[caption id="attachment_1958" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] Netto - Late Spring Year 25[/caption]
It's been another 15 years game time since I reported the looming population issue, and all my original villagers are gone now. At one point I was down to 13 workers. Their graves fill one small graveyard and I've had to start a second. As you can see in the screen capture above, my working population is now nearly as high as it has ever been and I have 16 students and children. No one currently living in the village is older than 60. I've actually managed to grow a bit. I've purchased chestnut and wheat seeds from visiting merchants as well as sheep so I could get wool for warmer coats. Oy, the sheep were expensive! I had to give up 240 units of iron for just two. But like the villagers, the sheep are happy and have had a lamb.
I've learned a few more things about how the game operates during these 15 game years. I'll make a bullet list for easier reading. The list is in no particular order except the first item.
- As I suspected, the key to procreation is to have empty housing available to new couples. If there is an empty house and a man and woman available, they will move into the house and start a family. I've tracked this with several new families. The first year a new couple moved into the house a child was born. Houses are for families, not just a random group of people. My advice to those starting the game is to count how many potential couples there are and build that many houses plus one. Your urban planning needs to take that into account.
- Merchants only seem to want to trade like for like. For example, I couldn't buy sheep with anything other than iron though I had a dozen other products in my inventory. Those other products were food stuff and herbs. The only non-food type item was the iron.
- You can hold a merchant at your trading post for long enough to gather several hundred units of iron. I had to do this to get the sheep I wanted. If you dismiss the merchants they go away immediately, but that doesn't seem to affect when the next merchant comes. Holding them doesn't seem to affect the timing either, so hang onto them.
- It takes four years before chestnuts produce. They'll produce for a couple of years, and then you'll start to loose trees. Dead trees are harvested and added to your log stores. Your farmer plants a replacement tree and it'll begin producing in four game years. I assume all orchards behave similarly.
- Size matters when creating fields, orchards, pastures and graveyards. My little pasture can only hold three sheep. My herdsman will place any sheep born after that into the food stores, if you follow my meaning. Keep that in mind when you are planning your village layout. You'll need lots of pasture to be self-sufficient in domesticated livestock. I'll be hunting and fishing for some time.
- I love the fact deer wander all over the map and you can actually see their fawns in the spring time.
Okay, that last wasn't really a learning point, but it is something I find myself watching when I'm not trying to help the villagers help themselves. One that score, there appears to be a laziness quotient built into the villagers. They particularly like to "idle" in the graveyard. The graveyard is a source of solace for the villagers and therefore happiness. You know, when this game is opened up for modding someone will certainly create a zombie plague to throw into the mix. Perhaps a vampire plaque would be more medievally appropriate. On that note, I want to make everyone aware that I am playing this first round of Banished! with disasters turned OFF. This game would be far harder if half the town burned down or a tornado roared through it. I'll save that excitement for my next game. For now I'm content with getting the mechanics of the game down.