Play to Earn with Town Star; Gala Games is at it again for another May Mayhem with $4 million in prizes up for grabs.
We gave this game a try and here’s what we learned.
Sponsored by Gala Games
Oh, hello! You must be the new Mayor that I heard the powers-that-be discussing. I’m sure you’ve already had the pleasure of meeting them, though. You know all about how they responded to the peoples’ complaints about gerrymandering by slicing the land into a grid, and assigning complete randos such as yourself to rule over each district with an iron fist. Or maybe softer than that, like aluminum. Yes, that’s better.
Complete randos such as yourself are hired to rule over these districts with an aluminum fist, a tin budget, and thousands of other mayors all competing for the same thing as you: recognition. That’s the only way that you advance in the eyes of those that matter; you have to stack those TownCoins.
Lucky for you, your old pal Sherpa here is a veteran. I’ve run a city or two in my day, and I might’ve even had a zoom meeting with one of the upper crust. Or maybe that was a scam; he still hasn’t sent two eth back. Either way, I can tell you some of the early pitfalls that mayors will run into, and give you a few tips & tricks to help you on your way to being a real TownStar.
First Rule of Real Estate:
Location, Location, Location
Now, the TownStar tournaments are timed competitions, so be aware of when new ones are starting, and how long they last. Our overlords simply do not care about whether or not you miss a cocktail party; when the competition starts it quickly turns into a dystopian death race to snatch up the choicest districts.
This is for a couple of reasons:
GAS. Gas is a vital resource, and you need it in order to trade anything. The farther your city is from the major “hub” cities in your area, (Atlanta, New York, Toronto…), the more gas it takes for each trip.
You need to have a city within one gas, or your job gets exponentially harder. The higher-ups only give mayors 40 units of gas to start with.
At one unit of gas to reach a hub city, it is fully possible to get to the point of self-sufficiency & gas production before you use more than fifteen or twenty units of gas. At two units to reach a city, you are cutting it close. At three units? Good luck!
There is a handy trick that I lucked into by increasing my ranking with the powers-that-be until I reached Gala Gold status. At some point I was given an Express Depot by our merciful masters, and once I placed it on my property it cut down travel time and even lowered the cost of gas to some cities, making my previously unusable two gas plot a much more usable one gas plot.
TERRAIN. Each plot is unique in its own way, but you can usually tell what type of environment you’ll be encountering based on the surroundings. If it’s by a river or waterway, you’ll have riverfront access for a pier, and probably more than a few ponds. These will be important, later on. Needless to say: you like ponds.
The mountainous regions, however, will be more likely to produce rocky outcrops, which are expensive to clear out, but it also allows for iron mines and associated industries. Forests will produce more trees, and if you’re totally surrounded by water: you may not have access to a roadway, and will start with a pier instead.
Second Rule of Mayor Club: We mostly discuss wheat farming
Now, other folks, like the cool cats in the Go Gala Games discord might have even better strategies for starting out, but I don’t need them; I’m a veteran of more than 20 solid hours of TownStar mayordom. That’s right: a real expert.
I’m going to tell you the secret to making money: you’ve gotta make bread. First, though, you’ve got to make flour. You’ll want to remember, too, that we’re in a bit of a rush. We have to make enough money to keep building, but we also have to make enough money to reach the point of gas production before we run out of gas.
If you run out of gas, and you can’t produce more: it’s game over, and you’ll need to start a new town & hope the higher-ups don’t smell the stench of failure on you. Maybe try an anti-perspirant?
Alright, so back to flour. So, here’s the thing: all you really need are the four W’s: wind, water, wood, and wheat.
You’ll start out with some wheat growing, and a farmer to harvest it, and usually a pond and well. Go ahead and leave that pond alone for now, because it’s going to help us with our water problem. Ponds drop wind pump production time down to fifteen seconds, as long as they’re next to each other. So our build is going to focus on adding wind pumps to all the surrounding spots, as we need them.
If you lucked out and ended up next to water, then you probably have a lot more ponds on your property, but most of these will be surrounded by rocks or trees which are expensive to remove. More expensive to remove than just buying another pond later on, in fact, and so this is where I tend to sell all of them.
When selling items, you get ¼ the cost back, so ponds (originally 10,000) will earn you 2,500 each. This gives you a lot more capital to use in building out, and that’s exactly what I’d do. You should have roughly 50,000 to spend, after selling all of your ponds. Obviously this will vary depending on your district’s makeup.
I’d keep one wheat field bordering the pond, because it gives passive water, and we can easily remove the wheat field later on when you need to add another water pump. For now, I’d add one water pump (12,500) next to the pond, another farm house (2,500) near the first, and a wind mill (7,500) close to the grain silo.
IMPORTANT: Once you build the wind mill, make sure you tell the operator to craft flour to get them started!
You should also start plotting out roads, remembering to chart connecting paths around rocks and trees, because these are too costly to remove right now. What we need are clear spaces connected to roads, so plan accordingly, and if you have extra money you can go ahead and drop a few dirt roads (1,000) in order to make more usable space.
My rule of thumb is that you need roughly three wheat fields, one and a half farmers, and one wind pump for every two wind mills. Now, you can’t very well cut a farmer in half: they generally don’t appreciate it, and yes I’ve tried.
Regardless, you can just round up, and you’re usually better off having more farmers than less, early on. Farmers are cheap labor, and their housing isn’t expensive, either.
You’ll also want to put down a home for a lumberjack (2,500) to keep your woodshed stocked.
This next part is going to take some time, but generally I like to build up to the point of having five wind mills, four wind pumps, three farmers, and seven or eight wheat fields.
By that point you should already have turned off auto-sell for wheat if you have it on, but you can go ahead and turn on an auto-sell for flour, as it will be our main source of income for the time being.
At this point you might be waiting for a while as the money starts to pour in. Your wind mills should be in perfect harmony with your water, wheat, and wood production so you never have an overabundance of anything, except wood and flour.
You need to save up an absurd amount of money, now, because you will likely be needing to clear some land and build more roads, and then create all of the production buildings needed to support our gas industry.
Start clearing spots, remembering that if you can make paths through marshes, at 5,000 to remove they make for a much more economical path than through trees or rocks. You’ll also want to drop at least one oak tree farm (1,000) and make sure you have storage space for the wood once it matures.
Now, we need at least five or six wind turbines (2,500) to start, and a warehouse (15,000) to store the energy and water we’re about to produce. After those finish building, go ahead and build a water facility (10,000), assuming at least one of your oak trees has been harvested.
With this done, go ahead and build an oil pump (1,250), and a refinery (15,000). You’ll need to build a second refinery soon after these are completed, but go ahead and tell your refinery worker to start producing petroleum in this facility. Once the second refinery finishes, tell that worker to start crafting gas, and then you’ll need to focus on scaling up your wind turbines for more energy output, as gas and petroleum both demand a lot of energy.
If you’ve done everything right, you should have already collected one TownCoin for reaching your daily goal, and your town should be self-sufficient enough to produce a steady income through your flour sales, and enough gas to outpace what you’re using to sell the flour.
Well, that’s up to you! I can’t tell you all of my secrets, as I’m competing for the same recognition that you are.
You might focus next on adding a Lumber Mill (50,000) and then Farm Tractors (75,000) to speed up production, or you might add another pond and some more wind pumps. The sky’s the limit, and any rando has a shot at being the next great TownStar Mayor. Even you, kid.