We asked our community of Stonehearth veterans and near-veterans to provide some advice to new players. Here is Part Two, with some lengthier responses. (Part One is here.)
With one farmer and a few small farms, there is little risk of starvation. Being unprepared for hostiles will get you killed. So make sure to do a few things to avoid becoming someone’s dinner:
1. Check the stats of your initial hearthlings to find the ones with the most hitpoints. Use those with the most for your melee units so they can stay in the fight long enough to win. This makes a huge difference in bigger battles. I start with 2 even though it means that I start off just a little slower.
2. The easiest weapon and armor upgrades help quite a bit early game. Right now you really don’t need the mason for much except for unlocking the tools for blacksmith and the stone weapon you can make at level one. Don’t be afraid to make a mason just just long enough grab the tools and a make a few cheap weapons, then make the mason your blacksmith or weaver until you have more hearthlings. Don’t forget to make the wooden shield with the carpenter, as the carpenter levels up without any effort. You can’t buy metal armor today, but it is fairly easy to buy the cloth variety early in game so you should do so.
3. Don’t waste time with bronze unless you absolutely can’t find any iron. Iron is better and you only have to collect one type of resource instead of 2.
4. Learn how to control your melee units with the party commands. It is the only way you can make them retreat that I know of.
5. Because of item #3, new players should consider starting in foothills near a mountain. You can find lots of plants and animals nearby and usually have easy access to iron. One farmer and one trapper can take care of the food in the beginning (no risk of starvation), so I ignore food resources on the map.
6. Don’t panic when the goblin with the fancy hat shows up – the quest doesn’t start until you talk to him. If you’ve identified who is going to fight for you, you can activate them and them them equip before you open the dialogue. You can also stall by agreeing to the demands if you need to buy a few hours of time.
Don’t place your settlement’s banner down too close to a lake or cliff. Cliff is recoverable by the cunning use of ladders (though a bit of a waste of time to have to deal with), but I made the mistake of placing my standard down right by the edge of a lake (“yay, lakeside property,” she thought… Famous last words!) and ended up with two hearthlings and a trapper’s knife spawning in the drink. NOT recommended.
Also don’t start a bazillion building projects at once. You’ll just end up with a bunch of pathetic-looking low walls all over the place.
- Always make beds for hearthlings and place them asap. They wont get the debuff that makes them slower and keeps them happy.
- Farmers should have a high body stat. It makes them faster and farmers don’t build, so if you have stuff they need to collect and it’s far from camp they might end up alone against enemies.
- It’s a good idea to have at least 2 footmen for a couple of reasons:
- if one dies you still have a backup that has xp.
- footmen are usually the first on scene and get focused. If 2 are on scene one guy doesn’t take all the damage, it’s shared.
- 2 footmen can take almost anything early game if you give them shields and stone mauls, so you don’t have to go into town defence mode and waste xp for your footmen.
- Explore your surroundings on day one. There are no threats on day one and it makes it easier to spot enemies.
- Trapper fields work better if they are left undisturbed. Place them somewhere you are not building nearby.
- If an enemy campaign starts, check that you don’t have trapper fields or pastures nearby. The trapper won’t go further than the field but sheep spawn around the pasture so you might get unlucky and it spawns in front of the enemy and your shepherd will go to it and might die.
- Never forget doors on buildings.
- Always overproduce food, better be safe than sorry.
- Don’t change jobs around too much. There is a penalty; they lose all xp to the next lvl and current levels make it harder to gain levels in other professions.
- You can dig down anywhere and if you go deep enough find ore.
- Night its the best time to see if anyone is stuck somewhere because a bed is empty.
- Sheep will run away if the pasture is not enclosed.
- There is an option to put hearthlings into parties and direct them; I suggest you use it.
- If you have the resources, give your military better equipment.
- Crafters with a high mind stat give a better chance for fine quality.