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Zeus Walkthroughs: Athens Through The Ages


» Episode I: Unlikely Beginnings

Goals
- Produce 12 skeins of fleece for colony
- Produce 12 baskets of fish for colony
- 500 people in Homestead or better

Hints & Tips
Athens is probably the longest adventure in the game, so find a comfortable chair. As the time you invest in this adventure may be great, so are its rewards. While Athens will eventually become the mightiest city in all Greece, the city indeed has a humble start. The early episodes are marked with hardship, but you will persevere. There are almost no resources available. Take great care not to over-spend or over-build, as you have no way to make money yet. You'll need about 16 housing plots to get you through the first episode.

Knossos will become hostile very early, and will invade on several occasions. Do not surrender, you will meet with defeat! Since you are a fledgling city with no military, the only thing you can do is buy them off.
The key right now is to create a small, streamlined community that maximizes the one resource you do have: cheese. At first you will use it to feed your people, but once you have a surplus, bestow cheesy gifts on other cities until it's coming out of people's ears. Start by building just South or Southeast of the meadowland in the North. Once you have enough labor to start your mean cheese machine, make sure to place your goats on the Western end of the meadow.

During this time, several things will happen. Marathon and Thermopylai will blossom. Treat these cities well, you will need their help in these early days. Thermopylai will ask for food, providing you with an opportunity to curry favor with them. Knossos will leave you a little gift in the form of the Minotaur. He'll skulk around the East end of the meadow, and might take out some of your goats. He hates goats. There's not much you can do for now except replace them. If you keep your distance, the Minotaur shouldn't give you too much trouble.

Knossos will also demand money, which you should pay to stave off invasions (which could cost you dearly in bribe money). Don't worry, you'll have a chance to get back at them later in the adventure. For now, you'll just have to put up with their bullying. If you find yourself growing short on funds, request some drachma from your allies.

Ignore your so-called-allies, Sparta and Corinth, as they're good for nothing. On the other hand, trusting in your benevolence, Thermopylai and Marathon will become your vassals. Through some requests, frugal trading, and annual tribute, you can get all the fish and fleece you need from Thermopylai. Stockpile your fish so that your people don't eat it. Once you've dispatched the colony goods, turn off stockpiling and distribute some fleece to evolve your housing. Make sure you have a culture venue. Shortly you'll have the 500 people needed to win the episode. Don't worry about rising unemployment as immigrants arrive. You'll put them all to work as soon as the next episode begins.


» Episode 2: Breaking the Bonds

Goals
- Rule Knossos
- Support 1 Trireme
- Support 4 Hoplites or better
- 10 People in Mansion or better

Hints & Tips
You will need to call Theseus to Athens to defeat the Minotaur and help beat Knossos. Summoning Theseus requires:
    - Build hall near the palace
    - Good appeal around the wall
    - Hall is protected by walls
    - 32 Slabs of marble
    - 16 Amphorae of wine
Start by building a palace, but give it some distance from your city. Build Theseus' hall right next to (or across the street from) the palace. You should have some commemorative monuments available -- put one on either side of Theseus' hall. Put a maintenance office right next to all this. Now surround these structures with walls and a gatehouse or two for access.

Now all you need to summon Theseus is wine and marble. Buy or request wine from Marathon, and get marble from Odessos after it becomes active. Throughout the adventure Athens will rely heavily on traded goods. Keep your trading posts close to your city, to reduce the distance and travel time in delivering goods to your storehouses and granaries. Piers will become important, too. As you expand Athens, think about doing it towards the Southeast, closing the distance between your piers and the rest of the city.

It's time to expand your city a little by building another block of housing. Build tax offices to offset costs. This second block will provide the workers to maintain a block of luxury housing, and labor for your trireme. You can build a trireme wharf at any time, just make sure you keep it unstaffed until you have enough workers.

Don't build the luxury housing just yet. First, build the infrastructure needed to support it. Leave enough space for housing and aesthetics (parks, columns, monuments, etc). The luxury block should have room for about 8 elite houses.

You may experience an earthquake far to the Southeast. Don't build near that area afterwards, it's bad news.

Soon you will start receiving gifts of olive oil, armor and wood. Build one or two storehouses to accommodate these gifts. Sparta and Corinth will pester you for olive oil. Ignore those jerks, what have they ever done for you? You need the oil for your elite housing. The armor will also help your elite housing evolve, and provide you with hoplites. Once you accumulate a small supply of olive oil and armor, start building elite housing plots in the area that you prepared earlier.

Some armor needs to go to the trireme wharf. Once you have a trireme and about two hoplite companies, you should be ready to take on Knossos. Knossos will be tougher on higher difficulty settings, and you may want to try and stretch your resources farther to get more hoplites (or even another trireme). Either way, when you invade Knossos, dispatch Theseus along with your forces, and enlist the help of one of your allies. It may take more than one invasion attempt, but Knossos will fall, and you're ready to start your first colony.

Both colonies will offer the opportunity to finally make some money. It doesn't really matter which one you choose to play first. The colonies could be thought of more as work camps. There is no need to develop nice housing. Just get in, get the resources, and get out.


» Episode 3: The Silver Mines (Laurion Colony)

Goals
- Treasury of 7500
- Yearly profit of 1500
- 8 Bars of bronze for parent city

Hints & Tips
It's pretty cramped over in Laurion, but you don't need a big city. Your best bet is to set up a housing block on the Southern plateau, as there is not much room anywhere else. Once you have some workers, set up a granary and storehouse to accept tribute and gifts. There's no local food, but you will get some in tribute. You may need to request or import more food, depending on your population.

Once you've got your people fed and more workers arrive, start building silver mints. The more mints you can support, the fatter your treasury will grow. You'll also want a foundry to meet the bronze goal.

When your city is up and running, you're pretty much on autopilot. Give away any gifts or tribute you don't need. You can also give gifts of money or bronze. Doing so will make other cities look more favorably on your requests, and it will boost your favor. Your parent city will probably hit you up for some cash. Help them out in case you need to ask them for food later. If your money level is low, delay dispatching the bronze requirement until you've mined more silver.

Watch out for shaky ground down in the valley.


» Episode 4: Revolt in Ionia

Goals
- Rule Sardis
- Rule Delos
- Support 3 Triremes
- 960 People in Homestead or better
- 480 People in Tenement or better

Hints & Tips
Back to Athens. If things went well in the second episode, you're close to meeting (or have already met) the housing requirements for this episode. You should have enough money to start expanding your city. This is a period of critical growth, and will take some time to accomplish.

Start by throwing down another block or two of regular housing, and one more block of elite housing. The common housing will provide more workers for more triremes, and the elite housing will provide more hoplites. Theseus isn't around to help you now, so it's time to start expanding your military complex. Knossos sells wood and Olympia sells olive oil. You will still have to rely on gifts of armor, unless you conquer Mt. Pelion for a steadier supply. This might be a good idea, as you have a lot of combat ahead of you!

Buy bronze from your colony, turn it into sculpture and sell it to Plataia for profit. Watch out for disruptions in the bronze supply. Request bronze to keep your sculptors busy while trade with your colony is interrupted. If things are going really well, consider building a Sanctuary to Hermes. But this is not a necessity.

Sardis will conquer Delos. But soon Sardis will withdraw some of its occupational forces, resulting in a military decline at Delos. Sardis will also decline militarily as Darius deploys his troops elsewhere. Despite becoming a rival, Delos might send you gifts, hoping you will liberate them from Darius' tyranny.

Olympia will ask for wine, and you'll want to keep them happy because they're the only source of olive oil at the moment. Sparta and Corinth are at it again, harassing you for oil. Eventually they will get fed up and turn rival. Fine - who needs 'em? If they grow really angry with you, try to placate them. You're not ready for a fight just yet. Conserve your olive oil for your elite housing.

If you're careful with your cash you can expand your city significantly. Build one housing block at a time - it's always easier to expand your city in increments. Mind your food supply. You should be getting plenty in tribute, but you'll need to increase your food production/importation too.

Don't even think about conquering Sardis and Delos until you have at least 3 triremes and 4 hoplite companies. Recruit allies to fight with you. As with Knossos, you may not conquer them in the first try, so be prepared for retaliation. But by now you should have enough rockthrowers and hoplites to repel any invasions. If you have the manpower, it's also a good idea to have some triremes guard the mouth of the river in case Delos or Sardis try to retaliate.

Once Sardis and Delos are under your thumb, you're ready to move on to your next colony.


» Episode 5: Land of Plenty (Amphipolis Colony)

Goals
- Produce 12 bars of bronze in one year
- 16 Bars of bronze for parent city
- Produce 16 planks of wood in one year
- 24 Planks of wood for parent city
- Produce 24 slabs of marble in one year
- 32 Slabs of marble for parent city

Hints & Tips
This is very much like the Laurion colony. Set up shop, meet the goals (and maybe turn a profit), then get out. Don't waste time or resources beautifying and evolving what is, for all intents and purposes, a factory town.

By now you should be pretty good at getting a city going quickly. Start by building a bridge so immigrants can cross the river. Then build one or two housing blocks on the West side of the playing area, near the quarry and the copper ore. Place some fisheries to get your food supply going. You'll get some food in tribute to supplement this. Tribute can also help you meet one or more of your dispatch goals.

Get your industry up and running as soon as possible. 1-2 foundries, 2-3 timber mills, and 3-4 masonry shops should be enough to meet the annual production goals. Sell any excess marble to Delos and Olympia for a good profit, or give it away to improve favor. Once you've met the wood and bronze goals, you can even delete those industries and build more masonry shops to increase exports.

However, Ithome will demand bronze and wood, and it is best to comply and avoid conflict. You probably won't have more than a few rockthrowers. If you haven't conquered Mt. Pelion, they will set out to conquer you. If you get an invasion notice, request military aid from Athens or one of your other allies. Ask for help about 2-3 months before the invasion. This will give them enough time to get to your city ahead of the attacking army.

Aside from that, it should be pretty much smooth sailing. You can sit back and pull in some extra cash, or dispatch your remaining goods and return straight to Athens.


» Episode 6: Vengeance

Goals
- Rule Marathon
- Rule Hattusas
- Rule Eretria

Hints & Tips
Athens is starting to flourish, but things are about to get ugly. The Persians are on the warpath, and will consume all of Greece if you're not careful. You will need hoplites. Lots of hoplites.

Both of your colonies supply bronze. Armories are now available, so manufacture plenty of armor for the upcoming conflicts. Expand your common housing to get more workers for more triremes, and more workers to support elite housing.

To afford the amenities necessary to maintain hoplite-worthy housing, there are many new opportunities available to make money. You can buy grapes from Odessos, turn it into wine, and sell it to Mt. Pelion. You can conquer Ithome and use its olives to make olive oil instead of buying it from Olympia. You can sell the excess oil to Marathon or Eretria. Marble received as tribute can be used to build the Hermes Sanctuary and the leftovers can be sold to Delos or Olympia.

Smelling a serious threat from Persia, those fair-weather friends Sparta and Corinth will quickly become allies again. Sardis and Hattusas will demand ever-increasing amounts of money from you. You can pay them off, or defy them in order to provoke them into battle. It might be wise to pay them off as long as it's affordable, giving you time to build up militarily. If you finish the sanctuary to Hermes, he'll help you pay them.

Get the ball rolling quickly on all this, because Sardis and Hattusas will start their aggressions early in the episode. Many cities will request troops to defend against Persian forces. While it would be great to be able to help everyone, you might find your forces stretched pretty thin. The key is to help those cities that are crucial to Athens' growth. For example, if Thermopylai is your only source of fleece - don't let it fall into enemy hands or you'll see your city devolve before your eyes.

Watch your allies and vassals closely. There is a lot of conflict involved in this episode, and the wrong decisions may send your popularity plummeting. Try to fulfill requests and give gifts whenever you can - you want as many people on your side as possible.

You may need to reclaim Marathon and Eretria from opposing forces. Ithome and Mt. Pelion may turn on you, but bringing these cities back into the fold shouldn't be too hard. A few years into the episode you will get a message saying Hattusas has gone through a military decline. Don't let this fool you, these guys are not pushovers. Both the Hattusans and Sardinians will attack you in force. It is going to take a massive effort to wrestle them into submission. With patience, some drachma, and a lot of armor, you will overcome your adversaries and proceed to the next episode.


» Episode 7: A Bride for a Hero

Goals
- Rule Sparta
- Rule Eretria
- Rule Corinth
- Protect city from a monster (Dragon)
- Sanctuary to Apollo
- 960 People in Tenement or better

Hints & Tips
Well, you weathered the worst. That doesn't mean the rest is going to be easy, though. Now that the Persian threat has passed, Sparta and Corinth have spurned you, and Olympia and Elis have joined them. You should be used to combat by now, and a few more skirmishes lie ahead before you can rest your sword for good.

Sparta and Corinth will start by demanding large amounts of wine (Hermes will help you out here). Then they will start attacking Eretria to get wine. These sorties will become more frequent and have less warning in advance. If those jerks conquer Eretria, it will reduce your access to wine, which will limit how far you can expand your elite housing. Apollo's Oracle can help predict when they will attack.

Ithome will make your life easier with gifts of food and fleece, while the Amazon city of Themiscyra will try to take advantage of the disarray caused by the Persians and invade you. By this point you should be able to trounce any aggressor dumb enough to approach the city limits. There is much opportunity to make money and expand the city, and horse ranches are finally available, allowing you to assemble companies of mighty horsemen. These horsemen should help you make quick work of Corinth and Sparta. Once they are out of the way you can turn your focus to city building. However, feel free to conquer a few other cities while you're at it. The more conquests, the more tribute!

Watch out for the Dragon, he will patrol around the hills to the Northeast and make forays into your city to cause havoc. Build Jason's hall to summon the hero:
    - 3 Triremes
    - 2 Horseman companies
    - 64 Crates of food
    - 8 Horses
    - 16 Amphorae of wine
Jason is a pretty tall order, and if your sanctuary construction is close to finished, you may just want to wait. Once the sanctuary is complete, Apollo will vanquish any hostile monsters. It's not such a bad idea to have Jason around though, as he can be dispatched along with troops to conquer opposing cities.

Once the combat is out of the way, you'll be in good shape to finish up the episode on a strong note.


» Episode 8: The Hero's Habit

Goals
- 3 Sanctuaries
- Population of 5000
- 200 People in Estate or better
- 2400 People in Apartment or better
- Yearly Profit of 2500
- Fulfill a forthcoming request (The Cattle of Geryon)

Hints & Tips
The Golden Age of Athens has arrived. Greece is at peace, and it's time to turn your attention to city building. You shouldn't have any trouble expanding your city to meet the final requirements. There are plenty of resources available now through trade, and money shouldn't be a problem. You may have met several of the requirements already.

Get to work on that Athena Sanctuary to lessen your dependence on imported olives and olive oil.

Continue expanding your common and elite housing blocks. You should have many commemorative monuments available, and these will boost the quality of your housing immensely. The population and housing goals are simply a matter of careful space and resource management. Keep an eye on your food supply.

Some immortals will be jealous of your success and popularity. Watch out for unwelcome visits by Hades and Ares (and their pets!), as well as the Minotaur, who is out for a little revenge. You will have the opportunity to summon three heroes to respond to these threats.

Summoning Jason requires:
    - 3 Triremes
    - 2 Horseman companies
    - 64 Crates of food
    - 8 Horses
    - 16 Amphorae of wine
Theseus needs:
    - Build hall near the palace
    - Good appeal around the wall
    - Hall is protected by walls
    - 32 Slabs of marble
    - 16Amphorae of wine
And Hercules will require:
    - Excellent culture access
    - Win any Pan-Hellenic game
    - Excellent city wide gymnasium access
    - 1500 people in city
    - 32 Amphorae of wine
They shouldn't be too hard to summon, but if you're having trouble, keep in mind that Athena will stop Ares and his guards in their tracks, and Apollo will take care of the Minotaur and Hades' mutt. If you want to be ambitious, you can unleash your throngs of triremes, hoplites, horsemen, and heroes upon your remaining rivals (or allies!) and truly make Athens the mightiest city in Greece.