How do you manage big colonies?

Started by Pangaea, November 10, 2019, 02:05:02 PM

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This is the biggest colony I've ever had. We're now up to 35 pawns + 5 prisoners, and 110-ish animals. The game has started to put the colonists in a second row at the top of the screen.

Since the game doesn't send manhunter animals at such sizes, feeding everybody is becoming a bigger problem. I'm hunting everything decently sized, sometimes even rats+squirrels, and have large farms. This is even a full-year growing area (I wanted to try it out), so short of cold snaps, we can grow all year.

It's been fun and I haven't wanted to turn on the 34-casket ship yet because there is another prisoner to recruit, more marine armour to make, and more small projects here and there. Now the ship is actually too small!

Given the problems with feeding such a big colony, how do you handle it? (I don't want to use the yuck-food maker btw).

I am using a mod called Adaptive Cassie storyteller, which changes things a bit, and actually think it's harder now than the default Cassandra. The most recent pirate raid came with 30-40 doomsday+triple rockets. And that was with 1300-ish "fun points". It's now up to 2000, so who the hell knows what the next raids will bring. But I digress a little. How do you manage colonies such as this, particularly in terms of food? It's not disastrous yet, we have a good backup for now, but it won't take much of a dint in the supplies before we get in trouble.

With 200+ tribal raids, some of them will usually survive, so we got a bunch of prisoners (of course many died on the way to the base too). It's hard to turn down half-decent ones  :-\


QuoteSince the game doesn't send manhunter animals at such sizes, feeding everybody is becoming a bigger problem.
Personaly i never grow up that big.
But i know many others use an effecizent food source rather then food with mood bonus. That mean's NutriPaste dispencer, that thing give out the most nutri meal for the lowest nutri resource need.
You will miss the mood bonus from fine meal's and your cook's become artists, but you can feed all with corn as resource and maybe some meat.
And i don't saw much growing zones at your pic, maybe you should switch from outdoor to indoor hydroponic.
You will need more power, but the plants will grow faster.

Alternative you just could cook simple meals, and get a mod for Bulk cook these.
And since you played with mod's so far, maybe look at Replimat, it is a hightech nutripaste dispencer and you can build animal feeding dispencer for kibble too.
Or use Vegetable Garden, it got bulk reciptes. You can grow meat replacement plants (mushrooms,lentil,bean for soja) and don't need animal's anymore.


In my experience, the most surefire way to keep a massive colony going is just to stockpile as much stuff as you can possibly manage.

This can be extremely difficult when it comes to food supply- so no harm is done if you decide to mostly grow rice or favor hydroponics rooms.

The *most important thing* you can possibly do with an extremely large base is to start building for every contingency.
There will be occasional breaches from within the base due to drop pods or overzealous raiders mining through your walls, so make sure that you have sandbags set up at some locations for those rare moments.


Looking at your base I don't see how much you grow, there might be more grow zones further up north.

Having a lot of animals means there will be less wild animals spawning on the map.
What do your animals eat? You can feed carnivores with raider corpses. It looks like your herbivores eat wild grass? Having some hay as a reserve might be a good idea?  A muffalo eats 27 hay each day I believe.

For colonists I go 1 sunlamp for 9 colonists, grow zones get a seperate freezer attached to them, my growers can then haul it in there and when I need it in the kitchen, i use zoning and forbid/unforbid to get some of that to the kitchen.

A separate solar flare proof freezer that gets filled with only big animal corpses, forbid the door and you have meat for toxic fall out. For as long as there is no toxic fallout you should be able to hunt your daily meat consumption.

You have to replace what was used, so if you use 400 meat each day you have to hunt 400 each day, preparing for toxic fall out that lasts 15 days means 6.000 meat. If you store that in corpses with 100 meat for each corpse it's 60 corpses to give some idea of how much you use.

Growing is easy because you can grow even trough a toxic fall out. Preparing for blight, solar flare and eclipse is easier.

68 colonists can be fed with fine meals highest I ever got.


Thanks for the advice and comments. When I made this thread I didn't have any hydroponics yet. There are large outdoors farms both to the north and south (not visible in the picture), mainly of corn and potatoes. Food was dwindling fast, however, so I mined out a large area and put up 3 sun lamps. I needed more healroot anyway tbh, because virtually the entire colony was down with at least one of muscle and sensory mechanites. They last a terribly long time, so we went through a huge amount of meds.

This certainly helped, and spring brought some more animals. For now we're okay, but meat is the biggest issue. With 150+ animals I have some backup in that sense, but it's so damn difficult for me to start killing off animals. Yet they are breeding out of control.

Have had to shut off one rice sunlamp, however, because it grows so darn fast, and the growers weren't prioritising harvesting and sowing the big corn field to the north, nor the hay and potato south. Am actually considering putting potatoes in the hydroponics instead, although it's not "ideal". But it should be less labour intensive.

It almost feels like a different game at such big sizes. 43 pawns now, which makes it hard to keep on top of everything. Should probably just trigger the ship tbh. Will see what the situation is like in a quadrum or two. Just had a big 239 person tribal raid, and now many people are upset because their wives and suchlike wanted to kill them and died trying.

This does seem to be on the edge of being self-sustainable. Having so many animals probably doesn't help, some male pigs joined too, so that's another "problem". But at least the horde of cows produce milk, and the cougars are great for hauling in all the bodies. Most will need to be burned, but there is room for around 40 in a freezer that pigs and cougars+panthers can feed on.


QuoteYet they are breeding out of control.
You need to put one gender into a small area and exclude the other gender from this area (there is a invert function at the zone managment), so they don't mate and can't reproduce.
Most people keep 1-2 male of a race at these small area, while the female wander around do their job.
Once you need pregnant females, you just could assign all of them into the small zone for a day.

Btw. you only should grow potatos if you don't have any soil or better around. Rice and corn are allways the better choise. Potatos are the one which can be planted even on gravel, rice and corn can't do this.


Good idea. But then the animals can't run free. That makes the animals sad. Right?  :P

The game actually started to lag a little bit, so I had to do something. Have around 125 cougars now and over 200 animals combined. And that is after I have started to cull them. Killed some adult cows, and have made a cutoff point on the cougars. Won't train up any new ones, and kill them as adults. But ofc the pigs are breeding like nutters too, so the same deal there. Trained up around 10 of them, and the rest will be killed as they become adults. Both boomalopes were sold as well. They kept starving anyway, becasue they lacked some bodyparts from various raids. They're slow to start with, but with only two legs they can't get to food before the hundreds of cows and cougars 'steal' it. And I won't have to worry about them blowing up (they were getting old since I tamed them in the early game).

Actually did as mentioned earlier, and put potatoes in one of the sunlamp areas. Rice probably fully grows in about two days, so the workload is very hard. It doesn't get teh 280% growth rate ofc, but I don't really care as long as we have enough food. Kinda the same deal outdoors. Most of my fields are corn, but corn is susceptible to cold snaps and blight, so I like the extra security from variable crops and grow times. Potatoes still benefit from rich soil as well (but not the full 140%), and grows faster in normal soil than gravel. I'd rather keep gravel free for grazing tbh. Seems a better use of space. Not like I'm lacking in normal soil (it's a temperate forest after all).

At such sizes food supply is a genuine concern, however, and a toxic fallout will be very dangerous. Will probably have to quickly expand indoors growing then, and kill off a bunch of animals. Will deal with that if it happens.

Edit: Opted for a field of hops too in this game. Have never grown anything but food crops, and wanted to try out making some beer. It's been nice with some diversity, and it helps during low mood crises, as well as fetching a nice price from traders.


A thing I've noticed about rice on savage is that we sometimes only get 5 rice from a fully grown plant (it's meant to be 6). This is surely due to the 90% yield on savage difficulty, which can have a relatively large effect for rice. It's not for every plant, so there is probably some randomness involved. And no, it's not due to poor farmers. Skill 15-18 should be plenty, and several have bionic arms too ;)


QuoteGood idea. But then the animals can't run free. That makes the animals sad. Right? 
Sad animals ? Maybe but who cares ! :-)
Some people made 2x1 or maybe a bit bigger for hundert of cickens. 1-3 tile for hay/kibble ! Do you think they are happy and our animal rights activist wouldn't be happy about it, but at Rimworld it is ok.

The game actually started to lag a little bit, so I had to do something. Have around 125 cougars
If you trained them all for hauling, the game prolly need to check them all every x hours if there is something to haul.
You should use them as meatshield when the next ship land at your killbox.


I actually don't think that matters a whole lot. Probably 100 of my animals are haulers by now, but I have 40+ pawns too, which will look for tasks much more frequent. What really causes lag, based on my experience, is huge raider crews, especially if they bring lots of doomsday and triple rockets. I'm not entirely sure why those cause such a lag, but maybe they re-evaluate a lot where to aim the rockets, or it takes a lot of processing to calculate and impact injuries, deaths etc on and from so many pawns.