Sent in Tips - General

[SEP03] Trade Silver with Dutch by Elestir

Good way of earning lots of money is by selling silver first to Europe and later to the Dutch, once the trade with other Europeans is allowed (get founding father Jan de Witt for this). Once the silver is around 1/2 in Europe, it's good idea to buy it and go sell it to the Dutch in the New World. This is one of the reasons I prefer not to play for the Dutch (I prefer French or Spanish, depends if I feel like being nice to the Indians or not :-)). With others this doesn't work, they simply offer much less money. Also I usually try to "protect" the Dutch so they are not abandoned in the medium part of the game for being the weakest nation.

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).

[APR00] How can I ask for audiences from the King? by Thomas Bako, "Colonizator", Leader of the American Royal French Colonies

[ You can't request an Audience with the King. KING'S REQUEST AUDIENCE'S WITH SUBJECTS, not the other way round. The only time you get an audience is at the start of the game and if he offers to send you a Frigate. The later only happens, I think, when you have no war ships in your navy and enemy privateers near your colonies. ]

[APR00] Taxes and the Custom House by John D Dilley

I am playing the original DOS version of Colonization. Which I run from Windows 95 without any problem. I usually play at Explorer or Conquistador level (occasionally Governor or Viceroy). So, its possible that the later versions of the game have changes I am unaware of.

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. ]

[APR00] Tip for new Colonies by Gamma Dragon

The first colony you make, turn the Pioneer or Soldier into a Statesman. You get the first couple of founding fathers within a few turns!

[JUN99] Benjamin Franklin Strategy by ›zel «iprut

Congratulations on your great site. It's really comprehensive and well-organised. I want to share some comments for the game-playing.

How to by pass boycotts by Heinz Schroeer

You can trade by the Custom Houses all and everything to Europe, regardless of a boycott. This is why I cannot tell anything about high tax rates, I never paid more than 8%, normally 1-3%...

[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.]

How to drive the market crazy by goutman1

Ore Trade by Howard Train

At the start of the game, take ore to Europe, sell it and buy tools. You have now made a profit from avoiding work. Wish it was like that in real life.

[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]

Price Fluctuations and Land Masses by "The Hakker's"

Prices in Europe shouldn't fluctuate as much.
[I don't agree it makes the game more challenging. Ever hear of the Dutch Tulip Bubble, where a tulip bulb cost more than a house, prices did fluctuate widely then, and still do in many commodities, due to over supply and the weather. A tax rate of 75% does however seem too much, anything above 60% would seem to be counterproductive, due to smuggling.]

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.

How do I get Rich? by Gary and Jeff Lindequist

Some people have told me that the key way to get rich in Colonization is by killing the Indians. I played like this for a while and got fairly Rich, but come the end of the game, my score had suffered. I then set out to find a new way to get Rich. The game went like this, I had a few fairly good Colonies down in South America with Custom Houses. I had just captured Isabella in Virginia and was pretty happy (it had a Fortress, Newspaper, Cathedral, etc...). I had pretty much cleared out the Western Hemisphere of any real threats, and had almost complete control over the seas. After about a decade with a couple of Custom Houses I had about 10,000 gold pieces.

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].

Quick Summery of Strategy by Gary and Jeff Lindequist

What is a good and fast way to get Colonists? by Gary and Jeff Lindequist

There are many ways to get Colonists in Colonization, some being easier than others. The most conventional way is to buy them in Europe. This is a fast way to get a Master Colonist but can be expensive, also it can be a pain sometimes to provide transport for them. Another way is to capture them. I find this the quickest, easiest and most economical way. All you need to do is bring a couple of Dragoons on to an enemy continent, take out the small Colonies without Stockades, and have a nearby Ship pick them up. If a demoted Soldier gets away, don't worry. They will build a Colony nearby almost every time. Also, keep the Dragoons around, because the enemy will always build more Colonies in almost the same place when you destroy them.

Super Colony by Gary and Jeff Lindequist

When you are doing this find a Prime Location (Prime Timber, Hills with Ore Deposits and Fishery). You need all this because this is your only Colony, it has to be totally self sufficient. When playing in the Americas I usually settle the Super Colony on Cuba. It has a lot of sea access, but make sure you are next to the Mountains. On Cuba you don't need all the things that I recommended because it all evens out. In this, trade is not the best way to go so take out the Incas and the Aztecs for their money.

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.

Computer Cheating by Gary and Jeff Lindequist

Many people probably know that the computer cheats a lot, I know that I have seen the computer cheat at almost everything it does. For instance it can magically make a Soldier into a Pioneer, or vice-versa. Once while attacking a Colony I used a Scout to see what was in the Colony, there was two Soldiers left, with no Muskets or Tools to make into Muskets, and I was blockading the Colony by Sea (So no Ships could have made it in). But to my surprise there were three Soldiers next turn [may have come in by Land]. So obviously the computer cheats, if you want to see a demonstration on the computers cheating, go to COLDEMO.EXE in the Colonization directory.

St. Lawrence Seaway by Gary and Jeff Lindequist

The St. Lawrence Seaway is an excellent idea for those of us with the included map editor (The map editor is included with Version 3.0. Version 3.0 can be downloaded for free at the Microprose Web site at, or at

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.

Maximising your Colonization Score by ?

There are 3 basic components that determine the bulk of your Colonization Score. The first one is Population, but with a twist. Each Criminal or Indentured Servant gives a +1 to your Colonization Score, each Free Colonist or Native Convert gives +2, and each Skilled Colonist gives +4. So, as can be seen, the Score is fully realised for each Trained Specialist you have. This makes Schools/Colleges/Universities very important.

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.

Game Start-up by ?

The strategy for winning at Colonization begins with where you choose to play, how tuff you choose to play, and who you choose to play. First off, the best scores are going to come from playing in the Americas. Why? Because you know the lay of the land before you start. Secondly, the more difficult levels will give a higher Score, but they are also tougher. Each person should play where they have at least a 50% chance of winning.

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.

Game Play by ?

On the cargo space of wagons and ships could you fix it so that they handle 200 units rather than just in terms of holds? by ?

Not that I know of.

When I built the Custom House I checked and found under help that it was supposed to handle all logistics for me--it doesn't by ?

It handles all trade logistics for you, within bounds. A Custom House will not sell anything if there are less than 50 units of it in the Warehouse. It triggers to sell something when it reaches 100, and sells stuff until 50 of each item are left in the Warehouse.

Also, it highlighted various goods that apparently it was going to take care of; is there any way to tell it NOT to accept control of certain goods? by ?

Yes. Click on the Custom House, then remove the bullet from in front of each item you do not want to sell. To enable selling of an item, click on the item until the bullet appears. Hit ESC to remove the Custom House menu.

In the Beginning by Bill Cranston for Game Bytes Magazine

"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.

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."