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Caesar IV: Game Help
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Topic Subject: Go broke selling weapons?
posted 07-12-22 10:47 ET (US)   
I used to play a lot of Caesar III and recently downloaded Caesar IV from GOG. I've been looking into the mechanics of the game and it seems that, unlike Caesar III, you'll go broke selling weapons, armor and most luxury items (exc. wine). I threw together a spreadsheet, based on HG's tables, to analyze profit and loss thru trade. At standard prices and wages and assuming you make all the raw materials, the most profit is had from selling wool (13 dn/unit), clothing (11.8 dn/unit), timber (8.8 dn/unit) and gold (6.9 dn/unit). The biggest loss comes from selling weapons (-13.4 dn/unit), armor (-10.8 dn/unit) and utensils (-8 dn/unit). All luxury goods, except wine, also were losers. You also don't want to sell grain or vegetables, except to dispose of a surplus, as neither are profitable. Selling meat does make a profit.

Discussion?
Replies:
posted 07-13-22 18:26 ET (US)     1 / 6  
Hi, I dont think you are looking at it correctly. Weapons + Armor are some of the most profitable items. You only need wood and iron and a bit of wool which are all cheap raw materials.
posted 07-13-22 21:21 ET (US)     2 / 6  
That's what I assumed too. Then I crunched the numbers. The problem is that Armor an Weapon workshops require 63 plebs and produce at a rate of only 16 units per year. This runs the labor costs up to around 80 dn per unit. The key is labor costs. This doesn't even take into account all the plebs you need to support those shop workers (e.g. farmers, shopkeepers, etc). Also, raw materials (wood, iron & wool) aren't free. They each have a labor cost to produce. For instance, every unit of iron costs 22.11 dn to get out of the ground. These costs have to be added to the cost of the manufactured product. What I found is that the more costly products are money losers.
posted 07-15-22 03:59 ET (US)     3 / 6  
If you had posted this 15 years ago on the Tilted Mill forum, you'd have got a large discussion. Any current and ex players are a bit sparse here and probably working from memory but I'll try.

First, did you include the God bonuses. A mercury shrine covering 20 houses doubles the iron production from 38 to 76 per year. A Mars bonus increases prodution of weapons from 16 to 17.8

Then, you need to look at the city as a whole. The plebs who work in the mines and weapon factories, need food, goods etc, and the markets are taxed, so the labour cost to the city is not as high as just the wages.
The plebs who work the fields, the equites in the shrines, who support the miners buy goods and they are taxed...and so on.
posted 07-15-22 14:58 ET (US)     4 / 6  
I checked my finances on Nicomedia - the last city on the Empire. I have 7650 plebs with wages of 15120 denarii per year and 2000 equites with wages of 5550 denarii per year or 20670 denarii for wages in total. My income of exports are 38043 denarii per year. I'm exporting everything /including weapons and armor/ except wood.

Because I prefer to let the patricians came to the city after the insulae and the domuses are fully upgraded, my first action is to open at least one trade route to establish steady income.

So far /I'm playing Caesar 4 for about 10 years now including custom scenarios/ I haven't been broken even once via trade.
posted 07-16-22 10:36 ET (US)     5 / 6  
@Serrataur: I discovered I had an account here, left over from many years (and a different e-mail address) ago. I was able to guess my old password. Surprise, surprise.

My spreadsheet does not take into account god bonuses, nor does it consider penalties for fields being more than 50 tiles from the farm. It's based entirely on the standard rates. It may be best viewed as a measure of relative profitability of various exports. If you have a choice to export, say, olive oil or utensils, which should you pick?

As for sales taxes, they can be viewed as a per-capita paid the same by every pleb in any given city, with a given shopping situation. It doesn't matter if that pleb is growing grain or making armor.

@vpos The issue of all the equites and plebs needed to support one patrician and if they pay their way in taxes is another kettle of fish. If there wasn't a prosperity requirement, I'd prefer to build cities for the working-class only. Patricians are annoying. I prefer to leave a space for the patricians, then invite them near the end of the scenario, when their presence is unavoidable. They really only pay their way at the higher levels.

Here's the spreadsheet on Google Sheets. It's not pretty but it's heavily annotated. Feel free to poke holes in my analysis but please be constructive about it.
(p.s. After posting, I realized that the annotations don't show up on the weblink Google creates. I may have to play around with it.)
(p.p.s. I don't know how to share the sheet so that you can look at the formulae and annotations in Google Sheets. This link should allow you to download an Excel file.)
(p.p.p.s) Playing around with the numbers, I find that profits are very sensitive to pleb salaries. At 15 dn/y everything is profitable. The tipping point comes around 18 dn/yr.)

[This message has been edited by drnewcomb (edited 07-16-2022 @ 10:22 PM).]

posted 08-20-22 18:51 ET (US)     6 / 6  
Plebs come in groups of 10, and the wage is for that group of 10. Look on the Labor tab in your game, and you can see the number of plebs, wages, and expected yearly cost all on one page. Just loaded up my latest save and had 1440 plebs, wage of 20, and expected yearly wages of 2880.

Divide the labor cost by 10 and you'll find everything is profitable.
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