Tiny Tips and Smooth Strategy for the Caesar III Demo
by Angel Alexander
One of the things that has not changed in CIII is the careful balancing act that you must perform if you are to successfully lure unsuspecting citizens away from the wonders of the metropolis of Rome to expand your city. If you make some basic mistakes in the initial stages of building your city, you usually end up spending a frustrating amount of time compensating for those mistakes. Here?s how to avoid them.
The most challenging part of the first scenario of the demo is noticing when you can select Prefectures from the construction overlay. Once you have placed enough houses and wells and set up some security, you quickly hit the 150 population needed to fulfill the victory requirements of this scenario. Then you are promoted to the second scenario and this is where the skills of fine tuning the economy become essential.
Your immediate goal in this scenario is to cultivate some wheat fields and build up an economy around that so that the population swells to at least 900. That?s the easy part. The demanding part is getting a favour rating of 10. As the instructive help files will tell you, favour can be gained in a great many ways. It can also be lost in an equal number of ways.
Sucking up to Caesar
- Give him a lavish gift (good for at least 2 favour points).
- Give him the 5 units of weaponry he invariably asks for immediately (good for 4 points).
- Avoid borrowing any money from him (good for not taking at least 2 points off).
- Keep the salary you assign yourself very low (undetermined as to how detrimental a high salary can be).
Pleasing the Plebes
- Keep unemployment down to 0% (I?ve only noticed that, at best, this keeps favour from falling).
- Raise the wage standard above that of Rome (good for one or two points).
- Give the occasional large feast (will add a point).
- Create desirable housing locations (this will make or break your favour points count).
The fastest way to tote up favour points is to have a prosperous city that grows gradually in stages that keep pace with the waves of commercial expansion and whose growth tapers off into a stable number of about 1400 to 1800. You will have to attract settlers to your city site by at least seeing to it that there is enough food grown to feed them and that there are enough jobs to allow your brave new pioneers to actually buy the food grown. Once your unemployment figure reaches about 22% for a while, don?t be surprised if you see your populace heading for the seven hills. Producing too little food will freeze frame your budding burbs at exactly the number of citizens that the food stockpile will support. Don?t get caught in the same trap I did. I like to set the speed to 0 and lay out a basic plan for my village. One time I got lazy and thought I would blow most of my money and cram in all the farms in the ?wheat bowl? of Italy and set up three granaries to deal with what I thought would be the resulting onslaught of wheat harvests right from the start. In other words: I laid out a city in one go instead of setting up the first of many stages of growth.
Of course hordes of would-be citizens massing three abreast along the first half of the cross-map road poured into the city. I was happy that I would not constantly have to monitor unemployment rates for a while. Suddenly I saw the pop counter stop at 151 and a message appeared announcing that the city was not producing enough food for its inhabitants. Two fully loaded carts of wheat were telling me that they had been turned away from the granaries. Only about two or three of the 12 farms were producing at half capacity and two of the three granaries only had 3 workers each. None of the granaries could store the harvest and thus allow the markets to get at it. The AI had spread out the workers evenly across the various posts as they came in. I closed any industries that I could but, in the end, I had to eliminate two of the granaries and all but two of the farms to concentrate enough workers in the remaining granary. Suffice it to say that I had to abandon the game after several hours (no saving in demos) as I fell into debt a number of times and was never able to score more than 5 or 6 of the 10 favour points.
Stage I: Population Influx
- Set game speed to 0. Construct 2 farms and 1 granary fairly close to each other and two markets spread out to cover as many of the future residential areas as possible.
- Set up the senate as centrally as possible and build some residential areas near the senate but not too close to the farms and granary.
- Put in plenty of security, wells and engineers posts and add a few temples near the senate.
- Move game speed to about 40% and monitor immigrant influx and employment levels closely. As soon as unemployment crops up, go to stage II.
Stage II: Maintaining Population Growth and Expanding Farming
- Keep unemployment down as much as possible by placing additional farms and some more temples where needed. You will need to build a second granary soon.
- Keep the immigrants coming in by opening up new residential areas as needed. Don’t forget to keep them ‘happy’ (feasts and other entertainment and 5 dinari increase in wages).
- If new structures such as aqueducts suddenly become available, you should set game speed to 0 again and carefully replace the wells with ‘aqueducting’ and fountains. Two lines of aqueducts with two terminal reservoirs each should suffice. Make sure you place enough forums to pull in those taxes! You are now ready for stage III so set game speed to about 40%.
Stage III: Diversifying the Economy and Population Stabilization
- As you have been stimulating good population increases you may find that unemployment is rising rapidly. It is time to set down a clay pit at the river flanked by two pottery workshops.
- Also set up two weapons work shops and a warehouse near the pottery industry along the road to Rome.
- You should now be able to open the trade route to Brindisium. You need all the coal you can get for your weapons workshops, so import that. However, don’t import too much furniture now because most houses will probably not need it yet. Export all grain over 2 units and all weapons over 1 unit (weapons really bring in the money) and all units of pottery above 1.
- If nearly all your employee requirements in the city have been met, start to stabilize the population by adding less and less housing and culling eyesore tents that are holding neighbourhoods back, replacing them with gardens.
- As your level of housing rises, be sure they have access ‘luxury goods’ like furniture and pottery.
- If you have enough money, see if you can increase salaries even further.
Stage IV: Extending the Economy and Pumping up Favour
- If the economy is flowing smoothly, add another warehouse near your industrial park and set up another clay and pottery branch next to the new warehouse. Also add at least two weapons workshops, leaving enough room for a third warehouse to be built as the other two fill up.
- Any unemployment should be absorbed by these new industrial complexes. Now it is important to maintain your population level that should be between 1400 and 1800.
- If you have at least 3000 denari and you want to end the game immediately, go to the senate screens and arrange a big feast, give Caesar a lavish gift, pump up salaries another 5 or 10 and give yourself an engineer’s salary. If you have never had to borrow money from the Senate, you should automatically meet the victory conditions.
So far, I have only been given an Engineer’s promotion to mark the end of the demo.