Enabling your city to survive the storm is a monumental task and one of those tasks is warm housing. Should you let people freeze in a much colder tent to gain an edge technologically or allow them to be somewhat more comfortable and warmer in a house at the expense of not being prepared for the Storm?
You do not need to replace tents with houses in Frostpunk if you have the right heating strategy. By using plenty of heat beforehand no more people will die in tents than would die if they were in houses once the Storm ends. This frees up resources for other areas, like research and food gathering.
There are disadvantages to this approach although with the right planning everything needed can be researched prior to the Storm. The key to keeping tents in place instead of houses is a heating strategy to support them, one that will be able to sustain more heat longer than you would need to with Houses. You will also need a few more Infirmaries and Medical Posts than you normally would to handle the sick.
Additionally, once you have a firm foothold on gathering resources and have advanced technology, you can still build Houses just prior to the Storm, giving everyone a much better chance of survival.
When building tents build as many as you can in the inner rings and cluster the rest of the tents together. By clustering them you will be able to build a Steam Hub or two that will be able to heat tents that are out of range of the Generator. Houses will fit in the exact same spot as a tent, so this strategy works equally well for Bunkhouses and Houses.
Tents, like Bunkhouses and Houses, provide shelter for ten people.
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Surviving The Storm in Tents
Once the Storm hits food gathering operations and Hothouses are shut down but that’s all, everything else can still be done as long as heat levels can be maintained. When the Storm hits its minimum temperature of -238 degrees Fahrenheit all you can do is ride it out, homes or tents will both drop down to the freezing level. It does not matter what level you run the Generator at or even if Overdrive is on, both tents and houses will be freezing. The shortness of this last intense phase is the only thing allowing anyone to survive.
The biggest thing you’ll notice if you keep everyone in tents during the Storm is the number of people who are freezing. Near the end of the Storm I had 457 out of 550 people freezing who were living in tents. In another version I built houses during the Storm and only had 3 people out of 550 freezing. Surprisingly, the number of survivors was the same in both scenarios.
The number of sick and gravely ill was not what I expected for the two scenarios I created. With tents I had 67 untreated citizens with 4 gravely ill. In the scenario where I built houses during the storm I had 90 untreated citizens with 8 gravely ill. My guess is that while I was building houses some people were briefly homeless, exposing them to the elements. Once again, this didn’t affect the final outcome.
A good strategic tip to keep the coal flowing during the Storm is to have 3 Advanced Coal Mines and a few Steam Coal Thumpers operational run by Automatons. Once the big freeze hits dismantle any Hothouses you have right away to regain the steam cores and build any advanced buildings you might need, like an Advanced Coal Mine, or build an Automaton or two to run things. They should be 90% efficient by now and will run 24 hours a day. If you can’t keep the Infirmaries operational dismantle those as well to gain their steam cores.
You can build houses directly over tents and can skip Bunkhouses. Bunkhouses do provide an additional heat level but by focusing on other areas of technology rather than on Bunkhouses you can easily provide that needed heat to tents, all the while progressing further down the technology tree and storing up resources for the coming storm.
If you need to reduce the number of sick citizens Bunkhouses could be built to keep people warmer at night, reducing the burden on your medical staff, but if you need to improve housing skip directly to a house if you are able instead of building a Bunkhouse.
The Advantages of Building Homes to Replace Tents
The main advantage is decreasing the number of sick. If people can sleep in a warm bed at night, they are less likely to get sick, which will lighten the burden on your medical system. Less people sick also means more people working.
Heating Homes and Tents
Homes and Tents do not have heaters so they must rely on an external source. If a tent or house is within range of the Generator it will provide the heat. If they aren’t close enough to the Generator, then a Steam Hub needs to be built but building a Steam Hub that overlaps the Generator’s range is a waste of resources. A Steam Hub only puts out heat at the same temperature as the Steam Hub, so building one inside the range of the generator will make no difference in the heat level of the surrounding area.
Frostpunk Steam Hub Research
By the time the Storm arrives you should have at least all the Generator research completed if not all the Heating Branch itself. The Steam Hub range and efficiency upgrades will give you a wider heating area while consuming less coal. The Steam Hub Range upgrade increases a Steam Hub’s range by 50% and the Efficiency Upgrade reduces coal consumption by 33%.
Frostpunk Generator Efficiency, Power, and Overdrive Research
Upgrading the Generator to an Efficiency of level of 2 reduces coal consumption by 20% and Power Upgrade 3 allows you to raise the temperature by 3 levels as compared to the base ability. The Overdrive Couplings allow you to increase the temperature level by 2 levels instead of 1 when you use Overdrive, and the Generator Safety Bypass slows the increase of the Generator’s stress by 25% when in Overdrive, plus it has the added benefit of lowering the stress 25% faster after Overdrive is turned off.
The Generator Range 3 upgrade allows the range to be extended by three rings of buildings. Of course, all of these come at the cost of consuming more coal and can even quadruple coal consumption with the most extreme use of the Generator.
Can You Use A Care House as a Medical Post?
These are two different buildings with two different purposes. The Medical Post’s mission is obvious, care for and heal the sick.
The Care House is a place where people who aren’t useful to the city are sent to be cared for and probably eventually die, although it will lengthen their lives and reduce their burden on the city. It’s a place that specializes in taking care of the gravely ill and amputees. This frees up medical resources for people who are not as seriously ill or physically hampered.
People in a Care House eat half as much as they normally would, providing some relief to the food resource system as well. Building these does cause hope to rise and more than one can be built.
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Once the Care House law has been signed the Prosthetics law can be signed. Once a Factory is built amputees can be given artificial limbs, enabling them to work again.