Surviving Mars: Campaign: 2020-04-25

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Main article: Surviving Mars

Initial settings[edit]

  • Church of the New Ark
  • Rocket Scientist (very low starting Funding. Also, map benefits from transportation, specially with non-Japan Drones.)
  • The Last War
  • Rivals:
    1. China (will take my food for their resources)
    2. Russia (need concrete for Domes, map has low concrete)
    3. Brazil (more rare metals, hope to trade some)
  • Location: 6S95W
  • Game Rules:
    • Armageddon: Meteor rating set to a new max level for all locations on Mars.
    • Dust in the Wind: Dust Storm rating set to a new max level for all locations on Mars.
    • Hunger: Can't import food from Earth.
    • Inflation: Import prices increase over time.
    • Twister: Dust Devil rating set to a new max level for all locations on Mars.
    • Winter is Coming: Cold wave rating set to a new max level for all locations on Mars. Cold waves increase power consumption even more.
  • Difficulty Challenge: 785%
  • Mods: ForcedByUserLockTimeout=500 sols

Mission Goals for this Sponsor[edit]

  • Produce 50 Food = $1,000 M
  • Have 10 Founders at 90 Comfort = 100 Sponsor Research
  • Have 20 Martianborn Colonists by the end of Sol 50 = 3 Saint Applicants
  • Produce 40 Electronics = New Rocket
  • Have 120 Colonists with all needs above 80 = $3,000 M

Initial Considerations[edit]

My first campaign not using Japan.

Having access to Ark Pods allows the 2nd Rocket to be used for more resources and vehicles. This is comparable to the lower weight of Japanese Vehicles.


First goal is to produce food. Hydroponic Farms have halved production, so I need to research in order to do that. So building a Research Lab is high priority.

Oh, right, almost forgot! There is the indoor Ranch! Growing Turkey for 12 base Food per sol is actually really good!


The Drone Hub cost 150 each compared to 300 for the RC Commander. Not worth it buying them for 300. This leaves the problem how to get enough Drones. Drones cost 30 each, and a Drone Hub prefab includes 4 of them. So it's $120 for 4 drones vs $150 for 4 Drones and a hub. What do to with them? Plant one far away and let disable it until needed? I know, how about dismantling it for 6 metal and 4 Electronics? 4 Electronics are worth $80 while 6 metals is worth $60, so it's a $40 save compared to buying them individually... except for the question, do I want to pay $20 for 6 metals? Yeah, I do. Note: The first hub will build itself, no need to bring a single drone for building it. Testing: Nope. the Hub gives NOTHING from salvage.

O man. link. Looks like Drone Hubs are incredibly inefficient in how they handle Drones. Tested it, it's true. The large Service Area of the Drone Hub is making it very inefficient. The alternative is to lower its range, making the maintenance per area increase, or buy the expensive RC Commanders that require no maintenance.

Okay, I'm going with RC Commanders even though they are more expensive.

On the other hand. What I initially build will require resources that will be insignificant by the mid game. I could totally rebuild the initial base and do so with insignificant impact on the progress of the colony as a whole by the end game. However, how efficient I am in the early game will greatly impact the development of the colony.

So all focus needs to be put on efficiency and not with some end game architecture in mind. Specially considering that all early and mid game buildings will be obsolete by then.


Considering I can pod down colonist, the main bottleneck to growth will be to have residence and services to host 120 colonists. Building apartments for them all wold require 120/24=5 of them, for a total cost of:

  • 30 polymers
  • 125 Concrete
  • 60 Electricity
  • 50 hexes
  • 15 Concrete Maintenance

Using Living Complex instead of Apartments, we would need 120/14=almost 9 of them:

  • 0 polymers
  • 54 Concrete
  • 9 Electricity
  • 90 hexes
  • 9 Concrete Maintenance

The main drawback is the increased number of hexes required. What is that worth? From the calculations on Domes, we get a per hex value of Barrel Domes:

  • Concrete: 0,58
  • Metal: 0,23
  • Polymers: 0,23
  • Power: 0,17
  • Oxygen/Water: 0,012

That, times 10 for the hexes of each Complex and then time 9 since we need 9 of them is:

  • Concrete: 52,2
  • Metal: 20,7
  • Polymers: 20,7
  • Power: 15,3
  • Oxygen/Water: 1,08

If we use Apartments, It's a better idea to go for Basic Domes, as they require less Polymers and will also offer a Spire. Per hex value of Basic Domes:

  • Concrete: 1,14
  • Metal: 0,29
  • Polymers: 0,14
  • Power: 0,21
  • Oxygen/Water: 0,014

That, times 10 for the hexes of each Apartments and then time 5 since we need 5 of them is:

  • Concrete: 57
  • Metal: 14,5
  • Polymers: 7
  • Power: 10,5
  • Oxygen/Water: 0,7

Per hex value of Micro Domes, also times 90:

  • Concrete: 1,21 * 90 = 108,9
  • Metal: 0,91 * 90 = 81,9
  • Polymers: 0 * 90 = 0
  • Power: 0,15 * 90 = 13,5
  • Oxygen/Water: 0,015 * 90 = 1,35

If we take the real estate value and add it to the construction value:

Total cost
Living Complex in Barrel Domes Apartments in Basic Domes Living Complex in Micro Dome
Concrete 106,2 182 162,9
Metal 20,7 14,5 81,9
Polymers 20,7 37 0
Power 24,3 70,5 22,5
Oxygen/Water 1,08 0,7 1,35


Living Complex in Micro Dome will cost 20 less Polymers than doing the same in Barrel Domes, but will instead require 60 more metal and 60 more Concrete. It's definitely worth to spend some imported Polymers to cut down on the waiting period required to collect resources on Mars, specially now that it takes 9 colonists per sol to get 20 metals.

Living Complex in Micro Dome vs Apartments in Basic domes: Micro Domes will lose out on Spires. Micros will cost 20 more Concrete and 73 Metal but does not require 37 Polymers. Also, the Micro will require 22 Electricity instead of 70. 50 extra Electricity will cost about 15 Solar Panels and 2,5 Power Accumulators, worth 45 Metal, 5 Cement and 5 Polymers and a lot of upkeep. If we subtract the electric savings from the construction cost, we get that the Micro Dome costs 42 less Polymers but 15 more Concrete and 28 more Metal. And no Spires. However, we will be building wind Turbines that have +100 bonus, so only 5 of them will be enough to generate 50 power. That gives us new numbers: If we subtract the electric savings from the construction cost, we get that the Micro Dome costs 37 less Polymers, 5 less Machine Parts, the same amount of Concrete but 73 more Metal. And no Spires. Is it worth importing 42 advanced materials in order to keep 73 metals and have the potential to build spires?

Living Complex in Barrel Domes vs Apartments in Basic domes: given 5 Wind Turbines for the larger electric needs, the Apartments in the Basic Dome will cost almost 100 more Concrete, 17 more Polymers and 5 more Machine parts, while costing 6 less Metal. Not worth it.

So for the finals, we got Living Complex in Barrel Domes vs Living Complex in Micro Dome. And the summary from that part was "It's definitely worth to spend some imported Polymers to cut down on the waiting period required to collect resources on Mars, specially now that it takes 9 colonists per sol to get 20 metals.".

The winner is Living Complex in Barrel Dome! So better bring a lot of Polymers and Machine Parts with me.

Even as the first building, the Barrel Dome Requires 10 less Metals and 10 more Concrete, where Concrete is much easier to get as it can be automatically extracted, while metals have some small amount on the surface that will also be required for the automatic Cement Extractors. And you only need to pay 20 imported Polymers to get almost 3 times as much space.

Further ahead, the Basic Dome will make a comeback as the spire be needed, and it will take a while before Medium and Trigon Domes are researched.

The spire that I had in mind is the Temple Spire. It's completely broken!

But as stated previously, early game efficiency is the most impactful parameter.

The spire will require 10 polymers, 5 Machine Parts and 40 Concrete. I will be hard pressed on the advanced resources initially and and I won't have a lot of cement to spare during the first sols as I will need all of them to build domes. Also, the Basic dome will require a lot more Concrete than the Barrel dome for less area. An Art Shop will require less workforce and resources, so I'll use that initially, and then transition when the initial phase is done.



  • 2 for 1 Power Accumulator.
  • 20 for a Barrel Dome
  • 4 for Playground


  • 4 for 4 Sensor Tower
  • 5 for Research Lab
  • 6 for School

Machine Parts: As many as possible, at least 60.

Initial Payload[edit]

First rocket:

  • 1 Drone Hub - $150 each.
  • 2 Moisture Vaporator - To enable the dome to start early.
  • 0 RC Commander - too expensive at $400. I will receive 4 Drones when I can otherwise buy 13 of them. I'll just have to micro manage a whole lot to compensate.
  • 15 Drone - Nothing will get done without some drone power.
  • 0 RC Explorer - Vital, but the second Rocket can bring it, it can wait until then.
  • 0 RC Transport - Too expensive. Or actually, It's alright at $200. It can wait until the second Rocket.
  • 25 Polymers - Barrel Dome and one Accumulator.
  • 15 Machine Parts - 4 Concrete Extractors and 7 Wind Turbines.
  • 5 Electronics - Sensor Towers are less of a priority now that my drones can't fly, I start on a mountain and I get no bonus for spamming them early.
  • 2 Orbital Probe - Changing starting location.

Second Rocket:

  • 3 Moisture Vaporator - A lot of water will be required to support a large population.
  • 1 RC Explorer - 1 required for Anomalies.
  • 30 Polymers - a 2nd Barrel Dome with Power Accumulator and/or Art Shop or 2nd Playground/Open Air Gym.
  • 20 Machine Parts - I'll make the rest of them on mars.
  • 10 Electronics - School and Lab.


I got only 25 Metal to start with. My expenses are:

Total cost
Required Total Item
1 1 First Sensor Tower with a Wind Turbine next to it.
3 2 2nd Sensor Tower with a small Solar Panel for it.
6 3 1st Large Solar panel to start the first Concrete Extractor. I could salvaged shortly after the first Wind Turbine gets online, but I'll use it as cable.
21 15 3 Concrete Extractors
25 4 Cables
45 20 Barrel Dome
49 4 MOXIE
52 3 Oxygen Tank
55 3 Water Tower
58 3 Pipes
73 15 Rare Metal Extractor
78 5 Ranch
83 5 Diner