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Colonization strategy?

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  • Colonization strategy?

    I find a lot of stuff about this game fascinating. the idea of arming a group of peasants and making them soldiers, then mounting them on horses for fater movement is almost a clear precursor to AC's unit workshop.

    Now I have had some problems getting it to run. Colwin crashed a lot in Win95, and does so almost continuously in Win98, making it unplayable. I just installed the dos version andit seems to run OK, except that the mouse function is unreliable. on screen the mouse works - for a while, then it freezes, and refuses to respond at all in other screens.

    the upshot of this is that I haven't played all that much. When I do, I seem to just meander around, buying, selling, moving colonists about. I really don't know what I'm doing.

    What ought I to do? should I make peace with indians? is it worth trading with them, or is it more profitable to make stuff and sell it in england?

    should I be out to conquer my neighbors, indian or european? or does it really matter?

    can (or should) I ICS?

    these are just a few things that I wonder about when I'm about to get into it.

    any comments would be helpful.
    Any man can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a BEAST

    I was just about to point out that Horsie is simply making excuses in advance for why he will suck at Civ III...
    ...but Father Beast beat me to it! - Randomturn

  • #2
    Trading with your home is very important. Load your ships with goods and export it there regularly. Also, try to get as many free colonists as possible, and get them to the smaller colonies you own (growth of your colonies depends only on the food production).

    The Indians are good at first, because they'll provide you with much needed settlers, but later on they just become a pest you should get rid off (they'll demand tributes and their villages will affect the growth of some of your neareby cities).

    Try to expand quickly and make sure your colonies are well garrisoned. The other civs will destroy you otherwise or will demand huge tributes. I haven't destroyed them yet but it's best that you conquer their small islands and control the seas and trade with your frigates.

    Otherwise, this game is (in my opinion) much harder than Civilization1 and it's really tough for a beginner to achieve independence.


    • #3
      Don't forget to find the Fountain Of Youth, it's almost an requirement for a sucessful game on the higher levels. Send instantly out 2-3 mounted scouts to look for it and eventually you'll find it.
      Last edited by Juggernaut; January 6, 2002, 15:45.


      • #4
        At the end, when all you have to do is collect freedom bells, it may be wise to fortify you all you citizens except the "court guys" outside the city. This way you will get an 100% freedom craving in each city.


        • #5
          Try to pursue piracy as much as possible. Save money and buy a Man-O-War. If you destroy you opponents ships everytime they approach the continent, loaded with goods and units, it will cause disastrous consequences for them.


          • #6
            I'll second the piracy strategy, although I prefer privateers because you don't reveal who you are when you raid. But raiding shipping is a must, big profits for you all coming out of the other guy's column.

            Be careful about building coastal cities. These are favorite targets of the AI, and where your revolution will be fought in the endgame. A favorite strategy of mine is to build only one serious coastal city and a collection of small outposts where I need additional ports. Since the mother country only attacks ports (unless you don't have any) at the end, I disband the outposts leaving only the one target, vastly reducing the army needed to win independence. ICS is not really a big strategy in this game, a few well-placed cities are all you need. Military is hugely expensive, the more of the map you have the more trouble you'll get into and the more you'll have to hold.

            It can be very profitable to wipe out the Indians, but more fun in game terms to make friends with them. The Indians have an agenda just like you do, they wish to acquire goods and keep the land pristine. You, however, make more profit selling to Europe and need to develop cities, putting you at cross purposes. Becoming friends with them means relative freedom from raids, access to some resources (early game ore is a big one for me, allowing expensive hammers to be made without wasting food production mining), they'll train some citizens (handy), join your colonies (somewhat helpful) and offer some minimal help during the revolution. They will still block your roads and frustrate movement, and get cheesed over the smallest problems. Don't mistakingly attack one and then hit cancel in the "do you want to fight?" dialogue - that is the same as actually attacking and you can expect a raid pronto. And they will not appreciate your cities being too close to Indian villages, meaning being friends can be almost impossible on some maps - if you at all want to be peaceful avoid like the plague the Peter Stuyvestant (sic) founder. He opens up the Indian-controlled squares in your cities but does not remove their anger at their use.

            All in all, the Indian AI in this game is one of great achievements of any game ever. They are somewhat logical in that you can deal with them, but they are mostly inscrutable, sometimes at cross purposes, and an effort to deal with without much tangible longterm payoff. Kind of how they must have seemed to 17th c. Europeans.

            There was an official patch that fixed all the ColWin problems for me, it runs fine on my machine in Win98. I can't get the DOS game to run, though, which is too bad because the DOS game has editable text files and a map editor.
            "Is it sport? I think it is. And does affection breed it? I think it does. Is it frailty that so errs? It is so too." - Shakespeare, Othello IV,iii


            • #7
              we had a Colonization forum at CGN but then they kicked me out and locked the whole community


              • #8
                The strat that works the best for me is too build two or three large well developed cities. Its much easier to defend that way in the war for independance.
                Hold my girlfriend while I kiss your skis.


                • #9
                  Dito Makeo, build few but strong colonies.


                  • #10
                    I often play OCC games on easiest level


                    • #11
                      Micromanagment will absolutely kill you if you have too many cities. 5 is OK. 8 to 10 is probably best. More than 20, and you will hate the game. Especially if you play a game heavily using automized wagon trains (trade routes), since there is a bug that doesn't let you autounload goods, even in own cities. I've played to beyond the city list as Dutch once. I never bothered finish that game. ICS is NOT an option.

                      Start by scouting your surroundings, and decide the size of your empire to be. Try to put all your empire inside just one indian tribe's land. When you are strong enough, destroy that tribe (or let the Spanish do that for you). If you HAVE to kill some settlements of other tribes, go for the capital after you have taken their land (or take the capital as the last city). That will instantly give peace with the tribe. Oh yes, put missionaries (use no-good convicts) inside the cities before attacking, to get converts. If you play French, you may avoid war with Indians, unless you land next to Tupi or Arawak. France+Pocahontas will usually coexist safely near Inca or Iroquoi.

                      Keep peace and trade with Inca and Aztec. They give better prices than your own homeland. Never trade guns or horses, though. And don't build too near the Aztecs. Other Indians: Don't bother trade, but send a wagon with some safe goods (trade goods or rum) as a gift now and then.

                      Usually, you should avoid conflict with other Euros, but show no mercy if they settle inside your defined borders. Privateers are OK all the time. When in war with other Euros, look for cities without stockades, attack them, sack them, make all citizens colonists (equip them with all they can carry: make them pioneers, soldiers, cavalry, scouts), and run away. If city has access to ocean, send in ships first to steal all food and other goods before making the last citizen colonist. This is great fun!
                      Be sure NOT to have the founding father that insta-builds stockades. (LaSalle?)

                      Have fun.

                      The first 100 years or so of Col make it the best game I've ever played. The endgame usually makes it one of the worst games I've ever played.

                      Last edited by catullus; January 9, 2002, 07:58.


                      • #12
                        Wow! Inca and aztec give better rates than the mother country? astonishing!
                        Wait, is that just when you figure taxes into it?

                        I was wondering if the continental congress is sort of like tech, and if it is, what do you need to obtain more members? Liberty bells? if you max liberty bell production, do you get more CC members faster?

                        is using artillery any good, except for attacking towns?
                        Any man can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a BEAST

                        I was just about to point out that Horsie is simply making excuses in advance for why he will suck at Civ III...
                        ...but Father Beast beat me to it! - Randomturn


                        • #13
                          yes you can automatically unload goods... but only non-banned ones...


                          • #14
                            I tend to try and found a colony with access to raw materials for each of the high value finished goods. Tobacco, sugar and cotton seem to be the best, especially if you can "upgrade" one of your colonists to a specialized planter via the local "friendly" Indian tribes.
                            If you can get at least two of these you should be set, moneywise anyway.
                            Silver doesn't seem to be very useful at all as I've only ever seen it increase in market price once.
                            Ore/tools/muskets shouldn't be that vital until later on unless one is feeling particularly warlike, but tools can be vital for plowing if you're not in prarie-type terrain wrt your high food production cities.

                            Liberty bells are your means of getting more founding fathers and how many you have defines how quickly you get them.
                            IMHO the two most important early on (can't remember their names ) are the one that gives scouting bonuses (Fountain of youth/City of Cibola are the two best events in the early game and give you a huge boost) and the one after which natives give you free land.

                            I've never really found trading with the natives to be that profitable, but usually send a wagon to every tribe within range every couple of turns or so with a single ton of their preferred resource as a gift. This seems to keep them happy enough not to demand anything from my colonies.
                            The advantage of warring against the Inca/Aztec is that you get absolutely huge treasure from their cities. Spaniards in one of my games once got 12000 (I think?) gold from a conquest.

                            Doesn't artillery have a -75% penalty when used in the open?
                            I've never found it useful except for defense...


                            • #15
                              Silver is great to find early in the game, because it starts at a high value and can be mined and sold directly without being converted to something else. The price does drop off sharply over time, and the game manual warns you about this.

                              Artillery does suffer a 75% reduction if it attacks a unit which is not in a city. I suspect it also suffers the same reduction if it is sitting in the open when another unit attacks it, but I've never had this happen. Basically this makes it useful for defending or attacking a city, but nothing else.
                              "THE" plus "IRS" makes "THEIRS". Coincidence? I think not.