This game can seem daunting and confusing at first, but once you get into it and figure out the ropes, normal mode will feel like a breeze. For those struggling with the game, here are some tips for finishing this game on normal.
Hunters are your friend
Caberjacks are strong and their stun ability can be very useful, and the Alchemist flask can cause a lot of damage in a large splash, but Hunters should be the main weapon in your arsenal, picking off enemies from afar before they can even do damage and using their stealth ability to do scout and set up. This ability only gets better once you research veil armour, which allows you to use stealth on any tile so research veil armour as early as possible. Just make sure to have some other armour researched for the final battle, which will be a change from the rest of your campaign.
Focus on buildings early
In the first 100 years you should be able to build at least 4 keeps, a crucible and a guild. When populating your keeps, try to avoid negative traits and personalities where possible, but your main focus should be on fertility and levels. The higher the fertility, the bigger your retinue will grow, and this should be a focus early on. Guilds can be filled with redundant heroes to boost research speed, just avoid leaving your retinue shorthanded. Try to place somebody with good personality traits into your crucible to pass them onto your heroes while avoiding negative ones (avoid Reveler whatever you do) and higher leveled ones where possible once you start to get a good raft of replacements coming in.
Building in the inner circle is a safer option, but building on the outside can net you some extra perks, but you'll have to watch our for the corruption and for defense missions which can be a pain. If you have buildings on the outer ring, always make sure you defend them from being fully corrupted, no matter the mission perk.
Restock your retinue
Don't fall into the temptation of working the same vanguard up to Level 5, only to see them all pass away leaving you with nothing to replace them with. Don't fall into this trap, it could ruin your game. You'll want to be filling your keep up (and eventually crucible) with some of your higher leveled heroes. Higher leveled regent and partners will make higher leveled trainees. After the Year 151, the Cadence will start to grow stronger, so make sure you're prepared.
If at any point your numbers seem to be running dry and your don't have a stock of trainees about to come through, don't be afraid to research new heroes to bolster your retinue.
Know your enemy
There are seven kinds of enemies you'll face in this game. Seeds, Ruptures, Wrinklers and Twitchers attack from close range, although the latter is able to switch tiles with your heroes to close the distance, with Lapses, Bulwarks and Cradles being ranged shooters. When choosing a mission, you can see what kind of Cadence you're going to face, so be prepared.
Lapses with their XP sapping projectiles, Wrinklers with their aging melee and the exploding shells of the Cradle are all very nasty indeed. Take extra care around these Cadence.
Don't be afraid to save and load
Unless you're playing on Iron, don't be afraid to make saves before or during battles, or just at random intervals, to reload if things don't go your way. If a battle turns nasty or a random event doesn't go your way, this can help save your campaign.
If anybody has anymore tips or just general comments, please include them too. When you get to grips with this game all of this will seem a lot easier, I just hope some of this can give you a helping hand.