Do you dare risk mining Orichalc at a city destroyed by Poseidon?
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Fairly easy - two small islands just off the shore of a city destroyed by Poseidon, and they're loaded with Orichalc.
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I'm just going to give a basic summary (and perhaps mini walkthrough) instead of going section by section, as I didn't have many complaints about this one. The big one that cropped up I later realized as my fault, I'll discuss that. XD
The adventure begins in Sfax, two islands which each have multiple wonderful places to mine Orichalc. Mysterious and beautiful, it sells nicely, and everyone wants or needs it (except the odd few who prefer the much more boring "Wood"). Walk in, start fishing and urchining, put down some Sheep, and go mining with whatever populus remains unemployed after you fill them with Science (two at this point), buying some Olive Oil if you really want them to level up right now. I used one neighbourhood to start and added a second later, but it might not hurt to have a second to slowly grow - close to each other if you can - and keep a big area free for a sanctuary to Hades (the second island, not reachable until you've crossed onto the first - top one facing North - has one possible location available south of the highest batch of Orichalc, so don't build there yet). Unfortunately, that topmost batch of Orichalc is where a certain snake-haired fashionista appears later...but stoning the wolves and the occasional refiner kept her satisfied.
During the final episode, I was starting to grumble about the huge armies demanding over 40,000 Drachmas to be paid off (I save before war, so I go back and bribe if I lose or just pay off if I have a lot going on). These came from one particular community (the other merely wanted 10K, stark difference) and in one case two came extremely close to each other such that I halted all Pyramid work and focused on selling with all imports off. Later, in peace, I casually checked my goals; I noticed I had drawn Perseus years earlier (once Hades' sanctuary was complete) and had yet to send him on his quests. I sent him on the first one, he finished it, and suddenly the 40-50K Drachma raider was trying to be my best buddy. I sent the second quest, and the final rival joined my side. All importing back on, Pyramid construction still took about ten years thanks to my slow start, so after some 25 years or so (including some expensive raids, and even having to fight on some occasions and completely rebuild half my city and a partially destroyed sanctuary on one of those occasions), I finally completed. I give 5 for creativity and playability as I completely overlooked the obvious, and still would have given a 5 if I figured it out earlier. Great story, but the map doesn't have a lot of large places (I count 2) to accommodate Hades, so I nixed a point there. A short but great adventure - if you don't make the mistake I did!
Quick goal-setting note. Perseus needs a sanctuary to Hades and it's also listed as a goal. It's not needed as a goal, as you still cannot finish without it. Adept players will build it regardless to start getting money from the ore without knowing what's going on, however.
For the most part, there are no dead-ends. However, if you're unlucky, a certain natural disaster could wipe out your last store of a critical resource, forcing an episode replay.
One early episode gave me one of the closest-run and thrilling battles I've ever played, but it was something I did to myself. I moved my palace to be able to place Theseus adjacent, and that demoralized my rabble. The timing couldn't have been worse as a rival almost immediately announced an invasion with only two-months warning. I escaped perma-destruction by the skin of my teeth after building some hasty fortifications, receiving mid-battle allied reinforcements, and watching the luckiest orichalc cart in history slip past horsemen to arm my towers in the midst of the siege.
However, the later eps were rather uneventful, wait-for-imports and build affairs. Ep goals like trading partners were simply handed to me without any explanation (but, based on the earlier review, some rival-to-ally conversions may have been tied to what I was doing).
Fair use of heroes, sanctuaries and shrines to meet goals. I can't say much more without spoilers. I'll just say that one ep looked impossible at the start, but it was saved divine intervention. I'd like to see more of that sort of thing.
Map Design: 5
It's esthetically pleasing, there are adequate bridge points between islands, adequate meadow, abundant food and plenty of frigate/pier sites. Elevated areas have good access points. Between elevation changes and water, site-selection for housing and industry was non-trivial.
The basic story was entertaining enough, and the explicit instructions were clear if possibly incomplete. From the discussion here it is apparent that there was some linkage between invasions and some in-game decisions (or perhaps simple procrastination). If there were hints to guide me then I missed them. While not every such linkage need be advertised in every adventure, I think this one should have been underscored. The previous reviewer would have dealt with his late game invasions better, and I would have felt more of a sense of accomplishment that I managed to have such an uneventful jog to the finish line.
Well worth playing once, especially if you enjoy watching towers blast invaders with Atlantean fire.