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By EJay -- played on hard

I decided to start building at the large chunk of floodplain south of the original starting location. Although in the end, it turned out to not be a bad position to start at, I think it's advisable to start at the original starting location. The elevation and resources can be a pain at times at the place where I started. Before you start building your city, realise that you must have a mining camp later on at the other side of the river, where the basalt is located, unless you feel you don't need much floodplain. I do advise to stay on the west bank.

Since this scenario has no pre-placed buildings, I decided to start simple but large. A palace, 3 nobles and enough farmers plus the needed shops and craftsmen. Everyone starts a city differently, but I do suggest starting big. This city will require quite a lot of soldiers and they need your food to keep them from starving. Therefore it's imperative that you have a running bakery before the first harvest, to save time.

As you might have noticed by now, the Delta raiders are north and to the south no enemies are visible. The only thing that seems interesting is the Cedar Merchant and trust me, it is. I'm very much in favour of eliminating threats before thinking about prestige or world level locations, so I did open the Cedar Merchant but didn't start with the expeditions just yet. First things first, the Delta needs to be yours again! Something that should help you is the fact that many victories and other projects in the Delta provide you with much prestige along with the ability to commemorate them with steles. This is very helpful indeed, since you do get the option to make your life easier with another priest (or 2) plus some scribes and perhaps an extra commander.

Having seen the world level, I decided that it would be worthwhile to start with 2 priests and a commander instead of my usual 3 priests, with the commander coming fourth. This might make things more difficult for you early on, but if you're playing on Normal this is no problem as you get 4 free educated people. You don't need charioteers in this mission, so there is no need for cedar yet, unless you want to provide your Nobles with yachts and cedar furniture. If they're happy I think it's best to not bother with that.

From here on, it's pretty much a matter of expanding your military bit by bit, changing spearman to archers and vice versa where needed. Because of the prestige you gain from victories, there's no need for labourers and an overseer just yet and you can still add some educated workers to your city. Do keep in mind that without Basalt, there will be no Temple or Cult Temple and this may cause unrest, but as soon as you defeat the enemy, you'll have plenty of time and resources to fix that. Once Dumyat appears, which will happen after all enemies are beaten, you might want to start converting some soldiers to labourers.

I built a small labour camp at the other side of the river and I replaced one commander in the main city with an overseer. I needed labourers there also to set up the statues and steles. Keep in mind that you don't need many labourers here in Henen-Nesu. Cutting out statues is done by 1 labourer and the transportation only needs 4. All in all, you can have it very easy with just 12 labourers, having 6 on both sides. Also, by now, you should start importing cedar - you'll need barges to get some statues to your main city, if you want to build a Cult Temple, Temple or just regular statues. You don't need much prestige, but it's always nice to have more. If you have some food to spare, import steles. To get steles, you must execute the first of the Nubian Explorations.

You'll need a couple of spearman for this, so keep 5 barracks around, but you can do away with the commanders and training ground. The Nubian Explorations provide you with prestige, trade opportunities, resources and last but not least, the Nubian Gold Mine. Not cheap to set up, not cheap to reach and not cheap in upkeep, it provides loads of gold and to some perhaps most importantly, it'll be visible from here on in the world level, which looks pretty.

Once you feel you're ready, whether you did all the explorations or not, send all that's needed to Dumyat to complete your mission. All in all, I think this mission was not too difficult, just be aware of the randomly appearing Egyptian raiders and you'll be very fine.

Final results:

  • Challenge Level: Hard
  • Elapsed Time: 33 years
  • Prestige: 204 (Divine)
  • Population: 581
  • Satisfaction: Perfect