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Caesar III: Game Help
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Topic Subject: blocks without gatehouses, please!
posted 03-24-00 07:40 ET (US)   
Hello all
Looking around this forum, I have found a lot of interesting city blocks. Thanks to all those who have taken the time and effort to post them.

However, a lot (most) of them use gatehouses to keep walkers "trapped". IMHO, thats a bit like cheating. I find it much more challenging to try to design blocks that work without gatehouses.

Of course, the optimal strategy is to use gates when they are available, and there is still the massive challenge of optimizing population density, cost, etc.

It would be nice, though, to see some good blocks to use where no gates are available. Such a block requires a deeper understanding of walker behaviour and creative use of this knowledge.

My own experiments have centered on 2xN rows of houses with an "industry" road on one side, connected to the entire city, and a local "service" road on the other, providing health, entertainment, education etc. for this block only.

What are your thoughts on this?

posted 03-24-00 07:54 ET (US)     1 / 25  
Hi there TEP

Although normally I use gatehouses in my blocks, the current competition has forced me to develop a few gatehouseless blocks. I'll be back shortly with a nice glyphy-fied version for you...

Caesar Alan
Forum Wordmaster
Forum Pizza Chef

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 03-24-2000).]

posted 03-24-00 08:18 ET (US)     2 / 25  


[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 03-24-2000).]

posted 03-24-00 08:26 ET (US)     3 / 25  
A few notes on the above...

it's designed to give, and indeed produces, stable small insulae. You occasionally get problems with desirability in the centre of the block. The original design was for a northern climate, so the Doctor gets moved to where the prefecture is, and you get a whole extra tile of housing. If you want decent culture ratings, then this block is the pits - very poor on schools, libraries, merely average on theatres, ampitheatres and academies. However, it does give excellent housing density, and is quite efficient on fountain coverage. It's also absolutely useless in the desert (but I'm sure you knew that anyway...)

The choice of temple is of course arbitrary.

Caesar Alan
Forum Wordmaster
Forum Pizza Chef

[This message has been edited by Caesar Alan (edited 03-24-2000).]

posted 03-24-00 08:29 ET (US)     4 / 25  
Ave TEP,


Doesn't anybody want to be a tyrant?

You don't get to be one honestly! Do that and you will receive either an exclusive cruise package or a featured matinee at the coliseum (featuring my favorite host, Reggius Philibus).

You can't even name a single nice guy tyrant off the top of your collective heads without hours of research. But I'll bet a round in the recovery room that you can name five of the nasty ones without blinking (he-he-he, pay up honestly). With a moment's thought, you should get 10-12.

But more to the point, it's not cheating if you use gatehouses. It's a means of controlling you, er, your people (get back to your place, NOW!). Under repressive systems (such as emperial Rome), populations are/were "well-regulated" and a person does as they are told or are punished accordingly.

You want to be Caesar, don't you?

A Glorious Death Is Always Preferred To A Mediocre Life!

[This message has been edited by MarcusMaximus (edited 03-24-2000).]

posted 03-24-00 09:22 ET (US)     5 / 25  
Welcome the the forum TEP,

You have raised the age old question. I bumped a thread that is called "To gatehouse or not" it is just what you are talking about. I have no problems using gatehouses, When making a large city 8k+ you do not want to have to be checking on every block all the time. The use of gatehouses allows you to concentrate on other aspects of your city.

Cheers T


posted 03-24-00 09:51 ET (US)     6 / 25  
I never gatehouse my plebeian blocks, and use the old 9x9 or 7x7 blocks, combined in a grid network with 4x9 or 4x7 service bloks between the housing blocks. It is not very stable, but what I like in the game is the struggle to improve stability. My palace blocks are disconnected if possible, and self sufficient if possible.
posted 03-24-00 10:48 ET (US)     7 / 25  
Personally, I use gatehouses -- usually no more than 2 (one to separate the palace block from the rest of the city, the other by the towers). My road networks are totally connected, and I think that the use of gatehouses is more 'realistic' if you will than use of disconnected roads. Than again, everyone has different strategies... far as I'm concerned, none of them is cheating (well, except for the well trick of course).
posted 03-24-00 12:18 ET (US)     8 / 25  
Biggus Dickus, roman villae where isolated agricultural domains, almost self sufficient. So I do not think it is unrealistic to disconnect them (the connection can be done by the 'getting' cartpushers). But I sometimes use gatehouses the same way than you.
posted 03-24-00 14:09 ET (US)     9 / 25  
I have completed the peaceful path and most of my cities used no gatehouses. I used a total of three gatehouses on the path. I tried it out in one city and did not like it, but used two in Massilia. One gatehouse was used for the palace district and the other was used to keep the employment situation of the wharfs stable. Cartpushers from the wharves will walk through gatehouses to get to graneries, but recruiters will not. This allowed my wharfs to deliver to more than one granary and yet allow the recruiters an easy path back to a major housing area. However, I do use another kind of control extensively and that is enclosed walkway blocks. Some people think that they are just as artificial as using gatehouses.
posted 03-24-00 14:13 ET (US)     10 / 25  

Well at the risk of getting everyone mad at me again, I have to say I rely on gatehouses to control my cities and I normally do not disconnect any parts of the cities I build. In my opinion this is the most historically correct design model for Roman cities. Here's my logic.

In ancient times, cities were built with gatehouses scattered throughout the entire city. This was due to the fact that in many ancient cities there were several series of walls, not just one set of walls surrounding the outside of the city. Ancient Syracuse for example had at least three different sections of the city seperated by walls. Rome also had more than one series of walls. Most cities had at least a citidal which was an interior walled section within the city itself as the final defensive structure in case the outer walls were breached by attackers.

And the cities had roads that connected all parts of the city to the docks or trade centers which were usually located outside the walls of the city. I don't think that ancient traders simply dropped off supplies at some remote industial block and market traders walked over unimproved land daily to get the goods for the housing areas. Roads were used to move carts of goods to the neighborhoods or markets. Ever try to pull a cart over unimproved land instead of down a road?

Basically the use of gatehouses are not "cheats" and neither is the use of disconnected housing blocks. If you look at the Pharaoh game, the designers included "Road Blocks" to keep random Egyptian walkers from wandering from desired areas. Obviously Impressions saw the need for walker controls.

You can play the game any way you see fit, but I am willing to bet that by not using gatehouses, you're control of your city is going to be a lot more difficult when your workers start to wander where you don't want them to go.

And to be historically correct, Roman cities would have to be designed with multiple walls with gatehouses through the walls and with trading and farming areas built outside the walled city. That would be a more historically correct presentation of the city. And roman forts would have to have walls built around them since the first task of setting up a Roman Camp was to build walls for defense. Of course while playing Caesar 3 this would put your food and trade areas more at risk from invaders.

These are just my thoughts on the matter.

Bob the Lethargic

[This message has been edited by Bob the Lethargic (edited 03-24-2000).]

posted 03-24-00 14:34 ET (US)     11 / 25  
I use gatehouses frequently, whenever I find them helpful. (There are plenty of other reasons to consider my cities unaesthetic.) However, just for fun, I built the career Londinium without any gatehouses. It has stable small casa and luxury palace blocks, and is in the Downloads.

Caesar Alan,
Amphitheaters don't affect Culture.

posted 03-24-00 14:59 ET (US)     12 / 25  
Hardly use them.
I tend to make several self supporting villages on the map rather than one big city. Of course there have to be enough isolated areas of farmland or, as I did in Lutetia, I will branch them off from the central area, with disconnected bits of farms.
Eyrie, Pharaoh Heaven, Caesar 3 Heaven

Homage to thee, Osiris, Lord of Eternity, King of the Gods, whose names are manifold, whose forms are holy, thou being of hidden form in the temples, whose Ka is holy."
-- Book of the Dead (1240 BC)

posted 03-24-00 17:58 ET (US)     13 / 25  
Ave All,

Sorry about the (ty)rant. Sometimes it's fun to get the feel of what a despot goes through and then try it out in the game (or the forum). The drink offer still stands, though.

I wholly support BTL's stance on gatehouses. A little more history - two explanations for all of these walls and gates.

First, a single city would form pseudo-concentric rings as it grew. The walls represent a particular period in that growth, usually around times of terror (invasion, plague, etc.).

Second, and quite visible in many European cities today, is that several farms that were near each other would grow into villages, towns and cities. If there were walls, they were placed there around each area until they grew together and a common perimeter was established. Even where there are no walls, you can observe differing architecture patterns converging.

In general, I try to keep my cities connected. When and where it makes sense, I will build a seperated village.
Generally for export trade, but occasionally for a patrician block. I treat each housing block seperately, but usually try to build a continous road connection throughout.

A Glorious Death Is Always Preferred To A Mediocre Life!

[This message has been edited by MarcusMaximus (edited 03-24-2000).]

posted 03-24-00 18:34 ET (US)     14 / 25  
Brugle OOPS there I go again... thanks for the correction. getting carried away with my lists again...

Caesar Alan
Forum Wordmaster
Forum Pizza Chef

posted 03-25-00 16:23 ET (US)     15 / 25  
Hello all, and thank you for the great response.

Ceasar Alan, great design - seems pretty efficient if you can find the room for it in your city. My only gripe is that I miss the opportunity to provide worker access from surrounding industrial areas.

Just to clarify, I do not critisize the use of gatehouses per se. Like I said, if you are designing for optimal efficiency, you should use whatever means available, and gatehouses are certainly a great help. Also, as Bob the Lethargic and MarcusMaximus point out, it is well within the realm of historic possibilities, and being a tyrant IS a lot of fun

Sorry if this has been discussed to death before... I am new to the forum. Thanks again, all of you, for your feedback


posted 03-25-00 16:38 ET (US)     16 / 25  
Another question...
I don't quite get the concept of disconnected cities/separate villages. Do some walkers cross open terrain?

Theodoeraus, thanks for the thread...

posted 03-25-00 17:57 ET (US)     17 / 25  
Warehouse cart pushers that are "getting" goods cross open terrain, which are very useful in building a city in disconnected sections. (Some other walkers also cross open terrain, such as immigrants, soldiers, traders, and prefects fighting fires.)

posted 03-25-00 18:07 ET (US)     18 / 25  

sometimes I build a palace district separated from the rest. The rest is usually a bunch of smal casa living on wheat or fish - one food type. Palace dwellers need three food types. To prevent the second and third food type to be distributed by the pleiebes, I prefer to disconnect the palace block including its food supply from the rest of the housing.

While on this subject:
In my just finished Crete I used a feature new to me, but perhaps old knowledge to most of you.
I often noticed that market ladies, schoolkids and other walkers walked through gardens as a shortcut instead of following the paved roads.
In Crete I built two disconnected blocks of large insulae, connected with the rest of the city not by a road, but with a series of gardens.
I started this out as an experiment, and found that it has its uses. 'Getting' cart pushers of course have no problem, and neither have market ladies as long as they get their food close by. But it does seem to prevent them from going to the other end of the city for that oil warehouse, when another one is close by.

Did anyone else ever use these 'garden roads'?

[Omnium harum gentium virtute praecipui Batavi non multum ex ripa]

[This message has been edited by Citizen Paul (edited 03-25-2000).]

posted 03-25-00 18:36 ET (US)     19 / 25  
Citizen Paul,
I don't quite follow. When the "garden roads" are deleted, how does your Crete work differently?

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 03-25-2000).]

posted 03-26-00 08:38 ET (US)     20 / 25  
I think Citizen Paul has been using gardens as roads, possible thinking them a better offset to roads, but then again road/plaze has a similar desirablilty effect.

I've had problems (loss of access) with these garden roads and normaly close them off with a small statue at both ends (if necessary)

Oh, and TEP, yes, that's how you can make them. Alternatively (on 'rich' maps) I have enough local resources to supply each village with it's own food and products.

The biggest problem with these villages is that you can't provide towers with guards, as the do need road access to the barracks (and I don't play with multiple barracks). However, once manned they stay manned so sometimes I just drag a temporary road across the map and delete the access points when the towers are manned.

Eyrie, Pharaoh Heaven, Caesar 3 Heaven

Homage to thee, Osiris, Lord of Eternity, King of the Gods, whose names are manifold, whose forms are holy, thou being of hidden form in the temples, whose Ka is holy."
-- Book of the Dead (1240 BC)

posted 03-26-00 21:10 ET (US)     21 / 25  
I don't think anyone has commented yet on your original statement of using a road on one side for industry and a road on the other side for services. That is an excellent idea. I first learned about that idea from one of Brugle's cities. I have used this idea only once so far, but I see great potential. Just keep practicing with that idea and you should be able to build good cities with only minimal use of gatehouses.

I think that good cities result from planning out where the food and industry goes first and then fitting in the housing. I fear from all of this attention to housing blocks that some people are over-focusing in on placing a standard block.

posted 03-27-00 08:54 ET (US)     22 / 25  
yes I found it hard to express myself clearly. Also, it was past midnight local time when I posted it and I shouldn't have done that. Now I must apologize for the confusion I created.

Here is a pic of the district I built:

The picture shows a housing block with no roads to the rest of the city. There is a path of gardens - marked with the red ellips.
There is a market in the 'main city'. Its markets ladies supply the separated district - somehow this works well even though I admit it does not sound stable.
The markets on the circular road itself do not have access to goods and should better be deleted. Somewhere after Saturday midnight I thought they were loaded with goods. I checked my save file and found they were not :-(
The services of this block and the other blocks exchange freely - kids, marketladies, bath girls and all others walk around as they please in both directions.

I built a similar block elsewhere. This block had its own industry and food. Marketladies looking for supplies (and also for distributing goods) pass over the gardens freely. So do all other services without a specific destination.
The marketladies somehow do not seem to 'recognize' supplies at the other side.
Reflecting now with this new info, it looks like the only purpose is to exchange services, while supplies remain separated.

Again, sorry for a post made to hastily.

[Omnium harum gentium virtute praecipui Batavi non multum ex ripa]

[This message has been edited by Citizen Paul (edited 03-27-2000).]

posted 03-27-00 15:13 ET (US)     23 / 25  
Citizen Paul,

Please don't apologize. I also found it difficult to express myself, so I lazily threw out a general question.

A while back, I read that some walkers will use gardens as roads, but only to get to another road. I thought this might be exploited, gave it a little thought, and didn't find any problem where it would be particularly useful. So I've tried to avoid "garden roads" since.

I was under the impression that, of the walkers that needed roads, only "wanderers" would use gardens. But I think I saw (last night) gladiators walking over gardens when going from their school to an amphitheater. I wondered if "destination" walkers, once they have a road connection, would use "garden roads" as a short cut. I didn't pay a lot of attention (I quickly eliminated a garden to prevent "wanderers" from escaping), so I could be mistaken.

posted 03-27-00 17:08 ET (US)     24 / 25  
hi Brugle,

The block shown above has:
1 theater
1 amphitheater
2 markets

The doctor, prefect, engineer, barber and bath house girls have no destination workers.
I checked the buildings with destination workers:
Neither of the theaters has any shows. Neither market has supplies.
So it looks like we have a reversed gate. With a gate, destination walkers apss through and random walkers remain behind.
A garden road keeps destination walkers out, and lets wanderers through.
I noticed that the market ladies seemed to move two gardens when looking for supplies. So I shortened the garden road from 3 gardens to 1 garden and 2 (plazad) road. The market ladies seemed to walk on, but not very far.
I replaced the amphitheater with a granary. the granary readily gets access to workers, but receives no fish. Not even after 6 months. And I do produce fish in super quantities.
Next experiment:
I replace some housing outside my district with a granary. The granary gets filled.
The market lady passes the 1 garden and 2 plaza, disappears under the granary, and comes out empty handed. Sigh...
Final experiment:
I replace the last garden tile with a road, wait until the market lady finds the granary, and then put a road back in.
When I connect them with a road, for some unexplained reason my housing devolved into small insulae. They complain of lack of furniture. The market ladies quickly follow their nose and avoid the granary with fish just opposite the road. Instead, they take a detour and do some sightseeing to visit two granaries located elsewhere.
They return laden witth fruit and fish. Speeking about smell, the whole island stinks of fish. They must be able to smell us in Rome, so juch fish is rotting.
OK, I remove 1 road tile and leave only a diagonal road connection, no orthgonal connection. My housing reastablishes itself at grand insulae level. Two markets are each loaded with 600 fish and 600 fruit. After a number of months the fruit and fish has been eaten, but the markets receive no new supplies.
Nice concept, but without use.

Reminds me of the time I studied mathematics. Someone spent 7 months to prove a thesis about a special kind of sets. Then he discovered that the only set fitting his definition was phi - the empty set, meaning nothing.

[Omnium harum gentium virtute praecipui Batavi non multum ex ripa]

posted 03-27-00 18:04 ET (US)     25 / 25  
Citizen Paul,

Most of us have watched market buyers ignore a granary with one food (typically fish) and go across the map for another food, while people in their houses starve. The moral: don't give market buyers (or anyone else) a chance to do something you don't want them to do.

Your observations are consistent with the idea that gardens pass only "wanderers", if we assume that the market ladies who passed through were market traders. My observation last night could be either a special case (when there is a road connection and the gardens are only a short cut) or a result of sleep deprivation.

I suspect that this concept could be put to good use sometime, somewhere, but I've done OK without it.

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 03-27-2000).]

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