Bog areas are common in northern countries, not only in the real world but also in Banished since the latest mod version. This post gives you some background info to this new land type and tips how to use it for your settlement. If you love to find out things by yourself, you may not read further.
As in real, bogs appear rather on flat land or in ground depressions where water accumulates. So you will see large areas of bogs in Lowland but only small patches in Mountains. Seafarers face even more bogs in that sparsly forested land they take in the far west. Bog areas are mainly a static land type scattered over the map but they also have some dynamics. They can recover slowly and limited to their original location. Technically there is primary and secondary bogland. The primary bog spawns secondary bog tiles which do not spawn further. This ability to recover decreases if the inner bog is going to be removed.
Bogs can be recognized by the higher grass which sticks out of the terrain even in winter and which means any rush or reeds. But also blueberries and birches grow around bogs, so you can see it also from far away. The latter drop deadwood in addition, sometimes right from the beginning because even birches grow at their tolerance limit in swampy conditions. Another resource you can find in bogs is surface iron ore, the so called Bog Iron. And last but not least, bogs generate a new raw material which is Peat.
As you can see, boglands are quite rich of useful resources but there is also a drawback. Boglands are completely unsuitable for building or agriculture and accordingly obstacles for town development. You can’t place here any structure or land use, not even roads. At least, people can walk on it without problems. All this creates some new options or decisions you may choose and which can be summarized as Exploid, Reclaim or Preserve. Let’s take a closer look..
To fully exploid boglands, your people can cut the peat out of the ground. Peat is used as a fuel and especially if wood is rare, this can be very helpfull. Your people are clever enough to always prefer peat for heating homes to save firewood for charcoal burning or tar production. Peat cutting is quite laborious, not only for your peat cutters but also for you since single tiles have to be marked for cutting. The button can be found in the removal toolbar. The best way is to mark a lot of peat spots in a row and to assign one or two cutters who will then work their way through the bog placing flags if tiles are finished. These flags are seen as status icons if you did not disable them in game options. When the bog is empty (and fully flagged) you can release the land using the remove structure tool. It will leave a shallow depression in the ground but the land can then be used for building or farming. One bog tile gives 12 peat.
Whenever you or your people are tired of peat cutting and don’t really need this additonal fuel, they can make short work of it. Removing reeds and draining the wet soil will create fine farmland or proper building area in no time. To do this, choose Reclaim Land right to the peat cutting button from the removal toolbar and drag over the bog. You will loose the peat but bog iron will be collected in this procedure. Reclaiming land is done by laborers.
If you can choose to do something in this or another way, there is always also the option to do nothing and it even can be useful. So if your people complain about peat cutting not worth the effort or too dangerous because one might sink into the moor or because the climate, you can also keep the bogs and develop your settlement around it. Mother Nature will thank your people with healthy food and free firewood that can be gathered every year.
So how do you deal with boglands, as a peat cutter, a big farmer or a nature lover? :)