Well, after learning a few tricks in the previous game. And also finding out how to update a patch to the game on the iMac and installing a bunch of mods to the game, I back to start a new game. On the same map. (Map Seed : 19800415)
Before I start, I would probably like to highlight a couple of mods that I have added to the game. First and foremost are the ones that change the visual graphics of the game. I don’t want to see rain nor the indistinguishable seasonal changes. Added the Fountain Lite mod. I actually liked the full mod, but the icon changes and added items skewed the menu format.
Then I added an Apiary (bee-keeper) and a lettuce seed into the game. Things that hacked the game in which I modded was the road speed. Now walking on dirt roads will be 2x faster, and on stone (3x). Another thing that I modded was that schools can now hold 2 teachers.
The town of Ranson was founded right around the same place as the old Devonport. But instead of having the Gatherers’ Hut and the Hunting Lodge in town, I placed them further away into the mountains. I even have the statistical facts to back it up, the only problem is that your people will have to walk further to work in the early game.
As usual, I went for the Schoolhouse first, I find that having educated workers from the get go is better than waiting for it later. Although most people would point out that the students will only graduate 3-4 years later, you don’t have to rush it in the early game, but I did. And it worked out just fine.
This is what your initial food producing outpost should look like. Let me explain why. It would be better if you manage to reduce the footprint but I don’t think it will make a huge difference. Preferably, there are no other buildings within the coverage of the Forester Lodge in the middle. It must be a pristine forest.
The Forester is set to plant only and the number of houses is equal to the number of workers working in the area. You’d use only 1 Forester, 1 Herbalist, 2 Hunters and 4 Gatherers. The herbalist and the forester could be the same person if you’re short on people, and you could also go for 1 hunter and 3 gatherers.
Tip: Gatherers are the best food producers in terms of the items that they provide. Two food groups and on average (with 4 Gatherers), around 2000-2500 per year.
The reason why I made this outpost is because you need to ensure that the forest stays the way it is — untouched. This will maximise the returns of your Gatherers, Herbalist and the Hunters. You do not need 3 hunters for the job, 2 will suffice because they tend to stop hunting after getting 6 deer per year. Venison is another great trading source, as it is able to trade for 3 times its price.
The initial decade was much better managed in terms of food production, none of my population starved although building projects took a while to catch up. Mostly because I wanted aesthetics. Grid-like town systems are easier to plan and to carry out. And I differed from Devonport by expanding northwards instead of south. The reason for the catching up is because I needed a Woodcutter and for that sole reason, I had to build another expansion pretty early in the game. Most people would tend to plop for the Woodcutter right next to the Forester Lodge, thereby nullifying the ‘perfect outpost’.
Luckily enough, all went well. And I was able to expand northwards.
Surprisingly, in this game, the expansion town got off to a much bigger boom rather than the town centre itself. Mostly due to the low building costs for the expansion town. All they needed was a Market and a Schoolhouse. The rest are all houses.
I went crazy with Stone Houses and in the end, had to wait for stones to arrive at the Trading Dock, which to my life, I can’t seem to get them when I most needed them.
There are pros and cons regarding having a quarry. You get to have a supply of stone and iron and maybe coal but you get poorer happiness ratings, it takes up a lot of your labourers and tools. Remember, tools are also forged from iron and coal, so what you use, you are making them into tools to reuse again in the quarries. Not to mention the deaths related to mining incidents. So I decided NOT to have them in my game, solely relying on trading for those items.
I intend to start my trading with firewood and venison, followed by exchanging food items. Ranson was a really healthy town with a lot of flat lands suitable for crops. And it took a while before the townsfolk found out what worked out to be the best crops. Not in terms of flavour but in terms of bartering trade.
Beans, is the number one go to food item. Plant them in 11 x 11 patches at let 1 Farmer take care of it. That is to be followed by Cabbage, Corn and Pepper. These became the bartering items for the Trading Docks in Ranson.
That was a lot of time for the people of Ranson to stock up on firewood and beans. And within 6 years, our seed bank was completed. My last seed – Cabbage, took about 2 years before a Merchant carrying it arrived.
Here are some really funny pics.
Livestock in the game are good swimmers/divers.
And a word on nomads, I only received my first nomad application, 17 years after the town was founded and at that time, manpower was desperately needed to complete a whole bunch of work. Nomads are a peculiar chess piece in the game, too early and it would slow down your progress (due to their lack of education), too late and they aren’t worth it. Mine came at just about the right time, I needed more labourers, all the educated ones have filled up the important posts (Farmers, Teachers, Traders, Vendors, Blacksmiths and Tailors). So I got them, twice in 10 years to add to my pool of people. That brought the education level down to 80% but a slew of graduates and the number of children that they gave birth to, made sure I had enough to last through the Golden Era for Ranson.
Tip: A safe aim for nomads is probably in the second decade. When a construction boom is expected.