|Sent in Tips - Continental Congress|
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Now that I have a version in which the tax rate doesn't drop to zero I may come to appreciate the value of Paine more. As it is I've always considered him to be about as useful as Bolivar. Still, I would be interested in reading your views on the subject.
[ Simon Bolivar is more useful than Paine because you get +20% whatever the tax rate, and by the time you get him many colonies are at 85% anyway so this makes them 100%, remember 99% won't do. And keeps them there even if you add a couple of new colonists. I always try to keep the tax rate low, independent of Paine, but it's going you to go up anyway especially in you concentrate on making Rebels which the King hates, so Paine acts as a bit of a compensation. You don't need to buy more than one Elder Statesman, just build a University and train them. Remember with less colonists ie. the ones you don't buy efficiency is less of a problem, and colonists get taught faster in more efficient colonies. 100% liberty ones do it very quickly, and 1900 gold a time to buy them isn't cheap. ]
The game is programmed to give you choices of certain Founding Fathers, which I thought was at random, but after hundreds of hours of gameplay, now think differently. Here is the tip--land right away and choose any spot to build--that will give you a relatively attractive pop-up menu of Fathers to choose from, and one will almost always be Cortes, and/or Minuit. Choose Minuit. That will save you tons of grief and money during the early-to-mid game. If you can't get Minuit right off the bat, he will come up on the second menu, usually. In that case, choose Cortes.
[Minuit can cause the Indians to become upset very quickly by taking their land for nothing. It's better not to build Colonies close to Indians Villages so they don't get upset so often and quickly, thus meaning less attacks and more gifts. Cortes is only useful for those players who have an aggressive playing strategy, although the free treasure transport comes in useful. Treasure can be captured from other Europeans or found and not just in burial grounds as well, as well as being obtained directly from Indian Villages.]
If you do not land and build a colony early, before two passes of the timer, the Fathers' options to choose from change to less desirable ones, like Jefferson, Father Jean de Brebeuf, etc.... You don't need those in the early game--you need Minuit, Cortes (for free treasure transport, not attacking Indians yet), and maybe Pocahontas.
[I find Jefferson extremely useful especially if you want to create large efficient Colonies. Pocahontas is very good for maintaining peace with the Indians.]
Here is an example, my ship has sighted land in New England. I do not like that landfall, and always want to build in Argentina or at least begin a sugar colony in Brazil. New England is difficult to start from, as you need colonies in at least Cuba, New Orleans, and the Rio Grande to establish a foundation for a good end game--these are all quite a distance from each other, and eat up precious time and resources to build and transport from.
[New England does provide a lot of Timber and Food though, but a central Colony is very important too. This is probably one reason why the Spanish dominated the Americas as their first Colonies were in the West Indies.]
Anyway, to avoid New England (and not re-start a new game), I sailed all the way down the coast to Brazil, conquered two foreign colonies, and finally established my own colony in Argentina. Once I did, the Founding Fathers menu was lousy--it was a selection of Fathers you usually only get once the game programmers have already given you a choice of the more desirable ones.
In short, land quickly and build, and select good Founding Fathers like Minuit or Cortes. Then stop building, disband the colony, and move on to another more desirable place. Do not spend resources/time building up the first place you colonize if you intend to move on, of course. That place is to get the Founding Fathers' menu to pop-up, and only for that reason. If you have to, land, get a Father, move on, land again, get another Father you want, then finally land at a really good place and start the game in earnest.
[Some people might call this cheating. Repeated landings also mean you will contact more Tribes which is useful if a Privateer has a cargo it wants to dispose of as you can't trade by sea until contact has been made. Of course Indians don't buy a lot of things. They generally like Manufactured products particularly Muskets and Horses though.]
Based on the need to produce Liberty Bells, Jefferson is probably the most important one to get. It is a close call between Jefferson, Minuit, and La Salle. I typically choose La Salle, then Minuit, then Jefferson. La Salle gives you a free Stockade once Colony population hits 3. Minuit removes the Natives demand for cash payment for their lands. Jefferson increases the Liberty Bell production of Statesmen by 50%.
Next, in order of importance, are Pocahontas, Stuyvesant, Drake, John Paul Jones, and Bolivar. Pocahontas removes native tension, Stuyvesant gives the Custom House (absolutely required during War of Independence), Drake gives Privateers 50% attack bonus, John Paul Jones give you a free Frigate, and Bolivar increases sons of liberty membership across the Colonies by 20%. Beyond these you need to choose the Founding Father which best fits your needs of the moment.