A few tips and tricks for this game (warning: lengthy read; these are merely the ones that immediately sprang to mind). Made for easy difficulty (since even though it’s only “easy,” it’s still fairly difficult).
- Settle Near A Straight River (vertically or horizontally), as straight as possible. Some of the most important buildings in the game have to be placed near water. You can’t place them if the river is not straight. I can’t stress this one out enough, if you don’t want to terraform then just restart the map until you have a nice straight river. A lake works too, the game doesn’t distinguish the two. (generally you don’t want to terraform because you use precious tech points that could go to some other techs instead)
- It’s nice to gather the resources near you when you just settled with the gather all command. I suggest at least to cut down the trees that are in your market range if you don’t want to have your people spend too much time on resource gathering.
- You don’t need to build every basic building from the start! I recommend to start with : a big well (it will be enough for quite some time), a repair shop (only 1 people, it will be enough for at least the first 10 years, when you see buildings getting damage just add another one), gathering hut, some fields ( 2 at least will suffice), church and clinic. You won’t need the distillery or the hunters hut for now. Try to get a smithy and a tailor as fast as possible, your clothes and tools won’t last long! I suggest going straight to iron tools, skip stone tools. Stone is more useful in building, it’s a waste (at least if you don’t have a late game infinite quarry) to use it on tools. Iron is quite plentiful and not needed in huge quantities like stone.
- You should plan your starting area from the beginning and just pause construction. I suggest you plan the market influence area right at the beginning and fill it with houses and buildings. (place the clinic, church, leave a 4×8 place for a bathouse, a 4×4 for a police station, plan destroying the starting storage space and builders hut to make room for more houses.
- Use JUST 1 farmer when you make a field. Try to use the standard 8×8 field, as you can later upgrade it to a dense farm ( from faction level with the Asian girl, forgot her name), which basically makes double it’s output. For this reason I suggest to not invest in plantations ( but if you do also use just 1 farmer). For a dense farm I suggest you use 2 farmers as there is a lot more food to be moved. IF you make bigger fields, try to maintain the ratio of 1 farmer/64 tiles, IT IS ENOUGH. Don’t waste precious manpower. I also suggest to just make normal fields, no the upgraded ones, fertilizer is good but you can’t achieve a steady (large) supply until mid-late game. I suggest 8×8 because you can’t build a costume size dense farm (which is quite annoying, especially the dense tree farm which by default is 15×15, a HUGE area if not planned beforehand). I say that 1 farmer is enough because I tested the fields with 1, 2 or 3 farmers. The result? It looks like it’s just a a matter of collecting the harvest faster rather than actually producing more. For example if 1 farmer can plant and collect the crop before winter hits, you get the same amount of that crop as 3 farmers working on a similar field/crop. This is where the tech Farming Efficiency in Agriculture comes in handy. It almost guarantees that 1 farmer is enough for 1 8×8 field.
- Orchards are a waste of manpower early game, they don’t produce as much as a field. When you get the dense tree farm then you can invest in them. (and you will have to because you need SILK)
- Even if you don’t see it, the moment you begin the game you are in a race with time to get either a) Herb Seeds or b) Fat and then Soap.
- You need the Nursery tech in Agriculture for , you guessed it, the nursery building. It’s the only building where you can grow herbs! (I suggest grabbing herb knowledge while you are there). Try to get one as soon as possible. As for the seeds themselves, I don’t know if I was very lucky or if it’s scripted but it looks like quite soon after you get the Nursery/Herb knowledge/build said nursery you will get the seeds. I played like 5 test games and I got the seeds in at most 2 years.
- For fat you will need animals that produce “fatty” meat (beef, alpaca, mutton, bufallo, pork, horse, donkey). Then you get this meat to a butcher (tech in processing) then you get the fat produced by the butcher to a soap workshop (you might need a few of them as they are slow to produce soap).
- If you don’t do this, you WILL die of poor health.
- Get at least some straw shoes and bandages for your people. I’ve developed a theory that the villagers in Settlement Survival just don’t like the way their ankles look and want to get them out of their bodies. If there was a Guiness World Record for the times my villager Demi sprained her ankles in her life she might have an unbeatable record. ( seriously, it’s just crazy)
- Try to get flax and potato seeds as soon as possible. They are some of the most important seeds ( you need linen for the bathhouse and clothing / you need potatoes for food and spirits)
- Same as with the 1 farmer/8×8 field, I only put 3 people in a 20×20 pasture and it seems to be enough. Also, try to have a big pasture, it’s more efficient than having 4 10×10 pastures because of the speed the animals grow at in bigger pastures.
- Build dirt roads everywhere. Speed is essential in efficiency!
- Look at the techs! See what you might need! Especially try to go for the passives ones like the one that makes clothing last longer, the one that increases carry weight, the one that gives you more output for animals you killed
- Sawmill! Don’t even bother with the woodcutter, you get 2 sawmills and they might last you an entire game. I have 3 in my latest game with 1.5k pops. 2 for woodcutting and 1 for planks. I recommend you star with just one and one worker, you might be surprised how much fuel he produces. The boiler rooms is a good way to increase the heating efficiency of your settlement.
- Water Reservoir is good, but build it near storage otherwise it might be more efficient to just build a few big wells.
- Get a small cemetery early on. It will save you from a depression if somebody dies by accident and you can’t bury him.
- Early game, fish is one of the best food sources especially on a bonus fish output thing. get nets and you can catch up to 4-5k fish / year with just 4 fishermand. Crazy!
- Get luxury houses. If you don’t play with nomads especially. Why? Because the standard house has only 4 people slots. What does that mean? It means that unless you want to get to a steady(ish) population number, you will not be able to grow your pops! Because a family will only have 2 children. This means those parents made enough children to just replace themselves when there is no other free house. It’s even less that 2 children because of random events that kill your pops, as such the real “fertility rate” if you want to call it like that is maybe around 1.9 children or something like that, so if a parent loses a child they might be too old at that point to replace it and this might lead to a slow pop decline if you played a long enough game and had enough bad luck. Instead get luxury houses! (even better with luxury bed upgrade) as you can get 5 to 7 slots (with upgrade). You will always have excess population this way 🙂
- Get retirement homes for those old people who can’t produce more babies! Your 13th century settlement will reward you with a LOT of new babies.
- Get bricks! Lots and lots of bricks! You will need them for the road network.
- Build a silver mine and start minting, 1 silver mine with unlimited output and the lanterns upgrade will be enough for 6 minting houses (don’t remember exactly how they are called) with 2 workers/house and the bricks upgrade.
- Trade! Build up relations with the “factions”, try to get to lvl 5 with them, they have stronk bonuses (also dense farms are the best)