Face Off is one of the most played Populous maps. The map consists of four pieces of low land connected to a hill in the middle. There is a small disadvantage for the color blue in this map, although it’s greatly exaggerated by players; it’s not very bad to be blue. If blue and green team up in this map, there’s not that much of a disadvantage for blue. All the other colors are good and each has advantages.
Basic strategy: After finishing the convert stage, start charging blast to kill enemy shamans and take the hill. Once you have the hill, charge lightning (charging earthquake now is risky!) to be able to keep it or take it back in case you lose it, and build towers on it (facing the trees for a faster build time). If you’re not blue, place a tower near blue’s entrance to the hill and then, once built, place a hut (space key to make it face yellow’s land) as deep into blue’s entrance as possible, making it very hard for blue to climb up the hill and, for overkill, put firewarriors into the hut. Make sure you have firewarriors in your towers. If possible, build a warrior hut on the hill. Once you’ve secured the hill, charge earthquake and use it on your opponent’s back first if possible (try to get their firewarrior hut!), and if not, the front. Slide warriors into opponents’ bases when appropriate. If you lose the hill, take it back using a combination of lightning, ghost army, and swarm. If for some reason you can’t take it back, you can create a side door between you and your opponent out of land bridges, but having the hill is much better.
LB hill: A very destructive tactic. From the hill, landbridge to one of your opponent’s small hills. This will give you an easy way to attack their base, and you can even patrol firewarriors on the land bridge. You can even make further landbridges from small hill to small hill to finish crushing your opponent.
Tower land manipulation: As explained in the building section, towers can be used to manipulate land. This is especially useful on Face Off. Here are external links to the most useful tower spots for blue, red, yellow and green.
Tower crush: A tactic to use is to place a tower near their base, then once built, put your shaman into it and build huts near the tower. However, good players will never let you do this to them. Never let this get done to you!
How much is the hill worth? The hill has a very high value, as it allows you to double an opponent easily. If possible, it should be attempted to take it back before side dooring.
Start for each color:
Blue: Convert the four wildmen on your own base nearest to the hill, then animation cancel towards the hill. Convert as many wildmen as possible and then go to the back of blue’s base and convert the four wildmen there on time, then get back to hill.
Red: Convert the four wildmen behind the reincarnation site, animation cancel towards the hill, and then convert all wildmen possible.
Yellow: Convert the four wildmen on your own base nearest to the hill, animation cancel towards hill, convert all wildmen, go to back of base and convert four wildmen on time, go back to hill.
Green: Convert the four wildmen on the middle of hill, convert all wildmen possible, go to back of base on time, convert four wildmen, go back to hill.
Keith52’s Face Off training video