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These are the general steps I follow every game and it has worked for me up to Prestige level 13.
Early game – basic production
- Start by setting up production of basic resources: wood, stone/clay, reed/plant fiber. I like to start with 2 woodcutting camps. For the Woodcutters camps, tick the box “avoid opening glades (unless marked)”.
- From the starting blueprints, I usually pick 2 or 3 star buildings for making planks/bricks/fabric. However, I don’t like the Workshop since there is no faction bonus and it only takes 2 workers.
- Pick the blueprints that synergize well with your factions, preferrably those with a 10% chance of double yield.
- Build housing for your factions. If you lack resources, just build a big shelter and fix it later.
- This should get you through the first year. See what orders you can complete, sometimes you get lucky and get some easy ones (opening glades, making 5 packs of trade goods).
- Make sure to build a Blight post by now. Assign Harpies if possible and set a limit to Purging Fire production that is slightly higher than the number of Blight Cysts so you don’t waste more wood than necessary. Villagers leaving or dying to Blightrot will stagnate your progress!
- Upgrade your hearth to a Neighbourhood.
Mid game – opening glades, advanced production
- Check which natural resources are on the map, if there’s no Copper Ore, focus on Crystalized Dew and make Simple Tools with that. Crystalized Dew requires a Rain Collector, which works best with Harpies. The Sparkdew that it produces can also be used for some glade events.
- Once your progression stagnates or you can’t build any new things, open your first dangerous glade. Ignore the normal glades – they increase hostility and the dangerous ones have more resources. Completing the glade event should be doable, timing may be an issue, so open the glade right after a storm.
- From here, build more advanced production, farming and complex food. If you have the Parts for it, build a Warehouse near production hubs that are remote from the main storage, I like to build it next to a Mine.
- This is a nice time to start producing Flour (Press, Provisioner, Rain mill, Stamping mill, Supplier). Any excess Flour can turned into Packs of Trade Goods and sold.
- Build a Trading Post (if you have not already done so).
- Right before the storm starts (when you hear the thunder sound), fill your Blight post with Harpies, Lizards or other villagers. When the storm ends, leave one Harpy to produce Purging Fire. In the game options, set the game to pause when the storm ends so you don’t forget this and to stop burning goods in the Ancient Hearth.
- To mitigate hostility, remove workers from Woodcutter camps during the storm. If your villagers resolve becomes negative, start burning wood or coal to lower hostility even further. Finally you can favor one faction for a +5 bonus and set Lizards as the firekeeper for +1 resolve bonus.
- Upgrade the Ancient Hearth to Hub level.
- You will probably get the first blueprint for a service building by now. I prefer the ones for Harpies or Lizards, since it’s a little harder to keep their resolve up.
Mid to late game – branching out
- Start building one or two extra Small Hearths near your remote production hubs. Workers will rest at the nearest hearth, so make sure they do not need to walk all the way to the Ancient Hearth.
- Build additional houses near the Small Hearth. Remember that specialized housing will also increase the resolve of villagers. You can also move houses from nearby your Ancient Hearth as long as you stay above the villager requirement limit of that hearth, but it costs some resources.
- If you have a ton of spare stone or iron ore, consider upgrading roads that get a lot of traffic. Usually the roads near warehouses.
Late game – Simple tools, complex food, services
- By now, the Queen’s Impatience is probably somewhere halfway or even further. Focus on completing a few orders, the rewards will make your life a lot easier (especially resolve and production bonuses).
- The hostility level will put a lot more pressure on you by now. You should be able to produce some complex foods or have some service buildings to keep the villager resolve high enough to compensate for high hostility during the storm.
- Also read the effects of high hosility levels that are active during the storm. Sometimes they require you to have specific resources or offer specific services.
- For your production buildings, make sure to use planks instead of wood for production of Simple Tools and coal instead of wood for complex food and copper bars, since this is often more efficient than using wood.
- Also check the Recipes menu and filter on some of the goods you are producing. Check that only the highest starred buildings are producing the goods that you need.
Late game – Victory
- Once you can produce Simple Tools, you can start opening caches that you find in glades. You can “send to the capitol” for Amber and Reputation points, especially if your impatience is high. I only pick “keep goods” if there is a production bonus reward or if it gives me more Bars/Simple Tools/Parts/villagers. The same applies to glade events.
- Use spare Amber when a trader arrives at the Trade Post to buy new perks.
- Selling trade goods is really overpowered until somewhere near Prestige level 10 (where it halves the value of sold goods). Sometimes you can sell so many goods that you can buy out the entire trader. Buying perks with any spare Amber is still really good!
- If you have enough Simple Tools, opening a Forbidden Glade is no longer dangerous.
- You should now reach the tipping point where your Reputation points are higher than the Queen’s Impatience. From here the game usually gets a lot easier.
- Focus on completing orders and producing complex foods and services for your villagers.