Scoring and Strategy in Multiplayer

by homegrown

Emperor presents online multiplayer play for the first time in a City building game. There are two different types of multiplayer scenarios, cooperative and competitive.

Cooperative scenarios are scenarios where all players have to complete all the Mission Goals. When everyone has met all the goals, the player with the highest score receives the Victory Screen.

Competitive scenarios are based on speed. The first player to complete all the Mission Goals wins. It is possible to lose a competitive scenario, but still have the highest score. Competitive scenarios can also have Factions, groups of cities which are allied together but rivals to cities of other factions. Even though only the first player to complete all the goals receives a victory screen, victory for one is usually the result of a team effort.


Score is determined by the Mission Goals as described in the Online Manual. Here is a rough breakdown. Remember, with the exception of Treasury and Animals in a Menagarie, you don’t get points if it’s not a Mission Goal.

GoalScore if a Goal for the MissionScore if not a Goal
PopulationCity Population/100
TreasuryCity Treasury/25City Treasury/50
Monument% Complete x Monument ValueN/A
Menagerie25 for each Animal in Menagerie10
Trading Partners50 for each Trading Partner0
Vassals250 for each Vassal0
Housing100 for each Housing Goal met0
Production100 for each Production Goal met0
Hero10 for each month Hero is in city0
Allies150 for each Ally0
ProfitHighest Annual Profit/250

Monument Values

  • Great Temple     100
  • Splendid Temple     150
  • Temple Complex     200
  • Grand Temple Complex     300
  • Tumulus     150
  • Grand Tumulus     200
  • Large Palace     200
  • Underground Vault     500
  • Grand Canal     400
  • Earthen or Stone Great Wall     500
  • Clock Tower     100
  • Grand Pagoda     150

Since cooperative multiplayer ranking depends on score, what are some simple strategies to keep in mind when playing? To start, your Treasury is your friend. Treasury is the only thing that always adds points to your score. Making money through taxes, trade exports, minting and money printing, and demands or requests of rivals and friends should be your first priority, beyond meeting the goals of the mission. If you can import Jade and export Jade Carvings, that industry should one of your first choices.

If you have a population goal or a profit goal, you can increase your score in those areas by having a higher population or generating more profit than your teammates. Even if you don’t have a population goal, higher populations mean more workers producing more export goods and paying more taxes. Remember, it’s always better to have too many workers (unemployment) than not enough.

Whenever there is a Menagerie possible, you should try to get all the animals available. Sometimes this will be all 9, other times it will be 3 or 6, but be sure to get all of them. If there are players you are gifting animals to help along, don’t give them any more than they need to meet the goal and keep the extras to yourself. The points are very handy and you earned them.

Allied Cities, Trade Partners, and Vassal Cities are goals that often when reached will trigger victory, but if you only need 4 trade partners and can get 8 routes open, by all means do it. Each additional one will give you points.

With housing and production goals, all you have to do is make the goal. If you need 100 people in Humble Compounds, having 200 won’t score you more points for this goal, but they do pay taxes which is included in the Treasury.

The last goal type is the Homage Goal. If there is a homage goal, you should try to keep a hero in your city as often as possible. Each month is additional points added to your score. It’s relatively easy, especially if you didn’t short change yourself on your housing, to produce a lot of stuff to give as homage. Remember, goods in your warehouses aren’t doing you any good. If it’s not being sold, use it as Homage gifts to keep those heroes exalted.

Non-goal related tips

The first competitive strategy you should learn is “Use Spies”. At the start of your mission, scope out your rival players cities with Spies. The first one should Gather Information and Gather Maps. The spy maps, accessed from the Empire level, are a wealth of information on how your opponents are doing. Try hovering over a warehouse or trade post on a spy map. In addition, your spy will send messages to you whenever something of interest happens in city including a hero appearing and emissaries coming and going. Additional spies can be sent to conduct sabotage on your enemies, you can have up to 3 spies per city but remember it costs you money to train them. In combination with your spies, you should build Guard towers in your cities to protect against sabotage and spying from others. Tower Guards are able to detect, capture and turn spies and whenever they do they earn gold for your Treasury, roughly the amount it would cost you to train a spy. If you happen to spot a spy yourself and right click on him he will spin around then go into hiding, you will not receive any cash for this though.

Never, ever, ever send all your troops on an invasion. You have to leave troops at home to defend yourself from opportunity attacks by either the AI or other players. If you are going to have to defend your city, make sure your walls go completely around your city. The troops you will be invaded by have an uncanny way of finding the weakest spot in your defenses and making a beeline for it. Any kind of gap in your city walls, including a river bank or edge of the map, is ripe for the Mongol hordes.

Build your housing as close to the map entry point as you can, but consider that you may need to leave room for city walls all the way around. The sooner people move in, the sooner you have workers making stuff to sell and completing the mission goals. Putting up wages at the start of the game is also a good way to get extra workers early.

You can never have too much wood, hemp or ceramics.

Buying weapons, if available, can be a lot easier than trying to make them.

Trade. Trade. Trade. Most multiplayer scenarios will have one or more Non Player Cities (NPC, a city controlled by the AI, like in the single player campaign) who will buy something you can make. You may even have to trade with some of your player rivals in order to achieve some of the goals. If you make something that other players need, don’t be afraid to raise the prices at the trading post. Don’t be surprised though if you get attacked for price gouging.

Scoring in single player

For single player games, the scoring formula is the same as above, with the addition that the “raw” score is multiplied by a difficulty multiplier to get the final score. Those difficulty multipliers are:

  • Very easy: 0.5
  • Easy: 0.8
  • Normal: 1
  • Hard: 1.2
  • Very hard: 1.5