Posted in Retro Gaming

Rimworld: Crashlanded!

(This is part of my journey going playing through 2016’s Rimworld. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

For this new series, I’m going to break one of the cardinal rules of Retro Gaming and go through a game that’s fairly recent: Rimworld. I’ve been wanting to blog a full playthrough of a game, and I think this format would suit it best.

If you’ve never played Rimworld before, it’s a colony simulator in which you take a handful of semi-autonomous crew members who have crashed on an alien world and try to create a settlement to survive. There are a lot of settings for a new game, but here’s what I’ve decided for this playthrough:

  1. I’m going with the standard “crashlanded” package of three crew members and an assortment of weapons and supplies.
  2. I’m picking “Cassandra Classic” on “Strive to Survive” difficulty for the AI storyteller.
  3. I’m choosing “commitment mode,” which means I can’t reload past save games.
  4. I’m asking the game to pick a random site and biome on the world to build a colony. In this case, I got a small hilly batch of tundra (not great) with some plants, berries, and animals.
  5. I’m going to pick three colonists from the eight that the computer rolls for me (no re-rolling).

I didn’t have the best options from these eight, but I think I have a workable crew. My three survivors are:

  • Wallis, an older guy with creepy breathing who will me my main construction guy and probably my hunter as well. He’s super-immune to disease and infection and has decent stats across-the-board.
  • Lozano, a “tortured artist” with a grumpy disposition who is a good hand-to-hand fighter, a quick sleeper, and can help out with everything except research and crafting. Probably be using him for a lot of dumb labor.
  • Hoffman, a younger lady who can’t fight (boo) but is also a quick sleeper (which means more work time) and has a higher mental break threshold. With a planting skill of 6, she’ll be my farmer.

All right, let’s do this!

The very first day in Rimworld is crucial, so careful planning is needed to get off to the right start. The main goal is to get a basic structure up with some beds and then start hauling useful materials to a stockpile. As this area is tundra, I know I’m in for a more difficult challenge since there are fewer trees and not as many animals.

The first thing I always do is pause the game and survey the land for a good base location as well as spot where various other supply caches are. A great base is near steel/machinery mining nodes and rich soil deposits, and if you can move into a partially built structure, all the better. A third consideration is to have the base toward the middle of the map so that colonists are never that far away.

After looking over this map, the two most promising ruins are too far toward the edges, so I’m going to build a more centralized base that’s near good mining and farming areas instead. I think I’ll have the base grow into the side of a mountain and then tunnel out additional housing rooms in there.

So here we go — the starting point for Base Bio Break. With a short growing season, I really need to get crops in the ground, but I also need to go hunting for furs to turn into parkas to help stave off frostbite and hypothermia. It’s summer… and the high temperature is only 65, with the lows in the 40s. This first year is going to be a race against time.

Wallis, my builder, comes down hard with a case of cryosleep sickness and then has to spend the first day in bed as she gets her asthma tended to. Lozaro keeps gathering while I send Hoffman to start clearing out farming area over a patch of rich soil to the north of the base.

Wallis wakes up later and works around a puddle of puke to finish the basic one-room base. I always like to start with a single room, just to get the colonists out of the elements, but I’ll need to make individual bedrooms before long to keep morale from diving.

The first challenge arrives when a snowhare decides to go stark raving mad and attack Hoffman while she’s harvesting some birch trees. Unfortunately for Hoffman, she’s incapable of defending herself — even against killer bunnies — so she had to run to base while getting nibbled on the whole way. She then develops an infection in her left foot from one of the bites.

That’s not a good omen for my colony’s toughness.

But then, a stroke of somewhat good luck — a wild man wanders into the area, ripe for arresting. Why arrest him? Because then we can lock him up and start the process of eventually recruiting him into the colony. It’s all for his own good, trust me. And I really need a fourth colonist at this point.

All things considered, Bio Break colony is off to a good start. We’ve got a lot of the essentials laid down, a potential fourth member in the works, and still some time to go before the long, cold winter sets in.

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