Beating Rebuild on Nightmare Difficulty

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hi there,

i made it to the highscore with 744k points (Azzkixer is my name there) achieved on nightmare difficulty. i spent like 10 hours of playing time on that one game. After the fourth ending i had 802k points, but the game score didn’t get re-recorded.
“proof, or it never happened!”:

first thing is a word to the game dev:
good game. especially the early game stage, when surviving is uncertain, makes the game a star. i also was really impressed by the texts. you put quite an effort into making the game print out well shaped and smart assembled reports. and soldier “willis”, injured on an eye renaming to “2d” willis made me laugh. gives it a more personal touch.

a thought on the games mechanics for the game dev:
imo beating nightmare on 12×12 maps is far easier than beating it on 10×10 maps why? because … the game places a new horde on the edge of the map. the fort initially is somewhere at the center of the map. thus making the time to next horde attack on 12er maps 5-7 days and on 10er maps 3-4 days. this is a hughe difference. basically makes it like half the number of horde attacks on 12er-maps. and the horde IS what makes nightmare unbeatable.

like i said, the horde is to taken care of. for that you need good defences. so go for police stations as early as possibel. make your fort expand in the direction of the most valuable squares. these are: defence structures, especially police stations, farmland, appartment buildings and leisure buildings. among the first squares reclaimed also should be a hospital and soon a laboratory. start reasearching asap with one scientist. do not convert buildings in the early stage. that takes too much hands away from reclaiming and defending. reclaim all nearby bars and churches. happines becomes a concern after a while. you loose a lot of people in an unhappy fort.schools are neglectible in the beginning. no time to learn for anyone. later you need them to convert the many leaders and to gain more builders or soldiers.

always send out all scouts. so you know the area. if you have more than one leader, you can send all but one without soldier escort on recruiting missions. but dont loose your last leader, or you are done. you wont be able to recruit fast anymore. calculate needed food and scavange accordingly on the squares with most food. pictures on squares indicate if there is much or little food to be found. also go recruiting on squares which have the exact number of people you need (the picture tells if there are 1,2,3 or 4 people).

set up two squads asap. one cleaning squad with five soldiers and one reclaiming squad with two builders and one soldier. these two squads will reclaim squares in a two day cycle. the cleaning squad killing z. when the square is clear, it is the two day turn of the reclaiming squad, while the cleaning squad moves on to the next square. thus no hands are idle. people without special abillity become soldiers by guarding the fort. to gain the second builder, send a person without specialization on building/reclaiming missions. soon it will become a builder. clean a square only when you know a reclaiming squad will be available to move in immediately after. so you dont loose time for re-cleaning. thanks to those brainless z, straying back into a cleaned area.

plan everything ahead. because you do good scouting you can scavange or recruit squares ahead, before the clean/reclaim-squads move in. plan your work until the next horde attack. how many squares can you reclaim? when will the last mission complete? will the horde move on a square where you plan a mission? …

on horde attack night, everyone is in the fort. just scientists and occasionally builders which brick up a shopping mall are allowed to continue work. also if the fort is overrun, losses will be minimal. a square or two, two or three survivors. you make that up easily with the aformentioned strategy. if the fort is overrun you know that you have to emphasize defences even more. where is the police station you didn’t reclaim because you put a higher priority on that church (because someone hung oneself again)?

research order:
cheaps (, 2.z, 3.binocs)
middles (z, radio, food)
expensives (1.electricity, z, food)

there are four ways to win. closing the evil portal, reclaiming all squares, drafting a constitution or reasearching the cure for zombieism (needs 3 labs). you decide. killing all z and reclaiming everything was the way i chose. and this is very boring in the end. i spent 5 hours just relcaiming the other 80 out of 144 squares.
a feature-request at this point: moving into a square with 70+ soldiers is very common for the last 30 squares. and the personnel assignment procedure is a pain in the ass for 70 people. it takes more gaming time than everything else at that stage. this would have needed a bulk assignment option.

ah yes, concerning killing z: one soldier kills 3 z on a mission (if he/she doesn’t get killed first). reducing the risk to 0 doesn’t mean you will kill all z on that square. there can be any number of z on a square. “infested” indicates around 30 z. hence, to clean an infested square in one mission needs 10 s. “overrun” indicates 30+ z and can be up to all z sourrounding the fort (if the “fort surrounding” is just one square anymore). especially the last square needs several 70 soldier-army interventions to kill off that 700 z on that square.

now you know beating nightmare is easy on 12×12 maps go and try to beat it on a 10×10 map. ;-)

have fun in zombieland!

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ah yes another feature request:
idle survivors should defend the fort automatically. when playing the game, adding everyone idle to the defending squad is done anyways at the end of the turn (at least on nightmare dif). so why not let the game count everyone idle as defender automatically? ’would spare the player the defending assignment-task at end of every turn. risk to fort should also be displayed without the need of rolling over city name.
this would simplify a turn to the following: assigning survivors to missions as long as the risk to the fort is low enough. then hit “end day” :-)

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Nice post I am trying to beat nightmare now

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Might I add a tip: Whenever there’s a mission (whether it’d be recruiting, reclaiming, scavenging) going on in one square, no zeds will move in. Meaning, if you clear a zone of zeds but don’t have 2 builders and/or 1 soldier idle, you can send a useless guy on a scavenging/reclaiming mission to hog the square so new zeds don’t spawn back into the square. Very useful when used correctly.