Europa 1400 - The Guild Review
The date is the beginning of the 15th century, and you really have your work cut out for you in Europa 1400, The Guild. The game begins when your parents boot you out of the house and, with a few coins in your pocket, send you to the city to make a life for yourself.
You have no shortage of tasks at hand. You must get your business going. Depending on your chosen profession, this can include buying raw materials, making products, and getting those products safely to and from market. You will need to improve your place of business, improve your own home to gain social status, all the while keeping a watchful eye on your often not so ethical competition. And, oh, by the way, you need to do all this while trying to date, get married, and have children.
You have a fair amount of freedom to customize your character that will be the head of your family as it makes a name for itself in the city. You select your name, religion, the individual trades of each of your parents, a family crest, an initial occupation, and the city in which you plan leave your mark. Your chosen religion will have some bearing on your success, depending on whether or not your faith matches that of your town’s leaders. Some trades you might begin the game with are blacksmith, thief, priest, mason, or tavern owner. Your choice of city will vary the difficulty, room to build, and historical events.
The basic goal is to build your business, outperform your competition, make a good name for yourself and hold offices in your city, all the while building a family capable of running your legacy once you retire.
After making your game selections, your work has just begun. You begin the game with a house and a place of work that depends on your chosen occupation, and you need to get to work immediately. Depending on your game setup, you will need to look for an apprentice and at least two trade carts immediately. You will need to watch your pennies wisely at the beginning, striking a careful balance between investing in raw materials, and improving your shop and home.
As a tradesman of a certain level, you have the requisite knowledge to make a few products, with different sets of raw material requirements. Build your products and send them to market, and use your money to purchase more raw materials. As you start to bring in some income, you can expand your shop with improvements, better stores of raw materials, more employees, and adding trade carts. Your building improvements will come in the areas of tools, safety, security, store room space, and building size. As your building ages, you will need to invest some in general maintenance too. You will not want your trade carts sitting idle either. You will probably want two carts shuttling back and forth between your shop and the market, and one running around town looking for good deals or hard to find raw materials. For this task, you will probably want a cart with a larger capacity than you start the game with so you can fully take advantage of good deals when you find them.
Once you get the hang of running your shop (which includes considerations on pay level and treatment of employees), you might look for a master to come in and run your shop for you, so you can spend time concentrating on other endeavors.