A caravan is a goods transport group of one or more colonists who carry supplies on animals of burden and also sell prisoners. Each caravan is represented on the world map by a yellow icon.
In the World map, select the colony icon and click 'Form caravan' (you can create multiple caravans).
People and Animals
Use the Items tab to select supplies. Food is vital, just like the living necessity within your colony. Estimated the amount needed based on the roundtrip journey days.
- Colonists/prisoners: 35 kilograms (kg). This capacity includes clothing, gear and inventory they already have.
- Muffalo: 70 kg
- Dromedary: 66.5 kg
The combined carrying capacity and mass of selected items is listed at the top. Buttons are used to select items/amounts. A double arrow [>>] will take the full quantity of an item. The arrow [>M] indicates you cannot carry the full quantity, but it will automatically take the maximum amount. When over capacity, the arrow [M<] will return some or all of those items so that the mass total does not exceed the caravan's carrying capacity.
Use the Config tab to choose an exit direction. It's possible to have no available exit direction, such as when on a single-tile island, thus a caravan cannot be launched.
A caravan can:
- Move - Right-click to select destination. A line indicates the optimal route (accounting for terrain speed and elevation changes).
- Settle - Click Settle to create a new colony. You may not settle a new colony when already at maximum. The default maximum is one. This can increased to up to five in Menu - Options.
- Enter back into the colony - Right-click the colony.
- Split - Click the Split button. Each caravan must consist of at least one colonist.
- Merge - Select two or more caravans in the same tile and click Merge to form a single caravan.
- Trade - When a caravan has reached a friendly faction outpost, click the trade button to open the trade dialog window.
- Attack - A caravan can attack any faction outpost, regardless of relations status, though attacking will worsen relations.
- Traveling - moving to destination.
- Resting - caravan automatically stops between hours 22 and 6 to sleep.
- Waiting - no destination selected.
- Stopped - stopped moving with reason given.
Estimated time to destination - time to destination based on the current tile movement time. Days of food - compare this to 'estimated time to destination' to determine if your caravan has enough food for the journey.
Movement speed is greatly influenced by the slowest member of the caravan. Incapacitated colonists will seriously hamper your movement. Colonists are generally faster than pack animals, who are faster than pregnant animals, who are faster than prisoners, who are faster than juvenile and infant animals.
If inventory mass exceeds carrying capacity the caravan will become immobilized until the mass is reduced.
Base movement time: Movement speed based on pawns' movement.
Current tile movement time: Current movement speed based on the terrain, biome, and weather (only affected during winter). (See table on this page for details.)
A caravan may stop for various reasons, such as when;
- All colonists are downed.
- Any member is having an extreme mental break.
- Between hours 22 and 6 while the members sleep.
Movement Speed Table
Last updated for A16.1393
The following table lists the base caravan movement speed in hours per tile for an unencumbered human. Flat terrain is naturally easiest to travel. Hills and mountains will worsen travel speed for that biome. Biomes with cold winters have reduced movement speed during the winter. It appears to be interpolated based on the current season and temperature with the worst case values listed in the table below.
It is unlikely that your caravan will travel at the speed listed here. Clothing, armor, traits, and health conditions all affect a pawn's movement speed. A caravan's movement speed is determined by the average speed of all of the members of the caravan across colonists and animals. Some example of things that may slow you down:
- Clothing and armor (varies; e.g. Parkas and Power Armor have non-trivial movement penalties)
- Injured colonists
- Traits (e.g. Slowpoke)
- Slower animals, including both Muffalo and Dromedaries (the two animals that can haul goods in caravans)
- Animals can be injured too. A Muffalo missing a leg or two will slow down your caravan even more.
- Pregnant animals move at 70% speed.
- Juvenile animals move at 90% speed.
- Baby animals move at 50% speed.
While the slower Muffalo and Dromedary speeds compared to the human base speed won't significantly affect shorter distances, baby animals and seriously injured colonists can have a significant impact, increasing travel time by 30% or more.
|Terrain||Biome||Flat||Small Hills||Large Hills||Mountains|
|Moderate||Boreal Forest (summer)||1.6||2.4||4||14|
|Boreal Forest (winter)||17||18||19||28|
|Temperate Forest (summer)||1.6||2.4||4||14|
|Temperate Forest (winter)||11||12||13||23|
The inspection pane has tabs to manage the caravan and view details.
By clicking the red X you can drop items or abandon members - and lose them forever. Items carried by a dismissed pawn will be lost. Dropping items may be necessary if the caravan becomes overburdened and unable to move. Depending on the context, abandoning a caravan member will cause their friends and family to have sad thoughts.
In the gear tab you can swap apparel.
Your caravan has been ambushed by an enemy faction. Colonists cannot exit the map until the attackers are defeated (killed, downed, or fled).
Your caravan has been ambushed by a pack of manhunter animals. Colonists cannot exit the map until the attackers are defeated.
Occasionally another caravan may cross your path giving you an opportunity to trade; or attack them if you wish. If you attack them you'll damage relations. Your pawns may exit the map.
- Double-clicking a caravan will select all caravans on the screen. In this way multiple caravans can be ordered to a single destination.
- Colonists, prisoners, and animals in a caravan require food; automatically eating as needed. When food supplies are depleted pawns will start to starve and will die if they reach max malnutrition. Herbivore animals will eat off the land where appropriate.
- If a member of a caravan dies in the close up view, they will drop their items. Those items must be reloaded into the caravan. If they die on the global map (such as from bleedout), their items will be lost. If all colonists of a caravan die, then the caravan disappears and everything is lost.
- When attacking a faction outpost, a local map is generated with defenders and a simple base storing some items. You can abandon the assault at any time by directing colonists to the map border, shaded in green, and they will form a caravan on the world map. If all enemies on the local map have been eliminated, a 24-hour countdown timer begins. The colonists can settle that location as a new colony (if not at max colonies) or simply reform the caravan and leave. When the timer runs out, the caravan is automatically reformed. Once destroyed, the faction outpost icon is removed from the world map.
- The game options let you choose how many colonies (up to 5) you can have active on the globe at once. Note that up close mini maps do not count towards this limit. In order to build beyond the game menu limits you must abandon an existing colony. Abandoned colonies become inaccessible ruins and can never be reused.
- When sending a caravan to a friendly outpost to trade, they will have better prices and much more inventory than traders that visit your colony.
- Upon giving the command to form caravan, colonists will prioritize caravan formation ahead of everything, completely ignoring their needs. This can become troublesome if time taken to gather supplies is long, for example if you have to load animals.
- There are three different major hauling behaviors for forming caravans. A caravan without pack animals forms the fastest, with colonists vacuuming up their allotted resources and collecting at the map edge to leave as a group. Caravans with pack animals will endure a loading phase where colonists do regular hauling to load up the pack animals. This can take a long time if there are lots of materials or if the animals are far away from goods. Caravans in the middle of a map event will instantly reform and not require a hauling phase, even if you collect more items from the map.
- Caravans touching your towns may enter your map as a free action, even if they're hideously overweight. Caravans touching an ambush tile may also enter the map immediately (but you can not leave your town directly into an ambush zone).
Getting the Most From Your Caravans
Playing the convoy game isn't only about fleeing from a mechanoid invasion. There's a lot of things a convoy can do to help your existing colonies.
- Nearby factions are amazing trade partners. Their inventory is full of every caravan type and has many times the shopping opportunities of an incoming caravan (such as 1000 metal, 500 plasteel and loads of medicine). You also get a 4% price bonus for direct trading over any other method.
- Settlement defenders tend to be pretty dumb, making a smash and grab strategy viable. Attack the settlement, break the storage room, steal the goods and leave. Attack maps have a modest sum of resources (nowhere near what they have to trade) but are notable for having high quantities of medicine, including glitterworld medicine. They may have other goods such as drugs, luciferium, and assorted food. Crack the door from a distance, run in your fastest shielded thief and leave the map. Repeat as many times as desired.
- Long distance caravans should take advantage of being able to build settlements whenever they run low on food or resources. Generated maps can have forageable food and animals to hunt or even tame into the convoy. Colonists will also need time off to relax and restore their joy.
- Many low tech options will prove very helpful for long distance travel. Make frequent use of Campfires, Pemmican, Passive coolers and Crafting spots to resupply your caravans and keep healthy on the road.
- It is not necessary to carry your raw materials all the way from home base to a new spot. Lighten the load by carrying silver, gold, or briefcases full of premium cut Drugs. A stack of yayo and a trade partner is all you need to get a new colony off on a strong footing.
- The act of gathering supplies allows a colonist to carry huge stacks of light weight materials like cloth or food. This can be exploited to perform Super Hauling by having a colonist pick up all the goods on the map, drafting them into the storage room, and cancelling the caravan to unload. They will have hauled a massive number of supplies in one trip.