Thread: Colonization
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:00 AM   #373
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 249

Originally Posted by dan30 View Post
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.
I used to do this cheat too, as in saving the game and reloading once I find the suitable place for the first colony. I don't go for islands/peninsulas, though I'll just go anywhere as long as it's good location (silver or ore, like you mentioned later).

I'm actually very aggressive player and I keep attacking other nations for a simple reason - I harvest colonists that way. 9 times out of 10 other Europeans would found a colony in a stupid position, so I capture it and then abandon it and move colonists to my colonies. Once they start building stockades, you can't abandon it of course (which is a stupid rule), so it's important to act fast, almost as soon as they settle. If you are lucky, their ships will deliver to you steady supply of colonists and founding their colonies close to you (often in the same spot over and over again). Interesting thing is that once you declare independence, the country you terrorised the most is most likely to offer you support to fight the crown.

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.
Yeah, it's disappointing how price of silver goes down quickly (contrary to historical facts where healthy supply of silver and gold from Americas was used to finance wars in Europe). But I do prefer to have more than one silver node, since it means that I can sell it quicker - as you would've noticed, at one point price of silver starts falling almost every turn, whether you sold it or not. If you're a Dutch, you can sell a few extra loads this way, before the low price makes it useless.

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.
A friend of mine used to play always with two colonies only and managed to finish it quite early. I on the other hand, always liked to play it for the sake of playing, not as much as getting a good score. In all honesty, my favourite part of the game is exploring, sending my scouts around, chasing rumours, meeting different native tribes. Then I like harassing other Europeans as described above, or with my privateers if they have established a foothold (and I'm willing to leave them alone). The actual production is my least favourite part - I usually end up trading raw materials only and the only production line I fully develop is ore -> tools -> guns, usually in one colony only. That colony then becomes "military academy" with university and a veteran soldier in there (and of course, some free colonists within the colony, learning).

All in all, it's a great game (if not ideal, but is there such a thing?), and I spent lot of nice moments playing it. Even now, I like to start it sometimes and play only for a hundred of turns or so to see how I would go with settling and what the world is like.
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