Thread: Colonization
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:54 PM   #372
Default Island strategy

I like playing Colonization as an economic game, the complexity of the many different terrains, commodities, and citizen types appeals to me. To avoid excessive conflict with other European powers I like to play on an island, or at least a peninsula connected to a continent by a narrow, defendable, isthmus.

Typically I select the "customize new world" option and set the land type to the "archipelego" option which tends to optimize the chances of finding a suitable island. Then I select "start in new world". The fixed "america" map doesn't really have any islands of an ideal size.

I generally cheat a little by saving the game on the first turn, then look around with my initial ship and colonists until I find an island I like, or decide the map doesn't seem to have one. In the former case I load my initial save and start over, moving immediately to the island I scouted; in the latter case I just restart the game and try again with a new map.

What I look for is an island or peninsula with about 20-30 total spaces, enough to support about 4-6 colonies. I consider ore to be the most crucial resource, so I generally want an island with several hills or mountains. A couple of timber spots is helpful, but not absolutely essential, as long as you don't clearcut all your forests your lumberjacks can harvest wood from any forest square. A silver node is nice, but more than one silver is fairly pointless as the price of silver will rapidly fall to almost nothing if you mine more than one. For a strong economy I like to have at least two of the four basic salable commodities available (of sugar, tobbacco, cotton, and fur), so I look at the terrain types and figure out which the terrain can produce. Rivers are great, but sadly rarely occur on islands; they are reasonably common on peninsulas.

Past a certain point, Colonization is not really a game where more is better. In the long run, your most crucial activity is inciting rebel sentiment, and the more colonies you build, the longer that takes. With 5 colonies I can generally position myself to launch a revolution by 1700. This is why I avoid bigger islands.
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