Kailasa is taken from the monkey kingdoms of the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana. In the Ramayana, the monkey kingdom serves as the main character Rama's main force after he settles a dispute between their two princes by shooting one with his bow.
On the sacred Mount Kailasa, beings from an earlier era still linger. They are blessed with mystical powers but are few in number. With the emergence of the new God they have mustered aid from a most unsuspecting force. Deep in the forests below, the sacred mountain apes of uncanny brightness have evolved. The apes are uncivilized and have only recently mastered the mysteries of metal working.
Kailasa represents the Early Age of the Bandar Log nation, known as the Rise of the Ape Kings.
Kailasa is an interesting nation, and can be somewhat versatile. Their main strengths seem to be cheap archers and an abundance of sacred troops. So I think the best and most obvious choice is to focus on that.
I went with a F9 Red Dragon, awakened. The scales I chose were Order:2, Sloth:2, Heat:2, and Growth:2. Kailasa, for the most part, has gold expensive troops at low resources, so I find these scales work well. You could possibly substitute 1 point in growth with 1 point in magic for a research boost without affecting your income too much.
Another possible route to take would be W9 Mother of Rivers awakened. I sometimes have trouble finding magic sites that give you water gems on land, so the immediate boost is worth it, and the bless isn't too bad either. It's also recommended if you plan on facing underwater nations. However the expense is you won't have access to fire gems as easily through searching and a few key fire spells won't be readily castable without some luck and forging.
There are a lot of options possible, however extra income and low supply scales, I feel, are a must.
First thing you'll notice about Kailasa is they have cheap, cheap scouts. These guys are great as they give you valuable information about the army you're about to face and as you move them away where the enemy nations are located. With the icon to locate them added to Dom 3 I find myself using them much more often (in Dom 2 I'd lose track of them easily and became a bit of a hassle).
After a little more examination, you'll see that every troop available except one has a movement rate of 2 on the world map, so the nation as a whole is pretty mobile.
Next thing you'll see is your starting army and it pretty much stinks. It can take a weak indy province, but will take heavy losses, so I'd get that out of the way as soon as possible.
Over the next few turns or less you can begin to design your own army. Here's a list of the better troops and how to use them:
You've got three different types of archers available, Markata, Atavi, and Bandar. Markata archers are cheap so it's easy to amass them in large numbers, however their range is smaller and they're fast, so frequently what happens is they run out in front of your lines to fire and get slaughtered. Atavi archers have the range necessary to stay put, for the most part, and fire. Bandar archers are even more expensive than both, but have a lower precision and more hit points. They're not always worth the cost; On the one hand, they're less precise, but on the other, they use Long Bows, which are more capable of puncturing through the heavy armor you sometimes see in the Early Age. They're best when the enemy has heavier defenses, such as Ulm or Jotun. Atavi archers are probably the best option, they have a chance of surviving an arrow or sling and don't run out to get cut down.
Out of all the infantry, Markata, Atavi, and Bandar, I think the resource heavy Bandar Swordsmen is the best option. They can take a few hits and hold a line, and are pretty good at absorbing missile weapons. It's well worth the cost, and additionally they're the only troop that uses more than a single digit of resources and even at sloth:2 you'll have enough to get quite a few of them and still get plenty of archers. In the early stages of the game, however, mass Markata with Atavi mixed in is a cheap source of troops for taking on independents. Keep in mind that they will become significantly less useful as soon as you start meeting other Gods, except as a body shield to distract the first wave of melee units from your main force.
Unfortunately, there is no cavalry to speak of in Kailasa.
There are three types of sacred troops in Kailasa, and two are capital only. Yavana with a spear, Yavana with a sword and buckler, and Yavana Archers. They're not too expensive at around 40 gold a piece, and with a good bless they can be massed quickly and become extremely dangerous if you can keep them safe from missile fire. Since they're sacred, you can only recruit a certain number of them depending on your dominion, so you have to make a decision on how to best use them. I prefer to take the Yavana with the swords over the archers and spearmen because there's a lack of hardy front line troops and I already have plenty of archer options, but the blessed archers aren't too bad either.
The basic strategy is to put the Bandar swordsmen in front, behind them the Yavana, and behind them/on the flanks your archers. I set all melee troops to hold and attack to let your most likely superior firepower fire a few volleys, and then move in to finish them off. Thinning the enemy out with arrows should minimize your losses. Towards the latter stages of the game a Yashkini with a group of Yavana Archers backing her up is a great source of artillery fire, they can hold their own in a melee fight as well.
Your basic commanders are either Bandar Commanders or Atavi Chieftains. I'd stick with the Bandar Commander whenever possible, those Atavi have a tendency to die easily.
Kailasa has 4 mages available, and 2 priests. The priests are very expensive and only H1, but that's as good as it gets here. These are good candidates for a prophet as you'll be hard pressed to find a higher indy priest.
The Yogi isn't a bad deal at 80G for 1S. It makes a decent mage to sit and spam Body Ethereal and later Luck on your blessed troops to improve their lifespan, or to cast Magic Duel and hope to get lucky. There's also a few useful items they can forge.
The Guru at 160G and 2S 1N is a good mage. They're the only national mage that is capable of summoning Asparas. In battle they can use decent spells like Healing Light and Protection and Panic, and more devastating spells like Mind Burn, Paralyze, Swarm, and Horror Mark which are capable of downing stronger enemies easily. Their big drawback, however, is their limited movement range at 1. They'll probably slow your army down, so use with caution. Being the most cost effective source of research points, Gurus might serve you better doing work in the laboratory instead of slowing down your armies.
These two can use use Communion Master/Slave which, for the demo, I don't really find necessary, but the option is there.
The Yaksha, coming in at a whopping 360G and 3E 1N 1H 1?(random) is probably the best mage for this nation. He can naturally cast Blade Wind and Legions of Steel, which are excellent spells in the early age. Curse of Stones is also nice for keeping the enemy at range to be pelted by arrows. Ironskin is a good spell for personal protection.
The Yakshini, also expensive at 360G for 3W 1N 1H 1? is not bad, and the main reason why I didn't take the Mother of Rivers as she can find water sites. In Dom 2 a water mage of sufficient power could breathe underwater, however due to a bug or perhaps design at this time she cannot, however perhaps in a patch it will be possible and add another piece of utility to this mage. Anyway, some of the more useful spells available to her are Quickness, Barkskin, Eagle Eyes, and Protection for buffs, and Encase in Ice, Numbness, Sailor's Death, and Curse of the Desert for offense.
Depending on the randoms also, there's a host of other spells available.
There are many useful items available to this nation. Ice Pebble Staff, Summer Sword, Vine Bow and the like are good for commanders without magic to give them something to do in safety. Thistle Mace and Ivy Crown are good for Vine Ogres if you want them. Shambler Skin Armor is good to get in the water. Pendant of Luck and Antimagic Amulet are good for a lot of your Magic Beings who are vulnerable to low level spells that will kill them instantly, Spell Focus is great for anyone who uses magic. The Earth Boots are good for your Yakshas who are casting Blade Wind. Ring of Regen is great for your pretender especially.
What paths to pursue depend on what you want to do with your nation. Conjuration is a must if you want to get underwater, you can get a huge army using Summon Sea Dogs quickly. Conjuration is also good if you want cavalry, as Ambush of Tigers can give you that, and Asparas are free sacred troops which you will always be limited in producing. This is the school I'd pursue first, at least to Asparas.
Alteration is a good school to pursue, many of your buffs come from here early. Body Ethereal, Protection, and Swarm are great spells. Encase in Ice is nice as well as Ironskin.
Evocation is not bad, Blade Wind is worth it, in the current version (3.01) one or two Yakshas spamming Blade Wind from behind the lines will thin out an enemy force drastically before they even reach you. There's also a lot of other spells your mages can cast to do direct damage. Fires from Afar is a good spell too.
Construction is a great school. In addition to the many items you'll want to equip on commands, Legions of Steel comes with this school which is a great spell to open combat with.
Thaumaturgy has some really great astral spells in it, like Paralyze, Mind Burn, and Horror Mark. Panic and Curse are also good spells. If you plan on using Gurus much, this school is definitely worth it.
Enchantment can be put off for the most part, Strength of Giants is about it in there, unless you took the recommended F9 pretender. Flame Arrows and Fire Shield are excellent spells from this school, Flame Arrows alone will make your army of archers devastating, however basically useful only to your pretender in the demo.
Your army is mobile and generally takes few losses. Using that to your advantage means fielding large amounts of troops are replaces the losses quickly with your ability to traverse the map, so perhaps castling isn't as necessary and that money is better spent on troops. You also should have plenty of scouts out observing what your enemy is doing and what kinds of troops he/she is fielding. Taking time to plan routes and avoid rough terrain is essential if you want to take advantage of the fast troops you have available to you.
Thugs and Super Combatants
When you're ready to start buffing up thugs to wreck heavy damage on enemy nations, you should be prepared to get disappointed. Your best bet for a thug will be Devasura, a randomly appearing hero unit, outside of Devasura you'll want to focus on the Yaskhas. But with an investment of a whopping 360 gold and relatively low hit points you'll want to be handing them ethereal robes, luck pendants, etc. anything to prevent them from actually getting hit. Set them to cast three or so spells before wading into combat as well, iron skin or other earth based buffs will help all the more when they're in the midst of the enemy. A regiment of many Markata or few Bandar Swordsmen will do wonders for survival rates too.
Kailasa is a mostly straightforward nation. One thing that stands out is the lack of any natural cavalry but an over-abundance of archers. Also, all the high-level units are sacred and magical meaning you'll need to have the high-level commanders (who are also sacred and magical) in order to make use of them. Other than that, Kailasa is a perfectly normal and balanced nation. I'd recommend this nation to a beginner in the demo as you get to use a variety of troop types and schools of magic. Playing them successfully doesn't require complete mastery of tactics or the game, but it give you a basic idea on practically everything and a good foundation to try some more complicated and difficult tactics.