City design guide

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  • Although placement is not relevant at this stage, it may become relevant in future versions (as promised) with roads and adjacency.
  • Therefore, placement should reflect maximizing space utility. For example, in mid-late stages of the game when farms will take up all the map's space, match them up with the border of the map so that they fit more snugly.


Region selection[edit | edit source]

  • Starting regions do not have to become the capital in the long run! Consider getting your civilization off the start, and leaving your ancestral land behind in later ages.
  • Think of all your regions as one entity, despite tending to think of them as individual entities (especially prior to Portage and Markets).
  • Given how "Personal Contributions" are a focal point on the state income, the capital should maximize its wealth and tax base. It should always have the most population (ie. produces/receives most food), and goods that satisfy non-vital needs.
  • Distance to capital can make or break a budget: Every 1 distance decrease a region's administration by 15%, so having cities 5 or 6 tiles apart (esp. all of them) would effectively bring you in the negative whatever you do. This is why one should consider not only the resources and advantages of the capital, but resources in nearby/adjoining regions.
  • Some things are replaceable whereas others not so much: Food variety and diversity increases health and life quality, so in the long run straddling two or more biomes with a production of various foods, then traded around would be very beneficial indeed, but not absolutely necessary. Rare resources (eg. gold and silver), especially in large quantities, should be sought after even at the cost of a little distance, but consider settling less advantageous/arable areas if key strategic resources (eg. mineral deposits, preferably in large, flat outcroppings) for that advantage. After agriculture, gaia crops will be less and less relevant (see capital site paragraph below).
  • If you are in several biomes: Consider delegating animal husbandry in oceanic/temperate biomes, where average soil fertility is 3. This is particularly important to arid/nordic/tropical players.


Capital region selection and planning[edit | edit source]

  • To maximize population potential, this area should preferably be:
    • At a central location (vis a vis other settlements)
    • Have ample sources of water and food otherwise irreplaceable by technology. Fish and wild animals being the top concern
    • Having minerals in the capital is not necessary, but definitely a plus. Large deposits of clay (esp. on contiguous, flat land) is crucial for industrial and government use (until advent of paper). Having a forest is also a plus.
  • Combining the above, the ideal capital region should be: River or lake, forest, flat or plains.
  • Gravelly ground is everywhere, losing a bit won't hurt: most early buildings are all movable (rule of thumb: workshops are stationary), but will cease to do so after Age 2 (copper) or 3 (bronze). Since you can't (really) farm on fertility 1 soil, use it to build your permanent infrastructure (housing, industry) instead.
  • Because early farms cannot manage many fields, new players may spam quite a few of them: Either decrease them over time, or spread out early. By Age 2 and adopting fair exchange and currency, a farm should average at managing 50 fields, 75 to 100 by Age 3. While it may not matter whether a single farm manages one crop type or many, remember that later barbarians attempting to sack you may destroy them: Keep them visible enough to be manageable. A city isn't considered "fully cultivated" until at least the entire riverbank and 12 tiles up the slope runs green with crops.
  • Fish. Since your capital is likely to be next to a body of water, you'd want to maximize the amount of food you can get out of it. Animals could be bred through ranches, but fish are not something that one can create artificially. Find a region that has as many sites as possible.


Defense[edit | edit source]

Defense zones (as of 0.0.11.8) are set out radially, where units set on defensive inside the zone will attack anything it can reach from its allowed area. This is how one plans out their defenses.

  • DO not try to thwart off barbarian threats using melee troops alone. The attrition is not worth it. Instead, build an enclosure with all your valuables inside and set your defensive zone on top. When attacked, buildings seem to also provide some cover and your troops will likely get hit less.
  • Walls are the very lifeblood of your defense. If you don't have a rock outcropping that you can place your warehouses (and check with Terrain View for gaps and openings if you do), you will want to put a large square enclosing as many warehouses and/or granaries in it, while not making it overly large/rectangular that your defense zone cannot cover it (don't let defense zones seep outside any side of a wall)
  • Wooden palisades are stronger than later mudbrick walls, but cost 50% more maintenance. Since you will need to double-up your walls in later stages, consider using mudbrick walls outside of a palisade core. Don't forget to add towers inside (not ALONG) the edges.
  • If you are constantly bombarded with barbarians and you need to set up a militia, a good idea would be to also have a standing army about 33-50% of the militia strength to counter the loyalty costs.
  • Wooden platforms cost more maintenance. It may be a pain, but build big things in stone.


Regional satellites and expansion[edit | edit source]

  • Before the advent of paper, clay will be the primary material for government and administrative production: Use sparingly. (See notes below for inducing paper idea)
  • To keep administration penalties low, control the population size (esp in satellites). To do so, limit their food supply. Either limit your distribution, or grow so much that it outpaces distribution and export to capital.
  • The lower the administration, the more wastage in production efficiency and taxation. Might as well save up all the good stuff for the capital: export all raw materials to the capital, unless minor processing can be easily done (eg. pottery, charcoal etc.)
  • Always keep an eye-up on policies and civics! Consider implementing the latest civic that does not cost money or state power to use as soon as possible. More details on each below:


Policies[edit | edit source]

The policies mentioned here are in order of relevance, from beginning of the game:

  • Food rationing: Remove once you start building fields (Agriculture).
  • Leadership: 100 state power. Comes with 2 legitimacy policies. Enact them together. Don’t even think about starting a new settlement without at least this.
    • As of 0.12.x, the contributions still (annoyingly) tend to reset itself when a new civic policy is enacted. Make sure it is always set, preferably between 95-98%. The higher the percentage, the more you contribute and a bigger income. However, lowering this will increase the wealth of the Leader, and the more wealthy he is, the more overall loyalty from the people. (In conjunction with Superior Leader trait)
    • Protector of the People: The more military strength, the more city citizen loyalty. This makes even militia count towards building loyalty - but there is a threshold before militia discontent will outweigh this.
  • Privileges: Always, set to 25%, no exceptions. Activate Superior Leader upon getting this.
  • Fair Exchange: Enact as soon as you have a comfortable labour supply, and build up a small market to sell all your essential food sources - worry about consumer goods (eg. pottery/clothes) later.
  • Senate: 50 state power. Enact this before getting a second city.
  • Local Authorities: By 2 or 3 cities, your administration should start showing strain. Enact as soon as budget allows and satellite cities’ administration nears or dips below 0.
  • Currency: Enables floating prices of goods. Expensive goods makes it pricier to build things using said good, but increases tax upon selling for consumer use. Start satisfying all those material demands for great justice!
  • Seize Materials: If you are in a building rush and have a little extra state power, enact this during your building spree - the discontent is negligible if your city is well-managed. Disable otherwise to save state power.
  • Ministry: 20 state power. A nice cheap feature to offset some policy cost. Get this after senate.
  • Coinage: Allows P2P trade via market system. Not that people trade much, but still worth the increased efficiency. Doesn’t cost to implement anyhow. A MUST.
  • Representative Money: If you have gold or silver, this one is a must. All wealth value weighted to the city from the precious metals will be counted as leader’s property, and respective percentage turns into revenue. In other words, the more gold, the more money under leader’s wealth section! (the metals do not have to be in the capital)
  • Governors: 50 state power. At -30g off your budget, this is the most expensive civic to manage, but essential if you want that 4th or 5th city.
  • Parliament: Even more authority, but as of current version doesn’t provide relevant legitimacy boost - enact this last.
  • State Workers: Consider giving 1 or 2 coins to state workers - it’ll boost your budget in taxes with bigger return. Costs state power, so consider not having your 5th city if you are not sapping state power off someone else if you want this.
  • Subvention: Paying a particular job to increase their wealth level. This will increase their life quality/intelligence. A late-game device.
  • Paid research: Similar to above, a late-game device, and you’ll know when you’ll need it.


Trading[edit | edit source]

  • Trade is not possible until you have a caravan / dock and a market, which are age 2 and 3 buildings respectively. Markets require stoneblocks - trade for it if you haven’t got the idea to produce it already.
  • Make the server lively. Check trades often, and put excess production on markets often.


Ideas[edit | edit source]

  • Wells: Don’t build more than one water collector at start, and wait for population to start straining the supply.
  • Sedentism: Make sure you follow the opening tutorial missions TO THE LETTER. Remember it’s 20 stone throwers AS MILITIA, not AS ARMY.
  • Fish: First, you need to have fish on the map. If not, worry about it later.
  • Minerals (Copper/Tin/Iron/Coal): Don’t wait for the idea to come up. Mine them first, the ideas will come later.
  • Paper: Remember to build TWO furniture makers.
  • Carpets: Easy to miss this one, have two weavers, and don’t forget it needs wool - this could be hard for you, arid empires - trade or expand to a new biome that supports wool farming.
  • Alcohols: Two potters, and start saving a stock supply of pottery.
  • Currency and coinage: A lot of cash, 70 copper, and 20 silver spread in these two techs.
  • Horseback riding: Get horses in paddock. Not camels, not elephants nor mammoths, horses. (Elephant riding is a separate tree that IS worth it in the jungle/arid though)
  • Stoneblocks: Requires sledge (builder 2 idea) before stonecutting. Multiple builders and an architect is the infrastructure to start off with.
  • A certain type of equipment for a certain troop: After attaining a new metal type, it usually is accompanied by SOME of the necessary equipment of the new level. To encourage the onset of a new equipment (eg. a new shield), produce some of the earlier type.