- Attica (with headquarters near Athens)
- Peloponnese (with headquarters near Mycenae)
- Crete (with headquarters near Knossos)
Each family is named after the nearest city, except that "Mycenae" becomes "Mycenea Family".
Only the Mycenea family has a direct link to both of the other family regions - and it has two to Attica, one by land, one by sea. Chief value of the sea link would be as part of the shortest route between Attica and Crete.
Each of the families has a direct sea link to Cyclades (which contains only food initially).
Direct links from Ionia go only to Crete and Cyclades. Travel from Peloponnese to Ionia may go several ways, depending on exact origin and destination.
Choose your family.
Hit the space bar to pause as soon as the game opens, and spend a few minutes or hours planning!
It is 1600 BC. You are told "Dwellings demand olives, grapes, and wool cloth. You must supply at least olives and grapes to get dwellings to move into the market area." But it is a lie. Your markets may be restricted like that, but it is not unknown for a rival's market to gain more dwellings if it has a good supply of one of the foods even if it has never had any of the other food.
You are also told that "you and your foes receive victory points for every commodity you sell in a region different from where it was produced." Those points are added to family wealth for the total score. So plan to make a lot of cross-border trips. Part of that plan may be to build a market just across the border in a rival's region.
Ideal market placement has access to one vineyard and two olive groves, which will support about 20 dwellings. Including a weaver will give you automatically-available wool cloth if you send three loads of wool in, but you don't earn anything from that, so you may prefer to keep the weaver separate from dwellings and from the other cloth users: barracks, palaces, and shipyards.
The hardware economy starts with a copper mine, which produces about 1.5 loads per year. Two loads of copper ore go to a smelter and become one copper ingot. Two of those go to a copper smith and produce one copper urn, which is bought by temples (about one every 10 years) and palaces (about one every 20 years). So, to maximize the returns for merchant middle-men, don't put a smelter in the same market as a copper mine or a copper smith, and don't put a copper smith in the same market as a palace or temple.
You can build roads and caravansaries so as to use horses, but horses are not much faster than mules and you may be wise to save your money in case your rivals build those facilities (and seaports) for you.
Build three to five good markets close to your headquarters and maybe a few further afield so as to get at least one of every available processor and raw material, also bearing in mind the value of cross-border trips so that you might build close to, or in, a rival's region if other factors are equal.
Then use most of the remainder of your 7,500 coins to hire merchants - nine or ten. Design your routes and send your merchants off. Alternatively, hold some if you can afford to wait for price changes that may give you more profit; your rivals will tend to do a bit of that, but quick frequent small profits may add up to more than rare big profits.
Initial resources and buildingsEdit
Later resources and advancesEdit
Soon after 1560 BC, Timber Camps appear, and you can send their product to a furniture maker.
Very soon after that, obsidian is discovered, probably in the Cyclades, and a few tool makers may develop to process it: more challenges!
750000 coins are required for the title of Merchant Prince in this episode. Paying attention to the special or bonus points for selling a commodity in a region different to where it was produced, will assist the player in reaching the MP score.
A basic way to do this is supply the Temples and Palaces on all the regional maps other than your starting location and return with a market building cargo.[ A resource required by houses. Right click on any house in any scenario to see the list, which is both added to and changes during the episode.]
The biggest game challenge is Dye Making around 1340 BC, when both dyed ceramics and dyed cloth are demanded. It requires some reassigning of routes and quickly building dyers. Emery , when it appears in the game, only has one location, Naxos, in The Cyclades, but the price of Polished Swords makes it worthwhile. Trading in Gold ingots and Silver ingots is good easy money. Chariots are a late game option that are worth a lot of coins but are difficult to produce in big numbers.