Build a City Challenge – Frontier
Latest version: 2016-11-22
This is an easy, entry-level version of the build a city challenge tailored to my playstyle. It could be for you if you dislike running businesses and book-keeping or if you are more of a storyteller. During this mini-BACC you’ll work to top out careers, unlock services, collect community lots and CAS sims just like in the real thing, but I did away with the population counter, for instance. Also I locked gameplay mechanics that I typically exploit (dates, fresh fish and coffee), made the unlock requirements things I enjoy (like uni), and avoided gameplay I dislike (owned businesses).
Rotations: All households must be played. I suggest keeping them in the same season instead of tracking weekdays. Rotations may be loose. So you might play one household for two 2 days and another one the full 5 days, but you must stop playing a household for that rotation when it enters the next season. When all households have reached the next season, give them an appropriate makeover and start the next round.
2 years at college roughly equate one season/round.
Tier 1 – Survive at the frontier
– No formal schooling (use mods or delete the school bus as it arrives, grades must not go above C)
– No dating (too cheaty and will be used in tier 2 for another unlocking mechanic)
Children and pets unattended or no social worker hacks are recommended
– No phone services
– No smoke or burglar alert
– Stray animals cannot be interacted with at all, but you may lock your doors. Becoming a werewolf unlocks the ability to shoo and adopt strays. If you earn a CAS sim, this can be a pet anytime even if you do not have a werewolf yet.
– No digging for treasure except if the household is played as a mine, excavation site, prospection camp or similar facility. If a stray digs a hole, you may dig for treasure once in that hole on any lot.
– Hunting is free for all. To hunt, place an axe or dart throwing object. Every sim has one attempt (usually 3 axe throws) per day to down a game animal. Every success allows for buying a ready-made cc meat dish from the catalogue or one use of the buffet table or an ordering of pizza or something similar. Basically this is for atmosphere only.
– Fish and homegrown produce are very filling, so they must be restricted for the initial survival stage. Justification: they glow and thus cannot be healthy. Fish and garden produce may be sold. After the Natural Sciences career is maxed out in tier 2, they can be eaten safely by your sims.
– When CAS sims are earned, they should not bring any money. Move them into an existing household (with mods you may ignore the 8 person limit). Bringing their starting money isn’t strictly forbidden, but it would make things very easy.
In the beginning you have 4 or more households, each priviledged to one or more careers. The rest of the careers is currently locked.
At the beginning of tier 1 Culinary, Law Enforcement and either Paranormal or Oceanography are activated, Architecure and Adventurer are unlocked
„Activated“ careers means only certain sims may (or even must) enter this career track. If a role requires a career, you may cheat a sim into level 1 of it.
„Unlocked“ careers means everyone may enter this career track, but they must use the computer or newspaper (if unlocked) to find an opening.
Your community leader, a male or female adult. The leader must either be the sheriff, in which case Law Enforcement activates for them, or a priest, in which case you have the choice between Paranormal or Oceanography (because this track ends in becoming Poseidon’s right hand man/woman on earth).
At any given time you can have only 1 leader. If the leader loses their job, the community drives them into the wilderness (move out) or kills them, if desired (having a ghost can be beneficial for your BACC). If the sim has the „beg for job“ perk, you may try to use that first, of course.
The position then goes to the next sim in rotation that gets offered the job at the computer, regardless of skills – this represents the community vote (the sim must be willing to shoulder the responsibility, of course).
Wait, what, a computer?! In a BACC?
Well, in this one, at least. My setup assumes a sizeable group of about a hundred volunteers who venture out adequately prepared. They could still be outcasts, apoc survivors or lowlifes, if you so desire for their backstory, but they did not start their adventure unprepared. Every household has a pair of basic walkie-talkies to connect to all the others, meaning you can have one phone or cell phone and you get to keep Rod Humble’s computer that gets dropped off at move-in. To provide a household with 2-7 hours of electricity (roll a die and add one), one sim needs to man the treadmill or exercise bike for one hour. Two or more sims pedaling at the same time have no additional effect.
Every budding settlement needs a canteen as a very basic community center. Nothing kills morals worse than bad food!
Your cook (male or female adult) must run a tavern as a home business. Get a poker table, an instrument and a bar as well as a ticket machine. Caveveat is, you must not cheat for money when building the tavern. Use your starting money only and expand from there! Cook and serve food for visitors. If you have Vistor Controler or similar mods, you can ban everyone but other playables from the lot. If not, decide for yourself whether to include townies or ignore them.
To represent the cook being busy foraging for ingredients and fending the local wildlife off the larder, they must enter the Culinary career track.
This household may also contain an entertainer (male or female teen or older). This is a fluff position, that doesn’t activate the same-named career!
If the cook loses their job, that’s bad (for the cook). An angry mob will chase them from the lot just like with a de-throned leader. Choose a replacement tavern keeper from any willing sims with a decent cooking skill and move them in, no community vote required. Make the former cook a worker or scout or kill them off if desired.
The settlement needs a doctor (male or female adult). Going to work represents gathering herbs and checking on the population. If the doctor loses their job, follow the rules for the cook (with cleaning replacing cooking)!
The doctor may run a home business selling comfort soup or cc medicine, but they are also free to gift said items to others. Make sure to have some extra couches or lounge chairs in a seperate room. Assume any visitors are patiens first and foremost. You cannot turn anybody down who enters your lot (though depending on your setup, you may ignore/ban townies just like with the cook)!
Sheriff or Priest (the role that isn’t already the leader).
As a position of trust, this one follows the same rules for losing their job as the leader. A replacement is chosen by community vote regardless of skill.
Additional households: Scouts and Workers
I suggest one barracks (scouts) and one lumberjack camp (workers) lot with 6 sims each, both males and females. If you want to make reaching tier 2 easier, create some of those as teens.
Scouts and workers that lose their jobs must find other ways to make ends meet. They can re-enter their former careers if an opening presents itself.
Scouts and Workers may quit their jobs and/or move out whenever they want (except if you run this BACC as a penal colony. In this case they ned to reach reward level in their career first, must must be friends with the sheriff or priest and pay 20.000 simoleons). New households created this way do not recieve the 20 K handout, but may bring money from the original household with them.
It’s easiest to have your primary roles (sheriff, priest, cook, doctor) marry workers and scouts. Intermarrying of the primary roles might leave you with a joined tavern/hospital or some similarely confusing situation. Optionally the primary roles may step down from office if there’s a candiate that has at least 5 points in each skill required from their career track.
Following these rules, you’ll always have a physician and cook, but you may find yourself without a spiritual guide, sheriff or both. In this case anarchy and confusion rule.
If at the end of a rotation
One missing role – All sims with red aspiration meter enter the criminal career track until there is a new sheriff or priest (but at least for one full round).
Two missing roles – All sims with red and green aspiration meters enter the criminal career track until there is a new sheriff or priest (but at least for one full round).
Three or more missing roles – The colony disbands and you lose the challenge. This can only happen in the rare case when you cannot find a replacement doctor or cook.
Note: Criminal career is only activated for this purpose, not unlocked. Attracting the organized crime is a tier 3 „achievement“.
What good is topping out the primary roles’ career tracks?
1 CAS sim (or choice of townie to move in regardless of relationship) and 1 community lot (may be player owned, needs not follow the theme of the role that earned it).
Note that these occupations do not unlock this way! They only activate for sims who have been apprenticed by the role holders or maxed out the teen career pathes of the occupation in question.
Maxing out adventurer and architecture for the first time earns 1 CAS sim for a maximum of 6 CAS sims from careers in tier 1.
The whole BACC is beatable with just the starting sims and their offspring.
To make CAS sims matter more, you can make your initial sims of only one gender, reasoning that mixed cres only lead to internal quarrels. The only way to get sims of the opposite gender in would be by earning CAS sims in this case.
Additional unlockables in stage 1:
A safe space (pets may be banned) that only requires a microphone or speech podium and some chairs. Earned by reaching reward level in the architect career. Played as an unowned community lot. May have a hacked shiny tyme uni stove or a Bon Voyage food stall (the burger/gyros one) for catering. May not have a smoke detector before tier 2.
Budget: 5000 simoleons budget plus all the money your sims wish to donate.
Earned by recieving a red „Saw ghost“ memory.
May be played as a owned or unowned community lot.
Budget: Whatever you like (unowned) / whatever your sims wish to invest (owned)
Played as residential, probably apartment building. Earned when the first burglar is apprehended by moving them in (requires befriending the burglar). You’ll need to assign a jailor (per default the reformed burglar). Budget: 20.000 simoleons plus all the money the burglar brings with them plus whatever your sims wish to donate.
Earned when the Skull of Jumbok is uncovered by an adventurer and gifted to the priest. The skull can be displayed proudly or locked away as a heathen artifact, but it has to stay on the lot. Subsequently unearthed skulls of Jumbok are lesser artifacts of later emperors and may be kept safely at home. Owning a skull activates the ability to craft Snapdragon bouquets for that household.
Played as a community lot (bandatron business) owned by the priest, who may also sell anything that you can justify from here.
Budget: 10.000 simoleons plus whatever your sims wish to donate.
Must be purchased by the cook household (any cook, current as well as former cooks). Played as an owned community lot, may also sell groceries.
Budget: 10.000 simoleons plus whatever your sims wish to donate.
Earned by meeting and befriending an orphan (townie child, may be moved in). This may require visiting a community lot with a playable child.
School activates the Education Career for a sim of your choice. A school can be played in many ways, from simply allowing the default public school to a custom school set up with mods or allowing home schooling mods. The main benefit of school is to allow for the A+ want/memory. Before school is unlocked, grades cannot go above C.
Teens must decide between school and a job, both at the same time are not allowed by underage work laws.
Teens that enroll in school graduate when they recieve their „6 days left to age up“ message. Put them into FlexiSchool to preserve their grades on the level they have at that moment. From now on they can take up part-time jobs in adventurer, architecure, culinary, law enforcement, oceanography or entertainment.
Teens that do not attend school can only work as adventurers and in architecture.
Choose to unlock either Security or Rescue animal when getting your first pet. The other career is unlocked in tier 2 automatically, the final one (entertainment) in tier 3.
Maxing both mechanic and robotics does away with the need for treadmilling for the whole settlement as long as you have a sim who has both. If that sim dies or enters the criminal career, treadmilling must ressume. The robotics crafting station requires electricity, by the way.
The military career track activates each time an abduction happens. The new military member doesn’t have to be the abductee or a relative, any sim may take the job. Military slots gained this way stay open until they are filled and can be filled and re-filled anytime without waiting for an opening. Exception: Ex-military members need to look for openings to re-enter.
Earned by getting your first zombie. Can be visited, not changed, for now. If you build your own downtown, go for a ghost town vibe, if you use the Maxis downtown you may raise Rainelle and the Tricou family (either as vampires or vampire hunters).
Downtown is a ruined town ruled by vampires that once existed near your settlement. It was probably your direct predecessor’s attempt at this BACC gone wrong – wonder what else the government didn’t tell you about this place…?
Anyway, any sim that becomes a vampire themselves and bites a zombie may cure zombiisim (which still leaves vampirism). Zombies are mindless automatons, while vampires have the deceased’s soul attached back to their undead bodies.
Once a sim has been bitten, the settlers are a free to establish lots downtown or renovate existing ones. Be careful, though, as vampires can bite everyone now. You cannot kill, cure or ban vampires during tier 1.
Option: More community lots desired?
Earning a hobby club membership card gives 1 com lot and it can be player owned. This lot may or may not follow the hobby theme. One com lot max. per hobby, regardless of how many sims have that card.
Budget: 5.000 simoleons plus whatever the sims wish to invest
Option: More sims desired?
Throwing a roof raise party gives 1-6 (die roll) CAS sims. The second best party result gives 1 CAS sims.
Moving to tier 2
Now that the colonists are more or less settled in, a new generation emerges and with that the demand for more living space, luxury items and generally things that make life more than just surviving. Gee, kids these days…
You’ll need a business district to move to tier 2. Mind you, it doesn’t have to be a business district in your story, just a subhood to build lots on.
To explore new lands, you’ll need adventurous young adults. And young adults you recieve by going to university. Only they do not really go to a university.
A teen that is six days from aging up may apply for scholarships („expedition funding“) and leave for college („go on expedition“). Add a university subhood, but decorate and build like you would a basecamp in the wilderness! No dorms, no uni stoves, no librarys or assorted signs of civilisation. The only community lot you can have is a tannery, which serves as clothing store to change the default aging up outfits.
Students can do all the college interactions: going to class is scouting and writing assignments/term papers represents sending reports back to the colony.
Allowed majors are physics, philosophy and biology.
Every returning young adult activates one of the tier 2 careers. When they max them out, that career gets unlocked. Losing the job means having to wait for a new opening. If the sim that activated that career dies before maxing it out, any offspring is considered to have it activated, too, and can work on maxing it. If there is no biological or adopted offspring, designate another household member instead. If there is no other household member, pick a friend and so on. You cannot lose the activation in any case.
You also earn one com lot (owned or unowned, budget 5000 simoleons) and 1 CAS sim for every maxed out tier 2 career, BUT you may only add these when you are actually IN tier 2.
Tier 2 careers are: Education, Juristics, Politics, Military, Journalism, Business, Natural Sciences, Pet: Rescue or Security and Paranormal if you do not have that already.
(Note that the military in this list is the normal military, not the UFO guard from tier 1. UFO guard slots can still be accumulated and used, but UFO guards without tier 2 military cannot unlock the career for everyone).
Soon as all of these careers are activated, you add your new business subhood and enter tier 2.
Caveveat: The subhood is supposed to be the exact same region that your young adults explored, so you should make the uni subhood and the new one look similar, like two sections of the same valley for instance.
Young adults can unlock some goodies:
– Cars and taxi:
Must establish a second basecamp at the uni subhood and dig until a water vein is uncovered. This is oil. As long as the lot is lived in, fuel can be send back to the colony. The main neighborhood needs a bus station, airport, laboratory or fuel station or similar community lot to benefit from the find – anything to physically represent the advancement. Budget: None, must be fully donated by the settlers (usually from scholarship/expedition funding).
– Dating: Unlocks for young adults in their first spring in the university subhood. Unlocks for everyone else when the first young adult graduates and when next spring comes around in the main neighborhood.
– Coffee: Unlocks for young adults when one has 10 cooking skill and a golden gardening badge. When a sim who has both of those graduates, coffee is introduced in the main neighborhood. A coffeehouse may be started as an owned or unowned restaurant.
(This is optional. I use a „more cafeeine mod“ and need to restrict my use of coffee use for the early stage of this challenge. Normal Maxis coffee needs no restrictions.)
Tier 2 – Organizing your budding nation
A bunch of priviledges is unlocked now:
Adopting pets from the animal rescue and buying pets (provived you already have a werewolf)
Fire and burglar alert
Private school (provided school was unlocked already)
Coffee and Fuel (provided a student unlocked it)
You may now kill or cure vampires and carefully develop downtown. If you do not have downtown unlocked, add it now but treat it as in tier 1.
Phone services can be unlocked now, making use of a dating glitch. Whenever a blind date summons a service sim and the date ends „Good“ or better, that service is unlocked. If it is a foreign sim, that country can be visited by the leader and the priest. If it is a generic tourist, this is a wildcard.
In this stage foreign relations are important. When you can visit a new country, collect all vacation memories with your leader or priest to unlock it as vacation destination for everyone (the memories must be on the same sim).
Befriend and move in (no cheating, relationship must develop naturally over time) a sim from each vacation destination! Only locals in the appropriate garb count. These are the ambassadors. Bigfoot is too easy to move in, so he doesn’t qualify as ambassador.
You earn one additional business district, downtown or uni subhood per ambassador moved in. These are the borderlands between your colony and the ambassador’s country, so make them look accordingly.
Also since life is easier now, the settlers focus on individual wants. Every fulfilled unique lifetimewant activates one tier 3 career, subject to the same rules as the tier 2 careers.
Exception: Tier 3 careers can only be entered during tier 3.
Lifetimewants count per want, not per sim. If one sim fulfills 3 different LTWs, then 3 tier 3 careers get unlocked. On the other hand if 2 sims fulfill the same LTW, that accounts to only 1 tier 3 career.
During tier 2 the university wilderness may be transformed into a military base/school. Soon as that has happened, military service is compulsory for every teen (the 2 years of uni). Allowed majors are any custom military ones as well as psychology, physics, biology (medicine) and political sciences.
Building that base requires a sim with a maxed out military career track.
Tier 3 is opened when you have all 3 ambassadors, all tier 3 careers have been activated (though not entered yet) and the military academy has been started in the university subhood (at least one dorm and one training ground, budget 5000 each plus donations). You still cannot have dormies.
Option: More com lots and sims desired?
Add 1 com lot and 1 CAS sim per maxed out career.
Tier 3 – Bring in the first world problems
More priviledges unlocked:
Everything from tier 2 that hasn’t been unlocked yet
Consider the vampire menace dealt with (you may now ban vampires from all lots, cure and kill them)
The military base/academy can now be transformed into an academy of the Artes liberalis. This requires a sim with maxed out education career, a cooperative effort to raise 1.000.000 simoleons and unlocks all normal university interactions and build options as well as dormies.
The new university may now charge tuition fees.
You win when all services are unlocked, all unlockable careers are unlocked, the university has been founded and you have four leaders with maximum level in their careers.