer (so just 2 deliveries of reeds each). I therefore place 4 papyrus makers immediately.

Once the work camp has spawned its sixth labourer (one for each farm), I remove the labour priority for 'Food production and distribution', and set 'Industry and commerce' as priority 3. That infusion of 20 extra workers helps get my papyrus industry up to full speed.

When the reed gatherers head out to retrieve the last 150 reeds from the western reed bed, I add two additional reed gatherers (who will head straight to the larger reed bed on the east bank, as by now the ferry is manned), and 3 further papyrus makers. I place the final 3 papyrus makers as the first reed gatherers begin heading back from the east bank reed bed.

By now it is the beginning of June, and the work camp and a few houses in the northern block are looking a little too flammable. So I add a storage yard for the upcoming flax harvest (plus one more for papyrus), and fire protection to the northern block and papyrus loop.

Towards the end of June, the first papyrus arrives at storage facilities. After some trial and error, I determine that the best time to open the trade route to Timna (i.e. the one that ensures traders hit the papyrus storage yard just before the end of December) is when I have 400 papyrus in storage. That happens just before the end of June.

I now add a water supply and firehouse to the southern block, and a firehouse to the ferry village. Osiris is now starting to grumble, so I also add a couple of shrines to the northern block.

When the harvest arrives in July, I have a little labour and cash to spare, so add a first weaver and firehouse by the flax storage yard. I have now used up almost all of my starting funds - wages will consume most of what remains before my first exports happen.

Speaking of which, as the month changes to September, the first traders arrive at the papyrus storage yard. 1000 papyrus is waiting for them, with more being delivered. All told, the first 3 trader caravans leave with 1400 papyrus. More is delivered just as they leave, which will ensure the next group of traders come to buy things (and don't coast through complaining there is 'nothing to trade here').

The first 800 papyrus sales fund immediate expansion onto the east bank (I place a ferry, 15 tiles of housing that will provide labour to the work camps that primarily service the farms there), 3 more weavers, and the remaining roads and housing in the southern block.

The remaining sales pay for roads in the dock district, the shipwright, the first of 3 fishing wharves which will feed the northern block, an additional shrine in the northern block, and architects in the northern block, linen industry and papyrus industry.

I wait until 2 of the 3 trade caravans from Timna are on the map, then begin linen sales. This diverts the 3rd caravan to the linen storage yard, which is closer to the entry point, while ensuring the first two head to buy the remaining papyrus quota first. All three caravans make their respective purchases by the end of December, meaning I have successfully imported the full quote of 2500 papyrus, plus 400 linen. Helpfully, the 2nd and 3rd traders in the group, who have not bought their full allotment, are still bouncing between storage yards when the year ends, so will make further purchases at the very start of January.

The proceeds fund the building of:

* an architect and firehouse in the dock district, and a firehouse on the east bank
* police stations in the northern and southern blocks, and the ferry village (crime rates are not yet entirely critical, and don't entirely matter because there are currently no buildings which can be robbed, but I choose to address them now before I forget)
* apothecaries in the ferry village (where malaria risk is dangerously high) and the southern housing block (where it is not quite so bad)
* An initial two work camps on the east bank
* Two further fishing wharves and a storage yard for fish (and later beer) in the dock district.

Interlude #2 - the dock district

One (intentional) quirk of my design of the dock district is that the shipwright can initially get fire and damage protection from the papyrus industry loop (which passes by its southern corner), which saves me a few Db. It will later get dedicated fire and damage protection which also covers the sole warship wharf in the dock district, and my domestic pottery industry.

Weaponsmith DockWarship WharfShipyard
Fishery Fire WardenWeaponsmith
Storage YardWeaponsmithWeaponsmithStorage YardStorage Yard ArchitectFire Warden
Storage YardStorage YardPotterPotter
Storage Yard
RoadblockRock RockRock
Rock ArchitectRockRockRockRockShrineShrineShrineShrineRockRockRockFire Warden
RockRockRockRoadblockRockJuggle platformArchitect
Rock RockRoadblockRoadblockRoadblockRoadblock
Rock HouseHouseHouseHouseHouseHouse HouseHouseHouseHouse


The housing shown is the beginning of the eastern edge of southern housing block - in reality these will all eventually be elegant residences. The road on the far right is part of the loop for the papyrus industry - showing how it passes close enough to provide fire/damage protection for the shipyard in this initial period.

At this stage, the only buildings present are the fishing wharves, shipwright, the architect and firehouse nearest the recruiter and academy, and the storage yard between the recruiter and leftmost fishing wharf.

End of interlude #2

When the floodwaters recede in December, I juggle labour priorities again - setting 'Food production and distribution' to priority 1, and 'Industry and commerce' to priority 2. This pushes any labour shortages (at this stage, I'm short about 30 employees) into 'Infrastructure', which can just about absorb that shortage.

I also place the final 8 flax farms, and the first 6 barley farms, on the east bank.

Year-end summary

At the beginning of Year 2, I have the following ratings:

Culture: 5
Prosperity: 0
Monument: 0
Kingdom: 39
Population: 927
Cash: 282 Db

Aside from my many and various farms, I have ten papyrus and 4 weavers working, 2 operational fishing wharves (with the 3rd still waiting for its boat).

I have also placed all the housing tiles in the northern block and ferry village, and all but 4 in the southern block. The east bank block is not yet developed beyond the houses which supply labour to the work camps.

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 04-15-2022 @ 10:38 AM).]

posted 04-15-22 08:44 ET (US)     15 / 22  
Year 2

The near-immediate sale of additional papyrus to the two traders still on the map from year 1 is swiftly followed by the return of the 1st Timna trader, who buys more linen and papyrus.

This swift cash injection lets me build my remaining barley farms on the east bank, and open the trade route to Behdet. I don't build the dock just yet, but do begin importing fish (to 'maintain 0') so bazaars can begin distributing fish in storage yards to the northern block. I also provide water to the main housing area on the east bank (but don't yet develop that block further).

In June, I connect the northern ferry to the road network: the west bank half gets labour from the north edge of the northern block; I extend existing roads on the east bank to form a shoreline loop which connects to the ferry and the eventual site of 4 fishing wharves. I also add the remaining roads to my beer/linen industrial loop, and place a storage yard which will hold barley.

At this stage, I have almost sold my annual quota of papyrus to Timna, and have already produced more than enough to fill the rest of it. So I temporarily turn off my papyrus industry.

I use some of those workers to add a temple, booth and juggler school to the northern housing block, and place my personal mansion. That, together with 3 more shrines, a couple of small statues (one needed to control housing evolution, the other just for aesthetics), two tiles of plaza and 11 gardens are enough to evolve the entire northern block to ordinary cottage.

The rest I use to build 4 fishing wharves on the east bank (as far to the south as possible), and to begin expanding my linen industry. I also place the first small mastaba to give my labourers something to do once the flood comes.

By September, I have 13 weavers operating. I also place the storage yard in the dock district which will hold linen, and stop the flax storage yard (where I had been placing linen for now) from accepting it. All weavers will now deliver directly to the storage yard in the dock district, which will be the only storage yard in the city accepting linen.

To avert an impending public health catastrophe, I place physicians in the ferry village and the southern housing block, and a water carrier in the ferry village. I don't have enough money to pay for one in the northern block, but that is less critical as houses there now have food. I will place one as soon as I have sold more linen. To that end, I also finally place my dock.

When the first ship from Behdet arrives in November, I am almost out of cash. 1200 linen sales soon fixes that. Once the dock workers have set out to collect the linen, I begin importing fish - I will use this to temporarily feed the southern housing block while I wait for my final 2 fishing wharves to begin production.

A few more linen sales to Timna provide enough cash to begin building the rest of east bank housing block, where I place roads, housing, fire and police, and a physician (I initially forget the apothecary, but fortunately remember it before I run into any problems with malaria). I also add a bazaar and some odds and ends of beautification to the southern housing block.

Finally, I add two further work camps on the east bank, to better support the farms there.

Year-end summary

At the beginning of Year 3, I have the following ratings:

Culture: 10
Prosperity: 8
Monument: 0
Kingdom: 40
Population: 1305
Cash: 409 Db (I turn a net profit of 127Db in year 2)

In addition to my 10 mothballed papyrus makers, I have 13 weavers working, and 7 operational fishing wharves serving the northern and east bank blocks (with 2 more for the southern block and ferry village still waiting on boats).

All housing in the northern block is now at ordinary cottage. The southern block (where I have forgotten to place one housing tile - an oversight I finally notice and correct halfway through year 3), ferry village and the 6 occupied 2x2 houses in the east bank block are all sturdy huts. I have placed all but 5 of the remaining vacant lots in the east bank housing block.

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 04-15-2022 @ 10:34 AM).]

posted 04-15-22 10:33 ET (US)     16 / 22  
Year 3

Proceeds from the sale of the few scrolls of papyrus leftover from year 2 production, and of a lot of linen are invested in developing the southern housing block.

I add the festival square (the main desirability boosting structure), a temple and jugglers, plus a handful of garden tiles, and housing here is soon on its way to ordinary cottage.

Interlude #3 - The southern housing block

The southern housing block is a variant of one I used previously in Behdet. It's built around the festival square and an internal pavilion:

DentistFestival Plaza
RoadblockMusic platformDance platformShrineApartment
Juggle platformFire WardenWater Supply
Juggle platformMusic platformJuggle platformApartmentApartmentApartmentShrineSchool
Osiris TempleTax CollectorPhysician Policepost


Only the loop road within the housing block needs to be plaza. Not shown here are two shrines and a medium statue above the top bazaar and row of 3 roadblocks in the top right corner. These ensure the houses in the top right corner have enough desirability to evolve to elegant residence (other options - like plazas on some of the external roads, and/or replacing gardens with more shrines, will also work just fine).

Entertainers enter from the right, between the two houses above the water supply. One subtle feature of the design of the interior of the block is that I use extra roads underneath the festival square to ensure walkers heading to the pavilion pass by the houses at the bottom:

RoadblockMusic platformDance platform
Juggle platform

End of interlude #3

I begin importing a modest amount of clay, and place my first three of an eventual four potters (plus fire and damage protection) near the shipwright.

I also place a few tiles of road from the loop that will house my monument construction industries, and add a storage yard initially set to get barley. Once filled with barley, this storage yard, and a neighbouring one, will function as Brugle storage yards getting clay and straw from the nearby dock district. Helpfully, this means there will be at least some space available in the main barley storage yard for this year's harvest.

In May, I have accumulated enough fish on the east bank, so place a bazaar and begin distributing it to the housing there.

As the harvest leaves the fields in July, I re-enable my papyrus industry. I also place a storage yard in the dock area to hold papyrus; this will ensure traders from Timna never have far to go to buy and sell their goods.

Initially, this means a substantial worker shortage in 'Infrastructure', but as the southern and east bank blocks fill up, this will eventually disappear.

I also place the palace in the east bank block, and add a little additional beautification and a temple, so housing there soon evolves to rough cottage.

It's going to take a long time to accumulate the imported food I'll need to evolve housing past common residence, so I also open the trade route to Perwadjyt and begin importing figs.

By September, I have accumulated 2400 figs, and have also opened trade routes to Men-Nefer and Nubt and begun importing chickpeas and game meat. In October, I begin moving figs to one of two temporary storage yards near the papyrus industry. Additional storage yards will be added for figs and chickpeas as needed. I also add tax collectors to all 3 housing blocks, and set wages to Kingdom+8 and taxes to 15%.

In October, I add jugglers to the east bank block, evolving housing there to ordinary cottage.

In November, I import my first 800 bricks from Perwadjyt (as well as a final 400 figs - making 300 over the quota this year).

A small amount of chicanery (temporarily turning off clay imports to direct a trader from Timna to buy papyrus first), allows me to sell the full quota of 2500 papyrus and linen to Timna, and 4500 linen (over the quota) to Behdet by year end. I have also imported 1200 game meat (and built a 2nd bazaar to distribute it to the northern block), 2800 figs and 1600 chickpeas.

With leftover funds at year end, I place almost all my remaining road tiles (I forget the roads needed for the bandstand by the northern block!), and a bazaar in the ferry village so folks there can finally eat.

Year-end summary

At the beginning of Year 4, I have the following ratings:

Culture: 10
Prosperity: 29
Monument: 0
Kingdom: 41
Population: 2217
Cash: 445 Db (I turn a net profit of 36Db in year 3)

I have 13 weavers and 10 papyrus makers working, and the full complement of 9 operational fishing wharves.

All housing tiles are now placed, and all except the ferry village (which is still a sturdy hut) is now at ordinary cottage.

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 04-15-2022 @ 11:12 AM).]

posted 04-15-22 11:11 ET (US)     17 / 22  
Year 4

In response to a request for beer at the end of year 3, I place my first 6 breweries in February. I also add the first bricklayers guild to begin the (long) process of building the mastabas. I also add the final 3 weavers.

Once I have dispatched the beer request, I add dancers to the northern block, and begin distributing pottery and beer in August. I add a courthouse, school and plazas to, and remove the now unnecessary police station from, the northern block.

As additional residents arrive, I finish building out my beer industry; exports will begin in year 5.

In the meantime, brick and food imports continue. By year end, I have imported 2500 chickpeas (the quota), 2500 game meat (the quota), 2800 figs (over the quota), and a total of 4,800 bricks (all I could afford!).

I sell the full quota of 2500 papyrus and linen to Timna, and 4700 linen (over the quota) to Behdet.

The first course of the first small mastaba is now complete.

Year-end summary

At the beginning of Year 5, I have the following ratings:

Culture: 15
Prosperity: 35
Monument: 0
Kingdom: 56
Population: 2916
Cash: 466 Db (I turn a net profit of 21Db in year 4)

I now have 16 weavers, 12 breweries and 10 papyrus makers working - all I intend to build.

All housing in the northern block is at common residence, all of the southern and east bank blocks are ordinary cottages, and the ferry village is a rough cottage.

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 04-15-2022 @ 11:16 AM).]

posted 04-15-22 11:47 ET (US)     18 / 22  
Year 5

As soon as I have sufficient employees available, I add dancers, courthouses and schools (and additional beautification) to the southern and east bank blocks, and finally to the ferry village. I also remove the police stations, and begin distributing pottery and beer to them.

I also add 3 dentists - to the southern and east bank blocks and the ferry village. I don't add one to the northern block, as some houses there don't yet have game meat.

To ensure I can build out my army in time, I add the recruiter, academy and first archer fort. I also place my 10 brickworks, and two additional bricklayers guilds.

Over the course of the year, I export 4100 linen (over the quota) to Behdet, 2500 each of linen and papyrus, plus 2200 beer to Timna, and a further 1500 beer to Men-Nefer. I import 2400 figs, 2500 chickpeas, 2500 game meat, and a total of 3200 bricks.

Year-end summary

At the beginning of Year 6, I have the following ratings:

Culture: 35
Prosperity: 59
Monument: 0
Kingdom: 57
Population: 3774
Cash: 784 Db (I turn a net profit of 318 Db in year 5)

I now have 16 weavers, 12 breweries, 10 papyrus makers and 10 brickworks - all I intend to build.

All my housing is at common residence, except the ferry village which hasn't yet got beer.

The first small mastaba is 49% complete (with the last load of bricks for the 3rd course en route).
posted 04-15-22 15:25 ET (US)     19 / 22  
Year 6 onwards

By the beginning of year 6, much of the construction is done, trade is largely running itself, and my focus is firmly on getting monuments built. So a blow-by-blow account feels less helpful.

Edited highlights of each subsequent year follow

Year 6

I release the (8000!) accumulated figs to the southern housing block in January, deleting the additional fig storage yards as they empty. I hold off providing musician coverage until the whole block has reached spacious residence, supplying linen in the meantime. Once I add musicians, both the southern block and the ferry village (which already has game meat) evolve to elegant residence. As a reward (?) for my citizens' hard effort improving their lot, I raise taxes to 17%.

By mid-year, all the houses in the northern block have game meat. I add the dentist (and a lot of shrines) to trigger evolution; all the houses reach spacious residence by the year end, with linen supplies imminent.

Following an earlier contaminated water event, a plague strikes in July. Luckily, it hits the ferry village, so doesn't do much damage. Annoyingly, it does mean that house is unlikely to recover to full population by the time I complete the mission.

As labour allows, I add 4 work camps to speed monument construction. The first small mastaba completes in December, and work starts immediately on the second.

Over the course of the year, I begin importing copper and (after opening the final trade route to Byblos) wood - maintaining 400 of each in stock. I add 4 weaponsmiths, and 3 further forts (1 archer, 2 infantry) as funds allow. I also start work on my navy, adding a couple of transport wharves near the end of the year.

Across the year, I imported a total of 1700 copper, 600 wood, 2500 each of figs and game meat, 1400 chickpeas (bringing my stockpile to a nice round 8000), 2800 bricks, 2800 straw, and a frankly ludicrous 7400 clay. I sold 4000 linen (quota) to Behdet, 2500 beer (quota) to Men-Nefer, and 2500 linen (quota), 2500 papyrus (quota) and 1500 beer to Timna.

Year 7

As the northern housing block evolves to elegant residence, I release accumulated chickpeas to the east bank block, and order the bazaars to begin the long journey to fetch linen from the dock district. I will delete surplus chickpea storage yards as they empty. By year-end, every house in the city has evolved to elegant residence.

I place my final two forts (1 archer, 1 infantry) on the east bank. As immigrants continue to arrive, I continue to expand my navy, and I have a full complement of 6 warship and 6 transport wharves by year end (the shipwright is still hard at work building several of the required vessels!).

I also place the remaining entertainment venues (one bandstand in the south block, 2 jugglers intermingled with industry) to achieve perfect coverage across the board.

By year end, I have placed every building I intend to, and all that's left is those wretched mastabas.

Year 8

The 2nd small mastaba completes in September. By this stage, I have already added the medium mastaba to accelerate brick usage, and it is 1/3 complete.

Year 9

The medium mastaba completes in March, and the victory screen rolls.

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 04-15-2022 @ 03:54 PM).]

posted 04-15-22 15:25 ET (US)     20 / 22  
Final mission stats

Culture rating: 35 (maximum possible since mission has no mortuaries)
Prosperity rating: 70 (maximum possible since only Osiris is worshipped in Abedju)
Kingdom rating: 100 (thanks to a final boost as the mission completes!)
Monument rating: 17
Population: 4,737 (rising to 4,752 once the ferrymen's house fills up)
Final city funds: 21,686 Db

Completion time: 111 months on Very Hard difficulty

The city ran stably without any intervention for almost a year and half while I was waiting for the mastabas to finish building, so it's no surprise it can continue running just fine for another 5 years.

In that time frame, city funds rise by over 100,000 Db, aided by brick exports to Men-Nefer and Behdet. The city accumulates a small labour shortage over that time - which is absorbed by the military buildings with no impact on services. If guilds and monument-exclusive workcamps are removed, I'm sure the city could continue running for many years beyond that.
posted 04-15-22 15:34 ET (US)     21 / 22  

This is a nice city I'm pretty proud of, with a number of features I may use more liberally in the future. The challenge of designing a 70 prosperity city was suitably tricky, and certainly kept me on my toes throughout.

I wasn't particularly focused on speed, and I think that shows. Some things I might do differently if I played this again:

1. Start beer production earlier.
2. Import more bricks - more beer sales would facilitate this in earlier years, but it will be trickier, and require more tedious micromanagement of trade ships, in later years (where clay and straw imports both potentially compete with brick imports).
3. In at least some years, I think brick imports were limited by storage space. Solving that requires more bricklayers guilds and/or work camps early on, and most likely tackling the two small mastabas together (adding the medium once the first completes).

I'll be uploading the completed city to the Downloads, and will post a link here when I have.
posted 04-17-22 09:15 ET (US)     22 / 22  
Just a quick update to note that Abundant Abedju is now available in the Downloads!
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