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Draco's FAQS III


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 2x2, or later to 3x3 or 4x4. 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 2x2 housing to 2x2 areas until you are ready for it to evolve to 3x3 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 3x3 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 3x3. Housing will always expand into empty land first, adjacent housing second, and gardens last.

House #:

  • 1,2 sm/lg Tents (single tile or 2x2)
  • 3,4 sm/lg Shack (single tile or 2x2)
  • 5,6 sm/lg Hovel (single tile or 2x2)
  • 7,8 sm/lg Casa (single tile or 2x2)
  • 9,10 sm/medium Insulae (single tile or 2x2)
  • 11,12 lg/grand Insulae (2x2 only)
  • 13,14 sm/medium Villa (2x2 only, Patricians from here on up)
  • 15,16 large/luxury Villa (3x3)
  • 17,18 sm/medium Palace (3x3)
  • 19,20 large/luxury Palace (4x4, 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 4x4 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..