City Walkthrough & Tutorial
This is more of a step-by-step procedure than a hint section.
- If playing in campaign mode, consider doing the following steps, but this cannot be done if you’ve just started a new game.
- Load the file "lastyear".
- Once your city has loaded, wait for your soon-to-come promotion. If you made any last minute changes to your province before being promoted, and you think that the change might have affected the emperor’s decision to promote you this year, than make these changes now, and wait for your promotion.
- Once you are promoted, select your next province to govern.
- If you are not satisfied with the new river layout, than go back to step one.
- An appropriate site for a Defense type of city is a river running from the bottom of the map to the right, or symmetrical equivalent. A city built for Population would have a river of an irregular shape, covering the highest amount of space possible. A Mercenary city governor can have any type of river.
- I recommend pausing the game before proceeding. Begin construction by making water available to your city. I recommend building one reservoir and one fountain beside the reservoir. These essential structures should be built alongside the river of course. Beside the reservoir and fountain, build a hospital, rhetor and market in a single row, still building alongside the river. Behind the market, and beside the hospital, build a prefecture. Now, make a cane-shaped road that will reach all of these buildings. On the other side of the street, build a bath house that faces the middle of the row located on the other side of the road. Beside the bath house, build a grammaticus, theater, and two fountains on the corners of the (purple) pipe access/water square. See the Money Saving Tips at the end of this document for an explanation why you should build these (fountains).
- Build a block of housing behind the 2×2 building row (The grammaticus, theater and bath house row). Make it small enough for the walkers to access, but big enough to create good population growth. I recommend block sized four by ten squares, the longer part being alongside the 2×2 building row.
- For every 5000dn remaining, consider building a basilica. Temples carry half of that (2 500dn) and shrines carry even less (app. 1 000dn), so build those structures if you do not wish to get a robbery.
- Here’s more or less what the finished product should look like:
- Once February hits, the pleb requirements are going to go up fairly high, so prepare yourself by increasing pleb welfare to about 15dn per month. Expand progressively, but fairly slowly. Remember that the more housing you build without adding new land-value-increasing structures, the more your current housing will suffer. Add the occasional entertainment structure and keep up with demand for everything. Prepare yourself for riots and other problems. Once you get your treasury stabilized, proceed with developing your province.
- Some people have been complaining that even with the speed at ten, it will still take three or four minutes to go through one year. A simple way to beat this is to go under the speed menu and select accelerated time and sit back and relax. Each month will take about 15 seconds to go by, and the time will resume normal speed whenever a message appears ( i.e. an invading army, stolen Dn., end of year statement, etc.) -The Warlock
Here you see two large palaces. The land value here is 64, the required amount to construct this type of housing. Notice that the palaces are close to a grammaticus, hospitals, a library and a market. The palaces also have their own forum, baths, shrines and water supply. When managing land values (especially higher ones), keep these thoughts in mind:
- Check out the Building Directory to set development goals.
- The larger housing (Villas and Palaces) only need to have all their needs satisfied on one third of the squares that they occupy. For example, a palace only needs an entertainment rating of 9 on three out of nine that it occupies to maintain an entertainment rating of 9 for the whole structure. Sometimes, you may get away with having all the needs satisfied on only one square, but this does not always work.
- Prevent the Population Dip at all costs. The dip can cost you your expensive housing and can even eliminate some of your housing.
- As you can see from the picture, the palaces have automatic coverage at all times by land-value-increasing buildings. In order to develop higher land values, you shall need this strategy. Keep the baths, forums, schools, hospitals, libraries and worship buildings close, but keep markets and prefectures at least three squares away, but not too far away (More than five or six squares at most) Walkers have pretty short lives and their effects are eliminated quickly once they pass by housing, so don’t rely entirely on them!
- Remember to have all your housing accessible by road. Speaking of road access, remember that hospitals, libraries, and buildings that produce walkers need direct road access at all times to function effectively.
- Make sure to prevent disasters in the area, especially riots because they reduce land values drastically by creating rubble. Even riot presence in the vicinity could lower land values. See the Dealing with Problems section for advice on dealing with these disasters, and how to prevent them.
- Romans hate open spaces. Strongly avoid building housing blocks near empty land. This is one of the major causes of the Population Dip.
- Land values for housing and land values for non-housing (Multiple stature) buildings are different. These non-housing type buildings are affected by much fewer limiting factors than normal housing, and the limiting factors that do act upon them only affect their land value slightly. For example, you can easily bring a basilica up to a high stature (Let’s say with a land value rating of 53), although it has no external security and is in the proximity of a business, just by placing some plazas around it.
- Use the query tool often to check what residence wants if they are shrinking or not growing.
- Never leave rubble lying around and if you can afford it build roads out of plazas and build grammaticus because they are cheap and really please people.
- You will probably begin to build industries later in your city development. If you have a lot of expensive housing, consider building the industries in areas already limited in growth, or in areas that have many non-housing type buildings.
- Make sure that a market is beside each of your industries. This will eliminate any problems caused by the short-term effects of walkers.
- The effects of high Industry Taxes are evident when all of your industries have production reductions at the same time. The diminished production caused by taxes is explained with the "insufficient city-wide demand" comment. Check out the Treasurer section in the Forum page for information on managing your taxes.
- Placing housing around your industries in the effort to provide decent workforce is a seemingly logical, yet risky idea. Housing placed both near an industry and on the edge of city limits will cause riots in the area for sure. Unrest, strangely enough, will not rise in such housing so rioting generally cannot be predicted. Avoidance is quite easy:
- Build industries in the inner-city area, but beware of the associated wide-spread limiting factors.
- Surround your workers’ housing with another type of building. Temples usually work effectively. This is my recommendation.
- A road that surrounds your industrial community will reduce the risk of a riot slightly.
- Consider building your workforce housing right beside a river.
- If you wonder why you cannot make raw materials available from your province, see the Trade and Industry section on the province level page for information.
Internal Security is good at any time. It will minimize the chance that riots will occur, and stop riots if by any chance they do occur. The presence of vigils will also raise land values. Vigils also take care of invaders if they reach your city, like soldiers. Please keep in mind that vigils are quite "shy" though, so they let invaders come to them instead of running after invaders like soldiers do.
External Security is only necessary if you are building in City-Only mode, or if you are a governor that builds for Defense. Installing external security is also a good way to spend excessive money if applicable.
- If you are building a wall to protect your city from invasion rather than to simply allow land values to go above 42, than do not build the wall on the edge of the map. If you do build a wall at the edge of the map, than invaders will not be hindered by its presence.
- Barracks are used to stop an attack once an invader is inside the city. Towers, on the other hand, will help stop an invasion before it reaches the city. Try to build more towers than barracks: It’s cheaper and more effective.
- One option is to wall off your entire map along the outside as an expensive but instant security system.
Rioting will probably be the most common problem that you’ll experience. The usual cause for rioting is unrest, but it’s also partially caused by the Population Dip (Described later in this document).
Unrest is caused by factors such as conscription and limiting factors, but is amplified by taxes. To make things easier to understand, think of this: You’re listening to music that has multiple instruments playing at the same time, each playing at a different volume level. These instruments are like different levels of unrest. If you turn up the volume, every one of the instruments will play louder. The volume is like tax. If you increase taxes, every housing unit that already has unrest will now have more unrest, and maybe some of the housing that did not have unrest before will now have unrest. Higher difficulty levels make unrest more likely.
If you’re unfamiliar with the preventative measures for high unrest and riots, here are a few:
- Avoid exposing your housing to the major limiting factors such as lack of baths, forum access or full water supply.
- Keep a low population tax, and balance it out with an increase in the industrial tax.
- Increase the number of luxuries (temples, plazas and entertainment). One idea is to replace your roads with plazas. Another idea is to use entertainment and worship buildings to fill in the squares where limiting factors reside, instead of putting housing in those areas.
- I have found that if an area of houses or a house, turn red (threat of riot), and you cannot figure out the immediate cause, just destroy the house (houses) and immediately place new houses in the same spot. This usually takes care of the problem for the time being, gives you more time to make adjustments and is cheaper than a riot. -Anonymous
Sometimes, no matter how many precautions you take, a riot will occur. If a riot does break out, it usually begins in large housing blocks, near the edges of your city limits or "filler" housing (Housing placed among many non-housing type buildings to fill in empty space.) Here are some strategies when dealing with riots:
- Build a tower in front of the rioter. This will hinder the rioter’s progress considerably. Sometimes the tower might even produce a soldier, who will eliminate the rioter immediately. Otherwise, the tower will slow the progress of the rioter long enough for vigiles to be able to intercept them.
- If there’s only one vigile in the area trying to intercept a riot, but he cannot because a building is in his way, than you may consider cutting him a path through some housing in order to facilitate access. If larger buildings must be destroyed in order for the vigile to access the rioter, or if you simply don’t feel like wrecking things, than try to rotate the map a couple of times and see if the vigile goes around his obstacles to intercept the rioter. In most cases though, the vigile will automatically circle the obstacles and take care of the rioter.
The population dip is an undocumented problem that can affect your city at earlier stages of development. The basic definition of population dip is "Invisible Unrest". A population dip does not create riots or any other type of physically apparent problems, but its effects can seriously harm your city.
The population dip reduces land values in your city considerably, often for no evident reason. Sometimes, you may be thrown into debt because of it ; Other times, you might lose some of your (previously thriving) housing blocks. Here’s some causes of the population dip, and associated solutions: Most of the causes listed below have a general solution: Progressive expansion. As long as you build or improve your city continually, you can usually avoid the population dip.
Cause: Open Spaces; Housing placed near city limits is likely to suffer from population dips.
Solution: Surround your city with a wall, road, or other type of inexpensive structure. Also try to keep your housing on the inside of your city, while other buildings stay on the outside. This method could use up more money though, since less housing is affected by a single beneficial structure.
Cause: Limiting Factors/Unrest; Lack of entertainment, bath house coverage, etc.
Solution: See the Riots/Unrest section above. The solutions are practically the same.
Cause: Lack of Funds; Prevents you from fixing problems, expanding, and generally making life easier for your people. This makes your residents move out!
Solution: Cheat if you have to. Another solution is to resist the urge to build too much. Set a minimum amount of money to have at all times. My recommended amount is 5000dn or more.
Cause: Unruly Population; Some provinces simply have a bad population from the start.
Solution: Avoid these provinces if possible; let ‘ol Pompous have them. The province description will tell you if the province’s populace behaves bad. If you decide to take these provinces on, than be very careful. There’s no easy solution for this one.
Cause: Wandering Walkers; If people don’t see walkers in their neighborhood often, they will move out.
Solution: Split up your city into smaller communities by removing road pieces in some places. Read the third tip in Money Saving Tips for details. You may also try setting up a single possible path for walkers by making a single long road for them to follow.
When it comes to providing water for your citizens, than keep in mind that only bath houses and fountains must be placed inside the underground piping range. Housing only needs water from a fountain to receive a normal water supply: it does not need pipe access. Please remember that water that comes directly from a river or well will only create a primitive water supply; only fountains do the job right. An anon person adds: If you place a fountain next to a reservoir and the fountain won’t fill with water, try placing the fountain directly on top of the little green plants (bushes), in the grassy area of your city. This should fix your problem.
Also concerning water: you can save yourself some time, money and space by allowing multiple aqueducts to feed off a single reservoir. This is great if you don’t want a maze of aqueducts running through your city, as you may end up doing when it will come to providing water for areas that are distant from the river. Even if three reservoirs draw water from a single initial reservoir that is beside a river, all three will get a full water supply.
A nice thing I found out in CII: When I first began playing, I thought all of the sections of one’s city had to be physically interconnected by roads – after all, that’s the case in real cities. This means that your "walkers are liable to wander aimlessly, thus decreasing their range of effectively. In the game, though, you can create numerous enclaves with their own short road system and facilities … and the shorter your roads, the easier it is to get good market, forum, prefecture coverage, etc. Pretty handy.
For instance, Are you tired of that annoying Robbery message because you forgot how many temples you had? Then, you have to scan your city to find space near a forum to plunk down another temple. Well, now, I create a separate area for just temples, hospitals and libraries. It can be anywhere… All it needs is road connection to a forum! –Glen Homan
- You are building in city-only mode, and are experiencing many attacks, or want to prepare for attacks if they do occur.
- You find no need for a cohort. Most of the attacks that you do experience are minor and do not affect other structures/cities in your province, therefore you can easily repel an invasion (in the city view).
- Your city is placed so that your troops will not be able to intercept the enemy in time if an attack does occur. Usually this is necessary if your city is very near a "To: Someplace" sign.
- You want to ensure the maximum level of security possible, just in case. Usually you want to do this if the province description mentions that there are many raids in the area, and your troops are not ready to fight yet.
A defense city should have a river that runs across the corner of the city map. This is to minimize the chance that invaders will enter your city limits at a place where structures are built. If structures were placed alongside a river that ran straight across the map, invaders would have a better chance of reaching a populated area, no matter from what side they attack. A city placed in the corner of the map would allow your soldiers and vigiles to respond to an attack without having to run through a maze of roads in order to intercept, and the attackers rarely actually get to the populated area because of the additional distance to travel (If they begin at a corner or side opposite to the city).
A defense city should have at least one barracks unit, and as many prefectures as possible. The areas that are close to the edge of the map should have a wall protecting them.
Population City: A city built for population is one that has logically positioned buildings and roads for maximized land value, as well as a happy population and decent economy. The general point of building a city like this is to feel dedicated to your people rather than to anything else. This kind of city is appropriate if:
- You are planning to manage a long term city-only game.
- You want to work mainly on improving your culture and prosperity ratings.
- You want to see the palaces "In real life."
- You are trying to get the highest population you can
This type of city should have a long and swerving river that takes up the highest amount of space possible. This is to make it easier to provide water to the outer limits of your city (later in the game).
Population cities have plenty of land value raising buildings, relatively low taxes and much housing. An industry here and there will also contribute to the growth of this type of city.
Mercenary’s City: A city built by a mercenary city governor is one that has relatively high taxes and many industries. The general point to built a city like this is to make as much money as possible. This kind of city is appropriate if:
- You want to jump from province to province quickly, having a good personal savings account to back you up along the way. A large surplus of money could allow you to build (freely and quickly) what is necessary in order to advance to the next province.
- You want to experiment with the prosperity rating, or want to see how far up you can push taxes; how many industries you can build before your people go crazy.
- You find that it’s easier to get your more money from industry and taxes, not luxury homes.
Any type of river is appropriate for a city like this. Preferably, though, a river similar to that used in "Population" cities is good for future city expansion possibilities.
The primary source of income for a Mercenary’s city is industry. In order to have a properly functioning "Municipal Industry Base", your province must be well developed first. Most of the housing in this type of city can be classified as "worker’s housing", housing that has low stature and is used basically to support the production of industries. Tax revenue, as mentioned above, is also an important source of income ; primarily industry taxes, of course. Do not increase your population tax too much, for a Mercenary’s city is probably a city with plenty of unrest.