Strategic Primer pre-first turn clarifications

One of the players (all three of them … will you be another? I plan to run the first turn this Saturday, but am willing to be somewhat flexible) contacted me with some questions about my instructions. I’ll post my clarifications here.

[Update: I’ve changed my mind in response to some other comments, and correct those errors now.]

To quote the email:

Regarding the starting advances:

  1. Should some type of tower or turret be included? Wall, wall walk, and gatehouse are, but I don’t see any type of tower.

Not in the Starting Package, IMO. (You may invent one, or consider that too trivial to count as an Advance and include it in your fortress design without an advance.)

  1. I don’t see ‘soldier’ as a job type, but your most recent post indicates I can have my workers (at least the initial ones) be soldiers. This leaves me unclear on what the limitations are — what weapons/armor and training will any workers I order to be soldiers have?

(Drat. I’d forgotten about that …) I will add something approximating “soldier” as a Job. Armor and weapons are (producible) resources; all workers are level 1 rather than level 0 in their first-turn Jobs.

  1. Under the ‘Cooper’ entry it states that barrels are used to store resources, but the relationship is not very clear. I’d assume that I’d want at least one cooper from the definition, but without having any idea of how many barrels I’ll be needing I can’t tell whether I’ll want more than just the one.

Barrels are used to store some, not all, resources. (Liquids; flour; probably apples if you produce much of a surplus.)

  1. You might want to include requirements to create under some of the advances. Examples include longbow and sling. I assume wood of some type is needed for a bow, but I’m not sure what type of resource you’ll be tapping for slings.

Slings, if not in great quantities, are assumed to be quasi-improvised weapons and I won’t charge you resources for them (so long as you don’t store them) at present. [Updated:] A unit of wood can for now be used to produce ten bows, and ten arrows may be substituted for any one of those bows.

  1. Can I expect knowledge of farming beyond the apple orchard that’s in the starting package? On a similar note, for a variety of reasons I need to know if I’m near water (fishing, travel, trade. . .).

Knowledge of farming: You may invent anything you wish (given prerequisites).

Proximity of water: I have the map in XML, with no viewer application yet (it’s in progress), and generated your position by randomly selecting a line from the XML file. (Short answer: I don’t know yet.) Feel free to give orders contingent on being able to see water (i.e. water within a couple of tiles.)

  1. Since each player only starts with enough food for one turn (20 units of food and 20 workers), you should give some idea of how many food-gatherers will be needed, or at least how much food each type of gatherer can produce in a turn. On a related tangent, does the player consume units of food?

I thought I said you start with 10 workers. (Thus two turns of food.) An apple orchard (suitable for picking by one worker, and thus at most forty square feet) may at present be assumed to produce five units of food per turn. You, yourself, do not consume food.

  1. Is there a separate scientist job?

Not yet. (You may invent one.)

  1. How does one assign a worker to a farm? The apple orchard advance states “A source of immediately-consumable food that is, while not very labor-efficient, not labor-intensive either.” Since there’s not an advance for ‘farmer’ among the package I’m going to assume I should just tell my worker to ‘farm’ or ‘gather food’ or something of the sort. For that matter, how many workers per orchard (or orchards per worker) should I expect to need?

Order a worker to “tend the orchard.” Invent a “farmer” class. See my tentative statistic for the orchard above.

I’d like to know any details about the [terrain type] that you as Judge are free to divulge — available resources (at least those that my workers would notice), the quality of the hunting, etc. What type of plants grow naturally? In addition, what are you doing/going to do about seasons/weather?

Ask me about specific resources that might be there; I can’t think of anything. You may stipulate what kind of [that terrain type] they are. I think we’re going to generally ignore weather. Assume it’s very early summer, and the seasons will pass rather slowly.

I’d also like to have some idea of how big the world is, or at least how crowded. Am I likely to run into another player reasonably soon or will I have to invent significantly faster means of transportation before any meeting becomes at all reasonable (i.e. Is it a waste of a worker to have a diplomat at this point)?. I’d also like to know how many players — both human and total — there are.

This is the original map from the first campaign (my 8th grade year). (68 rows and 87 columns of tiles.) There are at present two other human players (neither of whom have responded with questions or a strategy yet), and at most five AIs.

Will I be receiving additional advances beyond the starting package at the outset?

Any you give me.

I am at least initially going to merely identify my workers as ‘Worker1,’ Worker2,’ and so on. This may change at some point.

Acceptable; so long as names are sufficient to uniquely identify them and consistent from one turn to the next unless you specify to change one, I don’t much care.

In your strategy remind me of any statistics I quoted to you here; they’re tentative, but I will try not to change my mind without giving you advance warning.

In a second exchange of emails:

How many barrels (roughly) will a cooper produce per turn? Unless you tell me otherwise I’ll assume 1 wood per barrel

I instructed another player that a unit of wood was 125 cubic feet (a story tall, five feet wide, two and a half feet thick). Some wood is lost in conversion processes.

What should I expect in terms of [plant] growth? ie if I plant seeds my first turn how long will it take to harvest?

Depends on the crop. You should see the first crop within two or three turns, most likely.

I misremembered, it is indeed 10 workers. Can I get an estimate on hunters/fishers as well?

The output of hunters and fishermen depend on their luck, of course, but the same ratio is at least reasonable.

Any chance I can start out with some livestock, or at least have some that I can domesticate for food?

Invent a “herder” Job, and assign a worker to it; he’ll start with some livestock.

Will my workers start out with some knowledge of which grains are edible?

If assigned to a Job requiring such knowledge, or if you invent an advance of a farm growing such edible grains, yes.

If you could recruit another player or two …

A remnder to all players: I need a code name, preferably the name of a historical (or perhaps fictional) general. (With an alternate or two in case your preferred name is already spoken for.)

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One thought on “Strategic Primer pre-first turn clarifications

  1. You know…a cord of wood is 128 cubic feet, if I remember correctly, which is awfully close to your approximate-figure of 125 cubic feet.

    There are lots of wood-related statistics online in units of cords. It might help you to use cords instead of units of 125 cu ft.

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