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Video Game / Colonization

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Colony screen.

Sid Meier's Colonization is a Turn-Based Strategy game from 1994. In Colonization you colonize the New World as either England, Spain, France or the Netherlands.

In many regards it resembles its spiritual predecessor, Civilization, as you build cities, grow your population, wage war with other factions and in general guide your faction towards an end goal, in this case independence from the mother land. However, the main difference with the Civilization games is that your population consists of different specialists. You have lumberjacks, elder statesmen, fishermen, blacksmiths, indentured servants, gunsmiths and tons and tons of other types. To get a productive empire, you need to have a combination of all these specialists. Another important feature is that the player can get "founding fathers" like Washington, Cortez or Simon Bolivar, who give unique benefits to your country.


In 2008 a remake named Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization came out.There's also an open-source Fan Remake of the game, called FreeCol (you can switch between "Classic" and "FreeCol" rules).

This game presents examples of the following tropes:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts:
    • Key manufactured goods do get more expensive over time, but this is probably the game's not-so-subtle way to force you to develop your own economy. Furthermore, the price you get for selling goods is always lower than the price you pay for buying them.
    • Adam Smith's own appearance in the game, however, averts this; he enables you to build very useful factories in the original or increase your production rates in the remake.
  • Adventurous Irish Violins: Featured in a number of tracks from the original release, which includes renditions of traditional tunes such as the Fisher's Hornpipe.
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  • Alternate History: In the Americas map, European nations are randomly assigned starting positions on the Atlantic Ocean (which gives extra irony because Tsarist Russia colonized the Americas from the Pacific Ocean) for their ships. The locations of these starting positions (near Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Hispaniola, the Falklands, Maranhão, Venezuela, the State of São Paulo, and the La Plata Delta ) mean that unlike real life where what is now Mexico and the 13 original US states became densely populated as early as the 1650s, these areas often are the last to be colonized. This also means that Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Panama, Guyana, Colombia, Haiti, the Dominican Republic get heavy European settlement and thus receive the most developed infrastructure. This also creates an realistic unfair playing field for colonial powers because starting in the La Plata Delta or São Paulo is advantageous due to good farming land and easy mobility; starting in Maranhão or Venezuela hinders expansion due to the abysmal mobility and food production from the Amazon Rainforest (but starting in Venezuela makes it easy to expand to Panama and build a settlement to serve as a Panama Canal, which is a boon to everything, or to mine the Andes mountains for Silver); starting in Hispaniola allows for easy colonization of the Caribbean, has a massive sugar production (as in real life), and serves as a base for colonizing the North American mainland (as Hernán Cortés did when destroying the Aztec Empire), if you could be bothered to do so; starting in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland gives you plenty of timber and furs but hinders everything else due to the cold climate's low (but not abysmal) food production and mobility points and inability to produce Silver, Tobacco, Cotton or Sugar; finally, starting in the Falklands is the least desirable because you have low food production (like in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland), the need to transport everything by sea (like in Hispaniola) and that even if you decide to settle further west in Tierra del Fuego, you still have the same cold climate issues, plus limited mobility and resources from having the Andes Mountains and the Atacama Desert nearby. Then there is the possibility of missing Newfoundland or Nova Scotia and settling Greenland instead, a place with no trees to speak off due to the cold climate taken Up to Eleven, meaning that you're screwed.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • The Royal Expeditionary Force isn't very smart in the original game, and attacks in a very predictable pattern. They will simply land right next to one of your least-defended colonies and attack it directly, ignoring any of your units outside the colony until they have captured it. The REF will also stupidly place their units in terrain that gives your attacking units huge "ambush" bonuses, such as hills and mountains.
    • It is also subject to Mook Chivalry: No matter how big the Royal fleet, only six units (the carrying capacity of one Man-o-War) will land in the New World each turn, allowing you to defeat them piecemeal.
  • Artistic License – History: All four colonial empires begin the game in 1492, the year Columbus discovered the New World. At that time, the closest thing to an independent Dutch state was the mass of principalities known as the Burgundian Inheritance, whose nominal ruler (the Holy Roman Emperor-elect's grandson) was only 14.
    • Avowedly Protestant Dutch and largely Protestant (and certainly Anti-Jesuit) English Empires sending Jesuit missionaries to convert natives? Jesuit order itself was not founded until 1540.
      • On top of this, you attract new colonists to your colony by employing people as preachers, whose religious message generates holy points (crosses), and every N crosses attracts a new colonist. In reality, this model really only makes sense for the English (see We All Live in America below); the Spanish wanted to plunder and convert the natives, the French and Dutch wanted to expand industry and trade.
    • Freecol adds Portugal, Sweden, Denmark and Russia. For example, Russia in 1492 was the Grand Duchy of Moscow, which occupied only what is now European Russia and was in no way a great power or able to colonise the Americas. A justified example however to allow for 8 player games.
  • Benevolent Alien Invasion: If you decide to not go with the Conqueror/Manifest Destiny route, you can try to peacefully co-exist with the natives — trading and sending your colonists to live with them, actually paying them for the land that you occupied, and using your missionaries to covert part of their population to live with your colonists. However, no matter what you do, you will still end up destroying their traditional way of life as your borders expand and eventually push out their settlements while your missionaries lure their young men out into your own colonies. Also, you can supply natives with muskets and horses partly to kick out those other pesky Europeans and partly because selling muskets and horses to natives yields a massive profit.
  • The Blacksmith: Present as an in-colony profession, transforming raw ore into all-important tools.
  • Bold Explorer: Scouts can not only explore large portions of the map quickly, but they can also speak to native chiefs to learn what goods and education their villages provide, and they have slightly better chances of good outcomes when exploring Lost Cities. Any unit can become a Scout if equipped with Horses, but Seasoned Scouts are better at the job than non-specialists.
  • Boxed Crook: Petty Criminals, also a nod to indentured servitude.
  • Breakable Weapons: For European nations, defeated units don't simply die they follow this sequence: Dragoon (with horses and muskets) —> Soldier (horses have been destroyed) —> Unarmed (muskets have been destroyed) —> Death. This does not apply to natives, and thus a native dragoon is slaughtered if it is defeated. Also, artillery can be damaged by its first defeat, but destroyed after its second defeat, and ships that are attacked are not necessarily sunk, but can be sent for repairs, despite their cargo being destroyed.
  • Changing Gameplay Priorities: For the most part, the early game is largely about developing your colony to become self-sufficient, with you managing the production and trade of your settlements. However, the moment you declare independence by the end game, it becomes all about surviving the Royal Expeditionary Force's onslaught.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • You can send scouts to European colonies you are at war with, and you can negotiate an alliance just like that (other Europeans don't Shoot the Messenger of nations they are at war with, unlike the natives), then you can backstab them, then reproclaim the alliance, rinse and repeat, and they will always be happy to reproclaim the alliance regardless of how many times you've backstabbed them or how much damage you've caused to them.
    • Chiefs of native tribes at war with you can proclaim peace (actually just a ceasefire) at a whim (notable because the European side cannot proclaim peace with natives because that just gets the scout killed) so that they can rebuild their population in preparation for wars in the future.
    • Natives you incite to attack the Royal Expeditionary Force often do so halfheartedly and proclaim ceasefires with the Royal Expeditionary Force ASAP.
  • Les Collaborateurs: If Tory sentiment is high in a colony and you've declared independence, there's a chance of a royalist militia uprising occurring.
  • Command & Conquer Economy: A better-justified example than most, considering that you're a viceroy governing on behalf of a mercantilist empire.
  • Colony Of Hats:
    • Your colonists can only have one specialty at a time. You can switch their specialties, but only by demoting them to regular old non-specialized colonists, and then re-training them (either via native villages, or via your own schools, or via lots of practice) to a new specialty. They can still have any job you want them to, but work only as good as unspecialized colonists outside their specialty.
    • At a higher level, describes the way the AI plays. If the AI finds a spot with good cotton, it will build a settlement and then cram it with expert cotton planters and master weavers. If it finds a spot with good fishing, it will build a settlement and then cram it with expert fishermen. And so on; thus every settlement is a distinct Hat. You discover this pretty quickly as you start to conquer more of your rivals' settlements.
  • Cool Boat: The ships in the game come in three sizes: 200 ton, 400 ton, and 600 ton; and in two types: merchant and naval. All of them are potentially available to you to buy, or even to make — except, the 600 ton (or more importantly, 6 unit) naval ship: the Man-o-war. Aside from being lucky enough to get one from your European allies during your Revolution, the only way for you to get one is to use the cheat codes (no matter what, you can't buy or build them). Your mother country's navy probably has a half dozen of them, and they are tough to beat — only Frigates (the 400 ton naval ship) stand a chance, and that's if they shoot first.
  • Dying Race: The Natives cannot establish new settlements and cannot advance economically, with the sole exception of raising horse herds. They will inevitable lose ground - and possibly even die out - as the Europeans expand.
  • Easy Logistics: Mostly. Equipping troops pick up Muskets and/or Horses, Pioneers carry Tools and spend them when doing any work, but that's all. While a colonist eats food, it stops eating the moment it steps beyond the colony's stockade, and there's no ammo to spend even for ships and artillery.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • You can incite natives with missionaries and a load of cash to motivate them. If you are trying to incite natives who dislike you more than the nation you are paying them to attack, your missionary is murdered.
    • Once Peter Minuit joins your Continental Congress, you can negotiate peace with other European nations, trade with them and pay for them to attack natives or other Europeans for a much lower cost than the above option.
    • The Royal Expeditionary Force sent by your monarch to quash your independence movement can ally with natives and Europeans that you've pissed off and provide them with a plentiful supply of weapons - if this happens, You Are Already Dead.
  • Enemy Civil War: Somewhat justified in that it is modeled after the War of the Spanish Succession. The game only supports four European powers, and when you declare independence, the game needs a "slot" to allocate to the royal power that will be trying to bring you to heel. So, once you reach 50% rebel sentiment in your colonies (and so could declare independence), you will be informed that this war has ended, and that one random country (not you) has surrendered all its New World claims to one of the other two AI powers. Only very rarely is this a good thing for you. (Once you declare independence, you can even use the cheat mode to place Tory units by attempting to place units of the removed player.)
  • Faction Calculus:
    • They don't exactly map to any of the archetypes on the trope page, but each of the four factions possesses a certain global bonus that affects their playing style. The Spanish receive Field Promotions more quickly and are better at attacking native settlements, the English get more immigrants at the docks, the French have better relations with native factions, and the Dutch get bonuses to trade.
    • Additionally, the French start the higher difficulty levels with an experienced pioneer (making infrastructure development that much faster for you), the Spanish start with a veteran soldier, and the Dutch starts with an upgraded ship. The English get nothing, though.
    • You could argue that the English are Balance (with a smattering of Horde), the Spanish are Powerhouse (with the military focus and conquest bonus), the Dutch are Subversive (ala Dune's Ordos), and the French are Cannon (with their emphasis on field-specialty colonists).
    • FreeCol has selectable advantages and adds optional nations with their own defaults — Portugal (Naval: ships get +1 move, the starting ship is Merchantman), Sweden (Building: Lumberjack and Carpenter bonus, first settlers are these experts), Denmark (Agriculture: farming bonus, first settlers are expert farmer and colonist) and Russia (Fur trapping: Fur Trapping and Fur Trading bonus, first settlers are these experts).
    • Later in the game, once you declare independence, it becomes a game of your Subversive Rebels trying to lure the Powerhouse Loyalists out of the settlements so you can take advantage of the terrain bonuses your Continental soldiers get in the field.
  • Field Promotion:
    • If a unit wins a combat, there is a chance that it improves in social/skill rank (petty criminal -> indentured servant -> free colonist -> expert specialist / veteran soldier). Cannot happen if the unit winning a battle already had another specialty but was armed and/or mounted out of desperation
    • If you elect George Washington to the Continental Congress, field promotions are granted to every unit that wins a battle, including those in self defense. This makes it easy to get a petty criminal all the way to Veteran Soldier or Continental Army just by arming and mounting them, then leaving them to fortify themselves in one of your forts that is about to be attacked.
    • The highest soldier and dragoon rank, unlocked only after declaring independence (Continental Army and Continental Cavalry, respectively), can only be obtained by field promotions, not counting those converted from veteran soldiers and dragoons as a one-time deal immediately after declaring independence.
  • Firearms Are Revolutionary: If natives manage to get guns, either by trading with colonists or stealing them from them, then they can manage to better survive against colonization.
  • Fog of War: As with many turn based games. What makes the fog a bit more special is that there are ruins hidden randomly in the fog, offering goodies or problems when explored by a unit.
  • Fountain of Youth: You can explore ruins in the Fog of War, each giving a random bonus or calamity. One bonus is that the ruins were a fountain of youth, causing a rush of colonists to come to the New World.
  • Gameplay And Story Integration: Your colony's interaction with your European homeland. The king will keep on increasing your taxes until eventually, your colony can barely turn a profit, making independence your only choice. The various army's modifiers also reflect their historical situation. The REF have better equipment that the colonist don't have access to in order to reflect their economic and economical superiority, forcing you to think outside the box and employ unconventional warfare tactics such as using the terrain to your advantage and weaken the enemy using hit-and-run ambushes, just like the Americans did in the actual Revolutionary War.
  • Genocide Backfire: If you destroy the capital of a native tribe, but they still have some settlements left, they will surrender and give you all the land you have conquered. However, when you finally declare independence, there is a very high chance the natives will throw their lot in with your king, who will in turn provide them with muskets and horses.
  • Genocide Dilemma: Do you try and peacefully cooperate and coexist with the Native Americans, even if it means you will have to spend lots of money paying them for their land and limit where you can build your settlements, or do you go with the conquistador route and exterminate them all with your military might?
  • Geo Effects: Just like most Sid Meier games, you get combat bonuses or penalties depending on the type of tiles your troops are located on. And there are upgrades that gives you additional bonuses. The Native Americans (and later on, your Continental Army) tends to have this as one of their biggest advantage against a technologically superior foe.
  • Global Currency: Gold.
  • Going Native: When a free colonist unit visits an Indian village, they can ordered to stay with the natives for a turn to learn useful skills, like tobacco planting.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality:
    • The colonists want to create a build a new nation for their people free from the persecution and oppression from their homeland, while the Native Americans are trying to defend their ancestral lands and way of life from the stranger from across the sea.
    • Averted for the conflict between the colonists and the crown. In Real Life, there were at least some legitimate reasons for raising taxes, but here, the king raises your taxes and demands random tribute for the most bizarre if not outright nonsensical reasons.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming:
    • All of the Native Americans greet you with friendly, unbridled joy (even the ones that were historically aggressive, though Aztec greetings will be a little edged.)
    • In the remake, every time you kiss the Smug Snake King's ring, the audience will groan loudly in disbelief.
    • There are score penalties for every Indian village you wiped out.
  • Here There Be Dragons: The intro movie for the original game shows your ship crossing the Atlantic ocean on a Ye Olde Map, which is populated with all kinds of fantastic sea monsters.
  • Historical Domain Character: Several founding fathers and prominent colonial figures take a seat in your Continental Congress.
  • Hunter Trapper: Colonists working forest tiles can gather Furs which can be made into Coats at the appropriate colonial facility. Experienced Fur Trappers are particularly good at this, of course.
  • I Kiss Your Hand:
    • Every time your king (or stadtholder) rises taxes, he demands that you kiss his pinky ring to comply. You can hold a {insert trade good here} party and refuse the tax raise, but then you can no longer sell that particular good in Europe.
    • Hilarious result when the good to be sacrificed is Horses. "Colonists hold New Amsterdam Horses Party! 36 tons of Horses thrown into the harbor!"
      • FreeCol at least varies the message, so it's "Your colonists in X have set 59 horses free in protest of this unfair taxation by the Crown!"
  • Indentured Servitude: Criminals and indentured servants emigrate from Europe. These people are ineffective at any skilled job, but may eventually become a free colonist through education or military service (criminals become indentured servants first before turning into free colonists).
  • Indian Burial Ground: Can anger nearby tribes if ransacked, but can function as the trope under this, too.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Lost Cities, which are this game's take on the classic "goody huts." With the founding father Hernando de Soto, the Indian Burial Ground functions like this, too.
  • Instant Militia: You can arm any unit with muskets for a quick military force, and / or give them horses to make them Scouts or Dragoons. They don't perform as well as Veteran Soldiers or Seasoned Scouts in these roles. Also, if a colony with no garrison but a musket stockpile is attacked the citizens will automatically arm themselves and "Man the stockade!" Only happens if you have the founding father Paul Revere, however.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Free Colonists can work at any profession without suffering penalties, but they're outclassed by dedicated specialists in any particular job. Their chief advantage is that they can be promoted to specialists through experience or training, allowing you to save money by recruiting only a small number of specialists and using them to train other colonists to perform their tasks.
  • Keystone Army: You lose the game if you lose all your coastal colonies, regardless of how strong your military is, how much gold you have, or how many inland colonies you still own.
  • Magical Native American: Though not magical per Se, the Native Americans in Colonization and Freecol are not bound by certain constraints for European settlers, for example:
    • Their military units Brave/Mounted Brave/Armed Brave/Native Dragoon can carry 50 units of goods each while only wagon trains and naval vessels can carry goods for Europeans.
    • Their settlements, when destroyed, yield Treasure Trains of various sizes and are a way to get quick money the unethical way.
    • Only natives can build settlements (even large Inca and Aztec cities) on mountains: Europeans cannot because mountain tiles produce no food.
    • Native settlements completely surrounded by tiles claimed by hostile European colonists and thus cut off from food, lumber, ore and other natural resources can still produce said natural resources with no problem and continue to have enough food to maintain, and if need be, grow their population. But this is more likely because The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard.
    • Natives can teach some, but not all of the colonist specialties (only those at skill level 1 and 2) to free colonists and indentured servants in one turn (in contrast it takes 3 turns for skill level 1 and 5 turns for skill level 2 specialties to be taught by Europeans). The skills each native group teaches are limited to those for which each native group has proven historical evidence of practicing.
  • Medieval Stasis: Despite the fact that the game spans over three centuries, you'll see hardly any technological progress. For example, your Soldier units will appear and function exactly the same in 1492 and 1780. There are only a handful of exceptions: Adam Smith and Peter Stuyvesant allow you to build new buildings, and declaring independence unlocks the Continental Army and Continental Cavalry units.
  • The Missionary: You can use missionaries to set up missions in native settlements, which will reduce their alarm rate and occasionally provide you with converts to work in your colonies. The expert-level unit is the Jesuit Missionary, even for the English and Dutch, let alone Orthodox Russians in Free Col.
  • Money Spider: Aztec and Inca settlements will always yield a galleon's worth of treasure when sacked.
  • Naming Your Colony World: When you first land in the New World, you can name it.
  • Natives Speaking English: Every native you meet is apparently Squanto.
  • Nintendo Hard: The original game and especially the remake.
  • Noble Savage: All natives start out as friendly, and will give you a small piece of land when you first arrive. However, they sometimes can't resist the temptation to attack your treasure train... and it doesn't count as a hostile act.
  • Non-Standard Game Over:
    • If you fail to declare independence by 1800, you will be forced into retirement. While this counts as a game loss, it's the only one in which you aren't disgraced: your king, will grant you knighthood and a country estate in recognition of your loyal service.
    • You will also lose the game if you fail to win the War of Independence by the end of 1850; a war-weary Continental Congress will sue for peace and reaffirm its oath of allegiance to the king, while you will be forced into exile.
  • Oppressive States of America: See Video Game Cruelty Potential below. When writing your constitution that determines your new nation's future in the 2008 remake, you can make America a brutal and backwards monarchy from the very beginning, without even the pretense of freedom and liberty.
  • Politically Correct History:
    • Even for an old and abstract game, its version of events leaves big hole. A gaping hole. A black hole, if you will, with no mention of the role that slavery played in the European colonial development. This is an Enforced Trope brought by Executive Meddling, as Sid Meier had planned to include slave labor in the game, but was overruled by Microprose for fear of offending black people; the game does have Indentured Servants, which were basically Irish slaves and a Distinction Without a Difference. The Prima Guide pointed this out, critically noting that the game basically bowdlerized the Triangle Trade, without showing why the practice became infamous.
    • Averted in the 2008 remake. When you first declare independence, you will have to draft a constitution and make key decisions about what are the values and ideals that your new country will stand for. When it comes to your stance on slavery, you have the option to allow it instead of declaring that all man are free. Doing so gives you a considerable boost in your resource gathering rate, presumably due to the extra labor that you get from imported slaves.
      • Although you didn't get any bonuses BEFORE you declare independence, and none of the colonists received are any different race wise than the European immigrants. So either you just attracted new people by your pointless liberalness, because there were no slaves, or you enslaved Europeans who didn't do any work or eat any food until you freed them.
    • Also averted in the manual for the original game, in which it clearly states in no uncertain terms, about how evil and unjust the historical treatment of the Native American by the European colonists were.
  • Privateer: For the owner, Resource-Gathering. For everyone else, unidentified pirates, shoot on sight.
  • Prospector: Colonists who work hills and mountains can be used to gather ores and silver (though the latter is only available in trifling amounts unless the tile has Silver as a bonus resource).
  • Randomly Generated Levels: While it is possible to use a map of the Americas, you can also play with a randomly generated New World.
  • Refining Resources: Most of your economy is based on this. You can sell unrefined resources back in Europe but they won't bring in a lot of money. If you can produce muskets early on though, you're guaranteed to be swimming in money pretty soon.
  • La Résistance:
    • When you declare independence, this is essentially what you become.
    • If you waged war on a native tribe but didn't exterminate it, the survivors will likely team up with the king after you declare independence. This will leave you on the receiving end of this trope.
  • Settling the Frontier: Colonizing the New World is the whole point of the game.
  • Shout-Out: In the Expert Lumberjack's Civilopedia entry for the remake, it states that "they were lumberjacks and they're OK."
  • The Smurfette Principle: The original game has only one female founding father: Pocahontas. Averted in the remake, which has significantly more.
  • Summon Bigger Fish:
    • As the Americans did in Real Life via France, in the original DOS version of the game you can summon a bigger fish during your Revolution (exactly which country supports you is somewhat random, and you could conceivably summon a second bigger fish with enough Liberty Bell production). Sadly, this is left out of the modern remake.
    • Then again, with enough Arm Twisting and dealmaking, the Natives can lend a hand to your Revolution, as well as other Players jumping in on the fun...
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
  • The Promised Land: What immigrants from Europe view the New World as. Especially if you discovered a Fountain of Youth which will automatically attract a large number of immigrants. Goes double for the English, who need to generate fewer Crosses than other factions to attract immigrants.
  • Token Minority: Pocahontas is only Native American founding father in the original game.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • While the natives start out as musket fodder for the colonists, later on once they manage to get their hands on guns and horses through either raids against European settlements or trade, they will become a legitimate threat that you really need to watch out for and can turn the tide of a war depending on who they allied with.
    • In the 2008 remake, when you write your constitution after declaring independence you have have make a decision on the issue of land security. If you give all your citizens the right to bear arms, all units will get extra strength in combat. Making it possible for even non-combatants (fisherman, blacksmith, statesman, etc) to take on enemies attacking them and actually stand a chance of winning.
  • Tech Tree: Surprisingly for a 4X game, averted. There is no research in the game. The Founding Father mechanism could be seen as a substitute, as you get Founding Fathers (unlocked by producing Liberty Bells) who give you various bonuses.
  • Vendor Trash: Only Food, Ore (and its refined products, Tools and Muskets), Lumber, and Horses have any practical value to your colonies themselves. All other resources exist to be sold back to your Mother Country, the natives, or (more rarely) other colonial powers.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Build a prosperous colony with great wealth and economic opportunities. Make your colonies a place in which everyone who was driven out of Europe due to their unpopular religious or political views get to start a new life. Be good to the natives, peacefully interact with them through trade and cultural exchange, allowing those who were converted to live with along side the rest of your citizens as equals. Produce lots of liberty bells, then adopt values such as the separation of church and state, emancipation of slaves, and support native rights, making your new nation a paragon of enlightened democracy with peace and justice for all. The natives will reward you with tax free trade opportunities and teach your citizens useful skills that cannot be learned from anywhere else. The people will reward you with increased productivity and combat bonus.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Construct an imperialistic outpost for your homeland, with an economy based on extorting and looting from the natives! Utterly and thoroughly exterminate all native Americans and plunder their land! Use new immigrants as cannon fodder in your conquest! Burn the settlements that belong to other European colonists to the ground! After declaring independence, make your new nation a slavery-based theocratic monarchy that believes in its Manifest Destiny, with a government that is even more oppressive than your European homeland! The natives will try to fight back, but with your superior technology it will only be a matter of time before they get wiped out. As for your people... well, they actually will not do much to protest your actions.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • There are score penalties for every Indian village you wiped out.
    • There's a delayed payoff for one example: Sacking Aztec and Inca cities for the loot may provide a quick and dirty boost to your economy, but for every treasure train you send back to Europe, the King will take his cut (which, if you take the lazy way, includes half the total amount before deducting taxes on the other half) and use the proceeds to help finance additions to his Expeditionary Force. If you're not careful, you may find that you've funded your own asskicking further down the road.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: The Spanish national bonuses are oriented towards war, especially against the Natives. If you want to play to their strengths, the best way to do it is to locate the Aztecs or Incas and plunder their cities as soon as possible, using the gold to fund a powerful army, which can be used to plunder more Natives, or to capture other European colonies.
  • We All Live in America:
    • When you declare independence, your colony flags become American flags, regardless of your mother country.
    • Virtually the entire premise of victory, from the oppressively high taxes to Founding Fathers to the inevitable revolution that follows is based off American history.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Well, in this case, white rocks. Silver starts out as a very lucrative export, which will tempt you to buy some (pricey) Expert Silver Miners. The problem is, the price of silver drops like a rock very quickly until it is not at all worth bothering looking for. Still, it's a good way to raise cash early in the game, if you happen to settle near much of it, but you're going to need to diversify.
  • Zerg Rush: Since the King's army from the homeland will always have superior equipment and training compared with what the colonists have, once you declare independence this will be your only viable strategy.


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