Market-Centric Layout Flawed?

Most town layouts proposed by the community are about squeezing as many shelters around a market as possible. I believe this may be a flawed approach.

  1. This is not Banished. In Banished the citizens went to the market to supply their houses. In Farthest Frontier the Grocer delivers the goods. If you put too many shelters around a market you are over tasking the grocer. Shelters are not properly supplied and the citizens will stop their normal job to stock themselves.

  2. Markets are cheap. The cost little to build, little labor to run, and act as a storage facility, . Why are we so concerned with limiting the number?

I have no data/testing to back this up and would appreciate your thoughts.

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As one of the first sources of income for a town, the market is an important addition and it’s location is driven by its service-radius, which is pretty small. If we needed that many markets in rl to serve such few houses we’d have markets every few blocks rather than every few miles. Where I find markets to be a pain in the ass is that their service radius is a circle, which means they will overlap other market service areas. It would make more sense to place markets based on population need. 100 sims 1 market, 200 sims 2 markets or something. I wish the devs were more familiar with other sim games and brought some of the proven mechanics into FF. As it stands FF is pretty awkward and unusable.

The grocer does not deliver the goods. All they currently do is stock the market, and the individuals from the shelters themselves stock their shelters, generally from the local resource depot known as the market.

Separate markets will not tax the same house, so there is no need to build more markets across the same housing district. The only reason to add more markets currently is to either 1) serve a new area of housing, or 2) create more availability for resources locally. I haven’t found a need for the latter, but there are definitely instances in which it makes sense.

Only if you choose to place them in such a way that they overlap.

One of my markets currently serves 42 houses, and that is without cramming every house that I can into the service area of the market. So one market serves 168 people minimum. With large houses that is 210. With manors that’s 252. Most of my houses are already large houses or manors, with the rest in the process of upgrading, showing that these are getting the necessary desirability and resources delivered.

With a circular service radius a market will miss houses set up at the edge of a square grid, thus the overlap. Let’s put it another way… by having a circular service radius the game either requires you to overlap the service areas, or lay your houses out in a manner that is always within a circle. Not very efficient in either case.

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It doesn’t require you to overlap circles. If its outside of the service radius why are you placing them there? Create a new service radius that is not overlapping, and use the remaining “inefficient space” for decorations. It’s very efficient to place two of these areas side by side and use the ‘inefficient space’ for things like parks, pubs, bakeries, healing huts, schools, and theatres.

You just stated how the markets should serve a certain amount of people, and it’s been demonstrated that they serve well beyond the limits you arbitrarily set.

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I put Bakeries in the corners the market circle doesn’t reach, rather than houses.

They give a boost to Desirability and bring fresh food to within close proximity to where peeps are.

It also helps me regulate the use of Flour and Wheat.

Putting the Windmill, Bakeries and Granaries too close together results in huge overprocessing of Wheat to Flour and Flour to Bread, the loss of winter fodder for Barn animals, and food lost to rot far too quickly, unless you monitor it very closely. (Like we got nothin’ better to do!)

So, I spread them all out and make the Bakery workers run at least 15 or more squares for mats, while the Windmill runs at least 12 squares to the Granary.

I place my Granaries right next to my Barns (no space between), so the animals get plenty of winter feed.

But I also build in the expectation of the upgraded market circle, so a few houses have to wait for coverage.


Am I doing it wrong in that I don’t mind some houses not being in a perfect location?


I use an hexagon pattern for my city.
With 7 hexagons I have a city that can contain 1.2k people (with lots of unused space in the process).

Center hexagon is the storage and industry.
Compost yards are outside the city walls (tanneries too because large bad area).

Each of the 6 hexagons is built around a market, a school, an hospital, a baker and a medium statue.
2 Shrines and medium parks and space for decorations between homes.


That’s what I assumed early on, after seeing the complaints about the current inefficiency of markets, that maybe bringing in more markets might help. Didn’t really notice a difference in-game though.

Your second point was my main reason for prioritizing saving on more expensive buildings as well. Though really, I don’t really have resource problems by the time these layouts become relevant.

Still, my current plan involves shelters rotating around small gardens, with each shelter theoretically affected by 12 of them, and each garden affecting 12 houses. Apart from large statues, I leave out all other decos downtown - and roads. I ended up adding a road from the central theatre in all four directions, though I’m not sure if maybe that hinders the plan a bit, because villagers prefer roads so much. One advantage of super dense housing without roads is the direct path taken towards the target location, as well as shorter distances due to the density. I can’t really test whether that actually makes up for the lack of road speed boost though anyhow.

Plus, a denser town looks less modern to me, and with shifted and rotated shelters, it looks much more organic than with perpendicular stone roads forcing everything into blocks.

Either way, I’d love seeing such different layouts by the community instead of more of those market-centric road-grids.
My plan just looks waaaay to complicated to add to the wiki! :sweat_smile:


That is cool idea. I did that for a bakery but did not think of things. I do have root cellars and store house by the market, I just do not know if it is helpful. :slight_smile:

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The fact that the game allows building like the cobbler, tailor, furniture maker in the town, versus in a industrial area, is the one thing I really like because now it is town and not blocks of housing. Only if the game allowed for some three story high rises for more density. :slight_smile:


I put my Root Cellars as close to the Farm fields as I can get them, for quick turnaround on harvest to storage transfer so that whatever shelf-life the crops have are maximized, then let the Market workers keep the Market supplied on their own.

The Market workers seem to have significantly larger carrying capacity than regular workers, even when regular workers are equipped with Baskets (Professional Items :joy: )

I restrict the Markets from stocking Raw Meat, Fish and Milk, and have only one or two Root Cellars that will accept only raw goods.

Because who needs an extra Shelter Stocking run as raw food rots quicker, when Harvest or Manufacture is supposed to be taking place?

Those Root Cellars that do stock the raw goods are on the far side of a wall of Smokehouses and the Cheesemaker, as far from the population as I can get them.

I also restrict my Storehouses from storing any food or crops that should be kept in the Root Cellars or Granaries and that helps significantly with shelf-life retention as well.

Here’s one of my more successful attempts at implementing this strategy-
11,314 Smoked Meats
0 Raw Meat
6644 Cheese
0 Raw Milk

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Yeah, overall I still build not just by how pretty or organic it looks, but also efficient. Can’t stop myself when I have a grid-based game with aura-stacking. So I end up putting shops like the cobbler outside of the influence of a central theatre… though they would look much better along the few streets I have running through town.

High density, like Roman insulae, sounds pretty cool for the dense core of a town. Or for the rich merchants that had their carts parked on the lower floor, where their employees work, while living in the upper floors. And some fancy facades to the central market squares…
Aw man, if it weren’t for the auras, I would’ve long since made bigger market squares. One day I’ll get there. :sweat_smile:

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I wonder how much that affects storage times. I’ve got most of my cellars in town or around it, but I don’t think the harvested food is lying around for all that long before being taken to the cellars. And the farmers don’t have anything better to do in between harvests/planting. Plus, just like you I produce way more food than my people need. Increase its shelf-life isn’t important if I produce a large surplus every single year anyhow.

But maybe that would help with my cheesemakers. There’s always some “unable to work” despite loads of milk in town. Maybe I should build them a milk storage next door - thought they being placed next to the barns would suffice.
The weirdest thing is when they seem to be unable to work because the produced cheese filled up the inventory to the brink. If they’re not busy anyhow, why aren’t they delivering the cheese to the cellars!?

Ps.: You’ve got a giant 53x40 square for farming there, right? With 1440 tiles actually reserved for fields, and 864 tiles of those actually in use for planting/harvesting at any time, correct? What an enormous setup!

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A population of almost 500 with 18 (2) months of food stored.

The sixth field (back left) was just starting to come online and hadn’t started producing yet.

I run two Filed Mainenance blocks and one Clover for the first two years, then two Clovers for the third season.

All weeds and rocks are eliminated plus a big fertility boost prior to planting crops in a new field helps production.

Hoping to someday get to a point where all of this and the town are enclosed in proper walls with towers.

Keeping the farming and pastures together allowed me to centralize the storage and processing units for the products they make.

My Smokehouses, Granaries the Cheesemaker and several Root Cellars dedicated to raw goods only are all right there, close to where their materials come from.

The Windmills all have straight-shot runs to the Granaries but are not so close as to burn through all the wheat making flour, leaving the cows to starve in the winter.

The Smokehouses all have straight-shot runs to firewood supplies, so stocking the Smokehouse isn’t a constant chore.

The setup works pretty efficiently and lets very little of the raw goods out into the marketplace, reducing the number of Shelter Stocking runs workers need to make.

With the sixth Farm field online and all four of the Barns full of healthy cows milking enabled, I think I can get close to a 750 population and still have plenty of food stored.

These were 10x10 Farm Fields and Barn pastures, prior to the latest update.

45x34 was the actual size including roads and perimeter fencing.

The upgrade to 12x12 pastures has added 44 new spaces to the central works area that I’m noodling around with on a new map.

Not really sure if shelf life is actually improved by the quick transport to storage, but for goods that don’t last a year unless preserved I try to get every boost and benefit that I can.

The 12-field setup in 12x12 blocks is going to be truly enormous @ 53x40.

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THX Black Sheep. I thought I read somewhere the grocer delivered goods to shelters, but I guess not.

I think I read that’s ultimately the plan, but it isn’t implemented currently.

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Hi Celebrindan, if you had the room could you place a marketplace in there to only stock firewood for your smokehouses?

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A Firewood Splitter at 2x3, would fit much easier than a 4x4 Marketplace or Stockyard, and I think you’ve hit upon an excellent idea. :smiley:

Adding it to my current workup now.

I sacrificed the tic-tack-toe board layout of roads by eliminating the four sections between the barns and their pastures.

Instead, as you can see here, one central road runs between where the four Barns will all eventually sit, on the long axis.

It allowed me to push the Barn locations one space closer to the pastures and gain 48 spaces overall, 24 spaces in the center free, while using the other 24 for the central road.

A 4x4 size building would fit, by offsetting one or both of the central road sections that runs lengthwise between the Barns one more space, as it is up against the 3x3 Cheesemaker in this pic, but there is room if you prefer mass storage to what would amount to an attempt at ‘in-time production’.

There are three levels of service to try, and several Stockyards right outside the fences nearby, that many Smokehouses nearby should keep it working nicely without ever filling up!

Again, excellent idea, rhygar !

Thanks. You are right, a firewood splitter might work better. I’m going to try it out as well.

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