Episode 1: You can't make any money from taxes or exports, so you want to get done fast, depleting your treasury as little as possible.
Build far south, out of range of the Minotaur. I used a single 6 x 21 housing block, with a theater, agora, infirmary, fountain, and maintenance post, which will evolve to about 1000 people. Build lots of dairies, which will someday feed a large city. You'll get most of the goods you need through gifts, but you will also be able to import them.
Give away cheese to everyone, if only just to leave room in your granaries for fish.
Bribe your way out of every invasion. The monuments you get will be useful in later episodes.
I had about 7000 drachma left.
Episode 2: Stay south and call Theseus. Again, what you need will come as gifts if you wait. Start generating tax income.
As soon as you have wood and armor, build a trireme as far south as you can, plus a block of 8 estates for hoplites. That should suffice for the conquest you need. Armor is the limiting factor.
Make requests as often as you can for goods you really need or for money.
Start work on the Hermes santuary.
If you can avoid getting into a tribute situation, getting out with 4000 drachma should be OK.
Choose Laurion for its silver. Build up a single block of housing for about 1000 people, import food and fleece, and put everyone to work mining silver. You should end up with a stable city that can generate 4K a year in cash. Request money and goods. When your treasury reaches 20-25K, mine some copper to make the 8 bronze you need and get out.
You're limited by armor, fleece, and olive oil. Build lots of triremes (I had 5) and use them for labor control. Your population should be large enough to crew all the triremes, but if your housing devolves or you have to fight on land, you can send the crews home and get lots of extra workers.
I provided fleece and oil to all my common housing -- a mistake, I later realized. Try building a big block that just gets food, water, and culture, since you'll need the oil and fleece for your elite housing.
Your first conquest should be Mt. Pellion. Then you can import armor. Even before you're strong enough to conquer it, you can raid for armor.
Whenever the cities that supply fleece or oil rebel, conduct a raid on them!
Even with 5 triremes, I couldn't prevent enemy troops from landing. Walling off the river might be a prudent measure.
To conquer Delos and Sardis, I used 5 triremes, 7 hoplite companies, and help from Laurion. Attempts with less strength were a disaster.
After reading the next episode, I suspect that I wouldn't have been allowed to conquer Corinth or Sparta.
When I finished, my treasury still had about 20K.
Found the other colony. This takes a lot of cash to get going but is otherwise trivial -- just mine brass, quarry marble, and cut wood with as large a population as you can feed and clothe.
One the colony is stable you can build up your treasury by exporting marble and requesting drachma. So hold off on meeting the final requirement until you're back up bove 20K or so. While waiting you can give away excess goods.
This is actually easier than 4, since you will get to a state in which you can import all the fleece, oil, and armor that you need (and before then, you can raid). Build up to 6 triremes, and get 9 or 10 hoplite companies. Send them all after the Persian city, and ask for support from your strongest ally, vassal, or colony (I chose Delos).
With 5 triremes, 8 hoplites, and no allied support, I lost to the Persians.
I conquered Eretria early -- a poor move, since Sardis then took it away. But I got it back spontaneously.
Sending 6 triremes overseas (or just manning them) really hurts your workforce size. I built a 21 x 6 block of low grade houusing (just food, water, and a gym) which was a big help.
I suspect that this adventure is much easier at Hero level.
I'll edit this thread as I complete future episodes.
[This message has been edited by Dragon2 (edited 10-24-2000).]