Here’s a quick guide on the various food options in Black Forest.
Food is essential for the survival of your village. While peasants can go without food for a short time, hunger will reduce their health, eventually leading them to first be too weak to work and then starve to death. So definitely something to avoid.
Also, note that you have no control over the food distribution. Especially when peasants are at the edge of starvation, they might also be too weak to claim their share, and by that time the others are probably hungry as well, and hungry means selfish. So try to not get into the hunger-starvation death spiral at all.
It is easy to calculate how much food you need. Every peasant eats 2 units of food per day – one in the morning and one in the evening. So towards the end of the day, you want to have those 2 units per peasant in store, because no food is harvested or gathered during the night, obviously.
You can gather food in the forest.
This is the least efficient, but always available option. Two things affect gathering: Watchtowers and depletion.
Watchtowers give a small bonus to all gathering actions (not just food). Multiple towers add up, but only to some point. Note that the towers only give a bonus if they are manned, so don’t forget to pluck one peasant on top of the tower.
Is it worth manning the tower instead of sending that one guy gathering as well? That depends on how many people you send out. If you send out just a few, it is probably more efficient to send one more guy than to man the watchtower. If you send a bunch, man the tower. Also, the tower gives you advance warning of monster activity, so you might man it anyway for that.
Depletion means that lots of people gathering food on the same day will strip the food sources bare and reduce how much the next bunch of people can find. In other words: If you send 20 people out to gather food twice a day, they won’t find so much the 2nd time around because they already collected all the easy-to-find food at first.
Depletion is a small factor and you’ll barely notice it unless you go full-out gathering – which you might have to do if you are almost starving.
Also, keep in mind that the forest is dangerous and peasants can get wounded when gathering.
Fields are largely passive sources of food and very efficient in relation to the work required. Their disadvantage is that they work cyclically – they need to grow for several days, then you can send peasants to harvest and replant.
At the moment only wheat fields are implemented in the game. These grow for three days. You can see that they are ready to harvest when they turn yellow. Click on them and select “harvest” from the context menu.
Note that like many tasks, you can select “harvest” a second time to assign more peasants and speed it up, which can be important if you have several fields to harvest as otherwise, it can take all day.
The second important thing about fields is that their yield depends on the weather. If it does not rain, you need to man the well in order to water the fields. Up to three peasants can be assigned to a well, so if you have lots of fields, you may need multiple wells. Once you assign peasants to the well, they will automatically go around and water all fields.
You can check fields by clicking on them, and it will not only tell you their status (freshly planted, growing, or ready to harvest) but also if it is too dry or even drought. It can also be too wet but that is rare.
Fields do not grow in winter, so on maps like Endraville, you will need other food sources.
Your final source of food are animal pens. Chickens lay eggs and goats and cows produce milk. You can also slaughter them for an instant gain of meat.
Like fields, animals will passively produce food every day. Unlike fields, you can collect it daily, or you can let it accumulate for a few days. Note that both eggs and milk spoil, so there is a limit on how much each pen can accumulate. It is probably most efficient to collect around every second day.
Unlike fields, animals are independent of weather, and they produce food in winter, too. However, they are sensitive to monster attacks. If a monster hits an animal pen at night, it will not only damage it, but also eat some of the food stored there, and maybe even some of the animals, temporarily reducing your food production.
You can also slaughter animals. This gives you an immediate and quite considerably amount of food (meat), but it reduces your food production for the next days. But the option makes animal pens a great emergency reserve.
And that concludes this Black Forest guide. Help us improve this guide by leaving your suggestions in the comment section below.