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Zhou Campaign (Hard Difficulty)

by Baltic

When a ruler does not retain the Mandate from Heaven, the reign will surely end. Thus it is that the mighty family of Zhou has been victorious in battle, and now rules supreme over the fertile valleys and rough peaks of the Yellow River basin. Truth be known: though the Shang people left us much painstakingly crafted bronzeware, their rulers lost their heavenly madate. It is now time for change and progress -- and time for the Zhou!

Following the tutorial and Shang dynasty, the Zhou campaign brings you deeper and deeper into the game. Several new industries, military units, heroes etc. are introduced. Mystery of tea preparation wasn't discovered yet, therefore the highest housing levels are Ornate Apartment and Impressive Compound. The entire campaign is peaceful - some missions have military goals (rule city), but it is quite easy to win the battle; regarding the invasions, most of them come in the moment when your trade income is so high, that paying invaders off shouldn't be a problem... if you prefer to do that. On the other hand, this is a nice opportunity to learn something about how to fight, before you meet some really tough enemies.

A short introduction to the general way how I played this campaign is in place. All missions were played at Hard difficulty, and with one major restriction: feng shui must be in perfect harmony. That means, every single building needs to be in an auspicious location - and not only in the final city, but in any moment during the game. Sometimes the layout would be more effective or nicer if I could build just one single inspector tower far from rocks; I tried to do my best, given this self-imposed rule. I didn't try to avoid debt at all costs, but with high starting funds and silk exports it is quite easy to stay in black numbers. Not being limited by money, I did a lot of building very early, in the first few game months, leaving most of the buildings in "not working" status until the city had enough workers. Most missions offer the opportunity to import jade from Qufu and sell carved jade to Anyang; I used it always, since it is very effective way to earn some money early on. Regarding military, sometimes I ignored it absolutely and tried to finish before I would need it, sometimes I built a massive army and conquered more rivals than I had to.

OK, that's all about the campaign. And now to the missions!