Caesar III is one of my favorite games. Been playing the Demo version since 2000 and full game in 2005-2006, 2008, and again in 2011 when I published this page, originally strictly to show cities built by me. In 2012 the business forced me to stop gaming, but I kept expanding page adding info about game itself. Despite of not playing game anymore for few years, in September 2021 I replaced 1024×768 screenshots with 3840×2160 screenshots and added download links.
Caesar III table made by me in Excel, containing house evolution, empire locations, best city layout plans and more.
I heard about Pharaoh and Zeus in 2007, too late to start them because I was already familiarized with Caesar 3. Many people consider it the BEST city-building game.
Caesar 3 comes with 20 missions, first 2 are tutorials, with limited building types available, then for next 9 ranks you have to choose between a peaceful and a military missions, each requiring you to reach a specific population and specific rating of culture, prosperity, peace and imperial favor.
First time I played career mode was in 2005 as soon I got full game, I do not remember if I finished it, but I played again around 2008 this time finished, it was very hard and took me days even with money cheat (set negative price of a building in c3_model.txt). The hardest part was reaching prosperity rating, this happened due to unstable housing and lots of tents.
If you need help how to win a mission, watch GamerZakh video playthrough.
|Citizen||A Village is Born||150|
City Construction Kit
City Construction Kit allow you to build cities as big you want without any objective. Sierra provide 12 maps, with additional maps made by players being available for download on various fan sites. I tried to build biggest possible cities on each map, under my own rules: whole city a single road network, no gatehouses or road breaks.
|Caesarea||Port city of africa||Desert||Enormus||No military activity||Trivial|
|Carthago||Site of an old enemy||Desert||Enormus||City is besigned||Standard|
|Corinthus||Trading by sea||Central||Small||Many invasions likely||Hard|
|Cyrene||The gateway to Aegyptus||Desert||Very large||Some military activity||Somewhat easy|
|Hierosolyma||A desert oasis||Desert||Very large||No military activity||Standard|
|Lindum||The Northern Extreme||Northen||Enormus||City is besigned||Standard|
|Londinium||A capital for Britannia||Northen||Enormus||No military activity||Trivial|
|Lugdunum||Moving into Gaul||Northen||Average||Many invasions likely||Easy|
|Mediolanum||Foothills of the Alps||Northen||Average||Some military activity||Hard|
|Tarraco||A colony in Hispania||Central||Enormus||City is besigned||Standard|
|Toletum||Capital of Hispania||Central||Large||Many invasions likely||Hard|
|Valentia||Port city in Hispania||Central||Enormus||No military activity||Trivial|
Biggest cities built by me
I got Caesar III demo game in 2000 from a magazine’s CD, the Demo game include only first 2 missions (but the 2nd mission in demo is bigger than same mission in the full game). Demo version does not offer ability to save games, so I been starting game in the morning and build as much I can by end of day, reaching population of about 5000.
I connected to internet in 2005, which allowed me to find the full game. I downloaded it and played a lot in 2005-2006, then in 2008, and a little since October 2011, when I also published this page, originally strictly to show cities built by me. In 2012 the business forced me to stop playing games, but I kept expanding page adding info about game itself.
You can notice that in my early cities I misunderstood the principle of the game “make as few intersection is possible” and I made all cities in grid network (I am sure that most beginner players did this mistake), I made straight roads as long is possible, but the worse part were the short roads near sea or mountains, to improve land usage and use every tile of land, rather than improve road network efficiency. Not only roads were grid but also I placed fountains every 4 houses, each fountain had a prefecture and an engineers post on each side, making the city to look beautiful, but reducing the chances for houses to merge. Residential and community zones were well defined (I used same layout on Northern provinces too, without realizing that there is NO fire risk so prefectures are not necessary unless citizens are rioting).
I always let the houses as they appeared, merged or non-merged. I played until reached Data Limit of 2000 buildings, resulting at most 20000 people, then quit city and start a new one.
Since 2008 I use a complex road network, curved, S-shaped roads and loops to cover more land while having fewest intersections possible.
Since 2009 I started to demolish the houses that does not group and built new houses elsewhere. The city size is now limited by the amount of farmland and its usage efficiency (distance to granaries).
Since 2011 been trying to maximize merged houses: first I build roads and dry fountains, then I place houses in groups of 4 at corners of fountain coverage, see if they merge as tents, then build next group of 4, if tents do not merge I add a 3rd row of houses behind road, with a temporary road with a prefecture for fire protection. Once I fill whole land with 2×2 tents, I build reservoirs to have fountains filling with water and houses evolving, and add community buildings on the land tiles that remained empty because did not got 2×2 merged houses. This is why you can see community buildings placed randomly in middle of residential area (example: Valentia).
Caesar III gives you messages about population milestones at 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000, 10000, 15000, 20000, 25000, then is quiet. The game was NOT designed to sustain cities with over 30000 inhabitants. Is very hard to raise population over 25000. Can’t understand how I put 30000 souls on Londinium in 2008.
In February 2012 I found a .sav file from another player who put 50000 people on Tarraco, using gatehouses, I decided to try in my classic style (all neighborhoods linked, no gatehouses), but reached only a little over 30000 because because of strange employment problems, many building stopped working due to “No one is living nearby”, even if they were surrounded by houses, fires appeared everywhere in the map, no matters how many prefectures I built, in certain areas none got employees (same problem like on Rio de Janeiro in 2008). I tried on Valencia too and got 45000 people, surprisingly, no employment problems! Did anyone know the cause?
I noticed years later that most other players use 7×7 or 9×9 blocks with residential houses inside loop served by a single fountain, and public buildings outside loop, separated with gatehouses from the production area. This is useful for winning career scenarios with high prosperity ratio which can be achieved with stable houses, but prevent achieving high population.
In November 2018 someone made a patch that allow Caesar 3 to be played in any resolution. I bought a 4K monitor in May 2018, I do not know if I have time to start playing again and build new cities, but I want at least to re-screenshot all my former cities in 3840×2160 resolution. In September 2021 I added few cities built but never published before: Caesarea, Cyrene, Lugdunum, re-screenshot all cities and added download buttons for .sav files.
|Carthago (2005, improved 2009)|
|Corinthus (September 2005)|
Typical 2005 design, inefficient infrastructure, excessive intersections made to use every corner of map, but this worsened walkers and required a lot more buildings.
|Corinthus (October 2011)|
Total new design, farmland and sea coast optimized, road infrastructure reduced at minimum possible, roads at 6 squares apart and grouped houses up to 3 squares beyond roads… 60% more population.
|Cyrene (December 2012)|
|Lindum (January 2008)|
|Londinium (second attempt January 2008)|
Second attempt made in January 2008
I lost .sav file (I accidentally saved another city over Londinium save)
|Londinium (third attempt 2008)|
Population 35500+ (improved 2011) by demolishing most of non-grouped houses and build others, some houses are non-grouped so further improvement is possible.
Unfinished, map is not completely built.
I rebbuilt Lugdunum in 2011 but I lost .sav file (I accidentally saved another city over Lugdunum save)
Pretty good design for its time, but too many elite buildings, academies and colosseums eats precious land.
|Mediolanum (October 2011)|
Farmland and housing land optimized.
|Rio de Janeiro (November 2008)|
Map downloaded from caesar3.heavengames.com, Many building stopped working, fires appeared everywhere in the city, no matters how many prefectures I built, in certain areas none got employees.
|Toletum (September 2005)|
|Toletum modified (February 2008)|
Population 21500. Farms could not sustain more population.
I modified map to remove invasions and the earthquake which smash the precious farmland.
|Toletum modified (second attempt March 2008)|
I modified map to remove invasions and the earthquake which smash the precious farmland. Farmland usage and road network highly optimized. I wasn’t aware that most fishing wharf were not working, fishing boats can’t navigate due to a piece of land.
|Toletum modified (May 2012)|
I modified map to remove invasions and the earthquake which smash the precious farmland. Navigation problem solved by serving wharfs from one half of water with shipyard then built wharfs in the other side of water.
I lost the .sav file.
|Tarraco (February 2012)|
Again employment problems, pottery problems appeared since population 20000.
Unfinished, I built it in grid layout like other 2005 cities and I abandoned city at population of ~10000 due to constant fires (if I kept building in same style, estimated population would have been ~15000-20000 people when reaching data limit).
|Valentia (February 2012)|
Little pottery problems but everything else is OK.
Maps designed by me in attempt to build biggest cities
I prefer to use Central Provinces. Desert provinces are too prone to fire and fountain coverage is smaller, while Northern Provinces although that have no fire risk and prefectures will be not necessary, they require much more farms to produce same quantity of food.
I do not try to make houses evolving villas and palaces, because they have less population than large insulae and is hard to keep them stable. Their scope is to raise prosperity rating and make money from taxes, but I am money cheating for the scope of achieving highest possible population.
After I played all original game maps, reaching at most 25000 people, in November 2005 I wanted to design my own map using Caesar 3 Map Editor I planned the city in same grid-network, not only the roads were grid, but also fountains, prefectures and engineers. This severely prevented houses to group, population: only 31500.
In January 2008, I tried again, this time I designed a map with separate clusters, each cluster have own farms and is served by a rectangular loop road and the city have no intersections (except ones under Granary). All houses to be capped at Small Casa to avoid the need of industry, warehouses and a lot of extra buildings. Population: 40000+.
Third city (March 2008)
Shortly after this I heard that I can control the city traffic using Gatehouses, so I designed another map in March same year, having gated residential neighborhoods connected to a central production zone. I also deleted some of the non-grouped houses until I reached a population 50000+.
What limits the population is the fucking houses that refuses to group. The single way to force houses to group is to upgrade them to Large Insulae. For this, I need to build industry and have pottery, furniture and oil.
Fourth city (2009) pottery failure!
OK, in 2009 I tried to design another map, each residential cluster have 6 fountains and one reservoir serve 2 clusters, 4 clusters are served by a central production zone. Residential clusters are 39×14 and can have a max population 4452 at Large Insulae. I made several tests to equalize production with consumption and see how big should be the industrial zone.
Final test, I succeeded to stabilize population at about 17500, then I built second zone of city, I could not reach 35000 because I got same fucking problems with pottery supply, causing most of houses to fell at Small Casa and population stopped growing above 28000-29000.
I halted wheat production, causing most of city houses to downgrade to Large Tent and population reduced to under 20000, this resumed production of pottery, then I resumed wheat production, causing the city population to boost at 31600 but soon they ran out of pottery and felt back to ~26000. See screenshot at the population peak!
Suggestion to achieve high population: don’t build industry, use only Small Casas.
Fifth city (February 2012)
Since 2009 I planned to break the record, using Small Casa but a enormous map where I would have space to delete all single houses and keep only grouped houses. I spent dozens of hours for testing walkers path distance and the best road layout. I estimated that I can reach a population of at least 110.000.
Being busy with other projects, I took a break from gaming in 2009-2011, only in February 2012 I had time for final city.
I used a northern province to avoid need of prefectures, I checked Rome supplies wheat (a normal city should be made with farms, but this time I just wanted highest possible population). I divided the map into 8 road loops each one surrounding two reservoirs, 8 fountains per reservoir. Gods were turned off and money cheat was used (in c3_model.txt I set a -$10000 negative price for a building). Before reaching data limit of 1999 buildings, I built 6½ loops, 13 reservoirs, 104 fountains, and unemployment ratio 95%. Probably can be improved but only slightly.
To get as many houses grouped is possible, I built houses one by one, starting from corners of the 9×9 area covered by each fountain, towards the fountain. I waited people to occupy their tents and deleted all houses that refused to group. I kept entire city to Small Tent level until I reached about 100 buildings left until Data limit. Only at this stage, I built the reservoir and the public buildings required to raise the tents to Small Casa on tiles where houses did not merged (5 Temples, 6-7 Libraries, 1 Actor Colony, 2 Theaters, few Engineer Posts and Doctor Clinics per loop). Whole job took about 10 real-life hours, spread over 2 days, 300 in-game years passed, to reach a maximum population of… 118848 !!
Biggest tiny city
Also, I tried to overcrowd the tiny map (40×40 squares) with the largest population possible. Final population 10800. The reason for which some houses are not Small Casa is the desirability. Made probably in 2009.
Optimal cities in Caesar III – maps designed by Teoalida
How much food is required for X population?
Personal experiments made in cities with population 10000-15000 people in Large Insulae revealed that for 10000 people is necessary ~50 wheat farms (central provinces) or ~65 wheat farms (northern provinces), 8 pottery workshops, 8 furniture workshops, 5 oil workshops, also one raw material per each workshop.
Note that if the city is larger, the food efficiency is lower. If the nearest granary is full, cart pushers go to a further distant granary and until they reach it, the granary may get filled by other cart pushers. I will publish more precise results, completed with screenshots, when I will succeed to stabilize the houses!
Attempt to build a perfect city
Been working for a stable city with all population in Large Insulae on a medium map, 20000+ people, I finalized the city but is barely stable and don’t know why.
In March I tried a smaller city with 10000 people. Longer loops having gatehouses at both ends. 8 market per loop. But still unhappy by the results.
I realized that making smaller lops and building more markets increase house stability. Then no time for games.
In May 2012 I got a great idea to make a windmill-shaped city rather than symmetric city, on a tiny map. 2 corners contained loops with 36 Large Insulaes, and farms in other 2 corners. Surprisingly, the space remained in center of map fits perfectly 2 granaries and 6 warehouses. There are no houses in the production area, all labour is served by the houses at 2 squares apart roads. Target population: 6048 people.
First final test on central province: I built one loop in first year then the second loop I built trough year 10 to 50 to reduce population age fluctuation. In the year 55-60 the city reached peak population, a little over 6000 but not 6048. Over next 140 years, the city lost 10% of population even if all houses supposed to be full.
I tested again, now on northern province, slightly different layout, one extra market per housing block for perfect housing stability. I built 18 houses in the first 2 years and the rest of 54 houses built from year 10 to year 64, this caused uniform age pyramid. The city lost 13% of population over next 135 years.
Results: for 6000 people you need 34 wheat farms (central provinces) / 40 wheat farms (northern provinces), 4 workshops of each type (pottery, furniture and oil). But the oil will be in slight overproduction. Trading (exporting) prevent warehouses to get filled.
Refer at Caesar III .XLS file for the city plan. I offer you for download both .map files and consecutive .sav files from year 10, 50, 65, 200. You can use it to make own experiments, for example delete all wheat farms and built vegetables farms.
Caesar 3 housing types
1 – Small tent – 1×1 – 5 / 20 people – do not require anything.
2 – Large tent -1×1 – 7 / 28 people – require 1 water (well OR fountain).
3 – Small shacks – 1×1 – 9 / 36 people – require 1 food type (from market).
4 – Large shacks – 1×1 – 11 / 44 people – require 1 temple.
5 – Small hovel – 1×1 – 13 / 52 people – require 2 clean water (fountain).
6 – Large hovel – 1×1 – 15 / 60 people – require 10 entertainment.
7 – Small casa – 1×1 – 17 / 68 people – require 1 education (school OR library).
8 – Large casa – 1×1 – 19 / 76 people – require bath and pottery.
9 – Small insulae – 1×1 – 19 / 76 people – require 25 entertainment.
10 – Medium insulae – 1×1 – 20 / 80 people – require 1 health (doctor OR hospital) and furniture.
11 – Large insulae – 2×2 – 84 people – require 2 education (school AND library), 1 barber, 1 and oil.
12 – Grand insulae – 2×2 – 84 people – require 35 entertainment and 2 food types.
13 – Small villa – 2×2 – 40 people – require 2 temples, 1 type of wine (local production OR imported).
14 – Medium vill – 2×2 – 42 people – require 40 entertainment 2 health (doctor AND hospital).
15 – Large villa – 3×3 – 90 people – require 45 entertainment, 3 education (school, library, academy).
16 – Grand villa – 3×3 – 100 people – require 50 entertainment, 3 temples, 3 food types.
17 – Small palace – 3×3 – 106 people – require 55 entertainment, 2 types of wine (local production AND imported).
18 – Medium palace – 3×3 – 112 people – require 60 entertainment, 4 temples.
19 – Large palace – 4×4 – 190 people – require 70 entertainment.
20 – Luxury palace – 4×4 – 200 people – require 80 entertainment.
Note: houses level 1-12 are inhabited by plebeians (workforce), houses level 13-20 are inhabited by patricians who does not work, but generate big $ in taxes for the city. Ideally you should have one block of villas or palaces for taxes and few blocks of lower-level houses for workforce.
Entertainment: theater give 10 points, Amphitheater 10 points (1 show) or 15 points (2 shows), Colosseum 15 points (1 show) or 25 points (2 shows), Hippodrome 30 points. In order to get 100% entertainment score you need to have each 4 with “perfect” overall coverage.
The worst part of Caesar 3 is how the houses combine (or refuse to combine):
When a game is started, the map generate a set of tiles that allow merging. If a group of 4 houses have at least 1 merging tire, they do merge if they are at same level of evolution, if they evolve differently, you can delete and rebuilt them, or just delete their water source, at tent level they have all the chances to group IF one of 4 tiles is merging one. If they still not group, means that none of the 4 tiles is merging, you try building nearby (see the screenshots, how I maximized the quantity of merged houses).
The only way to “force” house merging is to raise them above level 11 (Large insulae) which require 4 tiles. When a Large insulae devolve, it splits into four 1-tile Medium insulae (or lower level) and if they are at same level, they merge back if one of the 4 tiles allow merging. When data limit of 1999 buildings is reached, a devolving Large insulae create only 1 tile Medium insulae and lose 75% of population, thus in the cities I built after 2011 I avoided Large insulaes and let them evolve to Small casa or Medium insulae only.
Caesar 3 strategy, tips and tricks
You can create own maps using Caesar 3 Map Editor, these are available sizes:
Tiny map – 40×40
Small map – 60×60
Medium map – 80×80
Large map – 100×100
Huge map – 120×120
Enormous map – 160×160
Caesar 3 Data limit
What limits the city size is the data limit of 1999 buildings on map. If you are asking for hacks to remove the data limit, I tell you that data limit cannot be removed. All career scenarios can be won without reaching data limit.
The data limit encourage me (and probably other players too) to do efficient city planning to maximize population within limit of 2000 buildings. if there was no limit, players would have been building huge cities filling even “enormous map” at an undesirable housing density, players would hated maps with large bodies of water.
Large cities get strange pottery problems, workshops produce pottery but warehouses do not receive it. Seems that this is related by population living in houses demanding pottery and capable to evolve above Small casa, I do not get any other explanation why pottery appear again if I cut the houses’ food source.
Pottery problems in cities over 25000 inhabitants can be avoided by not supplying certain parts of city with pottery and keeping at Small Casa, leaving only certain zones supplied with pottery, zones which probably you want to rise to Luxury Palace.
Highest taxes level
In a city where everything is good (enough food for all, no unemployment, all citizens praise the city), I succeeded to raise taxes to 18%. City sentiment was “People are annoyed / upset with you”, I constantly got messages “People disgrountled”, but nothing worse, no theft or riot unless unemployment exceeded 5%. Due to fluctuations in population age, I had to constantly build and demolish academies (for 100 denarii you get 30 jobs) to reduce unemployment and prevent worker shortage. High taxes prevented immigration, but birth rate kept city population stable.
Wages should be at least 5 higher than Rome wages. Emigration starts when unemployment is over 20% but it can be prevented by keeping taxes low.
Caesar 3 population age and employment
People aged 0-15 are school age, 15-20 academy age, 20-50 working-class and 50-100 retirers.
When a new city is built, most of immigrants are working-class people, aged up to 55 years, they will make babies each new year, but if all housing is full, the babies will disappear. Cities such as the ones above, with all population in Small Casas and minimal of public buildings, reach an unemployment ratio of 80%. Even with this huge unemployment, after about 30-40 years they will ran out of workers, because of aging population (photo 1). Houses will devolve causing the city to lose even more workers, then a new group of working-class people will come and restore the city, but the unemployment will still fluctuate from 0% to 50% in the next 50 years. About 200-400 years are required to stabilize the age (photo 2).
A stable and healthy city will have after hundred years same number of people between 0-60 years and a constant decrease of people 60-100 years. Average life span is 80 years but only 3/8 will be workers, that’s TOO BAD. Sierra shall make the game with retirement age at 60 years old, and obviously, more workers required for each building.
Solution: if you are going to build a city that should remain stable for hundred years, simply do not built all at once, built it over a period of 40 years. If the city is already build, demolish a reservoir to cause houses devolve then built it back, working-age immigrants will come. Save game before, sometimes when houses devolve you will lose mostly working-age people rather than all-ages people.
Another strange phenomenon is that the city is losing population over time. I had played two perfectly stable cities of 3000-5000 people for 1000 years and they lost 10-20% of population in this way, even if every house was supposed to be full. And they still consume same quantity of food like that when it was brand new.
More useful info based by frequently asked questions
Gatehouses to control walkers: you may have noticed people using lots of gatehouses inside cities, instead of in fortification walls as would be logical. Random walkers do not pass through gatehouses, so ideally residential zone should be a loop road or straight road with no intersections, connected via a gatehouse with the industrial zone. Point-to-point destination walkers (immigrants, cart pushers, market buyers, prefects going to extinguish a fire, entertainment staff going from training center to venue) pass through gatehouses.
Efficient food production: farms and fish wharf deposit food in the nearest granary with space available. If it is too far away, by the time cart pusher return to farm, its food is fully grown, decreasing farm production. In a large cities with residential zones far away from food production zone, you should put a couple of granaries in production zone set to “accepting” and a couple of granaries in residential zone set to “getting goods” making them to send a cart to another granary having food. Do not set all granaries to “getting goods” because they get only from granaries set on “accepting”
Keeping markets stock filled up is one of most difficult things. You may have noticed markets without food even if a granary full of fruits, vegetables or fish is nearby. This because market buyer go first to a granary having wheat before other types of food, if it is too far away, by the time buyer lady return to market, the houses eat all the stock.
Trick for entertainment: you can have an one-road city with actor colony at one end and theater at other end, all houses get entertainment access! Market buyer (which is a destination walker, opposite of market seller who is a random walker) can also deliver food to the houses passing through.
Connecting roads with gardens: I downloaded some .sav and noticed some roads being broken by 1 tile of garden. My experiments did not revealed the purpose, the gardens that connect roads are threaten as roads by all walkers. Does anyone know the purpose?
Local vs overall coverage: entertainment, educational and religious buildings can cover a limited population, in terms of overall coverage. You can have all houses with access to temple, but insufficient temples, triggering god negative wraith. You can have all houses with access to education and entertainment, but low culture rating. Solution to raise culture rating: make a small road (even unconnected with main city), place on it a large number of temples, theaters, schools and libraries, and ONE tent house to provide access to labour. Of course you need also an engineer post, and (on central and desert provinces) a prefecture.
Oracle purpose: in my early years I did not understood their purpose, as they do not send walkers, so I placed a shitload of temples. One oracle please all 5 gods for 500 people, one small temple please one god for 750 people, one large temple please one god for 1500 people. So, if you have 1500 population, you can please all gods with 10 small temples (5 gods x 2 temples x 750) or only 3 oracles (x 500). However a city with only oracles will not work. Only temples provide house access to religion.
Quick training soldiers: the game do not allow building additional barracks once you have an operational barrack, and having only one barrack makes difficult recovering military units and prepare for next battle after you suffered losses during a battle. Here is a trick: slow down game to minimum speed possible, you can build a couple of barracks quickly before 1st one becomes operational. Or you can build as many barracks you want without road connection, then build the road.
Do you have questions? Do you want more tricks? Just ask me what you need to know!