Are Frostpunk Hothouses Worth It?

Frostpunk Hothouses versus Hunter’s Huts, which one makes the most sense to employ? Both provide food but which one is the most efficient, especially in the early game? Depending on what path you take can determine what strategy you use, Hunter’s Huts, Hothouses, or a combination of both, but to me it’s an obvious choice.

In the early game Hothouses are definitely not worth the cost. Focusing on Hothouse research first puts you way behind in research, exploration, and even available raw resources to construct buildings with. Wood will be so scarce that it will be difficult to even assemble a Scout team before day 4.

On the surface, during the early game, Hothouses seem like a much better investment. Hunter’s Huts and Hothouses both cost 20 wood and, on an extended shift, a basic Hothouse can produce 33.4 food per day versus the Hunter’s Hut of 15 food per day without any upgrades, plus the Hothouse uses 5 less workers, but there are several major drawbacks that make me not use these during the early game.

Disadvantages to Hothouses

The first is it delays research in other, more important, areas. If your strategy is to use Hothouses and not Hunter’s Huts, you’ll need to research Drawing Boards first since Hothouses are a second level research item, so that tier of research needs to be unlocked first.

The second is a lack of steam cores in the early game. Since I like to use a strategy of coal conservation so I can focus on wood gathering and research, I tend to have a lot of sick people, so one of the first demands I get is for an Infirmary. With only one steam core available I would rather satisfy my populace and build it.

I would also prefer to get a coal mine going rather than using my only steam core for a Hothouse if an Infirmary is not needed

Unlike Hunter’s Huts Hothouses are much more susceptible to the cold weather. The delicate crops need a minimum temperature of at least chilly to operate, placing even more of a burden on coal reserves, which is especially important if you’re using a coal conservation strategy. You’ll either need to power up the Generator more frequently, or if the Hothouse is out of the range of the Generator you’ll need to turn on the Hothouse’s internal heating system.

Another disadvantage to Hothouses is that Hunter’s Huts are immediately available without research. Their raw food output can also be increased from 15 to 20 Raw Food per hunt by researching Hunter’s Gear, which is available without unlocking the next tier of research. Hunter’s Huts also don’t need steam cores, they just need 20 wood to be built.

A Hothouse takes up much more space than a Hunter’s Hut.

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Advantages to Hothouses

The Foreman ability can be used on the Hothouse if you’re using the Order and Discipline laws, plus you can use an automaton to run things if you have them, which frees up workers for other tasks.

A Hothouse can outproduce a Hunter’s Hut by a margin of 2 to 1 in raw food, plus it employs five less workers until the Hunter’s Hut is upgraded.

They produce raw food 24 hours a day if run by an Automaton, whereas a Hunter’s Hut will only bring food in at the end of a hunt cycle, which is 12 hours.

“Hothouse Rush” Versus “Hunter’s Hut” Strategy

I wanted to see how well a “Hothouse Rush” strategy would work for me so I started a game and focused on getting a Hothouse up and running a quickly as I could. I built two Workshops first since I knew I’d need to start research as soon as possible to enable me to build a Hothouse. I knew that if I didn’t my food reserves would run out and I’d be forced to build a Hunter’s Hut, which I was trying to avoid.

I also built a Cookhouse to convert the Raw Food into Food rations. That made the food last twice as long and made less people sick by not forcing them to eat raw food.

…with my “Hothouse Rush” strategy I was still struggling to even create my first scout team.

After getting my resource gathering going, I started research on Drawing Boards so I could unlock the first tier of research. Starting that research cost 50 wood which is a substantial amount in the early game, plus it delayed construction of other buildings and other areas of research. Once that was unlocked, I focused on researching the Hothouse, which cost 20 wood and 10 steel.

With this “Hothouse Rush” strategy I was able to get my first Hothouse up and running by day 3 and still had 105 food reserves to fall back on. But even with a Hothouse running on an extended shift my food reserves were still dropping, I had survivors on the way, and no more steam cores to build another hothouse with. It looked like I would need to resort to using at least a few Hunter’s Huts until I acquired more steam cores to build more hothouse with. I didn’t even have enough resources to build my first Sawmill until day 4. By the end of day 4 I still did not have enough extra wood to create a Scout team with as well.

“Hothouse Rush” Strategy Results Versus “Hunter’s Hut” Strategy

Here is a summary of where I was at the end of Day 4 using a “Hothouse Rush” strategy versus a “Hunter’s Hut” strategy and researching the Beacon first instead of the Hothouse.

With the Hothouse Rush I managed to construct the following buildings by the end of day 4.

  • Hothouse
  • Medical Post
  • 2 workshops
  • Cookhouse
  • Beacon
  • Sawmill
  • 8 Tents

I finished the following research by the end of day 4 using the Hothouse Rush tactic.

  • Drawing Boards
  • Heaters
  • Beacon
  • Sawmill
  • Hothouse

By focusing on Beacon research first I had the following buildings constructed by the end of day 4.

  • 4 workshops
  • Beacon
  • 3 Sawmills
  • 2 Hunter’s Hut
  • 2 Medical posts
  • Cookhouse
  • Child Shelter
  • 2 Gathering Post
  • 12 Tents

By focusing on Beacon research first I had the following research completed by the end of day 4.

  • Steam Hub
  • Heaters
  • Beacon
  • Food Gathering
  • Coal Thumper
  • Sawmill
  • Steelworks
  • Hunter Gear

At the end of the fourth day all resource reserves were almost all the same using both strategies. I was out of raw food in both scenarios and food rations were well below 50 for both scenarios as well although no one was hungry yet.

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Also, with the Beacon first strategy my Scouts were already on their way to Winterhome, with my “Hothouse Rush” strategy I was still struggling to even create a Scout Team. To me it’s obvious that Hothouses won’t work in the early game, at least not for me. A strategy of slowly phasing out Hunter’s Huts and Hangers with Hothouses seems like a much for practical approach. In the early game, stay away from Hothouses.

Rich Gallien

I've always liked board games like chess and PC games, especially space based strategy games, which lead to the creation of this site. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it and updating it with new games!

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