North America Strategy
This is a strategy guide for settling in North America on the original Americas map in Sid Meier’s Colonization.
Phase 1: Fur for the Future
The North American continent provides two immediate terrain benefits – abundance of food and fur. High food output per worked square reduces the number of farmers needed to sustain higher populations, and with a decent food surplus we'll get lots of new colonists. Fur will be the basis of our economy and fuel further expansion, as we move on to producing other commodities and become self-sufficient.
This first phase runs on a time-table. Selling a lot of fur in Europe will eventually cause the price to plummet. When that happens, we should be well on our way to producing additional commodities such as Coats, Cloth, and Cigars. Production of rum takes a bit longer to get up and running, because sugar is not easily available in the north-east where we plan to settle.
There are two founding fathers absolutely essential in order to succeed with this first phase, namely Henry Hudson, who increases output of fur trappers by 100%, and Peter Stuyvesant, who allows for the production of custom houses.
Stuyvesant is important for two reasons: Once large quantities of fur start to pile up in warehouses and wagon trains, we’re in for a real logistical challenge. Secondly, the cargo that you sell the most of in Europe, in this case fur, will be the first one to be boycotted if you oppose any tax increases put forward by the king. Not being able to sell all that fur will devastate the basis of our economy. Building a custom house will eliminate both of these problems. Therefore you should always choose Styvesant before any other founding father if he is available in the selection menu. If you don’t, there is no way of knowing when he will become available again, and by the time he does, you will have squandered potential revenues. After Stuyvesant – Hudson, De Soto, Minuit, and Jefferson are good founding fathers for this strategy.
Watch the flash tutorial for suggested locations for the first two colonies. To produce a lot of fur we'll need an expert fur trapper, a skill very often taught by surrounding native settlements. Consider building the first colony with your soldier. Send your free colonist to seek out the expert fur trapping skill – he will of course have to leave his tools in the colony warehouse. France and their hardy pioneer will not be able to do this, but send out an indentured servant or free colonist as soon as you get one. Look for native settlements with prime fur resources surrounding them – chances are they'll be able to teach the fur trapper skill.
Start gathering fur and increase production by assigning additional trappers when you are able to – obviously you'll need enough farmers to sustain them. Assign carpenters and lumberjacks to get production of new and improved buildings going. Start with unskilled ones and replace with experts as they become available. Remember to bring back at least two horses per colony to start horse breeding.
Notice the hills square next to the southern colony. Those hills will provide enough ore to get some tools production going. With only one ore miner and one blacksmith we'll get a small but steady output of tools that will come in handy. Later on, when fur prices drop, the squares surrounding this colony will be cleared and expert farmers will start producing large quantities of food.
Our long term strategy for this colony is to make it a combined "colonist farm" and education center, so build your schoolhouse here. Teach the expert farmer skill, which is about the most cost effective skill to teach. The northernmost colony will be producing fur and coats later on, so the custom house and fur traders’ expansions would go nicely there.
Phase 2: Expansion & Self-Reliance