Development happens after Conquest, if no player has won the game yet. It is not a skippable phase, so it will happen every year. In this phase, players in turn use up their resources to develop cities, weapons, and boats.
Between the Conquest and Development phases, the turn order is "shifted down". Whoever went first now goes second. Whoever went second now goes third. And so on down the line. Whoever went last "wraps around" and now goes first.
Resources Required for Development
Each item can built using gold only, or a combination of resources. However, building something out of gold does not give it greater significance. A golden weapon is indistinguishable from a non-golden weapon. The same goes for cities and boats. Here is a breakdown of what resources are required to build what items:
How to Develop
On your turn, you will see your stockpile listing. There are two steps to developing an item:
If you are able to develop an item with your current levels of resources, its corresponding button will be enabled. For example, if you have 1 iron, 1 coal, 3 trees, and 2 golds, the following buttons will be enabled: "Weapon", "City", "Boat", "Golden Weapon". The rest will be disabled. You may choose what to develop by clicking one of these buttons. Once you have chosen, only the "Cancel" button will remain enabled. Choose the territory to place your development by clicking on the territory. Click the territory again to confirm your placement. At any time before you confirm the placement of your development, you may click the "Cancel" button. If you do not wish to develop anything more, or if you have insufficient resources to develop anything, click "End Development" to end your turn.
If you build a weapon, you may only place it on a territory of yours that doesn't already have a weapon. If you build a boat, you may be asked to specify a particular body of water, if the chosen territory touches more than one distinct body of water. You cannot build a boat on a territory that doesn't have any coastline, or has all of its coastline already filled with boats. If you build a city, the city DOUBLES all resources on the destination territory and all adjacent territories, except for herds. Usually placing only a couple of cities will enable you to produce twice the resources, except for herds. When a resource is doubled, TWO resource icons are seen on the territory.
Even if a player now has enough cities to win, that player must remain the leader until after Conquest to win the game. The city standings matter only at the end of the Conquest phase.
After the Development phase, the year is complete, and the next phase is Production again.
Questions? E-mail me at gettmanr.AT.yahoo.DOT.com.