Choosing what to build in a Colony

Pictures of Colonization Buildings with descriptions, costs and minimum population

Each level of building can only be built once a certain level of Population has been reached. This is not usually a problem as by the time your ready to build it the Population has reached that level, and there's always something else to build. The bigger more complicated building require a higher Population, but then there's no point building them unless you have someone to put in them.

Build a Lumbermill First

As a Lumbermill increases Carpenter efficiency by 100% it is best to build it straight away so other buildings can be built quicker. There is usually an over supply of Lumber from land clearance and Petty Criminals (it's about the only job they are good at!), so the Carpenters must be efficient. A Population of 3 is required to start the Lumber Mill (2 would be better, for one Lumberjack and one Carpenter with the Colony square providing enough food for 2) - this is not too much of a problem as a Soldier or Pioneer can be temporarily moved in to increase the Population.

The only exceptions to building a Lumbermill first are a Stockade which can be bought if the Colony comes under attack if you go to War, or Docks if the land can not provide enough food, partically if there is a Fish Square near by.

Next Build Building that don't require Tools

New Colonies will not have a Tool Making Industry, so they will have to be shipped in at first. So it is a good idea to concentrate on building those buildings that don't require Tools, while you await supplies. These are given below [with cost in Hammers]. Note excess Hammers over this number are wasted, so either hold back some Lumber temporarily in a Wagon Train, or bring some in from a Wagon Train to fill Carpenter Capacity during the last turn of production to optimise production. The order which you build these is up to you, and depends largely on current circumstances.

Next Build Building that require few Tools while your building up your Tool Industry

You will probably only have 100 Tools to start with (1 Cargo Hold and the Maximum a Colony without a Warehouse can hold). So this gives you 5 lots of 20. The following building only require 20 Tools, [hammers given in square brackets]:

Buildings requiring 50 Tools

Buildings requiring 100 Tools

Buildings requiring 200 Tools

Once you get Adam Smith you can build Factories

Note you will need to have built the previous level of Manu'factory' first. All commodity Factories cost 160 Hammers, and 100 Tools each. They increase output by 50% at no extra cost in Raw Material. An Iron Works costs 240 Hammers, and 100 Tools having the same effect. This may cause an overload of Tools if not properly managed. The Arsenal Quadruples Musket production combined with the Magazine and costs 240 Hammers, and 100 Tools. It does not however increase efficiency, due to the already increased efficiency of the Iron Works. So if you build it don't keep it permanently manned or your will run out of Tools required for other things and get an overload of Muskets.

Once you get Peter Stuyvesant you can build a Custom House

This costs 160 Hammers and 50 Tools. This will automate trade in the Colony even during the War of Independence. Once you start building Factories you will really need this due to the increased level of goods, and reduced profit per item.

"Max Out" Colonies

If you have no immediate need of Military or Transport Units get your Colony to build every building available. They increase productivity and defence and cost nothing to maintain. Thus once all building have been built you can just pour out an endless stream of Military Units and steamroller your enemies. No choice between Guns or Butter, it's just Guns, Guns, Guns... This also allows newer smaller Colonies to concentrate on buildings. This will make for a slow start but once production gets under way you will be unstoppable, as the computer never builds everything. If there is a Military shortfall Units can be bought in Europe.