Step by step Winterhome Guide: How to manage the early sickness


There currently is a poll in the subreddit that shows most people have problems with the Winterhome scenario and there are also many questions about the early sickness spike. I remember having trouble with this scenario, up until the point where i figured how to do it. In terms of workforce and resources available, the scenario is among the easier ones.

This guide covers Day 1 and 2 which are crucial in keeping the sickness to a minimum while still setting up a solid base for the following days. There might be better approaches, but this is an extreme difficulty proven concept.

Day 1

Pause the game

– dismantle unnecessary roads for extra wood. This will jumpstart your economy.

– assign 1 worker to the public house close to the generator. This will lower discontent enough that you can choose radical treatment or sustain life

– choose ….. radical treatment or sustain life in the book of laws. Overcrowding once you can choose again. Yay ! Double sickbeds

– start researching medical post upgrade (if you want to go for infirmaries later, otherwise aim for Healing Houses asap, then you might choose something else. It will still be useful though).

– Dismantle every hub except for the one in the Drill area, the one in the Hut area and the one closest to the Steelworks.

– Use the steel from that to build a hub in the Mountain and Flex area later. Try to cover has many tents in their heatzone as possible

– Send out scouts to the weather station, recall the 20 engineers there. This will help you staffing as many medical posts as you need and will be useful for research/repairs until the very end.

– Recalling the engineers means no more weather reports. You can look up spikes and drops in your savegames or YT videos and write them down if you are not comfortable without forecasts. Weatherchanges/temperature will always happen at the same day. However keep in mind that they are different depending on the difficulty level.

– Bonus tip: send out the gravely sick as scouts. Do it this way: Pause the game. Assign ALL your workers somewhere (even cold places, does not matter, use any of the ruins for example). The game assigns healthy workers first. The last workers you assign will be the sickest ones. Dismiss 5 very ill ones and send them out. Now you have less sick to worry about. Do not forget to dismiss your workers from the cold ruins again.

– turn the generator on

– the delivery of your coal outpost will arrive somewhere around 9.45am. Burn exactly enough coal that it can be loaded off (once coal count is below 100).

– throughout the whole day, especially at night, run the generator at level 2 with overdrive on as long as possible. Also run it at range 3 during the work hours (8am-18pm), switch back to range 1 at any other time.

– keep an eye on coal consumption and generator stress level all the time. Make sure you have enough reserves to run everything during the night since at that time all your population will be in the heatzones.

– alternate between overdrive off/on and level 1/2 generator heat till the next coal delivery arrives, make sure you keep things as warm as possible. Don´t switch the generator too often though, since switching to a higher level costs an additional "fee".

This might seem counterintuitive, but is effective:

– close EVERY tent for now. They are cold. Cold = more sickness. Once people leave the tents they will be either at work in a heated zone or they will go to the generator. It will be warmer there (=less sickness) with either or both generator on lvl2 and overdrive on.

– staff all the medical posts. Heat them in the mountain area till the new hub kicks in.

– build one or two medical posts in the mountain area that will be in range of the hub you are building there. Build another 1 or two in the drill area that will be covered by the existing hub

– man the steelworks, the coal thumper and gathering post close to the steelworks

– staff the sawmill and the cookhouse at the generator

– build another snow pit in an area you do not plan to heat at all. Once this is done, dismantle the old snowpit close to the generator, it is within the generator range 3 and might cause more sickness if you heat it up

This will keep most your citizens warm most of the time:

– assign first the children, then workers to all the ruins within generator 3 range. Either use overdrive or generator to keep things chilly there

Focus all of your remaining workforce in the Drill and Hut area to keep your workers in heatzones. We need a whole new redesign:

– dismantle everything in those heatzones that is not a tent or a medical post. Also dismantle roads that block optimal positioning of new buildings. On top of that i even dismantle the tents that are not well positioned. The goal is to squeeze in as many tents per hub as You can and the necessary amount of medical posts

– the hub in the Drill area is decently placed. Keep it. Make room for mostly medical posts and some tents.

– the hub in the Hut area is not well positioned, it is heating hunter huts. Keep it up for now, it warms the dismantling workers

– once the dismantling is done, build a new hub that covers the empty space to sqeeze in as many tents as you can later.

– dont let your workers walk off when they are done dismantling, start building hunter huts. Also build the wall drill. Once some huts are done, the new hub should be up

– start building tents in the Hut area once the new hub warms the area, dismantle the old one.


Trying to get your workers to do what you want them to can be a bit tedious. Workers have priorities, and unfortunately road building is on top of their list. They will stop dismantling and building just to put down roads and will then do whatever they think they should. Also they prefer building over dismantling and will stop one for the other.

You can manage that by waiting till the necessary dismantling is done, then build some huts, then roads, then buildings.

In general the best way to manage workers is to always build roads first, but here this is not possible since the first thing you need to do is the bulldozing.

It is also a bit tricky to get the hub up, since it has to be placed on a road. You can build the road first, then place the hub, then remove the road again before neither of them are built, this way the hub keeps being on top of the list of things to do. But keep in mind that the hub wont start working if its not on a road. So once it is up, place the roads again.

Just in general we do all this to keep our workers in heated space or have them build up our food infrastructure, which is the second pressing issue besides sickness. Keep them busy in those areas and at the end of the day we have efficiently heated living space, medical care and food on the table.

Over the course of the day, reopen (only) the heated tents and in the evening you assign the hunters once the huts are done. I build around 6 of them, it is not enough yet, but for now we can keep people alive until we build more.

Now we can gradually dismantle all the cold tents for extra wood, but dont do it all at once, keep in mind dismantling in the cold will make people sick. It is faster than building so it involves less risk, doing it between 4am and 8am on day 2 is a good time since it does not add to the sick count for day 1, and also uses the time between the working hours. Do the rest with unemployed workforce during the day or during free time. You can even keep them up, just do not reopen them. Keep in mind that later in the game some unheated bunkhouses will also be cold. But for now just leave them up and open.

Day 2

The screenshot shows Winterhome at the beginning of Day 2. Ideally you squeezed out every little bit of heat you can offer, the generator is close to max stress, and you have just enough coal left until the new delivery arrives. There is enough capacity to treat all the sick, all open tents are heated and well placed and there is a basic food supply. Resources will come from dismantling and whatever else is needed will be provided from the Steelworks and the Wall Drill.

There still are 110 homeless people, but during day 2 the ruins around the generator will be cleared and there you can build more tents in the evening, and, depending on your difficulty level can even start with bunkhouses. You can rebuild the cookhouse and the workshop somewhere else and you will have enough room for most of your homeless people if you build space efficient. Squeeze in the last tents in the other heatzones if you run out of space.

You can also dismantle the public house and the arena at the generator, they are not really needed (depending on the way you play, if you struggle with discontent, rebuild them again somehwere else, especially the arena does not neet to be heated). This way you can squeeze in enough housing in the first 2 rings only, which will be important later in the game. Like this we only need 3 Hubs and generator level 2 to heat the entire living area of the city until we start evacuating people

Since noone died, hope is well under control, so is discontent and you have plenty of time to deal with either. I would recommend the Faith tree, it kills 2 birds with one stone since it offers the best tools to increase hope and has the best medical building that does not require engineers. If you go for Hope, build the Houses of Prayer and then use the prayer ability every two days and you will meet the 50% hope requirement without trouble. If you pick the faith tree a little later there still is time, and you can always choose evening prayers if time is running out and you have enough food. With those 2 abilities and noone dieing, hope should not be a problem. And don´t forget the shrines (one of my favourite buildings), they provide both hope and a production bonus.

But back to day 2: I now start building gathering posts to dismantle the ruins, then my main priority is more food. I personally like building more Hunter Huts and the Soup law.

In the Flex area i will start clearing the ruins and then build coal thumpers there lateron. Midterm this area will be coal production only, and i ramp it up once i have enough food. The goal is to have enough coal that i can afford to dismantle the coal outpost and collect steel from the steel outpost instead. I want the perfect dreadnaught by the end.

If i need to i will build more medical posts, i still have spare room in the Drill area and some spare engineers. And i will build more workshops to speed up research (at least 4 alltogether). Just in case you did not know: Engineers from the workshops can be put to work in the medical posts during the night, make use of that.

Here is my order of priorities for the next days (in that order): Food, Coal, Steel. Infirmaries or Houses of Healing to stop worrying about sickness.

Like everything in Frostpunk, you can approach this scenario multiple ways. Some are more efficient than others, but most ways will work on lower diffulties. With a little bit of practice and some advice, this scenario will lose its sting. This guide shows you one of the ways to do it.

Feel free to ask questions or suggest improvements to this early game guide. It should cover the first chapter of "The fall of Winterhome". The next chapter is up to you.

I hope this helps you and i am pretty sure that along these guidelines your people will be cheering for their Captain in no time.

TLDR: Keep them warm (c:

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