One of the first big differences I noticed between the original Colonization and civ4:col is the trade route mechanism.
In the Original, the player created individual trade routes, to which a transport was assigned. This was good because the player had absolute control over the the route & could tailor what went where with more precision, but obviously "bad" due to the intensive micro required.
Civ4:col evidently has some sort of algorithm auto-routing transports. This is good because the player doesn't HAVE to micro his trade routes.
To better explain my situation, in my last game, I had approx 4 small settlements "feeding" resources to a single large, industrialised port city for refinement and export. One of these (inland) harvesting settlements was exporting Silver, Furs and Ore. Being inland meant that I was entirely reliant on the wagon train's 2 cargo capacity. Having 3 exports from the settlement was therefore, inefficiently, using 2 (1.5 rounded up) wagon trains.
The half full wagon train was then moving off to pick up more goods from another "harversting" settlement before delivering to the industrial centre.
It is great to see the game processing this kind of logistical puzzle autonomously, but nonetheless it has it's drawbacks:
1. Longer delivery times can reduce the turn's output of my factories if my city isn't holding sufficient stock of raw materials as a buffer.
2. Unstable stock levels can result in wastage if a glut of resources are delivered in one turn.
At this point, people might like shout GEEK at me (and rightly so), suffice it so say that I'm a manufacturing engineering and have an interest in maximising the effciency of my colonial economy/should get out more.
I would like to see more choice to the player, I like the civ4:col "hands-off" system, but in some circumstances I'd like to get my logistical hands dirty. If a hybridised system were introduced (like the refinements to the civ4 workers' auto-improve), allowing the player to create particular trade routes (import export paths) and to assign individual wagon trains to them (and only them), I would be very happy.
Alternativley, does anyone know how the routing algorithm works and how to better utilise or exploit it?