FAQ for Colonization 



FAQ Version 2.0

Compiled and edited by Jim Cox (cox@unx.sas.com), adding greatly to
original version 1.0 FAQ, which was compiled and edited by Dar
Steckelberg (dsteckel@silver.sdsmt.edu).

I.                            Introduction

    "Colonization" (hereafter referred to as "COL") is Sid Meier's
latest (Oct. '94) strategy game that lets you organize and lead a group
of settlers from one of four European powers (England, France, Spain, or
Holland) in their struggle to establish an independent colony in the New
World. Sid Meier is well renowned for his previous strategy game
designs, including "Railroad Tycoon", "Civilization", and "Pirates!"
Gamers with experience in any or all of these three games will see some
similarities in COL regarding the interface, graphics, and mechanics.
    You may use the map of North and South America or let the computer
generate a new world for you to explore.  After landing in the New
World, your settlers must build colonies, work the land, and interact
with the natives to survive and, hopefully, grow.
    All you start with is one ship and two colonists.  In order to get
more resources you must ship the resources of the New World back to
Europe for trade.  How you obtain these resources is up to you.  You may
obtain them by working the land, trading with the Indians, or pillaging
Indian villages or other colonies and their ships.
    Religious strife and persecution in the Old World will generate new
colonists infrequently, but that's about the only "freebie" you can
expect from your home country.  The King will soon be levying taxes to
support his war efforts and marriage celebrations.  The market prices
back home will drop after you flood the market with your goods, too.
You will be forced to diversify your products and trading partners in
order to earn profits and escape the tax man.
    Eventually, you (and your colonists) will be strong enough and fed
up enough with the King that you declare independence.  If you can
defend your colonies from the King's wrath and the Royal Expeditionary
Force that he sends to crush your rebellion, you will have created a new
nation and be a hero to your people!  If not, you will spend your
remaining days in exile and your people will name an infectious disease
in your honor.

------  Contributed by Dar Steckelberg (dsteckel@silver.sdsmt.edu).

II. Bugs, features, and limitations

1. Lockups:

    These come in the following varieties:

   a.  Mysterious nonrepeatable lock-ups.

Many people have reported non-repeatable lockups, in other words, a
load of the autosaved game will not lockup when the same action is

   b. Sound Bug.

I have lockups on the average of once an hour when I have sound turned
on.  When I turn sound off, I do not have the lockups.  For the
record, I have a second generation Sound Blaster Pro, with the normal

   c. Editing a trade route when 12 trade routes are defined.

My problems however seem to be linked to editing/deleting trade
routes. I have a game where I got up to 12 routes and then discovered
that was the maximum when I tried creating the 13th. Tried deleting
all 12 to redefine them and the program locked up as I deleted the

Restarted the game and thought maybe I need to edit my existing routes
rather than deleting them. This seemed to work for a while but I
noticed after a lot of editing routes the game would eventually
freeze. In fact it once bombed out with a text message saying it could
not allocate enough memory. Mostly though it just hangs.

---- Contributed by Ross Inglis (R.A.Inglis@bra0801.wins.icl.co.uk)

I have had the same problem after I have tried to edit the twelfth
trade route.  It will hang within 5 minutes.  Saving and reloading
does not seem to fix this problem.

   d. Problems when city disbanded which is on a trade route.

Another time, I disbanded a city that was on a trade route.
Established a new city near bye.  Edited the route and added
that city in the position the disbanded one had been in (its
line had disappeared from the route when I went to edit it).
After that, I could not edit trade routes and the T command
did not work.  I tried to look inside a colony and the program
crashed saying it had failed to allocate memory in the picture
something routine.

---- Contributed by schafer@walleye.network.com (Martin Schafer)

2. Incompatabilities

I have seen various references that Colonization has trouble with
QEMM, and certain mouse drivers.  Following is one such reference:

Colonization doesn't seem to work with some mouse drivers. Use msd to
check what DOS mouse driver you have. Microprose recommend vers 8.20.
It does work with vers 6.94 and with the new intellipoint driver. It
didn't like vers 8.01 which came with my Logitech Mouse (Logitech users
can use LMOUSE.COM which comes with Windows).

---- contributed by Douglas Woods (Doug@drwoods.demon.co.uk)

3. General bugs

The following six bugs were laid out quite well in a posting by
Douglas Woods (Doug@drwoods.demon.co.uk):

   a. Can't create trade route with Europe.

When you create a new trade route, your European port is not listed as
a possible destination. To get around this, you need to create a trade
route, by sea, between two of your colony cities. Once you have created
the trade route, you can edit it and replace the second city with your
European port.


   b. Wagon train on a trade route won't unload cargo.

This seems to happen if the cargo is embargoed at your European port. The
only way around it is to unload the wagon train by hand.


   c. If using a mouse to move a unit, the unit sometimes goes off in a
strange direction all of its own.

Be careful when using drop-down menu to give orders to a unit. If you
click or release LMB just slightly outside the drop-down menu, your unit
could move off in a strange direction of its own. If you change your mind
about an order, move the mouse cursor to the top bar menu and release
LMB there.


   d. Tax rate disappears when game is saved/loaded.

Sometimes if you load a saved game, the tax rate is reset to zero.
Doesn't always happen (unfortunately ).


   e. Units transfer ships in mid-ocean.

If two of your ships meet on the same ocean square, any units on board
one ship can sometimes be taken over by the second ship. Not always
possible to avoid this but the likelihood can be reduced by not sending
ships empty and by avoiding sending two ships together from the European


   f. After automatic trade with Europe (via trade route or custom house),
the screen doesn't clear properly.

When you complete an automatic trade route with Europe, the screen behind
the top right window is not redrawn properly. Annoying, perhaps, but not



   g. Problems with goto routine.

The goto routine apparently has many problems.  It is good for short
distances, without hooks in the land or sea.  It also seems to do a
good job using rivers and roads when they exist. But when there is
impassable terrain between the source and the destination, the goto
routine often fails.  Sometimes the unit will get trapped in an
endless loop going back and forth between two points.  Other times the
unit will cheerfully head in a direction where it will get shut off
with impassable terrain, and just stop there.

4. Fortunate bugs, features, and cheats

   a. REF may teleport its Man o' Wars into inland lakes

I had the REF show up at a city on a one square inland lake,
thus marooning one of the Man o' wars.  This was convenient
but incorrect.
---- Contributed by schafer@walleye.network.com (Martin Schafer)

   b. Getting more choices for founding father.

Another bug/feature is when you're selecting the next founding father.  If
you don't like your choices, you can hit ESC and get (some) different choices.
It only seems to work once though (per choice that is).
---- Contributed by zaarain@eskimo.com (Mike Warning)

   c. The 'U' (unload) bug.

When a good is boycotted in your home country, you can still sell it.
Just use the 'u' key to unload it rather than the mouse, and you will
sell it 'under the table'.  This bug really should be fixed, because
it really means there is very little consequence for you to refuse tax
increases by your mother country.

   d. Temporary increases in population.

Although you have to have a certain population to get certain city
improvements, these can be obtained by simply putting a lot of
colonists to work in a colony, choosing to build what you want that
you don't have enough colonists for, and then you taking out all the
colonists that you just put in.  You will continue building what
you chose to build even without the minimum needed.  (Note: if you
have La Salle in your congress, you won't be able to go back below 3
however, as a stockade will be build immediately)

   e. Changing game parameters.

You don't like the amount of production a type of resource gives? Or
you want to change the names of the indian tribes or countries
involved?  Simple... just edit the names.txt file in your colonize
directory.  You can make changes that affect the whole game in there,
including some of the computer AI.

   f. Things you can do to units after they move.

I always have the end of turn option on.  There are several things you
can do with a unit after its move, that save you a whole turn with
that unit:

      1. You can put him to work in a colony that turn.
      2. You can equip a pioneer with tools or a soldier with guns
and/or horses so that it is ready to go next turn.  If you wait until
next turn to do it, the equipping process takes up its whole move.
      3. By waiting to move a ship until after a unit moves to a town,
you can have that unit on the ship this turn, by moving the unit into
the colony, clicking the middle icon on the multifunction display,
clicking on that unit, and choosing Sentry.  Alternatively, you can
fortify that unit that turn, rather than waiting for the next turn,
using the same procedure but choosing Fortify.
     4. If a colony is maxxed out on a commodity, you can go ahead
and load it on the ship that enters the colony that turn, so that you
do not lose any production.

5. Incorrect documentation.

   a. Terrain effects.  The terrain card that comes with the game is a
joke, it is not even close to the correct effects.  The Colonopedia is
better, but it is wrong in the expert bonus given to farmers and
fisherman.  It is +2, not +3.  See the terrain chart in the charts
section for the "correct" effects.

   b. Cathedrals.

You need a city population of 16 (not 8 as it says in the manual) before
you can build a cathedral.
---- contributed by Douglas Woods (Doug@drwoods.demon.co.uk)

   c. City radius doesn't expand.

No. This has been removed from the game. See the technical supplement.
---- contributed by Douglas Woods (Doug@drwoods.demon.co.uk)

   d. Founding father corrections.

De Soto is more valuable than the manual indicates.  In addition to
allowing all units to see as well as scouts, he also insures that all
lost city results are positive.


III.                          Game Mechanics

The first six questions were initially proposed (and answered) by Dar
Steckelberg in the version 1.0 FAQ:

1.  Which countries can you represent?  What are their advantages?

    You may choose from England, France, Spain, and Holland (the
Netherlands). Their advantages are:

    England:    Generates new immigrants from Europe faster (2/3 the
cost of crosses).

    France:     Has better co-operation with the Indians and generates
less hostility among them.    [cox: France is also the only nation to
start with a hardy pioneer]

    Spain:      Has a 50% attack strength bonus when attacking Indian
settlements.  Spain is also the only nation to get a veteran soldier
at the beginning if playing at conquistador level or higher.

    Holland:    Starts out with a merchantman (as opposed to a caravel).
Amsterdam's market prices fluctuate less.

2.  How do you train unskilled colonists?

    After building a schoolhouse, you must place a skilled-colonist in
it.  Any free colonist working the colony may receive the same skill
after a few turns.  Also, any petty criminal may upgrade to an
indentured servant, and any indentured servant may upgrade to a free
colonist.  Colonists who are already skilled will not be affected.
    The colonist must NOT be doing a job that fits the teacher's skill.
The colonist must only be in the colony working.  Colonists standing by
the fence or fort (where the soldiers take up post) will NOT receive
    OCCASSIONALLY a free colonist may be granted a skill at random.  The
colonist will be granted the skill in the job that it was currently
performing.  You will be notified of this.  However, there is no
guarantee that any of your colonists will learn a skill in this fashion.
If you want skilled colonists, you'd better school them.

[cox: A final way to get skilled colonists is to send them to an
indian colony.  This trains them instantly, no wait except the time
required to get them to the indian village and back.  Please note:

   1. An indentured servant (but not a criminal) can be trained all
the way to expert level this way.  There is not the inbetween stage of
being a free colonist as there is with the other approaches.

   2. An indian colony will not train more than one person unless it
is the capital.  If it is the capital it will train as many as you

   3. Each colony will train only one thing.  Although you can get a
suggestion as to what they train by sending a scout and seeing what
they are "expert" at, this is not always the skill they train.  The
only way to know for sure is to send a colonist there (you can always
deny training if you change your mind).

   4. Indians train only trades that work the ground, but possibly not
all trades that work the ground.  I have yet to see any tribes
training tobacco growers (of all things) or fishermen.  Notice that
you will not find expert cotton planters and sugar planters in Europe,
the only way to get them is from Indian villages, where you will find
them in abundance.  Since you can also not get tobacco planters in
Europe, I have yet to see a game where I have managed to get an expert
tobacco planter.


3.  What is the custom house and how does it work?

    The custom house can be built only after Peter Stuyvesant joins your
congress.  Once it is completed, you do not need to place workers there;
it works automatically.
    The custom house will trade commodities you specify with your home
European market once those commodities reach 100+ tons.  To specify
which commodities you want to sell, click on the custom house and you
will get a menu of commodities to select from.  These commodities will
be highlighted in green on your colony screen.
    The advantage of the custom house is that it will trade invisibly
with Europe.  You will receive the money at current market prices (minus
tax, of course :-P ); you will not tie up any ships;  you will not risk

4.  How do you create a trade route?

    Select "Create Trade Route" from the "Trade" menu.  You will then
determine whether this will be a land (wagon train) or sea (ship) route.
You will be asked to select the first two initial stops and to name that
    A graph of the destinations and cargoes will then pop up.  You may
add/delete/modify destinations by clicking on the box under
"Destination".  You may specify which cargoes will be loaded/unloaded at
that destination by clicking on the appropriate box and selecting the
commodity from the menu.

5.  How do you create a trade route with Europe?

    Follow the steps in (4.) above to create a sea trade route BETWEEN
TWO COLONIES first.  Then you must edit that trade route (choose "Edit
Trade Route" from the "Trade" menu) and click on the destination you
wish to modify/add.  Your European home port will be one of the options.

6.  How do you hire mercenaries?

    First you must have a hefty bank roll (5,000 + gp) and be fighting a
war with either another European country or your home country.  Then a
third-party European country_may_approach you with an offer.
    You can not haggle for a better price.  You can not purchase only
part of the force.  You can not see how large the force is. You either
take it or leave it.
    Mark Willoughby (willocds@sa.rl.ac.uk) does not recommend obtaining
help from your mother country, because it will be followed by a hefty

7. Does the computer play by the same rules you do?

   Unlike Civilization, it seems to for the most part.  Computers
apparently do research founding fathers (although there is no
exclusion, you and a computer player can both have the same one).
However, it is not clear whether computer players get lost citys, or
talk with indians, etc.  The computer does not have to fight for its
independence as you do.  Instead it gets its independence as soon as
it has a total rebel population of 50 at governor level, I do not know
about other levels.

8. What formula is used to determine how many crosses are needed to
"get" a new colonist?

ck07@ns1.CC.Lehigh.EDU (CHAIM KAUFMANN) notes that:

    1. Early in the game I get more crosses than my colonies can account for.

    2. The value of crosses seems to decline over time, but I don't know
    whether this is a function of time, the lumber of emigrants already
    received, or of total population (including converts and "home grown"

    3. I do not seem to get any crosses (and passage fees do not decline) when
    there is a colonist on the docks.  Sometimes the passage fee goes up a
    little (from 157 to 158-160).

9. How does a fountain of youth work?

   You get a fountain of youth by choosing a lost city,

10. At what point are you strong enough to declare independence?

I wait until all colonies have fortresses, two cannons or more a piece,
every possible landing site is within reach of 20 or more veteran dragoons
and most colonies are at 100% sons of liberty.  I think I could get by
with less, but I have that by late 1600's.  Also treasury must be over

Contributed by: schafer@walleye.network.com (Martin Schafer)

Another idea:

I've only completed two games, but I would say:

5 dragoons + 5 artillery at coastal cities
2 dragoons + 1 artillery at inland cities
10 dragoons as a strike team
full stables + at least 3 reloads of muskets at cities likely to see combat
George Washington helps, of course

shift 3 colonists into the town hall in each colony, aborting production
    of nonessential products (i.e. everything not lumber, tools, muskets, food)
aggressively attack the REF before they can hit you
use the ambush bonus when possible
don't worry about preserving frigates/privateers - hit the MOW hard and
    accept the losses

Contributed by: crichar@eskimo.com (Craig The White Craig Biggio Richardson)

11. How much is reasonable to pay for mercenaries when they are

I've never had to pay as much for mercenaries as I would for veteran
soldiers off the train menu (ie less than 2000 per unit).  My treasury
is usually about 20000 when I declare and since I always have customs
houses my commerce is unaffected by the war, but I don't have anything
to spend the money on any more.  As long as I had money I wouldn't
turn down any offer of mercenaries whatever the price.

Contributed by: schafer@walleye.network.com (Martin Schafer)

12. How do crosses work?

Note that crosses give no benefit after you declare independence.  Of
course, you can then clear your preachers' specialty and teach them to
be a veteran soldier.

13. How many colonies should you have?

In article <381949$a5g@rand.org> euller@mrmax.rand.org (Roald Euller) writes:
>I am getting the idea that 8-12 cities relatively close to
>    one another is better than a great many cities spread all over the place.
>    What do others think?
    Here's another vote for 8-12.
Fewer than that, and you have a hard time generating income and absorbing
immigrants. More than that, and the nation gets hard to defend, it takes
longer to get patriotic percentages up, and the micromanagement starts to kill
Ken Fishkin     fishkin@xerox.com

[cox: This agrees with my experience as well]

14. Sometimes when I plow land, the resource on it goes away, but
sometimes it doesn't.  What determines that?

If you change the terrain type, the resource always goes away, even if
the same resource is possible in the new terrain type.  So any time
you are plowing forest, you will lose the special that's there.  This
is especially easy to forget for scrub brush (oasis), wetlands
(mineral), and rain forest (mineral).  Plowing a non-forest type does
not make the resource go away, because it is not a change of terrain

15. How do you repair artillery?

You can't.

16. How specifically is production affected by experts, free
colonists, indentured servants, criminals, and indians?

Experts produce exactly as free colonists unless they are producing
their specialty, when they are twice as productive (except for farmers
and fishermen, they are +2, except they also double bonuses for sons
of liberty percentage and special resources).

Indentured servants are as good as free colonists when working the
land, but they are apparently -1 working in buildings.

Criminals are abysmal in all ways.  But there is one good thing for
them.  Use them as a missionary.  Then get de Breuf in your congress.
All your criminal missionaries, past and future, now are just as good
as Jesuit priests.  When playing this strategy, I never use any Jesuit
priests I get as priests.  I just clear their specialty and train them
as something else.

Indians are +1 at food and crop production and no different at mining
than free colonists.  However they are -2 for working in buildings.

17. What happens if you select the "throw  party ..." option?

What happens is:
  a) The city named gets rid of a lot of those goods - possibly all that the
     city has in stock (not sure)
  b) The tax rise does not take effect
  c) London boycotts those goods until you pay back taxes (usually around
     3000 to 6000 gold)

Contributed by: sjlam1@MFS01.cc.monash.edu.au (Stuart Lamble)

IV. Strategy Guide.

Bill Cranston has written a very complete and logical strategy guide,
which I present below.  Everything in this section except what is
attributed to someone else is from Bill's posting:

                         COLONIZATION TIPS

Colonization is broad in scope and quite varied in its options, thus
presenting quite a number of choices for the player.  Getting the most
of what you need from your settlements, when you need them, is quite
a trick in this game.  What follows is an aid for players who find
themselves falling behind their European rivals in their quest for

A. In the Beginning
The first decision a player must make is where to first set your units
on land at the beginning of the game.  Sometimes it's a good idea to
travel up the coast of a land mass for a bit to determine if you are
about to set foot upon a tiny, barren island.

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.

schafer@walleye.network.com (Martin Schafer) notes:

While you will want to milk specials (beaver, deer, silver usually)
for quick cash, there are very few bad sites for a colony in the long
run, except too small a land mass.  You do not want to be dependent
on sea travel to link your colonies once the privateers start getting

Don't underestimate the importance of being next to a fishery square.
With a dock and an expert fisherman you can keep a colony of six
to eight going without needing to waste anyone else on food

The best long term site, if you can find it, is a land mass with
room for at least ten colonies, that you are the only European power
exploiting.  It may be worth while sailing to the Pacific, just to
get out of everybody elses way until your ready to deal with them.
When they eventually invade, you will be able to pick off their
expeditions for additional colonists rather than be faced with the mass
of their military might right next door.

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 (Dis-
coverer 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
is 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.

B. Choosing your travel mates ----------------------------- Okay,
you've set up two villages and you've just returned to Europe with
some fur pelts and sugar cane (for example).  Selling these should
give you enough to recruit a colonist, and hopefully there will be
another waiting for you on the docks at no cost.  At this stage of the
game you cannot afford to be fussy - petty criminals are never more
valuable than they are at this stage.  Probably the most valuable unit
that you can recruit early on, however, is the Seasoned Scout.  Grab
this guy over all others and many of your early problems will be
solved.  The second best choice varies, depending upon your situation.
Second best pick is one of either the Hardy Pioneer, Farmer (Fisherman
if you have a dock built already), or Lumberjack [Mark Schaffer adds
Carpenter to this list].  Whatever you pick, you should NEVER pick a
petty criminal, servant, or free colonist over a skilled colonist.
Even if you don't think you have a need for a Jesuit Missionary now,
grab him anyways.  All skilled colonists function as well as free
colonists at their non-specialty, and when you have need to placate
the local natives, you'll have the Missionary in hand to do your
bidding.  In addition, your point total will be higher with

So why choose a Seasoned Scout?  First off, with these units you can
begin to take advantage of the natives around you.  Take your Seasoned
Scout and move it to each and every native village you see.  You'll
either be told of surrounding lands, or be given some much needed gold.
The bigger the native settlement, the more of either you are given.
With a Seasoned Scout you'll be able to ring up 1000's of gold pieces
in a hurry, and find new spots to expand into at the same time.  This
will help you out tremendously early on.

Ideally, you'll be able to get a Seasoned Scout on your first trip to
Europe.  If not, then bring back as many recruits as you can (four if
you play the Dutch, two in all other cases).  No matter what type of
recruits they are, you will use them to establish new colonies in
areas you have already explored.  Don't bother expanding an existing
colony beyond a population of two - use whichever recruits you have
to build new settlements.  The only exception to this is the Seasoned
Scout, for reasons explained above.  Remember, no one will provoke
hostilities with you early on, so take advantage of their goodwill
by expanding like mad.  This is all the more crucial at the Governor
and Viceroy levels.  However, take care not to crowd in several native
villages with a number of your own, otherwise they'll soon be deman-
ding tributes from you.  Skirmishes with native warriors is something
to be avoided early on.

Hardy Pioneers, Farmers/Fishermen, and Lumberjacks [and Carpenters]
are good second choices because they allow you to develop the natural
resources to build the structures you'll need to turn your village
into a mighty bastion of your empire.  Hardy Pioneers are useful as
you can culti- vate a square around a settlement to be more
productive, build roads, or as a cheap way to supply a settlement with
100 tools.  If you have the time, you also may want to plow or clear
the square you build a settlement on before founding that settlement
so that you'll always have a super-productive square automatically.
Unless you're in no hurry, do this with a Hardy Pioneer only, as
regular pioneers aren't terribly quick.

C. Setting up shop
Productively harvesting the resources surrounding your settlements is
your main goal, and building a dock and a warehouse right away is a
big step towards accomplishing this.  The needs of your network of
settlements will evolve, and the path this evolution takes is dictated
by what you choose to construct, where, and when.

Building a dock allows you to fish, and thus use fishermen.  Ocean
squares aren't good for anything else, yet allow you to free up land
squares for other things.  Note that there is a design fault in Col-
onization: you can only fish ocean and lake squares, not rivers.
Yet if you place a fisherman over a river square in a settlement that
isn't adjacent to a coast, you are told that you first need to build a
dock.  However, this structure isn't available in settlements that
aren't by a coast.  A catch-22 that makes no sense. Simply put,
don't put fishermen in your inland settlements not by a lake.

Building a warehouse allows you to store more of the resources you
are harvesting.  In no time you'll be moving around resources in
groups of 100 so warehouses quickly become a necessity.

After building a dock and warehouse, choose structures according to
the resources around your settlement.  Unless you're playing the
Spaniards and have thoughts of immediate conquest, avoid building
a stockade or armory right away.  Your first priority should be to
maximize the harvesting and processing of the natural resources
surrounding your settlements.

schafer@walleye.network.com (Martin Schafer) notes:

The first thing I build is always the lumber mill, since that
double the productivity of the builder.  Move in colonists to
make it size three, change to lumber mill and then move the
extras to whereever they belong.  Of course, I only build things
in sites that I expect to be part of my permanent empire.  One
person silver mines etc, that I'm going to uproot later don't
need any improvements.

[cox: I agree with Mark here.  The only time I would build anything
before the lumber mill is if I am setting up a one-man fishing village
next to a fishing resouce square.  Then I build docks and nothing

One facet of colony development I have found limited in usefulness is
that of cross production.  Building churches to increase the number of
crosses produced by your colonies will increase the rate at which
Europeans will seek to come over to the New World.  But which
Europeans?  Petty Criminals and Indentured Servants are the most
likely candidates.  At the lowest two levels of difficulty, skilled
colonists appear on the docks more often.  Investing the time to build
churches (cathedrals are a long time coming, requiring a church and a
settlement population of 16 - not the 8 stated in the docs) and the
colonists to staff them does not produce enough of a return at
Governor or even Conquistador level.  Better to roam with your
Seasoned Scout - you'll find several Fountains of Youth (usually
around the Incan population) that will have Europeans flooding to the
docks faster than any priest.  Alternatively, stick missionaries in
most of the indian villages around yours and pick de Las Casas as a
Founding Father and you'll have another source of free colonists.
This last strategy works well if you're playing as the French and
already have Pocahontas in your Congress.

[cox: Mark Schaffer's and my experience is that at harder levels you
will be lucky to get one or at the most two fountains of youth]

D. Keeping up with the Joneses
Once you've developed your empire to the point where you have 5-10
settlements (I've noticed that it takes fewer settlements to win
in Colonization than it would take in Civ) making the most of the
resources around them, it's time to shift focus to eventual secession.
You could, of course, win the game through brute force by defeating
all the other Europeans.  But the name of the game is to found your
own nation, which maximizes your score.  Besides, to keep your settle-
ments growing, you have to maintain balance between those in your
colonies that favour secession with those still loyal to the Crown
(Sons of Freedom vs. The Tories).

In order to declare independence before another European contingent,
the majority of your colonists will have to be specialists.  This is
more true at the higher levels.  An easy way to accomplish this in
the early phase of the game is to have your colonists visit indian
tribes to gain skills from them.  Later on you should build a school
(later a college/university) in one or two of your settlements that
can be easily reached by the other settlements.  You will then convert
all your free colonists into the specialists you require.  At first
these will be Master Carpenters, Blacksmiths, Lumberjacks and Miners
to build the larger structures faster, then Elder Statesmen as you
focus on increasing your liberty bell production, and finally to
Master Gunsmiths and Veteran Soldiers as you prepare to face the Royal
Expeditionary Force (REF).  At Governor level, liberty bell production
is more important, necessitating a University earlier on.

schafer@walleye.network.com (Martin Schafer) notes:

I find that I don't use blacksmiths and miners much until near the
end of the middle game.  Up til then it's easier to buy cargos of
tools, or just to buy the structure finished when the hammer part is

Of course, you'll never need to train an ore miner.  Fairly
rapidly the per recruit price becomes higher than the 600 it
costs to buy an expert ore miner, so unless there is something
good in the pool I find myself with shipfulls of ore miners that
I clear the specialty on and train as something else.

[cox: I agree with all this except that I usually need blacksmiths and
miners well before the end of the middle game]

In terms of production, your ultimate goal is to be able to produce
the war machines needed to defeat the REF.  You can buy the ships
and guns you need, but the more you buy, the more expensive they
get.  Eventually, your network of resources that generate your
wealth will be interrupted by warfare and you'll need to be able
to generate these items on your own.

The main problem in facing the REF is that you never know for sure
where they will land.  However, you can be sure of the following:
the REF will always appear adjacent to a settlement on a coast,
these units will not move on to another settlement until the one
landed next to is taken over, and they will always attack a rebel
settlement over units out in the open.  Therefore, before declaring
independence, make sure that all your coastal settlements are defended
by at least 2 cannons each, and are protected by fortresses (you will
NOT last long with 2 cannons in a fort).  Keep your dragoons out of
your settlements in order that they benefit from the ambush bonus
against royal troops.  Lastly, make sure the Sons of Freedom % in all
your coastal settlements is high (over 70%), as this will assure you
will get enough combat bonuses to defeat the tough REF troops.

E. Locking horns
Combat is very simple in Colonization.  Hopefully armed conflict will
not be forced upon you, but you should be prepared if it is.  As said
above, you should have your settlements most likely to be targeted
bolstered by a Fort, and stocked with at least two defensive units (a
cannon and a dragoon).  A cannon is the most powerful unit on land,
but is effective only in fortifications. A dragoon is useful to sweep
up units weakened in their attack against the cannon.  You can pick up
extra colonists in this fashion.

Infantry units are not very effective in Colonization.  Unless you are
attacking an unarmed unit, it is best to use dragoons exclusively as
your offensive weapon.  Horses are basically free in Colonization, so
you're better off with the cavalry.  And I'll explain just how cheap
horses are a little later.

Unless you are playing as Spain, I find it easier to leave the natives
alone than to build the resources needed to subjugate them.  You don't
need to be on the best of terms with the indians, and they will likely
be more concerned with another European power than you.  If you are
on good terms with them, you can incite them against a neighbouring
enemy, or to gain extra colonists from.  I find the latter option less
useful though, as indian converts are effectively free colonists that
are limited to professions that work the land only.

Combat is extremely simple in Colonization.  Always attack, as when
you are out in the open the attacker has the advantage.  Also, before
taking on the REF make sure your liberty bell production is cranked
up so that your forces benefit from a healthy Sons of Freedom per-
centage bonus when attacking (did I mention this already? ;).

The reason why you should never bother with infantry, other than they
are weaker than cavalry, is that you never have to!  Horses are vir-
tually free in Colonization.  Remember that Seasoned Scout you had
roaming the countryside?  Well, after you're done with him, put him
to work in a settlement.  You'll then have 50 horses which will breed
to the capacity of your warehouse.  Stables will increase the rate at
which your horses breed.  Bring in a wagon to circulate the horses
throughout your settlements and before you know it you'll have 300
horses in each of your communities.

F. "Help wanted - apply within"
The last element of Colonization to consider is which Founding Fathers
to pick.  This depends on how you want to go about achieving your
independence.  As the Spaniards, for instance, you should pick someone
like Hernan Cortes, not Pocahontas.  There are several of these
historical figures that would be welcome in anyone's Congress.  They

Sieur de la Salle:  Not having to worry about building a stockade for
                    each of your settlements is a real plus.  By far
                    the most immediately useful.

Peter Minuit:       With him you can now develop any land square
                    around your settlements without demands from the
                    natives for compensation. Those red totem poles
                    will be gone.

Benjamin Franklin:  Negotiations with your rivals are much easier
                    with BF in your pocket.  Now you can hold off the
                    other powers from initiating hostilities.

Thomas Jefferson:   Very helpful from the mid-game onwards.  Your
                    statesmen will have everyone signing up for
                    the Continental army in no time.

There are also some Founding Fathers that can be overlooked:

Henry Hudson:       Just how many fur pelts do you need?  Choose HH
                    if you want to drive the price of furs/coats down
                    to 1 in a hurry.

Jakob Fugger:       This one's useless only because of the 'U'nload
                    bug - by pressing the 'U' key in Europe you can
                    still sell the goods that are boycotted.

Paul Revere:        Insurance against forgetfulness?  Unlike in Civ,
                    other powers don't walk into your settlement to
                    take it over unexpectedly.  They announce breaking
                    the treaty, which is enough for most to grab their
                    guns.  This guy's only useful in protecting a
                    settlement with a population of 3 or less that
                    has a stockade - you can't designate someone to
                    become a soldier in this case.

The others vary in usefulness, depending on how you handle the natives
and trade relations.  Simon Bolivar and John Paul Jones are useful to
gain prior to declaring independence, and William Brewster is
particularly useful if your cross production is quite high.  Peter
Stuyvesant is useful in that he alleviates your workload; however,
being able to keep a trickle of gold flowing during the revolution
is meagre consideration for selecting PS.  Don't pick Thomas Paine
until later in the game, as you must give time for your tax rate
to increase.

[cox: There seem to be as many different opinions about which make the
best founding fathers as there are people making postings.  Evidently
this part of the game was equalized pretty well.  My personal favorite
founding fathers for each stage of the game (in order of preference)

   1. Thomas Jefferson -- Since he increases liberty bell production
by 50%, he packs a double whammy:  Not only will he allow your
colonies to get production bonuses faster, but your next founding
father will join sooner.

   2. Peter Minuit: Unless you're Spanish, then get Cortes, and simply
wipe out the nearest indian villages.

   3. Benjamin Franklin:  Although your enemies will still
sneak-attack you, you can wait to fully deal with them until YOU are

   4. William Penn: A 50% increase in cross production can mean a
greatly increased flow of immigrants over the course of the game.
Remember that criminals can make excellent missionaries, and
indentured servants can easily be trained by indian villages.


I would first get any of the early fathers I don't already have.  Then
I would choose the following, in order of preference.

   1. William Brewster: At this point, I usually have enough missions,
so I don't want any more criminals.  And it is nice to be able to pick
which colonist I want to recruit each time.

   2. Francis Drake: I love privateers.  They are fast, cheap, and
powerful, especially with the Drake bonus.  They can terrorize an
enemy's shipping, protect your own, participate in shipping
cargo when needed, and transport new colonists to indian colonies for

   3. Pocahontas:  At this point, the indians are often increasing
alarm.  I like to play without taking indian villages.  (of course,
right before you get Pocahontas, you might go on a destruction spree
of tribes that are taking up valuable city spots).

   4. Adam Smith: Factories become very important as your colonies get
to maximum size.

   5. Jean de Brebeuf: If I have a number of criminal missionaries in
indian villages.


   1. Simon Bolivar: The +20% sons of liberty at this point can often
send my original colonies up to 100%, and my newer colonies above 50%,
for production bonuses.

   2. Thomas Paine:  Your tax rate should be very high by now.  Note
that liberty bell production never loses its importance in this game.
In the War for Independence, it determines how soon you get foreign
intervention and adds to your final score.

   3. George Washington: This is helpful in the final conflict, in
getting all your soldiers up to confederate army status.


That's about it.  Just remember to expand and develop like mad for the
first hundred years or so (trying to appease the natives as best you
can while so doing).  Consolidate what you get and make lots of
money for the next 50-100 years so that for the last 50 you can
concentrate on GUNS.  If all goes according to plan (hehe), you'll
have achieved independence long before 1780!

G. Colonization's quirks
There are some glitches and oddities in this game.  Though certainly
not complete, the peculiarities (not bugs mind you) I've noticed so
far are:

1.  At some point in a game you may find declaring independence as
    the only way to save your empire.  This may sound strange, but
    when you have another player surrounding many of your settlements
    with a large number of troops, the REF may start to look like a
    more attractive option!  When you declare independence, all the
    enemy troops around your settlements disappear for some reason.
    Instead of having to face a large number of enemy troops around
    several colonies, against the REF you usually only have to focus
    on a set of troops around a few key landing sites at a time.

2.  The computer player doesn't seem to achieve independence by facing
    the REF.  Instead, at some point you will get notice that some
    country is considering granting independence once a certain number
    of the colonists are in favour of secession.  Therefore, an enemy
    can be on the way to achieving independence AND still be looking
    to end your aspirations at the same time - something not possible
    for the human player.  Note that when you receive this notice,
    you'll want to be thinking about seceeding as well if you want to
    grab the "first to declare" point bonus.

3.  Once a settlement has a stockade around it, there is no way to
    get rid of it (the settlement, that is).  Starving the settlement
    will only drive the population down to 1.  You must remove all
    the colonists in order to remove all traces of the settlement.
    This is important to remember if you're trying to get rid of an
    enemy settlement that is too close to a number of your own and
    overlaps some of your resource squares.

4.  Combat doesn't seem to be according to the odds.  It seems that
    every unit will eventually expire, no matter what the odds.  Try
    reloading at a position before what you thought was a "sure thing"
    and see how many times your veteran dragoon gets beat by a rookie

5.  Don't found a settlement on a pine tree resource square because
    for some reason the colony won't produce lumber (just pelts and
    food).  Founding on any other resource square produces food and
    the appropriate specialty.

6.  There's no indication that the computer selects Founding Fathers
    like you do.  I have seen other privateers with the "Drake bonus"
    so I guess they do, but there is no way to find out.  I've yet to
    take over a settlement that has a factory, indicating Adam Smith
    in the Congress, and I've never had any trouble selecting exactly
    the Founding Fathers I wanted.

7.  Even if you're at peace with another player, the computer will
    eventually attack you.  Oddly enough, this behaviour doesn't
    break the peace treaty, though any attempt at retaliation on your
    part does.  This seems to happen only if you have Benjamin
    Franklin in your Congress.

8.  Some structures require a certain population level before they can
    be built in a settlement.  The University and Cathedral are good
    examples (note again that a Cathedral requires 16 people, not 8).
    What should be noted is that you only need this minimum level to
    START building.  So, for example, if you want a University to start
    training Elder Statesmen, just bring in some colonists to increase
    the population of your settlement to 10 and start building the
    University.  Once construction is underway, you can send back the
    colonists you had brought in and the University will still be built.
    The only sacrifice here is that your Sons of Freedom percentage will
    drop, so it's not a good idea to double your population just to
    build a structure sooner.

H. Odds & Ends
In addition to the advantages that each of the 4 nationalities in
Colonization have, the European countries also differ according to
what units they begin the game with.  The following is a table by
country and difficulty setting:

         Discoverer   Explorer   Conquistador   Governor   Viceroy
 French: V. Soldier   same as    Soldier        same as    same as
         H. Pioneer   Discover   H. Pioneer     Conquist.  Conquist.

  Dutch: V. Soldier     ""       Soldier           ""        ""
         Pioneer                 Pioneer

Spanish: V. Soldier     ""       V. Soldier        ""        ""
         Pioneer                 Pioneer

English: V. Soldier     ""       Soldier           ""        ""
         Pioneer                 Pioneer

Where 'V' denotes a Veteran unit and 'H' denotes a Hardy Pioneer.
It seems that the French and Spanish have the advantage in terms of
starting units, at least at the higher levels.

Does anyone have any preference as to which country they play, not
withstanding the above?  I personally feel that the French or Dutch
are your best bets, if only because I prefer to profit off the
indians, not attack them, and because the English just don't have a
strong enough advantage to make them worthwhile at the higher levels.
Requiring 1/3 less crosses to produce a recruit is peanuts compared
to a 50% reduction of indian alarm (French), or higher prices and a
merchantman at the start of the game (Dutch).  A 50% attack bonus
against indian settlements (Spain) is also a better deal overall than
a measly 1/3 bonus to cross production.

Has anyone gone through the various *.txt files that are in the
Colonization directory?  I found that the NAMES.TXT file to be most
interesting.  This file lists a whole slew of things.  The most
interesting was the list of building expansions.  In this list are
entries called Capitol and Capitol Expansion.  These are not implemented
in v2.25 but perhaps they will be in an update.  The volatility of
goods prices in Europe can also be scanned over, as well as the
probability of particular Founding Fathers appearing during the game.
As the files says, mess with these entries at your own risk!

Bill Cranston.


V. Tables

So far, there are two:

1. Initial cost of goods:

Here are the ranges of the initial prices (from names.txt):

Sugar   4-7     Rum     11-13
Tobacco 3-5     Cigars  11-13
Cotton  2-5     Cloth   11-13
Furs    4-6     Coats   11-13
Ore     3-6     Tools    2
Silver  20

2. Terrain chart:

Code for chart:

x,y: x is the amount produced by a normal colonist, y is the amount produced by an
     expert in that area.  Production in the center square is always -1 from the normal
     colonist amount.  Indentured servants are also typically -1.  Indians show different
     results depending on the specialty.  To this is added -1,-2 if production penalty
     incurred, +1,+2 if 50% of colony is rebel, and +2,+4 if 100% of colony is rebel.

x1/x2,y1/y2:  are the amounts if improving terrain helps.  Improving terrain by plowing helps
     crop production, while improving by roads helps non-crop production. Plowing any forest
     terrain automatically converts it to its corresponding non-forest type, and removes any
     special resource type that was there (but may create one for the non-forest type).
     Note that this is true even when there is the same resource available for the forest
     and non-forest type, i.e. Oasis and Mineral.  (I have plowed plain scrub brush and
     gotten Oasis desert, and I have plowed Oasis scrub brush and gotten plain desert).

Source for table:  Colonopedia and personal observation.  Note that the resource chart that
     comes with the game is an incredible fiction.  The Colonopedia is correct except that they
     indicate that the expert bonus for farmers and fishermen is +3 when it is really +2.

The following maximums are thus obtained for each resource production:

Food:    17 (100% rebel, expert farmer working plowed river wheat plains)
Sugar:   22 (100% rebel, expert sugar grower working plowed river sugar cane savannah)
Tobacco: 22 (100% rebel, expert tobacco grower working plowed river tobacco leaf grassland)
Cotton:  22 (100% rebel, expert cotton grower working plowed river cotton grassland)
Fur:     24 (100% rebel, expert fur trapper working roaded river beaver mixed forest)
Lumber:  32 (100% rebel, expert lumberjack working roaded river tree conifer forest)
Ore:     18 (100% rebel, riv+mineral+(Swamp or Marsh) or Hills+ore)
Silver:  12 (100% rebel, expert silver miner working roaded silver mountain)

Colonists working in buildings work as follows:

3,6  (with first level building)
6,12 (second level building)
9,18 (factory level building)

This uses the same -1,-2 decrement and +1,+2 and +2,+4 increments due
to sons of liberty membership as before.  Note that this puts the
maximum for sugar, tobacco, cotton, and ore conversion at 22 (pretty
similar to the maximum of their production).  But since there is no
factory level lumber mill, one lumberjack working prime timber can
feed two carpenters (maximum of 16).

An ideal colony is one on a regular plowed square with one adjacent
timber-rich square, one adjacent resource (sugar, tobacco, cotton, or
fur) square, two adjacent ore-producing squares, and one adjacent
food-rich square.  This colony could have 4 colonists producing food,
2 ore miners, 1 producing a resource, 1 converting the resource, 1
lumberjack, 2 carpenters, 1 blacksmith, 1 preacher, 1 statesman, and 2
teachers or 1 teacher and a gunsmith, for a total population of 16.
All should be expert except some of the food producers (although the
one working the food-rich square should always be expert).  There is no
need for a colony ever to get larger than 16.

                   Food     Sugar   Tobacco   Cotton       Fur      Lumber     Ore        Silver

Boreal Forest     2,4                                   3/5,6/10    4/6,8/12  1/2,2/4
   River          3,5                                  5/7,10/14   6/8,12/16  2/3,4/6
   Game           4,8                                  5/7,10/14    4/6,8/12  1/2,2/4
   Riv+Game       5,9                                  7/9,14/18   6/8,12/16  2/3,4/6
Tundra            3/4,5/6                                                     2/3,4/6
   River          4/5,6/7                                                     3/4,6/8

Scrub Brush       2,4                         1,2        2/4,4/8    2/4,4/8   1/2,2/4
   Oasis          4,8                         1,2        2/4,4/8    2/4,4/8   1/2,2/4
Desert            2/3,4/5                     1/2,2/4                         2/3,4/6
   Oasis          4/5,8/9                     1/2,2/4                         2/3,4/6

Mixed Forest      3,5                         1,2       3/5,6/10   6/8,12/16
   River          4,6                         2,4      5/7,10/14  8/10,16/20
   Beaver         3,5                         1,2      6/8,12/16   6/8,12/16
   Riv+Beaver     4,6                         2,4     8/10,16/20  8/10,16/20
Plains            5/6,7/8                     2/3,4/6
   River          6/7,8/9                     3/4,6/8
   Wheat          7/8,11/12                   2/3,4/6
   Riv+Wheat      8/9,12/13                   3/4,6/8

Broadleaf Forest  2,4                         1,2        2/4,4/8    4/6,8/12
   River          3,5                         2,4       4/6,8/12   6/8,12/16
   Game           4,8                         1,2       4/6,8/12    4/6,8/12
   Riv+Game       5,9                         2,4      6/8,12/16   6/8,12/16
Prairie           3/4,5/6                     3/4,6/8
   River          4/5,6/7                     4/5,8/10
   Cotton         3/4,5/6                     6/8,12/16
   Riv+Cotton     4/5,6/7                     7/9,14/18

Conifer Forest    2,4               1,2                  2/4,4/8   6/8,12/16
   River          3,5               2,4                 4/6,8/12  8/10,16/20
   Timber         2,4               1,2                  2/4,4/8 10/12,20/24
   Riv+Timber     3,5               2,4                 4/6,8/12 12/14,24/28
Grassland         3/4,5/6           3/4,6/8
   River          4/5,6/7           4/5,8/10
   Tobacco        3/4,5/6           6/8,12/16
   Riv+Tobacco    4/5,6/7           7/9,14/18

Tropical Forest   3,5        1,2                         2/4,4/8    4/6,8/12
   River          4,6        2,4                        4/6,8/12   6/8,12/16
   Timber         3,5        1,2                         2/4,4/8  8/10,16/20
   Riv+Timber     4,6        2,4                        4/6,8/12 10/12,20/24
Savannah          4/5,6/7    3/4,6/8
   River          5/6,7/8    4/5,8/10
   Sugar          4/5,6/7    6/8,12/16
   Riv+Sugar      5/6,7/8    7/9,14/18

Wetland Forest    2,4               1,2                   2/4,4/8   4/6,8/12  1/2,2/4
   River          3,5               2,4                  4/6,8/12  6/8,12/16  2/3,4/6
   Mineral        4,8               1,2                   2/4,4/8   4/6,8/12  4/5,8/10
   Riv+Mineral    5,9               2,4                  4/6,8/12  6/8,12/16  5/6,10/12
Marsh             3/4,5/6           2/3,4/6                                   2/3,4/6
   River          4/5,6/7           3/4,6/8                                   3/4,6/8
   Mineral        3/4,5/6           2/3,4/6                                   5/6,10/12
   Riv+Mineral    4/5,6/7           3/4,6/8                                   6/7,12/14

Rain Forest       2,4        1,2                          1/2,2/4   4/6,8/12  1/2,2/4
   River          3,5        2,4                         3/6,6/12  6/8,12/16  2/3,4/6
   Mineral        4,8        1,2                          1/2,2/4   4/6,8/12  4/5,8/10
   Riv+Mineral    5,9        2,4                         3/6,6/12  6/8,12/16  5/6,10/12
Swamp             3/4,5/6    2/3,4/6                                          2/3,4/6
   River          4/5,6/7    3/4,6/8                                          3/4,6/8
   Mineral        3/4,5/6    2/3,4/6                                          5/6,10/12
   Riv+Mineral    4/5,6/7    3/4,6/8                                          6/7,12/14

Hills             2,4                                                         4/5,8/10
   Ore            2,4                                                         6/7,12/14

Mountains                                                                     4/5,8/10  1/2,2/4
   Silver                                                                               3/4,6/8

Ocean             4,6
   Fish           7,12