My history with this game has been playing all three scenarios ordered in normal and then again on hard. I didn't have any issues until the third scenario on hard which took me quite a few redos but your mileage might vary. By the way by complete I mean get one of the good endings, so saving manchester and the lords too.
Generally i start rushing some gathering posts and the 24h shifts law so i have at least 2 posts working on the first night which will kill one person for an event but don't agree to stop the shift or if you do wait to click on the event at the last possible second so they do work most of the night. After that I build the workshop and living spaces for everyone and a medical post as soon as i have my first ill citizen. Here is the most important advice i can give, rush scouts. It's fairly expensive in wood at the beginning but they pay off soon. Also, before day 3 starts build the cookhouse so they dont eat the raw food. And then start building hunter huts, the amount depends on your population but you need more than you might think because difficulty changes how much food they give… unless you get really lucky with your early scout locations (or know where things are, i don't know if some locations are randomised but the important ones like outposts are not).
That should cover your first 4 days at most. Now the "cheating", hunter huts, I didn't need to use it in scenario one often and there are none in scenario 2 but for the third one I had to do this pretty much all game long. Every evening at 18:00 take people not on 24h shifts out of their jobs and put them in the hunting huts. Do it as soon as possible so before 8am they are back and can be sent straight to work again. I think many people know about this trick but I don't think you can do it on hard without it and get a "good" ending. They will not actually work 24h, they will still go to the cookhouse to eat and might get sick but this will mean food is not going to be your end.
Now there are other important things like planing the city out to save on coal for heating. But you dont need perfect cities. Just enough coal efficiency, and room for all the buildings which in the last scenario again is problematic because you will end up with the crater completely filled if you are not careful. Also, build cemetery/snow depot, resource depots and hunter huts outside any heaters so you don't waste coal heating buildings that dont need it.
About tech, I see people think a lot about the generator rings but i dont ever upgrade that, the outdoor heaters (forgot the name) are extensions of the generator so just increase the power and they will be very useful. to the point i only used level 1 heaters in the hardest scenario.
Also hothouses are great but very expensive and you cant "cheat out" food like hunter huts so i dont research them when possible.
Automatons depend, on the first scenario they are useful but don't make too many since you need the cores for coal mines and steelworks, you can save cores having only one infirmary and no hothouses though. I had 9 of them by the end of my hard playthrough. In scenario 2 they are a must because your population doesn't increase but you get plenty of cores. Just remember to always turn off heat in places where only automatons work and save on your coal bill. Finally in the last scenario I straight out didn't make a factory. I never had the resources to spare on automatons and had tons of workers "idle" in the end thanks to the hunting hut cheat.
Again, the most important part are scouts, rush them and use them. You want at least 2 scouts as soon as possible especially in the last map. Plan your route so they visit 2 or 3 locations at least before coming back home. In the last map there are no events that kill scouts so dont worry about losing 5 events worth of supplies but come back from time to time to use them. Also, try to travel to already visited locations in between your city and where you are going so that part of the journey they get a speed bonus.
For laws, emergency shift is useful for the first few days and once you have 2 workshops alternating which one has the 24h shift will increase research speed a lot since during the night there is no penalty to performance for multiple workshops. Soup is useful early but the discontent can and will kill you, if you do the hunter cheat there is no need for it. public house is a life saver when doing extended shifts on your high tier buildings and workshops (always only one workshop at a time). Child shelters are incredibly powerful. It will increase your workshops or medic facilities a lot saving you scientists without getting them sick or killed in accidents. I recommend med kids for the last scenario since you don't really have the resources to take advantage of the research speed and the cold is devastating. Try to get a law in every time its available.
Also the snow pit is better than cemetery IMO since hope is not much of an issue compared to discontent and I'll take extra heal speed for free any day. And you can skip the choice to do amputees or paliative treatment by being careful people dont get frostbite or grave ill before you get an infirmary. Just be careful with the weather.
Faith or order are pretty much the same but if you have workers to spare in watch-houses (the faith equivalent is not manned) their productivity bonuses are way better because of the foreman. Use it paired with extended shift and you'll get 180% extra resources from that building for a day (twice the work hours and +40% productivity). And again with the hunter cheat you should have enough food to use this often in your priority buildings like sawmills coalmines, steelworks and workshops.
The weather is what kills. That's why micromanaging the overcharge and having the appropriate power level researched with good heater coverage and good coal management is a key to success on hard. Keep an eye on the forecast every morning. The weather changes always happen at 7am, be ready or be dead. The 2 level drops can kill a city very quickly by overruning your medical buildings until everyone starts to be gravely ill and dies. Never have someone work on anything cold enough to cause frostbite, they'll spend more time in the infirmary than working it's better they do nothing than get sick for a day's worth of work. If that day of work is so important just know you might be killing yourself slowly. And like i said before, plan your heater areas so they overlap as little as possibe and fill the areas with buildings. If you have automatons try to use them to work on the cold areas and save on coal. The range upgrade might be a curse since your new range might overlap your old neighbours so unless you planned for it or are willing to take them down and reorganise them you might be better off not getting the upgrade. Same for generator range upgrades, can be a waste of coal unless you have a good plan and is straight up not needed at all.
Don't stay too long on 90%+ stress or you'll have to send a child or core to save you (although it will reduce stress to 70% so you might want it to happen in some cases). Also don't sit on 0%. The overcharge is free and unless all your buildings are red or have plenty of extra medic beds this will help ease the load, that being said make sure it's close to 0 before starting a 2 level drop.
I don't know if you'll find this worth your while but after my frustrations on the last scenario I wanted to preach the importance of scouts
Now all I have left to do is play a quick easy game and try to complete it without doing any faith or order laws.
© Post "Tips after completing all scenarios on hard" for game Frostpunk.
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