EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SETTLERS III Stuck on Settlers III? Richard Crook knows a thing or two to help you on your way REVIEWED PCZ #72, 88% Settlers III is a very complex and challenging game to master, no matter what race you choose, be it Romans, Egyptians or Asians. You certainly won't get far by rushing in and making hasty decisions - careful planning and patience is the key to a thriving economy which then enables you to expand and produce loads of troops to defend your territory. If you can get your basic industry working as fast as possible you can expand and mine minerals, and eventually produce iron bars, weapons, gold and tools. And don't worry about starting with plenty of weak soldiers, because when you've expanded you can build temples to upgrade them. Let's start with the first steps to getting your settlement on the right track. It's off to work we go Your economy is based on constructing the right buildings to produce the right products in the right quantities. It's about balancing what buildings to construct, and when and where to build them. There are four main types of building: resource, food, military and miscellaneous. You must keep in mind that the various races need wood and stone in different proportions as they have different architectural styles. For example, the Romans are well balanced and need stone and wood in roughly equal amounts, whereas the Asians need considerably more wood than stone. Top tip: to speed up building construction press F12. Always build a woodcutter next to the trees, then construct a sawmill nearby. It's wise to build two woodcutters and a forester together to ensure you never run out of trees for your woodcutters. For a successful community you need lots of trees, so make sure you have multiples of these building groups (two woodcutters and one forester) all over your land. For every three of these groups you need a sawmill. Next, look for grey rocks standing inside your borders and build one or two quarry huts near them; you can also change its working space with the multi-coloured sphere. Be careful though: once the rocks are gone from around the huts, your workers will become idle and you'll run out of stone. Finally, make sure that you build additional quarry huts in other rock-infested areas when you expand your borders. It's advisable to send some soldiers out to scout for the best place to expand. Also, areas need to be flattened for such purposes as grain farms. It's worth remembering that you can demolish a settler's residence when it's empty; you'll lose half the material but it gives you another place to build if the land is very tight. Manic mining Construct your barracks as soon as possible so that you're prepared for any sudden attacks - remember that it's much easier to defend rather than launch an assault. Build an ore smelter, weaponry and then a barracks. Place them close together and near a mountain to gain extra coal and iron. Next, get your geologists to explore the mountain regions; the information they come up with tells you exactly where you should build your mines. Even though you start with some coal and iron, you soon need more and the location of your mines can win or lose you the game. Geologists put up signs showing one, two or three 'balls' - the more the better. A high yield mine means that not only do you need less of them, you don't have to produce as much food for the miners; it also gives you the luxury of producing minerals at a faster rate. Make sure that you cover as many 'three ball' sites as possible when you place a mine, as there's no point in placing an iron mine on a coal deposit if you haven't found any iron yet. There are five kinds of mine in the game, most of which are self- explanatory. However, if it's a gold mine, remember that you need another coal mine to feed the smelter, as well as a storage bin to stockpile the gold. Each piece of gold adds a percentage to your strength, as do gems and sulphur, depending on the race you have chosen. If you want to have unlimited space for your resources, transport them to a second island. You can then save your gold on the beach. Let the battle commence And finally, keep an eye on your economy at all times - it helps you predict what you need next and build accordingly. And make sure that you have a steady stream of soldiers coming out of the barracks for when the inevitable attack comes; it means spending a couple of hours on town planning and financial management, but at least you'll be ready to participate in all-out war. Booze Each race has its own way of producing alcohol: Egyptian breweries need to use more grain, while Roman wineries must be planted on a hill. Asian distilleries are trickier as you need both rice farms and distillery coal. Place rice farms in swampy areas and erect charcoal huts to produce more coal. Once alcohol production has started, create a large temple and several small ones, all of which must be located close to the source of alcohol. Once you begin sending the Gods' favourite brew to the temple, the mana you receive in return can be used to either cast spells or to promote soldiers, thus enabling you to upgrade your fighting skills. 1 promotion: 10 offerings of alcohol 2 promotions: 25 offerings of alcohol 3 promotions: 50 offerings of alcohol 4 promotions: 100 offerings of alcohol 5 promotions: 200 offerings of alcohol 6 promotions: 300 offerings of alcohol Remember that when casting spells, the best - and only universal - spell is Gifts From The Heavens, which gives you an assortment of goodies in return for sacrifices. The return is always greater than the cost, so make use of it. Food Having expanded your borders, find room for a bakery, a waterworks, a grain farm and a grain mill to produce food to feed your miners. Fish is the quickest food to obtain if your race is situated near the coast. It is often a good idea to build a toolsmith and make a few extra fishing poles. As soon as the hut is built and populated, he should start fishing. If you can't build a hut close to a water source, he'll sit there until you set a new area for him. Bread takes slightly longer to make and you'll have to wait for your first grain harvest, after which you need a bakery, waterworks and a grain mill. Place the grain mill near your farm, the waterworks near a stream and the bakery in the middle, as it needs both grain and water. Ham also takes a while to produce as you'll often need a second grain farm, a pig farm and then a slaughter house. Note: if the woodcutters have taken all your axes you may need the assistance of the toolmaker to make you some. Safety Castles are extremely hard to build but make ideal defence systems - but don't build them too early on as they use up too many resources. Make sure that you fill your towers with your strongest troops, as losing one is not only frustrating but dangerous for your race. Place the healers near your castles or towers and send any red or yellow soldiers close by to restore their health. It pays to have a few scouts roaming around. It's also a good idea not to attack the enemy until you have seen inside their camp (look at their buildings, towers and most of all their barracks and weaponry), as you never know how powerful they are. Enemy soldiers can see spies if they get too close, so be careful. Finally, you'll need a couple of healer's huts and a cannon, ballista or catapult hall (depending on which race you are). While these weapons are lethal against towers, they are slow moving and vulnerable to enemy infantry. They can also be a strain on resources.
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