Tips and tricks to optimise your playthrough.
Other Dawn of Man Guides:
Natural Resources / Hunting
- Don't worry about running out of ores or flint. Once you have underground mining, you will struggle to exhaust your natural flint supply.
- Once you unlock farming, you will begin to chop down a *lot* of trees. Make sure you have plenty of wood storage areas to stockpile the resource for later eras, when your upgraded houses will demand logs for fuel.
- Find a wooded area without food trees, and an area that you don't use for tannins, and set a massive wood cutting work order on the whole area. Trees will grow back naturally and are completely renewable.
- Avoid sending out huge hunting parties just before Winter. On the way back, the season will have advanced and your people will freeze to death.
- At the start/middle of the game, raw skins are a bottleneck. You will need to micromanage hunting parties (also useful for knowledge). Remember that you can double right click to get people to run.
- Sticks are your starting bottlebecks. Set a limit of say 30 (make sure you have plenty of storage space - remember you start with storage hut available to build) with two people gathering from a large and abundant area.
- Tannins are easy to gather by children and worth 1 value in all eras. Set a limit of 30 for a useful tradeable item.
- Humans moving into forested areas seems to disrupt and discourage animals from being/spawning there. Try to focus your deforestation, tannins and gathering in one big section, and leave another area for hunting.
- With the no-walls and sell-everything-for-tech strat, your people will often die from starvation, exposure, and Iron-age raiders (don't worry, its worth it for optimisation). Make sure you have plenty of houses available to stockpile humans in case this happens. Always try to have at least 4 housing slots available.
- With that said, monitor your food levels using the food UI. If you're consistently in surplus each season, you have plenty of food to expand your population. If you're often running out during Winter, expand your food production first.
- If you do build walls, make sure your stables are inside them. Raiders can target animals inside stables, and will kill them.
- Select a starting map position which offers the broadest, flattest land around your village centre. The limiting factor for your farm production is usually availability of flat land.
- If you want to have animals, they will eat a *lot* of straw. Your humans have no benefit from a diverse diet, and plant diseases are rare, so focus at least 70% of your farms on straw-producing crops. Abundance of straw also seems to increase animal birth rates.
- With this strategy you will often over-produce straw at the start eras of farming. Straw doesn't deteriorate but you might need a lot of haystacks.
- Avoid hitting 40 population until you have good farms setup. You NEED farms. With that said. you can easily turtle in the first two eras, where raider attacks are minor and animals plentiful.
- Flax linen is hugely valuable, and with a stick, can be turned into valuable fishing lines. Build at least two flax fields at the start and later three, and you will have plenty to trade for.
- Animals ranked in order of value: 1. Sheep (gives wool and meat/skins) 2. Donkeys (pulls cart) 3. Goats (gives wool and meat/skins) 4. Pigs+Cattle+Horses (tech comes too late, outputs not useful enough). Focusing on just a few species allows you to build a self-sustaining population more easily.
- Its entirely reasonable to skip Pig, Cattle, Horse domestication, since sheep, goats and donkeys can do all the same tasks better.
- The following limits in the limits menu will keep your animals reproducing but avoid excess population levels and straw consumption: Small animals: x10 Large animals: x5.
- Capturing Mouflon (Sheep), Ibex (Goats) and Donkeys (Donkeys) is not hard - just find a baby animal on the map and select 'capture'. Its only worth trading with traders for them if you are lazy.
Production / Storage
- Make sure you have plenty of wood and stone stockpiles all around your village. This will minimise walking distances. They cost nothing to build.
- Copper tools provide no stat upgrades compared to earlier versions. Consider building 10 of each just for the knowledge points, and beelining to Bronze tools which are actually better.
- Once you have a lot of farms setup, you will need at least 75% sickles. When you get Bronze and Steel, build sickles first. You often can't harvest all of your crops until the season finishes with earlier sickle versions.
- Set all crafting, leather, skins production to high priority. Tools are fundamental to your whole operation.
- As you grow, gradually decrease the % of tools your produce. Set things like axes and picks to x10, 15, 20 depending on your population. You will have the majority of your population doing nothing except farming. The exception are goods like fishing lines which are great for trading.
- Bones spears and bone hooks have the same core stats as their flint versions, and you usually have plenty of bones from hunting. Produce them until you can produce bows and fishing lines.
- A single item will take up a whole storage slot (eg. a single biface). In later eras, sell off your obsolete items to free space, even if you only get 1 value.
- Once you have beer, it will usually displace the need to visit spirituality buildings, and works quicker than those buildings. If you have enough food, set production of beer to unlimited. Its also valuable to trade.
Knowledge + Technology
- The most useful early techs are those that enable better tools, and sledges. Prioritise these.
- Make sure you look at the milestones for each of the main campaign levels. They provide a huge amount of knowledge and are not too difficult to achive.
- Before advancing to the 4th age, where Reindeer, Cave Lion, Cave Bear, Wooly Rhino, Mammoth, Megalocerous, Ancient Bison will go extinct, hunt these animals to at least the x10 level (Rhinos are usually solitary though, and hard to get). Getting these early knowledge points makes tech advancements much easier
- Knowledge is the ultimate finite resource. Trade for techs as much as possible, even if you have to starve or freeze your humans. 'Saving' knowledge points particularly in the early game makes late game research much easier.
- Usually any building x5 gives a knowledge point. You can build and then demolish structures to reach this. Also spam spirituality totems to at least the x5 level.
Tech Tree Order
- Focus in the early eras on anything that provides food, anything that provides better storage, and anything that provides better tools.
- A lot of technologies are not critical, and I normally wait until traders provide them. Everything marked in Green I normally wait for traders to provide, or only research if I have excess knowledge points or need them as a prerequisite (edit: with the exception of Bows, they are very useful for hunting).
Combat / Defense
- Despite what the game says, animal attacks on your village will usually just result in the quick death of the animal and some conveniently located meat. Don't bother going into Alarm mode, just select some nearby villagers and order them to hunt the animal.
- Walls are not necessary. Just pause the game and hit the 'alarm' button as soon as Raiders appear, to arm your citizens and send them to attack proactively.
- Raiders will pathfind using bridges you have built, funnelling themselves into chokepoints. Exploit this by grouping watchtowers near the bridge exits.
- You will get plenty of weapons from killing Raiders. Don't bother building late-era spears or swords, you can pick them off dead corpses. Bows - which can be used for hunting - are good enough to be your main 'weapon' being produced.
General / UI
- I recommend using the following UI panels: People, Grouped Resources, Transports, Food, Straw, Domestic Animals. Just pause and switch to defense when raiders appear. Grouped resources makes it much easier to track resources since they are usually in a consistent place on the UI.