Big thanks to Gweilo for making (and continuing to make) so many campaigns for this great game. Having replayed all the official campaigns I'm now working through his.
I spent a lot of time drafting my city before I played the campaign. When I played through the campaign for the first time I spotted a few things I'd like to change. This is my 2nd go and I quite like the result.
Key design points:
- Main city designed for fast settler access, and fast cycling of traders.
- Common housing block makes maximum possible use of its space.
- Mixed elite/common housing block, with maximum perimeter, straddles the river.
- Perfect Feng Shui
- Military is split between the SW where the steel and weapons industries are located and the outskirts of the main city, by the trade centre. I found this crucial to success in the first mission...
I found it challenging to get started in mission 1. Labour is short, even with the "extra" common housing in the mixed block. Without it I'd have really struggled. But also, on my first run, I kept failing to build my army fast enough to meet the 2nd troop request. Eventually I realised my mistake, which was was to place both cavalry units in the SW. However hard I tried, I could not get the weapons bought from Dunhuang to my 2nd cavalry in time to meet the 2nd request for troops. Life got a lot easier once I decided to place my 2nd cavalry near the trade centre . It was then just a question of micromanaging labour and building out my city as fast as possible.
With maximum use of allies' bailouts I was able to bribe Lhasa's first attacks (when most of my troops were away) and build out the entire city, with all industry except jade carvers in place (but mostly not yet switched on) by the end of the mission.
Mission 2 - I ended mission 1 deep in debt but further bailouts in mission 2 sorted that out. Having done the hard work in mission 1, all I needed to do was evolve my housing, turning each industry on as soon as I had enough labour. As soon as my elite housing was evolved to Lavish Siheyuans I added 2 more cavalry and 2 infantry units, which would probably have been enough for the whole game. The temple and supporting labour etc came next, and I added 2 more cavalry for safety once my common housing was fully evolved.
I'm not great at warfare. However, with plenty of troops available, and residential gates placed to keep attackers busy while they were deployed, all battles were won easily.
I should have won as soon as my Treasury got to 30,000 but I'd forgotten to reopen a couple of trade routes. I won as soon as I fixed that.