Last issue we looked at ways of making money early on and the Fair was really the only game in town. It is also the most reliable way of getting your hands on hard to get items.
Until you have found yourself a coal mine and either an iron mine or a copper mine and a tin or zinc mine, AND have built yourself a village with a refinery it, metal items are also something you could get from the fair. Except they are very expensive, especially for ones you will want thousands of like weapons and armour. Far better to wait and build up the skills to manufacture them.
On the other hand there are some items worth considering buying as the can make a major difference to your economy in relatively low numbers.
Most tools fall into this category. Metalwork 2 for Traps is nice to have pretty much as soon as you are refining useful metals and you wouldn’t want to be buying those, but Mattocks, Adzes, Hoes, Scythes and Plows could all be bought in useful quantities, saving yourself getting to Metal 6. And do you ever plan to be making your own Cauldrons and Glasspipes enough to justify Metal 8 or 9? Only on your way to Metal10 and research. Just buy what you need.
The best to get early are adzes and mattocks. Why? Because they not only double the output of workers, they double the output of workers who are limited by the 10 per level restriction. 30 Adzes turns your For3 effectively into For6 (with 30 people left over to do something else.) 50 Mattocks turns your 50 quarriers into 100. Each and every turn they are used.
Picks are also very nice but you’ll want them in large quantities after you are established as refiners and can wait to a more intermediate stage.
Farming needs tools to perform and while you could go with the minimalist rake to start with, the plow is enormously labour saving, if you ware growing grain scythes also impact the economics of the operation.
What else might you buy from the Fair? Dogs help with Seeking quite nicely but that is only once a year so hardly an imperative. Horses are useful, especially if you intend to set up mounted units for quick movement. Cattle and goats are there if you mess up and need to rebuild your herds. Copper is useful for distilleries if you cannot produce it yourself and iron if you messed up and used your initial iron allocation for anything other than your village’s first smelter.
Gold can be purchase for silver. It is expensive but can be used to purchase slaves. Slaves are great value in terms of work got out of a population for food required, all be available to work and they even breed. Gold can also be used in some of the auctions that occur each month. Make the most of those while you are a newer tribe and can get stuff at bargain prices.
The newsletter auction is a great place to acquire useful things from. Commodities, refined metals,
population, skill levels and some of these will be offered for items you actually have. Winning any
commodity auction could set you up to win future auctions very affordably, especially when you know you are the only newer tribe with any coins at all.
Then there are the annual events such as Wefik Auction and Bursa Lottery. You will be doing well to win anything with your bids as a newer tribe, but you can sell things. You might not have a huge selection of things that other people might want, but there will always be those willing to hand over nice quantities off stuff for your spare elephants. These can both see result in some of few known actual redistributions of wealth attributable to trickle-down economics the world has ever seen, although it will help to be manufacturing or producing inputs in large quantities to best benefit.
You may be close to cities which can offer you the chance to perform courier actions for a good share of the cargo – generally commodities. Unlike regular elements, Couriers require the Courier skill to be able to create, but you are able to have one for each level of Courier and they travel very quickly. They cannot scout and are limited in their activities, so aren’t great for doing things other than trading over distances.
Some of the events that run regular, semi-regularly or as one-offs can also award useful prizes and some of these are not weighted in favour of the older tribes. Under 19 competitions, for example, employ no skill whatsoever and are effectively free lotteries.
So, there are significant limits to what you can produce or otherwise acquire early in your clans existence, but there are also ways around this and by careful selection of items that increase your productivity providing more than your own skill base can or meaning that certain skills need to be developed less due to tools that enhance output, you can industrialize at a much faster rate than you might relying entirely on your own resources and skills.