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Colonization Tutorial (Part 2)

If you landed directly on this page, you might want to start from the beginning:
Colonization Tutorial part 1

Returning to Europe and improving the New World

You have now established your first colony, and your soldier is busy working. You are left with your ship and your pioneer. When you play on the Discoverer level, you start off with 1000 gold. That means you have money to spend back in Europe, so send your ship back there by moving it back into the high seas. Once you reach the high seas, you will get the question "set sail for Europe?" -- choose "yes".

Meanwhile, you pioneer is loaded with tools and ready to start improving the land surrounding your first colony. Pioneers do three things: they build roads, cut down forests, and plow fields. Pioneers are equipped with 20, 40, 60, 80 or 100 tools. One task costs 20 tools, so a fully equipped pioneer can do five tasks and then he will need more tools. When a pioneer is out of tools, move him into a colony, go to the colony screen, click the pioneer and select "Pioneer". He will then pick up tools, provided you have any stored in that colony, and is ready for more tasks. If you only have 40 tools, he will be equipped with 40 tools, 100 if you have 100 etc.

You may want to start by plowing the colony field -- press "P". If you built the colony on a forest square, you will have to plow that field twice; the first time will remove the forest and the second time will actually plow the open fields, providing better conditions for growing food and whatever else that terrain type provides.

In general, build roads or plow fields? That depends on what you plan to gather/harvest from a land square.

Build roads if you want to: Cut lumber, gather fur, gather ore, gather silver.

Plow if you want to: Harvest food, cotton, tobacco, sugar. Some times you will discover prime resources underneath a forest.

Note that you can build roads for faster movement on plowed land squares if you want to, but it will not improve the output of that field. Here's a tip: If you know that you are going to both clear the land and build a road, clear first then build the road. It is more time efficient this way, because roads are finished quicker on cleared land than on forest squares.

You should NOT plow forests where you are cutting lumber or gathering fur. In Colonization, if you cut down a forest square it will never return, so plan ahead.

The Europe Screen

Your ship has returned to Europe -- now what? Now you start buying important goods that will aid your improvement in the New World, and, recruiting new colonists.

Colonization Europe Screen

Try the recruit option and see what colonists are available there. You will see the price of each of them, and you'll notice that the price increases for each purchase (but they will drop again later on).

The other two menus on the right side is Purchase and Train. Purchase lets you buy different ships or artillery units. Train lets you hire professionals from Europe's universities -- they are skilled but expensive. This is not a great option early on, but you'll come back later with more gold.

You may also choose to bring certain cargos to the colonies. You'll notice the price of each cargo; the first number is the selling price and the last number is the buying price. Purchase a cargo by dragging that cargo on to the ship -- this buys you 100 of the given cargo. If you want to buy a smaller amount, press the SHIFT key and drag-and-drop the cargo. You then get to select the exact amount.

Important colonists to recruit early on: Scout, Carpenter, Expert Farmer, Elder Statesmen.
Important cargo: Horses, Tools

If you have chosen The Netherlands, your ship holds four cargo spaces, and for the other European Powers your ship holds only two. One cargo space can hold one colonist or up to 100 of one cargo. However, there are some things you can do to get as much as possible on that ship:

A dragoon is made up of one colonist with 50 muskets and 50 horses (that would be three cargo spaces when stored separately). A pioneer is made up of one colonist equipped with 100 tools (two cargo spaces when stored separately). Both of these only take one cargo space. You probably get the drift -- if you equip colonists with weapons, horses or tools, your ship can hold more cargo than if you were to load cargo and colonists separately. There is no reason why you can't equip an elder statesman, or any other colonist, with some horses, muskets or tools for the trip back to the colonies. Make use of this whenever you can.

When you are finished loading your ship, drag the ship into the "bound for New World " box. That's it.

Back in the New World

Now begins the real challenge. Keep on exploring, expanding, improving land and making production in the colonies more efficient. Start trading with the natives and start building an army and a navy. You should start educating your colonists and sending them into native settlements to learn skills of the New World.

All of this should be covered in the Colonization FAQ and the Colonization Basic Guide (6 articles). Other questions like how to set up trade routes, how education works etc, are answered in different articles found on the game strategy page.

Good luck on your endeavor!

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