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Difficulty: Mortal
Number of episodes: 5
My new adventure is a little more challenging than my previous one (Demeter's Cult). As scouts say: "Be prepared." With a little planing you can avoid many problems.
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Map Design5.0
Cyprus is the last in a series of three Adventures designed by Pauletikos. The designer says here it is the second, elsewhere Lemnos is called the second. Anyhow, I advise players to look at Lemnos before they try Cyprus. It consists of five episodes, three parent and two colonies. I first took Naxos, and developed Mt.Ida as the second one. I played at Olympian level.

Playability: 3
The map is more difficult than the two earlier ones, but still quite feasible. There are a lot of monsters and consequently also a lot of heroes who need to be called upon to do their thing. The problem is that the victory requirements do not always include killing the monster, while the designer seems to assume players will do that anyway. I don't. As long as monsters do no harm me too much, I will leave them. In the first episode I trieds to build my city out of harms way, but that left me with little building space, and later monster attacks hurt more than would have been necessary. Due to my strategy I failed some important requests in the third episode (second parent) and had one of my companies stuck in a destroyed city. I replayed the beginning of that episode, as I wasn't sure I would have been able to finish, it would surely have been more difficult than I guess was intended. Still the city was destroyed, it may be scripted.

In the last parent episode again the heroes play an important role, and again I didn't need one of them, which was fortunate since the monster was quite annoying, and I had to use walls and rablle to keep it away from my city. In my book that comes close to cheating. The continued attacks in the final episode coming at different spots necessitated several replays. I thought they also would wear out my adversary, but that didn't seem to be the case. Not fair, such is life I guess.

Like in the earlier adventures requests have too short a time for compliance. I usually do not stock commodities in large supplies, apart from money. Pity the bank gives no interest (does it charge interest on a debt?). Two months notice is not enough to boost production, suspend consumption or halt export to the point where I can meet the requests. Demands are ignored as a rule, a small demand for money or any other item I happen to have in surplus may be granted.

Balance: 4
This adventure is more balanced than the other two, maybe because it offers a bit more of a challenge. There still are gifts, but they are not as important as before. I prefer to take care of my own affairs, gifts are appreciated, but only to make life simpler. The monsters are often more than just annoying, a matter of taste, not mine I'm afraid. If they hurt me too much, I'm often tempted to replay, and I seem to giving in into temptation more often than I care. Trade seems more logical, the destruction of the main money-making export city at the beginning of the third episode makes it more interesting, if it is scripted, but by that time money was not really an issue, not for me. Once my pleb lives in townhouses, taxes are my stable source of income, elite housing is just a bonus.

Creativity: 3
Quite good, with three maps it is a more complicated scenario, and there are many things happening. They do not always tie together as probably intended, but that is what keeps life interesting. It's a different game, but I guess the ancient Chinese motto applies equally well to ancient Greece, sorry, Cyprus.

Map Design: 5
The maps are great, specifically the parent city one. Maybe the colonies are as well, sorry if I missed that point. The specific lay-out of the parent city, with the monsters and catastrophies does result in reltively little building space. Enough to finish the missions, but fans of large cities will be in want of more room.

Story/Instructions: 2
The story is a bit more extensive than the earlier ones but still rather short.

Additional Comments:
Of the three adventures by Pauletikos I liked Cyprus best. All three are relatively simple, as the designer intended them to be. All three are enjoyable as they are, even if I have some comment, thank you Pauletikos for sharing these with us. If you're relatively new to Zeus, definitely don't try the Cyprus map at the level I did, but for slightly more experienced players it will still present a fair challenge also at moderate difficulty levels. The parent map is great, already said that, but no harm in repeating it. It is always difficult to imagine how other players, with a different style and other experience level than yourself will play the adventure you design. If you really need something to happen, make it part of the victory criteria, especially if it is important early in one of the following episodes. The same can apply for the requests. Some players tend to have a large stock of everything they might need, just in case. As a trained capitalist, for me money is the generic stock item.

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