Set Phasers to Smite! #CitiesSkylines

Weather proves to be an ass


Only one problem living in a California type environment, when the storms roll in they roll in!

The recent storm is San Solarian City decided to cause all sorts of havoc for the City as these snaps would show:

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The resulting plantation fire kept the fleet of 15 fire helicopters rather busy while the fire engines dealt with other messes around the City.

Causalities were light but it was a pretty spectacular light show.


Some more pictures from afterwards:

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Those blimps are a sight to watch!


Christmas Sucks Thanks to Tornado #CitiesSkylines

No major damage and minimal lives lost


Well Christmas for Layton City got a tad wet and windy after a freak storm rolled through the City causing mass flooding and even a tornado.


The Imperial Management of Emergencies Agency reported that a EF1 tornado had touched down south of Onehunga and proceeded west through open country before dissipating near Layton City International Airport. However, the severe rains accompanying the tornado had caused mass flooding in the east with the storm water systems unable to cope.

Weather Observation analyst Bill Duncan said storms were not uncommon in Layton City as the Summer rolled on with a few producing a few tornadoes usually out to sea (Waterspouts). Having one touch down on land is unusual however, the Civil Defence system by IMEA worked as it was meant to. Of course the flooding in the east will need to be dealt with after the Foggy Heights Canal again breached its walls causing flooding in Evergreen Heights and Orchard Square.

Layton City Department of Transport reported that minimal damage to infrastructure was reported with a rail line and section of State Highway 20 damaged by the tornado but quickly repaired.


Citizens are hoping the rest of the Summer holidays are not as intense as the Christmas Day tornado. I think we can all count ourselves lucky the sucker missed the airport by mere metres.


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Preparing for a #CitiesSkylines Disaster

Fire and water tests Layton City’s resolve


So I got the Natural Disasters DLC for Cities Skylines. Once the mods were updated by their developers (to my massive thanks) I was able to load up Layton City (my grand city of 243,000 which is HUGE for Cities Skylines) and give the new DLC a whirl.

Now I do have the Rainfall mod that properly simulates rain and storm events which means run off and managing storm water effects. This means inlets, detention basins, outlets and pumps throughout the city to move the storm water. So events that trigger flooding like storms, tornadoes and the Tsunami will have their dynamics alters compared to NOT having the rainfall mod.


Preparing for disaster

So before letting a disaster rip (including sodding forest fires that spawn off every time the Rainfall mod lets loose a storm) we need to place down some disaster management items.

Radio towers, sensors (earthquake and tsunami), Deep Space Radar, Weather Radar, fire watch towers, bunkers, disaster response buildings, helicopter depots for fire, medical and police, water storage tanks and a depot to send out vacuum trucks to suck up flood waters. All needing to be placed and strategically.

I decided to create three centralised disaster response management centres that each have enough bunker capacity for 120,000 people. Scatter some more bunkers around the city and we have capacity for 170,000 out of 243,000. Of course police and fire helicopter depots are more scattered around the City for various reasons.

Post disaster the three disaster response centres (Imperial Management of Emergencies Agency) in total can deploy 12 search and rescue helicopters as well as 40 ground units. The IMEA’s were already tested with two small urban forest fires popping up that had caused destruction to some of the urban area. I was quite pleased in the responses and the pace of the rebuild.

So I thought given Layton City is a coastal city how about letting a Tsunami rip? Well I did with very interesting results. Needless to say the three IMEA Centres worked brilliantly as did a stroke of planning brilliance.


Nuclear Disaster?

Layton City is powered by four nuclear reactors and a two-unit gas-fired power station. Given Fukushima I did wonder how the nuclear stations would cope with the Tsunami in Layton City. Would the City suffer 95% losses as other Cities Skylines cities have with the 1-2 Tsunami – nuclear knock out?




Well you will see in the next post as well as the disaster recovery operation (and why rail is king).


In the meantime some photos in the lead up to the Great Layton City Tsunami Disaster:

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The slide show also contains a meteorite strike, a sink hole and a building going over as tests.


In the next post:



#CitiesSkylines Natural Disasters Disaster

New tier of management and Planning


After spending a few days tracking down the mod causing the game to crash (was the Rush Hour mod which is being updated) I loaded both Neo Layton City (as a test) and Layton City (current city) to give Cities Skylines Natural Disasters a whirl.



Takes Civil Defence to a whole new level. I say new level as I have the Rainfall Mod that simulates actual storms, lightning, flooding and storm water systems. Given Layton City is on flat land the gravity system is a tad useless without pumps to force the water along. It also means flooding where I have not yet placed the pumps.

So with the Rainfall Mod I get not only flooding (the new vacuum trucks do a good job removing flood waters) the lightning now triggers off sodding forest fires (the Lightning Rod policy is enabled so rare for a building to catch fire) and that is before I even manually trigger off a severe storm in the disasters tab. And with Layton City a green city (lots and lots of urban forests) that means rolling out the Weather Radar, watch towers, and fire helicopter bases pretty much straight away.


Otherwise for everything else it comes down to planning and management. So what needed to be rolled out:

  • Radio masts to send out civil defence warnings
  • Disaster Response Building for search and rescue, and cleaning of rubble
  • Vacuum pump depot that sends out trucks to suck up flood waters then return to the depot to discharge that water into the sewerage system
  • Water storage tanks to store water in case demand exceeds supply for a wee bit or a freshwater pump is disabled for whatever reason
  • Freshwater outlet – okay this one is a tad useless
  • Fire helicopter base for those choppers with monsoon buckets
  • Police helicopter base for the Eagle in the sky
  • Medical helicopter base for airlifting the injured especially when roads are cut off
  • Space Radar (you can figure that one out)
  • Earthquake monitors (I do have hills in the background of the city)
  • Tsunami buoys given the City Centre and Downtown are exposed fully to the coast
  • Bunkers (either 1,000 or 10,000 capacity) for when your home was munted and needing a place to stay until the rebuild OR trying to outrun that tornado


Establishing the watch towers, buoys, earthquake sensors, radio masts and radars is pretty straight forward. Everything else for a city (236,000) the size of Layton City actual management gets very tricky very fast.

So the strategy is to establish three (two are set up so far) Imperial Emergency Management Centres (think FEMA) where the respective helicopter bases, Disaster Response Building and four 10,000 bunkers that act as centralised Civil Defence points. This gives me emergency capacity for 120,000 or half the city. Add in another couple of large bunkers out the inland fringes (Manukau and Lynch Heights ) and some smaller bunkers near major tourist points along the coast prone to the Tsunami and about 70% of the City is covered (bunkers can deploy evacuation busses along set routes to pick up citizens).

That leaves the pesky forest fires which needed a few more fire helicopter bases deployed City wide. Thankfully rivers, the two harbours and canals are scattered over the City so getting water is not an issue for the choppers.


Am I ready for a disaster? Who knows as limited experience with forest fires triggered by the Rainfall mod have been dealt with little losses to the urban areas. The one where the City would be most exposed is a Tsunami given Layton City is exposed to the ocean and is flat apart from a small area up in the hills where ore is mined. It would be a case how much time does the early warning system give to evacuate the City Centre, Newmarket and Downtown before the wave hits. The bunker facilities are limited in those three districts with a main IMEA centre further back inland.


None the less once the Network Extensions Mod is fixed allowing me to trigger disasters manually I will post pictures of the carnage and rebuild.


Meantime a forest fire from Neo Layton City and an IMEA Centre in Layton City:



Planning the Downtown and More Err Driving. Oh and FLOODING # CitiesSkylines

Been a busy few weeks


It has busy few weeks in Layton City with a housing shortage (oh where have we heard that before) causing issues as well as the worst case of flooding I have ever seen to the City.

Also a new frontier opened up to exploit the mineral ore on the outskirts of the City to try to jump-start the industrial complexes which are causing goods shortages the retail sectors. Another frontier will be opened up later on try out some large format retail options I recently got.

Housing Shortage = MASS HOUSING BUILD

The commercial sector has been booming across Layton City. So much so the industrial complexes can not keep up (sparking opening up ore processing plants to try to jump-start the goods factories) and housing getting rather acute in supply.

Rather than going fringe with the new housing development (although there has been small editions to the fringe following the Onehunga heavy rail Line) I decided to focus development close to the action that was the City Centre. Thus Downtown was formalised with mass amounts of residential zoning being placed down smack bang in the middle of three major employment centres (City Centre, Uptown, Airport Complex).

This is what sprung up:

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The Downtown development will spread over into the Uptown district which is also a Leisure District (night clubs, bars etc).


Going for a drive

One thing I love about Cities Skylines are the mods that allow me to go driving or walking through my City. So here are some more driving pictures (with some context establishing pictures as well):

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The storm water system in Layton City is designed to take most storms with the emergency pumps activating periodically when you get the odd spike as you do in real life. The last intense spike at 4.0mm/hour triggered the pumps and caused one of the storm canals to top itself but not go over the emergency flood walls.

Well a spike of ~5.6mm/hour had to dump itself onto the City and did all hell break loose as result. By hell I mean MAJOR flooding on three districts while transit was shut down City-wide.

I’ll let the pictures tell the story:

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I had to turn off the pumps in the canal to get the water back down and stop it over-topping the emergency flood walls as it already was. This meant some localised flooding elsewhere but I managed to get the levels down in the canals so I could slowly bring the pumps back up.

Downtown I will have to look at as the water and turned the motorway into a river.

But this is the only time I have seen all but one emergency pump going WHILE the flood canals could not cope.

As a consequence I have deepened the canal in question in parts forming what is emergency flood storage when heavy rains hit again. I am also looking at more detention basins so there is more storage available before the pumps are needed.

I can certainly say that flood was an interesting experience.


The New Frontier

Layton City has been enjoying its successes with a booming commercial and office sector fuelling demand for goods and housing. While the housing side is under control the goods production side has not been keeping up meaning shops are short of goods to sell.

While the rail and shipping network is flat out importing there is a very heavy imbalance in the City’s economy. Zoning is placed down for goods producing factories to be built but they are slow in coming. So I have opened up an ore field on the frontier to jump start the factories. Needless to say it is slowing providing the kick needed although it will take some time for industry to establish.

Below is the new frontier being opened up along with some driving shots:

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And finally some random shots:


Next up is laying down the infrastructure to build the new Manukau district with lots of large format retail all linked up by a motorway and a heavy rail line.


All here on Cities Skylines.


Layton City Flooded #CitiesSkylines

City suffers from first major flood


If you have the Rainfall Mod for Cities Skylines what was just cosmetic rain for visual effects now gives real consequences depending how much falls into your City.

This means you have to build a storm water system so that the rain can drain away from your city unless you want the water pooling up after every shower. So you have your inlets for the surface water which drains into the pipes. From there it has to be disposed through one of three options:

  1. Detention Basins (soak holes that allow the rain to soak into the ground)
  2. Gravity outlets (speaks for itself when discharging water in waterways)
  3. Storm pumps (electric-powered pumps that discharge water into waterways meaning gravity is not an issue proving you have power)


I run a two tiered drainage system where storm water is first collected via the inlets into the detention basins scattered throughout the City. Once the basins hit 80% full the storm pumps kick in forcing water out and into the waterways either being a river, harbour or the canal system built-in Layton City.


The Rainfall Mod is set to the south-west Pacific which means it mimics Auckland’s weather. Providing the rain intensity does not go above 4.0mm/hour Layton City’s storm water system handles the rain events very well with localised pooling in a few dips and troughs.

However, a 1-in-100 rain event finally happened where the rain intensity hit 4.6mm/hour. In other words the game threw cats, dogs, monkeys and several kitchen sinks worth of rain in a very short time. For the first time we had city-wide flooding as well as the canal system running in flood mode.


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The white flood bubbles mean the area is flooding. This always happens in any rain event and will not disrupt the City. It is when you get the red flood bubble that the area is flooded and services become disrupted.

As I said earlier the system is designed to handle intensities of up to 4.0mm/h without overwhelming the inlets (and not all the pumps going into operation). But in this storm event pictured above we had hit 4.6mm/hour for three of the eight hours the storm occurred.



By the end of the third hour of the most intense rainfall all the storm water pumps were actively discharging the water into the canals and the river. And while the river coped the canal for the first time breached its walls (with all those pumps discharging water into it) and had started running up the flood walls either side. The flood waters reached up about 20% of the wall height so there was still capacity spare through the emergency flood systems.

As for the City around 33% of the City was under the red flood bubbles meaning the areas were under water disrupting services and forcing evacuation (citizens abandon the building). Simply put the inlets could not cope with the intensity of rain with 2,500 people “evacuated” out the City. Once the storm had settled back down it took another two hours for the flood waters to clear and the canals to settle (as you need the pumps to stop discharging). The evacuees came back and everything returned to normal not long after all.


In the end it was a very sobering exercise watching the City struggle with a 1 in 100 year storm event. Some more inlets will need to be built as well as a few more detention basins to help handle the flows. However, the emergency systems worked well with the canal system handling the floodwaters within expectations. Because if the canals had failed more than 33% of the City would have been a lake!