Tips to Deal with Bugs on First Winter
There are two common approaches to this problem. The first involves “thinning the herd.” Send your best Combat survivor with a railgun to the site of the aggressive insects as soon as the notice pops and before they attack. Some artful kiting can make any defense much easier and can generally handle all the bugs in the early game. If you don’t kill all the bugs, be sure to bug out before the actual attack begins, because you don’t want to be in a footrace with explosive scarabei.
But in the early game as well, construct a kill zone using flamethrowers and traps. In the beginning, you will probably only be able to construct a square fence with an opening where your flamethrowers are. The fence should be large enough that the insects are not tempted to bore right through the fence straight for your survivors. You want them to head for the opening instead. Some say 14 x 14, others 20 x 20. Suffice it to say bigger is better, so there is less chance of aggroing the insects as they pass by enroute to the opening.
As soon as you can, put up a second fence all around the first one (except, ofc, for the opening). The insects will attack the flamethrower, so a little extra fencing around the turret as a buffer can save you repeatedly repairing your flamethrower.
If you are playing on the easier modes, you start with some weapons. Research weaponsmithing asap, so you can get some spears and preferably crossbows for those without laser pistols.
But if you are relying on your survivors to kill the oncoming hordes, you’re losing.
About the time you are able to research Automated Turrets, maybe before if fortune favors you, you should be thinking about a more elaborate killzone — again emphasizing flamethrowers. Mazes, long corridors bristling with flamethrowers, use your imagination.
But you want some real distance between you and bugs, especially once the shriekers show up. The large shriekers shoot 20 units, so if you are not situated more than 20 spaces away, they will ignore your killzone and just shoot you over the fence.