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Didz Jul 8, 2016 @ 5:00am
Dark Moon Challenge
Has anyone completed this challenge yet?

If so, would you care to share some tips for completing it (without cheating). I'm on my tird attempt at the moment having run out of steel on my first, and suffered major power problems on my second.

The third was going well, 2 x Large Power Storage + 2 x Large Solar Panels, seems to cope with the initial power needs, and I was manufacturing my own steel and bioplastic. But having increased my population to twelve colonists I hit a food shortage that my minimalist canteen and biodome couldn't cope with.

Not a disaster yet, but I'm not happy with the it, so I may try again, or at least roll back to the point I started accepting new people.

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Showing 1-15 of 30 comments
Jatlen Aug 3, 2016 @ 12:35am 
Yes, i already did this challenge, twice. My problem is, i cannot do it within 70 days, still missing the last achievement -.-
Anybody got the achievement Dark Moon within 70 days? Is it doable?
Didz Aug 3, 2016 @ 7:36am 
Originally posted by Jatlen:
Yes, i already did this challenge, twice.
Any tips on the build schedule for this one?
Jatlen Aug 3, 2016 @ 5:27pm 
I find this challenge quite hard and it is easy to run into shortage of metal, power, water, food etc. Most important thing to know is, power production has to be about 3 or 4 times of your consumption. If your colony needs 50 power you should produce 150 or 200. This is because days are much shorter than usual. The second problem i had is metal; in the beginning try to build only small buildings if possible.
My start is like this: 1 big power collector, 1 big solar collector, 1 big water extractor, no water storage (you can build this later), 1 mine, 1 airlock (more airlocks come later), 1 small oxygen generator, 1 small processing plant (1 machine for metal, 1 machine for bioplastic, 2 empty slots for later use), 1 small canteen (1 meal maker, 1 small table, 1 water thingy, 1 video screen), 1 small dormitory with 1 or 2 beds (later on exchange it for a cabin and use only cabins because of happiness), 1 small biodome (1 wheat, 1 or 2 tomatos, 1 medicine), 1 small lab (for meat and medicine), 1 small sick bay (1 bed, 1 medicine storage). I also try to build 1 landing pad very early, because in the beginning your colonists are happy and you can get one or two colonists - first colonist should be 1 biologist, second should be 1 worker; when condition of your colony drops below "decent" switch the landing pad off).
A good thing is to have a rough idea how your colony should be structured. Before you build anything, save the game immediately after the landing scene, so this way you can take your time, inspect the ground, can make your plans for your base, then you exit the game and load your save game and get started without having lost precious time.
As you can only afford small buildings in the beginning, build in a way that you can demolish the small buildings later and rebuilt them as larger ones.
At the start wait for your power collector and solar collector to be finished before giving other orders, or it can happen that it takes too long and it is already night when both are built, then you don't have power, airlock and oxygen generator are not working and your colonists suffocate.
Don't worry you will probably need more than one try to get a good start. That's normal. Good luck. :)
My best attempt was 200 colonists within 70 days.
I agree with almost all of what Jatlen has stated, except initially I built a large Biodome (5 metal, 5 bioplastic) and immediately built a landing pad (before the O2 generator) and set the landing permissions to 100% biologists until I got 4 in total. Then switch to 100% workers until you have about 10. Remember to switch things off/power them down when you don't need them, e.g. the sick bay when no one is injured and switch off the landing pad for about 6 hours once you've just had a delivery of colonists. Even the dorm when no one is sleeping or tired. Also get that second (larger) processing plant up and running as soon as you can (I didn't, but I recommend BEFORE you even have a storage dome and even your first factory.) Also, don't necessarily be tempted to have a 50/50 slit of ore processors and bioplastic processors. 3:1 (metal:bioplastic) in the initial processing plant gets you that all important metal faster in the beginning. Don't be afraid to switch the processing plant off in the early days when most of your workers are sleeping. If you have extra ore (i.e. 10 to 15) banked up, power down the mine and prioritise the processing plant to get the metal faster. The colonists come thick and fast in the later game once your welfare is good/excellent - try hard to keep this rating as good as you can as this gives you more that one colonist when the ship arrives. THIS CHALLENGE IS DOABLE! Easier than you might think once you know what you are doing. MY best is 300 colonists in 56 days, 2 hours. (dunno about this next bit? >>>) When I had the resources and surplus power I had two landing pads and a starport and the colonists (3 or 4 at a time) were coming every 30 seconds or so. But get that 2nd, larger processing plant up and running ASAP - this is critical. And have 6 ore processors in there at the beginning and balance out the bioplactic processors later on when your starch begins to build up. I've uploaded a few screenshots to my Steam profile from some of the saves I had in an attempt to illustrate the base setup and how it evolved (and the final result with the colonist count and time.) Hope this helps?
OK Gang. I just tried this again and managed to get 301 colonists in 49 days! Even I can't believe it! What I have discovered is that it is ESSENTIAL to have multiple landing platforms. I had two, plus one Starport. As long as the base Welfare is maintained at GOOD or EXCELLENT the colonists flood in during the later stages of this challenge. For this 49 days effort I've uploaded a whole load of screenshots detailing how I did it. They are all stored against my Steam profile. I hope all of the above helps you join the 0.3% of Plantbase players that have managed this final challenge. It Can Be Done! :-)
jpgraves Feb 26, 2017 @ 6:24pm 
it is not too hard to beat in under 70 days. My best time beating it, so far, is at the beginning of the 39th day. It comes down to some very basics, Power is the key and therefore metal is a key. Power storage needs to be 3x the consumption rate to survive. The colonist growth rate is driven by the happiness and prestige. Build power, food, mines, processing plants, sleeping, and other in that order in a regular sequence.
lpmoura77 Mar 3, 2017 @ 9:01am 
Originally posted by Didz:
Originally posted by Jatlen:
Yes, i already did this challenge, twice.
Any tips on the build schedule for this one?

Me too, twice.
jpgraves Mar 3, 2017 @ 3:25pm 
Originally posted by lpmoura77:
Originally posted by Didz:
Any tips on the build schedule for this one?

Me too, twice.


I played this way more than I should have. I got caught-up in trying to beat all of the challenges as quickly as possible. The best time so far on the dark moon challenge is 38 days. Did that twice. Beat it in 39, 40, 41 a few times. If it looks like it wont be beat in under 45 days then I start over. Yes, pretty sad.

The key to starting is getting the power source to link to storage as quickly as possible. It makes surviving the first night possible. Here's the starting script to go by because the first few days are the hardest:

- recycle the ship immediately.
- Build a size 7 solar array to the upper left of the resource pile.
- wait for the engineer to move towards the resource pile, then place a size 4 power collector to the upper left of the solar array.
- wait for the engineer to move towards the collector, then place an airlock to the left of the resource plie. about the middle,
- place an oxygen generator as far to the right of the resource pile that it still connects to the air lock.
- place a landing pad to the right of the O2 generator but as close as possible to the O2 gen.
- place a size 2 water extractor to the left of the air lock.
- chill for a bit.
- once the OX gen is made, place the canteen as far to the to the upper right of the OX gen and close to the landing pad.
- build the dorm to the left of the canteen but connected to the OX Gen (this allows for 7 bunks and not 6).
- place the mine to the lower left of the water generator.

A ship will land at hour 20. Once it does turn off the landing ad until day 0 hour 1 or 2. Then turn it off after the next ships lands at 3 until mid-the next day.

Build the mine, size 5 bio dome nearest the land pad to the lower right of the OX gen. Then a processing plant to the left of the bio dome.

If done right the ox gen is the middle of an asterisk.
jpgraves Mar 3, 2017 @ 3:49pm 
Made a typo. The engineer's movements are important. Wait for the engineer to move to build the solar array to place the power collector. If you do it too soon, the eng grabs a metal and carries it to the array and time is lost.

Left out what should be in the buildiings from the get-go (in order): (here's what I do but it consumes everything and works):

- place water fountain, TV, table and meal maker in the canteen
- place 2 veg and 5 starch pads in the bio dome
place 2 metal and one startch processor in the processing dome but turn off the starch until the bio dome has made starch.

Day 1, build:

- Using metal and in this order: Size 4 solar array. Size 4 power storage (won't be built until over night). Size 1 Water storage
- Using bioplastic: Veggie pad, bunk

wait for the above metal to be done:

- 2md starch processor
- first aid
- oxygen generator
- 2nd mine
- lab
- more power generation and storage
- 2nd SZ 5 bio dome
- water generation
- processing plant.

Watch power throughout, power generation and storage should be 3 times consumption.




rittstar Mar 13, 2017 @ 3:19pm 
okay its a bit offtopic but regarding this challange.. when i start this challenge it seems desasters are inactive,

but after i load the game first time after a break, that seems to set at least meteor desasters active?! (the desasters are inactive for this challenge mouseover was gone and a lot of meteors start to hit the surface)

after i load the game a second time, it disabled the traders totally ?!(traders are inactive for this challenge if mouseover) is that part of the challenge? not being able to load a save?
Jatlen Mar 13, 2017 @ 3:46pm 
I had already given up on this achievement, didn't believe, that it was doable. But then i read, that jpgraves did it in 38 days - wow! So i thought, i'd give it another try - and I finally made it: 300 colonists within 54 days (not as good as jpgraves, i know, but still way under 70 days).

I have to say, it was not difficult. I don't know, why i had so many problems in my other trys.
This time i started with the layout jpgraves suggested. A good layout, I like it, but not a must-have (other layouts also could have worked).

After my base was stabilised, i built another landing pad next to the first one, so i had 2 landing pads (smooth-criminal-uk recommended to have more than one). And at first i was not so convinced, that 2 landing pads made a difference compared to only 1, but in the later stage of the challenge, colony ships landed every minute, it was incredible. So i think, this was the key to success. In my other trys i had only 1 landing pad and it just took too long.

What is important in my opinion:
- metal, you cannot have too much metal in this challenge. I had 5 mines on high priority and 8 processors, but always ran short on metal. So i would recommend having 6 mines.
- power: during daytime produce 3 or 4 times the amount you use. Always build 1 solar panel and 1 power collector as a pair. This way you will get a good balance of power production and storage. If you have power problems, shut down non-vital things during nights.
- excellent welfare of your colony. As soon as welfare drops below excellent, you get fewer colonists (and you want to avoid that).
- cabins, bars, tv-screens are important for high morale. If you have food shortage, shut down bars for a while, till you solved the problem.
- build bots, not easy in this challenge, because bots cost a lot of power, metal and human ressources, but in the long run, it really pays off. I had 1 machine for driller, 1 machine for constructor, 2 machines for carrier bots (however 4 machines would have been better).
- don't neglect water storage: water extraction can vary very much on this map and you can't afford water shortage (-->biodomes ...)
- shut down your storage, open it up only for a few minutes and only when you need it. This way overproduction will stay in biodomes/processing machines and will not be carried around, thus morale of your colonists will not drop because of overproduction. And you save a lot of power.
- surround your landing pads with a circle of buildings and have one air lock leading to your landing pads. Have the airlock switched off all the time. When a colony ship is landing, check if you got intruders, if so, don't open the airlock and just wait till the intruders suffocate. :-) This way you don't need guards and guns. In this challenge you just can't afford them.
- build lasers, as soon as you can afford them. It is annoying, if a meteor hits your biodome and kills 8 biologists -.- Yes, save often ... :-)

Good luck and don't give up (took me 8 trys or so) :-)
Last edited by Jatlen; Mar 13, 2017 @ 3:49pm
jpgraves Mar 14, 2017 @ 3:21pm 
Jatlen, congratulations on finishing this challenge in under 70 days. you nailed a number of key points I didn't cover. Though a couple of differences, I never have storage or lasers and as you mention guns and guards. I didn't mention this but my opening is prefaced on surrounding the landing pad with an airlock and only letting non-visitors in. I almost never revert to a saved copy of the game if something bad happens. I live with the loss or, as whacky as it sounds, start from stratch than back up to a copy if it is really bad.
Last edited by jpgraves; Mar 15, 2017 @ 4:55am
jpgraves Mar 14, 2017 @ 4:07pm 
Originally posted by rittstar:
okay its a bit offtopic but regarding this challange.. when i start this challenge it seems desasters are inactive,

but after i load the game first time after a break, that seems to set at least meteor desasters active?! (the desasters are inactive for this challenge mouseover was gone and a lot of meteors start to hit the surface)

after i load the game a second time, it disabled the traders totally ?!(traders are inactive for this challenge if mouseover) is that part of the challenge? not being able to load a save?


Meteors are certainly active. Traders and visitors are inactive but invaders show up as visitors around day 18 to 20 so prepare for them. You should be able to load a save.
Last edited by jpgraves; Mar 14, 2017 @ 4:12pm
balazs.bacsi1 Apr 3, 2017 @ 3:16pm 
Guys i read your tips and descriptions for this challange and thank you all.
I reached this last achievment under 68,5 days. And I started at the beginning jpgraves based on the description. Good and intresting start.. before this mission i never use this tactic.

And yes the meteors and attackers are so tiresome... At the end of game i build so many laser turret and landing pad.
And finally sorry for my english. Thanks again and good luck for all. :)
jpgraves Apr 3, 2017 @ 6:43pm 
Originally posted by balazs.bacsi1:
Guys i read your tips and descriptions for this challange and thank you all.
I reached this last achievment under 68,5 days. And I started at the beginning jpgraves based on the description. Good and intresting start.. before this mission i never use this tactic.

And yes the meteors and attackers are so tiresome... At the end of game i build so many laser turret and landing pad.
And finally sorry for my english. Thanks again and good luck for all. :)

glad my descpription helped and congratulations on finishing it in under 70 days.
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