Explore, get linen and rope, drink, let a few days pass, repeat. Then exchange. Yes, the rate is only 20:100 but you can farm hundreds of linen and rope pretty quickly.
Check the Exploration Sites
Some drop specific materials. If you go into the “Log > Walkthrough > Item Database > Material Database > Iron Plate” it shows some of the areas it can come from. I have found a few more then what are listed for some items. That will give you a good starting spot though.
The Nile River
For iron plate (see above -it’s good advice) specifically you want The Nile River. Just south of Cairo there is an exploration site that gives 40 if you find them all. Use explosives. They clear 9 tiles at a go except for solid ones that need spades. I find 6 explosives used in a way that gets everything rocky is all it takes. You should have 70 energy left to clear the grass that remains and a couple of spades for the solid rock tiles. If you recharge your fatigue in Cairo and then alternately in Alexandria it’s pretty quick. I am not sure if each town has its own reset timer on the tavern or what but if you visit both towns one after the other it is cake.
The Good Iron Plate in Central Nile
Enter in Beirut the first of the month, and buy from each city black market: explosive and stimulants. If you want (and you have space), you can buy all they have on the market and sell on the next city so in the meantime you raise a bit of cash and commercial reputation.
At the central Nile try to use no more than 5 explosives, dig and find 5 stacks of the iron plate (you can’t get more than 5 anyway). When you have 5, drink a small stimulant if you have more than 30 fatigue, otherwise, go with the big one.
Go back, press refresh, dig again with 5 explosives like before and keep repeating until you have no more explosives. At this point go back to Beirut, if you have very fast ships you’ll have to wait a few days for the first of the month and start the route again.
Beirut > Yafo > Alexandria > Cairo > Central Nile.
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