Against the Storm - Roguelike City Builder - Dec 8 (incl. on Game Pass)

Oh yeah, I meant to mention this! The Daily Expedition is a thing you unlock part way down the upgrade tree.

And also, yes, there is not a good wiki out there for this game, which really surprises me. Actually, my summary is missing some details about what some buildings do because I assumed I could look it up online. But there are only outdated guides and an incomplete wiki.

Thanks @legowarrior and @Nightgaunt, I’ll keep at it. Odd choice to structure it that way, though, since I thought for daily challenges you wanted as big a player base as possible?


Don’t you check your orders before you select your buildings? Especially if you don’t get to choose the orders?!

I do wait until the first set of orders to come through before selecting buildings. I also hold off on cutting into new glades until the first orders, in case the first orders are discover 2 or so glades.

After the first orders, I will grab my buildings.

The problem I have is how good merchants are. So much stuff is useless without merchants. All the goods, for one.

Are merchants different than trading posts? Sorry, still haven’t really dug in past the tutorial.

Yeah, I think you’re right about that.

I often do. More often I pick the obvious blueprints and then hold off on any choice where I need more information to pull the trigger (like what resources are in the nearby groves). In this run, they were all pretty no-brainer choices, at least for my preferred build order.

They’re the people who show up at the trading posts periodically.

Although, this brings up the topic of Trade Routes, which are hidden in their own screen and give you a steady stream of this or that resource. Except that I have never once had all the resources required to start one!

And you can unlock various merchants that then rotate showing up at your trading post. They offer different types of goods.

I forget every damn time to even look at trading routes once I get into the heat of a game. Every. Time.

I’ll wait through a couple sets of orders to select buildings if I don’t really need anything and no orders require a specific one.

Also, don’t forget you can reroll buildings for amber. Although amber is harder to come by early on, any maps where you won’t have access to traders should allow you to reroll with all of your amber.

Okay, on with the AAR of yesterday’s daily expedition! (Typing this up is going to take longer than playing it!)

I got a bunch of things to check in on:


One of the first clearings glades (let’s use the right terminology this time) I open up has a stone deposit. I build a stonecutter’s camp there to gather it. Finding this is important, because a map will usually have either stone or clay, but not both. Early on in a session, I don’t care which I have, I just need to know which is available, because…

The Crude Workstation makes your three primary building resources: Planks, Fabric, and Bricks. I need to change the raw material used for making bricks from clay to stone or I won’t have any bricks!

Uber-tip for Against the Storm: Pay attention to the resource icons in the circular frames. You can expand them and choose one of several (sometimes seven or eight!) resources to fit that requirement!

Later I’m going to wish I had clay because you can’t make pottery out of stone, but that’s a concern for twenty-minutes-in-the-future me!


Also in that glade with the stone, there is a single crate. That’s an abandoned cache, and I use tools to open it and get the treats inside. Tools can be hard to come by, but I got some from completing my first order.

I’m short on workers, but it’s a non-time-sensitive task, so I fill one out of two slots. Then I have to pick my reward. Caches (and a few other events) typically give you an option to keep the goods that are recovered (a few piles of random resources) or to send it to the Queen’s citadel. The latter earns you some reputation (AKA, win-juice) and amber for trading. This cache is offering some bricks and some oil. Not a great haul, but I take it anyway. The bricks will kick-start my building and the oil can be used as fuel for the main hearth, which will spare my wood supplies a little longer.

That worker will go and spend awhile recovering the cache, and THEN slowly cart the goods back to the storage building. I’ll forget about her and be surprised when she pops back into my worker pool.


There’s a storm a’comin! The weather goes through regular changes like seasons, and the last one is the Storm. This basically makes every villager miserable (especially Lizards who hate the cold). It tests the Resolve of your villagers, and it gets worse every cycle. So you need to keep improving their lot. The first and most basic need is a home.

I build a block of six Shelters. These are generic houses that hold three of any type of villager. I can build these quickly with wood (not refined planks), and that’s necessary to have something up before the Storm.

As you can see, I’m still finishing these houses when the Storm hits for the first time. Notice the very short green Resolve bars next to the three races in the top left. Stupid, nasty Storm! And because of the special modifier for this expedition, it’s going to last twice as long…

(Also waiting to be built in this image: A farm and fields on the left. A big square workshop at the bottom of the screen. And a long lumber mill next to the small crude workshop.)

Regarding housing, I’d rather build the specialized houses for each race (which make them happier) and not waste time with shelters, but they need better building materials, and they each only house two folks, so I’d need even more of them. We’ll get there.

Note that in your first dozen or two settlements, you’ll have to get specialized houses one at a time as blueprints. But the meta-progression tech tree has an upgrade that makes these buildings part of your standard starting repertoire. Very handy. (I actually think they need to do this with more buildings, and earlier, FWIW.)


Awhile back I opened a couple small glades, and that fulfilled one of my other starting orders. Easy one!

It gives me some meat (ok–it’s edible) and some parts (yay!).

It also gives me another point of Reputation, which in turn unlocks a new blueprint choice. My options are:

  • Provisioner (produces various packs of trade goods from crops and refined resources, which are sometimes demanded by orders and are also valuable for trading with traders)
  • Brewery (makes ale from grain, wine from fruit, and soup from… most anything.)
  • Clothier (makes coats out of cloth, and some other fancy stuff–parchment and luxury trade goods)

I’d love to have that brewery, because soup is a valuable “complex” food–make folks happier than stuff I just pull straight out of the ground–and because ale can fulfill the Leisure need for villagers. However, to do that I’d also need the Tavern building. No guarantee that’s going to come around.

And since I’ve got a greater-than-usual Storm danger in this mission, I’m taking the Clothier to make Coats. I know I’ll have a strong cloth industry soon enough, with the guaranteed Fiber coming in regularly and the Workshop that I’m going to build. So Coats won’t take too big a bite out of my cloth supplies, and in return I’ll be protected a bit against the Storm.

In the middle of the storm, some new villagers arrive. Normally this happens right after the storm, but apparently the volunteers don’t wait for our longer storms to pass…

I’m disappointed neither of these has multiple Beavers, since I have a pretty small population of those industrious little guys. Otherwise, these are both decent offerings, so I take the one with a Beaver.

About the time the Storm passes, my farm is completed by my builders. Together with the stockpiles of grain I got from one of my other orders, this completes the Farming order! I feel like I completed my three starting orders in record time, because they were particularly undemanding.

This order earns me 2 more human villagers, some cloth, and some parts (again, always valuable).

And the additional Reputation means yet another blueprint! I get offered all stuff I was offered once before:

  • Kiln
  • Furnace
  • Supplier

The kiln is interesting–a newly unlocked building I haven’t had a chance to try. It mainly turns wood into coal, which is handy because coal burns four times longer in my hearth than wood. So that’s tempting just as something new. But none of these are super essential right now. I decide to wait to take a blueprint and see if my upcoming new orders might benefit from a particular choice here.

I can also choose to reroll the list of blueprints. The first time is free; later rerolls cost an increasing amount of Amber, one of the most precious resources.

And those new orders show up now that the storm is gone! (Apparently not regulated by pure time, but by the storm-cycle; normally these show up with the newcomers.)

Again, I don’t get to choose these. One wants coal and packs of building materials (a way of packaging up building resources for trade). The other wants luxury trade goods. That’s a reason to build my Clothier now, because it can make luxury goods! I also build a Makeshift Post, which makes packs of basic trade goods including those building materials.

When the Clothier is up and running, I take a peek inside:

I check what goods get turned into luxury trade packs, and it’s grim. I have none of them except (for some reason) a handful of Incense. That’s not going to get me very far. This might be tough to fulfill for a bit.

Along with my new orders comes a new Cornerstone choice:

Export Contract comes with an off-setting reputation penalty that I’d rather not be saddled with: Late in the game, if villagers’ resolve is high enough, I’ll slowly earn a trickle of Reputation. That can be how I win the expedition, so I don’t want to slow that by 90%, thank you. Likewise, Mist Piercers cause the Queen’s Impatience to increase with every glade I open up.

My Reputation is always in a race with the Queen’s Impatience. If I’m moving too slowly toward victory, the Queen’s impatience might top out and I’ll be called home. Mist Piercers could be fun, but no thanks!

I default to the all-positive, but pretty banal Copper Extractor, which slowly earns me copper ore as I chop wood.

Back to the blueprint choice… I have an order that needs coal, which could be made by the kiln. And I have a source of copper ore now, which could be exploited by the Furnace to make copper bars, which then can get turned into valuable Tools by my Lumber Mill.

With a couple synergies there for the synergizing, I decide to… reroll my blueprints. There’s coal elsewhere on the map that can be extracted with a building I already have: The Mine. And for some reason I decide to just sell the copper ore to traders, I guess? My notes are missing what I was thinking here, but it was probably that maybe if I reroll I’ll get that Brewery back.

I don’t. Instead I get end-game buildings for fulfilling the most refined needs of my people:

  • Guild House (provides luxury if I have wine)
  • Library (provides education if I have parchment)
  • Common Hall (provides a bit of all the high-end needs in one location, including luxury and education–I think the trade-off is the small number of workers, which means that the output is going to be limited if I’m trying to fulfill many needs)

I take the Common Hall because I haven’t tried it before and it seems superior? At the time I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to make parchment for it or the library; my Clothier makes parchment, but it requires Ink, which I don’t have a source for. What I should have realized is that I can switch the Ink requirement to Coal, which soon enough I’ll have at my disposal.

Last thing:

A trader has arrived!

My food and basic goods are in pretty good shape, so I’m not feeling desperate for anything ol’ Zhorg here is peddling. BUT, there’s a juicy bonus object at the bottom left: A boost to my grain production. When and if I need to make ale, biscuits, soup, and pies, I’ll need a lot of grain! Those bonuses can only be bought with Amber. So I trade a few things I can spare for 5 more Amber so I can afford the 20 Amber price. Worth it!

Am I correct in thinking that the placement of housing is mostly* irrelevant?

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a villager travel to a house, even though they’re individually assigned to one.

*other than carrying the materials to it during construction.

I think that’s probably right. I try to pack mine together for organizational purposes and that’s about it.

Yeah, housing’s kind of undercooked right now. The only interesting choice with placement is in the first few seasons – you don’t want to take up the valuable space around storage, but you also don’t have much space further away. But once you’ve unlocked a few groves there’s plenty of free space.

You miss out on the perks that other Service buildings provide (great stuff like +X to global resolve or +5 carrying capacity for everybody). But I find myself always grabbing the Common Hall because it does the work of 4 other Service buildings, and building unlocks are the most valuable resource in the game. If needed, I’ll bulldoze structures to put it next to Storage so it stays stocked.

Oh yes! I pay too little attention to those extra bonuses the high level service buildings all have!

Also, I don’t think I’ve micromanaged my supply chains that rigorously. I’ll have to think about distance from storage facilities more often.

Do coats do more than just the resolve bonus?

Balance needs a look at, because some of those bonuses are just great.
Two that I grab no matter what are the cooperage one that builds 2 barrels for every 10 lumber and the other is 3 mushrooms for every 10 wheat.

Those just open a lot of things, especially if you get them early.

I just unlocked it, and looked at the expedition, and it says “does not count for deeds”, so, uh, I wish I’d chosen something more useful, instead. ;)

Yeah, don’t know why they don’t count for deeds! Maybe so they can have some really wild modifiers that might make some of them too easy?

Today’s event looks hard. No fertile soil.

It may be tough early on, but you can work around no fertile soil with traders. The people you’d normally have in the grain industry can work on other industries that you can flip for food.

I’ve found that the bandit limitation, where there’s no traders, is the one that can kill me.

I actually had a pretty good run on one with no fertile soil. My unstudied opinion is that gathering is actually faster than farming, but (of course) much less reliable. I did get the cornerstone that’s +X% to gathering and -X% to farming, which was pretty lucky, and that helped a lot.

Do the daily events give bread? I realized that’s what I need more than exp, right now.