Trainer Tools and Resources
First, Children: Your citizens will only have kids from the time they are in their teens until they are in their 40s, and only if they are the head of their household. So when your starting kids reach their teens, you need to build more houses for them to move into. If you leave it too long, they will eventually become heads of household when their parents die but by then they are too old to have kids of their own. Careful not to build too many houses though, or you will have a population explosion adding a ton of mouths to feed without giving you any extra labor to gather food with. Early game try to add 1-3 houses per year until you have 70-80 adults, then you can expand a little faster OR slow down your expansion since there are enough houses that old age will empty some out before everyone is too old to breed.
Second, Health: There are a few factors that affect health. Exposure to the elements is one, so make sure your people have homes, firewood, and clothes. Another big factor in health is food variety...the more different foods are available for your people to eat, the healthier they will be. Lastly, build an herbalist...when your people's health starts to fade, they will visit the herbalist for healing. The herbalist requires mature forest, where most of the trees are fully grown for several years, so don't built it near your forester that is cutting logs for you. I made one area for foresters to use for lumberjacking, and another area where I put my gatherer, hunter, and herbalist, along with a forester using only a single worker and set to plant only to keep the woods full. Also remove all the stone and iron from that area using the specific resource tools, that allows for more mature woods within the gathering area. A gatherer's hut and a hunter is a good idea for food early on...it takes 7 people to fully staff both of them and gives you 5 food types in very good quantity, plus leather for when you build a tailor in year 2 or 3. This food variety and having clothes production before your starting supply runs out keeps your health high enough that you won't need the herbalist right away.
Sorry for the wall of text, but I hope that helps!
Screenshot of my town (to be fair, my first 4 towns all died, but once I got the hang of things this is the result) i.imgur.com/tkLQR28.png
[Edited by ninjafroggie, 2/19/2014 9:40:06 PM]
[Edited by stoooo, 2/20/2014 11:35:42 AM]
Later on, you can improve efficiency further by educating your people with a school (educated people take less time to do a task, and so can do more in the year). You can also upgrade tool production to steel tools once you have a coal mine, which means they have to come get new tools less often, and once you have sheep for wool production you can switch the tailor to producing warm coats, which allows them to work longer during the winter without having to return home (this also means you use less firewood). By the time you grow large enough to do these things you will probably have acquired some seeds to start farming with. Again, build some homes and a barn as close to the fields as possible, and put a market down with at least one vendor in your main population center so that people won't have to walk too far to get stuff produced on the other side of town. Also, since farming adds large stocks of food in the autumn, and then zero the rest of the year, raise your food limit so you can store enough to last until the next harvest. A 15x15 farm can produce 1600 food per year with 4 workers, which is about 60% more than a fishing dock, and although somewhat less than an optimal gatherer, it requires nowhere near as much space.
A 12x12 farm being farmed by one farmer is more efficient use of man power than a 15x15 with 4 farmers.
A 12x12 will produce upto 1008 food per year per farmer, while a 15x15 will provide ~500 of the same.
Oh and use either beans as they ripen quickly & lower the risk to early winters or squash as they are frost resistant so give you more safety/time should winter come early.
As for food, have a gatherer & hunter paired with a forester & set those 3 up, let the forester plant only til the zone is full of trees (remove stones/iron) & then let it cut them down.
One, well setup, gatherer will provde 400-500 food per season. 12 Seasons in a year giving 4800-6000 food. Which is enough to feed 4-5 citizens. 4 Gatherers per shed giving food for 16-20 citizens. Adds up really nicely.
First off, even though the menu says "season" it means per year. An optimal gatherer will produce 600-800 of EACH of the 4 food types it makes per year (with 4 workers), for a total of 2400-3200 food annually. Less than optimal conditions such as long walks from home to work, from work to the storage barn, or back to town to get tools/clothes, or less mature woods or mountains in the gathering area all reduce output. This is why you should not have the forester that is cutting logs and the gatherer paired together. Put a forester near the gatherer, sure, but set it to plant only and leave it off most of the time, only turn it on once every couple years to keep the forest full, and have another forester elsewhere do the actual logging.
Second, citizens eat on average 100 food per year. That optimal gatherer will feed 24-36 people per year. Remember children and students eat too, and they eat the same amount as adults.
Third, food diversity is key to good citizen health. The more food types you have, the better, so limiting yourself to one or two crops is a bad idea, especially if you get hit with a blight which will spread to other fields growing the same type of food. Also, since all the crops grow at different speeds, having a diverse crop allows for a longer effective harvest, rather than having everything demanding attention all at once (see below why this is bad)
Fourth, people have to do other stuff besides work...they go home to eat or get warm, and they have to get food and firewood and bring it home. They go get new tools or clothes when theirs wear out. They go see the herbalist when their health is low or to the hospital when sick. Having a single farmer means that if he's busy during autumn, your harvest just sits in the field...combine that with an early freeze and you just lost the whole crop.
Fifth, both with pastures and with fields, optimal output is achieved at max size. Your 12x12 farm produces 1008 food, or 7 food per tile...my 15x15 farms produce 1596 food per year, which is 7.1 food per tile. The same applies to pastures...20x20 pastures hold the most animals, which in turn means the highest breeding rate, and thus, the most food and materials per year.
Lastly, farms ARE good for food...when staffed by 4 workers they are the 2nd most efficient in terms of food per worker at ~400 food per worker per year. (only the gatherer makes more food per worker, 600-800 per year). Farms are also the 2nd best in terms of food production per tile of area...gatherers make more food per worker, but they require an enormous area that you could easily fit at least 9 farms into, yielding more than 4x the food from the same land area. Only the fishing dock, with its 8 tile footprint on land, makes more food per tile of land, but does so at around 250 food per worker for most docks. The hunter is the LEAST efficient food producer in the game, they require huge area and only make about 200 food per worker, the only real reason to use them is for the fact that they also give leather, which you will likely need long before you get enough cows to supply your tailors on their own.
[Edited by ninjafroggie, 2/27/2014 12:46:19 AM]
[Edited by ninjafroggie, 2/27/2014 12:46:19 AM]
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