After over 200 hours of playtime, about a thousand resets, and countless cups of coffee I finally completed my ultimate challenge run. The rules were the following:
A New Home, Extreme, Deathless, Vegetarian, Charcoaled, Golden Path.
No pauses were made and I only saved on five major milestones (Crash Site found, Hothouses running, Outpost running, Londoners united, Refugees sheltered). Both coinflips were reloaded until success but not used as a save point. Otherwise, no glitches were used.
Why was this so difficult?
Vegetarian means that you can't build Hunters, which in turn means that you have to get your Hothouses up before you starve to death. That's only possible if you scout the Crash Site first, so two thirds of all attempts die right there. Next you need a flawless research agenda because Golden Path means no Shift policies and no Child Labor. Things take a lot longer and even if everything goes perfectly you end up half a day of coal away from freezing to death before you get the Outpost running. Charcoaled means that you can't build Mines or Thumpers. Once you get there with reasonable numbers of sick people you then need to tech up to +2 Generator Power, a lvl5 tech, because tents with a +4 generator are the only viable option to survive the day 20 -2 drop. All that while dealing with the Londoners of course, because you rush Winterhome. And if you didn't get overrun by sick refugees after you united the Londoners you still have to acquire a 4k food surplus with Hothouses.
Basically the margin for error is zero before the Crash Site and minimal afterwards. There really isn't much of a point where things turn to "smooth sailing". However, it was a great experience and I enjoyed the journey.
Here are a few things I learned:
A) Research on Extreme is very slow, but carefully designed. Two fully staffed Workshops will complete a lvl1 technology in one day. Three fully staffed Workshops will complete a lvl2 technology in one day and so on. However, if someone in the Workshops is sick the worker needs to be replaced asap. This needs to be checked each day at 8am.
B) Healing is slow as well. Engineers need to be switched between Workshops and Medical Posts. It's important not to take all engineers out of an MP because it will reset the healing time.
C) Steam Hub Efficiency saves a huge amount of coal; it's by far the best coal efficiency policy. Don't forget to switch the range back to one though. Get Generator Efficiency last.
D) Workers can get stuck between buildings and Shrines/Temples. If you get a gravely ill person out of nowhere you have to check for stuck workers!
E) Upgraded Kilns are a super efficient way to supply you city with coal. Two wall drills and six kilns are enough. With Automatons you don't even need a surplus of coal because they keep running throughout the storm.
Finally, a word on layouts.
I built my final layout beforehand, then calculated the coal and wood consumption. This run wouldn't have been possible wihout optimizing the city all the way to the very end. Importantly, I skipped some Child shelters because I didn't want to add another Steam Hub. You can check out my layout in the video.
PS: I have not noticed any deaths throughout the run, but I'm not sure if I missed anything. The final number of people seems low. Please let me know if you find something I didn't. I haven't fully given up on the idea of doing this as a single-take run yet.
© Post "Looking for a challenge? Give this run a try…" for game Frostpunk.
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