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Basic Strategy for Beginners

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - Strategy Articles' started by woodsy, Jan 5, 2009.

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  1. woodsy

    woodsy Chieftain

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    Background
    I have been a Civ III player and have never tried Civ IV. I recently bought Civ IV Colonization and so I thought that I would write a few of the strategies that I have found successful in winning the single player game on the easiest level. I prefer the ‘builder’ style of play. A lot of the tips here are covered elsewhere in the forums, but hopefully this might be helpful for some.

    1. Start choice. Play as the Dutch, Peter Stuyvesant. The Merchantman starting ship will give you an early advantage in trading and in settling.

    2. Start. When you are starting with your ship in the middle of the ocean, go back to Europe immediately. Go to the Europe screen and rush as many immigrants as you can. Spend all of your money doing this. You may earn as many as 10 immigrants, most of whom will be specialists that are normally expensive to purchase directly from Europe (via the ‘$’ button on the Europe screen). You may be lucky and earn a seasoned scout and a veteran soldier. Once your ship arrives in Europe, load the soldier and scout if you have them, or other immigrants if not. Send the ship to the new world.

    3. Stages. I divide the game into six stages: - early conquest, exploration, economy building, mid-game conquest, liberty bells, and finally revolution. I will provide tips for each of these stage below.

    4. Early conquest. When you arrive in the new world, find your European adversaries. When you meet them, they will have started their city using a soldier to settle, and the pioneer will be working the land. Just outside of their border, declare war, move your ship to the city, and unload your soldier to conquer the undefended city. On the next turn, capture the pioneer, or if you have a second soldier on your ship, you can move the ship into the city and capture the pioneer on the same turn as your conquest. Explore and exchange maps until you find the other settlements. I usually keep these captured cities rather than razing them, unless the settlement is in a useless location. You should be able to make peace with the other European colonists in a few turns.

    5. Exploration. It is important to either send out your colonists to explore all locations as soon as possible. There is a lot of gold available during this phase, which will enable you to rush more immigrants. Make sure that you keep the discovered treasure rather than sending it back via the King, as his 50% tax is too high. Build a Galleon as soon as possible and send it back to Europe yourself.

    Be careful when exploring ancient burial grounds. Use a seasoned scout, or else the natives may declare war on you.

    6. Economy building. Make sure that you build some inland cities only two tiles away from your coastal cities. When the revolution occurs, the King will attack your coastal cities, and you need good gun producing cities nearby to recruit more dragoons as the battle progresses. It’s important to remember that the King’s invasion will occur at or very near to the exact spot where you were supposed to make landfall when the game started. Your cities at that location should be very well defended. Make sure that you have cleared the forests on the city coastal city tiles immediately beside your coastal cities, so that the King’s invading soldiers do not benefit from the forest defence bonus.

    Try to pair your specialists in cities (eg. expert lumberjack and master carpenter, expert ore miner and blacksmith, blacksmith and gunsmith). Purchase the experts from Europe if necessary.

    Specialise your cities with:- at least one port city close to Europe (set up your automatic wagon trade to deliver finished products to your port city or cities); a gun producing city; a University city and cities specialising in particular industrial products such as cigars, cloth, coats etc. Try not to waste your cargo space to Europe with raw materials such tobacco, cotton, furs etc..

    Don’t forget to trade and give gifts to the natives (especially to the unhappy ones), especially when the King’s tax rate becomes unbearable. Native leaders will pay very high prices for goods they desire if they have gold in their accounts. Make sure that you send out missionaries to all of your surrounding native settlements as soon as possible, as converted natives are excellent in producing raw materials. I usually upgrade my converted natives to specialists by studying in a native settlement (living among the natives). Make sure that you study the native leader characteristics via the Civilopedia, as some native tribes will produce more converts and some native tribes are faster in training specialists.

    I also specialise some cities to produce political points. This will help you to obtain good founding fathers. Plan your choice of founding fathers beforehand, as if you reject them, you will not be able to obtain them later. Allow Hernan Cortes (founding father) to build your stockades rather than building them yourself.

    Keep your free colonists in churches and cathedrals and not in the town hall at this stage of the game. You don’t want the King to build up his military for a long period of time. You should only need a few soldiers to defend your settlements that are close to native tribes that are either annoyed or furious with you. Forget about building frigates or ships of the line, as the King’s man-o-wars are far superior and it will take 3-4 of your ships to defeat one of his.

    7. Mid-game conquest. Around 1650, I usually give my dragoons experience by sending them out to conquer a nearby European colonies or native settlements. The experience providing by founding fathers such as Ethan Allen (Free promotion of Ranger I and Mountaineer I for Gunpowder Units), Francisco de Coronado (+1 movement for Dragoons), Paul Chomeday de Maisonneuve (Free promotion of Formation for Gunpowder Units, +1 movement for converted natives), and Dom Pedro 1 (+50% Great General emergence, Free promotion of Veteran I and Minuteman I for Gunpowder and Mounted Units) are very helpful in battles. Use dragoons to attack and keep your ships nearby to evacuate the wounded.

    8. Liberty bells. Don’t leave it too late (1700 is about the deadline) to assign colonists to your city hall to produce liberty bells. Train and purchase elder statesmen where possible, and make sure that your cities have printing press and newspaper. Particular liberty bell producing founding fathers are vital at this stage of the game. Use this stage of the game to stockpile guns and horses in all cities, and use stationary wagons as extra storage if needed. Concentrate your dragoon force near to where the King will land his forces (as previously explained). Make sure that you have fortresses on this coastal location.

    9. Revolution. You should proclaim the revolution between 1740-1750 or earlier. Leave it too late, and you will have an awesome army but not enough time to defeat the King. Use dragoons to attack and make sure that you check the combat odds before deciding to attack (click on attacking unit and drag your mouse over the defending unit). You will usually lose the first encounter with a King’s dragoon, as he has more experienced veterans than you do (unless you have Veteran IIIs from mid-game conquest. After your first casualty, you should succeed with the following attacks when you use your dragoons. Soldiers and cannons are really only for defence. If you have enough dragoons, and they are well-positioned, it should be easy to win the battle in about 15-20 turns. The King will usually send his attacking forces in a few waves, so you just have to wait until they all arrive before you destroy them all.

    Anyway, I enjoy the game and after losing lots of times, I finally found these strategies helped me to win! ;)
     
  2. Supr49er

    Supr49er 2011 Thunderfall Cup

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    Hey, thanks for the ideas. :goodjob:

    Welcome to the Forums woodsy. :beer:
     
  3. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    wow, 4 posts in 6 years must be a man of few words
     
  4. Blanchflower

    Blanchflower Chieftain

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    Thanks for the ideas! I find this game difficult!!! :):)
     
  5. jtwood

    jtwood Chieftain

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    Great write up.

    Am I the only one that finds it inherently wrong that your best start is to take advantage of an AI goof that leaves its cities undefended?

    :confused:
     
  6. dalgo

    dalgo Chieftain

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    That was pre-patch. Now there is an enforced period of peace for 20 turns and by then they will have organised some defence.
     
  7. yanner39

    yanner39 Chieftain

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    Very good info here. Just have a few questions:

    When you reached capacity on the 100 goods stored (without warehouse), instead of having wasted goods, I guess it's a good idea to shuffle your colonists around and make sure that no goods go to waste, correct?

    In terms of settlement specialization, what is better: Having a few settlements produce raw materials and then shipping these goods to manufacturing settlements OR Having a settlement produce tobaco and cigars, another producing cotton and cloaths, another producing ore and tools, etc...

    Finally, which experts are more commonly purchased in the beginning? I think farmers are important but carpenters as well.
     
  8. jtwood

    jtwood Chieftain

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    Ah, good to know. You can still go back to the dock and immediately unit rush, though, can't you?
     
  9. echosfolly

    echosfolly Chieftain

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    Thanks for the tips.I have had a little difficulty with this game. many,many losses and false starts.
     
  10. dalgo

    dalgo Chieftain

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    Yes you can. This is best done at Pilgrim level when you start with more money.
     
  11. yanner39

    yanner39 Chieftain

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    How many settlements should I be aiming for? As many as I can? Will 6 do the trick? In CIV4, land is power. I just don't know if this applies here.
     
  12. pjamela

    pjamela Chieftain

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    As a beginner of this game, Civ 4 and Colonization, I look forward to using this information. I am just figuring out what causes what and I am enjoying the learning process. But it will be nice to actually win.
     
  13. Feyd Rautha

    Feyd Rautha Chieftain

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    Note that this thread needs to be updated in the early stages since you cannot exploit your European allies per the OP until 20 turns pass.
     
  14. GrandpaKim

    GrandpaKim Chieftain

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    I can buy a Galleon way, way earlier than I can build one and that's while keeping treasures on hand at full value. Also having two ships instead of one gives you a huge boost in versatility. Can't imagine waiting that long to get a galleon.
     
  15. ditchhook

    ditchhook Chieftain

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    The quick answer is to have specialized villages: tobacco production in the same village as cigar production, for example. The big advantage to that is reducing the micromanagement necessary to keep the cigar shop/factory supplied. If you are using a resource for further production in the same location, you don't have to pay quite so much attention to when overflow waste or raw material shortages will occur. Similarly, if you keep your towns specialized and smaller, their food requirements are kept to the point where they can more likely be supplied internally. If you build a huge city with multiple factories at work, you'll end up having to manage importing food into that city.

    That being said, it is seldom how my empires end up looking. I tend to build just two "critical" early cities: one with lots of food resources which I focus on horse production and nothing else, and a second near ore resources which I focus on ore/tools/guns. If I find an open silver resource, I will build a mining village there with a silver miner and fisher/farmer that I make no effort to develop further. If I can find a second well-fed city location, I will build a school/college there to upgrade my units-- focusing at least in part on veteran soldiers. I will have a few other towns to exploit synergies I might find, but the point of this strategy is to build up a mid game army, not my own productive colonial economy. I "buy" much of what I need from the one-time treasure hunt conducted by seasoned scouts, so it is critical I get a seasoned scout or two out opening potential treasure sites and visiting native villages early-- as the first to visit them gets all the best treasures. Once I feel I have a good chance of eliminating a colonial competitor I will go off and steal their cities and exploit their built up infrastructure, instead of creating my own.

    I'm not sure but I do believe the AI colonialists have coded advantages: as they seem to always have more buildings, farms, and mines than I could have created in similar circumstances. It is easier for me to steal their infrastructure than to build my own, even though theirs are not well-focused and demand more attention to manage resource distribution (the issue I warned about originally).

    In addition to stealing-- rather than building from scratch-- my colonial economy, I also end up controling a core of veteran soldiers with some experience points under their belts which better prepares me for the onslaught of the Royal Expeditionary Force after independence.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018

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