"A little rebellion now and then is a good thing." Thomas Jefferson, January 30, 1787
Welcome to the strategy section for Civilization IV: Colonization! Whether you aspire to be a ruthless conquerer of the New World or a benevolent colonial governor, below you will find numerous articles intended to enhance your skills and demistify complex aspects of the game. All of the articles contain a link to their forum discussion thread, allowing you to ask questions and share insight with fellow players.
All You Want To Know About REF, Rebel Sentiment and Revolution
I've seen a lot of confusion on the forums about how the REF, rebel sentiment and revolution works, and I've been confused by it myself. I did some research on the exact rules for these, both by looking at the game's actual code and by playing the game, and I thought I'd write up a little guide here.
First, let's talk about rebel sentiment.
There are two types of rebel sentiment: rebel sentiment % in each of your individual cities, and overall rebel sentiment % in your nation. The overall % is NOT the sum of the % in each of your cities. You do NOT need 50% rebel sentiment in each city to allow for revolution.
Rebel sentiment in cities
The ONLY thing affecting rebel sentiment is the rate at which you generate bells - the cumulative numbers of bells generated over time does NOT matter. Here's the way it works.
The rate of bell production is used to compute a target rebel sentiment value. Each bell/turn will ultimately produce 25% rebel sentiment in one citizen. Thus, if you generate 10 bells/turn and have 5 citizens in your city, you will eventually get 50% rebel sentiment.
The rebel sentiment does not change instantaneously to that "target" rate however. The game will slowly "drift" the rebel sentiment from the current value to the target value using a logarithmic type of curve. What it means is, if the current rebel sentiment is 0% and the "target" rebel sentiment is 50% and the game is set to normal speed, rebel sentiment will roughly grow as follows:
- After five turns: 33% of target value (33% of 50% in this example, so 16.5%)
- After ten turns: 60% of target value (60% of 50% in this example, and so forth)
- After twenty turns: 85% of target value
- After thirty turns: 95% of target value
- After fourty turns: 99%
However, as the rebel sentiment increases, you get bell rate production bonuses. So in reality, as rebel sentiment grows, it picks up speed from itself, and the eventual rebel sentiment grows a bit faster than I gave above.
The bigger the city, the more rebel sentiment you need to get a higher percentage (one bell = 25% of ONE citizen). In fact if the city is enormous (pop 25-30) I suspect high rebel sentiment is impossible without serious bonuses from founding fathers.
In practice, I've found a size 12 city with three elder statesmen and a newspaper should reach 50% rebel sentiment in about 10 turns on normal speed. Add +50% for epic and +200% for marathon.
Overall rebel sentiment
As I explained before, overall rebel sentiment is not the sum of each city's rebel sentiment.
City rebel sentiment percentage is equal to 25% per bell generated per turn divided over the number of citizens in that city (not counting units stationed outside). Overall rebel sentiment percentage is equal to 25% per bell generated per turn divided over the entire population including all units outside cities.
So you could have 100% sentiment in all your cities but if you have a massive army you'll find you may still not have enough to get a revolution going. Personally I don't like idle soldiers bringing my percentages down so I stash the guns and horses in warehouses and wagon trains and keep those citizens working inside the cities until I need them to fight.
Here is another important fact:
For purposes of computing the overall rebel sentiment, individual cities could be generating more than 100% rebel sentiment. What it means is, say you have three elder statesmen in a city with just one other farmer. There's a newspaper in there, so this city is generating 36 bells per turn. 36 bells is enough to turn 9 citizens to 100% rebel sentiment. But there's only four citizens. The city's rebel sentiment and rebel sentiment production will show up as 100% and be capped at 100% - but the extra "wasted" rebel sentiment generated will count towards making five other citizens elsewhere count as independent for purposes of declaring independence. These five extra "rebel" citizens will not show up anywhere as city rebel sentiment or as city rebel production bonuses, but in the overall % needed for revolution it will count.
So let's say your goal is to ramp up bells to declare independence as quickly as possible and you have large cities everywhere. It's a viable strategy to actually start a bunch of new, smaller colonies with only elder statesmen and newspapers in them to ramp up your overall rebel sentiment. Because those cities are small, they will get rebel sentiment production bonuses, and thus bells will be produced faster. You could have several large cities with 0% rebel sentiment yet this could be fully compensated by having many smaller cities with 100% rebel sentiment. If declaring independence is the main goal, then prioritizing your best statesmen in the smallest cities will produce the best results.
36 bells for these elder statesmen with a newspaper will bring 18 citizens to 50%. You probably don't want to wait 40 turns to reach 99% of this value, and the elder statesmen themselves need to be "convinced", so three elder statesmen with newspaper for each 9-12 citizens would be a good rule of thumb.
The Royal Expeditionary Force
The REF is all about bells - and for this it's the amount of bells accumulated in all your cities that counts. After 75 bells the King will increase the REF, reset the bell "counter", and the next REF increase will require 10% more bells. There's a bit of a twist though, in that the next REF increase will also add 10% more units to the REF. The game always rounds down AFAIK, so you won't get 1.1 units added. But over time, if it takes 10% more bells to trigger each REF increase, but each REF increase in turn generated 10% more units, a good rule of thumb is each 65-75 bells generated will hit you with 1 extra REF unit. Game speed affects this, so epic requires 50% more bells, and marathon 200% more.
The type of unit that gets added is entirely random - everything has an equal chance to get generated, except for ships which have half as much chance of being added to the REF. So over time, you can expect the REF to generally have half as many ships as of every other unit type.
Strategies from all this
I don't think the game is all about minimizing REF, so what I'm going to say here doesn't mean this is the "best" way to play. Keep in mind the King having huge REF isn't that much of a problem if he only has a small flotilla of ships to carry troops around while you have decent military production capacilities. You certainly don't need one soldier for every soldier the King has. If you do want to minimize REF, though, here's some tips.
Realize that REF depends on accumulated bells from the start of the game, while rebel sentiment depends on bell production rate. So to minimize REF, you want the highest burst of bell production in the shortest amount of time.
One way to do that is to generate no bells throughout the game until you are ready to declare independence. Declare indepedence the minute you have your 50% overall rebel sentiment. REF doesn't grow during revolution.
Prepare everything in advance: build newspapers, hire your statesmen, but don't use them until ready.
Small cities get their rebel sentiment faster. This generates bell production bonuses, so you get a higher bell rate. Thus, either found new colonies solely for bell production or migrate statesmen to your smaller newspaper-equipped cities to boost your bell rate.
Founding father bell rate bonuses will help quite a bit.
All things being equal, a higher population will require more bells for revolution, and will in turn generate a larger REF. There’s a tradeoff between large cities with high base production but lower rebel sentiment and smaller cities with lower base production but high rebel sentiment.
Understand that every population point you add to your colonies eventually translates into some increase in the REF, there's no way around it. If you want a quick, easier to manage revolution, keep your population and colonies small. If you want a massive war of historical proportions, build a large empire .
Some rules of thumb
Assuming an average of size 12 cities, and assuming we want revolution to be possible after 20 turns, you will need about 2.5 bells per population unit (including units outside cities) and will generate about 0.75 REF per population.
1.9 bells per population will achieve revolution in 40 turns, generating 1.1 REF per population.
About 4 bells per population will achieve revolution in 10 turns, generating 0.5 REF per population. The more leisurely the march to revolution, the better prepared the King will be.
Thus, if bell generation is well optimized to minimize REF (aka 3 elder statesmen with newspaper in all cities and revolution ASAP), you can expect to get roughly 0.5 to 1 REF unit added for each unit of population. If bells aren’t managed you will get much larger numbers.
Overall, the REF/Revolution rules are a bit quirky in that all I've explained is kinda hard to know intuitively, and to be honest there does seem to be a bit of imbalance here. I wouldn't have figured this stuff out without reading the code. The rules do keep the spirit of Civ, though, where each turn you have to make tradeoffs and choices between wasted opportunities and your other needs. Colonization does seem much more punishing if you take a more leisurely approach to micro-managing some aspects of the game.
I think that about covers it - tell me if you have any other questions and I can see what I find. Also, keep in mind I could have made mistakes here, though anyone is welcome to verify any of the assertions I've made here. If I've made any errors I'll be happy to correct them.
I have been a Civ III player and have never tried Civ IV. I recently bought Civ IV Colonization and so I thought that I would write a few of the strategies that I have found successful in winning the single player game on the easiest level. I prefer the ‘builder’ style of play. A lot of the tips here are covered elsewhere in the forums, but hopefully this might be helpful for some.
1. Start choice. Play as the Dutch, Peter Stuyvesant. The Merchantman starting ship will give you an early advantage in trading and in settling.
2. Start. When you are starting with your ship in the middle of the ocean, go back to Europe immediately. Go to the Europe screen and rush as many immigrants as you can. Spend all of your money doing this. You may earn as many as 10 immigrants, most of whom will be specialists that are normally expensive to purchase directly from Europe (via the ‘$’ button on the Europe screen). You may be lucky and earn a seasoned scout and a veteran soldier. Once your ship arrives in Europe, load the soldier and scout if you have them, or other immigrants if not. Send the ship to the new world.
3. Stages. I divide the game into six stages: - early conquest, exploration, economy building, mid-game conquest, liberty bells, and finally revolution. I will provide tips for each of these stage below.
4. Early conquest. When you arrive in the new world, find your European adversaries. When you meet them, they will have started their city using a soldier to settle, and the pioneer will be working the land. Just outside of their border, declare war, move your ship to the city, and unload your soldier to conquer the undefended city. On the next turn, capture the pioneer, or if you have a second soldier on your ship, you can move the ship into the city and capture the pioneer on the same turn as your conquest. Explore and exchange maps until you find the other settlements. I usually keep these captured cities rather than razing them, unless the settlement is in a useless location. You should be able to make peace with the other European colonists in a few turns.
5. Exploration. It is important to either send out your colonists to explore all locations as soon as possible. There is a lot of gold available during this phase, which will enable you to rush more immigrants. Make sure that you keep the discovered treasure rather than sending it back via the King, as his 50% tax is too high. Build a Galleon as soon as possible and send it back to Europe yourself.
Be careful when exploring ancient burial grounds. Use a seasoned scout, or else the natives may declare war on you.
6. Economy building. Make sure that you build some inland cities only two tiles away from your coastal cities. When the revolution occurs, the King will attack your coastal cities, and you need good gun producing cities nearby to recruit more dragoons as the battle progresses. It’s important to remember that the King’s invasion will occur at or very near to the exact spot where you were supposed to make landfall when the game started. Your cities at that location should be very well defended. Make sure that you have cleared the forests on the city coastal city tiles immediately beside your coastal cities, so that the King’s invading soldiers do not benefit from the forest defence bonus.
Try to pair your specialists in cities (eg. expert lumberjack and master carpenter, expert ore miner and blacksmith, blacksmith and gunsmith). Purchase the experts from Europe if necessary.
Specialise your cities with:- at least one port city close to Europe (set up your automatic wagon trade to deliver finished products to your port city or cities); a gun producing city; a University city and cities specialising in particular industrial products such as cigars, cloth, coats etc. Try not to waste your cargo space to Europe with raw materials such tobacco, cotton, furs etc..
Don’t forget to trade and give gifts to the natives (especially to the unhappy ones), especially when the King’s tax rate becomes unbearable. Native leaders will pay very high prices for goods they desire if they have gold in their accounts. Make sure that you send out missionaries to all of your surrounding native settlements as soon as possible, as converted natives are excellent in producing raw materials. I usually upgrade my converted natives to specialists by studying in a native settlement (living among the natives). Make sure that you study the native leader characteristics via the Civilopedia, as some native tribes will produce more converts and some native tribes are faster in training specialists.
I also specialise some cities to produce political points. This will help you to obtain good founding fathers. Plan your choice of founding fathers beforehand, as if you reject them, you will not be able to obtain them later. Allow Hernan Cortes (founding father) to build your stockades rather than building them yourself.
Keep your free colonists in churches and cathedrals and not in the town hall at this stage of the game. You don’t want the King to build up his military for a long period of time. You should only need a few soldiers to defend your settlements that are close to native tribes that are either annoyed or furious with you. Forget about building frigates or ships of the line, as the King’s man-o-wars are far superior and it will take 3-4 of your ships to defeat one of his.
7. Mid-game conquest. Around 1650, I usually give my dragoons experience by sending them out to conquer a nearby European colonies or native settlements. The experience providing by founding fathers such as Ethan Allen (Free promotion of Ranger I and Mountaineer I for Gunpowder Units), Francisco de Coronado (+1 movement for Dragoons), Paul Chomeday de Maisonneuve (Free promotion of Formation for Gunpowder Units, +1 movement for converted natives), and Dom Pedro 1 (+50% Great General emergence, Free promotion of Veteran I and Minuteman I for Gunpowder and Mounted Units) are very helpful in battles. Use dragoons to attack and keep your ships nearby to evacuate the wounded.
8. Liberty bells. Don’t leave it too late (1700 is about the deadline) to assign colonists to your city hall to produce liberty bells. Train and purchase elder statesmen where possible, and make sure that your cities have printing press and newspaper. Particular liberty bell producing founding fathers are vital at this stage of the game. Use this stage of the game to stockpile guns and horses in all cities, and use stationary wagons as extra storage if needed. Concentrate your dragoon force near to where the King will land his forces (as previously explained). Make sure that you have fortresses on this coastal location.
9. Revolution. You should proclaim the revolution between 1740-1750 or earlier. Leave it too late, and you will have an awesome army but not enough time to defeat the King. Use dragoons to attack and make sure that you check the combat odds before deciding to attack (click on attacking unit and drag your mouse over the defending unit). You will usually lose the first encounter with a King’s dragoon, as he has more experienced veterans than you do (unless you have Veteran IIIs from mid-game conquest. After your first casualty, you should succeed with the following attacks when you use your dragoons. Soldiers and cannons are really only for defence. If you have enough dragoons, and they are well-positioned, it should be easy to win the battle in about 15-20 turns. The King will usually send his attacking forces in a few waves, so you just have to wait until they all arrive before you destroy them all.
Anyway, I enjoy the game and after losing lots of times, I finally found these strategies helped me to win!
Im a bit frustrated that so many people seem to hate the game. I think its great despite the small flaws that will have to be fixed in an upcoming patch.
However the game is already very much fun and completely playable and most of the so called bugs, imbalances, broken concepts etc. result of severe misunderstandings of the game concepts.
Well now I think saying to these people :'Just play better !' is a bit rude. Not everbody is an expert and there is nothing wrong with it. A causual gamer should have a decent chance to win at least on the lower difficulty settings.
So I think some people might well appreciate this effort and I will be getting less frustrated on how the majority of the players gets almost everything wrong.
Since Im not totally familiar with all concepts yet myself, I will update this on a regular base getting to the finer points later on and starting with what I think are the most severe errors keeping some of you from having fun.
Chapter 1 : The most common misunderstandings of important game concepts
- The Liberty Bells REF Myth :
As for those of you who dont know what the REF is - its the expedition force of the King who will go for you when you declare independance.
Now how is this related to liberty bells. Every time you produce liberty bells the King will eventually expand his REF. As far as I know (might be not 100% accurate because its nowhere explained officially) there are two factors which will have influence on the Kings decision to expand his REF. First is the absolute liberty bells you produce, that means there is a treshhold and if you go above it the REF will expand and the treshold will be set to some higher amount.The second factor is what amount of bells you are producing per turn, that means the AI checks per round on how many bells you produce and related on how many that is the REF will eventually expand.
Now the concequences on the gameplay are huge as you might figured out yourself however what exactly are the consequences :
Lets focus on the absolute liberty bells amount thing first.
Since you have to get 50% of your people root for independance to be allowed declaring it you have to produce a given amount of liberty bells for each citizen no matter what. That means bigger is not necessarily better, if you have more towns and citizen the REF will be bigger as well. Thus you want to avoid building settlements in really crappy places, they dont help you that much but make your enemy stronger.
So why is this a good feature ? You have much less disadvantages when playing a map with a lot of water where you cant build many settlements. Furthermore it allows for enourmous strategic freedom since you dont need to go for some brute force strategy as it was in Col1.
Now lets come to the other aspect. Liberty bells per Turn cause the REF to expand. What does that mean for gameplay. Well if you produce liberty bells from the first turn on the REF will be bigger, that means you want to be really careful here. It is tempting to go for some fast founding father path but be aware that you have to make good use of the additional benefits to make it worth that the REF will be bigger later on.
That said for the beginning you should probably stay away for this at least for the first 50 turns and produce no liberty bells at all. You might think there is a problem with that because another Nation will capture some founding fathers you wanted to have. Luckily there is a way around this, you can produce political points in your settlements - just switch from the building (e.g. docks) and look at the bottom there, you will find out how to do it.
- Schools suck !
Many people are getting pissed that schooling takes so long after you have trained a bunch of students. Well they are right, like in reallife schools suck in this game (A+ for realism :P ). However there is more to it. You have to think of it as a countermeasure for players getting everything easiely and make like dozens of farming cities shooting their population through the roof.
So what is the consequence of that ? You cant train only so many students - huh I guess you figured out this yourself.
But what exactly does it mean for your general approach on specialists that you can train only so many of them :
You need to focus on schooling skills you cant get otherwise and which are really needed. So for Farmers and Fishers you generally have a bunch of native cities where you can train them. Use those instead of your schools.
The more sophisticated specialits are generally not needed in huge numbers (e.g. elder statesman, firebrand preachers) . So to get them it is often enough to rely on what people you get at the european docks - of course that implies that you do build a bunch of churchs which you should most often.
So what is left on the list are those kind of specialist that you need many of and cant get cheaply otherwise. Lets think about what this is.
Master carpenters : An absolute must to have a lot of them, they are needed for making buildings, wagon trains, political points, cannons, ships and what not.
Master Blacksmith : Again tools are needed for many buidlings, to make Muskets and Cannons - so you really need a bunch of them.
That said you want to go for those and eventually expand on related things like expert ore minors or expert lumber jacks if you cant get them cheap otherwise.
How can the natives be my friend, they always start suprise attacks on me :
Well it depends, the different natives tend to behave very differntly. So on what should you be aware off. Montezuma and Huyana Capac are real pests like you might already experienced in Civ4. However here comes the good news, its more profitabel to run them over because you get extra gold when you capture their cities. For your gamestyle this means get rid of them rather sooner then later, you might want to wait a bit if they offer good training possibilities for your workers and other tribes dont have these skills available.
Some tribes have the 'Mentor' ability which means you can train people there a lot faster. This is a huge advantage because it will take pressure of your school system, so in general you want to keep those kind of natives and dont piss them of.
I found what is extremly bad for relationships between you and some indian tribe is if you steal their food (even if you pay on settling). So if you want to keep this tribe dont use their foodresources at all. What you can further do to strenghten relationshsips with natives is to trade with them, I guess it doesnt have to be a whole lot of things you trade to them but if you do trade at least some goods with them your relatiuonsship will be getting better over time eventually.
The I can fight the Kings forces only in the open Myth :
Many people claim that you have to retreat out of your cities and let the King capture them. After that you counterattack the troops.
Well I guess that impression comes from the very strong artillery the Kings has. If you wouldnt know yet those artillery has a huge Bonus when attacking cities.
However it turns out that this locig is totally flawed. The first thing is you can take major influence by what units you build on the composition of the Kings forces. The second thing is some spots are better for defending than others.
So what should you do if you plan for a defensiv war against the King :
First thing is that you have to use some key spot where his troops need to go along and found a settlement with good defensiv protectives there. Good for defensive is if you can build behind a river or on a hill and thats exactly what you should do if you plan to fight defensive.
The second thing is you obviously dont want the King to have many artillery because your defense against those in cities is rather bad regardless how good your city spot is.
It turns out that the King tends to build the counter unit on what you have the most exessfully. So what you can do is for example build cannons only and dont much else and the King will react by building many mounted units. That doesnt mean you have to fight with cannons vs Cav however since you can recruit a decent amount of soldiers after
you declared independance.
Another aspect are the founding fathers, you want to get those which are useful in the context, that is for example the guy who gives +25% defense for all cities. Another good one is the one who gives you free unit promotions for city defense.
Chapter 2 : Getting started
Choosing your leader :
You might want to choose a leader that makes your life easier here. I think for the first games you want to go for someone who has many options available so that you are more free on which path you will go in the game. If you dont have a favourit already I advocate taking George Washington. The combined bonusses for economy (getting more people) and military (getting cheaper soldiers) makes him very flexible in almost all game situations.
Now that you have choosen your leader you will find yourself on the main map and a ship with some soldiers and pioniers loaded at the beginning so what are you gonna do now. You need to have a look at the marked ocean part which lets you sail to europe first. If that section is not symmetrical it is because there is no land in one direction and you want to make sure that you arent going that way. So if more parts of the marked Ocean area are lying to the North you want to go South West and visa versa.
Foundaition of the first settlement :
For your prospects the place where you settle takes quite a bit of influence so you should think this through carefully. If you have played Col1 then you might noticed that settle on the first tile of land you see was a pretty good strategy in those times since you had to play a brute force approach and loosing turns by sailing around was not appropriate, let me tell you this Civ4Col is totally different !
The placing of your cities is very important here. Even more since you cant disband them. So if land comes insight and the place seems rather ugly dont settle there, you can afford some turns to find a better place. If you are in the very north or south of the map go ahead and sail a bit towards the middle, the reason behind this is that at the poles there is most likely way too much Tundra to get decent places for settlements.If you hit a small island dont bother to settle there its absolutely not worth it.
So how does a good place to settle look like. Food is most important, you should either have at least one tile of fish/crabs or wheat. If you find a river thats fine also since river fields have a bonus on food production. Furthermore a location that is not located on a hill is far superior for your starting city because the ore you get from your main city tile on a hill city is quite useless while getting soemthing like cotton for free is much more interesting. As far as concerning other recources you might take whatever you can get, however for your first city a good location for growth should be the priority.
One thing you should take into account is that natives let you settle for free with your first settlement. Thus you can settle right next to them if thats the only decent location you can find. However be aware that you might need to destroy those natives later if you settle very close. If thats not your game plane (e.g. you play as the French) then you might want to reconsider.
After you have placed your first settlement :
What you should do now is to explore the new world quite fast. This has some major advantages. You can get a basic game plan very early if you know what you have to deal with. The Native villages often give you some gold if you visit them - that is if no other nation has visited them yet. So this is kind of a race and you dont want to be the looser here.
You might get lucky and visit a nearby Indian settlement which offers farmers or Fishers thats of course pretty nice if you have wheat or fish respectively available.
So for your first visit with your ship in Europe you should make sure you can get either a specialist scout or 50 Horses. That means you have to sell tools or muskets if the price is 2/3 and no scout is available. That said you should make sure what the price for horses is before you sail back to europe. Note that you can trade with coastal nativ villages which offer often very good prices for selling tools/muskets or buying things like cotton or tobacco. You do that buy Sailing with your ship onto the village square and press the trade button.
However I dont recommend selling your muskets to the natives in general that might very well backfire on you.
While scouting be aware of the difference between Ancient ruins and burial grounds, if you go for burial grounds that might make the natives angry and you dont want to ruin your relations with them from start in general, so go for the ruins and leave the burial grounds alone for now.
Meeting the other nations early :
If the AIs settle very close to you things are a little bit odd. For the beginning I would say just start a new game if the situation is too absurd rather than fighting them down which is the other viable option. You dont need to fear that you loose though if you prepare the assault well because the AIs seem to be tremendously week at that point.
What you can do to get less annoyed by them is catching their ship in the harbour - it will be destroyed and it will take a while until they get a new ship.
Chapter 3 : The early game
Population growth :
So now we have build our first settlement scouted a decent bit and have made some money by exploring and selling some goods in europe. What are the next steps. Priority now should be population growth. There are different ways to achieve this. If you have a starting city with more than one special food resource you might want to train some farmers/fishers at the natives. With specialists on the food tiles cities will grow very fast. Another option is to build a church early on, that is esspecially valuable if you have a preacher specialist available. The advantage of this method is that you get more specialist early on and will have less problems with schooling your people later in general. A third approach is to establish some missions early on, obviously this is pretty good if you play either the french or are lucky enough to have some jesuit missionary available. Another more evil approach is to attack enemy euro nations nearby and steal their population. If you have Inca or Aztec beside you can use this with indians also because some of there settlements will give you a converted native after being destroyed, this tactic is especially good when playing spain because you start with a veteran soldier, you get more treasures from destroying native villages and in the case of Juan de San Martin your Units will promote faster. So you have some decent options available here make sure you use at least one of them.
Getting a game plan :
The next step should be to look at your continent a bit closer, which are the places I want to build cities on - are they occupied by natives ? So at first you should go for those sites that are very good, e.g. river with some special resources and hills/mountain. Preferably those spots are not that close to a native village. Of course those sites are pretty rare, now you need to get some idea on how you want to play. Are too many good spots occupied by native villages - than its maybe time to get some military rolling. Are enough spots available for free ? Than it might be time to get some trade going with the Indians and strengthen your relations with them.
Regardless on what you do you should have a plan on how to play in general relativly early even more so you have to choose some founding fathers very early. If you choose the wrong FFs for a strategy that turns out to be not your favourit later anymore you might be somewhat doomed.
So the founding fathers are pretty important for which should you go ?
In general you want to be flexibel here, different conditions require different founding fathers. For example the guy who gives 3 Jesuit missionars seems pretty poor in general however when playing the French he might actually pretty useful. I think many people are way too locked in what they tend to go for, e.g. always Peter Minuit. This is not how you play successful in a game that needs a lot of adaption every time you play it. However there is one exception to this, political founding fathers are kind of less valuable in the beginning because your bottleneck will almost always be political points. So the price for the other categories is relatively compared way cheaper. Of course there might be situations where you want to get one of those early on anyway but in general you should root for the other categories first.
Getting the ball rolling on specialist training at the native villages :
So now that you have a basic idea on what you want to do its time to make use of the Indian settlement train possibilities for your people. The earlier you start with it the better it is because the rate at which your people learn from the natives will slow down after you have trained several in the same native village. As already said the Native 'Mentor' ability is your friend here. Native settlements with 'mentor' and a skill that is needed alot like fishing,farming,mining is worth a lot here. If a skill is not available in the closer location you might want to start an expedition to sail for some far away natives and start some training there. The point why this native training is so important is that it takes pressure from your schools away which will make those much more effective.
As for schools you should probably thinking of getting one and train some Master Carpenters to get buildings up fast everywhere. To get your infrastructure going you might want to get a Hardy Pioneer now if you dont already have one and build some streets so that the goods produced in your inland villages can easier be transported in Wagon trains to your coastal cities. That said tile improvement is way less important than in Civ4 where it had such an ernomous effect.
Chapter 4 : Economy
Its always nice to have money so how can you maximize your profits now that you have some decent sized cities. There are two key concepts, first is you should specialize your cities a bit, it doesnt make much sense to make everything everywhere. So if you got a city with two special cotton tiles make this your cloth factory. In order to do this get the appropriate buildings which enhance the production and make sure that you have specialist working everywhere.
The seond important concept here is to have a little diversification, 3 Cigar producing citys will get less effective after a while because the prices will eventually start to fall on the european market, that said with Dutch leaders you got some additional possibilities here. However if you arent playing for the Dutch try to have one producing city for each Rum,Cigars,Cloth and Coats instead of having many for one of these goods. Often this wont be possible but you dont really have to bother that much. You need only so much money to get things starting as soon as your colonies are getting more independent you dont need as much money anymore. If you are lucky enough to get some silver mining opportunity, thats nice and should be used. Note that native worker bonus for silver mining is quite huge so if you got no expert silver miner available you should assign a native there if possible.
As you can see in the comments below some people disagree on how to set this up best and they have some valid points. The important thing is another one though, do have a plan on where you produce what and dont produce everything everywhere.
What can you do further to enhance cash - get Peter Minuit as Founding Father. Things at the european docks will be way cheaper to buy with him in your congress so if you plan to use trade extensivly you should get him. Note that you can make a decent profit trading with the natives also, this has the further advantage that relations with them are getting better over time.
All in all you generally should not focus too much on trade only, neglecting to build cities which will become your musket/artillery Factories is a major mistake if you arent on some special strategy. So if you have the choice between getting a decent city for making trade goods and getting a city for producing weapons you should almost always go for improving your military power, that is if you already have some places where you are producing goods.
Chapter 5 : Preparing for independance
After settling your continent and improving your cities a bit it will be time to start preparing for independance. To declare independance you need to have 50% of your population rooting for it. However be aware that all your soldiers count as king loyalists. So now its time to start producing a decent amount of liberty bells in your citys. You should stop population growth a bit at this time because each new born citizen will be a royalist as well, so if you keep getting too much new citizens you will be slowed down pretty hard in going for independence. The Error many people often make here is to not stop population growth and assign new citizens to their army - dont do this it will take you for ever to get the 50% like this.
So what are good ways to get liberty bell production going ?
Some specialist will help here no doubt, so if you havent a few elder statesman available yet you probably should buy at least 2 or 3 in europe. Buildings help alot also, you should make sure that you are building printing press and Newspaper at least in your bigger cities. Now it might be a good time to look for some founding father who improves liberty bells production, you will find most of those in the political area of the FF screen. Well now you have done all this but still struggle, dont despair there are still ways to help you here. You might consider disbanding some of your non loayal citizens like for example pioneers if you have improved your land a decent bit already, if that doesnt help enough look for your cities with low rebel sentiment and disband some citizens there.
Preparing for the assault :
The rebel sentiment in your cities is growing now, however are you prepared to fight yet - make sure you have at least one city that is specialized on musket/artillery production. Those kind of cities should not be at the east cost because its pretty hard to defend those cities. The reason for this is that the Kings Fleet is pretty strong and it will bombard your coastal cities. Thus you should be prepared on giving up those cities at least for some time, the place you want to put up the fight is somewhere inland prefereably on terrain that gives you bonuses like hills, mountains and forests.
So back to preparing for that war, since horses are relatively cheap to buy you dont really have to bother much breeding them yourself unless you get lucky and get some expert rangers for free. That means you want to have a decent amount of storage capacity for both your horses and your muskets. building some warehouses helps here, furthermore you should build some additional wagon trains if you don't have many yet to increase storage capacity.
By now you should have a plan where and how to fight the kings forces, if you want to fight in the open get a lot of horses and dont bother with getting soldiers too much, Dragoons are much better in the open in general. If you want to fight more defensive make sure you get some infantry to defend.
Chapter 6 : The independence war
Well I think I dont want to go into more detail as I already did in the above here because that might steel the fun for you on developing strategies on how to beat that pesky King the most effective. Just a few words which troops are good in general for what purpose.
Soldiers : Defending Cities
Dragoons : Fighting in the open
Cannons : Attacking Cities
In addition to the following point generators your colonies can also convert hammers into points (3 per hammer).
The following are taken from the XML - Did my best to interpret what the tags actually represent.
• Exploration Points
○ 5 - Each land tile explored
○ 3 - Each water tile explored
○ 50 - Each Native Tribe Met
○ 50 - Each Native Village Encountered
○ 100 - Each Native Village Encountered First (giving you a goody)
• Religion Points
○ 250 - Each Mission Established
○ 50 - Each Church Built
○ 100 - Each Cathedral Built
○ 2 - Each Cross Produced
• Trade Points
○ 30 per 100 gold - European Trade Gold (Assuming Purchase or Sale)
○ 15 per 100 gold - Native Trade Gold (Assuming Purchase or Sale)
○ 100 - Each Dock Built
○ 200 - Each Drydock Built
○ 300 - Each Shipyard Built
• Military Points
○ 20 - Each XP Gained (could be 1 per 20 but this makes more sense)
○ 300 - Each Colony Conquered
○ 200 - Each Colony Razed (assuming mutually exclusive)
○ 50 - Each Stockade Built
○ 100 - Each Fort Built
○ 150 - Each Fortress Built
○ 100 - Each Armory Built
○ 200 - Each Magazine Built
○ 300 - Each Arsenal Built
Well I just won my first game out of probably over 10 losses, and I wanted to make a post on how I've taken tips from here and tips from economics.
First, EVERY ACTION HAS AN OPPORTUNITY COST, which is by the way awesome. I've seen posts that almost want to eliminate this, which would be insane.
-1) You can produce Bells early to get Founding Fathers quickly, but this has the cost of making a huge REF (which in my win was not worth it). OR, you can produce Political Points to get Founding Fathers quickly, which has the cost of taking up your production queue in the town (this is the strategy I employed. DON'T JUST MAKE STUFF BECAUSE YOU CAN. If you don't have anything useful to build, build Political Points).
-2) When offered a Founding Father, you can accept him which gives you a bonus, at the cost of the cost of the Points. The earlier you get him/her, the longer you enjoy the bonus. OR, you can reject him and wait for a later and better one, at the cost of not being able to get the rejected Founding Father ever. So, get the Founding Fathers that work in your strategy, which there are MANY (which is great). Don't just get the first one to pop up. If you don't use missions, don't get mission boosters, etc. And please don't patch it so you can get the earlier ones again, which I saw someone suggest in another post.
-3) You can accept the king's demands, which keeps you at good relations which helps for getting VERY cheap military units and possibly extending the time between tax increases, at the cost of gold. OR, you can reject his demands to save money, at the cost of cutting you off from cheap military units and boycotted trade goods. So, I accepted his demands early on when I needed to, and when I was economically self sufficient, I rejected them.
-4) You can settle close to Native Villages in order to get those good spots and be close to a "training facility" at the cost of gold and pissing off the Natives. This is pretty much a judgment call. As French, I was getting along well with the Tupi, training and trading, but as I encroached more and more, they FRIGGIN BACK STAB ME AND TAKE OUT 2 CITIES. Gah, but retribution was swift.
Second, SPECIALIZATION IS THE KEY TO A GOOD ECONOMY. Proposed by Adam Smith, who is appropriately in the game, this ensures you have an awesome economy. Application is simple: make FOOD cities to pump out colonists and I use them as teaching cities, make ORE cities to pump out tools and guns, and make TRADE GOOD cities to pump out natural and manufactured goods. And by mid game, try to have specialists doing what they do best, EXCEPT Elder Statesmen until you're ready for that.
Third, YOU'RE GOING TO EXPERIENCE DIMINISHING MARGINAL RETURNS ON EDUCATION, TRADING (with increasing taxes), and bells (not sure). Expect it, fight it, but don't whine about it: it's a fact of economic life. I made my education city in a place with a TON of food, 1 or 2 DENSE FORESTS, and a LUMBER MILL. Reason: I quickly got up to the University, which pumps out the most Education points, to delay the effects of the increasing time to educate. With this method, I was able to quickly train fishermen and farmers, which increased my colonist growth, and then Elder Statesmen. It was an awesome Statesmen Producing Machine. So, when I wanted to declare Independence, I had the Elders ready to pump out Bells to surprise the King and get a TON of Founding Fathers (GET THE BONUS BELLS ONES, it really helps). If Education is patched to make training time constant, it would be WAY overpowered. Obtaining Elder Statesmen for about a third of the cost is awesome. So, the cost of educating too early (and with School houses) is that it will get to long time lengths, but I didn't experience because I got what I needed, not necessarily what I wanted.
This is an awesome game. I may appreciate it more because I'm an Economics double major, but this is the first game in a long time to grab and hold my attention, much much more than CIV.
Guide to Win on Revolutionary: The Spanish Conquistadors
Guide to Win on Revolutionary.- The Spanish Conquistadors
Vanilla Col2. Also tested for Dale's & Snoopy's PatchMod v 1.6 Map choice: Huge Western Hemisphere Difficulty level: Revolutionary Civ: Spanish (starting units: veteran soldier & free colonist) Leader: D. Jose de San Martin Speed: Marathon Col2 specific acronyms.
The following guide has been tested at Normal and Epic speed as well although some tweaks have to be made as the number of game turns is significantly less and this alters the gameplay. Normal speed has 300 turns and Epic has 450 turns. I have no idea how many turns does Marathon have but it far exceeds 700 turns. In Marathon the food necessary to pop a new colonist is doubled the same as the number of muskets and horses requires to equip soldiers and dragoons besides other differences.
The main issue on vanilla Col2 regarding the speed issue is the building up of the REF as it has a direct correlation with the LB output. If you are playing a Fast or Normal game you just cannot afford the REF becoming too large or else you may risk running out of time to end the WoI. Bear in mind that during the WoI you will find that 8 turns go by without the King's troops landing because they are being ferried over from Europe. So if you declare Independence with few remaining turns left you might run out of time. You should rush the LB output close to the end to avoid the REF becoming too large on Fast and Normal speed to overcome this problem.
On longer game speeds such as Epic or Marathon, which are the ones described in this miniguide, the size of the REF becomes irrelevant.
Advantages of the Spanish civ for overall Conquest
Experienced civ players will be quick to pick up the Spanish for conquest reasons.-
a) It's the only civ that starts with a veteran soldier. Veteran soldiers are extremely valuable as they have as inherent promotion Leadership. The importance of the Leadership promotion and being the only civ starting off with a veteran soldier are explained in all detail in point 1 further below.
b) The Spanish have as trait a 25% advantage fighting against Indian natives which will come in very handy allowing for high odds in battle against them. This is developed in detail in point four further below.
c) And above all, if you choose D. Jose de San Martin (-50% XP) as leader your military units will be earning promotions in half the time against other units.
The logical conclusions are to combine b) and c) and earn both easy and fast track promotions attacking Natives.
Combining all three you are able to promote all your veteran soldiers (which can only be purchased in Europe, they cannot be educated or trained unlike Col1) very quickly to Veteran V units. This guide picks up on the three points above and exploits them to their maximum to win on Revolutionary level.
Step-by-step guide to win on Revolutionary.
1.- The single most important advice is to take out early fellow european colonies.
The main problem at this difficulty level is that the AI will declare Independence before you do. Specially nasty are the English which have a leader with an inbuilt trait of 25% LB production (John Adams). The AI ramps up the LB from the get go like there's no tomorrow. So you first goal is to take out the pesky european settlements one by one. America will be lonelier but your true goal is Independence. In any case the AI will continuously respawn more or less on the same initial spot it settled.
Send your caravel to colonize some nice spot, found a settlement with your free colonist and switch production to political points. You will not be building anything. The reason is that you want to win for your cause asap Peter Minuit and Pedro Alvares Cabral. These two FF are by far the most important in the initial and medium stage of the game. They also happen to be some of the first FF available so you will be hard pressed by the AI to win them for your cause. I've done it on Revolutionary so it can be done, no moaning . Once you've obtained both or one switch over from political points to building a stockade, warehouse, fort, dock etc.
Have your caravel with your second unit, the veteran soldier, combing America's shores on the look out for the English, Dutch and French you will earn a huge amount of exploration points on doing so helping you to earn FF Alvares Cabral. Once you've found their settlement which will not even have a stockade built, declare war and burn the settlement to the ground. Only if the settlement is close to your initial settlement keep it otherwise destroy it. The AI will respawn and send more ships to colonize that spot again. This veteran soldier should do nothing else other than being shipped around America destroying AI settlements. Useful captured AI units such as hardy pioneers or other captured specialists can be ferried back to your home settlement with the caravel and then start trading with Europe using this caravel; having left the veteran soldier wandering around for it's next prey.
The promotions you should seek for this veteran soldier should be: Grenadier 1 & 2 (plus 20% and 25% settlement attack respectively) and the Surgeon 1 promotion. Later on Veteran I, II, III ... The Surgeon promotion is very important so as to avoid giving time to the AI to build up a stockade or calling in reinforcements.
On taking the rivals out you will accomplish multiple side goals. You will hamper greatly all their progress, avoiding them to steal FF from you, you will be able to capture very useful units early on such as hardy pioneers (the French always start with one so look out for them) or even Elder Statesmen. Remember Velocyrix's SMAC guide on early and combined pioneer units working tiles so as to create turn advantage on your rivals. Besides the above your vet soldier will be earning promotions from very early on. I normally play with the Spanish (start with a veteran soldier) and with D. Jose de San Martin as my leader (-50 XP) which means that this starting vet soldier will earn promotions pronto. He will go out in the starting caravel hunting out rival european settlements. In Dale's and Snoopy's PatchMod this has been toned down somewhat as you can only declare war after the first 20 turns into the game. In vanilla Col2 you can declare war on them from turn one. They will not even have stockades built up, so they are easy prey and easy promotions for a veteran soldier which has as a starting promotion Leadership which grants them 100% XP on winning battles.
Shortly after, when you 've earned enough money, buy a Merchantman and let it do all the trade with Europe (you need to ramp up your trading points now to earn FF Peter Minuit) whilst your starting caravel is busy ferrying about the vet soldier and captured european units. Ideally you should send 2 soldiers to raze european settlements. If you wait to have dragoons they will already have built stockades and forts and may even have veteran soldiers on garrison. That's why you have to exterminate them at the beginning of the game.
Once the rival AI's have been all but crushed (check the F9 screen) the game is yours and you can play it at your own pace (Epic & Marathon).
2.- Do not build inland cities.
Coastal cities are ideal for trading unless there is a particular sweet spot inland with resources such as 3 tobacco. You can choose to build a city on a sweet defensive tile right next to a forested hill for the 75% defense bonus on fighting the WoI. Naturally you will avoid chopping down the hill's forest to mine it choose some other hill tile to mine it and obtain ore. The city in particular closest to europe and most likely to be heavily attacked by the REF should be the closest to the far right where the REF will land eventually and preferably right beside a coastal forested hill tile for defense. If it's close to a chokepoint all the better.
3.- More settlements is not better a la Civ ICS.
You can win fast with only 2 settlements built keeping at bay the REF (30 regulars, 15 dragoons or even smaller) and upping rebel settlement on the last turns (Fast and Normal speed) or take your time as I do and build 5 or 6 very large settlements of pop 15, 20 and above (Epic and Marathon speed). More colonists means the LB output is less so you must know what you are doing. It's much easier to ramp up the LB in smaller sized settlements than a size 20 city. Also bear in mind you will need 3 Elder Statesman producing LB in each settlement and they don't come cheap. So the more settlements you build the more expensive it becomes and the more Independence is post poned.
Although adding Elder Statesman at a latter age is good to avoid the REF becoming too large I would however advise doing it as early as you can (Epic & Marathon speed). You will of course buy or educate, preferably the former as Education is broken, Elder Statesman and have three in each settlement as early as possible. Besides, keeping the REF size at bay is more of a game exploit IMHO. A REF 8 or 10 times the size of your standing army can be beaten through superior tactics and manoeuvre. At Epic and Marathon speed the size of the REF becomes irrelevant so don't concern yourself with rushing LB at the last hour, do it early on. A normal colonial army to win on Revolutionary would be 25-35 dragoons with very high promotions which include 3-5 generals, 10-15 soldiers and a handful of cannons. That's all you need to wage war successfully.
4.- Fighting the natives early on not trading with them. Build up and promote your stack of dragoons.
Being Spanish you have an inbuilt trait of 25% against Indians so I suggest you take advantage of it. The first turns of the game I train colonists in their tribes.- fishermen, farmers, trappers, tobacco planters, cotton planters etc. you cannot purchase in Europe trappers or planters so these skills must be learnt from the natives.
Indians are opportunists and will attack you over time when they sense you are weak. You can check the negative modifiers in the trade screen mousing over their heads. When the negative mods outweigh the green ones you know you will be attacked by them if you are rated as weak.
Normally by the time I'm in a position to create my second settlement, whether I buy the land from them or just plump the city risking their wrath, I already have ferried back from Europe muskets and horses in prepration for the First Indian War with the neighbouring tribe. Once you have wiped out the nearby Indian settlements you can think of expanding and settling a third town or more.
Foremost this game is about declaring independence and fighting a war against your motherland's troops. These troops will all be Veteran 2 at least if not 3 to reflect the ongoing European wars which have made them skilled. So it's important to start training an army early on to beat the REF.
I don't trade with Indians I don't even try to convert them I just use them as cannon fodder to train my troops (dragoons). By the time the REF lands their 300 plus units I have a stack of 20-30 dragoons with high promotions (Veteran IV or V plus Formation) of which normally 6-10 are veteran soldiers purchased in European docks and the rest are colonial militia. I typically spawn 3 generals fighting the ensuing Indian Wars and a further 1 or 2 fighting the REF (check the F5 screen to see when you will spawn your next general). Using the General's promotions is key in taking out a REF even 8 or 10 times the size of your paltry colonial army. Surgeon 3 promotion is invaluable only available to General attached units. Use this stack of dragoons against the Indian tribes building up your dragoon promotions. You will continously add in new units. Indentured servants and petty criminals make great soldiers as they take too long to be trained and educated currently so they are better employed as soldiers. Use your money to buy veteran soldiers from Europe they are worth their weight in gold due to thier inbuilt Leadership promotion. As you buy more vets their price rises so eventually there's a breaking point in which it's not worthwhile purchasing more. 6-10 veteran soldiers should be about right. The rest of your army will be colonial militia. When you spawn generals make sure you attach them only to veteran soldiers as they have the Leadership ability which grants them 100% learning XP (=experience points used to earn higher promotions). Third tier promotions are only available to general attached units so you really want these unita that have a general to promote fast. Couple this in with having chosen Jose de San Martin as a leader which requires 50% less XP to earn new promotions besides the inherent 25% advantage the Spanish have fighting Indian tribes and soon enough you will have built a woping stack of 20 Dragoons fully promoted to Vet V with Formation (Formation gives you 25% against other horses making the King's Dragoons easy prey later on).
On attacking the Indians roast your stack to give newer promotions to the weaker units. Your goal should be Veteran I-V and Formation promotion for militia Dragoons. The veteran soldier Dragoons should follow Veteran I-V, Formation and as last Surgeon 1 & 2. An excellent general candidate would be a Veteran soldier V Dragoon with Formation and Surgeon 1 & 2 promotions.
5.- Key to winning this game is building up your Economy.
Trading, meeting natives with a seasoned scout and later on razing indian settlements will yield all the funds you require to win. Buy a galleon if you play vanilla Col2 or 2 galleons if you play with Dale's & snoopy's PatchMod (as a galleon in this mod can only carry one trasure the same as in Col1whereas in vanilla Col2 they can carry up to 6) and ship back the treasures. First buy the the muskets and horses and only then the lumberjacks and carpenters farmers and fishermen. Your priority is food, following that Elder Statesman and then the trading specialists (Master Cigar Makers, Master Fur Traders, Master Weavers etc). Education is currently broken even with the Patchmod because it takes forever. You are better off just buying them off from Europe. Leave Gunsmiths, Master Ranchers for last. You must set up a good trade system asap to raise much needed cash. Depending on your settlement spot you will be able to choose from tobacco (cigars), fur (clothes), sugar (rum), cotton (cloth) and so on. Other raw matarials such as silver in Canada need no processing and can be shipped diectly. Create wagons to shuffle basic resources from one settlement to another such as tobacco to build cigars. Some cities may be specialised in planting tobacco and others in making cigars. Later on during the WoI these wagons may be used to store muskets and horses.
6.- The only thing one should be afraid of is running out of time to fight off the large REF.
I have lost games because it took the REF 8 turns to come back and forth from Europe bringing in waves of fresh troops. I do not advise leaving only 30 turns to win the Revolutionary War unless of course the REF is small and maneageable. I've lost games having declared Independence on turn 60 because of the sheer size of the REF. Normally the WoI requires between 60-80 turns for a REF of 300 + units just to play safe. I play on Epic (450 turns) or Marathon speed (700 plus) so my game lasts longer than the standard 300 turns of the Normal speed.
If you want to play on Normal speed or below just follow my strategy only changing to ramp up the LB production during mid to late game so as to avoid a huge REF. You should declare Independence at least before turn 250 just to play safe on Normal speed.
7.- You need not loose ever a city fighting the WoI.
No matter if it's placed in the coastline. In fact most of your cities will be sprawling across the coastline. Use your combined pioneers to build roads on all the presumable landing spots of the REF. The REF will land on your settlement which is furthest to the right, on the shore closest to Europe. Try to build the most vulnerable settlement, the one closest to Europe, right beside a forested hill tile. Place soldiers on these forested hills (so don't clear them for mining puposes which will negate the defense bonus) with Mountaineer and Ranger (light forest defense) promotions, specially in a peninsula chokepoint. You may use a general to award these units said promotions. There are several FF that grant you many interesting promotions.
If you like settling in North America & Canada like I do (roughly where the historical pilgrim colonies were) there is a peninsula on the upper far right (Newfoundland?) which is ideal to create a killing ground for the landing REF. On placing cities on the map not only should you consider food and trading resource tiles but also the potential for defense. The REF will land on the far right always. However later on in the game they will also deploy troops further down the coastline or even attempt direct amphibious attacks on the cities themselves.
a. Key but not essential on winning initially for trading purposes, as this game is an economical one, are Peter Minuit (-25% cost of purchasing european units) and Pedro Alvares Cabral (-50%time to travel to Europe).
b. From a military point of view Dom Pedro I is fairly important to fight the WoI gives you free Veteran 1 and City Garrison 1 (Minuteman 1) to all units, both gunpowder and mounted units, as well as speeding the spawning of new generals. On attacking a cannon or a wounded REF unit it is easy to obtain for a militia soldier City Garrison 2 (Minuteman 2) later on in the game. For Minuteman 3 promotion you need a general-attached unit which has to be a soldier (gunpowder unit), it's not available to Dragoons (mounted units).
There are many useful military promotions only available to gunpowder units and not to mounted units. Take your time to become acquainted with all the game's promotions. Other useful military FF are Ethan Allen (free Ranger 1 and Mountaineer 1 to gunpowder units) for guerrilla type warfare in hills and forests and the Marquis de La Fayette which inceases musket production in line with the tax rate.
c. Other important FF's from a political standpoint are obviously all those that increase the LB output significantly such as Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Samuel Adams. You should build printing presses and newspapers in all settlements to maximize the LB output besides having 3 Elder Statesman in each town hall. The higher the LB production, besides being able to hit 50% rebel sentiment sooner, the better to access all these useful FF which will help greatly in the ensuing WoI.
All the mentioned FF are important because they make life easier but you can obviously still win without them even at Revolutionary.
9.- On declaring Independence you have to choose your Constitution's civics.
I choose slavery (extra 25% food is a must when you have settlements with 20 pop, food becomes scant also getting FF Cyrus McCormick is great further on), 100% FF rate, controlled arms to up the 50% rebel sentiment, I choose the extra 2 indentured servants per settlement which I upgrade immediately to Dragoons and with the help of generals I had spawned in the Indian Wars give them promotions to Veteran 3. The generals I never attach to militia, only to veteran soldiers) and Manifest Destiny giving you 50% against Indians in addition to your 25% as one of the specific Spanish civ traits.
10.- Fighting the War of Independence (WoI).
By the time of the WoI I've already made peace with all Natives to avoid fighting simultaneously on 2 or 3 fronts. Normally I fight the REF in 2 fronts, north and south (Canada and Virginia) splitting my dragoon force equally in 2 stacks of 13-15 units each. These stacks mount over time as the WoI progresses as well as replacing those KIA. If you are only going to be fighting in one front then 20/25dragoons should do the trick. Make sure to road and connect your distant colonies or else organise a good naval transport system to ship units quickly if needed be.
The WoI normally drags on for 50-80 turns when you confront 300 REF units plus. Remember that on declaring Independance you will still have 6-8 turns until the REF makes it's first landing and that during the WoI 8 turns might go by without any fights until the King is able to ferry in a new wave of fresh troops. The REF only lands a maximum of 16 units per turn. You have to kill them off each turn as they land. Don't be daunted by their size.
The REF has a bonus attacking cities. So it's very important that you don't grow confident with your Minuteman 2 promotions garrisoning a fortress (175% defense). Think that fortresses are only good against Indian raids not against the REF. On fighting the REF you should always adopt an aggressive stance attacking them relentlessly, don't coward behing the ramparts take the initiative and drive the war to them unlike Col1. On doing this you will negate the REF's bonuses on attacking your settlements.
Remember all them nice specialists that helped you earn so much money? They now become useless after the DoI, unless of course you selected to continue trading with Europe as one of your Constitution's civics. So the fiery priests, the Master Fur Traders, the Master Cigar Makers etc all of them can be turned into dragoons or soldiers.
Using your generals.
You can use the 3 generals that had been spawned in the Indian wars to promote these newly drafted units. During the WoI you will spawn a further 1-2 generals as well making a total of 5 generals to promote greenies.
Normally I move into a tile a veteran soldier/dragoon with Surgeon 1 & 2 plus 3 other colonial militia which are inexperienced units which have just been drafted (no promotions). I attach the general to the vet soldier and If it has enough XP I promote him to Surgeon 3. The other 3 colonial militia dragoons I promote to Veteran III (the advantage of having D. Jose de San Martin as leader). If you use one vet soldier and only 2 militia you will still get only Vet III promotions for them (so it makes no difference at that point, obvioulsy they have stored XP but not enough to triger a 4th promotion in a row). If you use 4 militia plus the vet soldier you can only upgrade them to Vet II. So IMHO a general and 3 militia is the optimum number to promote using a general having as leader D. Jose de San Martin. You now can use these general promoted dragoons Vet III against REF soldiers and artillery to win easy promotions. Once they reach Vet V with Formation you can also take out the REF dragoons safely with max odds.
Your goal is that on confronting the REF your success odds should be above 75%. The stack of dragoons which were promoted against the Indians will be now your Army's backbone in the ensuing WoI. These heavily promoted dragoons (Vet V plus Formation) will all have 95% success rates or above attacking REF units (dragoons, soldiers and artillery). Needless to say before you engage a fight you should mouse over to check the combat odds maximizing at all times your unit roaster to always have the highest success rates and promote your weakest units picking up easy targets.
Choosing your general's promotions as well as individual unit promotions wisely are key to defeating a REF 8 or 10 times the size of your standing army. Dragoons are the key units to attack the REF. Unlike Col1, soldiers should only be ever used to garrison cities (never dragoons) or be placed atop forested hilled mountains on defense mode preferably with Mountaineer 2 and Ranger 2 promotions perhaps with a cannon or two to boot.
Only foot soldiers (gunpowder units) can earn the necessary Minuteman (to effectively garrison cities), Ranger and Mountaineer promotions. And only general-attached units have access to third tier promotions such as Surgeon 3, Mountaineer 3, Minuteman 3, Ranger 3 and Veteran VI.
You should garrison every city with 2 soldiers. The cities closest to the REF landings and which are more exposed as well to amphibious attacks should have a minimum of 5 soldiers in garrison mode. Try to promote these garrison soldiers to Minuteman I & II. They should only attack weak REF units such as cannons or wounded units to earn an easy promotion to Minuteman 1 & 2 besides the Veteran promotions which give them additional base strength.
Your unit-attached generals can be either soldiers left as garisson in cities or else dragoons. It's important to get hold of the Surgeon 3 promotion to speed up significantly the recovery of wounds. This becomes critical after the multiple REF waves that attack you relentlessly. An important factor is that Surgeon 2 & 3 cures units in adjacent tiles so play with this factor. My generals have the Surgeon 1-3 promotions. I nearly always have my dragoon stack right beside the city tile but out of reach of a shore tile should the REF attack amphibiously or land their troops there. The general in the dragoon stack with Surgeon 3 will heal both my stack of dragoons as well as the besieged soldiers in the adjacent city tile. Dragoons are only good on offensive and weak on defensive. So as a rule-of-thumb dragoon for offense and soldier for defense. Only if I'm seriously overwhelmed and risk losing my dragoon stack do I garrison them in a city until they heal completely in only 2 or 3 turns (the magic of Surgeon 3 promotion). Dragoons are killed very swiftly within a besieged city.
I also like placing 2 soldiers (Mountaineer 2 and Ranger 2) with a cannon or two atop forested hill chokepoints through which the REF is forced to pass on their route to a coastal city. The dragoon stack is adjacent to this forested hill (with a Surgeon 3 general-attached unit that heals swiftly both the dragoon stack and the units on top of the said fortified hill) and is ready to pounce on the REF units that have to neccessarily go round it. Cut the roads on that chokepoint (the REF dragoons will pillage them anyway) and create a killing ground for them.
All the above comments are valid taking in mind my aggressive play-style as the Spanish which will be very different gameplay from others and will differ depending as well on the civ and leader chosen. On following all the above I've won on Revolutionary level. Naturally if you choose other civs and leaders the strategy outlined might not work out as well as you do not start with a vet soldier to wipe out early on rival European settlements nor are you able to promote easily your dragoon units killing off Indian natives. The above strategy hinges on the said two points.
Although you can always buy a vet soldier in Europe early on by popping money with seasoned scouts on meeting native settlements. There are ways to overcome initial limitations or scant resources on choosing other civs and leaders. All you need is to plan ahead as every decison you take will have an opportunity cost which must be pondered carefully. This is an Economics game.
Seems that lot of people are little lost in this game. Problem is that right strategy is pretty unintuitive, you should not build big empire or specialize in one place, both quite opposite to other Civ games. After first try out game, I played two games on second hardest difficulty and each time declared independence around turn 180 and would won easily, except some bug each time caused that king stopped sending army after I beat first few waves. Anyway here is my strategy that worked fine for me, at least with France.
Go for quality not quantity. I won with 5 cities each time (standard size continental map, normal speed). With bigger empire you need more money to buy more colonist, that means more trade and that means faster tax rises and price drop. And most importantly you will need more bells to start revolution and more bells means bigger REF. So you must find point when expanding stop pay off, which is in my experience somewhere around 60 colonist. Try be maximally efficient, adapt you strategy to bonus resources you have and specialist you get early.
Two best colonist early game are scout and preacher. You absolutely need scout, early exploration get you most money and you need o be first visitor to each village and ruin. I tried it few times and it seems that you always get scout in first batch. You should send one of first two colonist on exploration to get some money, so you should hurry scout as your ship land back in Europe. If you will see preacher in second batch, go immediately for church in you first colony. Your main goal early game is to get colonist on continent as fast as possible and no other profession is so efficient in this. One colonist early cost around 50 crosses and buying cheapest specialist cost 800, thus one cross is equal of 16 gold (800:16). That means preacher generate 96 gold per turn without raising taxes (any good you sell to Europe rises chance of tax rise). Better that early is only silver miner if you get silver resources and build mine. But be ready that value of preacher drops pretty fast and when you reach 300 crosses per colonist even with cathedral one preacher just make make around 24 gold (600 for colonist with Minuit / 300 = 2 gold per cross), so its time to send that lazy preacher to natives to learn something useful. But early boost worth all that trouble.
When choosing place for second colony, check bonus resources and commodities prices. Raw material cost 3-6 randomly each game, so you really would want city around bonus resource that cost 5 or 6. Instinct of veteran Civ player says build city around bonus food resource and that tundra is bad, but it is not true here, because in Civ you can not buy population like here. Don't believe me? OK time for some math again. Tundra forest (without bonus resource) produce 6 furs, 7 with lodge, 14 with master trapper, with price of fur on 5, it is 70 gold per tile. Rising colonist by food production cost 200 food, buying colonist (with Minuit) cost 600, so one food worth 3 gold. Even on plains with corn, master farmer produce 13 food = 49 gold. Like I said, much worse than tundra forest, at least until taxes are sky high. Its trap for veteran Civ player. In Civ you build first cities around food and money resources becomes important lately, it completely opposite here. First come money generating resources and food resources becomes useful late game when prices drop and taxes rises.
Live in peace with natives (especially true for France). First you absolutely need them to obtain expert planter/trapper, because they are not available in Europe. Missions are also quiet good and vital for France, did not forget that newly produce native could be left in village that produce him to teach specialty, thus becoming normal colonist, that could take guns. Trade with natives is also important, because to be really effective you need obtain some wealth without rising taxes and causing price drop and trade with native is one of few possibilities (other are crosses, early exploration (but not money from treasure), and lately food production). Natives money are quite limited, but if you go for small empire, it should be not problem. Especially look for villages that demand guns, horses, trade goods and tools. You usually get about 2-3x European prices. So with guns you easily make around 900 gold per cargo. For other commodities you get usually little less than in Europe, but without affecting taxes. Also selling 20 pieces of one resource should be enough to change their preferences to something more profitable (hold shift if you want load less than 100 pieces). Also if you sold them horses and guns, they will be much better ally against REF, but don't count on it, because most of time they don't have contact with king, thus can not declare war on him.
I'm not sure what change Natives attitude toward you, but they never attacked me at all. Of course I send many missionaries, live among them, trade with them and give them few gifts. Being French also help and to be sure I go for one or two FF that improve relationship with them. My only concern is REF, I really don't want mess with natives. With good relationship they start giving you villages instead of fighting if you surround them. But giving here means that village disappear thus you lost business partner, cheap school, source of colonist and war ally for absolutely no gain, never except this “gift”.
Never use army except after revolution. OK, probably somebody uses other tactic, but with current AI, other nations and natives don't mean treat. I played entire game with 0 – 2 soldier and nobody tried attack me, soldier is just wasted colonist. Also soldier even outside colony count as normal colonist toward maximum bells you must produce to start revolution. And again, more bells = bigger REF, so its pointless to build army prior revolution. You really just need stack tons of horses and guns, I would say about 400 – 500 per city (unfortunately you could stack just 300 per city, so you will need lots of extra wagons, enjoy your micromanagement hell).
Most important thing (also quiet stupid), start revolution as soon as you reach 50% rebel sentiment. Otherwise you just let REF grow bigger much faster than you will profit from production bonus, especially with taxes that will be around 30% at this point. Also with one civic you could make +50% bell production and so reach 100% sentiment in few turns. Not that it really matters, because you turn most of colonist into army, so production bonus is wasted and military bonus only count on settlement defense. But most of REF army consist of artillery with power 4 and +150% bonus on city attack, so they attack with power 10. If you think that right strategy is turtle in city with cannons, forget it. Your canon will defend with 50% rebel sentiment with power 5,25. Even if you are Bolivar, waste resources on fort, get 100% sentiment and build cities just on hills, you still get just 11,25 (3 base, +100% sentiment, +25 hill defense, +50% city defense, +100% form fort). On the other hand if you will go for all cavalry army, you get +50% bonus against artillery. So you will get 6:4 against artillery, 4:3 against soldiers and 4:4 against cavalry. Does not look so great, because even if you will stick with my strategy, REF should outnumber about like 1:5. But fortunately they come in small waves, so you just whip them as they land on your shoes and have around 3 turns to heal. With all promotion coming, you should get 2 generals and few military FF so even when you lost few units, your militia army will be soon superior.
Also forget about navy, you stand no chance against man-o-war. Wining on sea is not necessary and all that tools and guns used to make ships of lane are total waste. Don't ask me how are you suppose win on island map.
Last thing, always go for Peter Minuit, other FF are mediocre to completely useless, he is broken and you also get him first. Again poor design choice.
This is an overview of the mechanics governing the buy/sell prices of commodities in Europe. It's a bit complex and there is some math involved. The game uses the term "yield" to refer to the commodities (horses, silver, rum, etc), so I'll use that term here.
First I'll go over the variables that determine the prices then I'll explain the actual mechanics.
For each type of yield, this value tracks the total amount of that yield that you've bought minus the total amount you've sold throughout the game. It starts off at zero. For example, if you sell 100 silver, the YieldBoughtTotal for silver goes down by 100. If you buy 300 horses, the YieldBoughtTotal for horses goes up by 300.
For each multiple of this value that YieldBoughtTotal exceeds (positively or negatively) the price has a higher and higher chance of changing. It's stored in Assets\XML\Terrain\CIV4YieldInfos.xml. The threshold values are:
1500 for cloth, coats, rum, cigars
1000 for food, lumber, cotton, fur, sugar, tobacco, ore
600 for tools, guns, horses, goods
100 for silver (really low!)
This value is modified by handicap percentage based on your difficulty level. The percentages are:
These values are stored in Assets\XML\GameInfo\CIV4HandicapInfo.xml
3. BuyPriceLow, BuyPriceHigh, SellPriceDifference
These values determine the starting price of the yield. The price Europe pays you for the yield, called the "buy price", is simply a random number between BuyPriceLow and BuyPriceHigh, inclusive. The price you pay to Europe for the yield, called the "sell price", is the buy price plus SellPriceDifference. The values are:
high, low, difference
Food 0, 2, 8
Lumber 0, 1, 3
Silver 19, 19, 1
Cotton 3, 5, 2
Fur 4, 6, 2
Sugar 4, 6, 2
Tobacco 3, 5, 2
Ore 2, 4, 3
Cloth 8, 12, 1
Coats 8, 12, 1
Rum 8, 12, 1
Cigars 8, 12, 1
Tools 1, 2, 1
Muskets 3, 5, 3
Horses 1, 2, 1
Trade Goods 1, 2, 1
Note again that the values are random; start up a game and you'll see cloth, coats, rum and cigars all at different starting prices, even though they all have the same high/low/difference values. Also, these are not in any way limits on the maximum or minimum price. The maximum price for any yield is unbounded (I think), and the minimum price is always 1.
Again these values are stored in Assets\XML\Terrain\CIV4YieldInfos.xml.
This value isn't really a percent as it's name says, but a multiplier that helps determines the chance of the price changing when YieldBoughtTotal exceeds PriceChangeThreshold.
The value is 5 for silver, and 1 for everything else. Stored in Assets\XML\Terrain\CIV4YieldInfos.xml.
Now for the actual mechanics. Each turn the game determines a "target price" for each yield, and then does a random check to see if the actual price changes by 1 towards the target price (+1 if the target price is higher, -1 if the target price is lower). The actual price can only change by 1 each turn. The target price starts as a random number between BuyPriceLow and BuyPriceHigh. Then you add YieldBoughtTotal / PriceChangeThreshold (remember YieldBoughtTotal can be negative). The division is an integer division so decimal remainders are dropped. Next you take the absolute value of the difference between the target price and the actual price. and multiply it by PriceCorrectionPercent (5 for silver, and 1 for everything else; silver is volatile). This final value is the percent chance of a price change occurring.
If that seems complex, let's do muskets as an example. The musket starting price is between 3 and 5, so we'll say the game rolls a 4. Initially your YieldBoughtTotal is zero. PriceChangeThreshold for muskets is 600. Let's look at what happens if you don't buy or sell any muskets. Each turn the game computes the target price, which will be another random number between 3 and 5, let's say it rolls a 5. YieldBoughtTotal is zero, so the target price isn't modified. The difference between the target price (5) and the actual price (4) is 1, and the PriceCorrectionPercent for muskets is 1, so there is a 1% chance of a price change this turn. If a price change did occur, it would be +1 from 4 to 5, always towards the target price. Had you rolled a 3 for the target price, the price would have a 1% chance of going down by one this turn. The key here is that the price always has a small chance of fluctuating by a bit even if you don't trade in that yield.
Now let's say you go and buy 1000 muskets to fight the Spanish. Your YieldBoughtTotal is now 1000. The target price will now be computed as random[3, 5] + 1000/600, or random[3, 5] + 1 since decimals are truncated. Let's say the actual price is still 4, and you roll a 5 on the random, then the target price would be 6. The difference is 6-4 = 2, so there would be a 2% chance of the price going up.
The spanish are really pressing you and you've had to buy 3000 more muskets. Your YieldBoughtTotal is now 1000+3000 = 4000. You've gotten lucky however, and the price is hasn't gone up from 4. Now your target price is going to be random[3, 5] + 4000/600 = random[3, 5] + 6 = 9 to 11. Your chance of the price going up is between 5% and 7% each turn.
Let's see how volatile silver is. The high and low are both 19, so the price doesn't have any random variance. The PriceChangeThreshold is only 100(!!), and the PriceCorrectionPercent is 5 instead of the usual one, so your chance of change will be five times higher than it normally would be. Let's say you sell 300 silver so your YieldBoughtTotal is -300 (remember it goes down when you sell). Then the target price is 19 - 300/100 = 16. The starting price is always 19, so the difference is 19-16 = 3%, but we multiply by PriceCorrectionPercent to get 5 * 3% = 15% of the price dropping! Silver is very volatile indeed.
Finally, the Mercantile trait of the Dutch: it simply cuts your trading volume in half. So if you sell 300 tobacco, it only counts as you having sold 150, so your YieldBoughtTotal goes up or down half as quickly. This means you can sell twice as many goods as the competition before you get the same price increase.
Here is C++ pseudo-code for process (the actual function is CvPlayer::doPrices() in CvGameCoreDLL\CvPlayer.cpp).
for each yield
int newPrice = random(BuyPriceLow, BuyPriceHigh) + (YieldBoughtTotal / PriceChangeThreshold);
if (random(100) < PriceCorrectionPercent * abs(newPrice - currentPrice))
newPrice = clamp(currentPrice - 1, newPrice, currentPrice + 1);
2. REF growth
The growth of REF is depending on the amount of accumulated Liberty Bells.
At the beginning of each colonial player's turn, the King will add some units to REF, if the following conditions are satisfied.
a. not in Revolution
b. the amount of accumulated Liberty Bells >= revolutionEuropeUnitThreshold
c. one of cities of this player yields at least 1 Liberty Bell
When the King is alarmed at the Rebel Sentiment in the colony, he will add some units to REF, i.e. the following actions will be executed one by one.
a. deduct revolutionEuropeUnitThreshold Liberty Bells from accumulated Liberty Bells
b. update RevolutionEuropeUnitThresholdMultiplier
c. determine the unitclass of the units added by the King
d. use the updated RevolutionEuropeUnitThresholdMultiplier to determine the number of the units added by the King
e. add units to REF
Spoiler for SDK CvPlayer::doBells():
if (getParent() == NO_PLAYER)
int iBellsRate = getYieldRate(YIELD_BELLS);
if (iBellsRate == 0)
//add bells to political points
for (int i = 0; i < GC.getNumFatherPointInfos(); ++i)
FatherPointTypes ePointType = (FatherPointTypes) i;
changeFatherPoints(ePointType, iBellsRate * GC.getFatherPointInfo(ePointType).getYieldPoints(Y IELD_BELLS));
//update revolution unit bells
if (getBellsStored() >= revolutionEuropeUnitThreshold() && iBellsRate > GC.getCivilizationInfo(getCivilizationType()).getF reeYields(YIELD_BELLS))
setRevolutionEuropeUnitThresholdMultiplier((getRev olutionEuropeUnitThresholdMultiplier() * (100 + GC.getDefineINT("REVOLUTION_EUROPE_UNIT_THRESHOLD_ INCREASE"))) / 100);
if (NO_PLAYER != getParent())
CvPlayer& kParent = GET_PLAYER(getParent());
CvCivilizationInfo& kCivilizationInfo = GC.getCivilizationInfo(kParent.getCivilizationType ());
int iNumFreeUnits = kCivilizationInfo.getNumCivilizationFreeUnits();
std::vector<int> aiUnitWeights(iNumFreeUnits, 100);
for (int i = 0; i < iNumFreeUnits; ++i)
int iUnitClass = kCivilizationInfo.getCivilizationFreeUnitsClass(i) ;
UnitTypes eUnit = (UnitTypes) kCivilizationInfo.getCivilizationUnits(iUnitClass) ;
if (eUnit == NO_UNIT)
aiUnitWeights[i] = 0;
if (GC.getUnitInfo(eUnit).getDomainType() == DOMAIN_SEA)
aiUnitWeights[i] += std::max(-100, GC.getDefineINT("REVOLUTION_EUROPE_UNIT_SHIP_MODIF IER"));
if (iNumFreeUnits > 0)
int iIndex = GC.getGameINLINE().getSorenRand().pickValue(aiUnit Weights, "Pick Expeditionary force unit");
int iUnitClass = kCivilizationInfo.getCivilizationFreeUnitsClass(iI ndex);
ProfessionTypes eUnitProfession = (ProfessionTypes) kCivilizationInfo.getCivilizationFreeUnitsProfessi on(iIndex);
UnitTypes eUnit = (UnitTypes)kCivilizationInfo.getCivilizationUnits( iUnitClass);
FAssert(eUnit != NO_UNIT);
int iNumUnits = std::max(1, getRevolutionEuropeUnitThresholdMultiplier() / 100);
for (int i = 0; i < iNumUnits; ++i)
3. Sources of accumulated Liberty Bells
There are two ways to accumulate Liberty Bells
a. Liberty Bells yielded by your cities
Spoiler for SDK CvPlayer::getYieldRate(YieldTypes eIndex):
int CvPlayer::getYieldRate(YieldTypes eIndex) const
FAssertMsg(eIndex >= 0, "eIndex is expected to be non-negative (invalid Index)");
FAssertMsg(eIndex < NUM_YIELD_TYPES, "eIndex is expected to be within maximum bounds (invalid Index)");
if (getNumCities() == 0)
int iTotalRate = GC.getCivilizationInfo(getCivilizationType()).getF reeYields(eIndex);
for (CvCity* pLoopCity = firstCity(&iLoop); pLoopCity != NULL; pLoopCity = nextCity(&iLoop))
iTotalRate += pLoopCity->calculateNetYield(eIndex);
b. the gold you paid for purchasing Veteran Soldiers or Cannons from the King
Both exchange rates are 1:1.
For example, you paid 750 gold for the first Veteran Soldier from the King, then the amount of accumulated Liberty Bells increased 750.
4. Explanation on revolutionEuropeUnitThreshold and RevolutionEuropeUnitThresholdMultiplier
The initial value of RevolutionEuropeUnitThresholdMultiplier is 100.
The game updates your RevolutionEuropeUnitThresholdMultiplier when and only when the King adds units to REF.
The formula is: (new RevolutionEuropeUnitThresholdMultiplier) = (old RevolutionEuropeUnitThresholdMultiplier) * 110%
5. The number and unitclass of incremental REF
(1) The number of the units added by the King = [(updated RevolutionEuropeUnitThresholdMultiplier) / 100]
(2) The unitclass of the units added by the King is randomly chosen from Regulars, Regular Dragoons, Artillery and Man-o-War. Each unitclass' weight is equal to its initial REF unit number. Moreover, navy unitclass suffers -50% penalties.
Therefore, the probability w.r.t. Regulars, Regular Dragoons, Artillery and Man-o-War is 4/9, 2/9, 2/9 and 1/9.
6. Exchange rate between accumulated Liberty Bells and REF units
We still assume GameSpeed = Normal and player = Human.
For convenience, we ignore the rounding in calculation.
(RevolutionEuropeUnitThresholdMultiplier * 110% / 100) REF units = (75 * RevolutionEuropeUnitThresholdMultiplier / 100 * iAITrainPercent / 100) accumulated Liberty Bells
Therefore, the exchange rate between accumulated Liberty Bells and REF units is approximate equal to
Corollary: It is harmful to purchase units from Kings, though they are much cheaper.
Appendix: REF growth reference table
Multiplier = updated RevolutionEuropeUnitThresholdMultiplier
Units = the number of the units added by the King
Total Units = size of REF
Difficulty = revolutionEuropeUnitThreshold = Liberty Bells needed to make REF grow
I was finding trade with Natives a little confusing sometimes, so I had a look to see how it worked. If you do it right, there is a lot of gold to be made, especially on the larger maps.
Native tribes have a certain amount of gold for trading (Available Gold) when you meet them, but this is not all they have and the amount increases over time.
The starting amount of Available Gold is based on the size of the tribe at the beginning of the game. 200 gold for each village and for each pop. e.g. a tribe with two villages of pop 1 and one pop 3 would have 200 x (3 (villages) + 5 (pop)) = 1600 gold.
The Available Gold stays the same until they meet a European. After that it goes up by 1/10 of the initial value every turn. So the tribe above would get 160 more gold every turn.
It keeps going up like this until it gets to a certain value (Total Gold) determined by the map size, the difficulty level, the game speed and the tribe. Below are some examples.
All tribes have the same amount of Total Gold on a given map, except Aztecs and Incas who have more, but the same as each other.
Normal speed, standard size, conquistador difficulty, a non-Aztec/Inca tribe has 3400 gold.
Bigger maps mean more Total Gold (Tiny = 2900, Huge = 4060)
Slower game speed means more Total Gold (Quick = 2570, Marathon = 10000)
Aztec and Inca have 2.5x Total Gold (non-Az/Inc = 3400 vs Az/Inc = 8350)
Higher difficulty means more Total Gold (Pilgrim, Pioneer, Explorer are the same = 3100, Revolutionary = 4600) (not what you would expect)
Examples above are for Standard size, normal speed, Conquistador difficulty and non Aztec/Inca tribe (unless otherwise stated).
The maximum Total Gold would be on a huge map, marathon speed, revolutionary difficulty and an Aztec or Inca tribe would have 40600 gold.
As well as the increase over time, you can trade or give stuff to increase the amount of Available Gold. Natives won’t accept raw materials e.g. food, lumber, cotton, tobacco, ore, fur, sugar or silver. Different things increase the Available Gold by different amounts as below.
So, if a tribe has 2000 Available Gold and you sell one load of horses for 900 gold, then they will have 500 more Available Gold. 2000-900+500=1600 gold.
Once a tribe has all it’s gold available it will still increase very slowly (and seemingly randomly) by about 0-20 per turn.
The Total Gold doesn’t seem to be affected by any gold given out to scouts who talk to the chief.
There is more Native Gold around on bigger maps as there are more tribes and more gold per tribe. You do have more opponents though, but the AI doesn’t seem to trade much, even with tribes that are very close.
Ok, so now you know how much gold the natives have got. The next step is to work out how to get it (by peaceful means). Trading is done on a tribal basis. If you go to different villages to trade at the same time you will have exactly the same trades available.
The main problem is that once you sell something, the price drops and takes a long time to recover. To get round this
- Don’t sell the same thing twice
- Sell as many loads as possible at once
If you sell two or more loads at the same time, you will get a much better price than selling one load at a time.
The problems with selling in bulk are:
1. You need the natives to have all their gold available for trading.
2. You need to be able to buy the stuff to trade
3. You need to have a big ship. You can only sell from one transport at a time, so even if you have two caravels you can only sell two loads at a time and you will get much less money.
1. This is not a big problem as you don’t have to wait too long after contact for the gold to build up. If you are playing a bigger map and are exploring some of the distant regions you might be the first to meet a tribe. Just because they don’t have much Available Gold when you meet them, doesn’t mean they won’t later. This is especially true for Aztecs & Incas. It can take a long time for all their gold to become available. You can sell them Guns and Horses to increase their Available Gold more quickly.
2. This can be a problem at the start. You can get a start to trading by converting your starting soldier to something else and selling their guns (works less well with Washington). You should then have enough to buy Horses from Europe and quickly build up your wealth with trading.
3. The Dutch have a big advantage here as they already start with a Merchantman. Otherwise it is well worth buying one as soon as you are able (remember to keep some money to buy stuff to sell). You can buy a Galleon to get the best trades possible and you can also use it for moving treasure. It’s definitely worth doing this on bigger maps as there is much more gold around.
What to sell
There doesn’t seem to be much point in selling certain goods e.g. rum, coats, cloth or cigars. Even with the best prices available for settlements that want them, the price doesn’t cover what you have to buy them for in Europe and you don’t have time to make enough.
Trade goods also don’t seem very worthwhile. You buy them at 300 and the best prices for selling are around 400. If you sell more than one load then you get an even worse price per load.
So that leaves horses, guns and tools.
Horses are the best thing to sell. Cheap to buy (300) and you can get good prices – around 2500 for 4 loads. They also increase the native’s Available Gold trade by 500 each time.
Guns are probably the next best. They cost more (~800) but you can sell them for more (around 1500) and they also increase trade gold by 1000. You might not want to give them to tribes that are very close to you.
Tools are also quite good. They cost 300 per load and seem to sell for exactly 437 gold. The advantage with these is that they are very good for selling in bulk. The price per unit stays the same, meaning that you could sell a Galleon full for 6x437 gold. If you try to sell them one load at a time, then the price drops much lower and takes a long time to recover.
If the prices offered are much lower than those above, it means that someone has already traded this thing with this tribe. It’s probably best to find another tribe to trade with and come back with something else (if the tribe still has gold).
If a settlement wants something, then the price is increased by around 14-25% depending on what it is. E.g. tools are +14%, horses +20% and guns +22% So, although it is nice if you can get it, it’s not that big a difference and not worth selling cigars, rum etc as the price is still not high enough.
Probably the best thing to do is to sell horses first. These are clearly the most profitable thing you can sell. You can then come back and sell tools or guns depending on your preference. Selling 4-6 loads of horses should be enough to get most or all of the gold from a normal tribe if it’s all available (depending on the map).
Special consideration should be given to the Aztecs and Incas as they have a lot of gold, so you want to think about how you can get it. If you don’t want to trade Guns, then it’s difficult to get it all from trading.
As I said at the beginning, you can make a lot of money very easily by trading with the Natives. On a huge, normal, Conquistador map the natives have a total of 44000 gold and you should be able to get about half of that as profit, which is a big help at the start of the game.
I should also mention that Native Gold is rounded down to the nearest 10 gold after trading, so you get an odd amount of gold then it's probably because of this.