Populous 1 & 2
12. An Easy Target
Enemy Tribes: Dakini, Matak, Chumara
Starting Spells: Swarm, Lightning, Convert, Landbridge, Invisibility, Swamp, Hypnotise
Permanent spells you can get: Tornado, Erode
Temporary Spells you can get: None
Buildings you can get: Spy Training Hut
Vehicles you can get: None
The Chumara and the Matak both start with prebuilt Training Huts and a few other buildings, while the Dakini have most of their entire settlement up and running from the start. What do you get? 6 Braves and a Reincarnation Site. Luckily for you, though, you're isolated at first on a (small) island to the north of the Chumara. South of the Chumara settlement on the same island is the Matak, and their settlement is actually not a far way north of yours (the continent wraps around the planet, remember this when going after the Erode spell). To the southwest on their own island are the Dakini, though they will cast Land Bridge pretty quick to get over and start picking a fight with the Chumara. Your main saving grace in this level is that the other two tribes have to get through the Chumara to get to you (boats notwithstanding).
Start this level by putting down as many huts as you can fit on the land you have. Be sure to leave space for your three Training Huts, and set up Guard Towers across the water from the Chumara Guard Towers already set up. That's the spot most they're most likely to cast Land Bridge to you before you're ready. Boats will also land in that area, so keep some defenders around. Once again, the Shamans aren't that dangerous (though the Dakini do have Tornado and the Matak have Erode), so I wouldn't recommend a perimeter defense. Watch how the enemy boat raids come and decide for yourself if you need them. One thing about the Guard Towers right across from the Chumara, the enemy will be in enough range for the warning bell to sound, but not enough range for your Firewarriors to shoot them from the Tower.
That sound effect will get annoying after a while if you keep your people in the Towers. While you're building your settlement, the Dakini will be aggressive and attack the Chumara over and over again. No big problems there, but before they get significantly damaged, expect the Chumara to send a few spies over by boat. If you catch them early they shouldn't torch too many buildings. The good part of this is that they'll usually leave a empty boat behind, which you can grab for yourself (if you're like me and don't even bother to build a Boat House). Take your Shaman and a few Swarm spells and go out looking for Vaults of Knowledge. As you're doing so, just look out for Firewarriors in Guard Towers. Cast Lightning on them before they can fire.
Once you get Tornado, you can also send your Shaman in to wreck some magical mystical mayhem on enemy Training Huts and followers. Cast Swamp on their patrol paths, and cast Erode on the sides of tall hills to yank the foundations of buildings right out from under them. I love to see a Dakini Temple shatter. Once your forces are ready, cast Land Bridge and go take out the Chumara, provided the Dakini haven't done that for you already. Make sure your army is large in case you have to fight off the Chumara and any Dakini/Matak raiding parties. After the Chumara are defeated and you have replaced your losses, the choice is yours as to which tribe you attack next. Late in the level both the Dakini and Matak settlements are about the same size.
The Dakini have to cast Land Bridge to get to the Chumara/Matak island, so they'll have one entrance to their settlement by land. If you want to guard your back while you take on the Matak, cast three Swamps around the entrance to the Dakini settlement and go hunt some little green guys. When it gets down to one tribe left, you've essentially won. Just don't make any drastic mistakes, soften the enemy up with your Shaman if you need to, and watch out for the enemy Shaman. At this point in the game they have as many spells as you do, and even a well-placed Lighting spell in a tight group of attackers can do bad things.
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