If playing “A New Home” you will start out with only 15 Engineers, although you can start with varying numbers depending on the Scenario. For example, if playing “The Seedling Arks” scenario you get 45 Engineers, but that’s all you get at the start. Why are these individuals so important and what do they do exactly?
Frostpunk Engineers are used for more complex tasks, like working in workshops for research or medical posts to treat the injured and sick. They are not allowed to work the more dangerous jobs, like Scouts, Hunters or construction jobs, but can be used to gather resources when needed.
Without Engineers your technological research will stall, and as the weather grows worse, you will not have the advanced technology you need to survive it.
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Like everything else in Frostpunk you will never have enough Engineers to go around, at least at the start of the game. These guys and gals are the skilled labor force in your city. Until you need or can use their skills, they should be used for gathering resources.
How To Get More Frostpunk Engineers
In “A New Home” the only way to increase your Engineering pool is to send out Scouts to find them. Some expansions may have other methods for increasing the Engineering pool but since I haven’t played any of them yet I can’t say that for sure.
Once a Scouting Expedition finds survivors chances are there will be some Engineers among them. Bringing them back alive will increase your Engineering pool.
Another method to increase Frostpunk’s Engineering availability is to research Engineering and Medical Automations, which can then be assigned to Workshops or Medical facilities. This effectively increases your Engineering pool so more Workshops and Medical facilities can be built and staffed. This is a fourth tier research item so it will be some time before you will be able to use an automation for these tasks.
One final way to effectively free up Engineers is to take the Faith path when that choice becomes available. Once the House of Healing law is passed and a Healing House is built Workers can man those buildings, leaving your Engineers free to be assigned to other tasks, although healing the sick will take a little longer.
Frostpunk Engineers vs Workers, Is One More Effective At Resource Gathering?
I wanted to know if Engineers were more efficient at gathering resources than workers so early in one of my games, before anyone got sick, I conducted an experiment. I assigned 14 Workers to one coal pile and 14 Engineers to another and the efficiency was the same for both, 93%. Just to make me a little more confident that this was true for everything I assigned 14 Workers to gather wood crates and 14 Engineers to work at gathering another pile of wood crates. Again, the efficiency for both groups was 93%, so there was no difference in the efficiencies for these groups when it comes to gathering resources.
It’s best to utilize Workers rather than Engineers whenever possible to gather resources since their efficiencies are the same, use the Engineers for the skilled tasks required to help your city survive, which Workers cannot perform.
Frostpunk Medic or Engineer Apprentices
Before you can create apprentices you first need to decide whether to allow children to work or to keep them safe using the Book of Laws. If you decide to keep them safe (and out of trouble) rather than force them to work a Child Shelter must be built which raises hope in the city. This opens up another law which allows you to decide what kind of education you want them to have.
You can educate children to either be Medic or Engineer apprentices, both provide a boost to their respective areas by up to 20% when the buildings and Child Shelter are fully staffed. Either choice will enable you to use less Engineers at one particular task when Apprentices are helping, which frees an Engineer or two to help out in an undermanned area.
By speeding up research you can often have the technology available to prevent problems before they occur, by speeding up medical assistance you can get people back to work faster. In the end it depends on your situation and overall strategy for deciding which apprenticeship you want the children to pursue. I usually go with the Engineering Apprenticeship, the faster you tech up the better.
While I was experimenting with the efficiencies for different buildings one thing I noticed about the Medical Posts is that, when it comes to efficiency, it doesn’t matter if you have three or four Engineers, the base efficiency is still the same at 67%.