Preparing for Independence
Achieving independence is of course the ultimate goal in Sid Meier's Colonization. Here are some tips on preparing for the declaration of independence and the upcoming revolutionary war.
Building your colonies closely together will make them easier to defend when the time comes. Colonies spread over a large area, or worse, on different continents, will be more difficult to defend. As an example, this makes the Caribbean islands on the Americas map less of a suitable area to settle.
It might also be wise to have at least two coastal cities. If the king captures all your coastal cities, the game is lost.
Roads connecting all your colonies is very important. Your forces should be able to move quickly to aid any colony under attack. You might even consider building multiple routes to the same locations (or "two lane roads") so they can not be blocked by the natives when time is of the essense. Surely you could attack a blocking unit to clear the road, but there may be times when that is not a good option, for example if they are fighting on your side against the king. In any case, a good road net would prevent any such problems.
Make sure you have Custom Houses in some of your colonies in order to sell your goods to Europe. More money makes you able to hurry the production of artillery during the revolutionary war. It will also raise your final Colonization score.
You will need lots of horses when the fighting goes on, so build stables in your colonies and make sure you produce plenty of excess food for horse production. When the war begins, you might want to consider switching from harvesting some of the other raw materials to producing more excess food. Finally on this point, store lots and lots of horses. Fill up your warehouses, wagon trains, galleons and frigates.
Is your Sons of Liberty membership/rebel sentiment high enough? You only need a rebel sentiment of 50% to declare independence, but it's way better if you're at 100%, for many reasons:
1) If a colony has 100% Sons of Liberty membership, all units in that colony are upgraded to continental army or cavalry status upon declaring independence. If you have not reached 100%, only half of those units are upgraded. Important difference.
2) You get an attack bonus equal to the rebel sentiment when fighting the king's forces out in the open in the New World. This bonus reflects your superior knowledge of the land.
3) Upon declaring independence, you start producing liberty bells towards your intervention force. Three elder statesmen, a newspaper and 100% Sons of Liberty membership will get you that intervention force in no time at all.
4. After the intervention force arrives, every liberty bell you produce is added to the colonization score.
Regarding your navy, it's important that you have some drydocs that can repair any damaged ships. Also remember to bring all your ships home from Europe or they will be captured by the king. This includes all ships on the high seas. Bring them all the way home to safety.
Build fortresses and lots of artillery in your coastal cities. By having great firepower in your fortresses, the king's Man-O-Wars will take some serious blows when he arrives.
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