FAQs

11. How else can I raise my Favor rating?

There are several things you can do to raise Caesar’s Favor:

  1. Don’t pay yourself more than your rank and your favor won’t drop as much each year (paying yourself at a rate less than your rank will make a noticeable difference for favor).
  2. Don’t pay yourself so much! In later scenarios, your personal salary adds up quickly ($800-$1000/year) and can send your city into debt quickly. Pay yourself a little so you can send gifts, and increase your salary only after your city starts raking in the cash (say after 3 or 4 years have passed).
  3. Don’t forget to send Caesar a gift every year to keep that favor up. Remember that if you start sending large gifts, he won’t care as much about the smaller ones. Multiple gifts within a short period of time have rapidly diminishing effects, and after a few gifts, they have no effect at all. You have to wait a year before you can get the full effects again. If Caesar himself is attacking you, Impressions says that giving 2 or 3 of the largest sized gift in sequence will have a big enough effect to keep him from attacking you. It is, however, much more economical to give him one gift a year of moderate size.
  4. Never forget to comply with a request for goods. These should all be easy to meet and you should view such requests as free favor points – they sure beat sending Caesar cash from your personal funds). The larger the request and the sooner you comply, the more favor you receive.
  5. When Caesar asked you to send him an army, “don’t send a boy to do a man’s job” (please excuse this non-PC axiom ladies). Not only does he want the army, he wants you to win and win big! Don’t skimp on the Legionaries & Javelins (save your game before you deploy your army, so that if they are defeated, you can re-start and send more). A triumphant borrowed army can net you a whopping 25 favor points if you win the battle, and a snazzy Triumphal Arch to build in your city to boot.
  6. Don’t overbuild and get your trade going quickly – become a profit-making machine. Early on, you can become VERY profitable, very quickly, be keeping population to a minimum and exporting everything you possibly can. If you’re profitable, you’ll get out of your initial debt quickly and will have surplus cash to pay your salary and funnel cash to Caesar. Try to stay in this profitable state for an extended period: building all forts/walls and sometimes even your entire city’s road network (with plazas, gardens, statues and aqueducts too) before expanding my population. Then, with a big wad of cash and your infrastructure already paid for, you can rapidly expand Labor is expensive (just ask GM).

12. What about my Entertainment rating?

Your housing needs a variety of entertainment, and there is also a boost for citywide levels of entertainment (as reported on the Entertainment advisors panel).

Impressions has explained that it works like this:

Each house has an entertainment rating on a scale of 0-100; the level is based on the walkers that pass by and the city wide coverage levels. You get some points if a theater walker has passed by. You get points if an amphitheater walker passes by, and more points if the amphitheater is hosting 2 types of shows. Ditto for Coliseums (if you have lion shows and gladiator tournaments, lion tamers and gladiators DO NOT both have to pass by a house—only one of them has to pass by to get the effect. What matters is that you have 2 shows going). You also get points if a Hippodrome charioteer passes by. As you would think, you get more points for the more expensive structures than the cheaper ones, with a good boost to Amphitheaters/Coliseums if they have two shows. These points add up to a total of 80, maximum. How recently a walker passes DOES have an effect, the points tick down with time. You can see it graphically by the height of the overlay columns that decrease with time after a walker passes and eventually go away if no additional walkers come by. The other 20 potential points come from the citywide coverage level of the various building types. So, if you have perfect (100%) coverage of three types of entertainment, but no Hippodrome at all, you would get 15 of the 20 possible bonus points in every house on the map. This can result in houses that have no entertainment walkers passing at all having a high enough entertainment level to make it to the small/large Casa level (which require 10 points of entertainment). This added bonus is quite useful if an area with plenty of theater/amphitheater walkers is not evolving to a uniform level of Insulae: building a Coliseum or two, or a Hippodrome will give enough of a boost to get some more housing evolution in unexpected places. Hippodrome Chariots need to pass housing for it to even have a chance of achieving the Luxury Palace. One hippodrome gives perfect coverage, so it’s a quick 5 pt boost to every house in the city, even without walker coverage. Neat, huh?

13. My housing evolved, but expanded into the gardens when it did. Then, it immediately devolved because the gardens were gone. Is this supposed to happen? By the way, what are all of the different levels of housing?

Any housing that expands to a larger size can expand over gardens if it needs to, whether going from single tile to 2×2, or later to 3×3 or 4×4. You can use statues and gardens interchangeably to have complete control over where housing expands to (they have identical cost and identical desirability effects but houses won’t expand over statues whereas they will expand over gardens). There’s nothing worse than having to take a shovel to that brand new palace because it expanded in the wrong direction from what you anticipated: use statues to ensure this doesn’t happen. Use small statues (same desirability as gardens) to pin 2×2 housing to 2×2 areas until you are ready for it to evolve to 3×3 size (once everything else is in place and needed supplies are stable). Take care to avoid the loss in desirability that can happen when housing expands over gardens (causing the housing to devolve again due to lack of desirability in the area). You can do this by similarly adorning the perimeter of the 3×3 villa to be. If you do this, there will be no loss in desirability when some gardens are lost as the housing evolves to a 3×3. Housing will always expand into empty land first, adjacent housing second, and gardens last.

House #:

  • 1,2 sm/lg Tents (single tile or 2×2)
  • 3,4 sm/lg Shack (single tile or 2×2)
  • 5,6 sm/lg Hovel (single tile or 2×2)
  • 7,8 sm/lg Casa (single tile or 2×2)
  • 9,10 sm/medium Insulae (single tile or 2×2)
  • 11,12 lg/grand Insulae (2×2 only)
  • 13,14 sm/medium Villa (2×2 only, Patricians from here on up)
  • 15,16 large/luxury Villa (3×3)
  • 17,18 sm/medium Palace (3×3)
  • 19,20 large/luxury Palace (4×4, this is where your tax income really goes through the roof and your prosperity cap problems should go away too).

14. My advisor says that I do not have enough entertainment/schools/libraries/hospitals, but all of my housing has been visited by those building’s walkers. What is the problem?

There is a difference between LOCAL and OVERALL coverage. You have LOCAL coverage when a librarian is walking past all of your houses because you have spread out libraries all over the city. Once you have that, you are now going for OVERALL coverage. Your facilities provide an overall level of service to the whole city. You might have enough facilities to give access to all your neighborhoods, but you might not have enough to prevent, for example, large crowds in libraries. Look at your education advisor and check the overall rating for libraries; if it’s less than “Perfect” then your overall library coverage is slowing the growth of your city. The same applies for entertainment and health facilities. Your advisor will tell you, for example, that you have 4 libraries serving 3500 people for your city of 4000 citizens. To counter this and get a “perfect” rating, just place more libraries. It does not matter where, as long as they have access to labor. You could even have four libraries built back-to-back, right next to each other in an 4×4 grid and still get “perfect” coverage. You can do this for schools, hospitals, etc., also. Keep in mind, that your citizens will always want something! As long as you have a “perfect” rating, you’re golden.

15. The Manual says “Maintain Level” order is only available to warehouses, and that the warehouses/workshops send their carts for the goods. However, there is no “Maintain Level” order, just “Get Goods.” What gives? Does this function like the “maintain level” order as indicated in the manual?

The manual is in error. Impressions has explained that at the time the manual went to press, this was true. The final version, however, works differently and it was not included in the README file. The “maintain level” order was the precursor of the warehouse “Get goods” order. What it actually did is still being debated internally at impressions, mostly for their own amusement, as there was a discrepancy between what it was supposed to do and what it was actually doing (if in fact it really did anything, and everyone seemed to have a different idea of what it was supposed to do). 🙂 In any case, it existed when the manual went to print and everyone at Impressions was happy to see it greatly revamped and cleaned up to form the final “Get Goods” order, which is far more useful and intuitive than what existed previously.

Here’s the skinny:
“Get Food” and “Get Goods” were called “Request food” and “Request Goods” up until the very last day before the game was shipped. The names were changed because it was felt that it would be more intuitive as to what the orders do with their new names. “Get Goods” for warehouses was a late addition to the game model. It was greatly needed, and required substantial extra effort on the part of several individuals who were already greatly overburdened programming last minute changes. Having the cart pushers on “get” orders carry heavy loads was another late addition which greatly eased the problems of transporting food/goods across the map. These were very late additions and it is not at all surprising that the manual was not able to cover them all adequately.

To clarify this once and for all (because its important to understand how it works): Each granary/warehouse set to “Get” something generates its own cart pusher to go get it, 1 cart pusher per building set to “Get.” These carts can carry 1x, 4x or 8x loads for granaries and 1x or 4x loads for warehouses. (Impressions refers to them as “mega-carts” and “super mega-carts,” but will be happy if anyone can come up with better terms for them). At the time the manual went to press, the “get” orders for granaries had just gone in and the carts were being generated at that time by the granary “sending”, if you will, the food. This was reversed for an obvious reason: you generally have multiple granaries set to “Get” from fewer, or 1, granaries set to “accept” the produce of nearby farms. By having the granaries ordered to “get” food provide the carts, you can as a player have complete control over how many “get” carts are working for you, rather than being limited to just one (e.g., If a population center is particularly far from farmland, building multiple granaries, each set to get, will greatly improve the food supply in that area. Previously, it wouldn’t help at all because only the granary containing the food to be retrieved put out a cart, and it only put out one). This again greatly eased the problem of transport across the city map.

There may be one final source of confusion here: these get carts initially appear, still, at their destination rather than the granary/warehouse that they belong to. Don’t let this fool you, they belong to the warehouse/granary set to “get”, just think of it as a built in minor cheat in your favor: the initial leg of their first round-trip “get” journey is instantaneous.

The “4 item level” mentioned in the manual was a factor for the “maintain level” order that existed when the manual went to print, this is no longer relevant. The warehouse cart pusher may deem the “get” order a higher priority than delivering raw materials to workshops (sometimes the reverse happens, I’m not exactly sure how these priorities work). There are a few things you can do here: 1) You don’t need to let raw materials ever go to warehouses unless you are importing or exporting them (or temporarily to satisfy an emperor request). Raw materials buildings, including olive/vine “farms,” will deliver directly to workshops in preference to warehouses. Each has its own cart pusher, make use of them instead of taxing your warehouseman with extra work. 2) Specialize your warehouses if you notice a bottleneck somewhere. Each warehouse has only one cart pusher, and he can have multiple duties (“get” orders, automatic delivery of imported food to granaries, automatic deliver of weapons to the barracks, delivery of raw materials to workshops, “empty” orders). If your warehouseman is too busy with one task to take care of another, its time to build a new warehouse and separate the tasks. When importing large amounts of even one raw material (this occasionally occurs in late scenarios, such as when you can import clay from 2 different cities in the final economic scenario), some find it can be useful to have 2 warehouses receiving only that commodity due to the time it takes them to deliver it to workshops (caravans will do a good job of spreading the import between multiple warehouses if they are built close together).

In regards to emptying a specific good, the “empty” command employs only the cart pusher of the warehouse set to “empty”, and he only uses a single load cart. Having the warehouse “not accept” while other warehouses “Get” will generate one cart pusher per warehouse set to “get”, and each of them can carry either a single or a 4x load, depending on how much is in the warehouse they are pulling from..

16. What’s the deal with those Market Ladies? They never seem to go where they are supposed to!

Impressions concedes that the manual was severely lacking in explaining exactly how the markets are supposed to work. The number one reason that you may be having problems supplying goods to your housing may lack of information – knowledge is power! If you know how they work with the system, you can work within the system. It’s all a part of the challenge of governing a powerful Roman city!

Designers at Impressions completed every scenario in the game prior to its release, have grown cities in excess of 18,000 population and have built city blocks of 8 luxury palaces in every scenario with the commodities to make this possible. They don’t build long roads with no intersections, but build normal city blocks.

For markets, in a city of 10,000 people you may have 23 markets: 5 for each of 3 population centers of mid-level housing (200 tiles of housing per population center) and 8 for your palace block of 8 luxury palaces (since palaces require more commodities, market buyers need to make more trips to more different granaries/warehouses). Apparently, they don’t have any trouble with either “Market buyer” walkers or “Market trader” walkers, because they know how the Market Ladies “work.”

The source of the frustration seems to be due to a lack of understanding regarding how the market walkers function, leading to either misplacement of markets or the granaries/warehouses where they get their supplies. Impressions has offered the following advice on how it is supposed to work:

Each market puts out 2 walkers, a “market buyer,” and a “market trader.” The “buyer” goes from the market to a granary/warehouse and returns with goods, carried by little boys each of whom will carry one cartload (100 units) of a particular good. Market buyers will only buy one commodity at a time. They will only buy commodities that the “market trader” from their market needs to distribute (based on the needs of the housing that they pass by). Market buyers do not wander: they make specific trips to specific warehouses/granaries that have a supply of the commodity that they need to buy next. Market buyers have the same graphic as market traders, you can tell the difference by right-clicking on them to see if they are a buyer or a trader, you can always spot a buyer if she is followed by a line of boys carrying her purchase, or you can usually tell by their behavior.

Important things to remember with “market buyers”

  1. It is highly important to keep the warehouses/granaries that the market buyers must walk to within easy reach of the markets. Otherwise the market buyer will spend an inordinate amount of time walking across the map to a source of a particular good and by the time she returns her market will have been completely emptied by the “market trader” distributing stuff to housing. In this case, the “market trader” is left spinning her wheels: she keeps walking around but her source market has no food/goods so she is not distributing anything to the houses she passes. Click on the various markets to see what they contain. If you need to transport food/goods across the map, do so by using warehouse/granary “Get” commands, don’t make market buyers travel too far.
  2. Since “market buyers” need to make a specific trip to buy each type of good needed by the housing its “trader” passes, the higher the level of your housing, the more trips the buyer must make. The quickest way to avoid trouble here is to use twice as many markets for villas/palaces as you use for Casa/Insulae level housing. This will help insure that if a particular market is currently lacking 1-3 commodities of the 7 needed, another nearby market will likely have those commodities. Since buyers buy what is most needed, this will not be a static situation. In addition, this problem is worse when housing first evolves: the houses have no supply of a particular good and therefore have a high demand for it. Once they are supplied with it, their demand decreases. Impressions thinks of this as filling up the pipeline. For example, when your housing first reaches Grand Insulae level, they have no wine. The markets they are supplied from likely have no wine. It takes awhile for wine to be given to all of the houses and you may see some devolution in the meantime. Once they all have a good supply though, they only need to replace what they use and the “trader” needs to deliver less and eventually the buyer has bought enough to fill up both the houses and the markets with a large supply.
  3. Market buyers choose their destination when they set out from their market, based on what they want to buy and the quantity of that item in your warehouses/granaries. If multiple market buyers are drawing from the same source, it may happen that the source is dry, or nearly so, at the time the buyer gets there. She will buy whatever’s there and return. There does not seem to be a specific limit to how much they’ll buy, they will return with at least up to 8 “boys” carrying one cartload apiece and sometimes even 12 or 13 boys on occasion. There are a couple of things you can do here: ensure a bountiful supply so that the warehouse/granary is more likely to be full when the buyer gets there and, if you are overproducing, pop up a few extra granaries/warehouses to receive your surplus: some market buyers will draw from one while others draw from another and, again, they will be more likely to find more to buy when they arrive. If you have a large area of farmland supplying a granary that has either a large number of “Get” carts drawing from it or a lot of market buyers drawing from it, or both, you may find it much more effective to build 2 or 3 such granaries instead (since each “get” cart or market buyer takes a large amount, it is possible that the next to arrive finds an empty granary even if you are overproducing). Ditto for warehouses.

Market Traders are like other access walkers: they don’t have a set route and they don’t have a specific destination. They use the same algorithm to randomize their route at every intersection (the algorithm makes it highly unlikely that they will repeatedly follow the same route). Market traders distribute food/goods to housing that they pass by, as long as the housing needs that type of food or that particular good for its current level of evolution or the next level above it (so it will be given what it needs to evolve, but not things needed several levels above: to prevent waste of food/goods by housing that you don’t want to evolve). Market traders report back to their markets the needs of the housing they pass, so that buyers will know what to buy. Each market trader is associated with the specific market that created her: she can only deliver items that the market contains (the market contains things that have been brought to it by its buyer). Unlike buyers who buy one commodity at a time, a market trader will deliver up to 8 different items to every house she passes (assuming her parent market has a supply and the house has a demand).

Important things to remember with market traders:

  1. As with all other access walkers, too many intersections may result in traders not going down a particular road for a long time, resulting in periodic devolution of houses on that road. (2×2 plaza tiles are pretty, but don’t build 2×2 intersections).
  2. When housing first evolves to a higher level, it can take awhile for the market ladies to supply all of the houses in their area with the higher levels of food/goods demanded/consumed. At first, these houses will have a low supply and therefore the market trader will be delivering large quantities quickly, emptying her parent market quickly, and then she walks around uselessly until the buyer can re-supply her market. You may notice that the first several houses she passes are supplied first and evolve, while ones passed later get fewer supplies and take awhile to evolve. There are two things you can do: a) Wait a bit. The houses supplied first won’t be given so much on later passes and eventually all houses passed will have a good stockpile of goods and finally the market itself will have a stockpile. Basically, it takes a bit of time to fill up the pipeline from the warehouse/granary to the market to the houses. b) Build more markets. This will accelerate the process if you have plenty of food/goods in your warehouses by creating more market buyers to bring goods from the warehouse/granary to the markets. Eventually, these excess markets can be leveled. I prefer choice (a): if my market traders are going past all of my housing and my granaries/warehouses are within easy walking distance for my market buyers, I know that my housing will evolve and stay stable once the pipeline is filled and the traders have plenty of stuff to deliver when making their rounds.
  3. The main cause of frustration comes from markets being empty due to market buyers having to walk too far for their purchases, resulting in market traders having nothing to deliver (or only some of the commodities needed) to the houses they pass, and from the initial instability of recently evolved houses due to the time it takes for them to build up a stockpile of each type of commodity that they need to maintain their new level. The first is a city design issue entirely under your control. The second is a natural occurrence in any market economy (just like the need for signing up on a waiting list at your local EB for the next hot title, to be sure you get a copy before the initial shipment is sold out). You simply need to be aware of it and of your options for dealing with it.

17. Okay, I got all that. But where should I place the Markets for maximum efficiency? Sometime, the Market Lady walks right past a full granary to one that is clear across town!

Considering how a market buyer chooses where to get her goods is absolutely critical to neighborhood layout. Turns out that a market buyer chooses which granary or warehouse is closest to her not by following the roads you’ve laid out, but rather by using an “as the crow flies” methodology. In most cases, the two are the same. Some people tend to lay out their cities very symmetrically. However, many would keep running into a problem with a market buyer who was going to a granary very far away rather than the one that seems, to the human mind, the closer one.

While a granary may appear closer by way of the road network they must follow, the market buyer figures the distance by drawing an imaginary line between her home market and the “closest” granary. This imaginary line will be the shortest distance between the two points, and will cross open land, buildings, statutes, aqueducts, whatever. This is how the market buyer figures the distance. The fact that she may have to follow a complex road structure a very far distance, even walking through another granary, does not matter. To her, the one that was the shortest distance, “as the crow flies,” is the “closest” granary.

If two or more granaries are equidistant, no one is sure how a market buyer chooses which granary to use, but Impressions thinks it’s something like: “If two granaries are equidistant, then she’ll choose the one that’s to the north and west and use that one”. If you have ever been driven crazy by a market buyer because it seems she is “ignoring” full granaries or warehouses, just remember that she’s not. She’s just chosen another granary or warehouse that, to her mind, is just as good as the ones you want her to go to. You can adjust this situation either as it happens or you can consider this before ever building your city.

* Special thanks goes out to “IClaudius” for designing a perfectly balanced map to demonstrate for Impressions how frustrating this “as the crow flies” methodology is in relation to granary selection.

18. I’m having a little trouble getting started, any tips?

Before I build, I plan my city in advance. First, set your game speed down to “10.” Then, I build the first road circle for my housing, and put down about 4 reservoirs w/aqueducts to make sure I am covered for fountains throughout the city.

Then, I delete the initial “road to Rome” that appears in the map, b/c I do not want my walkers going down clear across the map. Your immigrants/land traders do not need the initial road to reach your city. Your only roads should be near you housing, and the one connecting to the farms. This ensures maximum walker coverage. They are basically walking in a big circle around your housing.

I try and start out with one 7×7 or 9×9 tract of housing, 2 prefectures, 2 engineers, 2 doctor’s clinics (if you have enough, you don’t need a hospital right away b/c your people will never get the plague), 4 farms, a granary, one, maybe two, markets, and a temple to each god. Be sure to put at least one, maybe two prefectures, and one engineer’s post over by your farms as well. After you’ve put down your housing, I like to raise the speed to around “70” or “80.”

Next, prioritize your labor on the Labor Allocation screen. I usually assign the following priorities: 1) Fire Prevention (i.e., prefects); 2) Water Services; 3) Engineering; 4) Food Production; 5) Military (if I’m building one); 6) Industry and Commerce; 7) Governance/Religion (gotta keep those tax dollars flowing in and the gods happy!). I do not assign priority numbers to Entertainment and Health/Education, because if I’m short workers, my Labor Advisor will split my remaining workforce evenly between the two.

I then slowly build, noting the subtle differences each new structure adds to my city. I add luxury/public buildings only as the people ask for them, and hold my housing at Hovels and Casas. Then, I open a trade route, build a dock and warehouses right next to it. I usually specialize one warehouse for receiving imports, and one for gathering exports from my city. Set the warehouse storing imports to “Accept” only the goods you are importing, and set the warehouse storing your exports to “Get Goods” of the stuff you’ll be selling. Set all of the other goods to “Not Accepting.”

Then I start producing the most expensive product I can sell. Don’t sell raw materials; sell finished products, like pottery, wine, furniture, or oil. 1 raw materials pit provides for 2 workshops–I usually plant down 4 workshops initially. Later, Ill add more. Here’s a little secret that you may or may not know.

If you’re a little short on housing to fulfill your workshops to get your trade going, put down 6-8 housing tiles near the shops. Put a well or 2 near them. You don’t need a market near them b/c tent dwellers “live off the land.” That should provide the labor you need to man the shops. If not, lay some more. Then, once you upgrade your housing later, and have your first signs of unemployment, delete that rag-tag housing and kick those bums out of there! Eventually, they would hurt you prosperity rating, and the crime rate would be very high, leading to “civil unrest.”

Your goal is to become a tight, efficient, profit-producing machine. You will need the extra cash you have from not expanding too quickly, and the cash from your exports, for those $1000 forts and military academy if there is a military threat. Towers are cheaper than forts, build lots of them.

Mars should be the first temple you build. Hold a large festival for him right away. What you want is to get the “protective spirit” he gives you when he is “exalted.” This spirit will help kill the invaders of your first attack. Once you’ve got a nice stash of cash, upgrade your housing by making pottery available to them, then rapidly expand w/more farms and housing. Add luxury buildings, i.e., schools, academies, hospitals, entertainment, etc.

You don’t need a Senate until your housing upgrades b/c the taxes are so low, it’s almost pointless to collect them. Lower your taxes to around 4% (it will make your citizens happy), and raise them to around 9-10% later. You make your real money from trade (a note about trade—my experience has been that trading partners buy more if you buy something from them in return. While they complain if you don’t buy anything, I cannot prove that they buy less). Try and make what you purchase something small and cheap, like meat or clay).

Congratulations! You’re well on your way to turning a huge profit, sprawling across the countryside, and walking all over your enemies! Hail Caesar!

19. Bonus!

I noticed that the Roman solider on the cover of the Caesar 3 box (and the woman looking adoringly up at him) have remarkably human faces, while the Roman citizens in the background are obviously computer generated. Moreover, the woman is prominently displaying a diamond ring on her left hand. When I inquired about this phenomenon, Impressions essentially confirmed that it is indeed the face of David Lester, designer extraordinaire of Caesar 3, and his lovely wife Heidi!

After further investigation however, it is *not* David Lester. The woman dressed as a market lady is indeed Heidi Mann, one of the design team members (she’s not married to David Lester). So who is the prefect? Impressions isn’t saying. The current theory being tossed around is that he vaguely resembles a slightly older, greyed, Darrin Horbal. Since he is the Art Director for C3, he would be in one hell of a position to have himself portrayed in an heroic light!

Of course, that’s just one theory.

20. On my Financial Advisor, there is an entry for “Sundries” and “Interest at 10%.” What do they mean? How much tribute do I have to give Rome?

Sundries are expenses like festivals, or losses from theft. The Interest expense only occurs if you are in debt to Caesar. Think of it like the interest rate on your credit cards. When you have run out of money for the second time, Caesar charges you 10% on the credit you run-up with Rome’s vaults. Impressions has explained that tribute is collected at the beginning of January. If your city is not profitable that year, the amount is based on the size of your population. If your city *is* profitable that year, the amount is either 25% of your profit, or a fixed amount based on the size of your population (a greater amount than that for unprofitable cities), whichever is greater.