This guide is intended for players who already have a good practice of Colonization in order for them to reach maximum score levels. Beginners should first go through the manual of the game and other FAQs.
Colonization is a strategy game with roughly 4 different phases and it is important to focus on the right objectives at the right time. Nonetheless, there are global objectives you need to take into consideration during the whole game :
Production of Liberty Bells and Son of Liberty membership is key to your success. It is more important that whatever money you have in your treasury. It gives you both Founding Fathers and production efficiency.
Statesmen and printing press/newspaper are you best friends.
is the second great way towards getting a better production efficiency. Right from the beginning send your indentured servants to the Indian villages. Remember an Indian capital can train as many experts as you want. Then build schools, colleges and universities and invest heavily your experts time running them.
Peace is great.
Except in the very early years where conquering one or two colonies from another European power will give you a head start, do not fight until Independence War. Start building an army no sooner than five to ten years before declaring Independence. Soldiers are expensive to train and arm and of little use when you are at peace. If “Fellow Europeans” come up in your colonies, try to block them off with whatever artillery, dragoons or scouts available. If they are bothering too much “meet with Mayor” and pay them off.
No Taxation without Representation !
Never pay any money to the king and do not let him increase your tax rate. Commerce with the Natives and later the custom house added to a strong local industry makes the King’s help totally unnecessary. The only exception would be during the very beginning of the game if you have tools or horses in warehouse in Capital and the king threaten you with a boycott. But you can usually prevent this to happen by storing your tools and horses out of Capital or in a wagon train or vessel anchored in Capital.
Good relationship with the Natives
is necessary for commerce as long as you do not have custom houses and will be confronted with boycott for not paying your taxes.
It is good for peace at any time as you do not want to invest on military before the very end (and good for getting small gifts, too !). It is not so difficult to achieve peace with the Indians (except Arawaks) if you are French or once you get Pocahontas. Missionaries can prove very efficient in peacekeeping and once you have Jean de Brebeuf, to increase your population with converts. Be cautious however not to send missionaries in the Indian capitals. Again, Native capitals are excellent for providing unlimited and free education to your indentured servants or free colonists. Starting a game with an Indian capital nearby specialized in farming is really a booster.
And finally Natives can be incited against the REF during Independence War.
6. Economy. The first basic principle regarding the price variation in the commodity market is just to produce all possible finished goods and have a colony specialized for each of them depending on the raw material available in the city radius. That is a fur & coats city, a cotton and cloths town, a tobacco and cigars settlement, a sugar & rum colony. The second principle is that if prices nose dive in Europe, you can still make good business with the Natives. However always keep an eye on the market as it happens that the price of the raw material would sometimes grow above that of the finished good !
Concentrate your colonies in one single continent and create no more than
one single permanent harbor that will be your Capital. One port will later
prove easier to fortify and defend against the Royal Expeditionary Force (REF).
For some reason, the REF will not leave the city they land next to until they
have captured it. So you do not need to defend any other inland settlement.
Moreover one single location with good communication between Capital and your hinterland will greatly simplify your logistics as well as defense from the privateers raids. One aspect of logistics being the management of the “parties” when you refuse the king a raise in taxes…
8. Founding Fathers. They all have their interest, the 25 of them. And in the end, they will give you 5 points each in your final score. The only real issue during the game is when is it the best time to have them enter your Congress ?
Prefer “start a game in America” as the landscape is more homogeneous than a random map. Settling around “New England” (31,14) is an excellent starter : plenty of forests and river, easy food (except hills mountains and boreal forest all terrain once cleared will generate at least 3 food units) and timber at the beginning, iron mining later ; harbor not too far from sea-lane (unfortunately silver mining is often in the Rocky mountains which are a bit far away).
Another reason is the Indian settlements. There are 5 native Capitals in North America and 2 only in South America. Iroquois and Cherokee can teach you Farming, Fishing, Ore Mining and Fur Trading. Aztec can teach Silver Mining, too.
And last but not least, there are no crazy Arawaks in Continental North-America...
If the East Coast of Northern America is already occupied by some other European Power, you can conquer the place in the very first turns as they have almost no army and no stockade. Easily if you chose Spanish and have your veteran soldier. Otherwise you’ll need go for a horse first to attack with a dragoon.
All four nations have their special interest (Immigration for English; Hardy pioneer for French, Merchantman for Dutch, Vet soldier for Spanish). Although I have a slight preference for the French because of their Indian relationship, you can actually get a high score with any of them, really.
You’re not even obliged to have bad behavior with Indians if you take the Spanish !
During this period you will:
In 1492, go straight to square (32,14) being careful to stay in ocean squares and not hit a sea lane. This may take a couple of turns depending where you started the game. Disembark all staff on (31,14). Make peace with all present (Iroquois or Fellow Europeans).
Build Capital with soldier and start clearing forest and plowing (P) the place with pioneer.
(existing bug : You may need to set your pioneer at work before you build city).
Soldier becomes statesman and you send caravel (or merchant man) back home in Europe.
Your best choice for a Founding Father at
this time is Hernando de Soto (exploration). But once you get him
be cautious to visit the Lost City Rumors with a Scout, not a dragoon.
If you do not get de Soto on the list, look for Cortes (military) or Jefferson (political). If none of them show up, do not hesitate to reload from a previous save.
Back in Europe you should have your first immigrant waiting. If he is not an expert, turn him into a missionary. Return to Capital and charge whatever furs or cotton are available. Go back to Europe in order to pickup as many horses as you can.
Meanwhile, if your first immigrant is an expert use him as a second statesman. If he is a missionary send him to the Indian village next door to your Capital in order to establish a mission. The natives will approach religion with curiosity and their alarm level will lower to green.
You should soon reach a 20% Sons of Liberty membership and get your first Founding Father. Your next best choice will be Hernan Cortes in order to transport your treasure free of charge.
On your second trip to Europe bring back your second immigrant and enough horses to get a total of at least 50 in Capital so you can create your first scout. Create a soldier, though, if you have a European colonies in the vicinity. Through exploration (or conquest of the other European village) you should get enough money to bring back from Europe 1 or 2 cargo of horses. So by 1525 you should have at least 3 or 4 scouts up and running. Remember that petty criminals are as good at that job as indentured servants or free colonists.
Do not forget to note the location of those Indian villages where you can learn rare and important skills such as tobacco planter.
By this time, Capital should be almost empty except for a statesman or two. It is time to end War of the Spanish Succession and get “Treaty of Utrecht”. Change all remaining inhabitants of Capital into colonists except one statesman and that should do the trick on the following turn. You thus remove one enemy nation from the New World and you should be on your own for a while …
You may have got your first convert by now, assign him to work in the fields (farmer, trapper, lumberjack). And, once you have enough scouts, remember to send all new indentured servants to Indian villages for education. Actually the mere fact that Iroquois or Cherokee Capital can turn all your IS into farmers, dramatically changes the speed of your development.
It is interesting to keep an eye on the Recruit list of the European status as it may be useful, when the price of passage is low, to pay a little money and choose who your next immigrant will be.
As soon as you get $3000, buy a galleon for trading with Europe and bringing back those many immigrants attracted by the Fountain of Youth you will soon be discovering (I usually get 3/4 of them in a game). Thus you may dedicate your caravel to exploration and send it to South America with a couple of veteran scouts on board to hasten the whole exploration process. Once exploration provides a lot of cash, do not hesitate to buy a second and a third galleon. The 3 galleons combination enables having a good rotation to transport immigration.
Next best investment, if you do not already got one through Fountain of Youth or ordinary immigration is a carpenter($1 000) and a lumberjack($700) if you do not have converts available. Build a lumber mill in Capital. Then a printing press and newspaper. And as soon as money comes pouring in, do not hesitate to invest huge sums in hastening building those.
Your third investment will be for an hardy pioneer ($1 200) if you do not already have one and for some tools to keep him clearing and plowing and because printing press and newspaper need them, too. In case you are in a boycott on tools and have plenty of money, remember you can get tools anytime by hastening a building that needs some. So, at one point in the game you may decide to repeat the process a couple of time during the same turn in order to pile up some tools in a wagon train or galleon.
And of course, providing you do not already have one your fourth investment will be for training an elder statesman in the Royal University.
Always accept to share some of your food when they “fall upon hard times”. Do not get upset by native raids. If you interfere too much with their environment and do not compensate by trading enough with them an Indian tribe will raid you, but only once. They may steal some of your resources or they may even kill one of your colonists. It is useless to plan retaliation against them. Because as soon as their uprising is finished the tribe will calm down, their alarm level turn back to green and life goes on with no other consequence.
As soon as you have a wagon train, buy some trade goods from Europe. They sell well to the Indians and you make huge profit at the very beginning. Another way to use TG is for keeping selling over and over the same goods to the same Indian settlement. Once you have sold your goods you offer one TG, so next time they accept the same kind of goods again.
Four your next founding father choose Thomas Jefferson (to increase Liberty bells production) except if confronted with special circumstances such as :
William Brewster may be more convenient earlier if you are English.
Peter Minuit if Capital is next to an Indian Camp.
Pocahontas if not being French you are confronted with native unrest. If you still do not have Minuit while researching Pocahontas, the turn before you get her you can use all native land you need without compensation…
Jean de Brebeuf as soon as you have many missionaries at work.
Whatever the order those are your best choices during this phase.
During this period you will:
1. Use the exploration money to bring all available Europeans to the New-World :
a. - once the price of the passage is over $600, hire ore miners.
b. - invest on cross production with Cathedral and Preachers (after William Penn).
2. Grow your population locally :
a. - keep up creating missions in every Indian village where you raise concern. You’ll get not only peace with your Native neighbors but also get converts who are highly productive for open air jobs.
b. - use agricultural settlements producing excess of food. (200 food = 1 colonist)
3. Accommodate all new-comers by building infrastructures. That is create Main cities and secondary colonies auto-sufficient on food (well plowed) and linked to Capital by roads.
4. Increase Sons of Liberty membership among your Tory new-comers. That is produce the higher possible number of Liberty Bells in each colony.
5. Turn Capital into a big modern metropolis (with a 100% Son of Liberty population of around 20). Station permanently a galleon for warehousing and managing “resources parties”. Build a strong tool industry in order to keep your hardy pioneers working. Later this industry will be moved to IronCities (see below). You will dedicate at least on wagon train to transport iron ore towards Capital which has one single ore mine in its radius.
<by the end of this phase you should have a population of about 125/150>
I would usually create 20 settlements using the following pattern :
O---- O----O FurColony (31,11)
I I I
O----O----O----O---- O----2 Capital (31,14)
I I CottonTown(28,14)
O----O----O----X IronCity1 (24,17)
I I I
O----O----O----X IronCity2 (24,20)
I TobaccoVille (20,20)
O SugarVille (17,22)
No free space in between the colonies except where an Indian village is in the way.
This implementation gives access to sufficient food, iron ore and lumber and to all exportation resources (Furs, Cotton, Tobacco and Sugar).
Moreover each settlement is one turn away from the next one when traveling on foot by road.
Main Cities (O) are those 3 cities right next to Capital. Being first in getting benefit from Capital they are your most developed colonies after capital. They will become 100% Son of Liberty (SoL) a few years after Capital and build a university.
Do not hesitate to found your colonies right near an Indian Village or Capital. Once you have a customhouse in that city, you will on the same turn trade your goods with the natives and export to Europe …
Attach a fleet of wagon to each IronCity in order to make sure that your secondary settlements will have the tools they need for their development.
By 1550, money should be pouring in from treasures and you will select trainees from the Royal University in order to upgrade Capital into a Big Apple :
* for Capital only; ** providing you can easily supply with adequate raw material
Note that Dry dock and Shipyard are not very useful unless you play a privateer strategy against your Fellow Europeans.
As a principle, try to have each colony being auto-sufficient. That is manage that on each turn outdoor workers of the colony gather enough resources in the colony area so that :
So as long as all colony improvement are not finished or you do not need to keep building artillery, 2 or 3 squares should be left with forest in order to keep woodcutting in the area.
In a nutshell : Enough food for your inhabitants, enough lumber for your carpenters, enough resources for your production.
You grow a colony through food and politics. Except when a rare or expensive resource is available (say silver ore), you must assign your first colonists as follows :
In order to keep a reasonable ratio of productivity, never grow the population of a colony over 5 Tories. That is why as soon as immigration from Europe is pouring in you must spread it all over the map.
If production penalties are applied to a settlement just select one of the colonist and put him outside of the colony behind the little fence. Colonists and military units do not need food or maintenance. If you have more people than your colony can support, your best option is to turn them into soldiers !
Once exploration is finished there are 3 jobs you can assign to your (many) retired scouts.
· Start a future settlement within the grid pattern and turn scout into a statesman. You’ll get Liberty bells, collect gifts from the Indians while your horse herd is slowly growing. Once the immigrants will come in your colony you’ll be able to receive more than five of them without production penalty. And having horses available you will send easily any of the colony members to a big city for education.
· Create a provisional settlement (or outpost) not far from the next colony of the rival European country that is bothering you most (and produce liberty bells not to waist time). Anytime you need to come into contact with this European power you dismantle outpost and “meet with Mayor” (most useful once Ben Franklin is in the congress). Before negotiating with “Fellow Europeans” adjust your cash by training experts in the Royal University or buying stuff in order to have enough money but not too much.
· Get skills from the natives. When the specialty you are looking for is trained in an Indian village too far from your colonies, which is generally the case for the tobacco planter, send two scouts. Create a provisional colony right next to the Indian village, if necessary clear the seasoned scout specialty of one of them and send him with the Indians on the next turn. He will get the skill and at the same time stay in the outpost. So on that same turn, convert him back to (non seasoned) scout and dismantle outpost. And on next turn ride everybody back home. This of course could apply to a pair of Indentured servants equipped with horses.
Provisional harbour : Create a provisional port with your scout each time you need to send a treasure to Europe (and don’t forget to dismantle it on the same turn). Another case is when an enemy privateer is threatening the entrance to your Capital.
· Building a road in Indian territory before getting Peter Minuit. They do not ask for money if you build an outpost instead of building a road, moreover any colonist can do it instantaneously and without spending any tool.
· Trading outpost right next to an Indian capital with some trade goods and tools in the warehouse and a wagon train. If their alarm level gets high just do business with big chief.
· Silver mining in a difficult environment as the mine will someday be depleted.
In order to have always a supply of horses ready at hand, sell a couple of wagon train of horses to your native friends. So one of their villages will probably offer to sell them back to you. This may sometimes prove very useful later during the Independence War.
Adam Smith for level 3 buildings (the need is mainly iron works in this period)
Peter Stuyvesant for Custom House as no paying taxes is your policy.
Whatever the order you absolutely need those two before you start the following phase.
Ben Franklin : is useful not to be bothered by the king diplomacy and “Fellow” Europeans.
Jan de Witt : to monitor progress of your rival European powers.
During this period you will:
1. Improve Main Cities and then IronCities just as you did for Capital.
2. Develop exportation productions (furs, clothes, cigars and rum); sell them directly through custom houses and develop a flourishing commerce.
3. With the commerce money, bring from Europe more ore miners and whatever expensive experts you need to provide education or run your export industry.
4. Prepare for them adequate facilities when they come to New World
· for training your people (i.e. universities in Main Cities).
· for export producing (i.e. level 3 buildings Fur Factory, Textile Mill, Cigar & Rum Factory) as needed according to local resources
5. Create a transportation fleet of wagon trains: one per city.
<by the end of this phase you should have a population of about 250/300>
Remember that SoL membership is key to the efficiency of your teachers. That is why you will first dedicate Capital and then Main Cities to training all your elder statesman as soon as their university is ready.
Except in Capital where it is urgent to get your 3 elder statesmen, elsewhere you may use the “train the trainer” progressive method. That is for example once you have a school ready you start training with one carpenter, once you have a college the newly trained carpenter become a teacher in his turn, and when you have a university you will be training lots of carpenters.
Sometimes it may be more efficient, in a first place, to locate the production of some finished goods in Capital or in one of your Main Cities and bring in the raw material. The production buildings and experts being transferred into the gathering city once SoL membership is high enough in the area.
Having good warehousing capacity helps not loosing any resource.
Just after you are finished with building a newspaper, build a warehouse and then a warehouse expansion. This way you can keep not only all the raw material or finished goods gathered or produced in your colony but those, provided they are of a different kind, produced in excess in the neighboring settlements, too .
Do not hesitate to use a galleon in Capital (or a wagon train in a secondary settlements) as a provisional or even permanent warehousing facility. I usually have a couple of galleon in Capital to store Wood, Food and Ore iron so that I can temporarily compensate for any shortage in the surrounding main colonies.
An other good reason for having big (300) warehouses in each settlement is that your stable will grow herds of horses only within the limits of your local warehousing capacity.
If dragoons from a rival power or even Indians stay in the middle of their road, wagon trains will hesitate on their way so you need to drive them step by step from departure to arrival.
The DOS version was not too good, the windows version is far worse; there are obviously a couple of bugs concerning trading routes editing. The only work around I found out under Windows is to have very few trading routes and do the unloading manually on each turn.
With Simon Bolivar, once your population is high enough (200) you will benefit from a general increase of SoL membership of 20% (that is 40 new rebels at once in our example)
Francis Drake and John Paul Jones are interesting in case you are having troubles with your opponent’s privateers.
During this period you will:
Somewhere between 1620 and 1630, you should have a population of around 250/300 and some 4 to 5 cities with a population around 20, a university and a custom-house and most tools-consuming buildings have already been erected. Your hardy pioneers have made most of the job building roads and plowing fields on the East Coast, so you do not need so many tools any more. You have around 20 out of 25 founding fathers in your Congress.
It is time to start creating your Army.
Check all Main Cities have their armory and put your carpenters at work producing artillery.
In the meantime, gather all available soldiers and put one at work in each Main City, replacing an elder statesman. After a few turns you’ll have two soldiers teaching in each university. And 3 after a little more turns. So you do not need more than a couple of turns to get your veteran soldiers trained.
Meanwhile you upgrade the armory of IronCities into a Magazine and then an Arsenal. You need not more than two or three Master Gunsmith ($850), one in each IronCity. There, they produce 24 guns per turn. So providing you have enough iron ore and tool production (it may be time for you to buy ore from the Indians), 2 gunsmith will produce enough muskets for your whole army in less then 5 calendar years. So you will soon have an army of veteran dragoons ready, without training anybody at the Royal University and for half the price.
As you are pretty early in the game, you should not be preoccupied by other powers' colonies declaring independence first (which otherwise would reduce your final score).
Create a couple of new colonies or more (35 is your upper limit), as the war will last 5 years (or more depending on your scoring strategy), you will have time to develop those areas with your new converts and excess population during this period.
Even though your industry is producing enough musket to equip your army, make sure the musket prices is high enough in Europe before you start the war. Do not hesitate to fill a galleon with European muskets just to push up the price above 15$. This way you keep the musket business going on as guns will always sell well on the market during Independence War. Build a custom house in each IronCity, though.
If you want to benefit from the ambush bonus do not remove forests on the coast around Capital where King’s expeditionary force will land and try to find protection.
Galleons or wagon trains full of horses in Capital and Main Cities when the War starts is most welcome.
Your unique and 25th founding father in this phase will be Bartolome de Las Casas : all converts will be assimilated into colonists that can be train to expertise.
Finally get two missionaries ready and put them right outside the Iroquois and Cherokee Capital. As soon as Independence War starts, you will have them incite Natives to declare war on the Tories (providing they have contacts with them).
Quietly finish your turn and declare Independence.
During this period you will:
1. Defeat Royal Expeditionary Force
2. Boost your score through increasing your skilled population using excess of food and education.
3. Boost your score through increasing treasury exporting muskets.
You have two basic tactics for fighting back the REF and of course you can use any mix between the two of them according to your available resources.
Attacking with Continental Cavalry
First clear orders of your fortified 10 veteran continental cavalry.
Attack the disembarked REF one unit after the other starting with the artillery, then infantry and last cavalry. 10 vet cavalry are enough to annihilate the enemy disembarking on first turn.
(existing bug : You may face a situation where one Tory cavalry (power 6) will defeat in a row all your 10 attacking cavalry (power 7.5), which is obviously a bug as it never happens the other way round. In that case the only remedy is … reloading).
If your cavalry unit looses a combat do not send the resulting continental soldier to war on next turn. Instead, (and on the same turn he has been downgraded if attacking from Capital), upgrade him back into continental cavalry first.
So, using this tactic, your only concern during Independence War is to get enough horses available in Capital
Artillery is for defense only, yet if your armories in the surrounding Main Cities are working well, you may adopt a purely defensive tactics. An artillery entrenched in fortress is 15. Which is enough to fight attacking Tory cavalry sustained by the bombardment bonus (13.5). Your only concern during Independence War is to get enough tools available in Main Cities.
Frigate can challenge Man-O-War, yet it is not necessary to fight any naval war. The king will grant independence once he has no more ground troops even though he may still have plenty of Man-O-War left.
Accept all mercenaries and foreign intervention, that are proposed to you. Even though your artillery is good enough to defeat the REF. First because you may need them to fight a Tory uprising and second because mercenaries being expert soldiers, they will provide additional expert units points (3) to grow your final score at around their actual cost (3000$/unit).
At the Viceroy level, defeating all REF, may not be sufficient to reach victory. As you will probably suffer, on the very last turns of the War, once the King cannot send any more REF troops, from a Tory upheaval inland near one (or a couple of) your own colonies where the SoL membership ratio is the lowest. If you did not manage to raise the SoL rate at 100% in all your cities during the War, as soon as you see in your “Continental Congress Activity Report” that the Expeditionary Force is reduced to ships only, do the following :
· send 50 muskets in each town to activate Paul Revere,
· garrison some of your Continental Cavalry in the area.
You should end with a score between 4 000 and 5 000 points.
As there is no significant bonus for an early finish (288 pts in 1646), you may decide to increase your score by delaying end of Independence War and meanwhile develop your (expert) population to the maximum allowed (512 units) and maximize your cash in treasury.
If you want to buy time in order to increase score, just before declaring independence, send one single colonist create a one person undefended coastal colony near one of your main cities. The REF will conquer it on the first turn and then march on the next main city. At this point you need to wipe them out with your Continental Cavalry. All next REF troops will land near Fortress Capital where, one after the other, they will be annihilated by your artillery.
If you keep up producing cannons you do not even need to use your Continental Cavalry anymore…
Once the REF is exhausted, make all necessary arrangements growing your population up to 512 and educating your people in order to round up your score. Do not forget to decommission all your artillery and ships as they count as unit within the 512 limit.
You may strip most of your army now that they are useless from their horses and guns and sell all their equipment in your custom houses …
Then at any time, you can go take back the little Tory town. You will have to fight maybe a couple of artillery, and if necessary you can benefit from the bombardment bonus with your Frigates even though you do not use the Man O' War from the Foreign Intervention.
An alternative strategy
in order to maximize score would be to delay beginning of Independence War by preventing or at least delaying other European Power getting their own Independence.
This mean a significantly different approach right from the beginning where you will have to play some tricks to your fellow Europeans. Such as heavily arming the Indians with horses and muskets, sending your missionaries incite Indians against your rivals, hiring many privateers to blockade them etc.
It is probably more fun but will not give you additional scoring as compared to the above.
136 +86 +133