Man this game is not easy for newcomers. As mentioned in my review, there are quite a few difficulty issues that Creative Storm should definitely tweak. Hopefully the tips in this guide make your entrance a little smoother and help you enjoy the game a little bit more!
Tip #1: Game Settings
I understand it hurts to set the game to an easier setting, but I feel that this is necessary to at least begin to understand how to play the game. There are quite a few that should be tweaked, but the most important are the Economy and Matchup options. These should be set easier for your first playthrough to alleviate the early game scramble for money and give you a bit of breathing room to learn the game.
Tip #2: Play the battles yourself
Until the simulated battles stop absolutely destroying your new gladiators and sending them to 20 day injuries, playing the battle is the safer option. For some reason the played battles give you a better chance of getting your gladiators out of their relatively unharmed. Once you get the hang of how to develop your gladiators you can begin simming the battles, but at the start every little bit of purse income counts.
Tip #3: Save purse money, donate later
Not sure if this is an intended function, but it seems that for the morale loss of not sharing your purse can be easily reimbursed by donating money to the gladiators after the match. Let’s say the purse itself is around 8000, if you were to give enough to not lose morale you would take home less than 4000. However, if you were to give your gladiator none and keep the entire 8000 and take the morale hit, donating 1000 once gives 100 morale. Basic math dictates that you share nothing and donate lots to maximize your profits.
Tip #4: Start with Showman
Early game economic difficulty can be enough to completely turn you off of this game. Starting off as a Showman gives you gives you that 100% purse income boost that is absolutely essential to keeping your ludus afloat. Additionally, this is a perk that is useful throughout the entire game – late game doubling of purse income can be a substantial boost in what you can purchase.
Tip #5: Max bet on your gladiator
With the way the current game is set up, winning battles is not entirely too difficult unless you get unlucky with hit chance. Betting the maximum amount on your gladiator can give you a solid boost in cash flow that allows you to purchase more upgrades earlier in the game. The only times you should hesitate is when you are forced to use an injured/ill/fatigued gladiator or if you are up against a tiger. Those battles can be difficult to win and so not betting at all may be the safer choice. Or go big. Up to your playstyle.
Tip #6: Take low interest loans
It is very hard to get the ball rolling in this game, and it seems that getting a loan is one of the only ways to get through early game. At the same time, running a gladiator business can be extremely difficult if you have high interest rates that you have to pay off due to the nature of your products. Aka, if your main gladiator dies while you have a high interest loan out means its essentially game over.
Additionally, taking out the loan means you can purchase business properties to start gaining passive income/bonuses, and you can also excavating your ludus for your future buildings. The timer for excavations should be stated ASAP since you would want to get your hospital and training grounds ready to maximize gladiator survival and growth.
A general rule of thumb is to keep the interest to below around 2.5-3% to avoid getting crushed. If you want to purchase a business, make sure your total cash is above around 350,000 to avoid bankrupting yourself immediately.
Tip #7: Protect your hardworkers
In the long run, the hardworkers who at least have B-level starting stats are the ones who become absolute monsters. Don’t be afraid of temporarily hiring a slave to send to the arena if it means protecting your golden gladiator from dying. Currently, there is no way to tell that particular trait when scouting and so the moment you find one, hang onto him.
Tip #8: Keep a slot open for slaves
You have lasted past the first few weeks. Your business is in the black, but all of your gladiators are severely injured. You realize you have a 1V1 coming up with your main opponent. What do you do?
Ain’t nobody got time to train up new gladiators.
Chuck 2000 into a D-grade slave and maximum bet against your own gladiator.
The point behind this tip is to always keep a slot open just in case situations like these occur. There is nothing worse than seeing a gladiator you have spent thousands of coin on getting put into the ground.
Age of Gladiators II: Rome can be a tough game to get into. Even veteran micromanagers struggle with coming up with a strategy to get started on higher difficulties. However, once you get past the initial learning curve, the game becomes exponentially more enjoyable. This is one of the best gladiator school simulation franchises out there, and becoming a tycoon in Ancient Rome has never been more satisfying.
Additionally, the developers have an outstanding history of interacting with their gamers and have actively shown that they are willing to take extra steps to improve their game. Since this is just the first few days after release, you can definitely expect more support from them in the future.
If you are still debating whether or not you want to purchase this game, read my review here for a first impression.