|Some settlements. The land is not too flat here, but they|
have a leader. The big Sun thing is what all the people
want to get to. The big house has a small sun over it
to show that it's the leader's residence.
I enjoyed the game because I was allowed to build up huge armies of followers and send them out to annihilate the enemy. As well as doing this, I could also look after my people by manipulating the landscape to make it flat and give them lots of space to build better settlements which were able hold more people (more people meant more manna or magical power which was needed to use your powers) and also bigger settlements could produce better weapons which made the tribes more effective in combat.
I could also appoint a leader my making them go on a pilgrimage to a huge Sun object where the first tribe that stepped into it could become the leader and any other tribes would join with them. This meant that I could create a super powerful tribe which would go where I wanted it to (wherever I placed the sun thing) as opposed to mill around, which is what they normally did.
|Forest + fire = fun|
Another great trick I learnt was to put a baptism font (a pool of water which made whoever fall into it switch sides) under the opponent's leader generator (a medusa's head) and watch a queue of bad guys just fall into it. This would only work if my opponent could not change the lay of the land.
|Not a suitable place to build|
Populous II had a simple concept which was easy to learn quickly. Its replay factor came from the different strategies you had to adopt depending on which powers you had access to. The same principle applies to gamebooks - you can have a very simple system that can create many options with a few ways to fiddle with it. Destiny Quest has done this well with a simple combat system but a whole host of abilities that you can use in combat to your advantage. However, you need to develop the correct strategy to do it well.