Some of you may be wondering “How can a city-builder be so difficult?”
The reason is simple, it wishes for you to die.
I have come to dub this game the ‘Dark Souls of City-Builders‘.
Allow me to explain how that is so.
So as this is a city-builder, you are obviously tasked with creating a working settlement in the ravaged wastes of a dead world. This would be fine if you weren’t completely surrounded by zombies.
You start out with a command center and are required to construct tents in which to host colonists/workers and build resource acquisition structures such as a sawmill, quarry, and a hunter’s lodge.
But wait, what are these units?
Good question, as you’ll soon notice while scouting with said units, you are completely surrounded by unending hordes of zombies that want nothing more than to gobble on everything you hold dear to your futile existence. These units will be a key to your early-game survival.
The units consist of:
- 4x Rangers (your quick and stealthy scout units)
- 1x Soldier (tough guy with a boomstick) Caution: Attracts Zombies with Gunshots
The rangers are rather squishy, so don’t let the zombies hit you. I recommend leaving the soldier to emergencies and use the rangers to check around the map for the first day or so. After 2 or so days, zombies will start to come towards your base; so it is best to pull your scouting rangers back into patrol formations around EVERY CONCEIVABLE ENTRANCE to your base.
You remember that thing called Murphy’s Law? Yea……..
From personal experience, you’ll want to build up to get the soldier center as fast as humanly possible and create at least 4 more rangers for defense.
Others will say to build the wood workshop first, which is also acceptable depending on your play style.
Location Location Location
If the header wasn’t enough of a clue, you need to be warry of your surroundings and what was generated for you in the map. In other words, ‘Is your spawn a good one or a bad one?’
Here is how you can decide whether or not you should even bother trying to survive in your current location through a series of checks.
- Are there any choke points? (Rock formations / forests / lakes / etc to block enemy movement)
These will be essential to your survival
- Are there any resources? How many?
You will need close access to wood, stone, and iron for any future endeavors. Oil is nice too but not necessary in the early game.
- Is there enough space to build without having to rapidly expand outwards towards the moaning menace?
You will most certainly need more space than the one currently gifted to you by the higher-powers, make sure it is safe to expand.
- How close are the zombies? How many?
If there is a horde of zombies just outside of your view in a direction, consider that area off-limits until you can create a large enough extermination force to clear it for use. Caution: If there is a castle, stay clear of it at all costs!
- Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?
If you don’t feel comfortable with your starting location, feel free to try a new game. It would be better to find a perfectly suitable location in which you can properly thrive for a long period of time than to attempt to survive in an inhospitable location that will eventually kill you in the end.
Other factors can come into play, but these are the basis of a good chance at actually surviving for more than two waves.
In case you didn’t already notice, the world is ending.
The dead walk the earth and want nothing more than to see you suffer and whither out of existence.
Now how would one, not wanting to become zombie food, stop this sort of scenario?
You Trump the **** out of it.
Walls, all of the walls. Build them.
See a choke point between some rocks? Wall that up.
Open territory that you really shouldn’t have started with but hate yourself enough to try it? Walls.
Heard a strange sound from the south? All the walls.
Now that you stopped those darn illeg-I mean zombies from crossing into your territory, you need to set up defense for those walls. This is where towers come into play, they can garrision up to 4 units and extend the range of them out a ways. Rangers will have their attack range almost doubled, soldiers will actually have a decent attack range, and everything else is also improved. Later on you will want to both upgrade your walls through tech improvements (stone upgrade) and by at least doubling them up along with researching new defense towers such as the life-saving ballista and the shock tower.
The ballista has a slight AoE effect to anything behind the current target, so it’s best to get the zombies into a line and then open fire on them with ballistas for maximum effectiveness. The shock tower is good against low-tier zombies in large hordes, but trash against anything tougher than a runner.
As a word of warning/advice, keep in mind that each building you own has an ‘infection’ meter which deteriorates when attacked by zombies. When that meter empties, the building becomes overrun and spawns zombies around it.
Important: This is how 1 single, unimportant zombie, can lead to the entire downfall of your settlement if you allow it to infect ANY of your buildings
On top of permanent defenses, I recommend creating a ‘kill-team’ that mobilizes whenever something odd or subvertive is spotted in your territory, as it can be invalueable when you need to stop something randomly getting past your defenses.
An important note about the zombies is that they behave fluidly and with realistic effects. They respond to sounds and other stimuli, they swarm and bunch up at pathing zones, and they split like the Red Sea around natural objects to get at your base in the most effective way possible. So plan accordingly.
The part where you die
As with any wave-based survival mechanism, the waves of zombies increase in both numbers and lethality with each consecutive wave. The mob will consist of organizations similar to Left for Dead’s zombies with progressively larger and more deadly zombies to near comical proportions.
Let’s refer back to the picture in the last section
Looks great right? This was one of my most successful playthroughs. Made it to day 82, but it was on super easy mode
I had just been saving up to build the Engineering building in order to unlock the high-tier units, with most of the rest of the tech unlocked through all of the research buildings.
Here is what happened following the wonderful day of day 82…. and the horrifying night just afterwards when the next wave hit
- A large wave came from the east, directly hitting the outer eastern defenses and also rerouting south to the southeast defenses. After a nail-biting amount of time watching damage being done to my defenses, I had thwarted the attack.
- All was quiet…… too quiet
- The game finally gives me a notification that my defenses are under attack on my northeastern section of walls, the weakest portion of my defenses….
- A horde of zombies nearly equal to the amount that attacked my two other defensive areas stormed the sadly defended section of wall with only one tower and a ballista barely even in range
The location is just to the north-northwest of the foundry on the northern wall
- The local defenses didn’t stand a chance, and even though I had sent 10 soldiers to try and assist, they made little-to-no difference in the horde assaulting my settlement.
- The settlement fell within the next 120 seconds; or would have, had I not rage quit once they hit the command center
They will show no mercy, you will show them no weakness.
It is not a matter of IF you will survive, but for how long.
This guide was created for newcomers to the game as an input of helpful advice.
It is also a joke, do not take the acceptance of death so literally.
A dead colony is a useless and dangerous colony, do your country a favor and choose life over death and eradicate the undead menace to our society.
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Written by Saliferous Shadow