Hello, and welcome to the third part of our popular early game strategies series. Keeping our promise in the article prior to this one, we bring you a playstyle which is even more Ore-Wheat-centric than the Commander while at the same time neglecting the existence of Sheep; we call it the Urbaniser.
As you are looking forward to having 02 cities as early as possible, having surplus amounts of Ore and Wheat from your starting settlements is a must. 07 pips of Ore and 05 pips of Wheat are the minimum requirements according to our recommendation. Most likely you will prefer 02 good hexes of Ore and 02 decent ones of Wheat. Situationally, it is a great idea to settle on a high-value port (e.g. 4-8, 5-8, or 8-10). However, we do not recommend that tactic since coastal cities always yield lower returns on investment. Now that you have 02 more hexes to fill up, the types of resources they provide will help distinguish the next step of your strategy. Note that we will only list what we believe are the most significant.
When the final 02 hexes provide you with even more Ore and Wheat, continue your game as if you are a Commander. Perhaps there will another player who has bought a couple of dev. cards and been chasing after the Largest Army before you. Worry not, go ahead and declare war against them. In the long run, your cities will out-sustain their settlements.
A similar tactic can be conducted when those 02 hexes of yours are purely Wood (or Brick, but most of the time they will be Wood). However, that is not your only option when this scenario happens. Having Wood means you have already had 50% of the material to build roads and settlements. The other 50% may very well be substituted by trading 04 for 01.
Lastly, if the aforementioned hexes are 01 Wood and 01 Brick and each of which contains at least 04 pips in value, congratulations, you are experiencing the classic Sheepless Urbaniser playstyle. As an example line-up of this interesting tactic, says you place your settlements on 5-9-10 (Brick-Wood-Wheat) and 4-6-11 (Wheat-Ore-Ore). This way, you will have 04 pips on Brick, 04 on Wood, 06 on Wheat, and 07 on Ore, so 21 in total. After having upgraded both settlements to cities successfully, you will be self-sufficient and can flexibly manage to get out of many harsh situations. When your Brick hex gets blocked, trade Wood away for Sheep and buy dev. cards to protect yourself. How about the enemy blocking your Ore? Just ignore them, trade your Wheat away for Sheep and go on building roads and settlements.
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