Welcome back, this is part two of my (supposedly) quick guide to Banished (official site here). Last time we covered how to get a game up and running, had a look at ensuring you’d have enough food (with some variety for health reasons), preparing for the first winter, making sure everyone had enough tools and clothing, starting forestry, building a hospital (just in case it’s needed), and letting your villagers have a place to keep their dearly departed. If you missed it or would like to go back and have a look, you can check out part one here.
Where to go from here
Now we’ll be dealing with what your options are from this point onwards. You’ve been doing quite well if you’ve gotten to this point, and now you just need to ensure that your success is as long-lived as possible. Aside from continuing on with what I’ve already talked about, here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. Once we get through these, I’ll explain two slightly more complex buildings – the Trading Post and the Town Hall.
Growing your population
When it comes to housing, you have two options for private homes. The Wooden House is the basic type of home for your villagers and is easier to build than the Stone House, but it uses up more firewood to heat.
You will need to build more private houses in order to allow your population to grow. Ideally, your villagers will only want one couple and their dependent children living in a house. However, once children come of age, if there aren’t any available homes for them to move to, they will continue living with their parents. This makes a difference towards the potential growth of your town because only the main couple owning the house will have children, and even if their children have become old enough to have their own, they won’t until they have a house of their own.
Another thing that homes do aside from providing shelter and giving your villagers a place to raise a family, is store resources such as food and clothing. Your villagers will take trips to the nearest Storage Barn, Storage Yard, or Market to gather resources and bring them back to the home for storage. This is why you might notice that your total food amount drops by a significant amount not long after you build a house – your villagers are simply taking it home so that it’s more convenient for them to eat later. It is also why the “reserve of food is low!” warning doesn’t mean it’s the end just yet.
Lastly, there is the Boarding House – a temporary place to put villagers who don’t have a home to go to. The main purpose of this is for when a disaster occurs or nomads arrive and you don’t have spare housing to accommodate those who have lost their homes or those who have just arrived to your town. These buildings can hold up to five families at a time and store resources just like private homes do, however, a child who has come of age in a private home will prefer to stay with their parents than move to a Boarding House.
Increasing your workers’ efficiency
A School House is a building where you villagers can send their children to learn how to be better workers in the future. It is staffed by one teacher and can take up to 20 students, after which, you’ll need to start building more of these structures to educate any additional children. A child will begin attending the School House once they reach the age where they can begin working and will continue to study at the School House instead for a number of years. A villager who has attended a School House during this time will become an educated citizen who is them capable of producing more resources in any profession that they are assigned to.
Simplifying the consumption of resources
If you have more than Storage Barn or Stock Pile, a Market is quite useful for distributing resources. They are serviced by vendors who visit the Storage Barns and Stock Piles, collect a bunch of resources, and bring them back to the market. This might sound like a redundant service but if your houses surround the Market, the trip to collect everything they need will take less time out of their working day. The Market also solves the problem that arises when villagers go to collect food since, if you have more than one Storage Barn receiving food, your villagers won’t have access to the type of food that is delivered to the Storage Barn(s) they don’t visit. This happens because they will only go to the closest Storage Barn when they need to stock up on food and the variety of food they collect doesn’t matter to them at all.
Ensuring fire safety
The Well can serve two functions – it can serve as a meeting place for idle villagers to gossip around, making them happier, and it can be used to collect water for the purpose of extinguishing fires. The villagers can use streams and rivers instead for putting out fires, but sometimes these features are not near enough to be able to save a building in time, thus making Wells somewhat more useful in those areas. What happens when a fire starts and your villagers don’t respond in time? See below.
Keeping the people happy
There are two buildings which have the sole purpose of making your villagers happy, the first of which is the Chapel. This structure requires one Cleric to work in it and will increase the happiness of those who live around it as well as those who have become members. The Chapel is restricted to having 200 members, so more may be needed once your town grows larger.
A Tavern allows you to create ale that your idle villagers can then consume from the following:
It makes everyone within its service area a bit happier as a result, but I’d only build one if your happiness wasn’t too good or you consistently has a surplus of food.
This structure needs to be built on a river or lake and will allow you to trade with merchants who periodically arrive by boat. Although not essential at the start, they will become more important when you begin to expand and desire new orchard and crop seeds or livestock.
This is where you instruct how much of each resource you want your traders to store at the Trading Post. They will travel back and forth to the Storage Barn and Stock Pile until the Trading Post inventory matches what you had set via this screen. However, if the set amount ends up being less than what is stored in the Trading Post, the traders will return all the excess resources back to where they belong.
When a merchant arrives, you can trade with them here. The left side displays what goods the merchant has brought to sell along with how many of them there are and how much they cost in resources. On the right, the resources you have stored in your Trading Post are displayed along with how many of them there are and how much the current merchant is willing to pay for them. To make a trade, you simply need to pay an equal or higher amount of resources for the goods you are trying to purchase.
This is where you can set up automatic purchases which occur when a merchant arrives, just before the merchant leaves, or you can disable them by setting it to “never.” What you do in order to get this working is set how many of each resource you want to automatically be bought, and your traders will use whatever resources that have been allocated under the Inventory tab to pay for these purchases. Naturally, you can purchase more than you can afford, but it can be convenient if you find yourself consistently buying a certain resource.
The items that are brought by merchants is random, unless you order specific resources here. You can get your traders to never make custom orders, make them just once, or make them every time the merchant arrives. In order to make a custom order, all you have to do is click on an item from the list of what the currently selected merchant is capable of selling and set the timing for it. Just remember that resources purchased in this way will cost more and that a merchant can only bring so many items, so if you try to order a lot, the merchant might not be able to bring all of them on the next trip.
The Town Hall is where you can access more detailed information about your town, namely the population, education, clothing, health, happiness, workers, workplaces, resource limits, production over time, acquired seeds and livestock, town inventory, and graphs of population and resources over time. This building is also where you can allow or deny entry to nomads who request to join your town.
The left side shows general statistics about the town, whilst the right side allows you to assign jobs in the same way as the Profession Tool does. It has the same information about how many jobs are available, but adds the number of work locations as well.
Here you can view the production of your resources, including:
- Limit: set a resource limit the same as the Limit Tool.
- Current: how much is in storage.
- Used: how much has been consumed this year.
- Produced: how much has been produced this year.
- Used (yrs): how much has been used in previous years.
- Produced (yrs): how much has been produced in previous years.
The number of years for Used (yrs) and Produced (yrs) can be changed using the Display drop-down.
This is an easier way to view your total amount of resources as your resources can be shared between Storage/Markets/Trade and Town Service structures. By default it shows you what is stored in Markets, Stock Piles, and Storage Barns, but you can change it to show what is stored in Trading Posts or private housing, i.e. Wooden and Stone Homes. It can also sort your inventory by alphabetical order or by quantity of resources.
Here you can view graphs depicting increases and decreases in the following, over a determinable time range as set by the drop-down:
- Total population, number of adults, students, and children
- Citizen health, happiness, education, and clothing
This is where you can allow or deny citizenship to nomads who arrive in your town. Allowing nomads to join your town will obviously boost your population, but the drawback is that they have an increased risk of spreading disease.
Here you’ll just find a display of which seeds and livestock you have acquired to help you get an idea of how much variety is available in your town, and how much you have still have to collect.
That’s all for this not-so-quick guide to Banished. I hope it has helped you get at least somewhat of a better understanding of how to run a game. If you’re wondering what all of this nonsense looks like in a game or want to see if it will translate to Hard, I’ll be showing you a game I played on Hard next time using a completely different Map Seed. I followed the advice I gave here, made a whole lot of mistakes, and never had any trouble with deaths that weren’t natural, i.e. old age or getting crushed by a rock, which seems like the popular thing for Stone Cutters to do. Until then, that’s all from me for now.