North America Strategy - Phase 3
This is Phase 3 of the North America strategy guide for Sid Meier’s Colonization.
Solving the Sugar Shortage
In the second phase we expanded our production capability to include cloth, cigars, tools, and rum. The colonies were situated on terrain suitable for growing the raw materials needed to produce certain commodities. The cloth city was surrounded by prairies, perfect for growing cotton. The cigar city was surrounded by grasslands, great for growing tobacco. The tools cities both had nice combinations of hills and open fields, providing them with enough food and iron ore for tools, and later, muskets production.
The rum colony, however, has only got two squares suitable for sugar production, and unless you hit the jackpot and discover two prime sugar resources on those squares, they will not produce enough sugar to maximize rum production in that colony.
Why set up that colony in the first place, do we really need rum production? The reason for diversifying commodities production is of course related to prices in Europe. Normally, one of the four luxury commodities pays really well, two remain mid-range, and the fourth drops pretty low. In the North America scenario, Coats usually become cheap because of the amount of Coats being produced and sold in Europe. Being able to add another mid- or top range commodity strengthens our economic power.
The nice thing about the location in Florida is that it is relatively close to the other colonies. That makes it easier to move colonists and cargo in and out, and it makes it relatively safe from enemy attacks. However, we will need to move in additional sugar, so on to the two suggested solutions.
Solution 1 – The Island Outpost
Just off the coast of Florida, there is a small island with three squares perfect for growing sugar. Setting up an outpost colony here will provide more than enough sugar for our main factory in Florida. Plow all fields and assign two sugar planters. You will need a ship to move the sugar over to the mainland.
This is a temporary colony, and it will be abandoned later on. We do not want to have to defend islands during the Revolutionary War. If La Salle has joined the Continental Congress, make sure you have no more than two colonists working here, or you will be unable to abandon it later on because of the stockade.
The advantage of choosing this site is that the colony is close by - ships can move in to pick up sugar and at the same time be used to ship other cargo along the coast. Make sure you deploy some units to defend the colony, just in case any rival nations decide to land there.
Solution 2 – The Rio Grande
The second solution calls for establishing a colony just above the Rio Grande river. Use the suggested square in the image above, or one square to the left of it. The advantage of choosing the first square is that, with Magellan in Congress, a privateer will be able to travel between the two colonies in one turn.
Start by growing sugar and ship it to the colony in Florida. Later, the Rio Grande colony will move towards self-sufficiency and start producing rum on a large scale. At that point, you can either continue to ship excess sugar to Florida, or, switch production in Florida to tobacco/cigars which it is also suited for. This would of course depend on prices in Europe.
When to use this solution? The Rio Grande colony would fit nicely with a long term strategy of expansion in the south and Mid-West. Under this plan, this colony will become connected to the other colonies in time. On the other hand, if you plan to keep the number of colonies at a bare minimum and remain situated along the East Coast, founding a colony way down in Texas would probably not be a good idea. In that case, the island outpost would probably be a better choice.
From here on, the normal preparations for independence apply. Note that it is possible to defend a pretty decent sized area, stretching from the North-East to Mexico, by having a couple of units in all coastal colonies and a large expeditionary force in one of the tools colonies from phase 2. With good roads, this force will be able to deploy to any area the king decides to land his troops.
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