In this post, I would like to share what I DID and what I AVOIDED so that future players who want to attempt the Golden Path achievement will have a general idea of what to expect. I won't go into the city layout in this post since many others have done much better than me. Also, I am no expert at this game and I'm pretty sure that a lot of things I did were sub-optimal at best, so if you have any suggestion or disagree with anything, please feel free to comment below.
I finished this playthough on hard difficulty. I have previously finished all of the scenarios (except TLA), so I have a pretty good idea about how much this game can hate you. Anyways, on hard, especially when you're attempting Golden Path, there are two things you have to focus on: Health and Efficiency. For me, these two affect one another and your playthrough will go downhill really fast if you fail to manage them. Research order is very crucial, especially in the early game. 'RUSH BEACON!' never fails me, so this would be my recommendation as well. For laws, I personally find them important only up to right after the discovery of Winterhome. After that, you can basically pick and choose whatever fits the current situation.
- ALWAYS keep your homes at the highest possible level of heat during the night. With overdrive, I usually turn it on at 11 p.m. then off at around 4-5 a.m.
- AVOID building between 12-5 a.m., I found that people tend to get sick around this time the most.
- However, if the previous point isn't possible, PROVIDE ENOUGH medical posts/infirmaries for the sick. Build more if necessary. Failing to deal with health problems will have a domino effect throught the whole game.
- EXTRA RATIONS are very useful, use them whenever you have excess food.
- BUILD as many infirmaries as you can during the storm (before the 110-120°C at the latest). You'll need as many as 15-20 of them, depending on how well you can manage heat and sickness.
- NEVER let your people unoccupied. Always find something for them to do.
- ALWAYS build additional workshops when there are free engineers. Faster research is key, especially for this achievement.
- ALWAYS build additional hunter's huts/hot houses when there are free workers. You'll need all the extra food you can get for the sick (extra rations) and later during the storm.
- AVOID changing where your workers/engineers are assigned during the workday unless necessary. You have only 10 hours per day, every second counts.
- USE STEAM HUBS. I never bothered with the generator range since I finished my first playthrough. Steam hubs are more flexible and thus more efficient, in my opinion.
- BUILD automatons as soon as you can. Put them in all major resource buildings (coal mines, stealworks, sawmills/wall drills). Despite generating resources slower than humans, they make more in the long term, especially after upgrades.
- RUSH BEACON. You can't produce enough on your own at the start and the resources in the frostland will save your city.
- STALL Winterhome until at least Day 14-15. You need all the time you can have to prepare for the Londoners.
- RUSH steam core outpost. You'll need them for the infirmaries (and automatons should you choose to follow my steps).
- The second outpost is up to you. Personally, I had trouble producing steel, so I built one there.
- My strategy revolves around rushing beacons and utilising my scouts and outpost teams, so whenever I started the next tech tier, I focused on those categories first.
- I generally covered 60-70% of the tech in the current tier before moving to the next one.
- There are free techs scattered around the frostland during the refugees stage of the scenario.GET THEM:
- Generator Safety Bypass
- Boosted Scount Sleds
- Advanced Coal Mine
- House Insulation
- (might miss one tech, needs confirmation)
- As mentioned, I prefer using steam hubs, so I prioritize that, then heaters when situation requires it.
- Rush steam hub efficiency upgrade if you have problems with coal usage. It reduces the consumption massively.
- I stalled the overdrive branch until after I dealt with the Londoners. The default one is sufficient enough to get you through the nights.
- Exploration & Industry
- As mentioned, focus on scouts and outpost teams, they can provide as much as 40% of your total resources until after mid game, for the very least.
- Research streamlined automatons before producing your own automatons if possible, the reduced cost has more impact than you think.
- For automaton upgrades, I only went with their efficiency upgrades and medical upgrades. In retrospect, getting engineer automatons might have been useful, having one automaton constantly research 24/7.
- Dismantle old automatons (from before reduced cost upgrades) and build new ones to gain some extra resources. Personally didn't do that since resources stopped being a problem for me way before that.
- I went with faster gathering after the beacon. I needed to squeeze everything out since I don't have emergency shift/extended shift.
- Skipped sawmill since I have a steady stream of woods from my scouts and went straight to wall drills.
- Once you get the basic version of each of the main resources, it's up to your needs on which upgraded versions you want to go after next. Personally went with steel, then coal and then wood.
- Coal thumper and later gathering post upgrades are required if you fail to produce enough coal before the storm.
- Food, Health & Shelter
- Health upgrades are always the priority. Then juggle between food and houses according to your situation.
- Went with hunter upgrades since I prefer to keep my cores for my automatons and infirmaries.
- I stalled flying hunters until I need more than 500 food rations per day. In retrospect, I should've got them earlier since I almost fail to produce enough food before the storm (hit the mark right on the last day).
- Research house redesign before building/upgrading to houses. They are expensive, and unless you're swimming in wood/steel, trust me.
Here I list the laws I believe should be avoided. Anything down the branch of the forbidden laws aren't included since they should not be available anyway.
* means need confirmation
- Adaptation Laws
- House of Pleasure
- Duelling Law
- Child Labour
- Food Additives
- Radical Treatment
- Overcrowding *
- Corpse Disposal *
- Purpose Laws (Faith)
- (didn't choose faith, need help filling these out)
- Purpose Laws (Order)
- Propaganda Centre
- Adaptation Laws
And here are the laws that I signed:
- Child Shelters
- Engineer Apprentices
- Sustain Life
- Extra Rations for the Ill (any laws after this are kept until after discovering Winterhome)
- Neighborhood Watch
- Fighting Arena
- Morning Gathering
- Care House
- Public House
- Guard Stations
- Foreman (any laws after this aren't required, did them just for some home bonus)
- Ceremonial Funerals
Needs & Events
- MAKE PROMISES only when you can keep them. It's okay to say no to your people's needs.
- Sending guards to deal with grafitis is FINE. *
- Only deal with the FIRST TWO THEFTS. The third one will get your guard killed. *
- REPRIMAND the guards harassing the woman.
- Londoners leaving is FINE, as long as you act peacefully (trying to convince them to stay).
- ALWAYS give out resources when asked (father going out looking for his daughter, woman asking for more rations, wood request, etc).
- Keeping the coal mines during the storm is FINE as long as you don't send the kids down to fix them. *
- ALWAYS let people leave work and pray at home.
This pretty much sums up my take on the Golden Path achievement. If I can think of anything, I'll add them here later. Again, I believe there are mistakes here and there, or maybe my methods aren't optimal at all, so please feel free to comment down below. Thank you for reading!
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