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Contest 124: Palm Springs II, a Pharaoh Speed Contest

Welcome to the contest pages for Contest 56: Palm Springs II This is a Pharaoh contest, and should only be played with the latest version of Pharaoh. Use the links below to download the starting positions:

Palm Springs II - Easy
Palm Springs II - Hard
files are in exe format

After downloading, PC players should open the archive with a suitable programme (e.g. Winzip) Then place the unzipped file in your family save directory (in the Pharaoh root directory, Save, [YourFamilyName]; by default C:\Sierra\Pharaoh\Save\[YourFamilyName]\).

To play the game, start Pharaoh, go to your family, and select "Load Saved Game". You will find The Palm Springs-Easy or Palm Springs-Hard as a saved game. It should be preset at the appropriate difficulty level.

Please make sure you play the game from the start at the correct level of difficulty. Select Options, Difficulty and check it. If necessary adjust the difficulty, select new game and reselect the The Palm Springs II saved game. Now you can play.

All players are advised to peruse the remainder of the contest pages (links to which can be found at the foot of the page), as well as the General Rules and Pharaoh/Cleopatra game features.


Caesar was very impressed by your accomplishments in constructing a beautiful palace for his favourite son Brutus in the dense forest of Southern Gallia. So impressed indeed, that he now wants you to do the same for his favourite mistress Cleopatra. The queen is not very enthusiastic about the climate in Gallia, or maybe her delicate highness just uses that as an excuse to be able to stay closer to her beloved home country Egypt.

It is in the quietness of a lush oasis that Caesar asks you to build the most luxurious estate. The many palm trees surrounding the oasis add to the beauty of the spot, and also Caesar himself wishes to rest in their shade when visiting his lover there. Hence you should try to cut down as few of them as possible, but again the most important issue at stake here is speed. Not only would lingering with the construction increase the chances of spoiling the surprise, but also local tribes may be attracted by the wealth of the place. They will not dare to attack the oasis itself, but they pose an increasing threat to the traders.

Caesar can provide you with as many denarii as you want, but unfortunately the Egyptians do not accept that currency, so he has chosen to provide you with gold through his outpost in Punt, or as the Egyptians call it; Pwenet. Traders will deliver the gold for free along with their supplies of precious gems, for which you can pay with the debens you produce from the gold in your city palace. It is a bit problematic, but credit cards will not be around for a millennium or two, so we will just have to make the best of it. If you could spare some debens in your treasury when you finish your project, Caesar would be most delighted. To Egypt it is!


Completion Criteria:

  • At least one palatial estate

Winning Criteria:

1. Speed (Fastest wins)
2. Number of palm trees
3. Money in treasury

The month of the submission will be taken to assess speed. The second and third criterion only apply in case of a tie. Trees may be cut down to contribute to the final tree count.

The requirement of 100 palatial estates is just to block victory, and can be ignored.
Palm Springs II is a Pharaoh (!) contest; it can also be played with the Cleopatra add-on. Some features in Cleo are slightly different from those in Pharaoh. The effect on game play should be only minor; the real diehards may want to choose which game to use in playing this map.

Designer's Notes

The palatial estate you build does not need to be fully occupied, nor does it need to be very stable. In case of severe instability please indicate so in the message accompanying your entry. You may use every trick in the book, including the banned features, to complete the mission, only using cheats and modifying game files is forbidden.

Handling the gold is a bit complicated. Traders will deliver it to a storage yard, but the cart pusher may need some coercing before he delivers it to the palace.

The trade route to Pwenet shuts down annually early in the year but opens again later that same year. You have only little time to get in the gold, and what is more, when the route is down, you won't be able to build jewellers. Luxury goods can also be obtained from Tyre, all other finished products need to be produced locally.

There are no requests or invasions; the only events are a gift of grain early in the game, and the annual problems with the trade route to Pwenet. You can use those as a reminder to make the required annual saves, which can be made in any month you prefer. If your KR drops to zero, you may expect a visit from Pharaoh.

Note that for players at level Easy there will be an open discussion about the scenario during the contest. This is a change in CBC policy, in order to try and persuade novice players to play the map and possibly enter the competition. You may check the forum to read or take part in the discussion thread. It may contain additional hints and tips about possible strategies. Also be aware it may contain spoilers.

Palm Springs II was designed by Joshofet and tested by Iceman413. It can be seen as the sequel to Save the Forest, a Caesar III contest by Joshofet, while the name is borrowed (with permission) from an earlier Pharaoh/Cleo contest Palm Springs by Cesar20.

This contest will close at 11PM EST (US), on Sunday, February 3rd. Please note the date!!!!

This contest has ended.


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