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Hints, Tips, Strategy and FAQs for playing Populous III online


Strategy - Followers

General points

Help! Some of my followers are standing with their hands up, and then they die! This happens when you instruct your followers (but not your shaman) to go somewhere they can't reach. For instance, if you tell your braves to build a guard tower on top of a hill which is too steep for them to climb. Once they are locked into that situation, it sets off a timer and when it runs out they die. You can rescue them by selecting them and giving them a command, even if it's only 'move a bit to the left'.

The trouble starts when your followers issue their own commands, because they can do some things automatically. For instance, if your base is attacked by the enemy shaman, you will likely have some damaged buildings left. Any idle braves will automatically try to gather wood and repair them. If one of the buildings is inaccessible (for instance because of multiple earthquakes) then, when they decide to repair it, they'll just stick up their hands. If you're busy elsewhere, you may find you've lost a lot of followers by the time you get back. If you spot them, and rescue them, they will trot off to their new task, but sooner or later they'll start thinking about repairing that building again and then - up go the hands. The only way to stop this is to make a path to the building so that they can repair it or to destroy the building.

A more subtle variant happens on levels which have a restricted number of trees, especially Craters (I hate that level). If one of the trees on your island is inaccessible, because it is half-way up a slope, or on top of a steep hill, then your braves will harvest all the trees until that's the only one left then - up go the hands. This is critical on Craters, because you need every follower but they just keep dying on you, and you have try to keep rescuing them. This took me *months* to figure out, but I finally got there. Of course, as before, you either have to make the tree accessible, or you have to destroy it (use blast). I had one tree last night which got stuck at ground level when I built a ramp using landbridge (a Populous bug). I had the hands up problem and just could not see why, because the tree was still growing and was hidden by the new land. I was only able to sort it out when it had grown to full size and its foliage poked out above the new ground level so I could see it. Blasting it gave me a great deal of pleasure, which did not however compensate for losing the game.


Nothing much you can do with wildmen, except convert them, which is exactly what you must do, and fast! Head straight for the enemy camp and start converting there first, before you come back to convert 'your' wildmen. Every conversion you make of 'enemy' wildmen is one more for you and one less for her - that gives you a two-follower advantage! Even if you just use those extra converts to attack the enemy shaman and they get wasted, you're still ahead of the game, and you've made your opponent squander time, and probably mana from using 'blast'

Make sure also that you do convert all the wildmen you can find - there is no such thing as having converted 'enough'. It's much slower generating followers in your huts, so the wildmen can give you a crucial early-stage advantage. Furthermore, wildmen have limited lifespans, so if you don't get them in good time, they won't be there when you come back later.


These are your most valuable assets. They are the only ones who can build huts, training huts, boats and balloons, chop down trees, and, although they aren't very strong, fight. They generate mana when in huts or working, which is very important for charging your spells (see the page on mana for more details). They also reproduce in their huts...the more braves in the hut, the faster. And they can be sent to be trained as warriors, firewarriors, priests or spies. (By Belgian1)


These people are the force of your army and are the strongest units in the game. They can kill 5-7 braves and can kill every other unit, including shaman, if they can get close enough and don't get blasted away. (By Belgian1)


Preachers make good guards. You should have some scattered through your village to protect against attack, but they are more effective if you have them on a long patrol route. That way, if there is an invasion, all the preachers will get to it sooner or later and you'll get maximum effect. Similarly, putting a few preachers on patrol around an enemy training hut, or a stone head, makes a good deterrent, especially when the enemy hasn't been training any preachers himself. Even better if you mix in a few fire warriors for shaman defence.

Fire warriors

Fire warriors are a key element for both attack and defence. They are the first choice for manning guard towers, and you should have some patrolling vulnerable areas as well (supplemented with ghosts, for good effect). Don't forget to also put some fire warriors in some of your huts so that, once the enemy shaman has used up all her lightning spells frying your guard posts, you can give her a nasty surprise in you (apparently) unguarded village. This works particularly well with preachers too, as they can't convert anyone inside a hut.


These people can change into another's tribe colour (select a spy and click on the coloured tribe button) and then use hime to set fire to an enemy building or a tree. To uncover an enemy spy go over him with your mouse cursor. When uncovered they aren't worth much, they are weaker than a brave. (By Belgian1)


You could write a book about how to handle your shaman, but here are a few thoughts.

Never allow your shaman to stand still. It takes only a moment to get her walking between way points (Ctrl-Alt left-click on each way point) and she'll carry on doing it until you tell her to stop. That makes her a much harder target if the enemy shamen sneaks up on her. If you see the enemy coming, leave her patrolling, because the enemy will probably be advancing in a straight line, so your aiming will be easier than hers. However, if you get enough warning, change the waypoints first - all those footprints in the grass make it a bit too easy to see where she's going next.

If the landscape has been cut about with volcanoes, earthquakes etc, it becomes possible to hide your shaman in the crevices. Most people play with their viewpoint (the 'camera') either behind or to one side of their shaman. It follows therefore that, if you can predict the direction from which the enemy will come, you can hide your shaman by putting her in the lee of a cliff (best) or hill, so that she will be concealed from the other player. You can then zap her when she comes in range, all by surprise. This works best if the enemy is attacking you in your village or, conversely, you want to lightning her when she reincarnates in her own CoR.

When your shaman gets killed, she will resurrect at your circle of resurrection 35 seconds later. Keep a clock or watch with a sweep second hand by your PC so that you can be ready for her, and can be doing something useful in the meantime. This is obviously helpful when you've just knocked out an enemy shaman too.

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