Back in February, I wrote a couple of posts about playing Banished and how to go about it – Surviving on your own in Banished Part One: Villagers and Part Two: Resources. Then, about a week or so later, I wrote a recount of one of my first attempts at playing the game with hard starting conditions – Banished: A game of hard starting conditions (part one and part two). That was a far from perfect fifty years of the game and I made many mistakes I would not make now. However, the entire reason for me showing one of my first attempts at hard starting conditions was to show how forgiving the game is. The truth is, Banished is nowhere near as hard as some reviewers like to tell you it is.
Since then, the game has been updated and I wrote a brief post in July about the changes that have happened since my previous posts. That lead to me playing the game again for a while and so, I am here with another surviving on your own in Banished post. This time, I will be adjusting some statements I made before due to changes in the game, as well as adding some other tips to help everyone survive and prosper in a game of Banished.
Getting resources from their source to the home
Getting resources from their source to the home is pretty much what Banished is all about – succeed and the town will prosper, fail and everyone will starve or freeze to death. How to achieve this is an important thing to consider as well, since longer trips will result in resource gatherers having less time to gather resources, thus hurting efficiency. Of course, it’s not entirely plausible to have everything near our people’s homes so we have to carefully balance distance and resource abundance. However, it’s not as hard as it might sound.
Placing roads is the first step and a vital one. Placing a road isn’t solving any problems without a little bit of careful thinking, though. If there is a road in place, but there’s an alternative route that is shorter and doesn’t use the road, the people won’t use the road. So to ensure that everyone is walking around as fast as they can, all we have to do is make sure the roads are in places that the people will walk.
Another choice to make with road construction is when to use normal roads and when to use stone roads. Stone is a precious resource, especially if we’re trying to get the achievements where we can’t make farms or use a trading post, so we have to be a bit conservative with out use of it unless we want to put quarries everywhere. The best idea here is usually to put stone roads on the main paths to storage locations.
Storage barns are collection points for many resources including all the various types of food, herbs, tools, and clothing, making them extremely important. If we are using markets in our game, we can delegate storage barns to being resource drop-off points that are halfway between the resource gathering buildings and the markets, or even much closer to the resource gathering buildings. This means that resource gatherers will waste less time delivering resources to the storage barns because they no longer have to deliver them to a location which is accessible to the general housing population.
Once the town starts to grow, markets will become necessary, so it is good to plan space for them early. What’s a really easy way to plan? Pause the game, place a market building where we plan on having one in the future, surround it with roads, and then remove the market building. This doesn’t waste any resources because the game is paused and no labourers have gotten a chance to begin work on it. However, the roads will stay in place, marking where the borders of the market will be, allowing us to build around it and not worry about how much space we need to save.
Other than that, these are useful because of the point mentioned alongside storage barns.
Having enough resources for everyone
It’s not very hard to ensure that there are enough resources for everyone, even on a game with hard starting conditions with plans to get the achievement where trading posts and farms are not used. Here is the process I go through in such a situation in the hope that it might present some ideas that have no already been thought of.
Food is the first thing we have to worry about, so getting one gatherers hut and one hunting cabin up should be the first things we do. The reason for the gatherers hut is to balance out the peoples’ diet so that they don’t become too unhealthy.
Also, neither of these need their maximum number of workers assigned before we start building houses, but there’s no need to rush too much if we can’t get all four houses built so soon afterwards. We can afford to assign between half and the maximum number of workers to these once at least one house has been built because, in winter, when the people who don’t have a home get cold, they can visit the house of someone else.
The next thing we need to worry about is ensuring that our one or more houses that we do have are properly equipped to deal with winters. The woodcutter should be placed next in a location that may be convenient to place a forester near in the not-so-distant future. Having a good supply of firewood means that we can get away with not having enough houses for a while longer if our builders have been being a bit lazy.
However, the great thing about having a lot of houses is that people will move out when they come of age, make babies, and those babies will grow up and become labourers, and the cycle will continue. Why do we want this? Well, we might have already noticed that we don’t really have enough labourers to do everything we want and a decent rate of growth is extremely important in the early game.
Tools will probably become important soon, so once the woodcutter has been placed, a blacksmith should be built quickly. If no one has functional tools, efficiency suffers really badly, and those food gathering buildings might not be enough to sustain the current population. The woodcutter might not be able to cut wood fast enough to prevent anyone from starving either and, worst of all, if the blacksmith himself doesn’t have any tools, they will really struggle in setting things right again. Moral of the story? Build a blacksmith fast.
Clothing isn’t actually much of an issue for quite a few years, so before we even get to this stage, we should make sure that there are enough food gathering buildings in place and that there are enough workers at all of them. Another gatherers hut or two, hunting cabin or two, and a fishing dock should be enough. As before, the gatherers hut help balance the towns overall health, but an extra hunting cabin will also make sure that there’s always a decent amount of leather for the production of clothing.
Keeping everyone happy
This is probably the easiest part of the game to manage, because in my opinion, it doesn’t require any management whatsoever! Now, it might seem surprising, but in order to keep everyone happy, having graveyards in the housing areas is the easiest method. Why? They don’t require any kind of workers like the cathedral or tavern does, and they don’t require resources like the tavern does. All we have to do is place them in a small strip between sets of houses to get the maximum possible benefit from area of effect happiness boost and well, nothing is certain but death! There’s an example of this in the screenshot below and, although this example is not the most optimal set-up possible, happiness will never be a problem for the little people of this town.
And there you have it. These are the very simple things I remember when I play Banished and so far they have all served me quite well. I’ve managed to easily get the Isolationist (reach 300 citizens without building a trading post) and One with Nature (reach 400 citizens without building crops fields, orchards, or pastures) achievements in the one game of hard starting conditions and, to be honest, they required no extra effort to attain. All that getting the rest of the achievements required was copying the general layouts I had for each housing area and allowing the game to run for longer. It might seem like a daunting task to build a thriving town in Banished, but with just a little bit of care, there isn’t anything that is unachievable.