The Civilinic Books

Trading Ideas
by Xin Yu
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Part I

Here's my theory. I have only played a couple of games so I'm not sure if it works. Part I, using one food caravan and one commodity caravan Suppose you have established 3 trade routes, and your city screen looks like:

Supplies
(Salt)(Dye)(Silver)
Demands
Spice(Coal)Hides
CityCommodityBeakers
LondonSalt7
LondonDye7
LondonSilver7

If you send a food caravan to London, you get to supply Salt again:

Supplies
Salt(Dye)(Silver)
Demands
Spice(Coal)Hides
CityCommodityBeakers
LondonFoof-1f
LondonDye7
LondonSilver7

Then you send a salt caravan to London you get back to

Supplies
(Salt)(Dye)(Silver)
Demands
Spice(Coal)Hides
CityCommodityBeakers
LondonSalt7
LondonDye7
LondonSilver7

Here's how it works: A new trade route always replaces the first existing trade route if there are 3 routes already existed. For the source city, IF THE OLD FIRST TRADE ROUTE HAD THE SAME COMMODITY AS ONE OF THE SUPPLIES IN PARENTHESIS (example, salt in the above case), then the supply will come back. In the above case, you can keep on sending a food caravan to London then get to build a salt caravan, until the trade route no longer shows Salt as commodity:

Supplies
(Salt)(Dye)(Silver)
Demands
Spice(Coal)Hides
CityCommodityBeakers
LondonSalt7
LondonDye7
LondonSilver7

You will not likely to get salt back now so you should try your luck in another city. Remember you will much less likely to get Dye or Silver (the 2nd and 3rd trade routes) back by using the above technique.

Part II, using two commodity caravans

Suppose, before establishing your 2nd trade route, you first send a food caravan to your trade partner city, you will make the food trade route be the 2nd trade route so it will never be replaced (unless you go to another city). After establishing your 2nd commodity route your city screen looks like:

Supplies
(Salt)Dye(Silver)
Demands
Spice(Coal)Hides
CityCommodityBeakers
LondonSalt7
LondonFood-1f
LondonSilver7

If you send a dye caravan to London, you get to supply Salt again:

Supplies
Salt(Dye)(Silver)
Demands
Spice(Coal)Hides
CityCommodityBeakers
LondonSalt7
LondonFood-1f
LondonSilver7

Then you send a salt caravan to London you get back to

Supplies
(Salt)Dye(Silver)
Demands
Spice(Coal)Hides
CityCommodityBeakers
LondonSalt7
LondonFood-1f
LondonSilver7

Compared to the technique in part I, You lose the benefit of one trade route each turn, but you get to produce more commodity caravans. Should be a good deal.

Note: In both games I played Salt and Dye were not demanded by the trade partner city. The technique might fail to work if the commodities were demanded.

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