From Populous Wiki
|Mode : Singleplayer
|Players : 4
|Stone Heads : 1
|Vault of Knowledges : 0
|Alliances : N/A
|Difficulty : Hard
Middle Ground is the 17th level in Populous The Beginning, where the player faces all the 3 tribes. It is the second of the 4 vertical planets. The level introduces the guest spell Armageddon. It is one of the most famous and played online levels as well - in Multiplayer, it goes by the name Pressure Point.
"I sense a great struggle ahead. The Chumara, Dakini and Matak are massing their forces against us."
<html5media height="720" width="1280">https://ts.popre.net/files/mp3s/Level%2017%20-%20Introduction.mp3</html5media>
This level is set up as a large (identical, almost symmetrical) landmass. Each tribe starts with a large chunk of land with three paths leading to other twin settlements. The central paths lead to the central Stone Head that is positioned on top of a hill that looks like a large staircase from all directions. The side paths lead to other enemy bases directly (these can all be accessed from the centre as well). The player's base is positioned on the northwest landmass with the Dakini base to the east, the Matak base to the south and the Chumara base to the southeast. The player must pass by the Stone Head for the most direct path to the Chumara base. All three enemy tribes start off with developed bases but will continue to build more buildings. Blue starts off with a few completed huts as well as all the training huts complete. There are plenty of Wildmen and trees on this map, especially on the paths leading to other areas.
To start off, build as many huts as you can early on and convert as many wildmen as possible. Make sure to train at least ten warriors, preachers and firewarriors for defense and consider training some more as the level progresses depending on how much you need them.
Position your trained units to patrol in the southeast portion of your base so that they can run over to any of the three paths to deal with enemy attacks. Your Shaman should be placed in a Guard Tower on the hill overlooking the central path for extended spell range. Later on, you should build a Balloon Hut for her to be transported in and place a firewarrior in her Guard Tower instead. Charge Erode early in order to cut off enemy access by land from all three paths as soon as you can. Do not worry about the Stone Head, no tribe will take control of it long enough to get the spell for a long while. If anyone does, make sure to kill the worshippers before they get the spell.
All enemy tribes will use the paths to attack by land in this level, either to attack an enemy base or to fight over the central Stone Head containing the Armageddon spell. You will be attacked early so make sure you have a defense set up early. The Matak will also build a Boat Hut to attack by boat and the Chumara will build a Balloon Hut to attack by balloon. Make it a priority to get your Shaman in a balloon to fly over and destroy these buildings before the enemy can make use of them. If you do this and also manage to erode the three paths, you can eventually stop the enemy from attacking your base.
Once the enemy are unable to attack you at all, keep working on increasing your population by building as many huts as possible. You can use your Shaman and her devastating spells to destroy the tribes one by one or cut off all access to the central Stone Head with more Erode spells and send some followers to get the Armageddon spell. If you plan to use the Armageddon spell, train all your followers into equal numbers of warriors and firewarriors (preachers and braves aren't very useful here) and cast the spell anywhere. With a large population of these trained units it should be easy to finish the enemy tribes.