Why dirt roads stink (and paved streets are the way forward)

May 13, 2020

Get those muscles poppin' at the brick factory, because you're gonna need all the stone you have!

Farmers are a filthy breed of people. They are simpletons, rolling around in their own sheep's wool, drinking cheap schnapps and grilling freshly caught fish. All after a hard days work and travelling the dirt roads of their city.

I don't know about you. But if I have to walk on dirt roads all day, my Puma sneakers won't be too happy. And neither will my feet. Therefor I'm very glad that someone, sometime in the past, decided to pave roads and sidewalks. Bless his heart and may he rest in peace. 

That's why you should be kind to your villagers and citizens too and give them paved streets instead of dirt.

It might be an investment now, but will it pay itself back fast enough to make it worth it?

Don't care about those digital feet? Fair enough, I'll give you two more reasons to lay down the brickworks. So roll up your sleeves and fire up those ovens, because that clay's gonna need some cooking.

Comparing Dirt roads to Paved streets

If we want to be able to make an honest comparison between the two types of road, we have to find out what they cost first.

Dirt roads cost $3 per block, or so the building screen tells us. This is not entirely true. It actually costs $2.50 per block, as 10 blocks cost $25. 

Paved streets cost $13 per block according to the building screen. It's a little off here as well, as it actually costs $12.50 per block

As well as money, you'll need bricks to lay down the pavement. As with the money, the building screen isn't telling us the true costs. 1 Block of pavement costs 1 brick, this is true. But it actually only costs .25 bricks, so you can put down 4 blocks of paved streets with 1 brick.

As one brick costs $50 to buy, it brings the total investement to a whopping $25 per street-block. That is 10 times more expensive than it's dirty counterpart.

So it's definitely an investement now, but will it pay itself back fast enough to make it worth it?

I would walk 500 miles...

... and I would walk 500 more, just to be the man that walks a 1000 miles to:

  • douse a hellish fire
  • heal your greenly clouded illnesses
  • brings around resources
  • collects carefully crafted windows
  • and many, many more things!

Okay, okay, that's not how the song goes. It's true though. Town officials, like policemen and the firebrigade, travel further on pavements. They can more easily reach those far off places and their working area spreads wider.

The same goes for warehouses: their carts can pick up stuff from industries just a little further down the road.

The difference is quite substantial too. On dirt roads, businesses can only reach warehouses within 33 roadblocks. On paved streets, that distance is 49 squares. That's an almost 50% increase in distance, so definitely worth it.

Run Forest, run!

Chinese philosopher Confucius once said “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones”

It's a good thing we don't have to move mountains in Anno 1800, even though we want to on many a occasion.

You hear that, Ubisoft?


But the hard working farmers do carry a lot of stuff on a day to day basis. Can you imagine what their feet will look like at the end of the week? 

I can't, because I wear Pumas and walk on paved roads. Doing that means I get places faster. So it makes sense that those hard working, cart pushing muscle men go faster on brick roads too. And they do!

A stretch of dirt road for 33 tiles takes 49 seconds to traverse. That same stretch of 33 tiles, but then paved with bricks, only takes 33 seconds. That means their speed is boosted by about a third!

Is it worth putting down brick roads?

Well, is it? You'll have to decide for yourself of course.

Putting down paved streets is 10 times more expensive than just keeping the dirt. With the massively increased travel distance and the incredible speed boost, I say it is definitely worth the investment.

Bottom line: Especially once you get your economy up and running and spending a few thousand dollars and some hundred bricks is a non-issue, there is no reason not to invest in paved streets. 

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