Basic Strategy

Basic Strategy
1849 Guide


The first step in basic strategy in the game is to come to fluency with the different resource businesses, industry, and manufacturing, so that you always work towards a sensible direction.

Perhaps the most important of the basic strategies is to never put yourself beyond the ability to make an emergency investment. That is to say never spend all of your bank on improvements or upgrades, so that you have funds available if you need them for instant corrections to bad events.

Basically you want to set aside some resources for a rainy day if you like. No matter how skillfully you play, it can be a difficult task to manage your cash bank and the flow of your resources while you are trying to accomplish everything else.

Disasters like crime spikes, or the need to build new industry can break you if you have spent out your bank - so keeping around $1,250 as a reserve is a very good idea. I cannot stress that enough - slowly building towards that cushion in your bank and then holding on to it as much as you can is in your best interests.

If you do end up spending yourself into the poor house, you will be relieved to know that the game will offer you a one-time bail-out of $500 - but then if you end up at $0 that may not be enough to help you!

Basic Strategy

The Right Buildings

Once you get some experience playing you will notice that certain events tend to happen a lot - for example it is not at all uncommon to have the residents of your towns insisting that you build a Saloon immediately because hey, they want someplace to party!

With that in mind you should know that there are certain buildings that will have an immediate effect on your town and game status - some good, some bad. The Saloon - while it will keep a part of your population happy, overall has a bad effect on your community as it helps raise the crime rates and impacts your work force.

Good effects however can be had with structures like the Fire Brigade (improves public safety) and the Sheriffs Office (takes a small bite out of crime) offer you the opportunity to have a direct and easy to feel impact on a downward spiral at relatively low price.

Obviously the County Jail is going to have a far greater impact on crime, but it will cost you $200 more than the Sheriffs Office - so what you choose depends on what you have to spend.

That said, there are effects that you can not see or sense but that are present nevertheless through adding those key buildings.

For example not having the Fire Department can lead to the loss of industry if a fire should happen - so think of it as cheap insurance.

When you don't have the Sheriff Office, you can get random events like your mine or other industry being robbed that the County Jail does NOT counter.

So you see often enough these buildings help to counter events you cannot predict, but do not want to have happen. That makes them a basic strategy focus for play in every scenario.

Knowing When - and When NOT - to Upgrade

Another basic strategy in the game is knowing when and when not to pay extra to upgrade a building and its capabilities. While increasing productivity may sound like a good idea, if you already have your industry and its supply side nicely tuned, upgrades like that can throw the system out of balance.

That is not true with respect to housing - that you want to upgrade. But other buildings - like the lumber yard, farms, and ranches - have costs for upgrading that is pretty disproportionate to the actual benefits you receive!

Basic Strategy

If you look at each transaction - and how it will effect the other elements of your town - it is very easy to tell which ones are a good investment, and which are a poorer one. Clearly success in the game is directly connected to spending your money wisely.

On Housing Upgrades

We have already touched upon housing upgrades - and how those are generally considered to be a positive step. While this is true as a general rule, it is not something that you need to rush into. That is to say it should not need to be an immediate priority...

The process of upgrading housing generally follows once you have actually established a solid and adequate base of housing in your town. Once you have a sufficient number of houses to provide adequate housing for your population, and you have your industry well in hand, the time to begin the process of upgrades to housing also happens to be the time when you can afford to add the various buildings that make that possible and required.

Those buildings include Churches, and even a Saloon (under certain circumstances). But of course you also need the resources present - for example the supply of Stone and Stone Blocks is a critical concern in that respect.

Upgrading your houses allows you to expand your population capacity first and foremost, but it also allows you to provide a better level of housing overall to your population.

Basic Strategy

With that in mind the process towards reaching the point where you can upgrade it means ensuring a good supply of boards, fabric, blocks, and the like, but you also need to be sure you are adequately prepared before upgrading housing with respect to issues like employment and having a good cash reserve, because once you increase capacity you are going to find eager residents willing to live there, and that means you need to have jobs for them!

Knowing What to Build

We finally come to the final lesson and strategical consideration on the matter of building, and that is knowing what to build, and what not to build.

The general rule here is simple: you are trying to reach and complete the goals that the game has set for you. If those goals do not include specific industries, then focus upon them defeats the primary goals!

Now having said that there is no hard and fast rule to only build what is necessary to achieve the victory goals. Because it is often also important to create the industry and/or supply side that you need to build wealth as well as meet goals!

So you need to remember that everything is relative here. Following the goals is a good idea, but giving yourself the tools to follow those goals is also important. If you have adequate metals resources it only makes sense to build the infrastructure that will allow you to use those strategically...

Just remember not to make your town so complex that you start having problems directing your attention to the conditions that are required to win.

Basic Strategy

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