Colonization Hot Seat Play
As always, while Colonization is a very good game, i have not always been happy with the AI being satisfactory or creative enough with repeat plays. Once one realizes the need to attack early to win on the highest level, victory becomes almost assured.
One interesting thing that can be done is to have humans play all the europeans in hot seat or solo play, using the cheat menu. Be forewarned, though, that due to the intense micromanaging Colonization requires to play well, a hot seat or experimental solo game can take a long time.
It's pretty easy to do this using the following steps:
1) I usually choose large land masses as humans realize the need to build many colonies as quickly as possible. Having a lot of land makes this more feasible.
2) Start the game, choose the English to start.
3) When the English ship appears, open the cheat menu (Alt+W,I,N) and then select the 'End Turn' game option to make sure the game does NOT advance at the end of movement.
4) Save the game. Now play out the English move.
5) When 'End Turn' flashes DO NOT click in the sidebar-never do that during the whole game. Simply open the cheat menu and select the next European in order. Always select in the order English, French, Spanish, Dutch.
6) Once the next player has been selected, simply press the spacebar and then play out the turn. When finished with the turn just select the next player. DO NOT click in the sidebar.
7) i recommend saving the game at the end of every Dutch player's turn.
The only real problems with hotseat play, besides the time factor, is that the Native tribes' attacks and moves will only be known to the English player, and, if the player wants to keep his position slightly secret he will need to scroll away to a hidden area of the map before passing to the next player.
Observations on Strategy:
I have come to the conclusion that in hotseat play, the Dutch are highly favored due to their bigger ship and economic war they ca n wage by selling tons of raw materials. The French is the next best because of their advantageous position with the natives. The Spanish can get a real advantage if they get Cortez early and start near the Incas or Aztecs. The English seem to be in the worst position by far because they have the worst relationship with natives and it is even worse for them if they start near the Arawaks.
Thanks to Colonizer23 for submitting this Colonization guide.