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Wednesday, March 04, 2015
First impressions review: Banished: Colonial Charter mod
I decided to give it a try - hard start (smaller population, and no seeds/animals), but only medium climate settings.
So far nobody died, the colony is short on building materials, which is understandable as it's building very aggressively. It's OK on food, education, and tools.
The way I play is that I preplan very far in advance, with paused buildings everywhere, and then unpause them when I want to actually build them. This results is much more aesthetically pleasing colony than what some other people on youtube get by building just-in-time.
It's weird how in some games I'm really obsessed about aesthetics (I can't play factorio after oil processing, it breaks my pretty layouts), and in others it's minmax all the way.
Preplanning would also probably be more optimal than building just-in-time, but then I can't be bothered to check wiki, even if there was wiki for mod stuff.
It's been 6 years, and so far the only mod features I used are apiary (produces honey from nothing), and pure decorative statue of colonial governor on a llama. As far as I can tell most mod features are very late game.
The colony plan is:
• main village
• forestry center 1
• forestry center 2 (only planned)
• quarry / graveyard
It's mostly optimized to give both forestry centers (forester / gatherer / hunter / herbalist / stockpile / stone houses) enough space and for aesthetics.
Starting terrain is a bit awkward - especially if I want to keep that forested area for forestry use and not cut it all for farms and bigger town. That lake South of the village is not connected to main river, but lake West of the village is, that's why planned trading post is located there somewhat awkwardly.
There's some space East from the quarry where I can put some farms over the bridge. As far as I can tell most mod-specific content starts with farming, and right now I don't have any seeds since it's hard start, and I don't have enough expendable material (probably firewood, since it's renewable) to trade.
Other than 4 wooden houses I rushed so my colonists could survive first winter, it's stone houses everywhere. Mod adds two more house types, but they require some resources I don't have yet to build.
Gaming is so much more relaxing when I don't have to worry if I'm going to get attacked by Caliph's deathstacks...
Mod is available from [ http://banishedinfo.com/mods/view/679-Colonial-Charter-Turbo-BlackLiquid ] and works just fine with gog.com version of the game.
Banished: Colonial Charter mod: Part 2
My big plan this time was to go all stone houses, skipping wooden houses stage. I even upgraded 4 wooden houses I've built in year 1 to survive the first winter.
I'm not convinced it has been such a great idea - I have tons of firewood (what stone houses save in the long run), but I'm short of stone all the time.
Colony still fits on a single screenshot with some camera fiddling. It now has 2 forester/gatherer centers and trading post. I'm trading much more aggressively as Banished is nearly unique among games in that all traders offer totally fair prices (same buy and sell price) - selling firewood which I have in abundance and buying everything nonrenewable.
Maybe I'd be better off going all wooden houses instead to grow population faster? In theory firewood is great for trade, but not enough traders come anyway. Would building more trade post bring more traders, or is there something else I could do about it?
I've just build silkworm hut, so I make silk cocoons (mod specific building), which presumably can be used to make silk somehow later, but not I'm not sure how. So far this is basically vanilla game.
Banished: colonial charter mod
I got some llamas and bisons, and abbey, and silkworm hut (all presumably mod-specific, I don't recall them from base game), but it doesn't seem to change game much.
I'm not sure why population did not increase for so long - it was in 40-45 adult range for very long time, in spite of plentiful housing, food, firewood, and 4.5 health and happiness.
I was hit by a tornado which destroyed fishing dock and killed 3 people - fortunately it avoided central parts of the colony.
I allocated area on other side of the stream to farmland - some pastures (bison and llamas), orchards (pear and walnut), and crop fields (I couldn't get any seeds yet). This was really easy to make as they needed zero stone, just some labor to clear them, and wood for fences. I'm going to build a mod building "bank barn" (larger capacity barn which needs to be built onto side of the hill) there as well.
So far mod plays basically the same as vanilla. That's a bit disappointing. Presumably if I got tobacco, hemp, linen etc. seeds I'd be able to setup some minor industry, but it's all up to RNG when I'll be able to get them.
Banished: Colonial Charter mod
There was achievement for building bridge longer than 50 units - well, why not do that... and apparently I can't get that achievement. Not sure if that's because I'm using a mod (probably), or it doesn't work on gog version maybe, or what else? That's really annoying, as doing random achievements sounds like a fun thing to do in city builder game - it doesn't have meaningful victory conditions anyway, so achievements would be a good goal.
• trade area - I assume 2x trade post means 2x more frequent boat visits
• industrial area - including water mill, baker, weavers, clothier, tavern making mead etc. - quite a lot of mod content
• farm area - barley, 3 types of orchards, 4 types of animals - including bison, llamas, and milk cows (vanilla only has meat cows), as well as some bank barns built into hillside
I'm relatively happy with what I got aesthetically - it's not perfect, but water, hills, and space needed for forestry made it fairly difficult to do much better than that in space I got. Annoyingly buildings that need water or hill (trade posts, mines, water wheels, bank barns etc.) need straight edge between flat land and that, so they're very hard to place.
I had one fire, fortunately very close to the well, so everyone rushed to the well and it only burned 2 stone houses, not a big deal, but presumably I don't have enough houses.
Population is nearing 200. It's not very smooth, and I sometimes have short term shortages (like current firewood shortage as I sold all of it to buy sheep and milk cows), but it's overall very stable.
I think that's it for this campaign. Mod content adds a bit extra content, but not all that much, and without achievements or some other goal, I don't really see what would be the endpoint of the campaign. Maybe I'll come back to the game in another year when modding scene gets a lot more developed.
I briefly resumed my #banished Colonial Charter town out of certain suspicion, and indeed, I wasn't taking advantage of mod features - you can build silkworm huts and weavers right away, and that's even better export than firewood.
I was playing it like vanilla since I didn't know any better and 80% of mod content is late game, but it does provide alternative early/mid game route.