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Shoalin Mission1 and price testing results

Author File Description
File Details
Origin: Custom
Score: 2250
Population: 2230
Difficulty: Very Hard
monk1.sav - completed city
journal.txt - a copy of this post

These test saves explained at the end of 'journal' (Gweilo's word not mine:).

CRplus10.sav - Test of 10% price gouging
inflation.sav - Test of raising prices to keep pace with 'price increase events'
TSdialog - screenshot of trading station dialog box.

First concern is entry/exit points. I wanted to place my housing as close to the entry point, so immigration would be high enough to start 2 food farms, 3 tea sheds and 1 hemp farm. I also want a good trader turn-around.

43 common houses (Spacious Dwelling {no ceramics} = 1763 people)
476-740 workers (estimated I needed ~600 workers to accomplish tasks/goals)
43 houses would give me a good immigration rate (not excellent). I won't bore/antagonize anyone with an explanation of my reasoning and methods. I had posted an article (for a short time) on the subject. Eventually housing may provide too many workers. It's an option to delete a few houses at a later date when high unemployment becomes a problem.

I wanted to start cross trading for the 5% mint profits. High volume trade is one means to make a profit so its important to me to keep the trader routes as short as possible. The trade section I am reserving should permit 5-6 trade cycles/year (40-48 loads/year import & export).
An advantage to cross trading multiple items is small quantities of trade can be spread out over the year as opposed to high trade traffic the first half of a year and little trade being done the second half. It requires balancing trade quantities for highest profit potential (5% mint or production). Cross trading will be a continual turnaround of profits to make more profit. I don't expect a positive cash balance for most of the second year. My profit and cash will be sitting in the trading stations for some future realization.
'Trader of the Great Khan' didn't require cross trading to achieve the goals. I believe that most people that know of the technique will eventually use it in this campaign. This mission may not require it but the indication is that 'no taxation' will be standard throughout the campaign.
Selling of food products is just as profitable as the cross trading, so I will be expanding food farming in the second year. The trade section will have to be close to the Mill, so cart pushers are not moving long distances. I will set the Mill to 'accept' the 4 food types. Food vendor will be set to Appetizing(min-for health & quantity management)/Tasty(max-for health & even food usage). Eventually, I will be using 2 food vendors with Tasty set as min/max so food is consumed in equal quantities. This will allow consistant food sales without wheat becoming overstocked. I see no reason that I would need Tea distributed to housing. I dought I will need to distribute ceramics in this mission.
Expanding Tea sheds and hemp/paper will give me something to pay hero homage. Clay/Ceramics would also be a useful industry for hero homage which could provide additional employment opportunities if needed.

NOTE: I won't be detailing each trade quantity change but be assured I am micromanaging it.
I didn't feel like opening early trade with Guangzhou and dealing with the logistics of lacquer imports/hemp exports. I'm sure I could have made 1800 more each early year.

October 495
I have 1 Weaver and 1 Jade Carver working and placed 2 Paper makers though one is not working until I get some more workers. Wages are still at Very High (Taxes=none which won't change). I would have placed 2 of each but in the testing I did (details at the bottom) I discovered that raw silk and jade imports are going to fluxuate.

Monument considerations: (January 495)
Because of the enormous map size and enormous number of trees I had to test several areas that would provide good logging behaviors. The NW quarter provided the best behavior. Searching the NW quarter, for a place to put the behemoth Grand Temple Complex, resulted in one logical place (IMHO). Wood is needed first. I choose to place 2 loggers (24 loads/year) for the monument and an additional logger for trade. This would draw-out the monument construction to a minimum of 3 years (72/24=3). I plan to take my time with the monument. I have not started homage, so a minimum of 5 years to complete the mission.
I'm in debt (-1000) at this point due to cross trade stocks. Housing services are no longer being micro-managed. Clearing the monument area of trees will push me even more in debt thus I will be doing it in stages while the logging industry gets up to speed.
Xiongnu and Chengdu trade stations will not been placed as there is little employment for them. There is no wood yet and little profit from salt or wood cross trade. Wood cross trade would just confuse the monument situation for <30cash/year if any of the wood actually gets sold. I'll be making it an export only item. Stone for the time being is being cross-traded but that will change when I start the stonework/monument getting warehouses.

I had wages set to Very Low and briefly 'No wages' until mid Feb 496. I needed to start up the farms/sheds so I raised the wages to 'Normal'. One of my main focus is to keep wages set at a minimal level to reduce my expenditures. Also timing my expansions with trader activity as my debt does goes to ~2000.
I am riding the debt bandwagon to make money.

Feb 496
Added 1 Tea shed (4) and 1 food farm(3).

Apr 496
Added 1 hemp farm (2) and Chengdu trading station. Started exporting wood/cross trading salt.

Oct 496
Debt anniversary. Monument placed and 1 carpenter guild placed. Wages at very low and warnings of low popularity. Population: 1731 nearly maxed at Spacious Dwellings. Began to sell wheat. Kashgar not selling Jade. Assigned warehouse space(get 4/32) to get since Trade stations won't deliver.

Dec 496
First cash positive balance. I expect new debt after the New Years. It helps popularity to be out of the annual debt. Last load of wood delivered to monument for 1st phase. Added a second carpenters guild. Unemployment 8% at very low wages. Began to sell cabbage and millet.

Jan 496
Added 2nd food vendor and pushed up quality to tasty(min/max).Popularity is low- due to low wages and debt.

Feb 497
Popularity is up to apathetic. Placed 1 Labor camp. Set warehouse to get silk for Shen Nong homage. Placed 1 PaperMaker(3). Chang-an stops selling raw silk. Assinged warehouse space(get 4/32).

Apr 497
Placed 2 stoneworks. I'll micromanage their labor until they start producing in ~2 months. Stopped buying stone for crosstrading. Carpenty work is done on monument. Switched road access on monument and moved labor to Labor camps. Unemployment 5% at Very Low wages.

June 497
Shen Nong arrives later than I would like. I am moving projected mission completion to 6+ years. Good news is the debt cycle has ended (+1500). Added another papermaker(4).

Aug 497
Placed second Labour Camp. Wages increased to Low. Unemployment 2%

Oct 497
Placed trading station to Xiongu. I'll reroute spice and salt crosstrade through it. Treasury (~3500)

Dec 497
Placed claypits for monument and ceramics. Raised wages to Normal (620 employees) Unemployment 4%. Treasury ~5000.

Apr 498
Placed Kiln. Chendu not buying wood. I'll be using it shortly for the monument as the dirt phase is near completion. her was also previous Kashgar drop in spice.

ended year 498 with ~10000 in treaury.

mid 499 opened trade and began trading water route. distributed ceramics and evolved housing so I could lower wages and still expand. Treasury ~14000.

year 500
I started noticing that some city's Favor have deteriated due to the increased pricing. I fullfilled a request from Changan; its favor remained at Apathetic, indicating that 'Favor' had dropped below 50. I have accumulated a surplus, so will start gifting to raise Favor. Finishing the monument is the last goal left. 20000+ treasury.

Years 501- April 505
Kept pace with trade changes. Micro-managed Ghangzhou trading station/warehouse. Managed monument finishing time to completion after Ally requests (4) were accepted. Treasury ~54000.

Testing done this mission:
I wanted to do a cross-trading test with <10% & <5% price gouging to see the effects. I had run this type of test before with 'single commodity traders' not with a cross-trading scheme or import/export combinations.
The <10% price gouging cross trading had an immediate negative effect in that purchased prices increased in some cases to ~150% of standard pricing. It required that the trader actually buy a gouging product before they rouse there prices. This test showed that such gouging in a cross-trading environment would cause out of control inflation. I sped through a few years to see the long-term effect on 'favor'. The apathetic attitude held as expected though it was slowly lowering as a 'cash gift test' proved. Eventually (several years) their 'favor' would drop to displeased.
The <5% gouging caused ~120% price increases.
I also ran a 20% gouging test that had worst inflation then the <10% test.
The 'Favor' effect is the same as I had gotten from the 'single commodity trader' tests of matching 'price increase events'.

A savegame is included for those interested to see the items that can/are being bought by me are now RED(no trade) with the higher price expected of me.

Test that keeps pace with price increase events:
March 496- C.Jade price increase event 15cash. I raised the selling price to 245(6.5%). There was no inflation effect.

July 497- Lacquerware price increase event 20cash.Raised selling price to 230(9.5%). There was no inflation effect.

Feb 499 Stone price increase of 6 cash. I raised selling price (12%).

Sept 499 tea increase of 12cash. Raised the selling price (21%) but most of the yearly quota was already sold. I waited until March 500 to check for 'inflation effect'. There WAS inflation effect. I lowered the selling price to 60cash(+9%) and hope the inflatioin effect will subside.

The 'Inflation effect' never subsided/changed so it would seem that it's a permanent situation THOUGHT THE ENTER CAMPAIGN. Yes, next mission still lists the import costs at an inflated price. I will try a few things in the next mission to see if 'price increase events' carry forward to next mission (Inflationary and/or Favor effects).

The 'inflation effect' is linked to 'current price'. There is an average 10% over standard price limit which if exceeded will trigger an inflationary response.

I'm including a savegame (inflation.sav) so everyone can see the pricing in the trading station dialog. Items that can/are being bought by me are now RED (no trade) with the higher price expected of me.
Also included is a screenshoot (TSdialog.jpg) of the trade station dialog box showing the 'inflation effect' on silk purchase price (import cost).

WARNING: the 'Favor Effect' is linked to 'standard price'. Watch that your overall price increases do not exceed ~10% over 'standard price or you may suffer a 'favor' drop. If a city is buying multiple items, the average % over standard pricing of sold items is what is considered (not a single item). Details are still available under the 'Post patch Bug Reports'.
I'm wrong about price events not having any REAL effect but still right(IMO) that something is wrong with the system in general. All that can be done is learn the quirks.

Rule of Thumb: Don't charge more than the 'current price' and even then don't charge more than 10% over 'standard price'.
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
I'm pleased this campaign seems to have provided you with an interesting economic model to tinker with. It wasn't exactly my intention, but it's nice to see some extra utility being derived from the campaign.

Your assumption that there will be no taxation allowed throughout this entire campaign is correct.

There are no price increase/decrease events after mission 1. This was a deliberate omission on my part. The later missions introduce new scripted-event challenges, and I didn't want to clutter it up with more price changes. Also, your previous reports about the effects of price change events convinced me they are of limited usefulness in a campaign (and I agree with you that something does seem to be out-of-whack with them).

I like your choice of location for the Grand Temple Complex. I took special pains during the map-building phase of design to make sure the GTC would fit on that ledge in the NW section of the map.

I really like reading your journals! They are a campaign designer's dream, as far as getting feedback goes....

[Edited on 02/05/04 @ 01:07 PM]

File Author
The next mission test, I left the trade prices alone (~9% over standard price for items that had price increase events). There was no additional inflationary action during the first year. Indication the effects of 'price change events' on 'CURRENT PRICE' carry into next continuation mission.

Definitions as I understand them in relation to commodity pricing.
'Standard Price': Price set in the campaign editor. This remains constant, uneffected by +/- price events.
'Current Price': Price which fluctuates with +/- price events. The price is carried forward to a following continuation mission (needs to be tested if its only next continuation missions, all continuation missions or all following missions).
'Favor effect': The decrease and increase of 'favor' because of non-STANDARD pricing. Yes, favor can be slowly increased by lowering your selling prices; decrease by raising the selling price. Favor changes are computed during the trade transaction so lowering a non-sold item will have no effect.
'Inflation effect': The change from STANDARD price of importable items due to non-CURRENT export pricing (needs to be tested if deflation is possible). There is also ~10% limit from 'STANDARD price' that will trigger inflation.

Gweilo: Thanks and Your Welcome. I'm happy that people finds value in my thoughts and learn from my experiances (just wish I learned faster from my own experiances while I was younger :) ).

[Edited on 02/05/04 @ 03:08 PM]

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