Surviving the first mission in They Are Billions sounds simple enough, just establish a thriving colony without getting infected. Sounds pretty easy, but what’s the best way to go about that? This mission was played on the 50% difficulty setting.
There are two things that are essential to surviving this mission, walls and Rangers. Double-walls need be erected at choke points and about 40 Rangers are needed to defend them, everything else in this first mission is secondary.
There are three objectives for the first mission:
- Destroy all the infected.
- Get the colony’s population up to 300.
- Resist all swarms of infected.
Sounds pretty easy, just plop down some tents, train a few Rangers and build a few walls, and that should do it. Pretty simple right? Well, maybe not.
After trying to survive this mission for the fourth time I found out that the biggest event you need to get past is the wave of infected that attack your settlement on the 22nd day. Defensive walls need to be built and Rangers trained to be able to mount an effective defense and survive. Although nothing needs to be built in any particular order the main things to accomplish are twofold, the walls and the Rangers. The walls can wait until around day 19 to be built if you plan ahead. If you don’t like waiting until the last minute, they can actually be built any time you have sufficient resources.
Start Out By Scouting
This map for this mission is always the same and I like to start out basically the same way at the start of the mission. The first thing the game tells you to do is build three tents so colonists will start coming to your new settlement. I decided the best place to put my tents was to the south of my command center, so I built my first three tents there. It’s a good idea to send your 4 rangers out in different directions to open up the map a little, especially if you want to build tents to the south. You need to explore that terrain before you can build on it.
Building those tents and attracting new colonists will use up all your food reserves so the next thing the game tells you to do is build a structure that will give you some food, either a Fisherman Cottage or Hunter Cottage. Either one will work fine, just space them as close to the outer perimeter of your settlement as you can. This way you can build as many as possible since they can’t be built too close together.
Once that’s done place at least one Ranger in the northwest corner by the train tracks just at the bend of the tracks to pick off any infected that happen to wander in (they will). If you don’t they will soon be attacking your buildings and colonists, and even though there aren’t a lot of them yet they can significantly set your progress back. This is crucial if you want to survive that attack on the 22nd day.
The next most important resource, next to food, is wood, so building a sawmill between your command center and the woods to the west is the next item on the list to complete.
If you sent a Ranger to the southeast you should have found a deposit of stone which is needed to build a Soldier Center, but you can’t build a Quarry there yet because you don’t have access to any power in that area. This will require two Tesla towers to be built so power can be extended far enough out to build the Quarry. One Ranger in the area should be enough to deal with any nearby infected. While you’re building the Tesla Towers and Quarry keep building tents and food production buildings so you’ll have colonists available to be trained as Rangers. When power starts running low build a mill.
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Clear Out The Infected
While the Quarry is being built send 3 of your 4 Rangers in to clear out the area behind it. This will free them up to join the other Ranger up by the Railroad tracks, plus there will be a food bonus waiting to be collected. Once that area and the few stragglers in the surrounding area are cleared out the only infected you need to worry about are the ones coming in from the north, they will not attack from the south at all.
The best way to clear a group of infected out is not to rush them, at least with Rangers since they are not designed for hand-to-hand combat. The best approach is to advance on a group of infected incrementally. Once the infected are within range of your archers they will start firing. The infected will start advancing but should be eliminated well before they reach your archers. Once the first mini attack wave is eliminated, move in a little more to take on another wave. The infected, at least the ones in this area, are pretty stupid and will only attack either after being attacked themselves or if you get too close to them. Maintaining your distance and picking them off gradually works perfectly, resulting in no losses on your side.
Once you have enough stone build the Soldier Center as soon as you can. The sooner you can start building up your Army the better your chances of surviving the upcoming attack. You should have enough resources available to do that by day 5.
Around day 3 your wood production will start to lag a little bit so building another sawmill is a good idea. Building one close to the Quarry is a good spot since there is plenty of wood available and there is already power in the vicinity, meaning you won’t need to build another Tesla Tower. Look for a spot that gives an output of at least 10.
It’s okay to build more tents for colonists since you’ll need some to be trained as Rangers anyway. Although the overall goal is to get to a population of 300 in your colony there is no way to accomplish that before day 22, so the short-term focus is really on Rangers and defensive walls.
By day 6 you’ll probably start running short on energy so build another Mill, preferably close to the Command Center. You’ll find that as you gain more colonists your food and energy requirements will increase, so build accordingly, as the need arises.
Once the Soldier’s Center is built start pumping out Rangers as fast as you can until you reach a number of around 40 Rangers.
Around day 19 start building double walls for defense if you haven’t already. Double walls does not mean two walls that are spaced far apart so you have room for troops (like I thought), it really means double walls. Double walls means one wall is built in the space right next to another one, making it much stronger than a single wall. I had two single walls built up as defenses in one scenario and the infected swarmed right through them, almost like they weren’t even there.
By the time they started attacking me in that scenario I had two sets of walls and 19 Rangers but it was not enough to hold off the attack. Once the first wall was breached I fell back behind the second wall but it didn’t do any good, they Infected breached that one quickly as well. The lesson learned was that it’s important to have a wall that is virtually unbreachable so your Rangers can safely stand behind them and pick off the infected as they try to get through. Also don’t stupidly use all gates like I did instead of walls. Lost more expensive and a lot less versatile. Once the Infected breach the walls it is nothing but a slaughter.
There is a potential drawback to waiting until around day 19 to build walls and that’s a lack of planning. Although not intuitive the walls need to be build with range of energy from your colony, you can’t just build them at any convenient choke point, you need to expand in that direction first. If you decide to try to build Teslas close to that chokepoint then make sure you have enough workers available to do that instead of converting every free worker to a Ranger.
Also, don’t assume the infected won’t come down along the railroad track and attack because they definitely will. Since I was short of energy in the area where I wanted to build I had to build my defensive walls a lot closer to my settlement than I had planned and then I could not block off the approach at the railroad, which can be done with a gate but I couldn’t get it to fit in the area that I needed it to.
I ended up building two double walls so I would have a fallback position but I didn’t need it. My 40 Rangers were more than a match for the incoming infected, especially with my first wall blocking the biggest portion of their attack. They easily took out the smaller swarm coming in on the railroad tracks.
After I survived the attack it was a simple matter to just keep adding colonists until I reached the 300 I needed to complete the mission.