This is the tale of my very first embark in Rim World - I’ve embarked nine or ten different times now and while the current content level means that events are largely the same and in largely the same order in subsequent embarks, the confluence of random colonists, generated worlds, experience and luck have led to many different types of tale, from unbridled success to abject failure to that time lightning hit my almost-covered battery array and caused an explosion not seen since the Empire had a little disagreement with Alderaan.
Unlike DF, Rim World forces you to roll your original colonists, rather than assign points to them. They have a number of skills and traits and these are somewhat affected by the character’s type. An “Oaf” is likely to be heavily into farming and hauling, while an Entrepreneur while have a mix of skills and a miner will, well, you can probably work that one out. Good news for DF fans is that Nobles are still sodding useless. On a later embark I had a Noble who wouldn’t do anything but fight fires and do research. Before we had a research lab he would frequently wander out to the mines and stand around watching the miner hack away at the rock face, then watch him pick up the heavy rocks and move them and then go back to the compound, have a light lunch and go for a nap.
If I could find a way to jury rig an airlock door into a “bridgeapault” I would have fired him into the sun.
Anyway, the three intrepid travelers I rolled were the Commissar Stav, the Settler Kim and the Miner Zu. Zu liked booze, Kim liked cats and Stav had robot legs.
While we built our nascent base, early fun featured some wild life going slightly mad and trying to attack the settlers. I set Stav to sort this out, which she did by punching a squirrel in the face. This was slightly disconcerting as I’d given her our only pistol, but she chose not to use it. On the plus side, she did choose to sleep with the pistol. So there’s that.
Stav, sleeping with her pistol
Perhaps the most unintentional “fun” thus far was a couple foggy days, followed by an eclipse that came directly after I built my solar panel array. I lost power to the compound for two days and everyone got miserable, sitting around eating in the dark. There are geothermic steam vents a little ways away that I could cap with a generator, but the transmission distance would probably kill someone with wire overloads, fires and failures.
When the eclipse went away it started to rain and the food paste generator shorted and caught fire.
So at least the food paste was hot.
I then built a research table and a comms center, to reach out to passing ships in the hopes of a trade. I needed to trade for door locks fairly quickly, to stop Kim from breaking into people’s bedrooms while they slept to do some cleaning.
Where that session of Rim World went after that left me wide eyed and surprised at the kind of story telling already coming out of a game that’s clearly in the very early stages, missing large amounts of content, has no Z levels and doesn’t even let me build an entire defence system based on cats.
Firstly, we captured a raider called “Mack” and Stav used her consummate charm to convince him to join us. First, she tied him down and force fed him paste (I’ve been on dates like that). Then she hit him repeatedly with a dinner tray, (I… never mind).
Amusingly, Mack was more unhappy about being forced to eat the food than he was about being assaulted.
Mack was a decent researcher, so we put him to work on upgrading our sentry guns while everyone else was out collecting food, as a blight had hit our farms and wiped out our crops. Fortunately we’d been living off the farmed food so long that all the bushes and plants around the base were fat with berries and ready to harvest. Things seemed to be ticking over nicely, as we’d put down a third sentry gun, got a good supply of food and metal and had even begun paving the areas between buildings to speed up travel and to make the general environment nicer to cheer everyone up.
Veteran DF players will know that this is when things go wrong, so it was gratifying to see everyone die in the next two days.
Firstly, the major weak point of the embark was that I’d just settled where the ship’s escape pods had landed and we were a long way from any geothermal power, which left us entirely reliant on solar cells. I’d built four pairs of panels by this point, with a large collection of batteries so that we could get through the regular eclipse cycle. But that night while everyone, (but Kim), was sleeping, there was a loud bang and one of the pairs of batteries I used to power our sentry guns shorted and exploded, breaking the transmission lines and completely emptying the charge of every other battery. With the sun down our panels were producing no power, so the compound went dark.
Kim stopped cleaning and went out to start repairing, followed eventually by Zu when he woke up. Stav got up and had breakfast.
As night turned into a morning an enormous dry storm rolled in and there were countless lightning strikes, each bright enough to spike the solar panel collection indicator. One hit the dry grass behind the base, next to the outside wall of Stav’s bedroom and set a huge fire. Our intrepid settlers had other fires to concern themselves with though, as the main battery array had started to burn and Kim, Zu and Mack fought various blazes for most of the day.
Stav was researching carpet.
This was the point where a group of seven raiders appeared in the far North West corner of the map.
As that night fell, the fires were contained and most of the power routing had been repaired, but I had to let the crew go to sleep, even though the base had no power and no defences, because they’d been working all day without food. Fortunately night passed without an attack but the day brought more storms and after breakfast, as the repaired batteries slowly charged and the sentry guns came back on line there was a direct lightning strike to the power cables out to one of the sentry guns. Kim rushed in to fix this, but was standing in the midst of burning grasses to do so and she caught fire!
She stayed, (ON FIRE), and fixed the lines, but then ran off, clearly gravely wounded and still aflame. This finally prompted Stav to spring into action and she chased Kim down and extinguished the flames. She returned immediately to the compound to try to recover from the wounds and I had Mack take her pistol.
THIS… GIRL… IS ON FIRE!
This was the point the raiders decided to make their attack and it was certainly atmospheric, with the compound illuminated by lightning strikes and the ever-growing fire at the back.
I had built sandbags behind the sentry guns, so that our settlers would have cover from which to make a defence and Stav took to the most forward, while Zu and Mack manned the one to the side, meaning we had three upgraded sentry guns and three pistols against seven raiders armed mostly with pistols, but also with molotov cocktails and a sniper rifle.
The gun battle was intense and seemed to go our way at first as we dropped two raiders without loss, but then the sentry guns started exploding and we got into a protracted fight with three pistols against four raiders, one of whom could stand beyond range and hit us with his rifle. First to fall was new recruit Mack, followed by Zu. Stav was now being flanked, so I was forced to wake up Kim and have her sprint to the sandbags where Zu and Mack lay. I wish I could have instructed her to pick up both pistols there, (and hold them sideways), but she did manage to knock off the sixth raider. This was the point where Stav was finally mortally hit by the rifle dude and with his range advantage, everyone else dead or dying and Kim seriously wounded I just set her to sprint toward the remaining pirate to get into range.
Zig-zagging from rock to rock she got close enough without being hit again. She was showing serious signs of pain from the fight and the earlier fire, so when she raised her pistol her aim was unsteady. I still like to think that what happened next was intent on her part though. She pulled the trigger and the shot appeared to be going wide of her target, except that it perfectly hit one of the indigenous “boom rat” rodents who lived up to his name and exploded, killing the final raider with a spray of flame and rodent bones.
Kim turned back toward the burning compound, but she never made it. She got back to the sandbags, tried to lift Stav to take him back to the base to recover and promptly succumbed to her wounds.
After YOU DIED I stayed to watch the world burn for a little while. The fire effects look really nice. This is good, because everything in Rim World has two states : On Fire and About To Be On Fire.