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Hints, Tips, Strategy and FAQs for playing Populous III online
A whole page on trees? What can you say about trees? Well, not that much, but it can make the difference between winning and losing on many maps, so listen up.
We all know that we need trees to provide wood in order to build. A fully grown tree provides 4 bundles of wood, and buildings and vehicles require the following amounts of wood for construction:
(Information from Populous Official Strategy Guide)
|Minor hut repair||1|
|Major hut repair||2|
There are several things to note here:
On some worlds there are only a small number of trees, and even on maps where there are plenty, you can lose significant building time if your followers have to trek for miles to get to the trees. It therefore pays to manage your wood supply carefully. In order to do this, you need to know how trees grow in Populous. I have done some experiments and can shed some light on this.
As I said before, a fully-grown tree can provide up to 4 bundles of wood. Each time a bundle is removed, it shrinks, until the last bundle where it disappears completely. Being a tree, it can regrow to replace the wood removed, and it takes the following amount of time to regrow 1 bundle:
- Everyone knows that it takes three piles of wood to upgrade a hut, right? Well, it's true, but only two piles get used - the third pile is left by the entrance once the upgrade is finished. Don't believe me? Check it out! This has some consequences. If your hut upgrades are staggered, they will be able to use the piles of wood left behind by previous upgrades. If a whole bunch of huts start to upgrade at the same time, the braves will have to cut more trees, and at that stage of the game, on wood-limited maps, it probably means that more trees will be clear-felled. You do need to get your huts upgraded as fast as possible, but you have to stagger them to make best use of your trees. (Thanks to Cashflow for that tip.)
- Training huts are very expensive to build - you can build nearly 3 standard huts for the wood needed for one training hut, so don't build them until you need them if wood is scarce.
- The same goes for guard towers - don't build more than you can fill with fw's or preachers. That wood (and building time) would be better spent building huts.
- Each time a building becomes visibly damaged (i.e. takes at least 200 hit points of damage) it requires one additional bundle of wood to repair it (i.e. one of the original bundles used to build it is destroyed).
That's right - it takes 5 times as long to get a wood bundle from a fully cut tree compared to a partially cut one. I have also discovered that, when a tree is fully cut, it always regrows in exactly the same spot (i.e. it's not random). The only exception is if you build on a tree, in which case it will grow alongside the building, as close as it can get to the original position. In other words, there are a set number of 'tree sites' on each map, and the number and position are conserved through the game. I have heard it said that, the more you cut a tree, the slower it grows back. I tested it by repeatedly taking three wood bundles from a tree and timing the growback, and in each case the time was the same, so that appears to be untrue.
Finally, it is worth knowing that your braves will always pick up a spare bundle of wood rather than cutting a tree, as long as the bundle and the tree are reasonably close together.
- Partially cut: 68 seconds
- Fully cut: 330 seconds
From this, it follows that you should avoid fully cutting trees, or building on them, especially on sites where they are in short supply, such as Craters. Here's what I suggest as a general building strategy, which would obviously need to be adjusted according to the map.:
- Start by laying plans for at least 3 or 4 huts and keep building more. Only add training huts as you need them.
- Build Guard Towers sparingly, or even not at all at the beginning - use spread-out patrolling warriors/firewarriors instead.
- Harvest your wood sustainably. Select 3 braves then hold down the Control key, click on a tree, then the ground beside it, and repeat three more times for different trees. Each tree will still be left standing to regrow, and your building braves will take the cut wood preferentially. Each time you do this, you will have gathered enough wood for 3 more huts!
- Avoid bulding on trees, but don't have a cow about it. If you need the land, go ahead, but harvest the tree first, otherwise those 4 bundles of wood will just be wasted. The trees will regrow either way.
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Last updated: 17 October 2011