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17. Middle Ground

Enemy Tribes: Dakini, Matak, Chumara

Starting Spells: Swarm, Lightning, Convert, Landbridge, Invisibility, Swamp, Hypnotise, Tornado, Erode, Earthquake, Flatten, Firestorm, Magical Shield

Permanent spells you can get: None

Temporary Spells you can get: Armageddon

Buildings you can get: None

Vehicles you can get: None

You start with a few Huts and all of your Training Huts pre-built, even though you only get 6 Braves at first. Wildmen are much more plentiful on this world, as are trees. The buildings you start with are not placed as well as they could be, but you shouldn't run out of room for more Huts. All this, along with land that actually works in favor of your defense, adds up to a nice change of pace. Don't think, however, that every thing is all well and good on this planet. The enemy tribes still attack on masse, and there will be significant fighting over the Armageddon Stone Head. All four tribes start on these rectangular sections of raised land at the four corners of a diamond. There are strips of land connecting the settlements, running along the outer edge of the diamond. There are also strips going to the center of the diamond, where the Armageddon Stone Head is located.

This means that your settlement in the northwest has three entrances to it, the two land strips leading to the settlements of the Dakini and Matak (east and south, respectively), and the strip running southeast towards the Stone Head. The Chumara are located further southeast on the other side of the Stone Head. Curiously enough, I didn't get any attacks from the Dakini or Matak along the direct route from their settlement to mine, but I recommend not giving them the option and casting Erode a few times of the paths to their settlements. As you start on this world Converting Wildmen, you want to do three things. First, fit as many Hut plans as you can on your settlement and start building them, you'll need the population. Second, send some of your Converted Wildmen to be trained as Preachers and Warriors as a mobile defense force. Third, start constructing Guard Towers at the entrance to your settlement from the southeast land strip, the one heading towards the Stone Head. Since on this level there are no hills or other obstructions, Firewarriors do very well in Guard Towers.

Also, wood is in abundance, both in your settlement and the surrounding land, so you can build a lot of Towers. I found that a formation of eight Towers in the formation below was very helpful. This allowed for both fairly good (although not complete) coverage for my Preachers in case enemy followers were able to close distance, as well as the main advantage of allowing multiple Firewarriors to be firing at oncoming enemies. This could kill any individual follower, or significantly hurt a large group. With all the water in the area, the Firewarriors could also knock enemy attackers in and kill them right off. Arrange your defenses as you see fit, but I strongly recommend that you use groups of Firewarrior Guard Towers for their high damage, and the fact that enemy Shamans do not come around as often to cast Lighting in this level. The other means of defense you have is cutting the links between your settlement and the enemy settlements. As soon as you can charge Erode you should cast it on the paths to the Dakini and Matak settlements.

I recommend casting it as close as you can safely get to the enemy settlements, that way you still have most of the land and the trees on the land strip to use. Beware that if you cut off ground access too much this way, the enemy may resort to boats (in addition to the balloons that they will use). Once you've established your defenses, built up your Huts and population, and started building your standing army, you should turn your attention to the Armageddon Stone Head. The other three tribes will spend most of their time fighting each other as they try futilely to worship this. This gives you the chance to build up your forces and grab the spell when you're ready. If any one tribe does manage to hold the Stone Head for a particularly long time you should head over and cast Swamp on the worshippers. You do not want this spell to fall into enemy hands, as they could pull it on you when you're not ready (i.e. when you recently lost a lot of followers in an attack).

To grab the Stone Head I recommend you build up the standard 30 Firewarrior balloon forces and position them right over the Stone Head. Have your Warriors worship it and deploy your Preachers around them to guard against anyone who slips by your Firewarriors. In most cases, the Firewarriors will rain enough death on anybody who gets near so that your worshippers won't be bothered. Keep an eye out for the enemy Shamans, though, and intercept them immediately if they start heading for the Stone Head. Casting Erode on the paths from the enemy settlements to the Stone Head can also help as well, along with a few Swamps in front of a big attacking force. Once you have Armageddon, withdraw your forces to your own settlement. The choice on whether to use it or not is up to you. You can use your Shaman's spells and your Firewarriors' might to devastate the enemy tribes one by one, or you can retrain your entire population into fighting classes and unleash Armageddon for a knock down drag out battle royale. I thought you might like the later approach.

If you really want to do this then I encourage sending ALL of your Braves to be trained as Warriors/Firewarriors (you may want to build more Training Huts to speed up the process). When I did it I have a population of 150 and had 50 Firewarriors, 80 some Warriors, and whatever Preachers I had left over. With this many fighters the enemy Braves won't stand a chance, even when all the other tribes outnumber you. Remember that each tribe will be fighting all of the others, and they won't be banding against you. This way lots of fighting classes works to your advantage.

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