Fishing is the key in Abydos, but can you make enough money to keep your balance in the black?
- Population – 2500
- Culture – 25
- Prosperity – 25
- Monument – 17 (2 Small Mastabas, 1 Medium Mastaba)
- Kingdom – 50
- Wages rise
- Storms stop trading by water from time to time
- You will be able to trade more beer and less fish
Festivals to Osiris seem to be the order of the day throughout Egypt. To ensure that the god and his own people are sufficiently appeased, Pharaoh will ask you to provide plenty of beer. The requests start very early on, so be sure to get those barley farms and breweries going early. Try to keep all building to 1 side of the Nile, as cart pushers can sometimes disappear when crossing by ferry (not the sort of thing you want to happen here).
There’s also periodical famine in the country, so be prepared to supply Pharaoh with fish from time to time. Don’t worry though – he won’t start requesting this until fairly late on in the scenario. It is nevertheless a good habit to get into to overproduce the fish. Don’t forget that you also need to feed your own people!
There is something good to come out of all Pharaoh’s requests though. In addition to a kingdom rating boost, you’ll receive shipments of bricks from Nubt if Pharaoh’s demands are met speedily, and these can really help when it comes to building the mastabas required to win.
You won’t be left completely in peace by those pesky Nubians here – they do have a nasty tendency to sail up the Nile right into your city, so a small navy is desirable (2 or 3 ships should do it). While I was there (30 or so game years), I wasn’t attacked on land, but you are able to build forts, so I wouldn’t discount this completely.
There’s nothing wrong with having 2 settlements here – 1 in the north to produce food, beer, linen, and to provide most of the housing, and another village in the south near the marshland to get the papyrus you’ll need to export. Don’t rely entirely on papyrus though – linen is a lucrative export you shouldn’t overlook here.
Here are Dragon2’s thoughts on this level, posted here:
I did Abydos at Hard difficulty in 225 months while making a lot of mistakes. Thinking it over, I suspect the time could be cut to 10 years. Here are some things I’d do better on a second try.
1. Exceed the population limit. In C3 there’s never any point in doing this, but the situation is different when you have to build monuments.
2. Develop both banks of the Nile from the start. Otherwise dock space is a limiting factor.
3. Build a papyrus-producing village near the reeds right away. It’s the quickest source of income, which is really needed at Hard (perhaps not at Moderate). Brew lots of beer across the river.
4. Import weapons in time to have infantry for the first invasion.
5. Have storage always available for gift bricks.
6. Try to make bricks from imported straw and pottery rather than importing them directly.
Anyway, I’m going to try again, and I’ll post the game if I can get down to 12 years or less. I’ll also post anyone else’s efforts if you email me a zip file of the saved game and describe your strategy in this thread.
What are the best times that others have achieved? Any speculation on the fastest possible time?
Since this is a straightforward level to finish at Hard, I propose that as the standard difficulty.
ADDED ON NOV. 25
After studying Brugle’s detailed description of how to get down to 97 months, I decided to try again, and I succeeded in 95 months, although I had no military and much lower prosperity than Brugle since I never made any pottery.
Time: 95 months at hard difficulty
Culture 25, Prosperity 26, Kingdom 69
Funds 2229, Population 5059, Score 3483
Basically Brugle has the correct analysis of how to do this level, so I’m repeating many of his ideas.
You need five settlements, in this order:
1. 4 flax and 2 barley farms on the easily accessible floodplain near the kingdom road — build one 2×2 housing block.
2. Reeds and papyrus across the river, later enhanced with a little flax and barley — build one 2×2 housing block.
3. Papyrus, fish, and industry at the the south end of the Kingdom road, build a few houses.
4. Big block at the north end of the Kingdom road. This is going to supply all the workers for your first-year export industries. Fill this with houses as soon as you can.
5. Really big block across the Nile. This is going to provide enough workers for 31 brickyards. Build the initial housing so you can start fishing before long.
As settlers arrive, first build the work camps for your floodplain farms, then a temple, water supply, firehouse, and architect for each big block, then industry as raw materials become available. Start making bricks and export them for a while! This provides needed funds. Your goal is to have 1000 people after one year and 2000 after two without going into debt. If you do this right, you should get a good harvest from all 6 farms and export the lien and beer in the first year.
The next priority is to provide food for everyone. If you don’t, plague will strike. Import figs and chickpeas until your fishing is fully established. (Of course you’re importing 100 fish so you don’t need to build granaries.)
In the dock area (3 docks, as far south as you can put them) have 3 storage yards accepting only clay, straw, and linen. A nearby area handles the lucrative land trade. Between the docks and the southern housing block build brickyards, as many as you can. The more you build, the more raw materials you will import.
Once people are fed, get the monument zone going, just to the northwest of the south housing block. First build storage yards set to “get maximum” bricks. These will grab the bricks you’ve already produced and stored in the land trade area. Then start the medium mastaba, supported by work camps and bricklayers.
I did the mastabas wrong, and whoever does them right is going to get down to 90 months. Once the medium one is 70% done, start the second, and once bricks are going onto that, start the third.
What I’d recommend (not what I did, but I’m wiser now) is to have three or four storage yards set to accept bricks as close to the mastabas as you can. All 30 brickyards deliver directly to these. Keep the number small so that youe bricks don’t get spread out; that way workers can always find a full load of bricks and find it without traveling. If you have bricks anywhere else, set that storage yard to “empty” them. Avoid at all costs letting your workers travel far to get bricks. To practice this, load the second save game and see if you can build the last two mastabas in less than two years.
Late in the game, you may be able to import bricks. Do so, but check carefully to be sure that you’re profitable for the year. Otherwise you’ll have three mastabas and no prosperity.
My guess is that anyone who masters this level will be able to do all the pyramid-building levels twice as fast as the average player. Caesar 3 experts take note — there is nothing in the C3 career like the logistical problems of handling all these bricks.
Eventually I was limited by the size of my brickmaking industry. I see no reason that 6000 population and 40 brickyards isn’t possible. Another obvious improvement to what I did is to produce and stockpile beer for Pharaoh across the Nile — but don’t let anyone but immigrants use that ferry!