I did not remember IKEN in details. So I wanted to make it a « no replay ». I lost : not completely as I had set various parts of the city on different islands, so I cannot be totally defeated, but I was too confident about my capacity to use ground troops against the Kushites ; my line of defence was eradicated by the first attack. I had invested too much money in defending my gold mines first, what is a bad choice : it costs less to replace mines than a whole city of residences. This failure is included into the upload to show what should never have been done in Iken : arrogance was paid in full.
I started again with another mapping for the city to be surrounded with walls. I had not yet known the availability of a second luxury route opening. As my city was pretty dense, I could not make many manors evolve to estate status.
In the following games, the first Kushite attack occurred near the mines meanwhile I was ready on the western bank. Bad luck. I lost one year each time waiting for the Kushites to withdraw and took 10,000 more debens to rebuild everything.
I sank all enemy warships leading them over the floodplain in october, though later I could defeat their invasions without much trouble : their warships are tough in attack but weak in defence. No troop could ever land.
During the Kushite attacks, I attract them along the walls using the archers and charge when the enemy is weakened, just to gain experience. I have even set the walls such a way that they have to walk between two rows of fire. Nonetheless, they always manage to crush some towers. I could set my first troops with the bonus of the academy and the Seth temple Complex, making them level 3 since the beginning.
The cities :
First try : Pop 10,000 ; Score 78,000 ; 171 months, CR 45, PR 100, KR 96.
Second : Pop 11,300 ; Score 102,000 ; 168 months ; CR 45, PR 100, KR 100, treasury 312,640, 100 towers. People are aging fast but there is a huge potential reserve for workforce. This city is fully stable : no accident if any kind ever happened. Please note that the 19 palatial estates block works perfectly.
My first city did not please me as I wanted as Iken has many specificities, including several factors that may spoil the game, that I wanted to show to less experienced players, so I did it again to submit a file that suits accurately the scenario :
1. Invasion points : the enemy always comes from the South, but it is irrationnal to build walls South only. It corresponds to the game design but not the logics of reality. So my city is surrounded with walls.
2. Defending the mines : it is dangerous to have isolated towers here and there as they tend to lose their lancers and archers. Therefore you can be surprised that no ground troop is ever reaching the forts : the recruitment camp is always staffing these isolated towers. So I have set only a small wall of towers in the extreme South East, to stick the invaders there for minutes while my archers concentrate on them and attract them further away, to a well constructed fort. Note that the Kushites are ordered to ‘attack the troops’. So, they will concentrate their energy on your troops until they get eradicated or discouraged. You will lose some mines only.
The defence of the mines was the last to be set and was completed in one go. In fact, it is dangerous to set a fort there without strong defences : the infantry will be killed one by one, while reaching the fort, making the morale of all your troops drop to panic although you need them badly for the next attack.
3. Sea defences : as said, the Kushite warships are weak enough. Some ambushed warships and towers along the way will forbid any Kushite success.
4. Game hunting : the flocks were not properly set by the designers, antelopes roam on the floodplain and get stuck there with hunters. I fenced the floodplain to avoid this, destroying the small statues from time to time when 3-4 antelopes were ‘born’ behind the wall of statues. I did it when the flooding was good or excellent, for the roaming antelopes to disappear with the floods.
Similarly, I have set a ferry East and not a bridge. Antelopes tend to use a bridge to go North and get stuck here and there. It is important to have this connection North-East for the hunters who give up North to have a shorter distance to walk to the second flock South-East.
A tower is necessary to kill the crocodile. Take care that the drawback is that this tower would rather fire at the crocodile rather than the enemy passing along.
5. Food deliveries : palatial estates need the third kind of food, imported peas. The import has to start early as the game should not last more than 15 years. I forced the Bast Best Blessings to make my city evolve in the game time frame, otherwise the same result would be reached but in 25 more years.
The logistics headache comes from the hunters : my last settings proved to work. Setting a granary less than 34 tiles away from the manors block on the island : the bazaar ladies lose some time fetching them but less than every hunter lodge delivering game on the mainland, altogether with the farm deliveries that jam the ferry.
Before, I had set the granary on the mainland. The difference is that, with the same blocks in two years less, I reach now 1,500 more people, nearly all of them in fancy residences.
The manors block needed 4 bazaars to evolve properly : the forth one was fetching food only. I made all my houses evolve to palatial estates in one go, so used all the game in the bazaars. Otherwise, my bazaars were at 3,000+ game and waiting for one more BBB would have guaranteed a 20,000 in each bazaar. One again, I chose to play with the time.
6. The obelisk : building the obelisk is always a bit risky and must be made a clean way. It often appears that the workers lose their task, and it is impossible then to make them remember it, even through destrying/replacing the guilds. So, it is risky to set the obelisk on an island : I tried it and lost it.
The obelisk was finished in 12 years, without any rush, then I took one more year to finish my city and get the benefits of it in tax collection, as I spent the whole game spending heavily on infrastructure (from 8,000 to 30,000 a year). Yearly profit is now 80,000.
One guild of each is enough : it is even risky to set two carpenters’ guilds : the game tends to lose the obelisk even more, what happened to me twice in Enkomi.
7. Entertainers in the desert : whenever there are tiles of desert in the city, you have to be carefull, your road network has to be very clean otherwise you will watch entertainers walking non sense everywhere. It can even make your game bug (what happened to me once on the first try here). You probably noticed that the display of actions happening on desert tiles is often messy.
The best is to have your have entertainment places in dead ends and even surrounded with statues, for the game to have a cleaner understanding of the entertainment pattern.
For this reason, I also advise scenario designers to avoid having isolated desert tiles right in the middle of the map.
Similarly, I had to be very cautious during the fights : some towers were destoyed but stayed displayed. It would have led to bugs or blackholes ; I had to reload several times to avoid this, and ensured I had erased the rubble before saving. Please note that it is not advised to erase any rubble meanwhile smoke is still visible over it : substrate for black holes.
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