"Ave, Aedile. Caesar and the Senate are sending you to the Roman client state of Judea to assist its king, Herod, in building a great port city. The state of Judea is lacking in any valuable resources. Herod, and Rome, hope that building a trade port to act as an intermediary between the rich trade caravans of the East and the Roman Empire will bring monetary rewards to both Herod and Rome.
Herod is enamoured of all things Roman and wishes to make the city, Caesarea, named for Caesar Augustus, as Roman as Rome itself. Therefore, besides the high ratings for culture, prosperity and security that he insists upon, King Herod has several additional specific requirements.
The city must have a working circus in which his chariot team can race to victory. In addition to a temple dedicated to each of the Roman gods, he also wants to honor Jupiter above all by building at least two magnificent temples to him. Herod will dedicate one of these himself to Caesar. And lastly, Herod wants a majestic governor's estate to be built, so that he may reside in style when he visits the city.
Aedile, you are faced with a challenge. The site chosen for the city is perfect for a harbor, Rome's engineers have made sure of that, but the surrounding area lacks any resources but sand. The pasture land that is available is only suitable for raising sheep. You will need to import all food and most raw materials. In order to succeed, you will need to turn Caesarea into a manufacturing and trade center.
One bright spot in all these challenges is that the merchants from Noricum seem to have a source for Raetian wine, famed and prized throughout the Empire. If you can open trade with them, you can resell the wine to others at a modest profit. You could even mix a little wine from Hispania into the shipments and no one would complain -- not even Caesar."
This scenario is heavy on trade; you even have to buy your own food. There is no military. The city map uses the campaign map for Alexandria, modified to allow more trade ports. I tried to make this scenario as historically accurate as possible.
Tips for playing
This scenario is a little different from the usual, so here are a few tips that you might want to follow:
- Open several trade routes in the beginning. Not only do you need to get food from them, but you need to start getting trade money in as soon as possible. You need money to pay for all that food.
- Don't spend all of your starting money in the beginning. You need some money to pay for food (and possibly raw materials) and salaries in the beginning before your trade income kicks in.
- Herod built Caesarea as a port to supply grain to Jerusalem. Don't overlook the modest amount that can made trading grain through to Judea.
- Once you have some savings, there is money to be made selling through exotic goods from all over the known world -- the best of all worlds.