Survival Guide - Dust Settles: Civilian Population
Your population is your most important resource throughout the game. Without
people you cannot do anything at all. You will need people to build, people
to staff, people to explore, people to recruit, and people to do everything
else that you can do in this game. The people in your camp are very valuable
resources that you will have to use wisely.
Your starting population will differ according to what class you choose. Nerds
will only start with two people, you and a friend. Scouts will start with three
people. Goofballs will start with four people. Populars, living up to their
class, will start with five people. These different starting values are balanced
by other factors, such as excess shelter space to start with and fewer mouths
to feed for lower starting pop, so you won't want to base your class decision
solely on starting population. Check out
all of the different advantages and disadvantages before you choose to make
sure you are making an informed decision.
There are costs associated with your population that you should be aware of.
When you begin, your population will start with rations of 1 meal per day. This
means that each person in your camp will consume 1 unit of food
each day. You can increase the number of meals that your people get through
the Peoples page and enjoy the associate
morale increase, but make sure that you
can afford to feed your people that many food units per day. If you do not feed
your people then they will eventually leave see below for more details.
Later on in the game, your people will begin to want more than just food for their daily work. You will have to start paying all members of your military and all members of your population that have an assignement on the day the pay requirement hits. This means that your explorers and recruiters will require payment as well. You won't have to worry about this until about turn 1000 though. At around turn 800 you will see the message above letting you know that your people will require payment soon. Just before turn 1000, you will get a sort of final warning message so that you won't miss your first payment (and then have 14 days of poor morale). On turn 1000, the message will be replaced with a message telling you how many people want to be paid and how much. You will use the drop-down box under this message to set their salary. You will receive other warnings just before turns 2000 and 3000 reminding you that your people will be wanting a pay increase soon. You can decrease the amount you have to pay as salary by researching Marketing. It will never drop to zero, though.
Throughout the game one of the most important things you will do with your
population is increase it. You will do this through multiple means, each of
which is explained more fully below.
This is the standard way to increase your population. From the very beginning
of the game, you can send out at least
one member of your camp and come back with at least one survivor. The more people
you can send out at a time the more luck you will have bringing back survivors.
Recruiting is random, though, so you will see different results each time, even
if you send out the same number of recruiters. You can increase the success
of your recruiting missions by using busses and by researching
tracking and vehicle transport.
Though any aid caravan that sets out will be subject to attack by camps in
an enemy alliance as well as by random mercenaries, your camp's population can
be increased by sending population from camp to camp. The amount of population
that can be sent from one camp to another is also limited. The primary purpose
of aiding a camp with population is to help a new alliance member or a recently
attacked alliance member build up. You cannot aid a camp with population if
they are not allied with you for at least 24 hours.
Occasionally when you get your end-turn report, you will get a message telling
you that a random group of survivors passed near your camp. Whenever a group
like this passes your camp, some of them may stay as long as you have a few
shelter spaces available. Depending upon how many extra spaces you have, you
could end up with only a few staying or the entire group. These people will
be found in groups of anywhere from 20 to a little over 100, so some of the
large groups may be a little hard to take in or plan for in the beginning, but
having extra shelter around is never a bad idea.
Just as in real life, you will have times that you could or will lose people.
People could become ill, get lost, leave, or just become too overwhelming. There
are a few ways that you can lose people as explained below.
Sometimes you can get completely overwhelmed by your population and just need
to send some away. You can cast out as many as 20 people at a time using the
Peoples page if you need to relieve a bit
of the strain. You should think carefully before you send these people away,
since it might take awhile to get them back.
Keeping enough food to feed your population is very important. If you are unable
to produce enough or find enough food
for your population, then they will eat what is in your storage.
Once you have no food left in storage, you population will stick around for
3 days. After 3 days with no food, any people not being fed will leave. If the
number of people going without food is high enough, you will lose only a portion,
but this loss will continue until you are able to feed the population you have.
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The main thing that has put you and your people in their current position was
a nuclear war. This means that there is a great deal of rubble and radiation
around with very little medical care. This leads to deaths of your population.
Fortunately as you research Medical Technology
and build Medical Facilities you can decrease
these deaths to zero. In the early days of the game, you will also need to keep an eye on the levels of radioactive dust floating around. If the levels of Sr-90 reach high enough, even medical tech will not be enough to offset the loss of life caused by this radiation. Usually later in the game, camps have enough dusters to keep the levels down to a very low level or even 0.
You will be able to send people out exploring
and recruiting safely for a while at
first using old maps, compasses, and short-range walkie-talkies. After your
camp has reached about 5,000 land units, though, these things just won't be
enough to keep your explorers and recruiters on track. You will then have to
build a communications facility and communications
relays to keep your people in touch with the home base. If you do not keep
an adequate communications coverage, you will begin to lose a few people when
you send them out and will suffer reductions on your returns proportional to
you lack of coverage. You can help keep adequate coverage by building the extra
comm relays that you are allowed and by researching
Communications to increase each of the buildings' range.
Your population will be assigned many tasks as you grow. The types of assignments they can be placed on are explained below.
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