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Zhou campaign - Very Hard

by Merepatra

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!

I played the Zhou campaign at Very Hard. While costs are higher and start up money is lower at Very Hard the thing that has the biggest impact in my opinion is the difference it makes to the way other cities feel about and interact with you. Cities that will ignore you at Normal will invade you at Very Hard for example. This means the missions can play very differently at this level and it really adds to the challenge of the game.

As to how I play, generally I am a fairly fast player in terms of game years. I don't normally like fighting, and think I'm better at economics than being a general so will usually bribe when given the option if I can possibly afford it, but at Very Hard bribes are double what they are at Normal so it often isn't an option. I like efficient cities, but I also like pretty cities so will sometimes "waste" quite a bit of money on extra beautification, particularly if the mission doesn't have a Treasury goal. I do consider Feng Shui, but in this campaign I didn't seriously try for Perfect Feng Shui, being content usually with Harmonious Balance.