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Survival Guide - Dust Settles: Communications Relay

Table of Contents:

I. Purpose
II. Basic Information
III. Opening Requirements
IV. Improvements
V. Limitations
VI. Displays
VII. Special Considerations When Demolishing


Because a communications facility will only cover so much of your overall land, you will have to build communications relays to extend the amount of communications coverage that your camp has. Relays are not required for joining an alliance or sending aid, only for extending your comm coverage as your camp's land total expands so that you don't suffer any loss of people or effectiveness on exploration and recruiting missions.

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Basic Information:

Communications Relay
Communications Relay
Building Name
Size (Land Units)
Supplies Cost
Communications Relay
Communications Relay
Workers to Construct
Daily Cost
1 Pwr
Broadcast Range
5,000 land units min.

Your communications relays will cover at least 5,000 land units. As you increase in land size you will be given warnings on your top bar display regarding your current need for comm relays to boost your communications coverage. These notices range from "None Needed" which means that you have not only enough, but more than enough coverage for now, to "# Needed Immediately". If you see the "Needed Immediately" notice, you will lose population if you send out recruiters or explorers without first building at least the number of comm relays shown. See below for more information about these displays.

As with any other building, you will build comm relays through the Construct page. Before you can build any relays, you will have to build a comm facility. After that you can begin building relays as needed. This is one of the few buildings that has a true limitation on construction. Though this structure requires no staffing, it does require 1 kWH of power and thus you can change the number of buildings that you have active. Remember, though, since you can only build 2 more relays that you need to cover your communications needs, deactivating too many relays can leave you with a costly comm deficit. This limit can be adjusted with Time Management research.

One thing you should keep in mind with comm relays is exploring for land. Once you have a large enough available population that you can send exploring you may come back after that turn with enough new land that you will have to build one or more relays before you can safely send out another exploration or recruiting party. This is especially dangerous when you send out explorers for multiple days. You may be fine the first day your people are out, but if you end up with too little coverage before the group gets back, you will lose some of those people and run the risk of drastically reducing your effectiveness, if you are ending 1 turn at a time. The best thing to do is either send out explorers (and recruiters if you are sending both) for one day at a time or for multiple days with plans to end all of those turns in one shot. See the End-Turn information for details on ending multiple turns and the related cautions. Daily Standing Orders can be very useful to help keep your camp covered communications wise.

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Opening Requirements:

You can open communications relays by researching Tracking and Marketing on the Learn page to at least 10.

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The distance covered by your comm facility and relays can be increased by researching Communications through the Learn page. As your research level increases for this topic, your communications range will increase, allowing fewer buildings to cover the same land area.

You can increase the maximum number of comm relays you can build over your current needs by researching Time Management.

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Frankly it would make no sense to build 100 comm relays as soon as you open them when you have maybe 3,000 total land units. While by sheer numerical calculations this would cover you for 500,000 land units, in reality this would only create a large concentration of radio signal in a small area, covering for a slightly larger than currently allowed distance, but in the end, most of that would be wasted. So in order to keep things realistic, at least mildly, you can build the number of comm relays you need plus 2. This means if your relays required display shows that you need 5 buildings, you can build 7. This can be increased through Time Management research.

You will also have to build the total number of comm relays in one instance in the build queue. Taking the above example, this means that you would have to set all 7 to be constructed at once instead of being able to set 5 for construction first and then the other 2 as an afterthought.

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There are multiple displays showing your current communications status. The main one that you will see on every page of the game is displayed on the top bar, beneath your shelter counter. This display will show you one of three basic messages. "None Needed" means you not only have enough communications coverage for your current land total, but you also have at least two extra relays and could not build anymore if you tried. "1 Needed Soon" means that you can send out explorers and recruiters safely and with full effectiveness, but you will need another comm relay within the next 5,000 or so land that you add to your total. This also means that you can build at least one more comm relay if not more. "# Needed Immediately" means that you must build at least that number of comm relays (and the comm facility if you have not built one yet) before sending out your next set of explorers, etc. if you don't want to risk losing anyone or decreasing their returns. When you get this notice you should use that next turn to build the comm relays and anything else you might want/need and save your exploring/recruiting for the next turn. Later in the game, you will reach a point where you are able to send out population for multiple turns and return with more land in a few or even one turn than your current communications infrastructure can cover. When you have reached this point a good cycle to get into is to set up your explorers and recruiters to search for the appropriate resource for however many days you feel safe ending at once (eventually 5), and then end that same number of turns at once, making sure that you have adequate coverage beforehand. The next turn should then be used to build as many comm relays as possible. Then repeat as desired.

The Infrastructure page has more detailed information about your comm facility, relays, and their range. This information includes, the current number you have, land totals, and individual range.

Communications Relay row from the Your Camp's Buildings table on the Construct page

Finally you have the Construct screen where you can once again see your comm facility and the number of relays that you have. You can deactivate your relays if you are that desperate for power, but removing too many from service will decrease your comm coverage to a dangerous level.

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Special Considerations When Demolishing:

The main thing that you should keep in mind when you decide to demolish comm relays is the overall necessity for comm coverage. Improper coverage will lead to some losses during exploration and recruiting missions (often greater than recruiting returns) and especially lowered returns since most of your people will just stop their search at the edge of your comm range. Since you can only build a few more relays than you need, demolishing any, much less enough to actually make a differance in land or power usage will leave you with a deficit. The best idea is to choose another building that you can sacrifice for a few turns until you can fix whatever deficit you were having.

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 Game Overview +/-
 Getting Started +/-
 Units and Resources +/-
 The Main Game Screen +/-
 Camp Activities+/-
 Research +/-
 Economy +/-
 Attacking a Camp +/-
 Alliances +/-
 Focus Paths +/-
 Camp Information +/-
 In-Game Communications +/-
 Extras +/-

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