They Are Billions Guides Tagged Articles RSS Feed | They Are Billions Guides RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network They Are Billions Guide: How to Find Oil and Use It Sat, 30 Dec 2017 21:45:24 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Wood, stone, iron, and oil. All four are resources in They Are Billions, and each one has to be collected using its own structure. The first three are easy enough to figure out, but finding oil can be a task when you're new and desperate to start building the high-tier units.

Oil is a late-game resource, which means it's not something to worry yourself with until you're already established. It's not like you can worry yourself with it, anyway. The oil platform structure cannot even be researched until you have a foundry up and running, and the only way to get one prior to that point is via a particularly lucky mayoral candidate.

We're going to go over how/where you can find oil deposits, how exactly you get the technology to extract the oil for your own gain, and lastly what it's used for, as well as one semi-obscure use that can save your playthrough. You didn't buy They Are Billions to be an oil baron, but it comes with the purchase.

Where to find oil

Believe it or not, you may be looking at your much-needed oil without even knowing it.

That image isn't a natural hot spring -- it's oil!

Oil deposits always look like the above image, steam and all, and are spread about all four of the game's currently available maps. If you're lucky, you may already have at least one oil deposit already within the safety of your colony's walls.

How to extract oil

In order to start raking in that sweet black gold, you need to be a lot higher on the tech tree than the basic wood workshop.

As mentioned earlier, oil is a late-game resource, and as such, you can't start to collect it until you have the last research facility (the foundry) and have researched the oil platform itself.

Once you've researched the oil platform using the foundry, you can find it in the command center menu under the resource category, just like the sawmill, quarry, and other resource facilities.

Unlike the other resource buildings in They Are Billions, the oil platform must be placed directly on top of the oil deposit rather than next to it. This is good to know if you're trying to plan your colony's layout, as you don't have to take the placement of the oil platform into consideration as heavily as other resource buildings.

The uses of oil

There are a few things to know about this resource.

First: Each oil platform grants 10 oil per tick.

Second: Each oil platform drains 80 gold per tick.

Third: Units who need oil to be built will serve as a permanent drain on the resource. Lucifer, Titan, and Thanatos all require oil not only for training but for upkeep as well. Each one you have in your employ will reduce your oil gains by 1, which can slow your advanced unit production.

Last (but not least): Oil can be a huge cash cow if you use the market. You can sell oil for 40 gold each via the market, and you can increase that price up to 54 gold each just by building a second market.

The fact that you use oil to build advanced units is a given, but the fact that it sells for so much is one thing that can save your playthrough if you're having trouble getting enough gold. It's not mandatory to use an oil platform to make gold, but it is very much something to remember now and in subsequent playthroughs.

There's not much else to know about the game's most valuable and elusive resource. Of all the resources in They Are Billions, this is the one with the least explanation and use -- but the uses it has are critical. Units like Thanatos and Titan can completely change your colony's fate, and the extra gold you can get from selling oil can be a real lifesaver.

If you found this guide useful, I recommend checking out my They Are Billions tips guide. It's pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

They Are Billions Tips for Survival Mode Tue, 26 Dec 2017 14:11:06 -0500 Ashley Shankle

They Are Billions may only have survival mode at the time of writing, but it's enough of a challenge to keep most players busy for hours on end. Your colony has to survive waves of the living dead until the final wave, in which the zombies are really in the billions.

For the RTS gamer or even tower defense fans, They Are Billions poses an interesting challenge: Can you build a colony that will be able to withstand the massive assault looming on the horizon?

These tips are for newer players to this stress-fest of a game, whether you're new to the RTS genre or not.

Double up your walls

This is a pretty simple tip, but it's one that will help you literally every time you play the game: double the walls, double the defense.

Though you can't triple-stack walls, you can double-stack them to give the hordes two barriers to have to break through.

Press the Tab key to rotate gates

Straightforward tip here.

Keep an eye on your resources and plan ahead

The last thing you want is to run out of food, energy, or workers at the wrong time.

In order to get your defenses up in time before the final wave, you need to make the most of your time building your colony. This equates to a lot of little things, but the one aspect that always looms is balancing your economy.

Always build food, energy, or worker buildings before you run out of any of them. Gold is a little harder to come by and should be your primary bottleneck for the first half of a survival game, rather than the other resources.

This rule also applies with wood, stone, iron, and oil. These are used to construct buildings and train units, with some consuming those resources continually (and hence reducing your overall yield).

The difference between wood, stone, iron, and oil and the aforementioned resources is you have constant gains. In order to maximize production, you must secure new sources for these resources as quickly as possible throughout the entirety of a game.

Sell excess materials on the market

You can click on the market building to actively sell resources you have a surplus of, so use it liberally. Selling wood and stone early on makes the gold burden a little lighter.

If you're not having trouble with gold and have a surplus of wood, find somewhere and build some walls. You can never have too many walls.

Always construct buildings, train units, and expand

You never want to stop expanding. Ever.

In order to survive the zombie hordes, you must set up choke points and walls (manned with units in towers or defensive structures) as defenses from the heart of your colony out to as far as you can build them.

The more blockades and defenses, the better. You'll need at least half of the map set up with defenses to even have a chance to survive the final wave.

But that's not all you need to do.

You have to keep inside your colony bustling as you expand, and resource costs climb as you get to more advanced buildings.

In this vein, there are two very easy rules of thumb to follow:

  1. Always be building homes for new colonists and workers
  2. Always be training new units

You are absolutely going to want more than one soldier center to keep your unit production high. The more units you have, the safer you'll be, provided you make use of and position them well.

As for homes, once you start getting tight on space, it's recommended that you shift from placing tents to upgrading your current ones to cottages. They save space and grant higher colonist and worker yields -- but just build tents if you need more workers, are low on resources, and have the space.

Clear out the map

How does spawning work? Well, here are a few tidbits you need to know:

  1. The zombies on the map are finite and do not just spawn in the middle of nowhere
  2. Villages of Doom house a finite amount of zombies
  3. Additional zombie groups will spawn at the sides of the map
  4. Any zombies you have not wiped out before the final wave will join the final assault

This all means you need to wipe any threats out, the sooner the better.

Rangers are your best friends when clearing out the map early on. A group of at least 10 can slowly but steadily start chipping away at the larger hordes surrounding the colony.

You'll have an easier time clearing out surrounding zombies with more units, but the caches of resources lying about the map make it well worth exploring sooner rather than later.

Snipers > Rangers > Soldiers

High-tier units like Titan, Thanatos, and Lucifer are pretty obvious in their benefits. Not so much with the three lower-tier units.

Soldiers are the least effective of the standard units. They have the shortest range of the three, their guns are loud, and neither their damage nor HP are high enough to warrant using them instead of Rangers or Snipers.

Rangers are great for speeding across the map and clearing out large waves of zombies due to their fast movement speed, long range, and silent attacks.

Snipers should be your go-to for manning towers, as they boast higher HP and damage than the Ranger, but are exceedingly slow.

Set attack priorities

Be sure to set some of your units to attack the highest-level enemies rather than just the closest. Some zombies, like the spitter or harpy, can be devastating to groups of your units.

I like to set all of my Snipers to attack the highest level, and use defensive structures to clear out the weaker zombies.

You can set a unit's attack priority to highest level by clicking it, then clicking on the very last button in their panel.

Make good use of defensive structures

Defensive structures in this case being structures like the X that attack zombies on their own accord.

The Shocking Tower, Great Ballista, and Executor are the three structures in particular. The first specializes in area damage while the other two are more general purpose (with Executor being the upgrade of the Great Ballista).

Place these structures behind your walls rather than in front.

Build your colony's homes near each other & near banks

You need to think about where you'll be placing your colony's tents from the very start of the game, and not just because of the zombie threat.

Your gold income comes from your colonists, and nothing gives a boost to that income like a well-placed bank.

In order to foster a healthy gold economy, you need to make sure you have some prime real estate set up for your colony's homes and banks. This can be a little difficult depending on the terrain around where you've started, and you may have to accept that your primary housing section won't be right next to your command center, but a little planning goes a long way on this front.

You can double-click on structures and buildings alike to select all

Select all in this sense being the selection of every same structure or unit of that type within vision.

This isn't just useful for controlling your units -- it makes upgrading your walls from wood to stone a total snap.

Have at least one mobile unit squad

Whether Snipers or Rangers, it doesn't matter: Have a squad of units dedicated solely to bouncing from one part of your colony to the other to defend.

Those Rangers you had clear out the map early on come in handy at the end, as you can send them from defensive point to defensive point to lend a hand.

These tips will get you by in survival mode, but what strategic conundrums await us in the upcoming campaign mode? Who knows -- I don't, but I definitely want to. For now, let this advice help you survive your way through the four maps available in survival mode and crush those brain-thirsty bastards.