Before setting supply levels and orders, take a moment to assess your situation. What foods are you producing? How much of that food are you producing and how quickly are your mills and warehouses filling up? If you have both millet and game meat as food sources, what are the production levels for both? You may find that game meat is not coming in as fast as millet, and therefore, you may need to increase your millet supply and reduce your game meat supply. This change may only be temporary, so check supplies often and readjust accordingly. Another important consideration is to coordinate all supply changes together, across all your mills and warehouses. For example, if you "empty" wheat from a warehouse, make sure there is another warehouse or mill that "accepts" wheat. Otherwise, as stated earlier, your deliverymen will be standing around waiting for an opening. Also pay close attention to deliverymen from farmhouses. If they are standing around with full carts, this is an indication of storage problems at your mills/warehouses (or a "road access" problem, see p.9). As your city grows, your need for effective storage and distribution increases, along with the stress in making sure the system is functioning properly. But that's part of the fun, isn't it?
Global Order Change: The tiny "x" button to the right of the employee status box (see above) changes your mill's or warehouse's (see p.63) orders globally to "Don't Accept." Changing all your warehouse's orders in this way can improve efficiency. For example, if your warehouse is "accepting" all goods, its bays may partially fill up with small numbers of many goods, and the deliverymen will be pulled in many directions. But, if you change the orders to "Don't Accept," and then set a few commodities to "Accept" or "Get," your warehouse's employees will use space more efficiently. A mill should "Get" at least four food types if available; a warehouse is more efficient with only two goods.
The Mill and Food Quality: The mill stores food for the food buyers from the market square. It's important to see a relationship between the food stored at the mill and the overall "quality" of the food being distributed to your citizens by the food shops. As shown on p.48, the more food types you are producing, the higher quality your food will be. A good way to know, then, the quality of food being distributed to your citizens is to see how many food types are currently stored at your mill. If you have only one food type (like game meat), then odds are, your food shops are producing only bland food. If two foods are being stored (millet and meat), then your shops are probably producing plain food. So, keep an eye on what foods are being stored at your mill.
IMPORTANT: Store at least four food types at each mill if available. Storing only one food type at a mill while storing another food type at a second mill is uneconomical because the food buyer considers both mills as having bland food, whereas if both food types were in the same mill, the food buyer would consider it plain food.
Market Squares: The market square is the flashpoint at which commodities are distributed to your citizens (and where many of your entertainers gather to perform, see p.103). In short, the market square is the cultural center of your city, providing for both the physical and psychological well-being of your people. There are two types: The common market square, which can hold four shops, and the grand market square, which can hold six. Common market squares are used primarily to support common housing (see p.28), while grand market squares are used primarily to support elite housing. Market squares do not require labor, but the shops you place in them do.
Common Market Square - Common market squares can hold a maximum of four shops, which are usually the following: food, hemp, ceramics, and tea. For details about each shop, see below. Once a market is placed in your city, you should immediately build a food shop and (if available in the mission) a hemp shop. This ensures that as soon as food and hemp are available, they will be distributed to the market for final processing and delivery to your citizens. Other shops can be built later as needed. A common market square produces two peddlers for commodities distribution, and buyers for each shop. Placement of your common market is very important. It's ideal to place your market near your mills and/or warehouses so your buyers can deliver food/goods to the shops quickly. It's also a good idea to keep (at least) a small buffer zone between the market and your housing. Although it is the cultural center of your city, the amount of noise and activity it produces is disruptive to humble, peaceful family life (i.e., it reduces a neighborhood's "desirability" somewhat, see p.99).
Grand Market Square - Grand market squares can hold up to six shops, and are usually built in elite housing neighborhoods where items such as silk and lacquerware or bronzeware are also needed for housing evolution (see p.31). A grand market square produces three peddlers for commodities distribution, and buyers for each shop. And, like the common market, a grand market should be placed near a neighborhood, but not directly adjacent to the housing. Below is an example of a market district, showing a grand market square, a mill, and several warehouses.
Market District Sample. The sample above shows a nicely designed market district. A grand market square resides in the center, and it has four shops to assist in commodities preparation and distribution. A mill is nearby so the market buyers don't have to travel far for food. Several warehouses sit along the edge to accept silk, ceramics, and anything else the city is currently producing. And an inspector's tower has been placed such that the inspector can monitor and repair all buildings along his route. Notice that this market district is actually in between two residential areas, with access to both through gates. This allows the market square to effectively service both areas, and the residential walls protect the common housing from "devolving" (see p.31) due to the hustle and bustle of the market.
Market Squares and Food Quality (right-click info): During play, you can view and adjust food status and quality levels in your market. Right-click on a market to open the market square dialog, which is divided into three parts. The top part shows which shops are currently in your market, their stock (in units) and status levels. There are many status levels, including: no demand, which means no one in your city currently needs the indicated item; no supply, which means there is no nearby supply of this item in the city; and distributing, which means that your peddlers are out and about in residential areas delivering the indicated item. You may change an item's status to not buying if you wish. For example, if you're waiting for farmhouses to deliver more food types to the mill, you might set the food shop to not buying until the mill has all the types you want. The second part of the dialog provides food quality information. The current quality indicates the food quality currently available in the food shop and being distributed; minimum quality is the lowest quality of food your buyers are allowed to buy from the mill (i.e., they will not buy food of lesser quality); and desired quality is the quality your buyers most want to buy from the mill if available (and they will not buy better quality than this). To set a specific "minimum" and "desired" food quality, click on the food type to the right of the indicated category. The reason for changing these settings is to ensure that your food shop does not buy and distribute food of a lesser quality, which may devolve your housing. For example, if your current food quality is plain but you need appetizing food to evolve from spacious dwellings to elegant dwellings, you might set your "minimum" food quality to appetizing, thereby forcing your buyers to purchase only food of that quality from the mill. This will ensure that when food is distributed to your citizens, it maintains the proper quality for continued housing evolution. Remember, however, that you must have the right number of food types in your mill in order to reach a certain food quality (see p.48). Your buyers can't buy food of a quality that doesn't exist. Note that the default settings for food quality in common market squares are "minimum-bland" and "desired-appetizing," whereas the default settings for food in grand market squares are "minimum-bland" and "desired-delicious."
Shops: Shops are placed in market squares and require labor. Your shops buy goods from your mills and warehouses, and prepare them for final distribution
Common PlarKet Square tocfe Shop Sta
Food Information Current Quality: Appetizing Food
Minimum Quality: Tasty Food
Desired Quality: Deticious Food
Today's Special Dish: Ctear-Sirnmered Fish
Entertainment Area ON
itf, 16 Employees t«6 needed!)
The peddler is out and about, supplying houses with his wares.
to your citizens. There are seven different shops in Emperor, each of which performs a specific function. You can place multiples of the same shop in a market square. For example, if there's no tea in the mission, you may want to add a second food shop in its place. Multiple shops of the same type allow the market to have more of that commodity on hand.
Bronzeware Shop - A bronzeware shop distributes bronzeware items, which are needed for elite housing evolution (see p.31). Common housing does not require bronzewares.
Ceramics Shop - A ceramics shop distributes ceramic jars and pots, which are needed for housing evolution.
Food Shop - A food shop prepares food for your citizens. This shop is your most important shop. Without food, housing evolution goes nowhere above huts. Hemp Shop - A hemp shop takes hemp and produces clothing for housing evolution. A hemp shop is your second most important shop. Lacquerware Shop - A lacquerware shop produces finely lacquered wood items, which are needed for elite housing evolution. Common housing does not require lacquerwares.
Silk Shop - A silk shop takes bolts of silk and distributes silk clothing for elite housing. Common housing does not require silk.
Tea Shop - A tea shop distributes tea, which is required to achieve the highest levels of housing evolution.
Lacquer- and Bronzeware: Lacquerware and bronzeware are never available at the same time. Lacquerware replaces bronzeware in later dynasties.
Warehouse: A warehouse can store all commodities, including food. However, a warehouse is needed especially for storage of non-food commodities since mills can only store food. It's recommended that you build one or more warehouses near your market square to store hemp, ceramics, and the other commodities distributed by the market square. Like the mill, a warehouse has eight storage bays, each of which can hold up to four loads (32 loads total) of the same commodity. Also, you may adjust a warehouse's storage levels just like the mill. And finally, gifts given to you by other cities (see p.73) are stored at warehouses.
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