People are your greatest asset. Every other resource in the game can be farmed, but there are only 700 people, so keep them warm, fed and healthy. Make sure they are not out gathering in the open when the first temperature drop hits, have at least 2-3 infirmaries and 6 medical posts fully staffed as the storm approaches. During the storm, assuming you’ve stocked up enough coal and food rations, it’s a good idea to replace your non-functioning hot houses with additional infirmaries. You will need them. Also keep this is mind during story events, as much as you may want to exile or execute thieves, it might be better just to give them a good talking to and send them back into the mines.
Explore. Get multiple scouts out early and upgrade their speed. They will bring back all sorts of goodies from Frostland, huge piles of resources, steam cores, and of course, people. These will help you build up your city ahead of the curve. Once you call them back, send your scouts out back out to already explored locations before trekking off to a new spot, they will travel faster to spots they have already visited.
Build outposts. I recommend Tesla City for steam cores and Icebound Dreadnought for steel. But you can also get wood, coal, or raw food depending on your play style. The steam cores are a must so you can upgrade buildings and build automatons. Your scouts will also bring in extra steam cores.
Research. A good trick is to build two workshops and rotate your 5 man team between the two buildings. That way you can have 24 hour emergency shifts going all the time. Maxing out your tech tree is essential to building an optimized city.
Coal thumpers and gathering huts are the best way to max out coal. 4 coal thumpers and twice as many gathering huts fully staffed should keep you well ahead of your coal consumption. Once you are are floating resources towards the end you can build mines and run them with automatons.
Misc: Build resource depots to store your surplus materials. Keep your people living in tents as long as possible, as long as they are warm and the sick are being tended to. Have an automaton for every resource so you can run 24/7 without emergency shifts, two each is preferable. Keeping discontent low is more difficult than keeping hope up. If your city is warm and your people have food they will remain hopeful. Keep their discontent down with fighting pits, a public house, and whatever adaptation and purpose perks you’ve unlocked, and avoid choices that raise discontent as best you can. But ultimately play the game and make the choices you want to make. There are a lot of different approaches that work.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. Probably missing some stuff. Game is a lot of fun and not too much of a challenge once you get the hang of it.
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