A guide to journey through an Egyptian-themed zombie apocalypse. This walkthrough offers insights on how to optimally play the hardest game mode and details that only can be gleaned through in-game experience due to the lack of an official manual. Caution: This game mode can be incredibly frustrating and relies heavily on luck. Only the most patient should attempt.
Guide to Mummypocalipse
Game Mode Description
Clarus Victoria released a DLC named Master of History. One of the newly added features was the game mode Mummypocalipse.
Similarly to the a zombie breakout, Egypt is infested by mummies that confine early settlers to their
starting point. To expand, the player has to eradicate them in order to interact with the newly explored regions. The struggle goes both way as mummies can take clean areas back any time.
Eradicating mummies cost army / power points every turn until their number dwindles to zero. Once vanquished, the player is rewarded with a random amount of either production, luxury, or favor to compensate both the power investment and time where area output has been stalled.
To slow down mummies expansion, the player calls forth for Seth to shield against them as it is he who brought this calamity to the living world.
As nearly all areas are occupied, the early game will be slow and drudging. Chances are most games will end up as failure. The best maps and alignments of events will provide a significant chance to make a breakthrough.
To optimally play on Mummypocalipse, a certain knowledge base should be in order to make the ride bearable. The sheer difficulty at the early stages (Memphis map) may dissuade or frustrate players.
When setting up a game, two modal windows pop up to configure the "World Rules" and "Prologue".
- Game Mode: Mummypocalypse
- Level of Freedom: Historical Campaign
- Level of Abundance: Ambitious Mode
- The Gods' Rules: Almighty Gods
The two first options are obvious choices. The ambitious mode enables the "Improvement Panel" at the discovery of "Administration" tech. Instead of waiting until turn 250ish, one can start sink some extra hammers to beef up resource outputs instead of letting it rots to the 5% spoilage rate. The almighty god mode boosts by 50% the cult bonuses at the expense of -10% resource growth (resource: food, production, and luxuries). This is pretty powerful for two reasons: summoning Seth provides three shields against evil spirits/events and Neith (reduce enemy power) is stronger. Let's not beat around the bush, Mummypocalypse forces the player to shield against negative events the whole game as mummies expansion is viewed as a negative event. In the early game, if it happens, you are done for as the game mode does not give much leeway to mistakes.
- Reason for our Arrival: Up to the player.
- Generosity of the Gods: Up to the player.
- Choice the Gods Gave Us: Up to the player.
- Patron God of Memphis: Seth
Three out of the four options are difficulty settings. However, the strategy is tailored with the hardest settings in mind. Having Seth as patron / tutelary god is nearly a no brainer due to the nature of Mummypocalipse. Having a single area that can provide an output severely limits expansion and training of soldiers to fight off mummies. To construct barracks, you normally need to build an economy; you nearly cannot. However, Seth massively alleviates this issue.
Here are perks related to Seth as Memphis tutelary/patron god:
- Ambushing adds an extremely good modifier, strengthening your soldier to point where 35% to 50% battles may end up winning.
- Ambushing reduces losses when number is in your favor.
- Seth can hex (reduce enemy power by 40%) the tribe during Chiefdom Creation Quest.
- During Caravan positive event, you can rob the caravan after making the desired deals. Free resources.
- Settlers positive event after Egypt map is discovered enables an option to capture the refugees at no culture cost.
- Double loot during Sand Sandstorm negative event. Having such an event before turn 20 can be game changing and tremendously increase map viability to victory (provided the map is still good).
- Seth allows conversion of 10 food to 5 luxuries. Very useful at the beginning of the game for the creation of new workers before workshops. Also useful during Djedkara's Dramatic Reforms (T165) where you miss just few percents, but still have extra food (but no production).
- If a strong tribe on Egypt map attacks you, you can terrify them for 5 turns, decreasing their army strength by 10% each turn. Quite useful as diplomacy is hard at first when mummies are in the way and your army might be quite weaker than in usual games.
- There is apparently this -15% enemy power in exchange for 30 luxuries, but it does not work all the time. It works perfectly against attacking Sea Peoples, but not well against invading tribes. Of course, it does not weaken when offense is in mind. Might work against Narmer; haven't tried. It is a modifier whose effect disappears next turn.
- While Horus may outperform due to ability to attack two areas at once, the game mode has insufficient opportunities to do so until very late. Late bonuses rarely make a game a victory unless supremely broken. Also, if you fail a battle and retreat early before suffering unrecoverable losses, it will take three turns instead of four to try again. On Memphis map, the AIs will never start colonizing areas beyond their ancestral lands, even for the river areas. Hence, Horus perk is useless.
Turn 000-065 - Phase 1 (Dark Age)
What makes Mummypocalypse horrendous is the start. The player is stranded in an ocean of areas infested by mummies. The presence of mummies forbids actual interaction with the area turn-based output and its objects (e.g. animals, resource gathering, features. etc.) At the beginning, the player has no way to shoo away the rotting creatures because it requires military power. To boost it, one can either tech "Primitive Army" or/and build a barrack. Problems are: (1) the tech does not provide enough in itself (2) how to build economy with only one or two areas.
The solution is a pillage economy. Yes, there are other potential clean areas, but it is not sufficient to build a viable economy quick enough.
- On the better maps, there is sometimes a secondary clean area next to the starting point. You are in luck if so, even more with positives bonuses are present on it.
- The three AIs that coexist in the same miser as you on Memphis map also have their starting areas clean. Therefore, the player can interact with them, either positively or negatively. This is unlike the Egypt map where you are usually forced to eradicate the mummies (or not if lucky).
- The river/water areas. Indeed, mummies cannot swim. Water areas will become critical and one linchpin for the winning strategy.
Here are the specific tips to maximize a strong breakthrough to a sustainable economy:
- There are only four starting locations on the Memphis map for the player. Upon practice, you'll learn to recognize them and thus help whereto push the exploration.
- There are three levels of mummies abundance on Memphis map: (1) Flood plains host between 5-9 mummies (2) Hills host between 10-20 mummies (3) Desert highlands host between 20-30 mummies. The immediate conclusion is to avoid the desert highlands as much as possible until the Chiefdom Creation Quest (after the Temple Quest) where the entire map is revealed to you. If you stumbled next to an aggressive carnivore, you are doomed to lose workers without manners to retaliate. Hence, when finding the remaining AI, explore carefully the desert highlands using prior knowledge. Avoid non-friendly carnivores and cursed lands that can call forth such carnivores.
- Most maps are unwinnable even on easiest difficulty. Learn to play up to 20-30 turns and regenerate. Unfortunately, this game mode exponentially inflates the impact of randomness.
- As a corollary to the last bullet, aggressive exploration is only good for the first 20 turns, after which you need to be careful if you want to keep playing.
- Based on starting location, rush to the river tiles. They provide food output and animals. Crocodiles and hippopotamuses can provide one time production and fish food. Look out for the river god that provides favor points; you will need it.
- The river god is shown as a catfish icon. The favor points in the early game will be critical to survive until the capital relocation quest where you start to rank up significant favor output.
- The mummy expansion negative events are triggered in parallel to the basic negative event system. That means both may happen during the same turn. Until turn 20, it appears you are safe from mummy expansion.
- Starting turn 20, worship the cult of Seth to protect yourself from both regular bad events and mummy expansion until the end of the game. A game w/o river god will fail. Although it seems mummy expansion happens every 20 turns, the turn where it happens is random.
- The first tech should be unilaterally "Primitive Army". It is 35 culture points and it should be unlocked at turn 8.
- Based on prior map experience, find the other AIs. If you start on the northern bank of the river, the three other AIs are going to be on the southern bank (two on hills and one in the desert highlands). If you start on the southern bank of the Nile, then two AIs are ensured to be on the northern bank hills. The third one will be either on the same hilly row as you or in the desert highlands. Do understand, pillage economy is the strategy to pave the way to an actual economy.
- Wait until turn 10-13 to attack. You'll have to confront the AI with a measly 9-11 soldiers against 14 of theirs (Raid Mode) and Ancestral Land negative modifier (making their soldier stronger). This is where Seth becomes a linchpin.
- Starting on the southern bank of the Nile has been found to be better because you can rush to the north using areas that are quickest to explore (1 or 2 turns) and sometimes find the two AIs before turn 10. That leaves the third AI to be found through the positive event of spontaneous contact or careful educated exploration.
- The non-interaction rule due to mummies is a curse, making the game mode profoundly unfair. If you end up exploring an area with a hostile/neutral carnivore, the player is unable to defend its workers. You cannot hunt them as exterminating mummies take time. Play another map if one is found at an area next to the other AIs or your starting location. The incapacity of hunting the animals is broken.
- When the early aggressive exploration phase is done (up to turn 20), the follow-up will be based on an educated plan. Autosaves happen every ten turns. For instance, explore up to turn 29 and take note which areas to explore and which to avoid. It depends of the "Choice the Gods Gave Us" option. Be careful with "Predestination" as the autosave gets overwritten at turn 30 or gets deleted once loaded. Some would call it cheating, but playing 1000 maps just to get all the stars aligned is a big no-no. It's a game, not 1,000,000$ lucky roulette.
- The early tech order at the beginning should be: (1) Primitive Army (2) Local Cult Development (3) Domestication of Cats or Craftsmanship.
- Your starting location should be elected for a barrack. Once a barrack is up, you can fight off mummies with a decent military growth. Use pillaged production and hunted animals from the river to supply the 24 needed production.
- Before turn 20, when the raid window shows up, close it (not retreat). Make sure to check if Seth Sandstorm neg event hasn't been triggered on the same turn. If so, double loot. Then, resume raid. This order seems important to benefit of the effect.
- Until turn 40, stay at 4 workers. If you run out too early of luxuries, Seth can help converting 10 food units into 5 luxuries. One worker should keep pillaging between the three AIs with one idle turn for other temporary tasks. The second worker should be at the barrack area. The third worker should be at the river god area, eventually worshiping it to exchange 1.2 food to an additional favor point. The fourth worker is working a high food area. Occasionally, if resource stocks allow it, one worker can be used to perform the exploration of desired areas (based on prior exploration knowledge) or slowly exterminating mummies on a high value area.
- At turn 39, put all workers (except the one preparing a raid) to idle mode, then disband. If you disband right away, you raid might be called off. At turn 40, you receive workers until reaching 5. Hence, disbanding provides 15 food units, which is substantial. Also, if you avoid reaching to 5 workers beyond turn 38, it means the first trial is delayed a bit. It translates with one or two more pillaging loots.
- At the first trial, wait a turn before subjugating the "Old Culture" holder. As Seth for patron god, it takes three turns to prepare a raid. Gold Victory can be achieved after four turns. Plus, you get twice +5 soldiers (military power points) from Seth during the trial. Note: the AI will lose its +20 soldiers. In fact, no AI on Memphis map ever goes beyond 18 soldiers on the ancestral area. This is the reason why one barrack suffices until Narmer.
- Try to build housing and a workshop before T065.
- For the 2nd trial, try to reach 30-40%. If failing to submit all regions after 3 turns, reload.
Turn 065-119 - Phase 2 (Post-Scorpion Trial)
Assuming luck was on your side, the second trial was passed. This is the time to consider consolidating a base economy on Memphis as we eke out of the dark age of mummy domination.
Pillage is still a pillar of the economy as we need to increase the number of workers to exterminate new areas clean of mummies. Few additional hills and flood plains are needed to be conquered.
Tactics / tips to build the roots of self-sustaining economy. Pillaging won't come to your aid once Memphis becomes a chiefdom.
- Although not as critical, make a run of 9 turns to explore and then take note of the area worthiness. Then, reload and explore areas that are deemed best to expand the economy while avoiding nefarious items, especially non-friendly carnivores.
- As regards to friendly carnivores, if food economy allows it, you may always consider worshiping the animal for eventual domestication. Fish, wild fowls, aurochs, and antelopes provide 0.4 food and 0.4 favor (-0.1 food for wildfowl for some reason) whereas carnivores (and hippopotamuses) provide +0.8 favors. It might help the transitioning to the Capital Relocation quest. Indeed, the second trial might have depleted the entire stock of favor points, leaving you at risk to bad events or mummy expansion.
- Avoid exploring the desert highland areas at all cost until the final reveal after Memphis becomes a chiefdom. The dangers lying there outweigh by a large margin the good things. Hopefully, no carnivores nor accursed lands will be close to the area designated for Dynasty I tombs. Tombs from this dynasty are the most efficient thanks to the inflexible ancestral duties. Other dynastIes' tombs are not as good because ancestral duties are recalculated to make sure you get back to +20 to +30 favor output after the 10-turn period.
- Nilotic river areas will help avoid famine, but try transitioning to flood plain areas. An output of 1.2 food is not good. A fish river area and the river god will be permanently worked. Good chance that you may have to worship the river god until the end of the game.
- Try to liberate two hilly areas from mummies. Consider hilly areas located at the northern bank of the Nile as they do not border the desert highlands. When the entire Memphis map is revealed, mummies on flood plains are weak and can be exterminated quickly in order to hunt aggressive carnivores. Build a second barrack to fend off Narmer at T108. Prepare a spot for the patron temple to complete the third quest (after Cultural Assimilation).
- Try to ignore the attractive Copper Smelting and Bronze Working techs until needed. Favor culture and divine favor techs.
- When ready to get Chiefdom techs, check your food stocks if it can handle the transition from "First Chiefs" phase (+10% food) to Proto-dynasty where a modifier favors luxuries and military power. This is why delaying the second barrack is worthwhile. Two barracks early and one cemetary kill the economy due to -1 food and production each.
- Once you get the Chiefdom tech, once pillaging between the two remaining non-subjugated AIs are done, go annexing the subjugated AI (during the first trial). The tribute is not worth it (+0.3 food), but the clean hilly area is very useful. Yes, you won't have the worker if done during the Chiefdom Quest, but having a fresh clean hilly area earlier will help building the economy.
- Do note: the area recently annexed from the subjugated AI might have housing. If the housing gets collapsed, Do not destroy it. Repair, then destroy. There is this bug where destroying a collapsed housing area leads to lose pop limit. Permanently. Then, if you rebuild the housing, it is the hilly area that you lose to better usages.
- As you free up hilly areas, you may consider more workshops in the interim for the sake of the Capital Relocation Quest and then Dynasty I tombs. At a later stage (>T150), as you have good sources of hammers and luxuries on the Egypt map, you can replace them to barracks for the separatist trial (6th Trial).
- Around turn 107, hopefully, you possess around 250 soldiers. This is the amount needed to have parity against Narmer.
- After the third trial, consider wrapping up with the Memphis map by juxtaposing the last pillage with the completion of the patron god temple (Third Quest). This is the point your economy base should be strong enough to survive without pillage. Hopefully, it is done just after Narmer trial. Do the Chiefdom Creation Quest. Use Hex w/ Seth to weaken the tribe if risk is there for major losses. It is only 4 luxuries that will only get wasted in spoilage and the Quest completion provides in itself +60 luxuries. Trying to save up as much as possible and getting the 60 luxuries on top of it will lead to unnecessary waste in spoilage. Hexing saves military power for the Egypt map.
- Once Chiefdom Creation Quest is complete, check Egypt map and exterminate Memphis area mummies. You need to start an expedition of +45 production ASAP to build the Palace and Temple for the Palace Relocation Quest (4th Quest). If you are lucky, the two other Lower Egypt areas will enable expeditions, preferably production. Inefficiencies on taxes will disappear on Egypt map and allow you to consolidate your economy, after which mummies no longer pose a threat.
- If lucky enough to have sufficient expedition spots in production and luxuries, exploring the deserts (besides Sinai, Way of Horus, Mesopotamia, and Levantine region) might be unnecessary to get maximum score. Do note the 1,500-soldier strong tribe on Map Egypt rarely pop around the Sinai region. Facing them before the Separatist Trial can be fatal even if using Seth Terror ability.
- This is where the game starts to transition like a normal non-mummy game.