GUIDE: How to make an efficient metalworks

Discussion in 'Clockwork Empires General' started by Rentahamster, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. Rentahamster

    Rentahamster Member

    Here's a quick tip on the metalworks design that works best for me so far. It allows 4 smelters, kilns, and forges in a compact yet easily pathable space that also has room for expansion and decor.

    The initial design is an 'H' shape. This allows for modules to be placed on the inside, and maximizes available space.


    I then add smelters on one side, kilns on the other, and forges in the middle. The bridge of the H should be at least 4 spaces long. That way you can fit more modules on the inside.


    You may or may not need 4 charcoal smelters if you are also working a coal mine.

    For work orders, I have charcoal, iron ingots/pipes/plates, and copper ingots/pipes/plates set to minimum 6, and then forget about it for the rest of the game.
    Samut likes this.
  2. STGGrant

    STGGrant Member

    Interesting. Fully-staffed work crew, I assume? Or are you able to trim it down any?

    And are you using iron ovens in your kitchens and so on, to use up the iron pipe and plates? That's been the biggest consumer of iron goods for me so far.
  3. Rentahamster

    Rentahamster Member

    Yeah, fully staffed at first, or if I want to suddenly produce a lot of iron goods.

    Usually I start off the game with a small, 3x3 kitchen, then try to have produced 5 copper pipes, 5 copper plates, and 5 iron plates by around 30-40 population so that I can make a larger kitchen that has 5 fully operational steam ovens ready to go. Steam ovens are faster than iron ovens, I think.

    To get iron ingots fast, I also try to search the cliff area in New Antiopdea to try to find airship wreckage and salvage iron ingots. That'll get your forges build even faster.
    Samut and STGGrant like this.
  4. Tikigod

    Tikigod Member

    As like all other workshops it's 1 module per job at any given moment, and the same single building handles the entire resource production chain, how often are you actually finding having more than 1 smithing forge, 2 or 3 metal smelters and 2 or 3 charcoal furnaces actually pays off in terms of production?

    As I typically find that unless I sit there managing orders manually, each time something is made in the smithing forge as it consumes the output from the metal smelters it prompts the higher priority smelter jobs to take hold again as the workers next batch of jobs, and by the time that's caught up another smithing forge job is just getting started which prompts the smelters back to being the main focus.

    So unless I manually shuffle the order priorities, I'm finding that it's very rare to see more than one smithing forge activity underway at any one time regardless to how many are actually there, as colonists will also go back to replenish what another worker has just consumed, and there doesn't seem to be enough assignable manpower to a workshop to not have that loop just repeat when left on its own.

    Alternatively you can just outright remove the sustained jobs and do it all manually on-demand, but that's injecting a lot of additional hassling about to manage a single workshop not to mention would also slow down overseer immigration due to massively reduced production output of the colony as a whole.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  5. Rentahamster

    Rentahamster Member

    They can use all the modules simultaneously as they have time and actions available to them. With my metalworks, I have enough raw iron, copper, and wood/charcoal/coal, then set everything on minimum 5, then 10-15 minutes later, I have 5 of everything. Just sit back and watch them, you'll see that they handle themselves just fine.
  6. STGGrant

    STGGrant Member

    Out of curiosity, what order do you have those queued up in? I suspect that makes a big difference, because I've seen some of the same problems @Tikigod described.
  7. Rentahamster

    Rentahamster Member

    1. Make charcoal (minimum 5 if I don't have a coal mine. Minimum 0 or 1 if I do)
    2. Make iron ingots minimum 5
    3. Make iron pipes minimum 5
    4. Make iron plates minimum 5
    5. Make copper ingots minimum 5
    6. Make copper pipes minimum 5
    7. Make copper plates minimum 5

    8. Make charcoal 20 (if they have nothing better to do, you can set them to make some surplus charcoal for the stockpile)
    9. Make iron or copper ingots 20 (if they have nothing better to do, you can give them a headstart on making more ingots for next time)

    Seriously, just leave 'em alone, and 15 minutes later, you got your stuff.

    I also tend to have them work with only one or two shifts off during the midday, so that when they sleep, they always have an open bed to go to, no problem. Same with my kitchen crew.
  8. Tikigod

    Tikigod Member

    I meant that a colonist can only do one job on one module at a time.

    So your workshop at peak productivity with a full crew would only ever be handling 5 orders at once, and generally less than that as colonists haul or do non-work activity rather than work as a synchronised unit.

    Could be the low target quota of 5 is helping skip the "Go back and replace what someone else just used" that often causes larger quota orders of say 30+ minimum of each to spend more time making base iron/copper/zinc (or charcoal depending how the job priority is set up) then they do anything else along the chain.

    Out of curiosity, why such a low productivity output for your metalworks? Doesn't metalworks behave like other workshops and once they hit 5 units (or 1 or 2 units over the target as is often the case) they just then stop working fullstop in the workshop until there's less than 5 units again?
  9. Rentahamster

    Rentahamster Member

    Oh, for the forges, they stand in front of it, so in that case yes. For the smelters and kilns, they stuff in the ingredients and then walk away to do the next job, and then come back later to take it out (job labeled as "finish production"). With multiple modules in the workshop, if they can't do one job in the queue due to lack of materials or access or whatever, they'll just go ahead and do the next one.

    I also keep in mind the quantities of materials before I start building stuff. For instance, I make sure I have 5 iron plates/copper pipes/copper plates/bricks before I start to make my steam ovens. Otherwise, that would interrupt their productivity as you mentioned. The other way to get around that is to not use the "minimum" function. Just set their work orders to be "make only 5 of these things". Of course, in that case you'd have to set smelt iron to 5, make iron plates to 5, make copper ingots to 10, copper plates to 5, copper pipes to 5.

    By low productivity output, do you mean, why do I set it only at minimum 5? I only ever really need 5 of anything at one time. Usually when they have at least 5 of everything and stop work, I set the minimums up to 8 so that they have something to do again.

    Yeah. The reason they go 1 or 2 units over is because, say you're at 4 units of iron pipes, so they're still supposed to make more. The game's job assignment function doesn't count, so it doesn't just give one more job to make pipes. The entire workcrew still sees "make pipes" as a valid function, so anyone who can, will make a pipe.

    Anyway, for me, once all my work orders are fulfilled, and I don't want any surplus, I just activate the hauling or resource gathering filters to have them do something else until I need them to synth things again.