Qvadriga

Qvadriga

53 ratings
Qvadriga Strategy Guide
By Yasha
Guide to racing tactics, faction selection and team management, with data tables for provinces, cities, awards, prices, etc.
   
Award
Favorite
Favorited
Unfavorite
TL;DR for Semi-Literate Plebs

Racing Tips
  • RNG (Randon Number Generator) controls most bad events. Sometimes you're lucky, other times you're not. Avoid risks.
  • Innermost two lanes on corners are very risky. Fourth lane out, and beyond, is usually safe.
  • Winning every race is virtually impossible. It's easy to be unlucky.
  • Horse endurance mostly indicates how many whippings before permanent speed loss. If horses have no endurance (no "droplets" symbols), don't whip them until the last long straight-away, if then.
Campaign Tips
  • The Russata (Red) faction is easiest for novices.
  • Starting in Hispania is best. Move to Toletum for chariots as soon as fame permits, then to Corduba for horses.
  • Racing is about money, not winning. Finishing always earns money. Crashing always costs money.
  • Fame accumulates slowly if you just place or finish. You may have to race a lot to improve your fame.
  • Awards in a city drop by 10% for each victory you have there. Awards are bigger in (a) higher category cities, and (b) with more teams racing.
Introduction

It is not possible to win the campaign without learning how to race successfully. Therefore, the first part of this guide is about the race itself.

The second part of the guide provides guidelines for team selection and management. This is followed by charts and tables giving every province, city and track in the empire, typical prize money, etc.

Throughout, this guide will try to give you the reason why an approach is suggested. That allows you, the reader, to judge in your situation whether that approach is useful or not. This guide is not the TL;DR. It isn't a simple-minded, "to do this, then do that, finally you win," guide. After all, as manager of a soon-to-be-famous chariot team, you deserve better than plain plebeian fare.

This guide uses the term "component" to refer to any one of the three parts of a chariot race team (auriga, chariot, or horses). The word "team" has two meanings in this game. On the racetrack, it refers to one racing unit of auriga plus chariot plus horses. Off the racetrack, it refers to the entire group of aurigas, chariots and horses that the player manages.

All judgments about percentage of risk, internal game logic, etc., are based on observations of game play and forum posts at Slitherine and Steam. At the time of this writing (July 2016) there appear to have been no game updates since v1.3 in June 2014 (per Slitherine forums, see http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=263 ).
Intelligent Racing - part I

Risk, Money & Victory
The random number system within Qvadriga appears to retain all possibilities much more than other games. For example, the risk of a chariot crash is very high when cornering in the innermost lane. If you succeed, there is also a large chance of damage. You can reduce this risk of both in various ways (a different lane, reducing speed, having a more skilled auriga), but the chance of crashing isn't a simple on/off. It is reduced, but it doesn't go away. This means means you can do lots of risk-reduction, but simple bad luck can still clobber you. Applying risk reduction means you'll be clobbered less often - it does not give you automatic safety. This is a game of "playing the odds."

In other words, the "god of chance" (Fortuna) can strike at almost any time, inflicting horrible penalties upon your team. In addition to sacrificing at least one goat to Fortuna before each race, your goal as a racer is to REDUCE RISK as much as possible. If you crash, you lose serious money in a wrecked chariot, not to mention auriga and horse injury. If you avoid crashing and finish the race, you always earn money. Therefore, your goal should be to survive the race first and foremost. If you have a chance at 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, that's just a nice bonus.

Corners Are Dangerous
You can get around the track much faster by using the inside of corners, compared to the outside. However, the risk of crashing goes up significantly in the inner lanes. Therefore, the first goal in every race is dealing with corners.

Every corner must be set up and turned with care by the full speed chariot. Roman style arenas allow chariots to reach full speed before the first corner. Greek style hippodromes rarely allow chariots to reach full speed at the first corner, but by the second corner chariots certainly can be at full speed.

Race tracks can have four (4), six (6) or eight (8) lanes. Use the predicted-path color to judge the risk level if you do nothing - i.e., turn the corner without changing lane, changing speed, executing any special orders, or suffering any sort of attack. See the ebook manual, pg 12, for details on this.

Even with the most skilled auriga, lane #1 is a horribly risky corner at full speed. Even if you don't crash, the chariot and/or horses are likely to take damage, increasing cornering risk and perhaps slowing you for the rest of the race. Aurgias without skill are almost certain to crash if they attempt this lane at full speed.

Lane #2 is still a high risk corner. The chance of crash at full speed depends greatly on auriga skill, but some damage usually occurs. Lane #3 is a moderate risk corner. Aurigas with double skill (max possible) rarely crash - but they can. Aurigas with no skill are taking much greater risks.

Lane #4, or higher, is generally safe. Nevertheless, "Control" orders are recommended in lane #4. On tracks which have them, lanes #5 through #8 are generally safe. Competitors in these lanes are often using crash or whip attacks on the faster opponents inside of them.

Lanes and corners remain the same, regardless of city or arena. A lane #4 corner is the same radius at the narrowest hippodrome, or the widest Roman arena. Therefore, lane and cornering knowledge is applies equally to all tracks.

Slowing just before you corner can greatly reduce the risk Conversely, risk increases greatly if you attempt to accelerate, especially while corner in lane #1, #2 or #3. Changing lanes inward, toward lane #1 adds a lane-change risk, while changing lanes outward (toward a highest numbered lane) reduces the risk.

Crashing or lacerating a competitor is quite possible in lanes #5 or higher, sometimes in lane #4 as well with a skilled auriga. It adds risk in lanes #1, #2 or #3 because the attacks prevent the use of "control" orders.

Competitors are mostly sensible, but sometimes unpredictable, and occasionally almost suicidal, in corners.

Because corners are risky places, wreckage tends to accumulate in them. This may force you to change lanes on the straight before the corner, since you never want to be driving over wreckage in a corner.

Starts Are Random
Having a fast accelerating chariot and speedy horses does NOT assure you a fast start. A good deal of randomness exists in each start. Yes, a high acceleration chariot helps you to good starts more often. However, a start bonus (or penalty) can all but negate even the best chariot. This is just another area where the goddess Fortuna rules your life.

If you have a double-endurance team, whipping twice at the start (typically for the second and third move on a Roman track, or first and second move on a Greek hippodrome) will put you among the leading teams. This usually prevents competitors from cutting in front of you on the straight, and gives you a good choice of lanes for the first turn. With single-endurance upgrade horses, some whip once at the start, some reserve the whip until after the situation "shakes out" after the first corner or second corner. In either case, whipping more times than the horses' endurance upgrade almost always causes horse damage that reduces their speed for the rest of race.

If you have a team without horse endurance, it is probably better to accelerate without whipping in the start and position yourself as best as possible for the first corner. Your fresh horses will have more speed later in the race.

Intelligent Racing - part II

Whipping Carefully, If At All
Whipping your horses for more speed requires careful judgment, and results vary depending on horses' endurance "droplets." Whipping for speed will reduce the endurance of the horses by a random amount. If a horse is already weak (due to injuries from cornering, crashes, lacerations, etc.), it is possible that whipping for speed could kill the horse!

Horses with no endurance (no droplets) should not be whipped until the final straight, if then. While each whipping increases chariot speed that turn, it decreases speed for the remainder of the race. Therefore, whipping a no endurance team at the start dooms you to an even slower team for the rest of the race.

Horses with endurance appear to survive (without significant loss) one whipping per droplet. That means even the strongest horses (two droplets) may start slowing down after the third whipping. There is probably randomness in how many whippings horses can survive without speed loss, and how much damage is inflicted by each whipping after that point. Therefore, the "droplets = whippings" rule is not absolute.

Of course, on the last straight-away of the race, as long as the horses are reasonably healthy, you are free to whip. The extra burst of speed may improve your position, or prevent an opponent from overtaking you. However, expect to pay for it after the race in horse damage.

Competitors tend to over-whip their horses and suffer less speed later in the race. Competitors frequently whip at the start, even when they should not. Over-whipping is the one competitor behavior you can bet on with confidence. However, just to mix you up, a few competitors are more judicious about their whippings. These competitors can be very dangerous later in the race.

Lanes, Lacerations and Crash Attacks
Some races may start with more teams than track lanes. However, there are never more than double the number of teams than lanes. For example, a four-lane arena will never have more than eight teams racing.

In Greek (hippodrome) arenas, teams are randomly assigned lane and row positions. Through bad luck, you could end up in the rear row, initially blocked by front row chariots. In Roman style arenas, all teams leave the gate together and race for position. Therefore, the randomness of starting speeds can determine who pushes who out of the way for the leading spot in a lane.

Races with some teams in the second row tend to be bloodier, simply because the track is more congested. To minimize risk, in multi-rank races you should prioritize guarding against attacks as well as being safe in corners. Sometimes the carnage is so great that even if you start last, you can ultimately see an opportunity to place, or even win.

If you know the number of lanes in the arena, you can predict multi-row races in advance. On the "city" screen, underneath your local fame, you'll see awards for the upcoming race, and the "participant teams" for the upcoming race. If the number of teams exceeds the number of lanes, it's a multi-row race. This could be an ideal opportunity to repair and rest your best aurigas and horses. Bring in a weaker chariot and horses with a lesser auriga. Let him learn his trade from the back of the pack, watching how opponents behave, and earning you money just for finishing. If he gets lucky, all the better. Multi-row races are also an ideal opportunity for eliminating a troublesome enemy auriga, permanently!

The only advantage of a multi-row race is that award money is increased. This includes the award for simply finishing.

Lacerating is only useful when a competitor is beside you in the next lane. If you are successful, you'll slow/injure their horses and/or daze their driver. Of course, if he does "avoid aggressions" all your lacerations will miss. Lacerates can also backfire if used by an unskilled Auriga - if you have no skill, don't attempt to lacerate.

"Crash" left or right uses the chariot body instead of the whip. It's a very costly tactic, since even if your chariot is heavier, you often suffer some damage and need repairs after the race. To reduce repair bills and risk, let other idiots crash back and forth - you're here to maximize earnings and minimize costs. Crashing can also trip and kill a horse, which is expensive and time-consuming to replace.

If you have a light or medium chariot, and an opponent pulls up beside you with a heavy chariot, expect him to make a crash-attack. Opponents in heavy chariots tend to be very bloodthirsty. You can tell these folks by the spikes mounted on the chariot wheel hubs.

Losing a horse, usually due to a crash attack, is financially crippling. You cannot get rid of the horses until you replace the missing horse (due to a quirk in the UI). This means you are forced to lose significant money every time a horse is killed.
Team Management & The Empire - part I


Faction Selection
Factions are presented in order of ease of play during the early game. These are, from easiest to hardest:
  • Russata (Army)
  • Veneta (Race Nobles)
  • Albata (Priests)
  • Aurata (Traders)
  • Purpura (Politicians)
  • Praesina (Commoners)

By the late game, forty to eighty races later, players will have evolved strategies for handling the unique strengths and weaknesses of their faction. However, it appears impossible for a faction to purchase an auriga, chariot or horses with more than two upgrades beyond their starting value. Therefore, if the team started with no upgrade aurigas (Aurata), aurigas for sale have a maximum of two upgrades. Of course, aurigas (but not chariots or horses) favored by Fortuna (i.e., lucky) can gain additional upgrades by racing.


Russata
(Roman Army - auriga skill & constitution, horse endurance)

This is the best faction for newcomers. The high quality aurgias are helpful in corners, and can attack without too many missteps. They can also survive attacks and misadventures better. The high endurance horses can handle whipping a bit better - which novices tend to do.

However, this faction has later problems. It must find a source of decent chariots and horses, preferably sooner than later. Even with that, in the late game, maximum acceleration chariots and maximum speed horses are very hard to find. Hopefully you will develop sufficient racing skill to overcome these disadvantages.


Veneta
(Race Nobles - auriga skill, chariot acceleration, horse speed)

This faction requires a very delicate touch - while it has skill, acceleration and speed, it is very vulnerable to mischance, be it attacks from competitors, too risky cornering, or just bad luck on the track.

The combination of skilled aurgias, fast chariots and speedy horses tends create a desire to get in front early. Nobles seem to feel "entitled" to an early lead. Due to start randomness outweighing a single acceleration and speed improvement, this rarely happens.

When it doesn't, do not try to grab the lead with risky moves, like going inside on the first turn, or trying to whip the horses. Your horses cannot take whipping and the chariots easily disintegrate. Gambling with your team before it is highly experienced and well-equipped is a recipe for bankruptcy.

Therefore, you must carefully husband your resources and take few risks in the early going. However, unlike other teams, after the first corner you may see opportunities where your skill, acceleration or speed are useful. In this case, judge your risks carefully. With good judgment and decent luck, you should do well throughout the game.


Albata
(The Priests - auriga endurance, chariot acceleration, horse speed)

This is a faction that demands patience, and a willingness to forego glory. Teams must be handled with caution.

Albata aurigas lack skill, so until they acquire it (or you can buy some with it), avoid going inside on corners and don't attack competitors (you might do more damage to yourself than to them). Fortunately, your aurigas have some strength - they recover from attacks and misadventures a bit better.

Fast accelerating chariots and speedy horses aren't the advantage you might think. Randomness in starts overwhelms the modest benefit to chariot acceleration. Speedy horses without endurance should never be whipped, which combined with no attacks, means you must be satisfied with simply surviving and finishing races until you can upgrade all your components (aurigas, chariots, horses).


Aurata
(The Traders - chariot size, horse speed and endurance)

This faction requires extreme caution at first, but in time the combination of great horses, larger chariots, and carefully developed aurigas gives you excellent long-term potential.

In the early going, the lack of skill or endurance by your aurigas means you can't risk tight corners and can't attack. Getting aurigas with at least some skill is important. With that, you can start exploiting your strong chariots and superior horses. Once you have skillful aurigas and better chariots you can start trying to place, or maybe win. When you evolve to very experienced aurigas, excellent chariots, and four-upgrade horses, you'll be a racing powerhouse.


Purpura
(The Politicians - auriga skill, chariot size and acceleration)

This faction encourages risky behavior, but penalizes you with astronomical repair bills.

This faction, like Russata and Veneta, allows you to undertake a few small risks from the start because you have skilled auriga. This includes modest cornering risks and attacking competitors. However, always remember that minimizing risk and finishing is vital until the team builds depth and financial reserves.

The biggest problem with this faction is that chariots are your least durable team component, but the most expensive to replace (since they have more upgrades). Each crash, if it doesn't bankrupt you, will cost more than any other team. You will never see horses with four upgrades, and horses with even three will be very rare. This results in serious limitations in the late game, since your fast horses cannot be whipped, and your whip-able horses are never fast.

Being aggressive toward selected competitors is a common strategy late in the game. Your "thug" aurigas eliminate the competition by killing them on the track, so your leading auriga, in a light and fast speed-demon setup, can hope for a great start and cruise to the most victories.


Praesina
(The Commoners - auriga endurance, chariot size, horse endurance)

This faction will challenge your patience like no other. Its team characterizes the Roman view of commoners: big, strong, and long-suffering.

Your durable but no-skill aurigas, mounted on larger but slower chariots, with horses than can only withstand one whipping, must play for "finishing" in the early races. Being able to whip once or twice rarely helps enough to give you much chance at winning. Like many other teams, you need to wait until you have auriga skill to attack competitors or attempt risky cornering maneuvers. Eventually you can afford better chariots and horses, and can really start racing.


Team Management & The Empire - part II

Starting Location
A good starting city should have a wide Roman track. The reasoning is fairly simple. Narrow four-wide tracks have only one "safe" lane (#4), and have less prize money (which is based on number of teams racing as well as city category). Greek hippodromes require more skill than Roman style tracks. Hippodromes have six corners instead of five in a three lap race. Hippodromes also have just four complete straight-aways instead of six, and allow all manner of attacks and maneuvering from the very start. In comparison, the long runway from the Roman start gate spreads and sorts out the teams a bit before any attacks can start.

A good starting province should not only have a good starting city, but also access to "Iron Forge" cities for better chariots, and "Pure Breeds" cities for better horses. Athletic Worship for better aurigas is less important for most teams, although teams of the Aurata faction might think differently (since their aurigas start as total incompetents).

These considerations invariably lead to one province and starting city: Mirobriga in Hispania. The track is a six-wide Roman design. It is the only province with both an Iron Forge (Toletum) and Pure Breeds (Corduba). It also has two category IV cities for the mid-game earnings boost.

Syria has an eight-wide Roman arena (at Caesarea Inland) and Pure Breeds (at Bostra), but the nearest Iron Forge is on the far side of the empire (in Galia or Hispania). On the plus side, Syria has a great place to build income - Antoich (category V and bonus 20% to all awards). Galia has the other Iron Forge (Camulodunum), but its starting city (Santonum) is a four-wide Greek arena that generates more bankruptcies than any other starting city. Galia's top tier cities (Treverorum and Arelate) are not that useful for building wealth or fame.

Advanced players may develop alternate strategies, or try out provinces just to see the sights. It's a big empire (43 cities), and each of the seven provinces has unique advantages and challenges. Macedonia is the most challenging starting province - it has mostly four-wide Greek arenas, no horse or chariot advantages, and Constantinople only accepts teams with very high fame ratings, although it does provide large awards in fame and money.

Team Components
Horses are your most durable component. It is nearly impossible to wipe out an entire horse team. On the other hand, horses almost always suffer damage in a race, forcing you to rest them for at least one race before using them again. Losing a horse, or suffering extensive damage, can take multiple races to fully repair.

The only reason to replace a horse team is because you have four horse sets, and you've found a better one. Double-speed horses are the most valuable, especially if they have endurance upgrades as well. Only Aurata has access to four-upgrade horses, which can be insanely expensive to maintain.

Aurigas have the unique ability to upgrade on their own. The chance to get an auriga upgrade seems to depend on how many upgrades they have. No upgrade aurgias get one fairly easily (perhaps 20-30% probability after each race). Aurigas with one upgrade get a second more slowly (perhaps 10-20%). Aurigas with two get the third rarely (perhaps 3-7%), and aurgias who get a fourth may not appear in the lifetime of your team. An aurigia only gets a chance of an upgrade if in a race. It is unclear whether race events (risky corners, crashes, etc.) affect the chance of an upgrade, but probably not.

The auriga upgrade can be skill or strength, although skill seems to be more common. Upgrade chances increase at Knowledge Center cities, but it is still a matter of luck. If accumulated experience plays a role in auriga upgrades, it is overshadowed by pure luck. Time to sacrifice more goats to Fortuna! In general, assume that your aurigas might rise to three upgrades, but probably not four.

If you crash, an auriga can die as they try to escape the track. Except in the Epic Campaign, you have an immediate option to "save" them in a badly damaged state instead of losing them. Some believe that the whims of Fortuna must be honored, and that dead auriga should stay dead. Others believe that divine intervention is possible. After all, Constantine became Emperor in a civil war with the aid of Christian divine intervention at Milvian Bridge (312 AD). Perhaps your auriga, near death, could experience a divine event that rescues him from death. However, it appears that your convert Christian auriga cannot appear in the leaderboard after his miraculous recovery (this may be a game bug, but if so, it's a fairly "appropriate" bug).

Chariots are frequently damaged or wrecked. Any time you fail to finish a race, it means the chariot is now kindling. Although chariots are your cheapest components, they are the most frequently purchased.

You may not need four aurigas or four horse sets, but you almost certainly need four chariots in a well-managed team. Furthermore, it's not uncommon for chariots to require two races worth of time to fully repair. It's easy to be unlucky and have nothing but your worst, reserve chariot available for the next race.

Specialists: Purchasing auriga doctors, chariot craftsmen, or veterinarians appears to be a needless expense and "money-sink." Paying a huge fee to avoid a few minor hundreds in repair costs isn't even possible until late in the game, at which point you've probably already spent the majority of the money you could have saved. Of course, you may insist on feeling like a big-time manager of the world's most famous team. Congratulations! That and two quadrans (each 1/64th of a Denarius) will get you a cup of watered wine at a big-name wineshop.
Team Management & The Empire - part III

Purchasing Better Team Components
First, be aware that race awards are larger in a normal campaign than an epic campaign. Expect things to "take longer" in epic campaigns.

The key to building teams is to know what is likely to be available at a city. Your starting city almost always just has aurigas, chariots, and horses that exactly match your starting ones. Occasionally they have inferior ones, just to mix things up. You need at least two teams to race (one to race, one resting and recovering from the previous race). Therefore, you can't afford to lose much from your starting allocation of three teams.

Once you leave your starting city, certain randomization logic kicks in to determine what you can buy at a city. The logic remains in place even if you later return to your starting city. Therefore, if you have great components at the start (like fine aurigas, chariots, or horses), load up on them before you leave your starting city. You won't see the like until you get to cities with Athletic Worship, Iron Forges or Pure Breeds.

The component randomization logic appears to take your original team components, and randomizes from that. It may eliminate one or two upgrades, giving you a no-upgrade auriga, chariot or team. It may also add one or two upgrades. You can even see two upgrades of the same type, provided it is possible (no component can have more than two upgrades of any type). Lower category cities tend to eliminate upgrades more often, while higher tier cities tend to add upgrades. However, considerable chance is still involved. For example category IV cities can have some putrid options.

Aurigas, chariots and horses remain on sale for one to three races, after which they are replaced (sometimes) with something else. Therefore, you can sometimes wait for better options.

Athletic Worship (for aurigas), Iron Forges (for chariots), and Pure Breeds (for horses) adds a random extra upgrade into this mix. However, all these cities are category II or III, which means that a three-upgrade component (lucky two, plus one for the special city) happens rarely.

Nevertheless, well into the mid-game, Athletic Worship aurigas, Iron Forge chariots, and Pure Breed horses are excellent components, if rather expensive. Late in the game, the top category cities, especially V or VI, tend to have excellent components for sale also. Note that only certain factions can get four-upgrade components, because only certain factions start with two upgrades for one component, upon which two lucky others may be added.

Fame & Inter-Province Travel
Improving local fame for better city access, and then rebuilding local fame after you travel to a new province, is very important. Greater fame is needed to qualify for higher category cities. Global fame is important because if you travel to a new province, you new local fame starts at your global level. "Mythical" global fame is also needed for entrance to the Circus Maximus in Rome.

Exactly how you accumulate fame is not known. It appears that victories, second places, third places and finishes all count. Victories count much more than second place, second counts more than third, and third counts more than a finish. Failure to finish, ora spectacular crash/death, probably doesn't increase your fame. Therefore, you can "grind" for fame by just finishing. However, taking calculated risks to place or win is worthwhile.

Moving to new cities is eventually necessary. Each victory your overall team achieves in a city reduces by 10% the awards available at that city. For example, if your team has one victory in the city, all awards are 90% normal. If you team has two victories, all awards are 80%, etc. It doesn't matter which auriga won - the penalty is based on the combined total of all your aurgias at that city (even the now deceased ones). That's why the "city" screen, right under the local fame banner, the game displays the number of "city victories>"

If your auriga is the leader (in number of victories) of your faction, your travel costs (and skip race costs) are halved. This is a nice perk, but the risk of trying constantly for victories can cost much more than you save.

Leaving Hispania
If your starting province is Hispania, when you can travel to a new province, remember that your ultimate goal is the Circus Maximus in Italia. The map of provincial connections shows you can go through either Galia or Africa.

Bear in mind that in a new province all you have is your global fame at the start. Hopefully your global fame will be at least "Popular," so that you have access to category III cities. Africa's Utica (III) provides victory bonuses for increased cash, but the four-wide Roman arena means greater risks and less overall income. Galia's Lugdunum (III) is a six-wide track Greek arena that has its own difficulties and risks, but with more teams you see more money. In both provinces the best category IV cities for racing are exactly the same (Arelate and Carthago). In the end, there is very little difference - either choice is a good one.

Endgame Limitations & Workarounds
At category V cities you'll periodically see the best aurigas, chariots, and horses allowed to your faction. If you are absolutely rolling in wealth, but short on fame, a temporary move to Macedonia can be useful because Constantinople (VI) has top awards and unmatched fame improvements. However, Constantinople access requires you to build significant local fame, so the trip is rarely worthwhile. On the other hand, at Constantinople the Emperor Constantine has recently rebuilt grungy old Byzantium into a splendid Imperial capital with incredible riches.

It is usually not worth the money to move further east to Antioch (V) in Syria despite its 20% greater earnings, or Alexandria (V) in Aegyptus for auriga training (Alexandria is a knowledge center). Remember, you'll have to move back again, via intermediary provinces, to reach Rome. The overall travel cost is quite high compared to the potential benefits..

Because of the "city victories" penalty, amassing enough money to get top horses, chariots, and aurigas takes time and travel. When you have the best feasible components, it's time to go to Italia and Rome. The three arenas at Rome - Nero (IV), Maxentius (V), Circus Maximus (VI) - are good places to cultivate additional money and fame. Furthermore, if your aurigas need improvement, the province also has a knowledge center at Mediolanum (IV) for faster auriga advancement.

Finally, be aware that you must have global fame at "mythical" to be invited into the Circus Maximus. This can take time and patience. Once there, you need multiple victories to win the normal campaign, and must have the top auriga to win the epic campaign.

A number of players have observed that cultivating "thug" aurigas to "take out" high-victory opponent aurigas (usually via crash attacks) is almost required in the epic campaign. Meanwhile, take no risks with your highest victory count auriga. If he dies, you'll have to start the painful, expensive and time-consuming process of building victories for your "top of the ticket" auriga once again.
Provinces & Cities Table

Province
City
Category
Track Type
Track Width
Track Length
Bonus
Galia
Santonum
I
Greek
4 lanes
short
Gold Mining: Podium rewards are 30% increased
Galia
Camulodunum
II
Roman
6 lanes
long
Iron Forge Bonus: Chariots have one extra upgrade
Galia
Vienna
II
Roman
8 lanes
long
Main Warehouses: All purchases are slightly cheaper
Galia
Lugdunum
III
Greek
6 lanes
medium
Trade Center: Half price travelling to and from city
Galia
Treverorum
IV
Roman
4 lanes
long
Industry: Half price craftsman services
Galia
Arelate
IV
Roman
8 lanes
medium
Populous Bonus: Aurigas are 25% cheaper
Hispania
Mirobriga
I
Roman
6 lanes
short
Livestock: Half price veterinarian services
Hispania
Toletum
II
Roman
8 lanes
medium
Iron Forge Bonus: Chariots have one extra upgrade
Hispania
Saguntum
II
Roman
6 lanes
short
Horse Fair: Horses are 25% cheaper
Hispania
Corduba
III
Roman
4 lanes
short
Pure Breeds: Horses have one extra upgrade
Hispania
Emerita Augusta
IV
Roman
8 lanes
short
Silver Mining: Podium rewards are 30% increased
Hispania
Tarraco
IV
Roman
8 lanes
very short
Famous Stables: Spare horses are trained without penalization
Africa
Thugga
I
Roman
4 lanes
short
Granary of Rome: Chariots are 25% cheaper
Africa
Claudia Caesarea
II
Roman
6 lanes
short
Trading Post: Half price travelling to another region
Africa
Sifitis
II
Roman
6 lanes
long
Livestock: Half price veterinarian services
Africa
Utica
III
Roman
4 lanes
short
Wealthy Families: Winner earns 50% more
Africa
Thysdrus
III
Roman
6 lanes
short
Trading Center: Half price traveling to and from the city
Africa
Carthago
IV
Roman
8 lanes
medium
Populous Bonus: Aurigas are 25% cheaper
Italia
Siena
I
Greek
8 lanes
long
Livestock: Half price veterinarian services
Italia
Aquileia
II
Roman
8 lanes
long
Industry: Half price craftsman services
Italia
Bovillae
III
Roman
6 lanes
short
Wealthy Families: Winner earns 50% more
Italia
Mediolanum
IV
Roman
6 lanes
long
Knowledge Center: Aurigas gain more experience
Italia
Rome Nero
IV
Roman
6 lanes
very long
Rome Bonus: Free travel between city circuses
Italia
Rome Maxentius
V
Roman
8 lanes
long
Rome Bonus: Free travel between city circuses
Italia
(Rome) Circus Maximus
VI
Roman
8 lanes
very long
Rome Bonus: Free travel between city circuses
Macedonia
Nicopolis
I
Greek
4 lanes
short
Herbalism: Half price medical services
Macedonia
Corinth
II
Roman
6 lanes
short
Administrative Capital: Free travel to the city
Macedonia
Aphrodisias
II
Greek
4 lanes
short
Athletic Worship: Aurigas have one extra upgrade
Macedonia
Trimontium
III
Greek
4 lanes
short
Luxury Lifestyle: All earnings are 20% greater
Macedonia
Thessalonica
IV
Greek
6 lanes
very long
Famous Stables: Spare horses are trained without penalization
Macedonia
Constantinople
VI
Roman
8 lanes
long
Prestige Bonus: Fame gained from results is doubled
Syria
Caesarea Inland
I
Roman
8 lanes
short
Caesarea Bonus: Free travel between city circuses
Syria
Caesarea Coastal
II
Roman
4 lanes
short
Caesarea Bonus: Free travel between city circuses
Syria
Tirus
II
Roman
8 lanes
short
Main Warehouses: All purchases are slight cheaper
Syria
Bostra
III
Roman
8 lanes
short
Pure Breeds: Horses have one extra upgrade
Syria
Gerasa
III
Roman
4 lanes
very short
Horse Fair: Horses are 25% cheaper
Syria
Antioch
V
Roman
8 lanes
long
Luxury Lifestyle: All earnings are 20% greater
Aegyptus
Cyrene
I
Roman
4 lanes
short
Herbalism: Half price medical services
Aegyptus
Gortyn
II
Roman
4 lanes
short
Granary of Rome: Chariots are 25% cheaper
Aegyptus
Antinopolis
II
Roman
4 lanes
short
Athletic Worship: Aurigas have one extra upgrade
Aegyptus
Oxyrhychus
III
Greek
6 lanes
short
Administrative Capital: Free travel to the city
Aegyptus
Leptis Magna
IV
Roman
6 lanes
medium
Trading Post: Half price traveling to another region
Aegyptus
Alexandria
V
Greek
8 lanes
long
Knowledge Center: Aurigas gain more experience
Provinces & Cities - Key and Comments
Key
This chart lists each city in the game, by province.

City Category: This affects the size of race awards, and the quality of the components (aurgia, chariots, horses) available.

Track Type: Roman tracks have a carceres gate and runway area for fast running starts. Greek hippodromes are pure ovals with the start in the middle of a straight (see manual, pg 11).

Track Width: Whether the track is four, six or eight chariots wide.

Track Length: The relative length of the track (very short, short, medium, long, very long). Track lengths are semi-random judgments. If someone can provide more exact track measurements, I will be happy to update this data.

Bonus: Each city has a bonus of some sort. Bonus text is copied from the game screens - interpret it as you wish.

Comments
Early on, reaching an Iron Forge or Pure Breeds city is important. Although the chariots and horses are more expensive, they are also the best available early in the game. Mining towns are also useful because of the increased awards, which equates to getting an extra race's winnings after every three races.

Unfortunately, by the time you can move to a new province, you are into the middle game and close to accessing category IV cities, if you haven't reach them yet. At this point excellent aurigas, chariots or teams for your faction start appearing randomly. This makes Iron Forge or Pure Breeds less significant. This is why Hispania province is favored when starting - it is the only province with both Iron Forge and Pure Breeds cities.

Later in the game, Knowledge Center cities are useful for maximizing your aurigas, while category V and VI cities are the fastest way to boost wealth and get access to the best aurigas, chariots and horses of your faction.
Earnings Table
Teams
Place
I
II
III
IV
V
VI
4
1st
2,400
4,800
7,200
9,600
-
-
"
2nd
800
1,600
2,400
3,200
-
-
"
3rd
600
1,200
1,800
2,400
-
-
"
Finish
400
800
1,200
1,600
-
-
6
1st
3,600
7,200
10,800
14,400
-
-
"
2nd
1,200
2,400
3,600
4,800
-
-
"
3rd
900
1,800
2,700
3,600
-
-
"
Finish
600
1,200
1,800
2,400
-
-
8
1st
4,800
9,600
14,400
19,200
24,000
28,800
"
2nd
1,600
3,200
4,800
6,400
8,000
9,600
"
3rd
1,200
2,400
3,600
4,800
6,000
7,200
"
Finish
800
1,600
2,400
3,200
4,000
4,800
9
1st
5,400
10,800
16,200
21,600
-
-
"
2nd
1,800
3,600
5,400
7,200
-
-
"
3rd
1,350
2,700
3,050
5,400
-
-
"
Finish
900
1,800
2,700
3,600
-
-
12
1st
7,200
14,400
21,600
28,800
36,000
43,200
"
2nd
2,400
4,800
7,200
9,600
12,000
14,400
"
3rd
1,800
3,600
5,400
7,200
9,000
10,800
"
Finish
1,200
2,400
3,600
2,400
6,000
7,200
16
1st
10,800
21,600
32,400
43,200
48,000
57,600
"
2nd
3,600
7,200
10,800
14,400
16,000
19,200
"
3rd
2,700
5,400
8,100
10,800
12,000
14,400
"
Finish
1,800
3,600
5,400
7,200
8,000
9,600
Earnings Table - Comments & Advice
Comments
Columns I, II, III, IV, V and VI refer to the category of the city. Higher category cities have higher awards.

This earnings chart is appropriate for the normal campaign. In the Epic campaign, earnings appear to be about 75% of the above.

The earnings chart does not include specific city bonuses, such as increased podium rewards in mining cities, increased earnings in luxury lifestyle cities, high first place awards from wealth families, or various random events. Nor does it include award deductions for remaining too long in a city, or individual race random events.

Table blanks are because all category V and VI city arenas are eight-wide tracks.

Advice
Get out of your category I starting city as soon as possible. Simply moving up to category II doubles all your awards. This is the single biggest income jump available in the game. Each step up in category after that means bigger rewards, but the increase is relatively less and less, compared to the next lower category.
Component Prices
Table
Component
Upgrades
Price
Auriga
none
1,000
Auriga
one
3,000
Auriga
two
9,000
Auriga
three
27,000
Auriga
four
81,000
Chariot
none
600
Chariot
one
1,200
Chariot
two
2,400
Chariot
three
4,800
Chariot
four
9,600
Horses
none
2,000
Horses
one
4,000
Horses
two
8,000
Horses
three
16,000
Horses
four
32,000

Comments
Team component costs (aurigas, chariots, horses) vary depending on how many upgrades are present. The cheapest components are always those with no upgrades, the most expensive those with four upgrades (two in each category).

Note that the type of upgrade has NO effect on the price. An auriga with two skill upgrades but no strength has the same price as an auriga with two strength upgrades but no skill. This may seem "unfair" (since skill is probably more valuable than strength), but the numbers have been verified by observing in-game costs.

It appears that auriga prices triple with each upgrade, while chariot and horse prices are only double. Apparently really famous men cost more than well-bred horses or finely crafted chariots.
Fame Index

This is a list of progressive fame states, and their benefits. Expect an increase in fame every five races, plus or minus a few, depending on how well you finish. Later in the game, fame advancement may be slower. Note that when moving to a new province, your local fame starts at the level of your global fame.  

Table
Fame Progression
Level
Travel Allowed
Nameless
1
-
Novice
2
within province travel to category II
Recognized
3
-
Popular
4
within province travel to category III
Renowed
5
-
Acclaimed
6
within province travel to category IV
Celebrated
7
travel to different province allowed
Heroic
8
within province travel to category V
Legendary
9
-
Mythical
10
within province travel to category VI
Worshipped
11
-
Historical Setting, Manual Errata, About the Author

Historical Setting
The game is set in the mid-300s AD (CE), after Constantine rebuilt Byzantium into Constantinople, including its great Hippodrome (finished 330), but before the Empire abandoned Britain (early 400s). The Roman Empire has declined from its "glory days," but is currently the greatest Imperial power on the planet (China, India and Central Asia were all disunited at the time). Christianity has been recently legalized (by Constantine), but the empire's institutions are still strongly polytheistic. It is a world where the wealthy and privileged can act as they please, while commoners (plebeians, or "plebs") are placated by bread and circuses.

Chariot teams and factions are followed with religious passion throughout the empire, with top drivers (auriga) almost worshipped as gods. This is not unlike Football (soccer) teams in Europe almost two millennia later. However, unlike European sports teams, chariot teams and their colors gradually acquired political significance. Somewhat later than this period, in the later Roman (Byzantine) Empire, the "Greens" and "Blues" became the chief political parties as well as the colors of chariot teams.

Like sports teams today, chariot team managers are manipulating a LOT of money. Although the Denarius ceased to be the main unit of currency three centuries earlier, in its heyday one Denarius represented one day of work by a skilled worker. In early 21st Century American terms, this a bit over $100 (median annual wage for an individual divided by work days in the year). Therefore, every 10,000 Denarius is equivalent to one million US Dollars ($1,000,000). Exact comparisons are silly, but this gives you an idea of the scale of expenditure involved.

Incidentally, the shining city of Constantinople is indeed a splendid Imperial capital. It will remain unconquered by invaders for almost 900 years. Its name today is Istanbul.


Manual Errata
Teams choose faction but get no additional upgrades (pg 8)
The manual says "You can freely choose another three upgrades after selecting your faction." This is not true. There are NO additional upgrades that can be chosen.

Chariot quality symbols reversed (pg 9)
The hammer and lightning symbols are reversed on page 9 of the manual. The in-game explanations are correct. Therefore:
  • Lightning Bolt - represents improved chariot acceleration.
  • Hammer - represents chariot size (0=light, 1=medium or 2=heavy).


About the Author
Arnold "Yasha" Hendrick is a recently retired game producer and designer, as well as an academically trained historian. He has 33 years of industry experience on over two dozen published titles, including multiple MicroProse titles from its "glory years" of the late '80s and early '90s. He created this guide as an aid to his own enjoyment of Qvadriga, and decided to share his findings and views with other fans of the game. Corrections and alternate opinions are welcomed.

Postscript
Steam limits the character count in any one section, which resulted in unnecessary fragmentation of this guide. It would have been even easier to write if Steam allowed authors to upload PDF files, instead of forcing a reformat (which is especially painful for large tables, and produces less readable tables).

< >
19 Comments
Drewsko Oct 12, 2020 @ 11:51am 
wow he died?
Outis Jun 18, 2020 @ 5:41pm 
R.I.P Yasha,

You brought great joy to many.. me especially. Your games inspired my successful military career and you will always be thought of fondly.
Shadowxpx Jan 23, 2020 @ 9:44am 
Exceptional. The historical background adds even more to an already great guide
kedevash Jan 22, 2020 @ 3:00am 
Can't say enough, great guide !
enick3312 Jun 11, 2019 @ 4:28am 
Great and complex guide, thank you very much!
Kalyan MachineGun May 5, 2018 @ 8:09am 
Все на инглише, эх Яша Яша...:steamfacepalm:
jekkis Mar 4, 2018 @ 1:19pm 
This is an amazing guide and got me well off on my journey in chariot racing. Thank you!
oldboys Sep 14, 2017 @ 10:27am 
Insanely good guide thank you very much for all the effort you put into it
Yasha  [author] Jul 8, 2017 @ 10:13am 
If you are seeing that, Fuzzy466, it's a bug I have not experienced. I have seen the AI whip early and often, only to become slower than my mediocre to poor unwhipped team late in the race. I have used the AI's over-aggressive whipping to my advantage in many races.
Fuzzy466 Jul 5, 2017 @ 2:00pm 
Can anyone explain how/why the AI is able to continually whip horses throughout entire race and still not receive a significant penalty?