Not so while ago, I've made a colony on Mars in Cydonia region. This was my first take on the game entirely. It went little OK, I had lots of issues somewhere near Sol 100, which I sort of couldn't get rid of them entirely. Having rethink what I did wrong, I've decided to go for another run, but this time it will be THE HARDEST SETTING the game has to offer. If you probably noticed the Cydonia run had difficulty setting of ~350% and it didn't felt too difficult. I only made it difficult for myself, because I was trying to save up resources where I should have been spending them to produce more resources. So with new knowledge let's start a new colony on Mars.
First the settings. As you can see:
Sponsor: Paradox Interactive,
Yes again Marsgate. From all mysteries this provide the highest difficulty setting from mysteries. So our base difficulty is 290%. The rest will come with landing site. Before however I show you the hardest point, I want to show a few curiosities. If you scan landing sites, you can find "famous" landing sites. There might be more but I found those:
Pretty neat. And now our target:
This area boosts difficulty level up to 535%. There are all disaster types, little minerals and the map is split into 5 regions.
There is the pit in the middle, two upper levels on left and right, and two mountain levels on north and south. The mountain area is high enough that provides 100% bonus to wind turbines, so their base output is 10 power per hour. A little tempting to use, but remember that wind turbines use machine parts for maintenance and you won't be able to produce them in quite a while. The landing site game offers is pretty neat one. There is everything you need for a start. Concrete is a bit low though and there are cold areas. Other good spot in top left corner, but from what I have noticed it's area where meteor storm can bombard you, while I have not noticed meteors landing on the south spot. So let's land in the area where the game shows we should start.
Right as the rocket lands quickly build the Sensor Tower. The futurist commander makes the tower free of maintenance and power. Nearby there is anomaly that provides research points and I need this fast, because looking at the research tree, I have available Explorer AI tech that grants +100 reserach for Explorer Rover, and having 200 research from Sol 1 is better than 100.
And speaking of research, we have few quite nice techs from the first tier. Farms, more cargo from rockets, $1.000M bonus cash, subsurface heater.
Having landed in cold area, subsurface heater is tempting, but it's sort of is a trap. It uses water and machine parts for maintenance, so before you know it you might be out of both in no time, and being reliable on it, creates additional danger. Better wait if you can sustain it. Probably wait until own production of machine parts and additional moist vaproizer to have steady supply of water + upgrade to have 50% efficiency bonus so you have spare water in case of dust storm.
In the area of our landing site there are few anomalies like this. As our funding is pretty low, it's wiser to get the cash to deliver more parts in future. That is until you can mine rare metals for money.
So few Sols into the game, and our small base looks like this.
And it will look like this for quite a while. To expand we need some drone hubs, that need to be ordered from Earth and considering that we need 100 fuel instead of standard 60 it will take a little longer to do so. Also in the meantime first dust storm:
Though dust storm spans over entire map, the main area of effect is on the lowest ground. During dust storm, MOXIEs and vaporizers don't work, solar panels only provide 2 out of 5 power, wind turbines generate additional 25% power and everything collects more dust therefore requiring maintenance at faster pace.
At Sol 14, Space Voyager rocket is fulled up and sent back to Earth. Since we are not sponsored by Russia, the travel time is so much faster and soon new materials will be brought back.
With new materials provided we can make steps to start building our first dome. And on Sol 28 we order first colonists.
Fortunately no Samuel Hayden, Olivia Pierce or Dr. Betruger. We are safe from any Hell Spawns. The first colonists will of course start producing food, and providing additional research, because we need those points.
Now also armed with the knowledge of the Sanity problem, we should not have problems with people going crazy. In fact they feel a little enthusiastic about this colony.
So now we wait for the first evaluation. We will probably not get Martian born, as comfort is pretty average. It's enough no to make go people crazy. Once the evaluation is done, we need to start mining those rare minerals, as our funding is almost depleted.
And here is our current tech tree. Near the end I've discovered the tech that increases sponsor research points so it will be grabbed ASAP.