Anno 1404 Wiki

Imperator challenges[]

In the Imperator Scenario there are 3 hard AI players who build very fast, and are very aggressive. There were a few tricks in the original 1404 that could be used to beat them (date-trick) but these tricks seem to have been fixed in Venice. Another approach is to quickly capture a lot of islands, in an attempt to deny the AI the best spots. This often results in an AI player attacking the player's ships and warehouses as soon as he hits Patrician (required for warships), and in Venice he will also aggressively settle the player's islands. So the player will need to steer clear of the AI until going to war is affordable, which is usually not before the Noblemen stage. In the early stages it is very important to build up the population and to get the required production chains up and running.

General tips[]

  • Only settle one Oriental and one Occidental island in the early stages of the game. If you settle more, you have a big chance of taking an island the AI wants, which will result in very early war and harassment. It is hard to survive this.
  • Try to avoid 'finding' the other AI players' settlements. This also means finding as little uninhabited islands as possible, since the AI could settle there later. If the AI does not know you, he is less likely to bother you.
  • The AI is able to call in an auxiliary fleet from the get-go. You will need to wait for 400 honor. So don't bother harassing the AI early on.
  • Use the production calculator to figure out how many houses you can build/upgrade with your current production
  • Use some of the other tips on this Wikia: Scenario: General and Hard AI guide
  • If playing the Venice expansion version, build Bases of Operation to cover your entire settlement because the arson and riot acts of sabotage instigated by enemy henchmen will cripple your economy.
  • When the beggars arrive, you are probably in dire need of gold. Deny them access to earn a certain amount of gold coins (first time: 5000, then each time more). This increases the danger of getting attacked by the beggars.
  • Islands to claim: Best Occidental Island is always claimed by Lucius which is opposite Lord Richard's Island (southwest). Claim it before him. To the South is the biggest Oriental Island with Spice fertility. to the East and West of the strait between the Occidental Island and Oriental Island are two small island which will be very helpful due to their fertility. You only need to claim one of them. Sister Benedicta is at the Northwest on a medium island with wheat fertility to farm Honor.
  • From Lord Richard's Island, the treasure digger is to the East on a small island. Giacomo is to the South of the digger, slightly to the East and he sell map of the entire region at 150 honor, get it as soon as you can, though only activate it when you are strong enough to fend off or pay off pirate or ready to start a war with either Lucius or Zanchi. The Witchs's island is to the North, To the Southwest is Hakim's island. To the South is the Grand Vizier and to his Southeast is the pirate den.
  • Cultivate relation with Giovanni against the other two players is preferable since he isn't as aggressive as Lucius or as sly handed as Zanchi. Once those two are out of the fight, move your all troop on to Givanni main Occidental Island Depend on where he has his troop, spread out to target his storehouse or concentrate to destroy his troop. Splits your fleet into at least 3 groups. 1st group (Occidental warship is prefered) will be positioned in front of the port and two big trade ship to build your own port after you had destroyed his, put as many provisions as you can to help heal your troop. 2nd group (Oriental warships) is to roam around and prioritize destroying Giovanni trade ship, do not engage his warship if the condition is unfavorable. 3rd group blockade his main Occidental Island. Keep watch on Lord Richard's Island since Giovanni can call in auxiliary fleet (if needed, build watch towers and crane to support 2 Occidental warships to fight Giovanni reinforcement). After Giovanni main Occidental Island is conquered, the next will be his main Oriental Island. Same tactic as above. This will be easier as Giovanni will not have enough resources or ships to fight. After his main Oriental Island is done, Start hitting his other island, remember to hunt down all his ship so he can't pop out unexpected settlement anywhere.


  • It is a must to explore the map beforehand
    • Find the biggest Occidental island with Hemp and Cider, and preferably more than one source of Iron and Stone.
    • Make sure that either your first island or second island (Occidental or Oriental) has a river with at least 4 to 5 river sites in order to secure the possibility for later production chains of Books, Leather jerkins and Fur coats.
    • If possible look for a second island, in case you need of bread and beer later in the game. This island should be very near your first.
    • Look for the biggest Oriental island with Spices, Dates and preferably Clay and a lot of green areas.
    • Remember where these islands are, and where Grand Vizier Al Zahir and the Venetian are.
  • Restart the map.

First minutes[]

  • The fisherman will only support 24 houses, and because you have to watch your resources this is fine for now. Put the Peasant's tax level to Happy (Light Green), so they will move in and still maximize your revenues.

    Basic layout just before citizens pop up

  • Load all remaining resources from your ship into your warehouse, and sail back to Northburgh.
  • As soon as you hit 60 peasants build 1x SMB + 1x Cider farm
  • As soon as you hit 90 peasants build 1x Chapel, and put your peasant's tax level to Euphoric to make them ascend.
  • You earned 50 honor through the 90-peasant-mark, so immediately buy the 50-honor scroll from Northburgh and head for Grand Vizier Al Zahir.

Your first citizens[]

  • Your ship is sailing to the Vizier, and as soon as it reaches him turn in the scroll and buy the 10 tools he has for sale. His tools are cheaper than buying them from Northburgh or the Venetian. Send your Orient ship to the island you picked.
  • In the meantime: as soon as your first Citizens pop up you should put their tax rate to Happy. Lock the building materials and manually upgrade (this is faster) as soon as possible until you have 16 citizen houses. Your first priority is to unlock your tools production and get it up and running: 16 houses is enough to do this.
  • After your first citizen also immediately build:
  • These 16 houses should only be built with 'excess' wood. Don't let your wood stock drop under 30: you will need the wood to build the tool production.
  • When your Flagship reaches the Venetian you need to check how many tools you need to buy. A complete tools loop will cost you 22 tools. Buy enough tools so that (Tools in main town + Tools on ship) = 22. Now sail back to your warehouse and drop off the tools.
  • Ask for a quest from Northburgh (Through diplomacy screen) if you didn't get one yet, and do it with your flagship.
  • Build the tools production. This will cost you a lot: 2950 gold, 43 wood, 22 tools and 13 bricks.
    • 1x SMB
    • 1x Ore mine
    • 1x Charcoal burner's hut
      1x Iron smelter
    • 2x Toolmaker's workshop
  • Now build another 14x Peasant house as soon as you have the wood. You should then have 38x peasant + 16x citizen. This is the maximum amount of houses that is supported with your current production buildings, although you can safely upgrade everything.
  • You now have 54 houses, all in range of the chapel, and your balance is over +300. There are two cider farms and two fisher huts on your island, and you have some basic resource production going.

Expansion and Orient[]

  • Now it is time to build your oriental settlement, and to get to patricians as soon as possible.
  • Settling the Orient and buying spice requires: 1 Warehouse, 1 Small Market Building, 1 Bazaar, 10 Nomad Houses, 1 Date Farm, and finally the Spice Farm. This costs 28 Wood & 22 Tools. Do this before setting up your Hemp & Linen farms as it takes awhile for the population to increase and to be granted Spice Farm.
  • Finally finish your tavern when your first Spice shipment is en route then progress to Patricians, which if done correctly should be before any of the AIs have done so.
  • 70 minutes is a good benchmark for attaining Patricians (hover over the hourglass above the map to see game time).


  • After gaining your first Patrician, do not produce more. They pay less taxes per person than a Citizen, largely because their needs are weakly satisfied.
  • You need 48 Patrician houses to reach Noblemen, which due to Population rules will have to be supported by roughly 100 total houses. Build a total of 100-105 houses and convert as many as possible into Citizens. Watch your needs careful, you'll need around 4 Fishermen Huts, 4 Cider Farm, 3 Linen Factories, and 3 Spice Farms to support that many Citizens.
  • To build all this you need to expand Iron mining to at least 2 more Tool Productions, 4-6 more Lumberjacks, and at least 3-4 total Stone Mines. A humongous quantity of stone is needed to reach a single Nobleman (~275). If you can't keep up with the supply of Stone, build 2 Small Storage as you need 60 storage anyway for a Bailiff. Also you can ship some to your other ports or keep some on your Flagship for temporary storage. Resist the temptation to sell excess Stone, you will need a lot of it eventually.Lumber tends to be needed in bursts, fortunately pausing production on a lumberjack results in 0 maintenance cost, abuse this if a backlog occurs.
  • Quartz mining is needed quickly to start Glass Smelting. You'll need Prestige quickly (300 total). Spend Honor to unlock Citizen items to buy the 150 Prestige scroll from Northburg. It is too slow to continually buy the 50 Prestige scroll alone. Make this a priority as You need around 60 Glass for the Bailiff, Church, and Printing Press. If you haven't already you need 30 Nomads huts to get both Indigo and Quartz. These can be supported on one date plantation and it is highly recommended to not over produce dates as they have a high maintenance cost and sell poorly.
  • You will need to expand to an island that has Herbs & Wheat, stake this our early before an AI takes a location. You also must have at least 3 River Tiles for a Paper Mill and 2 Jerkin factories. If you have Indigo on your Oriental island that is ideal, if not either buy seeds (preferred) or you'll have to settle elsewhere.
  • 2 Bakeries, 2 Breweries, 2 Jerkin Factories, and 1 Printing Press are the minimum needed to reach Patricians. Focus on producing goods before going for the Cathedral and Bailiff, as these structures do not increase tax revenues when they satisfy needs. Build them when you are ready to ascend.
  • 4-5 hours is a good benchmark for attaining Noblemen.