Learning the Game: The Xia Dynasty (Part III)
39 winters have passed since the art of farming has graced us with better meals and sturdier clothes. Now, the people of Banpo grow restless. Crime and disease plague the streets and Liao Taizu is well aware of the problems. Meeting up with the village council, they have decided to call upon the Ancestors for help. They called upon Cai Yun, the village diviner, to pray and pay homages to the Creator Goddess, Nu Wa, who arrived in Banpo by December 1963 BCE.
The Goddess taught Liao Taizu music played on bamboo instruments and our leader opened Banpo’s very first Music School on the same month. Music now plays constantly on the Market Square as musicians perform songs taught to them by the Creator Goddess.
Nu Wa also blessed clay pits and their clay was fashioned into beautiful ceramics in the kilns that Liao Taizu built. She blessed the Inspector’s Tower and showed the people a better way of building it. She also blessed the village’s Hunter’s Tents, making it so that the hunter’s arrows always find its prey.
Travelers from the East brought with them new knowledge about the many benefits of plants and herbs that abound in the woods near the village. They then opened a new Herbalist’s Stall in the village and provide herbal remedies to the many ailments of the citizens.
XIA 03 – THE GOOD THINGS
Banpo – February 1963 BCE
- 400 people in Spacious Dwelling or better
- 2 months of Heroes
The village of Banpo on the Wei River continues to thrive. But ill health threatens, and the villagers begin to grow restless for lack of entertainment. It is fortunate that wise herbalists can now proffer their remedies to the townsfolk, and talented musicians can provide relaxing tunes. At the kiln, clay can now be fashioned into fire-hardened ceramics. The end product is not only beautiful, but will be much appreciated if offered in homage to the Creator Goddess, Nu Wa.
This new tutorial mission gives us 5 new aspects of the game namely: City Health, Unrest, Entertainment, Industry and Ancestor Worship. So let’s talk about them.
Herbalist’s Stalls can now be built on Banpo. Apparently, too much backbreaking farming really pushed the people’s health to dangerous levels. The stall produces a Herbalist who runs regular checks on the households and possibly hands out medicinal herbs as remedies for diseases. If the city’s health falls really low, diseases may break out. Diseases make industries suffer because obviously, citizens who are sick cannot go to work, and so if you don’t have a surplus of workers, you may be facing employment shortages.
Diseased houses also produce “Disease Carrier” walkers. These are the sick guys (you’ll notice them because they have flies buzzing around them like they haven’t taken a bath in weeks) who couldn’t go to work. They can spread disease to every house they pass by so that’s not good. They are “cured” however, if they meet a Herbalist on the streets.
Unrest occurs if your citizens are very unhappy. If you’re playing at Very Hard difficulty, then you’ll probably be constantly bugged by warnings saying the city’s unrest level is dangerously high. On Normal difficulty, unrest is very negligible.
Basically if a house has high unrest then it has a chance of spawning negative types of walkers like beggars, muggers and bandits. Beggars are usually the first one to appear and they’re a symptom of problems with your city. If you maintain a high amount of unemployment, you’ll usually find beggars in the streets. They don’t really do much damage but who likes a city with a lot of beggars in the streets, right?
Muggers are more pro-active. They rob other houses and kill other walkers they meet. Muggers are a sign that things have taken a turn for the worse. But the deadliest of them all is the Bandit. They would run around your city, burning down buildings, stealing cash and wreaking havoc on your internal system.
Generally, if you keep your citizens entertained, employed, fed and clothed, you’ll never see these guys. But if things get really bad, then it’s time for your very own police squad. You can deploy Guards to roam around your city by building Watchtowers. Guards arrest or kill any beggar, mugger or bandit they meet on the street. They can also lower unrest levels in the houses, preventing your city from spawning those really nasty criminals.
Be careful about the number of guards you deploy in your city. Too much guards can also make your citizens very unhappy. Who wants to live in a place where you meet cops every five seconds out on the streets? As a general rule, you should only build 1 Watchtower every 500 people, so if you have a population of 2000, you can have up to 4 Watchtowers active in your city.
You can also start building Music Schools now to train musicians who will perform freely on the Market Square for the shoppers. Music Schools don’t necessarily have to be built on a housing block. The way it works is like this, they produce musicians who go straight to the market square to play. These musicians are destination walkers, which means they will ignore roadblocks to get to their destinations. I chose to place my Music School near the houses because they affect a neighborhood’s desirability.
When the musicians arrive at the square, the market sends out an Announcer that goes around the neighborhood telling everybody about the musicians on the market square.
Industry can be divided into two categories: raw material production and manufacturing. In this case, our raw material is clay which comes from clay pits and our manufacturing happens at the kilns. Guys at the Clay Pit dig for clay and then they send this clay to the guys at the Kiln who do their magic and churn out crates of ceramics. By the way, you can’t just build Clay Pits anywhere because the kind of clay they need only come from really moist soil, so you have to build Clay Pits on areas with high water table. I’ll talk about that next time. Make sure you have an accepting Warehouse to accept the goods that these guys produce. Warehouses also hold other non-food goods like Hemp.
As for Ancestor Worship, if you have some excess stuff stored in your Warehouses, you may want to pay them as homage to the Ancestors. If you look at the Religion Tab (Num 8) and press the huge title that says “Religion,” it will take you to your Religion Ministry Full Report. You’re going to see there portraits of different Ancestral Gods and Heroes. For now, it’s just Nu Wa. The heroes and ancestors you’ll have access to will increase over time so don’t worry about it. Click on a Hero’s portrait and you’ll see a list appear on the lower part of the Full Report Panel. Pick the goods you want to give your hero then the amount and that’s it! You’ll see their moods increase considerably.
Ancestral Gods and Heroes’ moods can vary from Angry, Unhappy, Neglected, Contented, Pleased, Happy, Joyful and Exalted. On the “Happy” level, there’s only a 50-50 chance a Hero would appear. Joyful and above will guarantee their visit on the next month. Don’t let the Ancestors’ moods reach Angry because when that happens they will call upon a disaster (flooding, drought, or earthquake) to hit your city.
If it’s a flood, all structures near water get destroyed and parts of the cities that can only be reached by bridges and ferries become inaccessible for a few months. If it’s drought, the production levels of your farms are greatly decreased. If you don’t have food stored, you may be looking at really long term food shortages. If you import food, or hunt or fish then you don’t have anything to worry about. And then there’s the dreaded Earthquake. I once played a campaign up North near Koguryo (modern day Korea), and I was devastated by a huge earthquake killing my entire city. That’s nasty. Structures collapse randomly across the city during earthquakes and the highest risks are inside housing blocks.
Anyway, just make sure you don’t make the Ancestors angry or you’ll be sorry.
I was able to do all these stuff before the next New Year struck which gave me Victory in less than a year!
Watch out tomorrow for another Episode of the Xia Dynasty and continue reading my blog for more Rocket Powered Stuff from around the World, China Edition! Bye!