I eventually did less than planned, but ensured than I was not even over-indebted once.
I wanted a dozen of farms, but it costs a bit more money than they bring in. Also, the second harvest is in November, so I do not have time to sell all the production before the end of the first year, nor even before having to destroy the bridges.
So I use the original settlements to set 6 farms only.
To make things faster, as soon as the game starts, I hit Pause, decrease the speed at 10%, destroy the empty fort (otherwise the new chariots go there), set the bridge to the Eastern bank, bits of road and some huts that will belong both to the industrial block and the housing block. I destroy the worst 3 1x1 huts in town.
I also set a group of huts along the road, closer to the farms, for the rcruiters to work better. I destroy one of the two groups of 1x1 huts closeby.
I set a group of plots along the city, close to the rocks and the Eastern bank. I destroy some more huts in town.
In every case, these fellow citizens fired from their house go nearby to settle and occupy the new plots. I save one month or two instead of waiting for new immigrants to come.
As soon as late January, I start setting two gem mines, a Storage Yard (SY) on the Eastern bank. The 3 new farms are operational.
In some versions of the game, the farms harvest as soon as February 1276, what is not normal (it should be June and November). Brugle recently mentioned the freak behaviours of the meadow farms sometimes.
I know that the enemy will destroy everything, so will destroy it myself. At the very beginning, I destroy the gate South, the granary and the SY in town. Not more as I have lots of workforce. I will destroy the houses in town one by one, when they will start having no food left, as the opinion of the houses with food is better. I also leave the bazaars, even empty. The disease and malaria risks are higher when there is no bazaar, even if no food is dlivered.
As soon as they are 12, I launch the chariots to eradicate the lions. The lions, like to hippos, are programmed to go and sit on the roads and wait for the cart pushers with their harvest of pomgranates.
This time, I delay until April to set the fort on the Eastern Bank. I have largely enough time to establish my two companies before the attack.
So I am indebted in April only. I decide to ignore the mansion for now but invest in productive industries. I set 2 other gem mines (so 4 altogether) and 6 luxury factories.
Contrarily to my first tries, I do not set many houses on the Eastern bank. I have enough time for this. Neither do I feed these people. I set useful workers when I need to balance the working force: policemen, physicians, apothecaries.
In December, I already have 29 chariots. My balance is slightly negative, so I use the last caravan from Jericho to roam between two Storage Yards to buy as much luxury as possible, telling the caravan to sell “100 pottery” in another SY, then changing it for “Import 0”. The caravan goes to the other SY, sells nothing and comes back to the first SY where new pieces of luxuries have been delivered meanwhile. I am not even indebted on 1st of january 1275.
I ignored the request for 500 luxuries. I can lose some KR points, but it is nearly the price of the mansion. I rather set the mansion and offer myself a lavish gift. My KR had dropped to 37, then 34 failing to fulfil the request, it climbs back to 44.
I could export for 3025 db on the first year, 3625 on the second year, before being forced to destroy the bridges.
THE HITTITES ATTACK:
I move one company to the SW corner and charge twice. I barely kill some invaders, but my point is to attract them to the bridge of the Eastern Bank.
Let us be clear, they religiously ignore my troops and rush to the city. So I destroy attractive buildings on the continent, like the academy. I have already destroyed most of the houses.
I keep the temples until the very end, when I see them moving towards these objectives. I make a try and leave the shrine; they ignore it. But they rush to destroy everything else.
Only some Hittites soldiers are coming near the bridge when I destroy it. The company on the Eastern Bank comes on the other side and fires missiles at them. These first ones withdraw as soon as december 1275. In March 1274, the last enemies withdraw.
Ther battle is won. Some would maybe say it is not a proper way of playing, but it is a classic strategy, and more or less what Pharaoh did at Qadesh. Both the King and the Pharaoh used the river to attack and counter-attack. Ramesses II came back claiming he had exterminated the Hittites. The truth is that he was nearly eradicated, only the Hittite King did not lauch his huge reserves, for a reason that is not yet well known.
The day of the real battle ended in a draw. Like here.
At the end of the battle, I set the bridge back immediately, as I have still 700 luxuries for sale and 3200 pomgranates. I also set the houses for new farms and new gem mines.
My prosperity is 2, the overseer says it is because of unemployment. Anyway, seing it above 0 is encouraging.
My kingdom rating is 55. So that is done.
My population is only 392. I had intended since the beginning to set the granary (2?) close to the mines, for them to deserve the block on the Eastern Bank and the original one, from which only the roads remain for now.
Then the two following years are made of calculations to make profits and not lose KR points. I add a fifth mine and open the road to Timna. I will never bother to produce weapons.
I ignore all requests for gems and luxuries as their negative consequences would appear after the end of the game. I fulfill the request for 1000 pomgranates to Waset as it is easy. I also send my 15 experienced chariots left to Jericho where they succeed. The two events bring me some KR points as a reward.
As expected, unemployment jumps. I do not worry about money and score: they will be low anyway. So I set some more (useless) farms and policemen to keep unemployment below 10%, when people start getting annoyed.
I win in November 1271, one month before the deadline.
Prosperity rating: 28
Kingdom rating: 77
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