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Scenario: Empire 6: Tarsus
Game version: v1.2 (any language)
Difficulty: Hard
Culture: 44
Security: 85
Prosperity: 44
Favor: 75
Population: 3980
Tarsus as an Economic Mission

Tarsus is the penultimate military mission in Caesar 4. The game’s creators have seen fit to provide the player with the option of playing the mission as a military mission, or an economic mission. This walkthrough will describe playing Tarsus, in hard difficulty, as an economic mission. This means all invasions will be bought off. As it turns out I will only need to buy off one invasion.

The most difficult aspect of this strategy is coming up with the 7,000dn to buy off the first invasion. This invasion is first announced as soon as 14 months after the start, but you get a further 12 months until it arrives. You will need every minute of it to come up with the bribe.

The plan for this walkthrough is to win the mission as quickly as possible. I will not send any gifts until all other requirements are met. No tricks or cheats are used in this walkthrough.

The mission requirements are not especially difficult. 2500 population, 40 culture, 80 security, 40 prosperity, 75 favour. So we need walls and a few patricians.

The first task is to get some immigrants, feed them, and get some export industry up and running. We will export marble, jewelry, utensils, weapons and armor, in that order.


Pause and look around. The road in leads to a patch of farmland that is quite large enough to feed the required population and then some. Marble and iron deposits lie nearby. We will build our housing at a large clearing to the south-east of this farmland. 12 insulae and 4 domus at this stage. Also some support buildings (Jupiter and Mercury shrines which you want to cover all houses) and water infrastructure, which has to be pumped quite some way from the North.

March 158AD

One farm each of grain, veg and meat, and one sheep as well. Clothing being the only basic good locally available. Wool takes ages to get going so we want to start it early. Also build a marble quarry as close as possible to the marble behind the farmland. Now open trade with Syria and start selling marble.

April 158AD

Check that you have the first Mercury dedication, this greatly increases the output of marble, gold and iron mines. If you have perfect coverage, it is just a matter of covering enough houses, which do not need to all be occupied. Keeping a watch on your worker situation, next industry will be gold/jewelry. The only gold deposit is in the north west corner, far from your housing. Initially place three gold camps as close to the gold as possible, and mothball them all. When having workers, unmothball them one by one, then build five jewelry factories, and open trade to Asia, setting jewelry to selling.

May 158AD

Add an odeum to the block when population is nearing 1000. Six more insulae added on nearer road running left-right in the above screenshot. This will bring us up to 1260 plebs. Now down to 2500dn in treasury. Build 2 more each of grain and vegetable farms. Mercury benevolence finally kicks in. Build more farms of all three kinds as population builds.

June 158AD

Population reaches 1000. You get “food low” message when you first have some food somewhere (but not if you have no food at all). This is your cue to build a food market closed to plebs at this stage and also a tax office. Equites will leave shortly if you don’t feed them. With pleb unemployment mounting it is time to produce some iron so that utensils can be sold.

July 158AD

Money down to 1218dn. Have sold 9 of 30 marble and about to sell first jewelry. Build a 6th jewelry factory and four utensils factories. All houses are now full so build 3 more insulae to provide labor for clothing factories which will soon be needed, and 1 more domus. Continue to build domus as needed until we have 8.

August 158AD

Money is getting critical. Open food market to plebs as all domus have food.

September-October 158AD

Jewelry trade is kicking in, need to get treasury up so Aegyptus and Mesopotamia can be opened. Just sitting tight waiting for the money to come in. During October wool becomes available so build clothing factories, 3 is enough. Also Basic Goods Market, build it nearer pleb houses and allow plebs access.

November-December 158AD

Syria getting close to his 30 limit of marble. Have 1600dn so Mesopotamia opened, try to sell some utensils by year’s end (fail by a few seconds). Debt finally arrives in December when I build a meat granary. It doesn’t last long as another load of jewelry is sold. Below is how Tarsus looks in early January.

January 159

With over 1600dn in treasury, time to open Aegyptus, the final trade route. Aegyptus will buy another 30 marble, and there is a demand coming up, so we are wanting to build another marble camp soon, when workers become available. As can be seen above, one insulae has already upgraded due to having clothing, but the process will be slow. We want to help it along by importing glass from Syria (which is a bit cheaper than pottery which Aegyptus sells) when we can afford it, which hopefully is soon. Also keep an eye on the happiness overlay. Not all plebs have food yet, when they all have three kinds, we can then start dropping their wages.

March 159

Money building nicely, but housing evolution is slow, even with glass being imported. Demand of 25 marble arrives. Time for 2nd marble quarry. With population nearing 2000, a theatre will soon be needed.

April 159

Plebs are arriving, time to start on weapons. 3 weapons factories needed, this will supply gladiators as well. One timber yard (add a couple more as needed), iron camps seem to have plenty so no more needed yet. Sell weapons to Aegyptus. Build up industry only as labor is available. After weapons start on armor. Pleb wages lowered to 15, all plebs have 3 foods now. This is the time to start on patricians. Nine small villas are erected, as shown in the shot below. Also food market closed to plebs until patricians have all three foods. Get the villas to Large Villa so they pay some tax ASAP. Build a luxury market and let it have utensils.

May 159

You are warned of enemy forces gathering. Don’t worry too much, they won’t be here for a year. Buy off is 7,000dn.

August 159

Build two jewelry factories up near the Syria trade station, to sell 25 per year. Also build furniture factories, patricians require luxury goods. Even with 3 foods, they aren’t so happy. If things get dire, I can drop property tax a bit.

October 159

Build one each of luxury goods factories on the hill close to the patricians. Patricians starting to leave so I lower their tax. It needs to be raised again when they have 3 foods and luxury goods. In November have enough marble to send demand. Immediately mothball one marble camp.

At year’s end I have 2325dn and 3230 population. I’ve got almost as many plebs as I need. The next screenshot is looking North just after the start of the third year.

February 160

Three month warning of the coming invasion. I’ve got 2900dn so relying on some big trade to bring me up to the 7000 needed.

May 160

By the time the invasion arrives, I have almost 10,000dn. Next task is to build walls. Work has to stop due to running out of money.

Aug 160

Request 50 gold. I happen to have this on hand.

Oct 160

Finally, the walls are completed. Now to start importing exotics and evolve the patrician housing. At this time salary is restored to 55dn.

Dec 160

Second invasion is warned on. Perhaps I can be out of here before it even arrives. 3820 population and 1342dn. Build whatever the patricians are asking for.

Jun 161 All ratings requirements (apart from favor) are now met. It’s now just a case of showering Caesar with gifts. In three years and 4 months, it is over.

Some may consider gifts and buyoffs a little bit cheesy. In fact that’s exactly what I think. But this seems like the easiest way to win Tarsus in hard difficulty as the game stands. If you can get the first buyoff you are pretty much home, but very careful play over the first two and a half years is needed. Next one I do will be fighting off the enemies and no gifts. With under two and a half years to raise legions it won’t be easy.

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