It's also good idea to send privateers to Dutch shore to regain your silver and sell it again. :-)
Only bad side effect of this is that by doing this you greatly help the Dutch to become rich as well (even if they don't manage to transport the silver to Europe in their ships - some kind of a bug).
I was stunned to read of a 75% tax rate. I've never let the tax rate get above 30%, usually it's in the 15-20% range. The key is of course the Custom House. It will continue to sell boycotted items to Europe even before the revolution, and at the current tax rate (not 50% [ this may have been changed in later versions ] ). Throwing 100 tons of an item away is much cheaper in the long run than paying a higher tax on all items.
Once I have selected Stuyvestant the only tax hikes I even consider accepting are on horses, tools, and muskets. If I have an Iron Works, tools are no longer a problem. If I have 2 Iron Works and an Arsenal, muskets are no longer a concern (in fact I usually end up with a glut of guns). Depending on the food supply in my colonies a boycott of horses can be quite serious. I almost never lose muskets in battle, but am constantly having to replace horses.
Finally there is a bug in the program, as you've mentioned, in which the tax rate changes. In my case it usually drops to zero (not that I'm complaining about lower taxes mind you!) still it would be interesting to play a game with a realistic tax scale. (Not that the taxes in Colonization are anything like that paid by the colonists.) I think this bug shows up after Fugger is in congress but I'm really not sure.
[ The 'Colonization Version 3.0 Upgrade' in the Download section fixes the tax bug. Also remember Thomas Paine increases liberty bell production by the current tax rate, so higher tax rates increase Sons of Liberty membership which increases production and Continental Army recruitment. ]
[I find Wars fun and useful. For a Kings war you get 500 or 1000 gold plus 1 to 4 Veteran Soldier, with or without Horses, but horses can be bought relatively cheaply in Europe. Franklin does stop wars but this doesn't mean other European powers won't blockade your cities which will disrupt land improvement and trade routes which I find more troublesome than a War. Of course Franklin does allow you to declare War on YOUR terms when YOU are most ready.]
[Easy but not very Civilized. Anyway I find it more fun to earn my money, the game is easy enough.]
[They are rivals in so much as they might build Colonies too close to yours, blockade your Colonies and build a Privateer fleet. Clearly they are less your rivals if you attack Indian villages to get more land to build Colonies.]
[I think only being able to build things at a certain population is a good thing, it prevents the build list getting too cluttered or the player starting a massive project without enough workers. You wouldn't for example want to build a University in a population 2 colony. As it requires 3 teachers, 3 pupils and some other people to feed them. I think however you should be able to build the lumber mill at population 2. So you can have one lumberjack and one carpenter building the simple buildings ready for when more Colonists become available, with the cleared central square providing enough food to feed them. Building a temporary colony to accept treasure is not so much of a bug and a strategy.]
[Clearly you know the game better than I do. I never thought of trading boycotted goods to Europeans. Of course if you do trade with other Europeans it can make them stronger, but then if you trade with the King the Royal Expeditionary Force grows too, perhaps it's better to trade with Indians around other European settlements, which makes them stronger so they can threaten your opponents.]
[You do have to waste precious holds, clearly the economic model is not very accurate. Of course Ore probably represents Iron Ore and Coal, and one might be is short supply in Europe, but plentiful in the undeveloped New World. Luxembourg only exists because it had large Iron Ore deposits, and neither Germany nor France wanted the other getting sole control of them]
In response to your letter, the Dutch Tulip Bubble was.... errr.... stupid.
By the time I buy half a dozen silver miners, ten years later my silver is worthless.
[Oversupply? Silvers only real value is its rarity. I never have more than one Silver Miner Working, although he is an expert, otherwise depletion wastes half your silver. When the price drops too low simply stop trading the commodity, and it will recover a bit, providing other powers aren't over trading in it. Always sell in 100 lots, because it can drop when you sell lesser amounts, so you will be losing more money.]
When prices go down in Europe, the natives shouldn't realise it also.
[I didn't realise that. Maybe you just trade with them too much, obviously they're going to pay less once they have some stuff stockpiled. Check the Indian Report to see which Tribes haven't got Muskets and Horses, they'll pay top Dollar.]
The natives DO realise it but I also trade with them too much.
Land masses that make moving boats across the map easier (not one skinny island stretching from the top of the world to the bottom with only one way to get through).
[I agree totally, all Microprose Computer Generated Maps are total guff. Check out my New World Scenario with all the powers Cities in the correct place, on the main page.]
Thank you, eh! From a guy in Canada... in his igloo... eating seal skin.
Then I began to notice all of the nice resource squares in the North American Midwest and Pacific Coast. Now, I usually don't bother with inland Colonies (number one- they can be a pain, and number two- Shipping is hard because you have to build Wagon Trains, Roads, etc...) but this time I decided to try it out. I went to Europe and bought a Expert Farmer, a Hardy Pioneer, a Veteran Soldier, and a Master Fur Trader (it was a Beaver square). I brought them over and Cleared/Ploughed the square that I intended to settle on (hint- try to settle on plains whenever possible, because if it is cleared and ploughed, you can support three colonists without a Farmer!
Also, don't settle right next to Indian villages like the computer does. I then used the Pioneer to build a road to the nearest coastal City, this is very important. I went back to Europe and picked up a Missionary (if you get a Petty Criminal on the Docks, don't bother with it. Just bless it as a Missionary) and put it in the nearest Indian Village. After the City had a population of about four or five, I found another City site and repeated the same process. After doing this until there are no more suitable sites left, most, if not all, of your Colonies should have Custom Houses. And if you are making and selling the goods, you can sometimes make up to 3,000- 4,000 gold pieces a turn!!!! [only on easy levels, and as the Dutch]
There are many ways to get rich in Colonization, killing Indians is one very bad way, not only do they kill you but you lose one a score [for every Village Destroyed, more for higher levels]. Trade is the way to go, but the beginning of the game is when you tend to need money the most. The way to get it is when you settle a Colony use the Furs or Sugar that you are going automatically to get money. Don't sell it in Europe because it will drive down the price and it is more convenient to sell it to the Indians [they usually prefer processed goods].
Once you settle there you have to start making it good so get all the Colonists you can and use them. Try to fill all the positions, get three Statesman, Carpenters, Blacksmiths [may get an overload of Tools with 3, or not have enough Ore], and any thing else that you may be producing. To support the Colony you will definitely need Fisherman because they tend to get more than Farmers but if it is the opposite go with it.
Get everything, and I mean everything. Make it so that all you have left to build is Wagon Trains and Artillery [and Ships]. When it gets to this point build as many Artillery as you can (the more Artillery the stronger the Fort or Fortress is when it is attacking). Stock up your City with as many Soldiers as you can, this becomes useful when the Royal Expeditionary Force (REF) comes. While you are building your Super Colony, don't hesitate to attack any other Europeans. But don't take any Colonies with Stockades because you can't get rid of them. That is a problem because once you take the Colony you abandon it and bring it's Colonists up to your Super Colony to use as whatever you need.
Once you have everything including about 10 Artillery, and enough Soldiers that when you look at the Outside of Colony while inside the Colony, that they are a blur. This is when you declare Independence, be sure to take all your Soldiers off fortify. This is so when the REF comes you can destroy the Units before they can even attack you. This is a sure-fire way to win your Independence. But it is very boring in my opinion, because I like actually losing and recapturing Colonies but this is good for a start off strategy.
The St. Lawrence Seaway enables Ships to sail through the St. Lawrence river and into the Great Lakes [it still takes some time to get your Ships there though]. This allows you to build coastal Colonies early in the game near all of the Beaver and Moose squares along the Great Lake Region of North America. The Great Lakes will now be considered Ocean squares, so you will be allowed to build Dry-docks and Shipyards in these Colonies. To do this, simply go into the map editor in the Colonization directory, and open up the Traditional American Map and replace the river going from Quebec to the Great Lakes with Ocean squares. Go to Save as, and add a letter or a number to the end of the filename, as not to get rid of the original map, and hit enter. Then go into Colonization as normal and go to Begin Game in the Americas, and an option menu will come up and ask if you want to go to the traditional map or the map editor. Choose map editor, and select the save file that you renamed it to. REMEMBER, always back up your files before you screw around with them!
There is only one thing that happens when you do this. The game does not recognise this as Earth, so the Indians will be in random places. Meaning the Incas could be in New England, or the Iroquois could be in California. It doesn't really matter, but makes it a little different.
The second component of Colonization Score is the Independence multiplier. If you are the first to declare Independence, as compared to the other European Colonies, your base Score is doubled. If you are the 2nd to declare Independence, you get a 50% bonus on your Score. If you are the 3rd to declare, you get a 25% bonus. If you declare last, then you get only your base Score without any multiplier.
The final component of Colonization Score is how early you declare. For every year before 1776 you declare, you get a bonus point. These bonus points are added to the base Population Score before the Independence multiplier is used.
Additional components of the Score are Native genocide penalties and monetary bonuses. For every Native Village you destroy, you lose points based on level of difficulty. At Discover level this penalty is 1 point per Village destroyed. At Explorer level it is 2 points per Village destroyed, and so it adds up. Monetary bonuses are +1 point for every 1000 gold pieces you have in the Treasury.
Finally, who do you play as? I personally choose the Dutch. The reason is the relative flatness of the cost of Goods back in merry old Amsterdam, and the free Merchant Ship to start. Dutch Goods do not fluctuate as wildly in price as do the English, Spanish, and French. This means you can count on a somewhat steady income when you take your goods to Europe as opposed to the price dropping with each load you take there. The English advantage of immigration is almost as good, as you can count on a steady supply of Colonists coming to the New World. The Spanish advantage of conquest is good only if you want to wipe out the Natives (but this impacts negatively on your final Score). The French advantage of Native co-operation can be approximated through the use of Founding Mother Pocahontas.
Land your Units along a coast where there are some special resources (a Pine Tree, Silver Deposit, etc.). Chances are you'll bump into a Native Tribe the moment you land; needless to say, now would not be a good time to begin hostilities with them, no matter how small they are.
Survey the terrain near where you landed to determine if it is a good place to establish your first settlement. Your next big decision is whether to build two settlements or just one with a Population of two.
Unless you are playing at the lowest two levels of difficulty (Discoverer and Explorer), I recommend setting up two settlements. At the higher levels the Computer Players enjoy production bonuses and thus develop faster. You'll want to stake out as much territory as quickly as you can to keep up with the Computer. Also, in the early stages of the game no one will be hostile with you unless you provoke them, so it's safe to have a number of small, weak settlements at the start.
It is also important to note that at Conquistador level and up, you don't have any money to start off with, so you cannot immediately return to Europe and buy Colonists. Instead, you'll have to wait until one becomes available. Consequently it is better to have two settlements at the start because then you'll have two places from which to pick up raw materials to sell when you return to Europe. Note that if you have one settlement with two Colonists, one of the Colonists will have to harvest Food in order to support himself and thus will not be able to produce anything for you to make money from.
Whatever you do, do NOT establish one of your first two settlements away from the coast. Doing so prevents your ship from picking up valuable cargo to cash in Europe. You do not want to be wasting time building a Wagon Train this early in the game (besides, you need roads for Wagons to be effective). Also, don't worry about any possible overlap with existing Native Villages, as a Founding Father (Peter Minuit) will take care of this for you. No more annoying Totem Poles. Just make sure you select him early on, if you do have overlap.
You may find it profitable in the short term to establish a one-unit settlement dedicated to a particular resource. The best example is a Colonist devoted to mining Silver. In this way you can accumulate a fair amount of money early on. Replace your Colonist with an Expert Silver Miner when you get the chance."