A couple tips from my Extreme Endurance Game

frostpunk 3 - A couple tips from my Extreme Endurance Game

So I bought Frostpunk about 6 weeks ago, and one of the first things I decided to do was to chainsaw the hardest difficulty of Endurance mode with my face. Alas, I'm on Day 56 of Extreme Endurance on Canyon thanks to a successful Christmas/Eve attempt thanks to no less than 6 iterations on my strategy and possibly over 100 restarts.

I thought I'd share a few things I've learned which have became invaluable for my extreme play though. Some of these have been mentioned here in one form or another.

I did not use Child Labor.

  • Early game, worker hours are vitable. The first 14 days, utilize your people well. Do not be afraid to split up your workforce into whatever ratios you need to get the resources at the right time. Buildings are cheap, workers are not. Also, be aware that "working" starts instantly as soon as the worker is assigned and has no other statuses (eating, sleeping, building, etc).
  • Building and Deconstructing needs the worker onsite. 14h shifts are great, but those extra 4 hours of freetime can sometimes better be used for constructing, especially 18:00 – 20:00, get that job done before sleep time. I try to get all of my construction done in the evening/night. So make use of Pause and micro-dismiss workers in close proximity to the job site, so to minimize travel time. The game will usually do a good job of assigning the closest free worker. But that worker must be "free". If you're not careful, the closest free worker could be on the other side of the map. Use Pause Construction to reset builder assignments.
  • 24H shift (after the 2nd use auto-kill) randomly kills workers until you take the pop-up decision to give them Extra Rations. After approving this, I have yet to see a worker die from a 24h shift, using it dozens of times. This is now a must for any future play through.
  • A fully staffed, unbuffed Medical Post takes about 26 hours to treat a sick worker. Since all workers "get sick" between 0:00 and 5:00 (maybe earlier), after the nightly calculations. This means that if you improve your treat times to less than 24h then, assuming you have enough beds, you can treat the "day's sick" and make sure all the beds are clear for the following day.
  • Treatment buffs save lives. With Infirmaries, all techs, assistants and Extra Rations for the Sick, my treatment time is roughly 8-10 hours. Which means that if someone gets sick at 0:00, they will barely miss any work. The boon to my labor output outweighs child labor, imo. At my current population of 250, I get about 25-30 sick each night under median circumstances. I typically have 0 sick by 12:00. There are 2 speed techs, Medical Assistants, Extra Rations and Organ Transplants. It adds up, I've seen Efficiency as high as 248%.
  • Hunter/Gatherers: Hunters will be available to work jobs at 15:00. On a 14H shift, this gives them 5 hours of productivity on top of their food gain. I paired this up with a Coal Thumper and have them gather extra Coal each night.
  • Hunters do not need full staff to "Prepare for a Hunt" or actually leave for the hunt. This means, you can leave your hunters huts at partial staff, and the hunt will leave early and the food should always be delivered at or just before worktime. Those spare workers can be used for gathering or building and added later. I've added them as late as 2:00 that night. I've left as little at 6/15 Hunters and the Hunt will still leave shortly after 18:00.
  • Cookhouse, 14H shift always. Using the above trick, you can always see delivery of Hunter Food by 6:00-7:00. If your workers are waiting for the food, having a fully staffed Cookhouse open at 6:00 cranks out 50-100 Soup before the regular shift. This can help your workers get feed before their shift. If they become "hungry" while working, that seems to increase their chances of getting sick. Observations seem to indicate that workers will not leave their job when first hungry. So having food available before a shift, can reduce that time spent hungry.
  • Regular 10H shifts. Utilize this as much possible. You'd be amazed how much more smooth your set up can run with workers getting the extra 4 hours of Free Time per day. Obviously, there are many cases where this is not possible, but having 10 workers at your Wall Drill call it at day at 18:00 to grab a food and start working on that new Hunter's Hut, can be the difference which sees the Hut finished on time for a new hunt that night or being short 40 Soup the following day.
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Overall, I set out with the goal of completing Extreme without using Child Labor. I found that formula with Medic Assistants and Food buffs. My goal early was keeping my workers out of the Medical Post. Every worker not sick, is a boost to labor. Without Child Labor, it's critical to mitigate sickness.

I went 24H >> Soup >> 14H Shift >> Child Shelters >> Medical Assistants >> Corpse Pit >> Organ Transplant. I then went into Order to get Foreman, then back to get Extra Rations for the sick. The strategy was to overproduce food for the food boosts, maximizing Hunter behavior mechanics. Refer to the to points above.

For Tech I went: Beacon >> Gathering >> Hunter's Gear >> Steam Hub >> Level 2 >> Wall Drill. Getting Wall drill quick is important. You can get most of your steel from your scout and the rest from gathering. I put 2-3 extra Gathering Posts to ensure that I had room to work my Hunters 15:00-20:00. I bridged the gap in coal with a Coal Thumper, but switched to Coal Mine asap.

Generally speaking, after 1st and 2nd storms I focused my tech on heat and medical. I researched and build 2 Infirmaries asap and went Care House to keep my amputees. Because I went with early'ish Infirmaries, Radical Treatment wasn't necessary. I only built the Care House to satisfy the mission, and kept it to take care of the 5 amputees I earned in the 1st storm. Turns out, later the Care House is a great place to buffer incoming Survivors and your citizens while upgrading houses.

Extra Rations vs Overcrowding: This was a tough one for me, but early Infirmaries helps. You'll have to build extra Medical Posts and spread out your Engineers to get through until you can get 3 or 4 Infirmaries built, are swimming in Food and reduce the Engineer need to 5 (I forgot the tech name). But once you have these things, overcrowding becomes a worthless decision which you cannot undo. Meanwhile, with Extra Rations, I'm popping every day at 8:00 (I use the horn to remind me) and I'm going Henry Ford on my Infirmaries.

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My steam cores: Wall Drill >> Infirmary >> Infirmary >> Coal Mines…

I hope some of this helps, but without Child Labor and being an "average" gamer, it took a ridiculous amount of restarts. I typically knew by Day 10 if my trajectory was good enough to attempt the Storm. I abandoned about a dozen games after the storm.

Heat & Health

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