Powermonger is a game by Peter Molyneux, published by Bullfrog. It is the successor to Populous. There is a strategic map, where you start out at the left top corner and select scenario maps which you have to conquer to make your way to the lower right corner. However, I was so addicted that I solved all maps.

The game was developed by Lionhead Studios. It was released in 1990 and published by Electronic Arts. It is available for the following platforms: DOS, SNES, Atari ST, Genesis, Sega CD. It can be considered a strategy game (although the character representing you can be killed). The view is isometric.

You take the role of a leader, who starts out controlling an army or a village. Sometimes you will have food with you, sometimes not. You need the food to feed the army. If you attack a village and defeat the villagers, you gain control of that village. With the passing of the seasons, the villagers will set themselves upon the task of sowing seeds, farming, fishing, chopping wood, mining and making tools, boats and weapons. You can partially control what the villagers build by setting the "mood" of your villagers. Weapons you can build are pikes, bows, swords and cannons. Bows are strong, but cannot stop pikemen from moving in on your leader, so you need a mixed army. A villager can be equipped with a boat and a weapon.

To go to war, you can draft villagers into your army. Equip your army with the weapons the villagers made. You also take food from the village to feed your troops. You can eat sheep to get more food.
You can have more than one leader, the orders to the leaders get communicated by pigeons. Bowmen can intercept pigeons sometimes.

In conclusion, there is a lot of detail in the game, especially considering the time that it was published. This is somewhat spoiled by the predictable actions of the computer opponent. The terrain engine is much improved from Populous.

Alert: Spoiler ahead

Almost all but half a dozen maps follow the same pattern to achieve victory:
Visit all your own villages and cottages and draft all villagers and get all food. If you need to conquer the villages, start with attacking the small villages and proceed to the bigger ones. If you set your aggression to low, your army will deal less damage per blow, but the villagers will surrender and survive to become yours. Now it is time to go to the enemy. Try to intercept lone leaders the enemy sends over the country. They carry bags of food, which will help you feed your army. Try to intercept small armies of the enemy before they are able to join the big army. Start attacking and capturing enemy villages. Attack only when sure of winning. You will reach a point where you will need to build weapons or gather food. Start by attacking a village far away from the enemy. The enemy will start moving to recapture that village. While he is moving, build weapons. Leave well before he reaches your village and leave the village empty. Repeat this with new villages near a forest or a mine until your army is well equipped (like 50% bowmen, 50% pikemen). Now start the big battle and kill the leader. If you defeat an army by lowering their morale or killing the leader, the villagers will go back to the village where they where drafted. You can leave them working in their villages for a time and then go and gather them.

Sometimes you will want to build your economy instead of attacking, but this is only reasonable when you have peaceful opponents who rule big cities you cannot capture. You can improve your farming by making pots for the seeds. There are also traders, which can help a little.

Some smaller tricks

There is a trick involving boats: if you have one boat, you can often row to the other side of the sea and steal fishing boats for the rest of your army.

You can also trade food for weapons with a village not under your control. This can be useful sometimes. Villagers will only work on projects when fed.

Sheep are a good source for food. If you don't kill all, they will multiply. If there are multiple squarreling enemy leaders, a battle between them can result in food being dropped by their leaders.

Avoid getting engaged in battle unwittingly, since the enemy army will keep following you. This can be very dangerous especially if the enemy has boats and bowmen.

Cannons move slow. Avoid building more than one unless you have a lot of men to pull them.

Your army moves slower in winter. So if you have a choice, start your offensive in spring.

Use secondary leaders if you have them to draft villagers more quickly, but remember you want to build one big army.

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