The first 10 minutes, or first 10 or so in game days are critical to winning a game of survival. If you do not prepare correctly, the first wave of zombies, as small as it might be, will take you out very easily. A single zombie is all it takes to infect your villagers and before you know it, you will have a large horde running toward your command center.
I do not want to suggest this is a step by step guide as you will need to alter your strategy depending on the infestation level and the amount of time you have to spare. If you are playing on the harder difficulties, you more than likely know everything I am going to suggest here anyway.
Before reading this, I would suggest you check out the beginner’s tips section of this guide for They are Billions. You need to make sure you are up to speed with the strategies and reasoning behind a lot of the things I am going to suggest here.
Pause the game immediately
Do not waste any time at the start. You will need to do a lot in the first few moments of the game. Spend all your resources getting setup and begin scouting the area. You will need to establish if you have a good map and if you have a bad one, quit and start again.
- These are the things you need to do as soon as you have paused the game.
- Order your rangers to go out and explore the surrounding area
- Order your soldier to patrol the settlement
- Check the nearby forest to make sure a sawmill can harvest 10+ wood. If so build one, if not consider starting a new game
- Check the nearby stone to make sure you can get 3-5 stone. Not a deal breaker but it will make life easy.
- Build a hunters hut next to your sawmill.
- Building any fishing huts if you are next to water.
- Unpause the game and wait for these things to start completing
Patrol the choke points
Once your rangers have explored the map, have them come back toward the command center. You should have cleared the fog of war and be able to see the areas of the map surrounding your command center. Look for narrow passages between rocks, forests and water. These are called choke points. Narrow areas of land where lots of enemies must pass through. You can focus on protecting these small paths and do not have to worry about enemies sneaking past since they cant get over the rocks, trees or water.
Take your four rangers and have them patrol the area. You can often make them cover two choke points by running back and forth between the choke points. Any slow zombies that make their way down these paths will be caught by the rangers as they run so fast that no regular zombie will slip past them.
Just be careful not so spread them too thin. If your rangers are unable to patrol all of the choke points effectively, pull back and have them patrol a more open area until you have enough units to be able to cover the area surrounding your command center.
Don’t waste time trying to build a nice settlement
This game is all about building a performant economy. Forget about making it look nice. You do not have enough time to lay things out evenly and in a nice area. Maximize the use of space in the area surrounding your command center to help you progress as quickly as possible. If this means having a quarry in the middle of a bunch of houses, so be it. Use up every bit of space you can before you expand.
Build houses until you run out of food
Early on you will have the continuous battle of being low on workers, then food then power. For the start of the game, keep building houses until you have run out of food. Keep building houses as often as there is food available to do so. This will ensure you have enough workers to sustain the rapid expansion you are going to need very soon.
Build a Quarry and a Mill
You need to get 30 stone ASAP. Build a quarry to get started on this. You will need to spend some time waiting around for this to build up and these are the critical moments that could be the end of the game for you. There isn’t much you can do. You might get lucky and a ranger might have found some stone while out exploring.
You will also need to build a mill in order to generate some power. Keep an eye on your power use as you will need to build a few of these going forward. One for now will do the job to get you far enough to defend yourself.
Push toward building a soldier center
This is what makes or breaks it. If you do not possess the ability to build new troops by the time the first wave arrives, you could get overwhelmed very easily by a small number of zombies. To build this, you need to get a quarry set up as fast as possible. The wait for it to dig up the 30 stone required is all you will be waiting for. The better the quarry, the faster this will build up. As soon as it is constructed, build rangers right away.
You will be unable to expand your settlement without rangers and unable to survive at the later waves without snipers. The importance of this is huge. IF you are unable to defend the open area surrounding your settlement before you obtain the ability to build walls and towers, you are at a huge risk of a zombie sneaking in.
Keep building rangers until you have around 15
Once you have around 15 rangers, you have enough and need to switch your focus to snipers. This number of rangers will be enough to defend your settlement for a while.They are no good to you later on in the game, so do not go overboard with it. Snipers are brilliant at all points of the game. If you tell them to prioritise high level enemies, they will take out most of the strong enemies before they get to your walls, allowing your soldiers and towers to take out the weaker enemies much easier.
Once you have 15 rangers, you should be all set to progress in whatever way you want from there. I have outlined some good defensive strategies and ways to gather resources most efficiently. If you want to check over these they will help shape how you go forward.