How to Complete “Rebuild” on Harder
If you’ve played the game, “Rebuild,” on Kongregate, you’ll probably have noticed that the last achievement is for winning on the Harder or Nightmare difficulty settings. Which is pretty difficult.
I managed to finally beat the game on Harder on a 10×10 map, beating it all the possible ways; closing the evil portal, curing zombiism, writing a constitution and reclaiming every square. Admittedly, once the evil portal is closed, the hordes stop appearing which then makes completing the rest easier.
Here, then, are my tips to beat the game and finally get that medal. You will also need some luck, as random deaths can cause serious problems.
First, the starting area. This is pretty important, don’t be afraid to restart if you don’t get a suitable layout. Of course, if you want more of a challenge, try playing when the setup is unfavourable.
You want the following buildings next to your initial four squares – a Big Farm (produces more than two Farms), a Hospital, a Laboratory and some form of residence, whether it be an Apartment, Trailer Park or Suburbs. Sure, you could redevelop some other buildings, or try to get them in the next layer out, but these cost you time.
Now, why do you want those buildings?
Hospital: Random deaths from illnesses are very common. It’s easy to lose someone important. If the nearest Hospital is not touching your initial squares, it could take the best part of two game weeks to reclaim it. Enough time to lose quite a few people if you’re unlucky. Of course, you could convert a Church, but this again takes more time, and you’re really going to need any Churches for the Happiness they provide.
Laboratory: Again, as with Hospital, if the nearest Laboratory isn’t touching your initial squares, you will lose time reclaiming one. Enough time to have got at least one item of research completed. The same argument against converting a Church into a Hospital applies against converting a Bar.
Big Farm: This provides more food. Food is a necessity, you initially aren’t producing enough. If you can’t get enough farmed, you’re going to have to spend more and more time sending Scavengers out to get food. If you’re doing any sort of recruiting, which is a necessity, you will run out of food and people will start dying, and you need those people. Generate as much food as you can from farming.
Accommodation: You only have enough initial accommodation to house about 12 people. After that, you won’t be able to recruit more, so you need to expand your available housing in order to increase your population.
Along with acquiring these buildings, you want to send out at least one recruitment party, although more than that will have to wait until you’ve increased the amount of population you can hold. Additionally, send your Scavengers out on scouting missions to neighbouring squares to see what they have.
Research: After reclaiming a Laboratory, you’ll need to start researching new technology. Pick Preservation to start with; food supplies are going to be erratic enough initially without losing food from it going off. After that, Zombie Vitals and then Binoculars.
After researching the first three, I then concentrated on safeguarding my food supply by researching Pesticides and Fertilisers.
Expansion after initial buildings
After you’ve reclaimed your initial buildings, you want to be heading for the edge of the map. Reaching a map edge will wind up decreasing the amount of area you have in contact with zombie infested squares, which makes your fort easier to defend.
Pick a direction that looks promising, based on buildings available; Farms, Police Stations, Malls, Bars and Churches are all required, plus the occasional residential building. Head towards the map edge in the direction you have picked, and make a beeline for it. Proceed in a path roughly two squares wide, although don’t be afraid to pick up the occasional useful building off to the side.
Keep scouting and recruiting as you’re doing this.
Once you reach an edge, start expanding towards a corner. Don’t be afraid to lose the buildings in the centre of the map, at least for now. You want to capture an entire corner, removing the threat from two sides of your fort.
After capturing a corner, you should now have an area with all the buildings you need in it. Convert useless buildings into useful, and start expanding out from your corner. Decide which way you want to win the game, and start for that.
Be prepared to withstand a lot of assaults, particularly by hordes, when you start whichever method you’ve decided on to win the game. For example, destroying the evil portal takes a lot of soldiers, so make sure your fort can withstand the loss of so many defenders.
Ensure you have at least one Laboratory and Hospital that are insulated from the edge of your fort to prevent losing a vital building when an attack succeeds – and some will unless your risk is 0%.
If you do lose a building, decide whether you need it back immediately. The loss of Farms and Big Farms, at least initially, will probably cause too big a drop in the food supply if you’ve been aggressively recruiting. If it’s not vital, consider using the forces elsewhere.
Having at least two people researching a technology, even if one isn’t a scientist, will stop you from losing all the progress made if your sole researcher should be lost, whether from disease, murder, killed in an attack, suicide or just desertion.
Consider, if you have more than one Laboratory, researching more than one technology at a time.
Recruit and scout aggressively. People are going to die, new folk are always needed.
Reclaim Police Stations and Malls, the latter then fortified, to increase your defence, allowing soldiers to be used on expansion missions.
Reclaim and build Churches and Bars. Happiness is going to be very difficult to keep up; the higher the base Happiness from buildings the better.
Schools can be useful for quickly training a specialist, however, survivors can become trained in a job simply by doing it. Defending the fort will train them into being soldiers and researching will turn them into scientists. It’s also possible to learn other skills from on the job training, but these two are probably the easiest.
I can’t guarantee you will succeed immediately using this strategy, random events especially can cause problems, and if your corner has no Police Stations or Malls defence can be a problem. Still, after trying to beat the game for days on Harder, I finally managed it after a few attempts by doing this.