Tutorials/First Year on Hard Difficulty

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This tutorial will help you survive the first on year on hard difficulty. Please don't feel obliged to follow all the instructions. Experiment, learn from your own failures and find your own play style that suits you.

Basic Map Settings

This basic tutorial will assume the following map settings:

  • Terrain type: valleys
  • Terrain size: medium
  • Climate: fair
  • Disasters: on
  • Starting conditions: hard

Starting Resources on Hard

On "hard" difficulty you start off with:

In-depth 1st year

The very first thing to do is work out a good location for a Forester's Lodge as this will be the centre of your town for now. Its working area is shown as a yellow circle. You are looking for an area which has no rivers or hills within the circle.

Go ahead and place the building down. Assign just 1 builder and pin the building menu to the screen for easy access.

Now you need resources, so assign an area just out side the yellow ring for clearance. You do not need iron for now, though it will be useful later. Make the selection fairly large (about 20x20).

Afterwards, opposite the lodge place down a Stock Pile. 4x4 will do, but no more than 8x8 for now.

Next you need a Gatherer's Hut. Place it as close as you want to the forester's lodge and within the yellow ring.

If at any point you have not got a clearance job set up but need more resources, feel free to set one up out side your yellow ringed area.

When your first 2 buildings are finished you will assign 2 people to each building type(4 people in total).

Now that we have a small stock of food and wood we can build 2 houses. To avoid people wasting time walking from their house to their workplace, try to place the houses as close as possible.

The next few buildings are the Hunting Cabin and the Herbalist's Hut. Each one can also be built within the yellow area of the forester's hut.

Then it is time to build another house. Just be aware of assigning additional clearance tasks if you are running low on a resource. Trees will grow back on their own.

It is time to increase your storage capacity with a Storage Barn. You will probably later on want a central area for all your crafting buildings. It will probably be best to place it close to the centre of the map, just outside of the forest we are going to deforest with the forester's lodge. Next to that you will want to construct another house and a wood cutter.

If you got things done swiftly, you should be seeing winter set in around about the time the last house is being built.

Basic Build Order

Your building order should be something like this:

Food for Thought/Next Few Years

After the first year there are a number of paths you can take

  • Trade
  • Food
  • Market based society
  • Mining

Trade Path

Diverse in its options and perhaps in many ways it is the defining moment of mid game. Once you have that trader assigned it opens up the rest of your game play. But lets not get ahead of ourselfs. Right now we can only just about sustain 4 families, let alone produce enough goods to buy into agriculture.

The trade path is quite far off. Perhaps 5 years at minimum, you will want a higher population count and to be almost completely self-sustaining before even building the trade building.

Before you embark on this path, ask yourself "what can trading give me I that I lack?". This may be tools, clothing or the ability to provide a diverse food pool. Now with a target you need to find something you can produce efficiently in large. For example, making alcohol from berries.

Food Path

After year 1 there are only 2(3) buildings that make food. The best option is the Gatherer's Shelter. go back to your Forester's Lodge and pin it. place another one so the yellow area are only just about overlapping(it doesn't matter so much if they do overlap(about quarter way to the centre is perfectly ok) opposite the building place the Gatherer's Shelter and close by 2 wooden houses. then plop down a road to connect our new area to what we built in year 1. just keep doing this when you feel you need more food.

Market based society

A market society is a very effective way to organise where people live work and store.

Find an area in the wilderness, close to centre of the map with plenty of area to build around and plop it down.

  1. Roads - wrap a stone road around market.
  2. Extend the road, corners away in a straight line from the building until you reach the market's yellow ring
  3. On each corner place a 4x4 Stock Pile. Try to be organic with the lane/avenue.
  4. Closest to the market you will want job buildings, like the Wood Cutter. Keep them "flat" to the market.
  5. Construct lanes/avenues - basically a square around the work buildings.
  6. Construct more houses

This type of organisation will help to reduce time wasted traveling to restock houses and walking to work


Just after the 1st year you are not going to need the resources a mine/quarry can provide, though stone may soon become a scarce resource. Find an area where you don't plan on building anything, such an awkward bit of land between 2 rivers and place down a quarry. Assign up to 5 people. This will reduce the need to clear cut large areas of your map.

Final Tips

  • As you expand you will start to fall behind on some resources. It may sound obvious, but stop what you are currently doing (pause buildings etc) and correct the issue.
  • Don't try to do too much at once. For example, you may wish to pause the game and lay out some building plans.
  • Are you getting to the point where it feels your townspeople are not doing anything? Perhaps you should cancel that map wide clear cut you just ordered.
  • Before appointing any tasks that are on the other side of a river, finish building a bridge to get there.
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