FAQ: Gameplay

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How do I rotate buildings?

Press the "R" key when you have the building ghost selected for placement. Another way is clicking to place the building, and then, while holding the mouse button, dragging in the direction in which you want the building to face.

Does it matter which way my buildings are facing?

No, in general it doesn't. Obvious exceptions are the city gate and trade ports.

Why do my buildings catch fire or collapse?

Buildings need to be checked periodically by engineers and praefects, so make sure you build prefectures and engineer's posts close by.

I have plenty of prefects but my buildings still catch fire, what's up with that?

Will Jennings from Tilted Mill gave the following explanation:

The intelligence of prefects and other walkers scales with available CPU cycles. So, in humongous cities, if you have lots and lots of prefects and lots and lots of buildings that could catch fire, the prefects won't be as smart about deciding what fires to put out, and they won't notice new fires as quickly.

To keep the very largest cities standing, you'll need either

  • really efficient prefect/engineer placement (this can mean refraining from using too many)
  • skillful micromanagement of prefects and engineers (mothballing the offices you don't need, or perhaps another clever technique)
  • to run the game at a slower speed (at normal speed, prefects will be 2.5 times as smart as they are on fast speed)
  • to run fewer other programs/processes
  • a faster processor (your graphics card isn't the limiting factor on this)
Why don't my fountains work?

There can be multiple causes. First thing to check is whether you've set up your water infrastructure correctly: you need to place a pump house close to the river and connect it to a reservoir with an aqueduct. Any fountain in range of the reservoir will have pipe access to clean water. You can use the water overlay to check whether your fountain is close enough to the reservoir.

The next thing to check is whether both your fountain and your reservoir have enough employees. If the reservoir lacks a few employees, it only provides water to part of the reservoir's range. Reservoirs, pumphouses and fountains require equites, so make sure you have a few domus in your city.

How do I make money?
  1. Export: find out what the other cities on the map need, then produce it and sell it. Setting up an export business should be the first priority in the first years of your city.
  2. Taxes: markets pay sales taxes on every sale made, patrician houses pay property taxes based on the value of their home. Place a tax collector close to your markets and villas to get as much money in through taxes as possible.
  3. Don't overbuild in the first few years. Only build what you need and concentrate on getting exports and taxes up and running.
Why are my patricians complaining they need entertainment while there's an Odeum/Arena close by?

First, check whether the villa is within the service range of the Odeum/Arena; you can check this using the entertainment overlay. Secondly, check whether the Odeum/Arena is fully staffed: partially staffed buildings have a smaller service range. This can also be checked using the entertainment overlay.

A third reason could be that the arena doesn't receive gladiators from a Gladiators' Guild. The Gladiators' Guild needs a steady supply of weapons, before it will send gladiators to fight in the Arena.

Why are there protesters or muggers in my city?

Because the people are unhappy. Check with the advisers to see why they are unhappy and improve on that. The most likely cause of unhappiness is high unemployment.

How do I build plazas?

You have to build them on top of roads.

How do I make my granary get food?

Place a granary between your farms and your food markets, and connect everything by road. The granary workers will get food from the farms, and the food markets will pick it up.

For relatively small maps such as Narbo in the demo, you can leave out the granary: the food market will pick up the food directly from the farms. The same holds for basic and luxury goods: on small maps you most likely don't need warehouses to store such goods.

Why won't traders buy any goods from me?

First, does the trade depot or port contain any of the goods you wish to sell? If not, it's time to move some of those goods to the trade port! Make sure that:

  1. you haven't accidentally mothballed the trade depot
  2. your trade depot has enough employees and is connected by road to the warehouse/factory that contains the goods you wish to sell
  3. you have set the goods to "selling" in the trade depot's orders panel and the slider is not at zero
  4. there is room for the goods you want to sell. The trade depot can only hold 48 loads of goods, so if you're importing goods as well, you should either set the sliders in the orders panel in such a way that there's always room for exports, or move the imports to a warehouse.

If your trade depot/port contains the goods you want to sell and the traders are still not buying anything, check the resource advisor:

  • Did you check the "stockpile" checkbox for the good you want to sell? Uncheck it: traders won't buy any stockpiled goods
  • What's the export limit (visible when you hit the "Storage/Trade" button)? The number you set there is the minimum stock that is reserved for local use. Traders will only buy anything from you if you have more than that amount in your warehouses.

Lastly, traders will only buy a certain number of goods from you per year: check the depot/port's orders panel or the empire level to check if this is the case.

Why won't traders sell goods to me?

The few obvious checks: does your trade depot/port have enough labour? Do you have the good set to "buying" in the trade depot's orders panel? And is the slider for the amount to buy not set to zero?

Next, note how many goods are stored already in the trade depot (either goods for export or already imported goods): a trade depot/port can only store 48 loads of goods, so if you have close to that amount already stored, there won't be room for the imported goods.

A last thing to check is the import limit in the trade advisor. The number you can set there is the maximum that will be in the city's trade buildings and warehouses at any time. For example, if you set the import limit for iron to 10, traders won't sell you any iron if you already have 10 or more loads of iron in the city.

Equites/patricians say they need walls, but I have built a wall!

Check your entire wall for gaps: the wall needs to be at least three tiles thick on all sides, and watch out for trees: sometimes they get embedded into your wall, leaving a 1-tile gap. Also check for any collapsed towers as they're a big hole in your defense.

Water bodies are also counted as "wall", but make sure you run the wall into the water as much as possible. Sometimes there is something close to the shore that prevents you from building a wall there. Try to build the wall a few tiles farther away from that spot and see if you can get it farther into the water on that spot.

A second issue with water: if you have built a bridge, make sure you fortify at least one side of the bridge. Also, rocks are not considered impassable, so you'll have to build walls around any rock outcroppings: building a wall against the rock won't do.