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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

RimWorld Campaign AAR

Post 1 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-07 21:20:10 UTC

RimWorld campaign: Part 1

So now that my EU4 campaign is over I'm a bit short on campaign - just Civ5 England (which is about 2/3 done) and XCOM Long War (which as the name suggests, is going to be long). So I thought I'll add RimWorld to the mix.

Modern gaming is too often 50% watching let's plays, 20% reading wikis and forums, and 10% game, so I'm going into the game almost blindly - I've only seen a few episodes by Arumba and PrimEvalCiv. No wikis, no forums, let's play like it's the 90s!

Starting difficulty Casual with Cassandra Classic as AI storyteller.

The game started with Halley, Ruslan, and Huber dropping from space into some hilly terrain with some a lot of metal and some half-standing buildings.

I probably massively overdesigned the initial building - starting with geothermal generator, spacious roooms with royal beds for everyone, and even larger kitchen. I even got a friendly visitor from another colony before I even got my first bedroom built - everybody sleeps in royal beds but without roof over their head.

The first nasty event was a mad squirrel attack - Halley tried to fight the squirrel, but improvised turret shot her in torso and in the right eye first... Yeah, this is going really well so far.

Random screenshots attached:
• first landing
• initial overambitious plan
• visitors are coming and the colony is so unprepared
• wounds from squirrel attack

By the way, speaking of not checking the wiki - the game taunts me with it, linking to it directly from the interface.

Another random thought - I have no idea what's the correct direction for some things like hoppers. It's not clear if the opening is supposed to go left or right.


Post 2 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-07 22:54:20 UTC

RimWorld: Part 2

Halley's eye would did not get better - it's weird that it started as "old would" the moment she got it, apparently they don't heal.

The colony got a name "Planeton". So far it develops nicely as a self-sustaining civilian settlement, but I have no idea how to make it defensive, increase its population, or produce anything useful for trading.

Random screenshots:
• why I should complete a room before putting structures in it - lightning hit my comms console in a room, except room wasn't completed so it didn't have a roof
• first pirate attack - one dude with a pistol - I thought I might be able to capture him, but he just died right away
• 2 turrets and some sandbags - my whole defenses
• mad squirrel attacking a door to get to one of my colonists, I took the backdoor and defeated it in some amazing flanking action
• another crazy squirrel, shot by a turret while everybody was sleeping

I'm overbuilding the colony even more - it already has 4 bedrooms for just 3 colonists, and I'm building 2 more. I'm also setting up a big room next to it, not sure what for yet.

Some issues:
• there's this preexisting stone walled room next to my base - what should I even do with it?
• I should probably setup some kind of defensive wall, so attack can only come from one or two directions instead of any of them. Both turrets are on west side.
• should I put geothermal generator under a roof? It's my only source of power and it's really exposed.
• what is the game's problem with chair's direction? All my colonists only use that one chair in north-east corner of the table - ignoring the other 5. I can't even rotate the other chairs without braking them apart into wood first.

Post 3 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-08 02:35:01 UTC

RimWorld: Part 3

So apparently the colonist can sit on sideways chair if their preferred one is taken. That solves one mystery.

As soon as I researched stonecutting I setup plans for huge stone wall enclosing my base from all direction except west. I'm pretty sure the way I'm playing is wrong - wall provides zero value until it's complete and it's not even close to it.

Wall is being build counterclockwise from west

• wall plans around my base - it only goes a bit further to the north so I skipped extra screenshot. It mostly follows hill ranges up north, so maybe I should have started it there, and made it much shorter southwards?
• wall on the far south early on - it's a bit more complete now
• solar flare - the only negative event this time
• base expansion plans - 5x5 instead of 4x5 bedrooms this time. I actually planned to make the original ones 5x5, I just miscounted tiles and then I didn't feel like rebuilding the whole base just for that. No idea how much space the colonists actually need.

Slave trader came up, so I bought two girls to join my colony - one is a OKish hunter/cook - something none of my colonist is even remotely good at (she's 6 with some passion for it - I need 7 for her to be able to cook fine meals, my colonists maxed at 3 with zero passion for cooking), another is decent at social (another lacking skill) - as well as a bunch of overlapping skill that will still be useful in growing, mining, construction - that freed my original two dudes to do research and crafting more (my original girl is mostly miner/constructor). Paying for them took about all the silver on the map - not idea what would be good tradeable commodities in case I wanted more.

My current defenses are 5 turrets (only 1 close to intended gate location, 4 inside the base which is totally fine since I can be attacked from the sky too) and half-complete wall. I only have 3 pistols and 1 rifle for 5 colonists - and only one of them knows anything about shooting anyway.

I'll cover that geothermal with some roof, setup another power source (either geothermal or solar), I started building some batteries in that otherwise empty big room. All that should be enough to keep the power going.

I could still use a few more colonists. Especially someone good at shooting things in case pirates or tribesmen or whoever else there is attacks. Some specialists would be neat too - my doctor, researcher, cook, etc. are not terribad, but a real expert would be awesome.

Some weapons would be nice too - but they could come for free if I get attacked by just 1 or 2 pirates at once and they decide to run into turret fire.

The game is pretty fun so far, even if I have fairly little idea what the hell I'm doing.

Post 4 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-08 22:11:47 UTC

RimWorld: Part 4

The game should seriously start loaded saves in paused state like most games with pausable timer (EU4 etc.) do - I always want to look around first to remind myself what the hell was going on before actually starting to play.

The game also needs some kind of power balance interface - I'm totally confuse how much power things use and how much they need.

I'm not totally sure why I need to manually mark grown plants in growing zones as needing harvesting? Are potatoes some kind of decorative item?

I had a single pirate drop from the sky - he dropped next to a turret, and decided to GTFO before my colonists even gathered a militia to stop him - escaping through unfinished section of the wall. I guess the wall will have a second purpose of keeping escaping enemies in as well as keeping attackers in.

Another pirate setup a preparation for attack - and then attacked some random visitor with grenades, not successfully. The pirate - Jay - ended up surviving the attack and got captured. He's level 12 researcher and doctor, so he'd be a great addition to the colony if we manage to recruit him.

Due to work on the wall other essential colony work like building more bedrooms, turrets, power sources, making food reserve and so on got somewhat behind, but at least the wall is just a few tiles away from being complete.

• Escaping pirate - I still lack weapons for my colonist, even if he died instead of getting captured we'd have more weapons
• Bedroom became a fancy prison
• Wall is almost complete from all sides except west, where well defended entrance will be placed. I'm not sure how far I need to extend it, as I don't want gunfire anywhere near geothermal generator - if it fails, turrets could lose power, and that would cascade into a disaster.

Post 5 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-10 22:31:50 UTC

RimWorld: Part 5

There was some trivial stuff like random junk falling from the sky and deer going crazy, but I mostly got 2 major events - psychic drone that drove all men crazy, and 2 pirates dropping from the sky.

To deal with the drone I quickly finished fancy bedrooms - larger, with colored carpets and matching colored lights, and all the guys got them. Girls will have to live in smaller bedrooms for now. Gender equality in space colonies? I don't think so.

I finally finished the wall except for the gate, and now I'm building heavily defended gate - it's going to have screen against snipers, narrow door accessible only by going through rock chunks, first security room with 3 turrets, second security room with 1 turret and lines of sandbags on both sides so my colonists can fire at whoever survives the first one.

The structure is not yet finished, and considering how many times pirates dropped from the sky maybe it's not actually that amazing.

There's also a bunch of mortars (2 incendiary, 1 normal, 1 emp in that strongroom I started my base from).

• base security structures, in progress
• failed pirate attack, one dead, one captured

My colony is up from 5 to 6 colonists since Jay got successfully recruited, and it will hopefully go up to 7 if I manage to recruit that captured pirate. I'm currently at 9 bedrooms. I'll probably start work on 3 more fancy ones just in case.

Post 6 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-11 23:24:44 UTC

RimWorld: Part 6

It was the first real test of my half-finished defenses. 3 pirates first took their time to prepare attack while I was shooting at them with 3 mortars - completely without any effect.

Then they stormed first room with turret - ignoring hole in the wall they could go through. Turret got destroyed by grenade pretty quick.

Then while my colonists prepared line of defense behind sandbags, pirates decided to destroy the doors, still ignoring hole in the unfinished wall. Of course that wasn't even necessary since some random dude visiting my base decided to just open the doors for them.

All my defenses ended up really unfortunate - line of sandbags is directly between the turret next to solar panels and the enemy, so turret ended up shooting at my colonists - and pirates started throwing grenades, so I had to scatter my colonists.

In the end 3 pirates and 1 visitors dead, multiple colonists with wounds from grenade and turrets. Prisoner from previous attack still not cooperating.

That fire in the turret room is due to my mortar attack - I didn't abandon mortars fast enough.

Overall, really poor performance, but it ended up with just wounds. I think 2 rooms are fine, I'll just need to rethink my final line of defense - as well as add random turrets against pirate sky drops.


Post 7 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-13 23:33:10 UTC

RimWorld: Part 7

It was relatively calm time. I finished rebuilding gate defenses, added a ton more turrets, started work on complex of 7 big fancy bedrooms, and on a few extra walls within colony to compartmentalize it for easier defense.

Lu finally joined and he's a decent constructor. Meretrix just wandered into the colony asking to join us, and that's all pretty cool except she's awful at everything - she's an artist (right now I can't think of anything art skill does), but can't do any physical work whatsoever, not even crafting. She became full time plant cutter - apparently lumberjacking or harvesting potatoes is not physical work somehow, but hauling potatoes or wood from the field is totally below her artsy ass.

Does art do something later? I'm trying to avoid wiki.

The only bad events were:
• solar flare
• one mad deer, who even managed to kick down all powered doors leading into colony (turrets were unpowered due to solar flare) and melee attack Ruslan
• another male hating tumblr drone. Jay is nervous and physically sensitive, so he was close to mental breakdown, other guys were much less affected - we have fancy colony with pretty spacious rooms, fine meals, flexible work schedule, and we're just some puppies and foosball table away from setting up and internet startup there.

I even sold some wood and bought some uranium - that's presumably for space ship part later, and we'll need that to leave the planet, right?

Post 8 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-14 00:58:36 UTC

RimWorld: Part 8

So I have almost every tech researched, and I've setup a shack where I can build the space ship. The game is really unclear on what needs to be in it - presumably 1 reactor, 1 pod per colonist, 1 engine, and structure to make it all fit together? I'll probably end up checking it online.

The colony expands by first building a wall around new area, then by putting a door in previous wall. This feels very fast and very safe. The colony is also effectively compartmentalized against sky drop attacks.

I had two attacks of 1 robot each - first fell from the sky, and it was pretty awkward to fight. Second got shot pretty effectively by 3 turrets at the gate - I only needed to replace the doors.

I've been exporting potatoes and wood, got myself some more weapons since everyone just had pistols except for one rifle. 2 escapee pods fell from the sky in separate events - I'll try to recruit them.

Currently the biggest problem is lack of power - 2 geothermal generators are nowhere near enough (batteries look full because I turned off all turrets - they'd deplete real fast otherwise), so I've been adding more solar and expanding the wall towards more geothermal vents.

Power shortages are probably caused by my turret spam - I guess I can turn them on selectively from proper direction if any attack happens - or even if I turn them all on batteries will hold for a while. That's not too amazing situation, so I'll hopefully fix it soon.


Post 9 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-14 03:40:34 UTC

RimWorld: Part 9

I expanded the base a bit for more mining areas, and started building the ship. Shipbuilding hangar was definitely too small, but that can be helped.

I recruited two escapees so my colony now has 10 people. There was also a proof that my method of base expansion - build new wall first, install doors later - is correct, as 2 robots spawned just there, and if I put doors first they'd rush right into my base.

As it was, they got shot by the turret line in first room.

Another tumblr-drone started driving all men crazy - Jay who's both nervous and psychically sensitive went berserk twice - first time he lost an eye before passing out. Second time I tried to melee him down instead of shooting, and it went a bit better.

Anyway, the ship. Ship computer needs AI core - apparently that comes from random event. So some drone fell from the sky - oh, that must be that AI core. Popup tells me it's evil and I must destroy it.

So I started shooting it with mortars, and sent some small 3 people party to take remains. That ended up very poorly - I think I must have shot that Suppy girls from Love's River as they turned hostile right away (I'm just guessing it was probably friendly fire, but maybe drone drives people hostile?).

Anyway, two robots came out of the drone wreck and ambushed my unprepared salvage party. First one of my colonists got incapacitated, then another while carrying the first. At least the robots didn't try to finish them and went back to protecting the wreck, so I could sneak in another rescue team.

OK, all that didn't work, so mortars away! That worked ridiculously poorly - and a lot of my mortars didn't shoot at all. I thought that's some range limit (even though the interface only shows minimum, not maximum, range) - but now it seems that building walls creates (invisible unless you select special mode) roofs nearby, so most of my mortars were under roof and couldn't shoot anything.

Meanwhile two friendly visitors got into firefight with the robots - one died, another one was in shock, but I didn't feel like sending a rescue party for them, I was too busy building more mortars.

After a while drone also drove a lot of animals crazy at once (I'm not sure if that means the drone wreck, or some unrelated drone) - so some squirrels got into a fight with robots and promptly died.

Finally a mortar scored a direct hit on one of the robots and killed it. I thought I'm finally doing well, when 5 strong party came up to siege me - which presumably means they want to setup their own mortars and shoot indiscriminately. I have decent defense, but no offense, and my two best weapons have been abandoned while running away from the robot ambush.

Things are not going well, but if it works, it's pretty close to the end.

I'm also wondering if I could just bribe neighbouring tribes into not attacking me. There's some gift option, and some relationship level, so there could be something here.

Post 10 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-14 21:18:53 UTC

RimWorld: Part 10

The game was pretty nice to me for very long time, until now.

First, the whole siege was caused by stupid mortar friendly fire - people of Love's River got hostile because mortar shot aimed at robots hit one of the visitors. I understand the logic, but it's really stupid gameplay, considering how ridiculously inaccurate mortars are and how you get zero warning.

Of course once I loaded the game siege team was marked as friendly (while setting up mortars). I concentrated fire at them anyway, and when I finally hit someone I got information that they became "hostile". It's game bug one way or the other here.

I also had one unrelated visitor from the same tribe - when mortar operator girl died, the visitor got hostile too and got shot by turrets.

I wasn't careful with colonists, so Gizmo decided to go out and grab body of dead robot. He got wounded but managed to run away (it's easier with just one robot shooting at you than with two my previous team had to deal with).

Then Gizmo turned into an enemy spy, and tried to run away. He got subdued by a turret and is a prisoner now.

Depressive psychically active Meretrix finally went on a rampage, and even though I just used one weak character to melee her down, she got killed in the process.

My mortar attacks were much more successful than against the robots - but heavy rain much reduced effectiveness. Once it stopped raining incendiary and regular mortars did they job much better, and remaining attackers rushed turret line instead, and got shot.

Now I'm back at 8 colonists, 1 prisoner, and a bunch of potential more prisoners to capture if I wanted to. After how worthless Meretrix was I'm not even sure that I want them.

Time to finish off the second robot, get AI core, and get the colony back in order after attacks. I think I should be able to finish the space ship fairly soon if no more shit happens.

Post 11 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-14 23:16:05 UTC

RimWorld: Part 11

When things go well, they go well, and when they start falling apart they really do. I had so many cases of colonists breaking mentally - then solar flare turned off all power and they didn't have anything to eat other than raw potatoes making things even worse.

Another visitor from the same damn friendly fire town came up, I just sent Isodora with an LMG to deal with her. That worked really well, so I decided to send her against the last robot too - she killed the robot, but she was near mental breakdown before she finished the drone, so I sent her back, prudently telling her to drop LMG so someone else can pick it up and finish the job.

Of course she immediately went into mental breakdown mode, fortunately just wandering away aimlessly and leaving the colony - so simple arrest was enough. One of prisoners broke down and went on a rampage as well, ending up dead.

Totals are: 5 working colonists, 2 in need of urgent medical care, 3 prisoners (including one former colonist).

I bribed some town I was at slightly negative relations with - it's pretty expensive. Love's River got down to -80 and didn't even want to communicate.

I got blight destroying my crops - really not a big deal, I have ton of potatoes and berries, I just didn't have time to cook them as my cook Vere was too busy manning mortars.

Things started getting back in order, I started sending colonists out to mine outside the wall (to be cancelled the moment trouble starts), and then 12 pirate raid started - at least they got in prepare mode first instead of attacking immediately, so that's something - or to be more precisely mortar strikes.

Of course rain started just as soon as my incendiary mortars scores some nearby hits. And Isodora starved to death - somehow my colonists kept ignoring the need to bring her food, and I had to manually tell them every time - this time I forgot about it. Fuck.

Only one pirate died to mortar fire, in turret room there were 3 dead bodies and 3 incapacitated pirates in shock. I took one of them as prisoner, and executed two others on the spot. (I could always imprison them all and sell ones I don't want to slavers, but all this nonsense put me on a bit of a tilt).

As it all that wasn't enough, boomrat got mad, attacked Lu, wounding him in the explosion.

And then another prisoner died of starvation. I'm increasingly thinking that my current setup - single bedrooms per prisoner, with active wardening, is just nonviable, and what they should have is one huge multibed room with nutrient paste dispenser.

When random slave trader arrived and decided to just say screw it and sold all 3 prisoners I had left. That apparently makes everybody unhappy as well... At least they're happy with executing people on the spot or leaving them to bleed out (as long as someone then disposes of the body promptly).

At least space ship is pretty close to being built. I got another siege team from the same damn town. I'm not even sure if I should bother with mortars or just send someone with LMG there.

Is success finally near?

Post 12 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-15 00:13:13 UTC

RimWorld: Part 12

When I loaded the game my relations with Love's River are up to -26 (from -80 they used to be), and my relations with Town-at-the-plain I bribed from -9 to +8 are back at -9. That seems like a game bug.

So they started setting up their mortars, I started shooting mine, and then of course my colonists started suffering from mental breakdowns. This is fucking ridiculous. If it really bothers someone that they're tired and hungry, they should maybe ignore my orders and go to the fucking kitchen to eat, and then to their bedroom? Nope, rampage totally sounds like a better idea. Or running away.

Once one of their mortars got hit, two remaining attackers - starved and exhausted - decided to assault the gate. One died in process, the other got executed.

Jay got recruited back without starving somehow, and space ship construction continued. There were some solar flares, but that didn't mess up with my plans much.

And then a pirate party came to siege the colony... So another mortar exchange, then hopefully solar flare passes before they start their assault, or it's going to be pretty hard to win this without turrets.

At least space ship is nearly complete, I'm even building a spare cryogenic pod for no obvious reason.

Post 13 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-15 23:03:58 UTC

RimWorld: Part 13 (victory!)

7 pirates set up their mortars, but 3 panicked pretty quickly.

I cancelled the 8th pod, so I had 7 pod fully functional ship on the ready, but I wanted to deal with the pirates first, so they wouldn't get the colony.

Another shot destroyed incendiary mortal and made 2 more pirates panic. I thought about just rushing at them, but one of them had M-24, so it didn't feel safe. If both had just pistols that would be much more viable.

A problem these mortal attacks revealed was not enough redundancy in lines linking power supply with gate turrets - some walls and power lines got damaged or destroyed by the attacks - fortunately I was able to repair all that in time, and I used shift system to minimize risk of mental breakdown of my colonists.

An escapee pod fell from the sky with a  survivor, but she was so awful at everything I wouldn't take her even if I had spare escape pod.

Exhausted and hungry pirates fell asleep on the ground (siege teams always come with emergency food, but I got lucky and scored direct hit at their stockpile second siege), and one of them got direct his from incendiary mortar - panicking immediately with severe burns. The last one decided to rush the now fixed gate.

Once that was over, I got all my colonists aboard the ship and launched it to victory!

Screenshots are some final state of the colony and victory screen (there's one more line of text that fits it, so I can't even screenshot all of it, so annoying...)

OK, so some final thoughts:
• It was fun.
• Campaign length was reasonable relative to features it has. A problem of many games is that they overstay their welcome, and drag on unnecessarily. This one felt about right.
• It was quite hard at times, but if I played again I'd do so many things better - having single barracks, not getting every colonist, bigger bedrooms, single prisoner room, emergency food stash, redundant power supply to turrets etc.
• I don't know if I'm under time pressure or not. Are events based on time (in which case I'm under extreme time pressure) or some kind of colony level (in which case I'm not at all)?
• The game is obviously unfinished, and had some minor bugs (like faction relations not working), but it still felt less alpha than Empire Total War or Europa Universalis IV were at launch time.
• I'd totally play it again once it reaches 1.0. Also Banished, Factorio etc. Wait, Banished was already 1.0 when I played? I was sure that was early access...
• Apparently it's still totally possible to play games without a wiki.

Finishing this and my Civ5 England campaign leaves me with only XCOM Long War campaign ongoing, and I haven't touched that in quite a while. Time to look for more games!

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