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No matter which race you choose, be it Romans, Egyptians or Asians, Settlers III
is a very complex and challenging game to master. 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.
So 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 become idle and you 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 lose half the material, but it gives you another place to build if things
are getting tight in terms of how much land you have left.

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 also 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, so 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 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 the 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 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 you receive is always greater than the cost, so make use of
it.

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 you fill
your towers with your strongest troops, as losing one is not only frustrating but
also 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've 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
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.