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Military Founding Fathers
Trade Exploration Military Political Religious Sent in Tips

Hernan Cortes (1485-1547)

"Spanish conqueror of Mexico and destroyer of the Aztec empire, Cortes is the paradigm Conquistador - a master of conquest and plunder. When Cortes joins your Congress conquered native settlements always yield treasure - and more of it."

Cortes makes conquered native settlements yield more treasure, and makes the King send a Galleon immediately for Treasure Trains that reach one of your Colonies, and only charges the current tax rate as opposed to the extortionate rate. If you have a Galleon of your own however, this will not apply. If you like making War on the Indians Cortes is very useful, however destroying Indian Villages costs points on your score so is not a very good idea and immoral anyway.

Francis Drake (c. 1540-1596)

"England's greatest Seaman of the Elizabethan period, Drake was an incredibly formidable privateer who terrorised the Spanish Main with a fleet of fifteen ships, then rescued a floundering English colony. When Drake joins the Congress, he increases the combat strengths of all your privateers by 50%."

Drake increases the combat strengths of all your Privateers by 50%. This is very useful as it makes the attack strength of a Privateer equal to a Frigate. Privateers cost 40% what a Frigate costs, are faster and can attack whether you are a peace or war. They of course can be attacked in peace time and are defensively weaker than Frigates, but less so with Drake. They also only have half the cargo holds of Frigates, and as ship weakness is related to the amount of cargo it is carrying this is a bit of a problem e.g. if you attack a Galleon carrying 4 holds of cargo it is 50% weaker but you will only be able to take 2 of the 4 as plunder, if it only had 2 holds full it would only be 25% weaker. Don't buy any Privateers until you get Drake as they will drop like flies, unless you absolutely have to because your ports are blocked. Privateers can usually outrun a blockade, even if they are slowed by the blockader. So to conclude, Drake is definitely one of the better members and should be selected early.

John Paul Jones (1747-1792)

"Dashing Scottish naval commander who served for the colonies during the War of Independence, he demonstrated his incredible abilities in several daring exploits in battle, sinking many British ships. When Jones appears in the Congress, you colonial navy gains a frigate, without cost."

Jones adds a Frigate to the Colonial Navy without cost. Once your ports start getting blockaded he is a very good member to select. The Frigate can also be used as a Military Transport, Increased Cargo Privateer (in War time only) or a stopgap Merchant Ship. Frigates are very difficult to sink, but to be safe don't let it get next to a Fort or Fortress as they can have formidable firepower, particularly Fortresses.

If foreign privateers start blockading your colonies and you have no Navy of your own the King may offer you a Frigate for defence. At lower game levels it is free, at higher levels you have to pay a significant tax hike up to 10%. Bear this in mind before choosing John Paul Jones to join your congress because as soon as he brings you a free Frigate the King will never make this offer.

Paul Revere (1735-1818)

"American patriot who served in the Continental Army during the War of Independence, he roused the minutemen as British amphibious forces approached. Paul Revere's example as a patriot allows colonists working at productive duties to become 'minutemen' capable of rallying to the defense of the colony in times of need. Once Revere joins your Congress, When a colony with no standing militia is attacked, a colonist will automatically take up any muskets stockpiled in the colony in defense. The colony is still conquered if the colonist loses the combat, however." [And he dies!]

Revere causes a Colony with no standing militia to make a colonist take up any stockpiled muskets. Militiamen aren't fortified, aren't Veterans and don't have horses and so are very weak. The effect Revere has is very marginal and he should only be selected when all the other choices are even worse. It is better to garrison your Colonies with at least one full strength Artillery Piece and a Veteran Dragoon. It should be noted if all Artillery is damaged the Dragoon will be attacked first and may loose precious horse, not good!

George Washington (1732-1799)

"Commander of American Revolutionary forces and first President of the United States, George Washington displayed a remarkable ability to train and inspire colonial forces to victory. Once Washington joins the Continental Congress, every non-veteran soldier or dragoon who wins a combat is upgraded in status."

Washington causes every Non-Veteran Soldier or Dragoon who wins a combat to be upgraded in status. He can be very useful, but it depends on your circumstances. If you already have a lot of Veterans he's not so useful. But if you have few schools and a lot of spare muskets and horses you can raise a few Dragoons and get some of your Colonists promoted quick. Attack Colonists and Artillery in the open if available, as they are very weak and will save loosing so many horses and muskets. A Criminal will become a Free Colonist after winning two battles and a Veteran Soldier after winning another. Colonists can be promoted with out Washington but it is a lot rarer.