Selling Goods for Top Price (exploit)
This is not precisely a cheat, but it does exploit the game mechanics to your advantage.
Because the game treats a customs-house sale as a single transaction, you can get much higher prices for all your manufactured goods by holding on to them until the price rises to 19/20 in europe, then selling all your cigars (for example) at once, getting top dollar for all of them.
If you take three galleons of cigars to europe, and sell them there, you can only unload 100 at a time, and the game recalculates the price after each sale, so even if the price is maxed when you bring them in, you are unlikely to get more than 9/10 for the last batch you unload, cutting your potential income by as much as a third.
If you fortify those three galleons in a costal colony with a customs house, and load them up while sitting in port, you can wait for the price to max, and then unload all of them at once; this will temporarily overload your warehouse, but the customs house will sell the excess before the game checks capacity and throws stuff away.
To use this sucessfully, you need to:
1) Turn OFF all your customs house sales as a default. You will turn it on for one turn when the price hits your desired profit level.
2) Manufacture in costal colonies that are not subject to indian attack. Nothing is worse than seeing a "galleon damaged" raid report, and discovering that it cost you 600 cigars, or nearly 12,000 gold.
3) Be careful how much you sell at once! The game stores transaction amounts as a signed 16-bit integer, so if your sale would be more than 32k (before taxes), it will overflow, and become NEGATIVE 32k (and then taxes will reduce your loss, mitigating the pain slightly)
I find that I can normally support 3 or 4 of a specialist manufacturing at full blast (100% in a factory is 24 output per turn, from 16 raw materials), one more as the Dutch, before saturating the european markets, which usually averages out to 2000 gold per turn or so in the mid-game, even at a 50% tax rate.
I also often find that it is easier to get the specialists & BUY raw materials from europe than it is to be self-suficient, especially in the common situation where the terrain in your area is very poor forone of the raw materials.
Thanks to Mike for submitting this Colonization tip.
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