So I just played Frostpunk.
I tried to play it straight as a Captain who had a mindset of "there isn't a choice between humanity and survival, we can do both". What follows isn't a chronologically perfect recollection but it's how my run went.
So first things first I ensure that children do not work, they get to play and eventually got apprenticeships with the engineers. I also do not implement any substandard food laws, only full meals here. We implement emergency shifts but do not do extended shifts, emergency shifts are only used in actual emergencies and we give them extra food. We do not implement fighting arenas or pubs or brothels, we want to avoid such negative influences. We implement radical treatments and eventually prosthetics so people can return to normal work and normal lives. We implement extra rations for the ill and keep the numbers in care low. We build a cemetery and have ceremonial funerals to show respect for the dead.
Basically, society isn't too bad and one can get along well without any horrific trade-offs. Worst thing that will happen is you get asked to do a 24 hour shift but get extra rations to lessen the burden.
When it came to order vs faith we went for order. We implemented the watch, guard stations and patrols alongside the morning meeting and foremen. All made sense, Foremen also allowed for avoiding the extreme of the emergency shift so I saw it as an improvement. The guards were basically police and British style at that. Prison came too and that made sense and didn't violate my aims, we don't want to kill people who go too far we are literally doing everything to save them.
The Londoners became an issue of course at the same time as we're implementing all this, we treated them gently and focused on improving the lives of our people to subdue the movement. However to do this I ended up taking a step I wasn't 100% happy with. We created the propaganda centre. I reasoned that we would only use it in dire circumstances to help keep the people safe from misjudgement. It was a vital tool in reducing the numbers of the Londoners so low. When the day came however some still wished to leave, ultimately I decided that we couldn't make their choices for them and as they were so few in number it wouldn't harm the city if they left. So we let them. From my point of view the propaganda centre saved lives that would have been lost if they'd left.
We maintained this steady balance afterward and grew our numbers, the economy and constructed outposts, and scouted far and wide. But then of course the storm came.
The storm buildup pressed us but initially we were holding out and I thought that we would be fine. We had good stockpiles but problem was we hadn't researched the final tech levels for heating until now and were trying to speedrun it now. Lots of people were getting ill and despite having plenty of capacity we were way over and the numbers weren't coming down. Discontent was high and I think around here was the first time I felt forced to disperse crowds. More people were being crippled every day and eventually I got an unhappy with healthcare event, which I had read as use triage or else. This was a terrible read because I used it and instantly killed many dozens of people. It was a turning point, discontent skyrocketed, I had just killed more people than the winter we had laboured through the past 40 plus days through had. Then my people come to me, DAYS before the end of the storm, and say that I have to lower discontent or else. From here on out I'm trying like hell to get things under control with patrols, building more guard towers and pumping out propaganda. But with three days to go I realise it's not going to work, the ultimatum's timer runs out before the storm does and I end up trying the pledge of loyalty. Of course that raises discontent but I know that's not where this is going to stop. Finally seeing that it's either order or chaos at the height of the storm I implement the New Order.
Just like that, the society we'd built up, trying to treat people well and keep society not just surviving but able to actually live a bit flipped instantly. Through implementing this some people tried fighting the new order, they were killed by the guards. Then as I saw that discontent needed another nudge down or the whole thing would come tumbling down and so we had a public execution. In the last 24 hours of the playthrough it completely changed from a "well it's not so bad, worst thing is some pro-Captain newspaper that comes through the door" to "we live in a police state where public enemies will be executed".
Very bittersweet. All in all a 10/10, loved every twist and turn. I beat myself up over the triage decision but thinking back now it was a more interesting outcome the way it went in the end. I'd been too competent up until that point, my luck had to run out at some point.
TL;DR: Tried to be nice, ended up implementing a dictatorship because I killed people with a bad healthcare policy.
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