Modern kingdom management games owe a debt to the game Hammurabi, which first appeared in the 1960s under the name The Sumer Game. During your ten-year rule, you must manage wisely the resources of your kingdom and try to leave it in a more prosperous state than you inherited it. Hammurabi simulates a simple economy in the anient world, where land prices can fluctuate, harvests vary from year to year, and natural and man-made disasters can bring down an incompetent or unlucky ruler.
Each turn represents a year, and you are asked to make decisions like how much land to buy or sell to your neighbours, how much grain you can spare to give to the people, and how much seed needs to be planted to provide for the following year. Your population grows or starves depending on how well you feed them, the harvest will be brought in, and some of your stored grain may succumb to vermin.
The strategies are to buy land cheap and sell, if necessary, when land prices increase; to put aside food for bad years, but not too much, as vermin might eat up your stores; sometimes you may need to underfeed your people to get through tough times, but too much austerity could see you overthrown in a revolution. Should you last a whole ten years, you will be evaluated on how well your citizens survived during your reign, and how much land they have at the end of it.
The program has no novel features compared to the simpler examples, but it shows how the various principles can be brought together into a game of moderate complexity with good replay value. It provides a very good starting point for more detailed management games.
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