TLDR: 3,8 mil hansa at 1378.07.28., but how? Herbert's Run
First of all, I just wanted to thank all forum members for the amazing tips in this forum.
I was reading the Herbert's thread, looking at his save files, and I kept wondering how he was able to do it?
I tried to replicate it, but I'm nowhere in 1378 compared to him.
In 1378 I am merely at 22x10k towns, which is a joke.
So I'm thinking about a new apporach.
Below is my new plan, and after that my questions about meta.
Please excuse me beforehand if I asked something which was already covered in the german subforum (there are simply so many threads, and the really juicy info is sometimes in threads whose title doesn't even have a connection to it.).
My meta plan was:
1. Initial Phase
1.1. Start with manual trade in the middle (LUB-AAL-OSL-MAL) (auto route wastes 1 day in each dock)
1.2. First build snaikkas (purely because this is the fastest way to reinvest the money, and also in this phase it is best to do small but very frequent trades)
1.3. Create small convoys to keep west and east alive. We need them for and because of ships.
1.4. Create offices only in the middle. We'll try to cover , , , (and some of ).
1.5. Try to rise through the ranks as fast as possible (you build snaikkas, so the ship count limit will be easy). Invest in guild privileges asap, because their cost scales according to rank, wealth etc. This is crucial. With higher rank comes higher rewards, better missions, etc.
1.6. Dont build houses yet, let the AI handle it.
1.7. This phase ends if you start getting "build two production sites" missions for 40k+ or you get overwhelmed by manual trading
2. Early Phase
2.1. Start setting up office trading.
2.2. The office must buy from the town market. This will help the AI, but at this stage our main objective is to make money, we'll later deal with them.
2.3. Each office town gets a dedicated convoy, LUB as central storage. The purpose of this is to distribute goods evenly in this early start-shaped network.
2.4. Each non-office town also gets a dedicated convoy. The purpose of this is to sell surpluses and also to bring in , etc, not produced in your "star".
2.5. Start ramming up production for , and . Also make sure you have surplus of and .
2.6. Become mayor, build university. Research first hulks, then production cost lowering techs, caravel, river cog.
2.7. Hunt for ships. (a simple crayer on manual combat)
2.8. Now you should start monitoring house occupancy. You must build houses if the initial spots in the core of the city are filled, because the AI builds horribly. So if you let it build freely it will waste significant space.
2.9. This phase ends if you reach the rank where you can get guild missions, and have surplus production of for town founding and at least a tiny fleet for sailor transfer.
3. Early-Mid Phase
3.1. Start making new cities (either by lord requests or by uni). You get 600k from a mission. If you make only 500 sized ones, and you supply and it will actually generate profit. Rinse and repeat so you can snowball.
3.2. Start doing mediterran trade runs. For this, you need LON or BRU to act as a dumping point for your expeditions, aka other ships must take the spice, wine etc from LON. The expeditions should only travel between med and LON.
3.3. Create 1-3 hunters. These consists of a 5 star combat captain, 3 cogs/hulks fully upgraded fully manned. If a pirate pops up, you can auto battle them and can even sometimes get a free ship from it.
3.4. In AI controlled towns, purge the competitors busnesses, by flooding their markets with goods. It will take around year, so be patient. Last time I made the mistake of simply purging these workers (didnt build workplaces for them) so this mass firing spree left a dent in the hansa's pop progress
3.5. Make sure you meet 100% demand for , , and also all the goods needed for a large "meal for the poor".
3.6. If you have covered all cities, start upping them to 3000+ inhabitants. This is just to generate "become hanseatic city" missions.
3.7. Start building up all cities to 10k, you will generate enough money from missions.
3.8. In this phase wood and brick is used for massive build up. If the pops dont get wood and bricks its fine. Their only "absolutely must" need is , and maybe (plagues etc).
3.9. In all cities, which you are not mayor of, send a patrol. Their main purpose is not to defend the city but to empty the city coffers, so AI cant build the cathedral.
3.10. Always keep at least 3 running orders in the shipyard. Build caravels and river cogs, maybe one shipyard can produce hulks. Cogs, snaikkas are essentially junk at this point so they must be used for manual goods moving or sailor transfer.
3.11. Put 3 fully upgraded non-manned hulks in each convoy, so they block (I've seen it last game with cogs, that pirates didnt attack a convoy if it had a lot of cannons, they didnt take into account sailor count. Am I imagining this?)
So, as you can see I never even made it past the all towns 10k point.
My questions are:
- The whole snaikka thing came from Roland. I did around 5 test runs, and for me at least early snaikkas are a clear win, but maybe after 5 or so, should I switch to crayers/cogs?
- Is the above game opening optimal?
- How do you break up your own game plan into sections? Do you switch later to a hub-based system and run for some time in a decentralized/haphazard way, or do you force yourself into a hub system even early on?
- I'm planning a hansa with 100% demand fulfillment except for (1%) and (60%) (60%) (these can be made with MM trade)
- I'm building ships. In the german threads I read that some people dont build, only capture from pirates. Is this a viable startegy?
- Are there any tricks to bookkeeping? I mean, I have a notebook with the full planned hansa, needs for different sizes of cities and I'm still overwhelmed by micro. Are there any "rule of thumbs" or you too have Excel/notebook open al the times?
- Are there any tricks? (I mean not like "you can use TAB in counting houses too to cycle through", but meta stuff like "during early build up you can leave out fish and mead, and concentrate on wood, bricks")
- I don't get this cash-crop thing. People keep mentioning that trading will bring in a lot of profits (sell at 1,75 of base price for one pip satisfaction). Well, according to my calculations, in a 32x10k hansa in 10 day you can have 520-550k profits from it. You can get this kind of money easily from a "become hanseatic city" mission. Is my plan of relying on missions bad? I think last time, when I focused on making money from trading I lagged behind, because it is simply not as good as doing missions. Trading for me simply isn't lucrative enough somehow, I only use it as a baseline, but I need something with some extra "ooomph" if I want a full hansa in 1378.
- I get that around 4 universities is enough. But why is NOT building chapels and infirmaries a good idea?
- How do you deal with AI in a full buildup game? (I know flooding of the market and worker shortage works. I'm more curious about when do you eliminate them and how do you contain them afterwards?)
- The land purchase from princes costs 30 mil a pop. With a 32 town 10k hansa you generate around 13 mil per month. According to this my plan of "build up to 32x10k then buy up lands and then continue expansion" will not work(In 1378 I wouldnt be near Herbert's score). What is your meta plan for buying land?
- Can I maybe learn P4 mid game tactics if I go over the P2/P3 tippsammlung? (Also, a lot of people say that P2/P3 is better than P4 but I only know P4.)
- I made some tests with lending money, but for me they generated so-so returns. Am I better off simply ignoring them?
- I never made tests about borrowing money, but the interest seems too high to be worth it. I am still thinking about a way to make it work. Do you use it during your games?
So basically, in this forum I was able to find a lot of tips regarding mechanics, early game, and extremely late game stuff (reducing cloth wine via MM trade, two HUB land road stock balancing) but I wasn't able to encounter so much threads about the build up phase's meta.
Please, don't be hesitant to correct me. Thank you kindly for your help in advance.