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 Settlers 3 Strategies - Make war, not love
There is probably not a single game of Settlers that doesn't end up with a bloody war. Here is some strategic tips that may make your army bleed a little bit less than your enemys.

Spy on your enemy
As I wrote in the section In the beginning, should you early in the game send out spies to scout the terrain. Most for the need of knowing how the map looks, but the spies are also an excellent way to find out how your enemy has it in his backyard.

Don't try to walk into your enemys territory with a spy early in the game. The country is small, and the chance of you getting spotted is big. But a drastic way of getting some spies into enemyland early in the game, is to make a diversion in the other side of his territory. Take a spy and place it outside the borders on one side of the country, and then walk in with another one on the other side. His attention will then be drawn to the spy that are walking right in and you can hopefully sneak in with the other spy from the other side.

When you have got into his country, it is important to stay unnoticed. Place the settlers in a bunch of other settlers that are just standing and hanging somewhere, like outside a residence. Or you can take the spy for a walk, acting like he was about to pick up something somewhere. Just keep him away from military troops or he will get an unplesant death!

can you the spies hiding in the woods?? But of course is not only one spy enough, try and get as many as possible into your enemys territory so you can see everything he does. Place a lot of spies around the map as well, so you can spot early attacks, thick woods are great places to hide spies and armies in! (try and find the spies I hid in the bunch of trees in the screenshot next to the text here, quite impossible I might say).

Don't bother about the weak soldiers
When you start a game, you should set the recruiting to "manual". In this way will you not spend a lot of weapons on soldiers that dies fast anyway. Instead, the weapons will pile up outside the barracks and the weaponsmithy, and eventually will you have a lot of weapons in the storageareas as well. If you need a soldier or two for a newly built guardhouse, you can easily make them. And if you see an enemy attack coming, just set the recruting to "automatic" and you will have plenty of soldiers in no time.

The advantage of doing it like this is that you will always have the best available soldiers in case of an attack. So if you get a lot of mana fast (which I think is one of the most important things), your enemy won't stand a chance, since he probably (if it's early in the game) attacks with some weaker soldiers as well. (But the chance of such an early attack is low, since no one attacks without having plenty of goldbars in stock).

And when you have promoted your soldiers to maximum, you can set the recruitment to "automatic", and it will run by itself again.

The big con for this strategy, is that you always (I really mean always), have to have enough free settlers hanging around the barracks and the areas where you have your weapons, in case of an attack, or you will stand there with three soldiers against the enemys fortytwo. And you need to have spies scattered all around the map, so that you can spot the enemy when he comes and then recruit alot of soldiers. It's also important to have a look on the promotion of the soldiers, and upgrade them whenever possible, otherwise is this tactic useless and probably even works more worse than not trying it out at all.

Multiple attack locations
Let us say that you now have a big army, with only level 3 soldiers, and you feel like you want to pay back on your enemy who earlier in the game slaughtered some of your soldiers.

Well, then I hope that you have infiltrated his territory with plenty of spies, and know exactly where he has all of his gold and weapons, and where the other weak areas in his infrastructure is, because that is where you will attack!

Pick out a few guardhouses that protect important areas, and divide your army into smaller parts. Place the soldiers outside the enemys borders and attack with one group of soldiers a time, with about 15-20 seconds between each attack. Try and attack at many different places, and at least two or three guardtowers on each location. This will hopefully make his important buildings disappear, and the gold and weapons now belongs to you. But don't forget to leave a small guardtroop back home, just in case.

Multiple attack locations (2)
Another thing you can do is the same as I told you that you could do with the spies. Take some of your soldiers (about 10) and place them at one side of the enemy's territory and the others you place at the other end.

Now you make an attack with the small group. The enemy's soldiers are at that moment going to attack the small group and leaving the big group alone. You then attack with the big group and take so many barracks as possible before the enemy's army comes back.

You can hopefully keep the barracks you took if you send up archers. You can also destroy the barracks you don't need because you properly need the soldiers to defend the other barracks that you need more.

Use your soldiers in the right way
It's very important to use your soldiers in the right way, because you don't want to lose soldiers unnecessarily in a big fight. To do this you must remember this:

    swordsman fear spearmen.
    spearmen fear archers.
    archers fear swordsmen.

If you know this you understand why the next advice is very good. When you get attacked or are attacking, send your spearmen at his soldiers with your archers protected behind them and send your swordsmen around behind to kill the archers. Once his archers are dead your archers will quickly mince the rest as they will be pressed in all sides by your spears and swords.

Copyright © 1999 Roberth Läckström & Marcus Rangell

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