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*SPOILER ALERT* This post contains...

*SPOILER ALERT* This post contains spoilers. If you're having trouble completing a quest, I suggest you read Lara's guide first, since I'm really just expanding on many of her strategies. That being said, I'll try to put all the spoilers at the end.

I'm playing as the farmer, so this might not apply to your game. I haven't played as anyone else, so if something doesn't apply to the other two Heroes, feel free to post a reply and let me know.

-My favorite strategy in this game seems to be with only 6 settlers. This works with most of the difficult scenarios, like Tornado Alley and the Bakery Quest. Each settler mans his/her own building, be it a Gold Mine, Wood Hut, or Farm. The theory behind this is that the FIRST worker at each building produces more than every other worker, making that worker the MOST efficient. This also limits population growth, which means I don't have to spend nearly as much on expensive luxury items.

-6 settlers is still only a 5-point penalty. I've gotten myself into big trouble by expanding too quickly. Once I start building more settlers, the Happiness drops. If Happiness gets to 50 or below, it cuts resource gathering at the knees and makes my population yo-yo. (Yes, it will yo-yo, because the houses are still there, so more people will come to fill those vacancies until it repeats.)

-While a settler is "working" his/her job, they can also be doing other things, such as chopping up wood that has already fallen, mining/panning small piles of gold, fishing for extra food or even building other buildings. The best part is that their "main job" still gets done, so each of the HIGHLY efficient settlers can pull double duty early on.

-Sometimes, basic resource gathering is all I need. I don't need to build major infrastructure to complete some of the quests. If it only says to build 3 Mines, I might only need 1 Wood Hut and 1 Farm to help me get there.

-I try to build 1 Windmill for each Farm. It's a relatively inexpensive way to make each Farm worker more productive and can help food supplies grow quickly.

-Extra wells ward off drought/fires and extra Granaries give me cushion should I mess up (and these buildings count toward your building count in Tornado Alley.) I like to have about 30-40 water (~5 wells) and 50-60 food (~5 granaries) on hand for a small 6 settler town.

-In order to prevent natural disasters from wiping me out, I usually spread out my buildings. Yeah, I end up needing more wells, but they're really not that expensive. This strategy won't help against Earthquakes, but really works well against Tornadoes and helps keep Fires from spreading.

-Corn seems to be my best crop. The first thing I do once I get a worker at a farm is switch to Corn. I've found Pumpkins to be useless. In the future, they'll be one of my last upgrades.

-For ranching, I find Cattle yields the best performance. This being said, I usually just stick to Farms, since they cost less and produce about the same. Later in the game, I build Farms and/or Ranches as the gold veins and forests disappear. Then I use the Trading Posts to sell the food for gold. (If you do this, make sure you build plenty of Granaries.) This works especially well if you build a new Farm/Ranch and transfer all the workers from a defunct Wood Hut or Gold Mine.

-If my Corn crops are affected by Plague, I immediately switch crops to Wheat, then switch back to Corn when it's over.

-I upgrade my Axes, Pickaxes and Guns early. These upgrades help dramatically in resource gathering and defense for the rest of the game.

-The cliche, "The best defense is a good offense," often applies in this game.

-I don't usually build the more advanced structures for the side quests, since they cost so much. After getting my resources stabilized, I'll often replace the Shacks with Log Cabins to eliminate the Happiness penalty. (Just demolish 2 Shacks as you finish building each Log Cabin to keep your population steady.) This has allowed me to unlock Luxuries later instead of earlier in the game.

-The first Gazebo counts for 8 Happiness points. All for only 80 Gold and 80 Wood. :D

-On the 1200 Gold quest early on, I like Lara's strategy of building wells. Shacks also work well, but only if the villain decides to repo those instead of the more expensive structures. But I don't go hog-wild building Shacks, since the population will skyrocket. I try and stick to 6-8 settlers, just replacing the buildings he repo's while being patient. I'm not sure if Flower Pots or Outhouses would work, since they don't count as "buildings" in other quests, but please post and let me know if you test it.

**Most of the major spoilers are below, unless you've read Lara's guide. Then you've already had them spoiled.**

-Beehives are AWESOME. They produce food and improve happiness in the town without requiring any support. And they're relatively cheap to build. I've used Beehives as an almost exclusive source of food on some of the quests, only pulling one of my settlers over to a Farm when my Granaries get low.

-In order to get the beehives, you have to build 10 Flower Pots. Beehives then become available as a building for settlers and your Hero. The beehive is a new "Building" just like the Flower Pot or Fountain.

-Once you build your first Beehive, you get a bear. The bear acts just like a gunslinger. It will accompany you on missions/quests where your gunslingers normally will go. It fights like a gunslinger, though only at point blank range, and can take quite a few hits. I haven't figured out how to use Health Kits on my bear, so maybe Lara would be willing to share how she did it.

-The 3 secrets I've unlocked so far are the 3 Amigos, Beehive and the Sheep Farmer. The last one is Treasure Hunter, but I haven't found the second part yet.

-I haven't beaten the game yet, so I'm probably wrong about some things. I've only allowed my Hero to "die" once, so I'm not really using that as one of my strategies. I think it makes the game a little too easy. I just finished putting out the fires after the White/Wong quest, and I'm hoping to finishing it tomorrow.

-Many thanks to Lara and everyone else who posted tips and tricks which helped me get to the point I'm at. I might post what I think is a good build order later, but I'm sure someone will beat me to the punch.

By lucy
Wow! Awesome post!!!! :D

Thanks so much for putting all your lil tips & tricks in here! I'm reading along and saying to myself, "Yup! That's exactly what I did!" or "Oooo! I never thought of that!"

This game is so huge and there are so many little things to pick up along the way, it's hard sometimes to remember it all when I write the guides.

BTW - Have you tried building a well in that sunken area on the Gunslinger Gulch map where the 3 - 4 cow skulls are?

Thanks again for the great post and the compliments! ((blushin')) =)

By houstonwolve
how did you get the sheep farmer?

also does anyone know if there's a way to go back to a previous level or do you have to just start over, i missed getting the last skull on the first treasure quest because i could figure out how to get the one in the water.
By ce
How do I destroy a bridge I've already built? I've tried dynamite and it doesn't seem to work. If I can't destroy the bridge, I can't get to the other part of the key. Any ideas?
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