The Wayward Sun Wu Kong - Wuxing
Posted on 01/28/22 @ 06:12 AM
Another great mission from Gweilo.
Designing around the mountainous map is tricky. The big picture of where things need to go is fairly obvious, but it's hard to fit everything in while maximising the elite housing and maintaining perfect FS. The start of mission 1 is very tough - particularly if you want to answer your allies' early troop requests.
Most of the design was worked out in advance before I played the game for real. The first time I played the game I was unable to answer the troop requests successfully. I also found some areas for improvement. On my second run through I still could not answer the troop requests. Eventually I found a solution. The upload is from my third run through.
- Common housing in the central block is maximised by putting religion and the inspector outside the block.
- The two mixed blocks add more common housing (needed in missions 2 and 3) and as much elite housing as I could fit in.
- The more southerly mixed block has religion injected from the outside, and was laid out (except for the elite housing) during mission 1. The other was laid out at the beginning of mission 2.
- Administration is fairly near the entrance for efficient diplomacy.
- Placement of weaponsmiths and supporting industry is fairly obvious. Military units are placed nearby, except for two cavalry units at the entrance of the map...
- I'm not a good fighter so my strategy was to evolve my housing as fast as possible and bribe my way out of trouble.
- Key to this at the start of mission 1 was getting a stock of food and hemp to feed my people. Doing this as well as answering the early troop requests from Liangzhou and Yen was really tough.
- On my first two run throughs the troops for Liangzhou were too late, and the troops for Yen never returned (known bug).
- For my third and final run through I did some experimentation. I discovered that if I put my two cavalry units right by the entrance to the map, together with a temporary trading post for Liangzhou's weapons, I could meet the troop requests on time - but only if I sent just one troop in each case, which was enough to win the battles. This was with (I think) perfect play: setting up the trading post with Liangzhou as soon as it allied with me, putting in the two forts as soon as the weapons arrived (setting military to top priority), and deleting the trading post as soon as the weapons had been delivered to the forts.
- Whether this effort was worthwhile is debatable. It delayed my food production and set my housing evolution back by a few months. It's probably more efficient to ignore the requests and do whatever it takes to get back in their good books later.
- I added farms, commerce and industry as needed to meet requests and to evolve my housing.
- I allowed myself to run out of cash early on, getting bailouts from all my allies. This helped me to evolve by housing quickly so I was earning enough to pay bribes when I had to.
- Once I was able to import tea (which is deliberately delayed in the game) I could evolve my common housing to Luxury Apartments and watch the money roll in.
- With a good income and a large population I was able lay out the southerly mixed block and fully stock its market with luxury goods before the end of the mission.
- Mission ended with 4 months to spare. Population 3730, treasury 25,728, score 1506.
- At the start of the mission I added the elite housing to the southerly mixed block, and got the Grand Pagoda started. I put in all the necessary workers at this time, but turned the ceramist off so that construction would pause before the end.
- Then I added my second mixed block.
- As my housing evolved I topped up my military to 10 units, allowing for 2 catapults to be added in mission 3.
- Guan Yin was summoned for bribes and I used surplus production to win allies and (eventually) pacify the nomads.
- Once the nomads were pacified I dismissed Guan Yin and summoned Confucius for extra income.
- To maximise my treasury I managed the construction of the Grand Pagoda so that it was finished in the penultimate month.
- Mission ended with 1 month to spare. Population 5116, treasury 173113, score 9817.
- Catapult units added and Sun Wu Kong summoned immediately.
- As soon as Sun Wu Kong arrived I used him to bless my weaponsmiths, giving him tributes as necessary. According to the game I made 136 weapons in the first year but I suspect this figure might include production from the last year of the previous mission.
- With the production goal met I sent my army to conquer Yen, who proved easy to pacify with a cash gift of 2500 after I conquered them.
- Conquering Sabi and Liaoyang was harder. I needed to send my army twice to conquer them and then they were hard to pacify. Oddly, when Sabi was pacified it stopped being a vassal and I had to conquer it again. Unfortunately I delayed this because I also had to reconquer Liaoyang.
By the time I got round to reconquering Sabi it had rebuilt its army and I had to send my army twice again. By this time I'd achieved all the other goals, so the mission ended with the reconquest of Sabi.
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You have shared a really nice build here. Great work, especially since this campaign is firmly in the 'Very Hard' campaign category.
Posted on 01/28/22 @ 01:49 PM
As you probably have noticed by now, I sometimes script events in my campaigns that are solely intended to support the storyline, and not really intended to impact the gameplay. This is the case with the two troop requests that come early in mission 1. I scripted them to give players a not-so-subtle hint that they should not delay in preparing for future military action. I didn't really expect players to try to fulfill these requests, but I did provide them the opportunity to import weapons (as you saw) if they wanted to do the micromanaging necessary to meet the requests. The reward is only personal satisfaction and some weapons booty when the distant battle resolves, but meeting these requests is achievable - as you proved.
I am enjoying revisiting these old campaigns through your completed cities. This one was my attempt at adapting the early chapters of "Journey to the West" into a campaign. I would be interested to read your review of this campaign.