I am always short of tools! I never have too many except in the very end of the endgame. Maybe I build too much and manufacture too much....
[ Try getting Adam Smith into the Congress as soon as possible to build an Iron Works, +50% output for free. And get an expert Ore Miner and Blacksmith as soon as tools start getting too expensive in Europe. Always build your colonies with one Hill or Mountain square for mining. I wrote a specifically changed America map with ore square for New York and Baltimore so you can build Colonies in historic locations. The trade system should allow you to transport some but not all tools from a high tool colony to a low tool colony allowing the former colony to continue building. ]
[Mar05] More intelligent AI by Cathy Wykes
Here are some ideas about advance warning and city manager options.
You need an indicator against the city name for number of turns to production completion coloured green if the tools are there or red if they are not.
You need the AI to stop producing hammers if there are no tools to finish the production and do something sensible instead, not use up your lumber.
[ You can order 'no production' and are told when tools are not available. ]
If you have too many tools, you need a choice of default options in the AI e.g. when tools will exceed max create a temporary pioneer, stop producing, prompt you, do nothing.
How about an indicator of storage capacity visible on the map screen attached to the town name? Show a symbol for stock greater than 75(?) and change the colour depending on how near capacity it is green (under 50%), orange (50-75) red over 75%?
[ It might clutter the screen up a bit. ]
True, so you'd need to limit the number. I'm thinking very small symbols - one character per item sitting under the town name. - maybe only put highest 6 (or 8?) or guns, tools and highest 6 others - something to prompt you to take a wagon there.
Another default option might be put a warehouse extension or wagon train in the build queue when 3(?) items are red.
[ You are only allowed 1 wagon train per colony including those currently trading. You can capture some of course. ]
Add more storage extensions or abolish the limit!!!
[Feb05]Colonization Wishlist by Cathy Wykes
The game play can get a bit tedious when you have a lot of colonies to manage, but I think the fault is in the AI not the "rules". I wouldn't change anything ‘til I'd tried it with good AI. Here's my wish list :
The main thing I want is the AI fixed to remove the glitches and to play fair rather than cheat at higher levels! I guess that goes without saying, but I think it would make a big difference - reducing frustration levels massively. There's a whole long list of things wrong or not working as well as they could. This is MILES more important than new ideas like adding Portuguese.
[ I have a special AI section. The Portuguese would make game play more interesting with an extra power especially as one withdraws and make the game historically accurate, Brazil is a big country. freecol has 8 slots for networked multiplayer powers, I don't know if they intend to allow you to play as the Indians as well. ]
More rational behaviour from the other countries and Indians like in Alpha Centauri. That has factions whose actions really make sense according to their values and aims. If you don't know the game buy it (I paid 4.99 pounds!) - I prefer Alpha Centauri to Civ. This would also make a huge difference to enjoyment.
[ I like the alliance system in Alpha Centauri it's better that weak powers try to ally with you. What I don't like in the alien terrain, wonders and technology but that's the game! Also I can't work out how to get my squares producing enough food for growth. ]
An intelligent city manager - again the Alpha Centauri one works for me - NOT just a production queue, but one where you choose 1 of 4 broad objectives for each town and the AI builds, creates units and places people accordingly. The Alpha Centauri objectives are explore, discover, build and conquer - you can also choose 2 at once or none. For Colonization something as simple as "maximise up to 4 items off the list" might be sufficient e.g. choose tobacco, population, horses & liberty bells for the town on good farming land, Silver and liberty bells for that mountain outpost, etc etc).
[ The problem is you have Hammers and Tools and you often get shortages or overload with one or the other thus forcing you to micromanage. ]
A record of interactions with Indian villages or a notepad to make your own. e.g. right click on the village brings up previous dialogue. I can never remember which villages have already trained someone and what they wanted to buy next. Naming the villages you have visited would help (accept their name or choose your own).
[ I have already posted that you should be able to click on a Indian Village and get a report of trade goods demanded and skills taught from the date the scout last visited it, it may be out of date of course.
There is an
Indian Village Chart that you can print out and note the locations, skills and trade goods
demanded of the Indian Villages.
The go to command could then send Colonists to named villages to get trained. Names are especially important for the big villages (cities really) like Tenochitilan and Cuzco. ]
More user friendly - e.g. help for newbie’s - a friend of mine got through the opening screen saw this ship sitting in a load of blue squares, didn't know what to do and gave up!!!! Sad but true. It needs more dialogue and maybe training missions.
[ If you play at the easiest level (Discoverer) you do get help. ]
Adding some more cut scenes (first dry dock - first cathedral) would update the look.
[ There's a picture of Jeff Briggs who co-wrote the game and composed the music on the sites main page under
I quite like the music though new music would make a change. You can play the music using the
in the download section if you can get your sound card working. ]
I'm not sure about adding research to the game - too big a change I think, but if the game runs for a couple of hundred years, the military tech really should change.... maybe in year X everyone starts producing new guns/armour/artillery/fortifications/ships with an extra point on attack/defence etc - no upgrades allowed, but you can sell old stuff to the Indians. If it was close to the end, a few new units wouldn't cause too much disturbance to the overall odds. BUT I'm still inclined to say - "don't touch it" .
[ Founding Fathers are the research really. You get Continental units, Man-o-War and King's Regulars during the War of Independence. ]
More storage upgrades - having galleons stuffed with horses in the harbour is a bit silly really.
[ Yes it is a bit stupid. But horses should need fodder so an upper limit on what each Colony can accept is realistic.
Also you could float logs down rivers to colonies like they did on the St. Lawrence saving you a wagon train. ]
Finally - leave the squares square! - when the map is rotated 45 degress I always end up with troops in the wrong square!
[ I'm afraid freecol have already implemented a 3D map you can see screenshots at their site. I prefer 2D too. ]