Tile Improvements are a must if you want to travel safely. They lower movement points required to enter the tile, reduce the chance you will get ambushed when moving into the tile, lower the energy required to search a tile, increase the chance that you will find something when you do search the tile, and for each Fortified Outpost that you build you get $500 from the head of the settlement that controls the tile. Note that friendly influence is shown as a light blue tile. It will darken when you gain more tile influence (winning battles, finding buildings). There are four stages of Tile Influence of each tile:
- No Tile Improvement Built
- Roadblock Built
- Fortified Outpost Built
- Clean Sweep (no more searches available in the tile)
You mainly gain Tile Influence by defeating hostiles (ambushers, gang members, cult followers, mob members). You also gain a very little Tile Influence each time that you find something like a building or a hostile on-foot. The Tile Influence bar is shown in the Tile Actions screen.
You need to be one or two tiles away from a friendly settlement (or neutral settlement that you are trying to ally) to search for buildings and hostiles. If you are three tiles or more away from the nearest settlement then you will be searching for another settlement, not buildings. The difference between settlements and buildings found is that settlements are permanent and buildings are temporary. Temporary buildings are just that, temporary. They will not be placed on the map and once you leave them you can't return without another search. There are a few types of temporary buildings (houses, stores, clinics) which are populated by gangs, ambushers and cult members. There are 12 unique temporary buildings that pop up randomly. Several missions require you to find a specific temporary building to locate various supplies, so keep an eye out for them when on those missions. For example, the the Scavenge Medical Supplies mission requires us to find an abandoned clinic and locate medical supplies in the clinic.
Below is a walkthrough (taken from the General Walkthrough) of the first Tile Improvement Mission. It shows a few things that you might encounter when creating Tile Improvements.
First bring up the Tile Action screen. Be sure to check that you have the proper clothing and weapon equipped.
Now that I have battle clothes and a weapon equipped, I click the Search Tile button to start searching. I find a shack with a Crazed Ambusher in it. Again, the pre-battle screen shows that everything looks good to attack. Notice that the range of the battle is Close and my close attack is 9, so that's a decent number to attack with at this stage of the game.
I click Attack and start the battle. Since I'm the one initiating the battle, I get a free shot meaning that only the hostile will get damaged during this first round and I won't.
I caused 9 damage. I keep attacking until it's over. I have enough health to last the whole battle, but it really took a toll. Ambushers have low health, but very high attack values. I search the containers in the room but don't find anything. Time to leave and head back to the map since this is one of the buildings that only has one room.
I pull up the Search Action screen again and see a warning for low health. The energy is pretty low too, so I refill both of those. That's better. Notice that up top the Tile Influence bar is over half way. One more battle victory should push it far enough to allow the first tile improvement to be built.
Now I start the search again. Well, I found another Ambusher. This time the battle range is medium, so my current weapon will still work fine. This one has a much higher health than the last so I'm getting worn down.
Use Kit During Battle
Right now we are at a dilemma. I'm at 17 health and the ambusher is at 10 health. From the past battle rounds I could remember that at times he had higher than 17 damage done to me and I also had higher than 10 damage done to him. At this point in the game you only need to get your opponent below 6 to win the battle (that number goes up during the course of the game). But if both of you are below 6 then it's whoever has the highest health left wins. If I wanted to chance it, I could attack now and hope I win, but there is a very real possibility that I loose. To guarantee the win, I click Use Kit. This will allow him to have a free shot at me, but at least I'll have the health to absorb it. I choose the Assorted Medications since it heals 200 health, which would put me back at 150 health. The rest is wasted, but that's ok for now.
Notice that his free shot took out 25 of my health. It's a good thing that I used the health kit, since I would have died (well, been knocked unconscious) if I had not healed myself. If you get knocked unconscious then you will loose money and/or weapon/clothing/kit. So be sure to heal yourself in a battle if you are low on health! Well, I won the battle.
Now I bring up the Tile Action Screen again and see that Build Road Block is available. I go ahead and do it. Notice that the benefits of the roadblock are
Ambush Chance: -20%
Tile Movement: -2 Movement Points
Energy Cost for Tile Search: -1 Energy Point
Tile Search Success Chance: +10%
These are definitely worth it!
Bringing up the Tile Action Screen, I notice that my energy and health could be higher. I click on those icons and use a First Aid Kit (since I only need 50 health points to max it) and some Canned Food for energy.
I do another search and this time find a Cult Follower who has a much lower health and attack than the ambushers. Whew. This battle was much easier on the health.
At the Tile Action Screen, I refill my health and energy again.
I do another search and this time find a Fast Food Restaurant. Notice that my Perception Trait also increased. I'll go to my Character Info Screen again and then over to the Traits tab and click on Perception. Notice that I now have a 1% bonus to searching due to the Buildings Found Stat. That level has a level of 1. When any of the listed stats for Perception increases in stat level, then the Perception Trait gets an increased bonus.
Use Explosive to Start Battle
I start exploring and immediately run into another ambusher. This time I'll use my Molotov Cocktail to start out.
I click Attack and away we go. Notice that the Molotov Cocktail has been used up. I get one free Switch Weapon after using an explosive to start a battle.
Ready to attack again, now with the Beretta M9.
Several attacks later, time to use another health kit. Just FYI, ambushers are tough to beat. Gang members are the easiest, but by chance we haven't run into any of them yet.
Finally! Now I continue the exploration. There's some cash in the cash register and in the cooking area I found some bread.
After leaving the building, I heal and refill energy again. Notice that I have a low weapon health warning. If your weapon health falls below 25% then it will start reducing the attack values. I don't want that, so I click on the Beretta and then click on it in the list which brings up it's info screen. I choose the Repair with Kit button and then select the weapon repair kit and use it. Since it only refills 25 weapon health, I use two kits. That should be ok for a while now.
Time for one more search. I find an abandoned clinic. I win the battle with the cult follower behind the desk. At this point I'm out of health kits so I leave the building.
Fortified Outpost Built
I have enough Tile Influence to Build Fortified Outpost. I build the outpost and see that the mission has advanced and I should go talk to John Miles again. Notice the improved stats for the tile now:
Ambush Chance: -30%
Tile Movement: -3 Movement Points
Energy Cost for Tile Search: -2 Energy Point
Tile Search Success Chance: +20%
I limp back to my Primary Settlement and talk to John to finish the mission. I just so happen to level up upon completion of the mission too. I also talk to him about building the Fortified Outpost and get another $500 and he mentions that for every outpost built in the Primary Settlements influence, I get an additional $500. Nice.
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