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Scouting Lost City Rumors

Scouting Lost City Rumors in Sid Meier's Colonization

Scouting is of course an important part of the early phase of the game, often referred to as the exploration phase. This is when you explore the map, visit native settlements and collect valuable information about what they would be willing to trade and what they might be able to teach your unskilled colonists. It is at this point you come across all those lost city rumors. To be sure, these rumors can be of great benefit to you, but there are some things you should know about scouting before you begin.

First, it's valuable to know that scouting is the business of professionals, namely the seasoned scouts. Your scouts have a two square sighting radius, and they bring more favorable outcomes from visiting native settlements and exploring lost city rumors. So the first thing to remember; always perform these task with a scout.

If you can't get a seasoned scout, it is possible to make an unskilled one by giving a free colonist 50 horses. Horses cost 2 gold at the beginning of the game, so those horses would only cost you 100 gold. When an unskilled scout enters a native settlement, there is a chance that he will be upgraded to seasoned scout. Visit a few villages, and eventually he will become skilled.

One of the founding fathers, Hernando De Soto, ensures that the scouting of lost city rumors has a good outcome if performed by a seasoned scout. If you visit lost city rumors before you have De Soto in your continental congress, you might get an unpleasant outcome. You could always take a chance, but if you are unlucky, you just might lose that unit or turn an entire native tribe on the warpath against you. So the second thing to remember; wait until De Soto is in your congress. In fact, try to get him as quickly as you can so you can scout those valuable city rumors.

Here are the variable outcomes of lost city rumors, first we turn to the negative ones: (Note: Includes spoilers, don't click if you want to keep outcomes unknown)

Click to reveal spoilers
  • • You find nothing but rumors. (Nothing was found, but then again nothing bad happened either)
  • • Your expedition has vanished without a trace! (Oops...)
  • • You are trespassing near our holy shrines! The tribe is most displeased! (Very bad for your relationship with that tribe)

All of these could be avoided by waiting for De Soto and doing the scouting with a seasoned scout. And there are great payoffs if you do, such as:

Click to reveal spoilers
  • • Your expedition enters the village of a small, friendly tribe. The chief offers you a gift of [x gold]. (Some extra gold)
  • • You happen upon the desperate survivors of a former colony. In exchange for badly needed supplies, they swear allegiance to you. (You get a free colonist. Move him into one of the surrounding settlements and you have a new skilled colonist!)
  • • You find the ruins of a lost civilization. Within are gold and artifacts worth [x gold]. (More gold)
  • • You have found one of the Seven Cities of Cibola! Treasure worth [x gold] unearthed in the ruins! It will take a Galleon to get this treasure back to Europe! (This is one of the two major discoveries. Lots and lots of extra gold!)
  • • You have discovered a Fountain of Youth! Rumors fly in Europe! Immigrants line the docks to seek perpetual youth in the New World! (This is the second great discovery of city rumors. You get to pick eight recruitments on the docks in Europe!)

Getting De Soto quickly, and thus getting a couple of treasures and fountain of youths early in the game, gives you a great head start.

There are some rumors where you get to decide if you want to continue the search or not. Here you have to take a chance, you could find great treasure, but you could end up with a bad outcome. Here's what you'll sometimes see when exploring a city rumor:

Your expedition happens upon strange burial mounds. You may now choose to:
Search for treasure.
or
Stay clear of those.

Possible outcomes:

Click to reveal spoilers
  • • These are the burial grounds of our ancient fathers! You have trespassed on sacred land. Now you must die!
  • • The mounds are cold and empty.
  • • Within, you find trinkets worth [x gold].
  • • Within, you find incredible treasure worth [x gold]! It will take a Galleon to get this treasure back to Europe!

So here again, the outcome is not clear. If you want to be on the safe side, stay clear of them. If you're a gambler, take a chance, but be prepared for war if it goes wrong. The decision is yours.

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