This is a introductory guide by RashGoneWrong on the basics of the game and how to kick-start your first ever settlement. This guide skips over some details in favor of broad instructions to help a new player jump into the game as fast as possible, while also avoiding the growing pains of learning a new game.
I Just Hit New Game
This is it, your first time opening the game, things are strange and new, what are these blue people and why are they standing in a sea of green?
I'll start with the basics, you'll catch on soon. Blue people are your villagers, they are the backbone of your settlement and run the place. They build stuff, collect resources, and run around, all automatically based on your commands. Yes you can use your mouse, yes the keyboard input is way more fun and just feels right.
Establish a Settlement
So you started up the game and your villagers (technically still migrants) are standing around. You'll need to Move them around, look for nice, grassy, and fertile terrain. Often near shallow water rivers. Barren terrain makes is harder on crops but often contains for rock, copper and limestone deposits. I recommend being fairly close to water, so there will one less side you'll need to defend. Don't settle in the woods, as its too much work to clear trees. If you like your spot, select Settle and choose your settlement location (big brown circle is your build range, it will increase). Don't place your circle overlapping the deep water, you can't build there anyway.
Presto! You have officially founded your first settlement in Bronze Age! Check on the right to see your new town.
The right of your the UI or HUD, this shows everything you need to run your settlement. Read through all the options to familiarize yourself but don't worry, you'll figure it all out.(Main Menu is in the top right/Esc)
Everything in the Bronze Age world happens by turns (in other words, the game is balanced around in-game 'turns') . There is currently 5 turns per second. For example, farms produce three wheat in around 60 turns, or 15 seconds. Time is linear! So if something goes terribly wrong with your world, that's just life in the Bronze Age (unless If it's a bug then report it). Unless you manually keep chronological duplicates of your save files, but who has that kind of time.
Your First Settlement
You just founded your first settlement, time to get to work. Immeadiately begin Construction with the Mister Twister Double Brickwork™ start. Building two Brickworks will give you the mudbricks you'll need until you reach above 50-70 population, everything is currently built from mudbricks. Once you place the foundation(s) your villagers will do the rest, both gathering resources and the physical construction. Next, place a Tower, give yourself some space as your settlement will grow eventually, but keep it nearby.
After the tower, you'll want to place a Farm, Bakery, and Storehouse. Following this, build about 10 Houses, as you'll have at least 7 pop and your first migrants likely won't be very large. Homelessness is an important statistic that effects wealth and migrant appeal.
Once you have all these buildings down, Open Work Settings to Place Roads connecting everything together. The brown X as you're placing the construction show where the entrance is. If you don't remember, they'll be a door when it's built. Roads are essential to helping your villagers get around as fast as possible.
You have a construction queue that your villagers carry out automatically, however to reduce bugs and confusion for the little folks try not to place too much down at once, or structure foundations blocking other foundations.
At this point, start investing in towers. You'll want to start laying out the defensible edges of your settlement with towers. My rule of thumb - place one after placing your first brickworks, place a second once your farm and bakery are built, place a third as your houses are being constructed. I like to use the towers to define the early limits of a nice square which I'll grow my settlement in. Again, its a balance of having them close so you can defend fast but also leaving room for your settlement to grow.
Don't forget to build a Lumberyard to get logs and you may need a second Storage building at this point depending if there trees in the way. Don't worry about Barracks, Training Grounds, Trade Depot, and Trading Yard until you have over 20-30 pops. Trading won't be needed until you have more than one settlement. Mining will not be required until a bit later to upgrade your structures.
Masklings are they main antagonists you'll be dealing with as your people struggle for survival. Masklings are the tiny red people that periodically scout and raid your settlement. As you begin your settlement, within the first few minutes you'll most likely encounter the first raid. Don't worry, it will only be one or two masklings. Your villagers will automatically defend the village and man your towers. Maskling attacks scale proportionally to your settlement status (wealth/population) and in game time. You'll know when you're under attack - as soon as a Maskling enters vision the Notification alarm will sound and show red exclamation marks alongside the blinking section in the UI.
Masklings have their own camps and slowly build up an attacking forces together before raiding or seiging your nearby settlement(s). Attacks are coordinated between the camps, so it's unlikely you'll be hit with more than one attack at once. However, sometimes the raids can be very close together in succession later on. The key to defeating Masklings is training your own army to defend your settlement and raid the Maskling camps directly.
All settlements grow by attracting migrants. Migrants periodically come in waves, based on how your settlement is doing. More wealth = more migrants. One way to attract migrants to your prosperous settlement is to build a Copper Statue, showing off your wealth and influence.
First, open Settlement Info as you'll need some idle villagers. If you need a larger migrant group, try reducing active constructions, reducing resource surplus (if not at your cap), and reducing worker designations, to create more idle villagers. From Settlement Info, select Form Migrants. Click Move to sort your idle villagers into a migrant group and when you're satisfied click Create Migrant Group. Your first settlement began with seven population and I would recommend creating migrant groups with about 10-20 villagers. This will help kick start the new settlement. Bring along a warband if you need protection. Masklings are a true evil and will show no mercy to your new settlement, they will raid with the same strength against all settlements.The rest of this process will seem familiar. Select your new migrant group by cycling through with comma and period, you'll need to Move them to explore. You can't build settlements too close to each other, or too close to Maskling camps, so get some distance between your migrants and your home town. Once you find a lush new valley to conquer, have your migrants Settle the area. Again, I recommend the Mister Twister Double Brickwork™ start to help get the new town off the ground.