There are four different tribes in Widelands: Barbarians, Empire (Imperials), Atlanteans, and Frisians. A fifth tribe, the Amazons, is under development. All tribes have different wares, workers and buildings. This gives rise to different strong points and shortcomings. Find out which is your favorite tribe!
Currently, each tribe has a campaign which introduces it briefly, telling about the history and explaining its economy.
The Barbarians are a strong, rough, but friendly tribe, as long as you don't harm them. Then, they turn into a hearty a vicious tribe, quick to laughter and violence. They make fierce allies and fiercer foes.
Their home is up in the north, between old forests, mountains and grasslands, where they live since the beginning of time. Their soldiers are masters of axes, so it is no wonder that the barbarian lumberjack is the fastest one to be found amongst all the tribes.
The Barbarian economy is very simple and based on usefulness. Beautiful, but useless wares or architecture would never be made by the hands of a barbarian. Further information can be found at:
The Empire is an advanced tribe that dominates the Middle Latitudes. They are known for their intricate use of Marble in their soaring columnar construction.
The Imperials build beautiful and sophisticated structures using the precious marble and more luxurious wares tend to be highly valued:
Little is known of the Atlanteans. They use gold and other precious metals in the makings of mysterious artifice for peace and war.
The Atlanteans have a high culture with blackroot farms, smokeries, production of armor out of woven gold and several different tridents.
The Atlantean workers are special and have special needs, and their economy is similarly different [need proper summary]:
Living off the sea is a constant struggle that has imprinted its marks upon this tribe. Even though this seafaring people has migrated from their native North Sea shore to the the far North for reasons illustrated in their introductory campaign, their history as a proud and resilient nation is still clearly visible in their character. Used to the ocean's hardship, the frisians have quickly adapted to the challenges imposed on them by their ice-covered homes between fjords and mountains.
“Why do things the easy way when there is a more complex way to do it?” - Hauke the Wise, advisor of frisian chieftains
The frisian economy is more complex than others. Nearly all wares need to be processed in multiple steps before they can be used, and cyclic dependencies provide numerous possibilities to get yourself deadlocked. But once the challenges defining the tribes' character are mastered, it is rewarding to watch the economy flourishingly assemble the finest of goods with novel techniques mastered by no other tribe.
Living deep in the rainforest has stunted the technological progress of this tribe in some fields, but it pushed them to excel in others. They never mastered iron working and are still using tools made of wood and stone, but they mastered the arts of forestry and woodworking above anyone else. Their buildings of wood and rope rival the mightiest stone constructions. Their armors, made with light woods and padded with rubber and woven ropes, are the sturdiest of all. Only a fool would dismiss them as primitive simpletons.
Amazons don't have iron or coal mines. Instead, they use several varieties of rare woods, which are planted by specialized foresters, to produce all their advanced buildings and wares. Their junglemasters can make trees grow where no one else can.