So, I now have about 100 hours in to this game. I've played multiple games, with my best reaching a population of approx 900 people before the wheels fell off. I've played easy, medium and hard. I've read all of the guides on the wiki, the forums, and even Reddit. I really, really wanted to love this game. I waited for it to come out for what felt like *ages*, stalking this guy's FB page for update info. And I am just so sad that I can't love it.
Why? The inconsistencies. I am a creature of habit. I place all my buildings in a predictable pattern, and I'm a hoarder by nature so I'm very careful about pathing to ensure maximum efficiency of the workers. And yet, despite my consistency in behavior and detail, there is no consistency in output. In one game, 2 woodcutters will provide enough firewood for a population of 120 with firewood to spare. In another game, 14 woodcutters cannot keep the same population afloat, despite over 4k backlog in wood. Woodcutters placed directly beside stockpile containing 2k logs. Woodcutter (A) will cut 42 logs in a season, while Woodcutter (B) will cut 298 logs in the same season, and Woodcutter (C) might cut 3 logs that season. All three are educated, and are situated in homes very close by. Their food is supplied by the gatherer and hunter that are always paired with foresters on my maps. They want for nothing, but they do not work.
This is a problem that I find repeatedly throughout the game. You want a field of about 40x40 cleared, so you free up 100 or so laborers, prioritize that field and wait for them to get to work! And you wait.... and you wait.... and you wait. You re-prioritize the field. You de-select everything else on the map for clearing. You wait..... 8 seasons have passed, and your field is not cleared. 8 seasons of 100 laborers that could have been doing any number of other things.
This is a randomly occurring problem within the game. You could go 50 seasons without a hitch, before you get a spike of random unproductiveness. Whole fields can produce less than 50 food per year, woodcutters that just dont show up for work, miners that idle the entire season away in the Cemetary.
Oh! And for funsies, when you get a disease outbreak, and the diseased persons refuse to go to any of your multiple, fully staffed hospitals for treatment! They just wander the map, going about their business like Typhoid Mary from Hell. Every town center I make gets a hospital, and the sick folks generally find their way to them in short order. However, every now and then, you will get a Typhoid Mary who will inflict their disease on 100+ of your population before they finally die.