I am an extreme minmaxer and haven't gotten past day 4 because I can't help myself but tweak my starting setup. Here are some expert tips for you all to enjoy:
Use only one workshop. Set it to 24 hours. When its done demolish it and build another at the same time, set the next one to 24 hours. With this you shouldn't need any more until you got like 40 engineers and can afford to build 8 workshops, at which point them all working 10 hours per day will be about as fast as that one workshop working 24 hours, but without the massive penalty from making them work for 24 hour breaks.
You don't need tents on day one. When somebody is homeless they just stay near the core, keep it warm and you can get away without tents for most or all the first 4 days until the temperature drops. Overheating the generator has NO DOWNSIDES (it doesn't even cost extra coal!) and so long as you turn the generator on by 19, the overheat by 20, then turn the generator AND overheat off by 6. Then you basically got an extra heat level for free! However this won't last for more than a few days even if your timing is perfect, so don't abuse it. A good strategy is to overheat the generator on the first two nights, then build tents and leave it off for the third night so it stops overheating, then carefully using it for the next few days until the temperature rises again as to keep your tents warm-ish even without any heat-related technologies.
Builders can come from anywhere, and when they're moving to build something they're not doing anything useful. So ensure you got everybody employed and build things one at a time. So if the south of your base requires like 5 buildings, simply grab the closest workers, take them out of their assignment (e.g gathering post) and put them back in instantly. You'll see the efficiency drop because they all went to fill in the building role instead. However note that builders tend to redistribute themselves among your different buildings, so if the north of your base needs 3 buildings, avoid start building those until the south is complete or those workers will have to move all the way north wasting valuable productivity.
Send a scout party soon, ideally in the second or third days, then make them go in order from story location to story location (marked in yellow, but check the wiki just in case) never going back until you hit Tesla City (or maybe until the end of the storyline if you prefer). Tesla City will give you one steam core per day what is pretty nifty, so you want your scouts never to go back, not even to escort survivors or bring back valuable loot, so you can get that sweet steam core income as soon as possible.
Child labor sucks, get them into shelters and make them engineers. Technology is very important in this game and 15 extra workers is useless compared with even a tiny extra tech advancement. Note that they don't actually become engineers, they just boost your research, but it's still worth it.
Extreme care or sustain life are not too important. The former requires prostetics later on as to fix amputees which will be costly but will cure 70% of them with no side effects. The latter is useless until you can build an infirmary and fix them, and until them they will need to be put into care houses or medical posts if you don't have any. I never let anybody get too cold so I never had to worry, but I'd prefer sustain life personally because prostetics sound more expensive than infirmaries.
Bury people in ice. Fu*k cemeteries, you want organ donations (and fertilizer, presumably, why not) as to speed up healing, not people to feel good goddammit.
Finally, people will get mad if you got any red bubble pointining out their demands. So while houses can wait a couple days until you build gathering posts (ideally one at the west, another at south and another at the east, at least on the first map), you want hunting posts starting on the second night (hunters hunt at night) with the hunting tech researched. And also a couple medical posts if possible (as you will only have a single workshop for most or all of the game) and an icy, icy grave for that engineer who always dies in the workshop for some reason.
Don't spend steam cores foolishly as they're the most valuable resource after tech itself and have fun!
If you're not playing on hard why are you even reading this? All settings on hard goddammit. Anything else is just a disservice to this wonderfully crafted game.
© Post "Expert tips for beginners and minmaxers" for game Frostpunk.
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