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Sent in Tips - Military Strategy 1

[APR00] Is the size of the REF related to the taxes the King collects from you? by John D Dilley

I don't think the size of the REF is related to gold. I feel it is probably turn based, but am not sure. It could be connected to population size or military strength or possibly even Liberty Bell production, but I don't think so.

[ Try selling an expensive cargo in Europe. The next turn the REF is nearly always enlarged due to all the tax the King collects. If this is the case it would seem wiser to trade with the Indians or other Europeans. ]

[APR00] West Point by John D Dilley

Are you swamped with a bunch of unskilled colonists? They come from the docks of Europe, as well as captured POW's, not to mention the homegrown ones. What are you to do with this untalented mob? The answer is simple, send them to military school! Build a university in a colony with a good food supply and a high Sons of Liberty %. Pop three Veteran Soldiers into the university along with as many unskilled colonists as the colony can take. Presto! You have just founded West Point (or Sandhurst for our British cousins). Keep feeding in your unskilled colonists and in no time you'll have all the Veterans you want. Of course, you shouldn't build this until the middle part of the game, after all you're going to need a supply of muskets and horses for your new soldiers. While awaiting to be trained, put your colonists first in the Town Hall to help get the colony up to 100% as quickly as possible. Another place you can put extra colonists is in a church or cathedral. Actually you only need a college to train soldiers, still why train two at a time when you can train three at once. If you temporary run short of new colonists put your soldiers in the Town Hall until more become available.

It's true a war or two will increase the number of veterans quickly (especially if you have Washington) still its handy to have a supply of veterans to control your home territory. These can be stationed at key road junctions to guard against the nasty habit the computer has of putting units next to your colonies. Also, they can be used to quickly retaliate against Indian raids (I try to destroy the braves that made the attack at once, this doesn't seem to raise Indian tensions as much as attacking their villages).

Also keep in mind, when the revolution comes only veterans (in a colony square) get upgraded to Continental Army status. Therefore the turn before you declare, put all your veterans in colonies with a high Sons of Liberty %.

During the revolution use your Continental Army units to attack the REF's dragoons and regulars, save your veterans and militia to attack artillery in the open.

Something really should be done to help the poor REF. Under the current system I consider it a disgrace if the REF actually gets to make a single attack during the revolution! Perhaps when you declare the REF should immediately occupy one of your major ports with a quarter or a third of its total force. The rest would be brought over at a rate of six a turn. This would reflect the fact that the British held New York for nearly the entire revolution.

[APR00] One Sided Wars by John D Dilley

  1. Get Ben Franklin in Congress
  2. Station a scout or two near a colony of the intended victim (I prefer a colony well away from the theatre of operations).
  3. Insure the scout moves last using the WAIT command.
  4. Make all your attacks both on land and sea.
  5. At the end of your turn move the scout to the nearby colony and "Meet with the Mayor". Because you have Franklin, the computer will always offer a peace treaty. Accept this.
  6. If your attacks have not accomplished your goal, on the next turn (and as long as you wish) repeat these steps. Your enemy will never get a chance to attack you (and will never receive the 50% attack bonus).
  7. This procedure allows you to use your frigates as privateers: Just keep a scout outside a colony of each European power. Be sure they move last, and you can attack any ship you come across during the turn!

[JAN00] Muskets tip by Ryan Smith

Even though the maximum amount of muskets in a colony is 300, you can still make more and keep them by creating wagon trains or ships, loading them with muskets, and fortifying them until you need the muskets. You can also do this for horses. This is useful for times when you're in a war and your dragoons and soldiers are losing battles.

[Nov99] Independence via Hamburger Hill by Jeff Fisher

The King is too predictable. If you plan ahead, you can lead his REF to its doom.

The REF will always target your port with the weakest garrison. The REF will always land adjacent to that target. The REF will choose an uncovered space if there is one.

So, early in the game, build one port next to a coastal mountain; this will be your trap. Play the game, make your fortune, recruit your congress (get Washington before Independence), and build an army (see all of the other tips).

As you prepare to declare your independence, lay your ambush. Place carefully matched garrisons in each of your other ports. Place the same garrison less one unit in your trap. Array ample dragoons in the fields and forests around your trap, taking care to leave the adjacent coastal mountain open to the King's invasion while covering everything else.

The REF will land on the mountain you have prepared for it. Your units massed nearby have the ambush advantage when attacking, so your counterattack should be a turkey shoot. End each turn in the same state, and the King will repeat the same mistake again and again until the REF is naught but a greasy spot on the mountain. Boring, but effective.

Because you know how the King thinks, YOU are in control of the King's men. Sun Tzu would be proud.

-- Jeff Fisher, Vancouver WA

[OCT99] Buying an Army by Jonathan Lovell

If you build a colony and start making a lot of valuable stuff like ore, coats, sugar, rum or cigars you can sell them for a lot of money. When all of the other foreign powers have a big army you can buy a really big army. Try to do this when you can arm people with muskets and horses really cheap so sell really fast and after that I can almost always kick butt. They are expensive later so don't waste time. You can't buy barely any soldiers or dragoons later because they get expensive.

[SEP99] Think, before you assign jobs in conquered colonies! by Renadine@aol.com

When you capture a rival colony, be VERY careful before you place any settlers in new jobs, or even inside the colony at all. You will notice, as mentioned in another tip, the conquered colonists inside the town are always doing stupid jobs when you conquer them, and your first instinct is to move them into more productive work. STOP! First, do you actually want that lousy two hex colony on the island of Antigua? Many times, the AI of the game places rival colonies in less-than-economically attractive spots. If you don't really want the place, don't you dare keep or put more than one or two men into it. Notice that the game sometimes gives you the option by indicating there are 2 people inside the town, and the one defeated colonist outside the fence. Why? Because the program may have already given the opponent La Salle, and then you are stuck with a stockade if you have 3 or more settlers in it. If you have a stockade, you can't disband a colony with 3 or more people in it. Sometimes, without thinking, you wind up placing 3 or more people to work, and **&"!!, you've just inherited a bear of a place to micro-manage which is strategically and economically worthless. One way to mitigate that problem is to put 3 conquered Indian converts into it and abandon it economically and militarily.

[If you have one making food and two in the town hall you will get some extra liberty bells, which are the only 'commodity' that can be stockpiled without transporting it. Or put them in a manufacturing job converting the base squares commodity to a manufactured and more profitable good which would be worth the bother of shipping away, you could even keep a wagon train in the colony for this purpose. If the colony is a long way from major ports just take the cargo to the nearest Indian village.]

Take all European settlers out, so you can train them for something useful, or put them to work elsewhere. I have made the mistake of placing 3 or more people into a useless place time after time in the heat of conquest, and now I am more cautious. Sure, I conquer some of the strategically important islands in the Caribbean in mid-to-late game so I can control the sea routes on the Atlantic between North and South America. Sometimes, I have to attack a two-bit island nearby to get a base to work from, or to get some settlers to place in a more important place. If you land next to an Arawak village which is next to an enemy town you want to attack, the tribe will attack and dismount your dragoon immediately. Be prepared for that. Since you definitely would need Trinidad (the southern-most island), and possibly Barbados, (the eastern-most two above Trinidad), to secure bases to rest your fleet between South and North America, you definitely don't want to waste time and resources and men colonizing permanent posts on lesser islands.

Be very careful once the screen changes to show your soldier entering the conquered town. Stop, count heads, see who is inside and who is outside the fence, and don't automatically put people to work on a knee-jerk reaction. If you really want the colony, then fix the job assignments and add or subtract people and defence forces. If you don't, loot it with a ship, take everyone, or maybe all but one or two settlers out, and get the H____ out quickly. If you don't want to allow an opponent to take possession of the area, (especially an island) again, say because it is on a strategically important sea route, dissolve the colony you have conquered by moving everything and everyone worthwhile out, then place one dragoon on the spot permanently to deter another power from going there. It will cost you a dragoon, but better than having an enemy colony rebuilt there that will pester you in the future every time you want to pass by.

[If you put one dragoon (or fortified colonist, like useless petty criminals) on every square of an island, no landing can ever take place and they can't be attacked by ships. It would of course be more realistic to use dragoons, but then just give the criminals some muskets and horses. Of course may be the criminals would steal all the weapons of invading troops. ;-) ]

[SEP99] Time your attacks by Renadine@aol.com

Here is another tip on a slightly different subject. Let's say you've conquered a few opponents' settlers who landed where you were settled or where you wanted to settle. Notice their ships are trying to land more settlers nearby? Well, if I want to acquire trained settlers quickly, let them land, but keep a dragoon about 2-3 hexes away from the anticipated landing point. Then hit them immediately upon landing, or within 1 or 2 turns maximum. You don't want them to build up a colony nearby for too long, else you will be in a war with a couple of armed untrained colonists, and it will take you 2-3 dragoons to conquer the town. If you see a soldier or pioneer land nearby, let him build a colony all alone and then hit him--you will get guns or the tools. If you hit an enemy soldier in the field, you lose the guns. If you hit an disarmed dragoon, you wind up with an untrained ugly grey colonist. If you hit him after letting him build a colony, you get an unarmed dragoon--worth about $1800.00 without weapons! See, you have to be careful when to attack whom, because you might conclude the attack gaining very little.

Once you have hit the opponent on/near your territory a few times, their ships will move further away and try to land again. You might have to send a dragoon chasing them away by being at or near their intended landing points, or, you might want to keep one nearby (within striking distance), let them land, and capture them. Eventually, you will conquer all the opponents' landed settlers, and their ships will move away to a distant point to land. Sometimes, they will disappear from the game entirely, or merely reappear much later in a distant spot.

Remember, if you allow a rival power to establish a viable defended colony anywhere near you, (this means anywhere on your continental land mass), they will eventually attack or at least pester your towns. Drive them out! Peace is not an option. If you get lucky and don't have any rivals anywhere near you, fine. Eventually though, you will be driven into war by the programming of the game--the game will not allow any rivals to ignore you indefinitely, wherever you are, and more often than not, you will eventually find yourself entering their territory for something or another anyway. It is important that if you land in a great place to develop, like Argentina, or the lower Mississippi Valley, don't move on if another European power is there. They will be weak early in the game. Hit their colonies immediately when you have a horsed dragoon, and don't wait 4 or 5 turns. Keep conquered their dingy little colonies, and moving the goods and settlers out to better spots you want. It takes up some precious early game turns, but you get to stay in an economically advantageous spot with some settlers for free.

[JUL99] Combat System by Sharkman

For most of the time the combat system is rubbish, but you'll find veteran dragoons seem to have a much better chance of defeating fortified artillery in colonies... I never use ordinary dragoons when sieging a foreign colony with artillery in it... makes George Washington all the more important! It is immoral to use braves as target practice for colonist dragoons, but its a surefire way to amass a really powerful army with dozens of veterans!

[Of course this is also likely to start an Indian war].

I usually like to turn 2 colonies into "gun factories" with 2 smithies and 2 gunsmiths (with iron works and arsenal) pumping out 48 muskets each, with some "feeder" colonies for the ore.

[The problem with this is the feeder colonies will come under siege during a war, thus stopping production.]

But I like to keep a galleon around the siege area and bring back the routed dragoons and soldiers - by the time I get my gun factories set up so they're making at least 24 a turn, one or both of the foreign nations is threatening to gain independence thus forcing me to declare war and try to take their colony that's giving them the rebel majority. I do save before battles, but I do a whole string of battles before deciding whether or not to reload, I don't really like to save before each individual combat (too much trouble). If losses are within reason, I won't bother reloading.

About privateers - I think the game has some sort of balancing factor incorporated into it - if you keep more than 3 priv's, when they lose they almost always get sunk (once even by a merchantman!!!) but if you have one or two they'll likely just be damaged and not lost totally upon defeat.

[I think this to prevent you blockading every Colony on the map and making vast profits which would just make the game too easy.]

[JUN99] When you attack a foreign colony... by Renadine@aol.com

When you attack a foreign colony, and it does not fall to you at the first attack with a couple of dragoons, or if the population of the colony rises immediately when your attacking force approaches it, here is what to do to save yourself men and horses:

First, make sure to save before each trooper strikes. If you lose the combat, reload and try again. If you lose the second combat, go to the Second option: when you lose a combat, "Fortify" the troopers, and move the one who lost his horse back a space away from the colony. After two turns, un-fortify the attackers and attack again. The point is, often the troopers must rest for a turn or two in a fortified state before they are "refreshed" enough to attack without any (or much) loss.

Thirdly, if you attack a colony near an Indian village, do not place your troopers next to the village side of the colony being attacked. The Indians become alarmed at the presence of your soldiers, especially if there are two or three stacked together. They will ambush them and de-horse a dragoon or perhaps deprive infantry of their weapons.

[And they nearly always win as they get the advantage of the Indian Ambush Bonus.]

Fourthly, try to place your men away from squares just adjacent to the villages, but on prime farmland, ore, etc., or woodland, so the enemy will be deprived of some resources as you are besieging their colony. This will deprive you of some booty when you take the colony, but it may also diminish the overall strength of the enemy.

Fifthly, if the colony you attack has a road(s) to it, place the attacking force on the road and when you hit the colony, it will be fast and furious. (Remember to save before each hit.) You can place men a couple of squares away from the colony if it has a road, and thereby save yourself from the possibility of a counterattack from right inside the colony. You will probably be counter attacked anyway, but since you will be at least a square away from their colony, the counter attacking forces will be placed outside the colony perimeter when they counterattack. Thus, when you have a chance to hit back, your chances of winning the combat are improved, since the enemy will no longer have the additional advantage of a stockade or fort to fight from within. If you capture a colony with a road to another close by enemy colony, keep your men inside the colony and attack from there using the road to transport the attack. You will have some initial advantage.

[APR99] The 'Peace is not an option' Strategy by Renadine@aol.com

Highest Priority People to Get Into Congress: Peace is not an option. Forget about peace. The way to have fun and get rich and powerful is to use the Indians to train your colonists, then destroy them. Then go after the other European powers.

Here is what to do:

Strategy Tip: Make sure you get to North America and train as many colonists as you can as Tobacco, Cotton and other important trades as fast as possible if Spain is settled there (and you are not Spain). If not, they will wipe out the camps you vitally need to train your settlers. Help the Indians to defeat Spain if you can not get there with a lot of untrained colonists before Spanish troops begin exterminating the locals. Don't sit on your a** happy in Argentina or elsewhere and unknowingly, Spain is wiping out the North American tribes. Remember--where Spain is settled, they will go after the tribes quickly, and therefore deprive you of training colonists.

Also: Save every time before you send a colonist or Scout into an Arawak camp. They occasionally kill them immediately.

Also: If you are colonized near the Incas, send your ships with dragoons and exterminate and loot the Aztecs first, and vice versa. This is a frequent occurrence:

You are colonized in North America. You think you are going to attack the Aztecs once you have Cortes (you have to be an idiot to attack the Indians until you have Cortes.) Suddenly, you notice the Dutch (they are famous for this), have just destroyed and looted an Inca city! You idiot! You have to get Cortes into your Congress fast, and you have to loot the Aztecs and Incas before the other powers do. Otherwise, you are losing out on tens of thousands of dollars. I have played this game maybe 500 times, and I always have $80,000 to $100,000 by the time I get tired and want to quit--how? By attacking the Incas and Aztecs once I can get Cortes and accumulate about 12 veteran dragoons--some to protect my colonies, and at least 5 to attack each city. I attack each Aztec or Inca city with 5 or 6 dragoons at a time, saving my game before each and every hit. I almost never lose a battle that way. Also, I attack two cities at a time, each from nearby colonies (if I need to, I set up temporary colonies right near the cities I want to attack, and place at least 50 extra guns and 50 extra horses in it, with one or two semi-useless colonists I don't need to hold the fort while my veterans are destroying the local Indians.

Remember--if you are near the Aztecs, go after the Incas first. If you are near the Incas, go after the Aztecs first. Always attack the closet camp to your colony and move out to the others from there.

Final very important tip: Never hit a village with a soldier without saving first. See, when you are told how much money the destroyed village will yield, (especially with the Inca and Aztec cities), you can re-load the saved game and sometimes get more from that village when you destroy it next hit. Never accept $6,200 or $9,800 from an Inca or Aztec city you have destroyed--re-load the saved game and re-hit it, and it will almost always (but not always) yield more loot. I sometimes hit and re-load 3 times before I get the large amount I want. And NEVER attack Indian villages before you have Cortes, otherwise you will get peanuts for loot. If you can get Pocahontas, so much the better.

[Gosh! What a surprise, if you're beastly to the Indians and cheat a lot - you win! One little problem your going straight to hell, your score gets a real dent from all those Indian villages you've destroyed and your country is going to end up as a banana republic instead of a go get 'em ultra high tech power house and there ain't going to be no one around to write fun computer games.]