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.
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