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"Episode" is the name used in Trade Empires for scenarios. There are nineteen different episodes, some paired with others differentiated largely by level of difficulty. Episode headings below link to detailed articles where they have been written.


TE-8easiest

EasyEdit

These all have just a single family with no competition and the target being the highest score.

Shang Dynasty ChinaEdit

Shang China

Uses the one-nation map that will be familiar to players who have been through the Tutorial. Initial foods millet and rice, with silk cloth from weavers to make life comfortable.

You can only play as the T'ang merchant family. The game's time frame is 1700-1100 BC. In this episode you will be delivering five commodities by the end point: Rice, Millet, Silk, Jade Idols and Bronze Vessels.

First Civilizations IEdit

First Civs

Choose the Nippur family based in Assyria (for the most resources), the Ur family of (lower) Mesopotamia, the Mohenjo-daro family of the Indus Valley, or the Badakshan family of Afghanistan; build your markets at home and in the central Zagros Mountains or any of the other three territories. Dwellings initially need barley and either furniture or linen cloth, but you can earn also by taking carnelian to a temple. Each family area has a river or two or three for later transport options, and Indus Valley and Mesopotamia also have seacoast for helping transport.

The game time frame is 2500-2310 BC. As this scenario is rated easy and really a tutorial extension, you start with a generous allocation of 8000 coins.

This is a skills reinforcement scenario. Learn to create short productive routes on your home map first. Have coins in your treasury to fund technological advances as they regularly appear. Learn to place and operate production and demand buildings where you want them [ rather than only using the random ones generated on maps by advancements,] Learn to trade across regional maps and establish lucrative long haul return exchanges of goods.

Trade on the Nile IEdit

Trade on the Nile I

The opportunity to start in Upper or Lower Egypt

You can choose one of two families, one in Lower Egypt, the Memphis family (which has all of the papyrus but no wood) or one in Upper Egypt, the Thebes family. The Eastern Mediterranean and Kush are other territories to exploit. Initial foods located on regional maps are barley and fish, with other early resources present at the start including; flax and papyrus reeds.

It is a short episode spanning only two hundred years from 2000-1800 BC. The game notes warn the player only to select technological advances that will assist your chosen strategy.

Slow down the game speed on this scenario and learn micro management for success on the medium and difficult rated maps.

The Mycenaean Age IEdit

Mycenaean Age I
You can choose one of three families from the following parts of Greece. In Attica the Athens family. In The Peloponnese the Mycenae family. In Crete the Knossos family. Other maps in the scenario with resources are "Ionia" (modern eastern Turkey) and some scattered food on Greek islands grouped as the "Cyclades".

The main challenge in this game is sourcing Tin which is only located in Ionia. An earlier decision is sourcing Obsidian used in making tools which is only located on the scattered islands of the Cyclades.

This is a great scenario for starting in an ancient historical centre like Athens and watching it flourish.

The game time frame is 1600 to 1390 BC.


MediumEdit

These have one family alone or from two to four competing.

First Civilizations IIEdit

This scenario uses the same maps as First Civilizations I. However, the game is longer and more challenging. The time frame is 2500- 2100 BC. You can choose for the first time to have AI opponents or disable them. The scenario notes also indicate there are bonus points for the largest town in each home region. Repeated game play suggests this should read as: a bonus for the highest total population of a home region. The introduction of canals is also a big difference to First Civilizations I. Your starting treasury is now only 5000 coins.

Four families compete over five territories. Choose the Nippur family based in Assyria, the Ur family of (lower) Mesopotamia, the Mohenjo-daro family of the Indus Valley, or the Badakshan family of Afghanistan; build your markets at home and in the central Zagros Mountains or any of the other three rivals' territories.

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First Civs II Mesopotamia

You will have the opportunity to create extensive interlinked road and canal networks in this scenario.

Trade on the Nile IIEdit

Two families compete. The map is basically the same as for Trade on the Nile I but weavers are immediately available for turning flax into linen cloth. Your score can be boosted by the final number of dwellings in your home province.

This game has a longer time frame than Trade on the Nile I. The play dates for this episode are 2000-1150 BC. Salt Fish replace fish at 1600 BC as a game challenge. Following quickly after this is brewing, to make beer.

The Eastern Mediterranean and Kush maps will come into play as you need tin or additional wood supplies.

This game has many advances to develop but chose wisely as they all come at a cost. The game notes hint: "Some advances may not be necessary to your situation".

Thebes

Trying creating a thriving market in Thebes

The Mycenaean Age IIEdit

Three families compete. You can choose one of three families in parts of Greece (Attica, Peloponnese, or Crete) with some resources in "Ionia" (modern eastern Turkey) and some scattered food on the Greek Cyclades islands. Part of your score includes points for anything you have sold in a territory other than where it was produced.

This episode uses the same maps as The Mycenaean Age I but the time frame is longer, 1600- 1150 BC and the tasks required are more complex. One of the bigger game challenges is Dye Making from 1340 BC, as dwellings and demand structures like Temples now only want dyed ceramics and dyed cloth not basic clay pots and linen cloth. Sword production also changes to polished swords and the only source of Emery is Naxos in the Cyclades. Combine this with Tin only being sourced in Ionia and you realize this is an in depth planning game with complex supply chains to establish before the profits can be made.

Mycenaean Age Map

Mycenaean Age II

Seafarers of PhoeniciaEdit

Seafarers of Phoenicia

The whole Mediterranean awaits your trading skills

Two families share an Eastern Mediterranean homeland but earn points for overseas colonies too. You have a starting choice of the Sidon or Tyre family in Phoenicia. The bonus points are for towns created on other maps beyond your initial location. These maps include; Kingdom of Israel, Carthage, Western Sicily and Straits of Gibraltar. These locations represent historical colonies established by the Phoenician people.

The playing time frame is 1200- 700 BC. The game notes state, Carthage is " often the best place to found your first colony."

The increased difficulty lies in distance and therefore time in trading and the fact certain products are only located on one or two regional maps. A complex issue for the merchant player is the triple change at 1000 BC when Dyed Cloth, Dyed Wool and Dyed Ceramics are all demanded at once.

The Persian WarsEdit

The Persian Wars

Weapons trading dominates the Ancient World in this fast moving episode

Four families compete from these location: Croesus family from the Aegean, Inhketon family from Egypt,Nebachadnezzar family from Babylon and the Achmenaenid family from Persia. The time frame is 600-290 BC. The game notes indicate there are special bonus points for weapons and armor trading and it states: "its doesn't matter where." However, bigger profits can be made by responding to in game messages indicating wars and call to mobilization that will frequently occur. The game player will need to ensure that in the play options both Random and Historical Events are turned on before you begin the episode.

The Silk Road IEdit

The Silk Road I

The fabled fabulous Silk Road awaits your laden caravans

Four families compete; on the Silk Road; The Han, The Ferghana, The Kushan and The Persepolis. The time frame is 300 BC- 200 AD. The episode maps are all linked to their adjoining maps and are spread across Asia; they include, Chang’an,Jade Gates, Tarmin Basin, Samarqand, Parthia and Antioch. The game notes indicate there are bonus points based on the value of imported luxury commodities sold in the regions of Chang'an and Antioch. To compete on the Silk Road; “you should eventually assign the bulk of your merchants to long distance luxury trading.”

Islam & ByzantiumEdit

Islam and Byzantium

Three families compete for trade bragging rights.The Justinian family based in Constantinople; the Umayyad family in Damascus or the Abbasid family starting from Baghdad. This scenario covers the time period 750-1270 AD. Mecca and Antioch complete the five maps. The scenario has special points for the delivery of any medicinal products and any weapons to any market. Olive oil is treated as a medicinal product in this episode.

As well as the usual range of products from earlier scenario's, this episode has the opportunity to create valuable supply and delivery of Chain mail and Greek fire. But equally it might be Incense from Mecca or Illuminated Manuscripts from Constantinople that maximize your family profits.

British IndustrializationEdit

British Industrialisation Start
British Industrialisation

British Industrialization is a quick paced episode covering the years 1780-1880 AD. You play as the sole merchant family [on the map above] selecting as your starting point either; the Richard Arkwright Family, the Robert Owen Family, the James Watt Family or the George Stephenson Family. No special bonuses apply in your final score.

This is an episode that focuses in the end on high demand complex items like metal ploughs , rails, steam engines, iron cannons and rifles. But you will have to firstly oversee the change from roads to rail, bronze to iron cannons and muskets to rifles. Your dwellings will demand exotic produce like Cigars, Sugar [ and later Rum] and Fur Coats; which are available only at four import cities; Bristol, Manchester, London and Southampton. Houses will of course still demand more basic staples like wheat and salt fish.

This scenario gives the player the opportunity to develop rail transport to link coal fields, charcoal, blast furnaces and foundries in a production line or try to centralize production in big distribution centres.

Equally there are possibilities to develop a canal network or coastal trading ships to move bulk raw resources and deliver finished goods to demanding markets.

German IndustrializationEdit

German Industrialization

German Industrialization is another quick paced episode on a single map covering the years 1835-1905 AD. The sole player selects one of four families as their starting point; either the Daimler’s,the Krupp’s, the Siemens or the Bismarck’s.There are no special bonuses included in your final score.Though infrastructure you build contributes to your overall merchant rating.This episode allows the merchant player to create rail and canal networks immediately. This scenario is described like the British Industrialization episode as "wide open."

The game starts with the fastest and largest capacity transporters of any scenario. You have access to Northumbrians [capacity 13] immediately and on canals you start with rowed barges [capacity of 12]. The raw resource starting base is also very high; you have access to 30 coal mines and 35 iron mines immediately.

The biggest advantage in this scenario is; you can see where your key game resources are from the start.


DifficultEdit

Tang & Song Era ChinaEdit

Tang and Song Era

Three families compete for wealth, the Tang, the Song and the Ming. The time frame is 615 -1280 AD,  There are bonus points for the size of the biggest city in each home region. The trade maps in this episode include; Jade Gates, Chang’an, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Kaifeng.

This is a scenario of supplying the basics like rice and wheat through to luxury goods including,fur coats, tea, lacquer ware and paper. Canal systems can be developed to deliver demand items in bulk.Temples and Palaces will be seeking exotic products like; medicine,rings,silk, ceramics, rhubarb and cinnamon.   

European High Middle AgesEdit

European High Middle Ages

Three families compete for trade domination, the Bourdon family from Gascony; the Hainuit family starting in Flanders and the Buonsignori family positioned in Northern Italy. There are six regional trading maps including: Northern Italy, Cadiz, Gascony, Flanders, London and the Rhineland. The episodes time frame is 1150-1400 AD.

There are bonus points for dominating trade in this scenario. To get part of the bonus a merchant needs to outsell the other two competing merchants in any region. Total domination and the full bonus is for out selling the AI pair across all six maps.

The Silk Road IIEdit

The Silk Road II

Four merchant families: the Abbasid, the Qara Khitai, the Jin and the Song compete across six regional maps which are; Antioch, Baghdad, Samarqand, Tarmin Basin, Jade Gates and Hangzhou. The time frame for the episode is 1250-1500 AD. There are bonus points: for trading luxury goods at both end points of the Silk Road; Antioch and Hangzhou.

To compete on the Silk Road II; “you should eventually assign the bulk of your merchants to long distance luxury trading”. Distance and component resources for finished products being spread across different regions has the merchant player really thinking about the best options for creating a profit.

Indian Ocean TradeEdit

Indian Ocean Trade

Four families compete,the Maryam Makani and the Akbar from Khandesh and the Zarathustra and the Hyderabad from Malabar. This is the only episode where competing merchant families start on the same map. There are five trade regions; Zanzibar [East Africa], Khandesh and Malabar [Indian Subcontinent], Sumatra and Guangzhou [China]. The time frame is 1430-1700 AD. The games notes also make the following explicit:“Special points are awarded for the sale of Eastern luxuries in Zanzibar and the sale of Western luxuries elsewhere.”

This is an episode of many products. A successful market will require more than just three or four products. By the end of the game a stable or growing market  will requires; Rice, Wine, Dyed Cloth, Silk, Tea, Cigars, Refined Sugar and Coffee. 

The European Seaport feature is unique to this episode and enters the game in the 1460’s at Zanzibar.

Atlantic Ocean TradeEdit

Atlantic Ocean Trade
Three families compete from the starting locations of : London: Queen Elizabeth family, La Rochelle: King Louis family or Cadiz: King Philip family. The regional trade maps are: London, La Rochelle, Cadiz , all in Europe and the America’s maps: Quebec, Virginia, Veracruz and Santo Domingo. The time frame is 1530-1880 AD. There are special points based on the entire population of each home region.  

This is a difficult scenario mainly because it’s initially hard to create a return cargo from your homeland of London, La Rochelle or Cadiz. Infrastructure at both home and abroad will take time and heaps of coins to develop. 

By 1660 a market with dwellings will be demanding; Cigars,Fur Coats,Wheat,Salt Fish,Refined Sugar,Rum and Iron Ploughs. By the 1730's add; Coffee, Dyed Cloth and Rice.

Late game railroads and fast ocean Clippers and Steamships are a feature of this episode.


Very difficultEdit

Roman EmpireEdit

Roman Empire

Four families compete from starting locations of either: Egypt: the Ptolemy family, Ionia: the Philip family, Antioch: the Antiochus family or Carthago: the Hannibal family. The episode trade maps are: Carthago, Egypt, Antioch, Ionia, Illyricum, Rome, Gaul and Tarraconensis. [Spain] The time frame is 280 BC- 200 AD. There are bonus points for any commodities exported to and sold in the region of Rome. In the game notes there is a tip to build a market on the Rome map and trade there –in fact “sell as much as you can there”, with the additional advice it’s easier if you build a large city on the coast. 

This scenario  is rated very difficult because many commodities for producing finished goods are deliberately separated across the regional maps.There is a vast array of trade goods in this complex game centered on the Mediterranean. Some items include; from Egypt ,Rome will want eventually, Paper and Gold Rings. From Antioch, Silk and Incense. Gaul, Amber Rings. Ionia, Emery. Tarraconensis, Lead and Cinnabar[ Mercury]. For the player its deciding what will be a worthwhile return cargo. As well Rome will be insatiable for the basics;Salt Fish, Olives, Olive Oil, Dyed Pots and Dyed Cloth.

 

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