Old World: How does X work? Post your gameplay questions here!

There’s a special rule for coastal tiles - IIRC you only need 1 adjacent urban.

Is there a way to see how many total citizens, or just specialists, a city has while on the city screen? It’s no big deal to click out of the city screen back to the map thanks to Old World’s fantastic interface, but I wonder if I’m not just missing it. I keep hovering my mouse over the growth bar in the lower left corner of the city screen, but that just tells me its rate.

Is there a way to modulate the religion a family chooses to have? I’ve been paying closer attention to details like maintenance and discontent levels, but this usually strikes me as arbitrary. In my current game, 75% of a family’s citizens were in a Jews-only city, and 25% in a second city with Judiaism, Greek Paganism, and Christianity. The family flipped to Greek Paganism within 5 turns of me capturing the city.

Well enough. This game keeps every turn exciting for one reason of another–I wouldn’t change it if I could. But I wonder if anyone knew more how family, and character, religion choices function.

This isn’t the best solution, but if you mouse-over the Culture level of the city it will bring up a tooltip explaining the upkeep costs required for the city’s population. And part of that tooltip will be the total population for the city.

This is an older version of that tooltip, the newer version lists the total population figures:

If I follow, you’re noting that 2.5iron at 0.5iron per pop means the tool tip reads “total pop: 5”. Is that right?

Yep, that’s it.

Also, I did go back and fire Old World up again, and futzing around on the city screen it turns out you can get an even better pop up by mousing over the city name:

Ah, that’s great! I’ve been avoiding that tool tip, since it’s one of the longest in the interface and I rarely can get it to stick when I want to. The information hierarchy answers my questions only after a thorough investigation. But it shows me the number of specialists and total pop, as well as the number of improvements. I’ve learned in my recent game that maintenance depends on having a good ratio of specialists to improvements. If you have too many improvements without specialists, you pay for them. I think it’s more of a drag on your econodynamics than a strategic tradeoff, but however to think of it, if you have a tall empire, or even just one city carpeted with quarries, you might need to prioritize specialists to avoid coin shortages.

I also learned to think of food production as coin production, because 1 food = 1 coin when the price is as low as 2. My Landowners capital has three nets and three crop tiles boosted by three granaries and two specialists. One tile produces 42 food per turn.

If this isn’t already a word somewhere, I’m going to steal the heck out it.


Is this where we report game breaking bugs? I’ve seen this issue consistently with Babylonia:

Notice that when potentially setting down an Odeon, the preview text for the Shrine of Nabu is wrong. It should say that the Shrine will get 1 additional Civics for being adjacent to the Odeon, but instead the preview says 2 additional Civics. After building the Odeon, you get the 1 additional Civics rather than the 2.

Who do I have authority to marry? I thought it was any unmarried successor 18-years-old. Is it just my heir (successor #1)? Does it depends on their relationship to the leader, i.e., you can order your kids to get married but not cousins or in-laws?

I think neighboring nations should occasionally request to marry one of your characters, and take them out of the game. It seems very one-sided I can snap up women, and men, from the surrounding nations and get +20 to +40 diplomatic modifiers with the nation.

You don’t actually steal their production when you get their people, do you? I figured since your in-game court is tiny relative to a real king’s, they’re just not showing you the people who won’t spend their life working for you, and then they simulate that by not hurting the AI when giving you the bonus.

I don’t mean to imply I think the opponents lose 5 beakers and 16 coins when I gain their daughter. I just mean that I never lose a character, but I can add them. It’s a very minor part of the gameplay, but feels self-centered.

If you really want to lose characters, just throw them in jail. Pretend your victim married some Scythian princess and the 500 coin you seized when you sold his estate is a dowry.


There are events where you are asked to send your kids/royal away for royal marriages but they aren’t very common.

I appreciate your responses here, Soren. Do you wish to expand on any of these other questions? I’m not sure if you declined to answer or missed them.

  1. Who do I have authority to marry? I thought it was any unmarried successor 18-years-old. Is it just my heir (successor #1)? Does it depends on their relationship to the leader, i.e., you can order your kids to get married but not cousins or in-laws?

  2. Is there a way to modulate the religion a family chooses to have? A character?

  3. You revealed that rushbuy costs increase by 10% each time. Is that true when the rushbuys occur using different resources/methods? You also revealed earlier civic hammers are more expensive than later hammers. How do I anticipate how many Orders it’ll cost to rush buy a 160 shield unit, if I have previously used a Judge to rushbuy 3 specialists for 1,000 coins? Is there a formula I could put into a spreadsheet?

  4. A tool tip names 3 archetypes that are more common in each family’s characters. How much more common? What are the probabilities of, say, Judges coming from Statesmen? Diplomats from Hunters?

  5. Are the spawning traits of characters completely random? I get a lot of Bitter characters and ?never? a Cunning one.

  6. Do families have tendency in the ambitions they offer? I used to think so, but have enough foreign invasions from Sages and Artisans. My Champions are equally keen for world peace as domestic production.

  1. You can only marry off your direct descendants.
  2. The more characters that follow a religion, the more likely the family is to follow it. (The family head counts more as well.)
  3. The cost only goes up per type (so rushing with money doesn’t affect rushing with order)
  4. Um… more likely? I would guess at least half will be of the preferred archetype.
  5. Pretty random. You should get cunning ones eventually.
  6. Yes, families definitely prefer certain types of ambitions (but these ambition might not be eligible for various reasons at various times).

I am not understanding zones of control.

If my Hastasus can move across the river in the next image, it’s because the river is disabling the Acadian Archer’s (in Babylon’s home hex) zone of control.

Why does my Spearman require two orders to make the same move?

I assume this has something to do with Hastasus’s ignoring ZOCs?

What?! Rome is too easy. Zerg surrounds.

I’m trying to decide whether to play the Game of the Week or find out if Carthage has anything going for it. Is the difficulty choice indicative of the overall scenario’s challenge? I figure the scenarios are either designed to provide a potpourri for all players, or to be challenging even when the AI is set to peaceful.

Does anyone have an idea in what order a player’s turn is processed? For instance, I was surprised that my diplomat leader finished a national alliance on the turn she died, but the ambition we completed that same turn occured after my leader died (+5 legitimacy). From change notes I’m aware that if the tutor is alive when you end turn with 1 turn left on the tutor mission, it will complete. I’m glad diplomatic missions are consistent. But, it would appear that tile improvements with 1 turn left do not complete before your leader dies (my ambition was for 6 urban tiles). I would hope that capturing enemy cities complete before a leader dies, but I’m not sure.

This creates a situation where, if your ambition was to make peace with every nation and tribe, and a diplomatic peace mission had 1 turn left while your leader is Doomed, you could achieve the ambition while the leader lives (+10 legitimacy). But if your ambition is to build X urban tiles, if your leader is Doomed when the last tile is 1 turn away, you will complete the ambition after the leader dies (+5 legitimacy).