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Choosing which European Power to play as

Sent in Tips

Which Power you choose can greatly affect the game. Each has a special characteristic. Sometimes you might choose a Power because you like a characteristic, other times you might choose it to deny it to the Computer.

The Spanish

Spanish Lions and Castles Flag
Lions and Castles

If you want to win by plundering Indian Cities, then the Spanish are for you. They have a +50% attack bonus when attacking Indian Villages, and start with a Veteran Soldier ie. +100% Indian Attack at start. If however you want to deal peaceably with the Indians, don't choose them. You may want to choose them, simply to stop the Computer wiping out dozens of Indian Villages. However, if you attack the Spanish early in the game, and arm the Indians they are attacking, they may be so weakened that they withdraw from the New World.

The Dutch

Dutch Tri-Colour Flag

If you want a fat treasury to buy ships and weapons, then the Dutch are for you. Commodity prices take longer to drop with over supply, and recover quicker. Other players may have to suspend trade in a commodity if its price drops too low and wait for it to recover. This means your goods sell for a lot more, and you still make a profit at high tax rates. Also you will be able to afford to Incite the Indians to War, and start Wars between European Powers, as well as have a strong Navy. Silver retains its price, so you can move from one deposit to another, for other Powers it drops to next to nothing. You also get a Merchantman, which has double the cargo holds and +1 movement of what the other Powers get. This is very useful at the beginning for liquidating captured Colonies, with out losing stock, and exploring. You can also move Indian gifts to Europe quickly. In my opinion the Dutch are far and away the best choice, the only reason not to choose them is to deny the Computer the benefits of the other Powers.

The English

English St. Georges Flag
St. Georges Cross

If you want a lot of Colonist, then the English are for you. They get +50% cross production, which means +50% immigration rate. I never choose them because you get Colonists quicker than you can absorb them. Colonists must be trained, and Son of Liberty Membership increased, or efficiency will suffer, this takes time. One advantage of the English is you will get more Skills due to more Colonists. If you are playing at a lower difficulty level, they might be a good choice, as you get more skilled immigrants, and Sons of Liberty Membership is less important. Remember during a War you will also get a lot of POWs, and you may also stumble of the Fountain of Youth, which gives you 8 Colonists (I got it 3 times in one game), so you must have capacity to absorb them, higher immigration makes this more difficult. If you choose them, try and get William Brewster in Congress as soon as possible, so you don't have to train Indentured Servants and Criminals, and you can select skilled labour first. You might want to choose them to deny the Computer a greater number of immigrants, of course these extra immigrants can be captured if you make War against the English.

The French

French Fluer-De-Lís Flag
Fluer-De-Lís

If you want to deal peaceable with the Indians, then the French are for you. Indian alarm is generated half as fast, and you get a Hardy Pioneer. Less Indian alarm means fewer raids, and more gifts. The Pioneer works twice as fast, and produces more Lumber from cleared land, this is very handy. When the Computer plays as the French it tends to give them a lot of small Colonies, this makes it difficult to fight the French as you have to attack them in so many places, and once these Colonies build Stockades, they can't be liquidated. For this reason you might want to choose them to deny the Computer this advantage.