Populous 1 & 2
The map looks like this: Three big islands and an island in the middle, with a stone head that gives mana. When the game starts, start with converting wildmen and building as many huts as you can (turn off fireball to get convert faster, if you want). Once you have got 4 or more huts put on landbridge to link to the island in the middle (this is not necessary, but you can get some handy extra mana off the head). Preferably wait until you have 4 landbridges before u link to the middle, because if your enemy(s) are interested in the middle too, they might think u don't know about the head and therefore wait some time before using landbridge and work on building their camp. One thing though, do NOT link to the middle when your enemy is landbridging to the middle and you don't have at least a firewarrior training hut (and preferably a warrior training hut) because if your enemy has linked to the island and sees you have no defense, he might get the crazy idea of attacking you and taking you out as well. If you managed to get hold of the island, build watchtowers on the hill that surrounds the head...and put firewarriors in them of course and put guard posts of warriors and priests (if priests were put on by host). This is also useful for extra building space, (if you are a fast builder and your island is already nearly full). Remember: don't stop building until you have 199 men (even then it's good to build more huts).
If You Captured The Island In The Middle:
Although this is definitely a good position, the other two players will think you're strongest (which you probably are) and, if they are smart, will try attacking you. Therefore, try to attack the strongest player as soon as possible (with the added advantage of the mana from the head), but not too soon, still be well prepared. Preferably link from the island in the middle to your strongest enemy's base. If he has linked to the island in the beginning of the game already, you might want to take that road. If he's any good, he will probably have defenses there already...and, of course his shaman will be on the island. You can try casting the ghost spell on your shaman until you have 6 shamans or so. Spread them a little, and walk to the enemy's base with your ghost buddies. When you get near enough try to take out the defence (lightning for the towers, swarm/fireball for the men) and the shaman if you can.
Make sure you have at least one earthquake ready (the more advanced spells like firestorm, volcano are harder to get in this part of the game). When you cast an earthquake, look out for any training huts and try to cast near them, so they get damaged (or if you're lucky destroyed). If you can get further in the base without your shaman being killed by firewarriors or enemy shaman (you should have them loaded by now) cast tornado's on the training huts so they are most probably completely destroyed. If the enemy shaman is still alive, definitely try to kill him. If all this succeeds, send in troops of warriors to wreck the base. Meanwhile, spawn kill, (i.e. kill her as soon as she reincarnates, with lightning) the enemy shaman and wait until you get earthquake or firestorm and cast them in the base... After ten minutes or so this player should be dead.
Meanwhile, the weaker player will likely to have tried to attack you. CONSTANTLY watch out for him attacking. Have troops patrolling around your base (more to scare him off than real defense). If he leaves you alone until you have killed the other player, you should win. If he attacks you while you're killing the stronger player, try LINKING from the stronger player's base and attacking him then(WATCH OUT! Keep killing the stronger player or he might come back and you have two enemy's! Keep sending warriors!). If the weaker player kills off most of your base you can always build on the base of the player you just killed (or are busy killing), when the land grows back fertile. That way, you should have 3 bases (build warrior and firewarrior training huts on each one, because the ones in your original base might well be destroyed). You will probably win now.
If You Don't Have The Island In The Middle And You Are Strongest:
In this scenario, your best bet would be either allying the weaker player (whom you can kill off later.) or attacking and trying to kill the other player. He will probably try to attack you first, so get a really good defence. If you attack the one who has the island in the middle, don't attack the island in the middle (this might seem like the best thing to do, but it's not). Try getting to his original base (especially when his shaman is still at the other island). Watch out, though, the enemy shaman might not bother to come and help defend his base, but think his is the perfect moment to attack you. So, when you are attacking, keep an eye on your base, and if he attacks, try to hold him up as long as possible (send some braves at him). If the shaman manages to destroy or get past your defence, chances are, you're screwed. If, however, the enemy shaman dies you can try conquering the island as well, (providing your base is linked to the island) send a large group of warriors besides the ones you sent to the enemy's original base. If you succeed in conquering the island (your enemy will probably have sent most troops to defend his original base), u can give him a deciding blow.
For what to do when the weaker player attacks, look at the end of the "If You Captured The Island In The Middle" story.
If You Don't Have The Island In The Middle And You Are Weakest:
This is a very though scenario and chances of winning are small. You could go for allying the stronger player (but if it's not a nice player, he will probably kill you at the end of the game anyway). You can also keep a low profile and wait till the best player has almost killed the other player. If you attack, MAKE SURE you have full spells on your first attack...You need good luck to succeed in the task of killing your enemy.
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