Introduction Welcome to the Colonization Frequently Asked Questions! In contrast to the online Info Center, which contains a mixture of pre-release information as well as updated reference tables, this FAQ will try to stick to more detailed, specific answers to common questions. It assumes that you have a basic familiarity with the game, or at least the Civilization series. Rather than provide an overview of concepts, the FAQ delves into individual topics that have come up repeatedly on the forums. A word of advice: to quickly search the FAQ for certain keywords, press Control + F in your browser. From there, you can locate all the places where a specific word (or phrase) is mentioned. Table of Contents Introduction Installation, Tech Support, and Setup Comparison to Civilization IV General Questions Exploration Colonial Management and Growth Trade and Diplomacy Units and Warfare Revolution and Independence Miscellaneous Installation, Tech Support, and Setup What are the system requirements for Colonization? How is this different from Civ4? The system requirements are as follows: The increase in requirements comes in the form of Shader 1.1 support for video cards, which is necessary for the improved terrain graphics. Is Colonization available for Macs? No. Unlike Civ4 and Warlords, Colonization is only playable on PCs. Is this an expansion pack? Is Civ4 required to play? Civ4 is not required for play. That is, despite having "Civilization IV" in the title, Colonization is a standalone game. However, Colonization builds off the Civ4 engine and game mechanics, so many of the features are similar to Civ4, and those players with Civ4 experience will find Colonization easy to learn and understand. In what folder does the game install? The game installs into this directory by default: C:/Program Files/2K Games/Firaxis Games/Sid Meier's Civilization IV Colonization/. User data, liked saved games, screenshots, and the configuration file, is located in your /My Documents/My Games/Sid Meier's Civilization IV Colonization/ folder. This structure is the same as in Civ4. How can I alter autosave settings, change screenshot file format, and make other minor technical changes? As explained above, first navigate to your user data folder (directory: /My Documents/My Games/Sid Meier's Civilization IV Colonization/). Then, open the CivilizationIV.ini file in a program like Notepad, since it is just a text document. This file stores most of the game's configuration settings and options. For example, if we wanted to change the screenshot file format, we would look for this line: Then, we would simply change "JPG" to "BMP" or "TGA" on the second line and save the file. Keep in mind that "1" means true, while "0" means false. How much size does the game take up? A default installation of the game, without any mods or user-created content, takes up roughly 800 MBs, considerably less than Civ4 with all of its expansions, which uses over 3 GBs of space. What options are available in-game to customize and change the interface and gameplay? Many of the customizable options in-game are the same as in Civ4. For example, you can choose among Low, Medium, and High settings for the graphics (lowering this setting can improve your computer's ability to play the game). There are also options to turn on "Quick Combat", which speeds up fighting between two units, something that can be handy if using large stacks of units. To experiment with the various options, simply open the Options screen while playing (shortcut: Control + O) and find what works best for you. Where can I find more technical help? You can visit the Civ4: Colonization Tech Support forum to ask any additional questions and read about potential solutions. Comparison to Civilization IV Have the graphics and interface changed? Yes, both the graphics and interface have received a considerable overhaul. The terrain set is far more detailed and realistic than in Civ4, particularly the ocean and water. Things like trees and mountains have also received attention. Similarly, the interfaced has changed, adopting a somewhat wooden-like feel. While traditional features like the minimap, unit info box, and advisor buttons have remained, the layout has been altered. What features from Civ4 are absent in Colonization? Some features that Civ4 regulars will notice are not present are: religion, corporations, Great People, the technology tree, and espionage. With that said, Colonization adds new features to compensate, like a more complex goods-trading system and colonist management, that are explained below. Are there still random map scripts, or just scenarios? Yes, there are still random map scripts -- two, in fact. "Caribbean" provides a randomized island world, while "New World" creates multiple landmasses that imitate, but do not match exactly, the real-life Americas. On top of this, there are four pre-made maps: Northwest Passage, South America, and the Western Hemisphere, both normal sized and huge. In this sense, there are no true "scenarios", because all have no preplaced units or settlements. How has city management changed? City management is now much more closely linked with resource management and production: for example, you might have one settlement that is in charge of producing Tools and Guns, while other focuses on Rum or Coats. Because of this, there is a heavy emphasis on specialization and planning. Unlike in Civ4, you manually (or automate it if you want) assign colonists to work in specific buildings -- if you do not have any colonists in a coat factory, for instance, you won't produce any coats. Thus, simply having a building constructed isn't enough, since you need workers to produce the resources as well. Overall, Colonization forces you to think of your settlements as one big unit, not separate cities that do their own thing. Coordinating resource production is key. General Questions When was Colonization released? Colonization was released on September 22nd, 2008 in the United States and September 26th, 2008 for the rest of the world. This about three years after Civ4's release, and one year after Civ4's second expansion, Beyond the Sword. Some people refer to this game as "Colonization 2" -- is this game a sequel? It's not a sequel as much as it is a remake. In 1994, Sid Meier's Colonization was released, and so this 2008 version builds off of that game, changes some concepts, adds some new features, and removes others. That said, the overall premise of the game has remained the same, so the two games do share much in common. Have there been any patches to Colonization? If there are any in the future, where can I get them? So far, there have not been any patches for the game, and Firaxis has not made it clear whether or not they plan to release any. If a patch is released, you will see an announcement here at CivFanatics and be able to download it from our File Database. All other Civ4 titles have had patches in the past, so it would be surprising not to see at least one released. What types of civilizations and leaders are there? There are really three types of leaders: the European colonial leaders, the European kings, and the native chiefs. By default, the human player selects one of the colonial leaders to play as (either from New Spain, New France, New Netherlands, or New England), with two leaders per colonial civilization. The European kings represent the rulers back in Europe and are really only a factor in diplomacy and war -- they do not have any settlements or cities. The natives are like minor civilizations: they begin the game with settlements in place and have their own units to build. You can view the Leaders page for more info. What is the overall goal of the game? The goal of the game is to establish settlements, work the lands to harvest raw resources, turn these resources into finished goods, expand your economy, trade with Europe, use these profits to purchase units, colonists, and goods, and prepare to declare your independence from the European King and then defeat his forces in a Revolutionary War. In a nutshell, that's what this game is about. Is it possible to play as the European kings? Or as the native tribes? Note that the game is not designed for the human to play as another other civilization than the four European colonial empires. With that said, by editing the XML (game info files), you should be able to make it so that these normally unplayable civilizations are indeed accessible. First, navigate to the following folder: C:\Program Files\2K Games\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Civilization IV Colonization\Assets\XML\Civilizations. For the civilization you want to play as, scroll down until you see a line that says "<bPlayable>0</bPlayable>", and change the 0 (meaning "false") to 1 (meaning "true"). What are Founding Fathers? Founding fathers represent influential historical figures who are similar to Great People in standard Civ4. Unlike Great People, however, each founding father can only "join", or provide its benefit to, one colonial empire, creating a competition between the civilizations to try to attract the most founding fathers by doing things like exploring the map or building certain buildings. In total, there are 52 founding fathers, and each belongs to one of the following categories: Military, Trade, Exploration, Religion, or Politics. Collectively, these founding fathers form your empire's "Continental Congress," the assembly of all those who have joined your civilization. To view this screen, click the Continental Congress button in the top right corner of the game. To see a list of every founding father as well as the bonuses they provide, see this page. Exploration How does the game begin? What units do I start with? The game begins in the middle of the ocean, without any land in sight. Your starting units consist of one ship, and, aboard this ship, a pioneer unit (like workers in Civ4) and a soldier. That's it -- just one naval unit and two land ones. Typically, land is only a few tiles or a few turns away, though you may not want to found your first settlement right away, instead choosing to look for an ideal location. Your starting ship can provide a big boost to exploration, since it can move multiple tiles per turn, unhindered by things like jungles. Because you start with so little, attracting or buying immigrants from the Old World is key to growing your population. How do I establish relations with the natives? What benefits can this yield? To officially establish relations with the various native tribes, you simply need to move next to one of their units or cities, either by sea or land. Their chief will then greet you with some customary message. However, exploration and establishing diplomatic connections takes a more involved and important role: by being the first to move a unit into one of his settlements as an envoy, you will receive a bonus, such as a Treasure unit, extra gold, or maps. Additionally, regardless of whether you are first or not, you will find out what resource is in demand in that city, as well as what type of training that settlement provides to European colonists. What are "Burial Grounds" and "Ancient Ruins"? Burial grounds and ancient ruins are to Colonization what goody huts have been to Civ3 and Civ4: tiles on the map in undiscovered territory that yield bonuses when entered. For example, being the first to a burial ground or ancient ruin could give your unit extra experience points, gold, or maps, pushing back the fog of war. Once a unit enters one of these tiles, the bonus goes away, so it creates an incentive to explore quickly. What can I do with all the gold and Treasure units that I acquire in my early exploration? The most important thing you can do early in the game with gold is buy new colonists from the "docks" at Europe (via the in-game Europe screen). By transporting a ship to Europe, you can purchase and then load onto your naval unit immigrants of various types. First, there are standard, non-specialized units like Free Colonists and Indentured Servants. While they are cheaper, they also do not have a bonus when working certain tiles or in certain buildings, in contrast to colonists like Expert Farmers or Expert Fishermen. These Expert and Master units, while they cost more, can be worth it if you focus your economy on a few particular resources. Note that your beginning ship, a Caravel, cannot transport Treasure units back to Europe. Thus, in order to profit from Treasure acquired in the New World, you must first buy a Galleon. Galleons, like other units available for purchase in Europe, cost significant money, and so you must work to build your economy initially so that you have some extra gold to spend on this naval unit. Alternatively, you can move the treasure to a coastal settlement, where the European King will offer to transport it for you -- and charge 50% of the Treasure's value as a fee. This is a costly transaction, so be sure to agree to it wisely. What are the various ways in which I can reveal the surrounding lands and push back the fog of war? There are a few ways to discover the surrounding terrain and complete your map of the world. The easiest is to simply move your units around into the darkness, thus revealing the underlying tiles: you can do this either by land or sea, although using ships to explore is generally faster. You can also trade maps in diplomacy, something that can come in really handy when you meet other colonial empires. This saves you the time of having to map the lands yourself or even move units to that area. Additionally, you can receive maps from a Burial Ground or Ancient Ruin, as well as from native settlements. Colonial Management and Growth What are wagon trains? How do they work? Wagon trains are units whose sole purpose is to carry goods from one settlement to another. Because a city must actually have raw resources in its own warehouse, not just somewhere else in the empire, in order to create finished goods, it is important to be able to transport goods quickly. Wagon trains work like any other unit: you move them onto the settlement's tile on the map screen, and then, on the city screen, you can drag resources from the bottom display onto the wagon train icon in the "Garrison". Similarly, you can unload resources by dragging resources from the wagon train into the warehouse. Wagon trains are often used to bring resources from landlocked, inland settlements to coastal ones, where they can be brought to Europe. What other ways are there to transport goods? A fast and convenient method of transporting goods is by using ships to travel to and from coastal settlements. In contrast to wagon trains, ships are very efficient, since they can carry more than two loads of resources at a time. Also, they can bring goods to Europe for sale, the major source of your colonies' income. How can I place only a certain amount of goods in a wagon train instead of the entire quantity in my settlement? When clicking-and-dragging resources onto a wagon train (and this goes for ships as well), be sure to hold SHIFT. A box will appear asking you how many of that resource you want to transfer, rather than the full amount. Is there any way to make it so that a settlement can work the "fat cross" of tiles as in Civ4? No, and this is a key change from Civ4. Unlike standard Civ4, settlements in Colonization can only work and harvest resources from tiles that they directly border -- that is, the surrounding eight tiles. In Civ4, cities could work up to 20 tiles. This means that in Colonization, you must work to places settlements as close to resources as possible, since the radius of workable tiles will not increase. Some types of "Expert" colonists don't seem available. Why is this? Four types of Experts -- Expert Trappers, Tobacco Planters, Sugar Planters, and Cotton Planters -- cannot be bought in Europe. These skills can only be learned by having a colonist spend time in a native settlement, where they will "teach" the unit and make it one of these Experts over the course of a few turns. In order to know which settlements train colonists in which skills, you must first move a unit into the village. Upon doing so, you will see two things: what good the city is in demand of, and what type of skill the natives can train units in. Having these four Expert units not be available in Europe forces the human player to rely on natives for certain things and prevents the Europeans from simply wiping out the natives with no repercussions. How can I change the profession of a unit, or convert a colonist to become a soldier? While in the city screen, you can double-click a colonist to bring up a menu of available professions, including resource harvesters, building workers, or soldiers, missionaries, and other units. Alternatively, you can click-and-drag a colonist from one area to another: for example, you can drag an ore miner to a Textile Mill to have him produce cloth, or a fur trapper to the "Garrison" to make him a Jesuit Missionary. Keep in mind that some professions, like soldiers and dragoons, require that the city have a certain amount of resources (Guns, for instance). Thus, you will not always have the option to convert colonists to soldiers. What is the warehouse? What is the difference in the types of warehouses? The warehouse is a building that all cities begin with, and it is where resources are stored. Though its capacity differs with game speed, on Normal speed, the standard warehouse can hold 100 of each resource (silver, tobacco, coats, etc.). There are two extra upgrades for this building: one that allows it to hold 200 of each resource, and another that allows it to hold 300 of each. Note that "300 of each" means just that -- you cannot have 500 of one resource and 100 of another. If you produce more than you can store, you will lose those resources. However, the third and final upgrade also automatically sells excess goods that cannot be stored for 50% of their retail value in Europe. While this is not as profitable as selling them yourself via shipping, it is still better than nothing! Trade and Diplomacy What is the Europe screen? What can I do there? The Europe screen, accessible in game by pressing F2, represents interaction with the European continent. There, you can do a variety of things: first, you can trade goods, by both selling and buying resources at market prices. To do so, you must have a ship with empty cargo space. Similarly, you can sell treasure units in Europe as well. Keep in mind that some of the profits that result from selling goods may disappear due to the King's "tax" on resources, something that increases slowly over the game if you give in to his demands. Additionally, you can "purchase" immigrants and units for varying amounts of money, whether they are specialized workers (Master Distiller, Expert Fisherman, etc.), military units (Cannons, Veteran Soldiers, etc.), or normal, unspecialized colonists (indentured servants, etc.). However, in order to discourage players from simply buying their entire military in Europe and shipping it to the New World, the prices of units like Cannons increases with each successive purchase. Thus, it can be advantageous to develop your own production of Guns and Tools in your colonies. Can I trade goods to other Europeans? To the natives? Yes, you can trade resources (both buying and selling) with European colonists and natives. The easiest way to do so is to load a ship with goods and then sail to a coastal settlement. Next, click the Trade button at the bottom of the screen, where you will be able to negotiate what resources to sell or buy, as well as other things like the gold payment in return. Trading resources with countries other than your European King can be more profitable later in the game, as you do not have to pay taxes on money received during these transactions. The prices, however, are not as reliable and goods are not always available -- thus, it is more unreliable than sailing to Europe. What types of goods do the natives desire the most? The natives are especially desirous of Guns and Horses, two resources that can be used to help modernize their military. Often, in the beginning of the game, buying Guns in Europe and then trading them to the natives can be extraordinarily profitable and can help fund initial purchases of units (like a Galleon to transport treasure) or colonists. Keep in mind, though, that trading Guns to natives immediately on your border is very dangerous -- they could use the Guns to prepare for war against you! In contrast, giving Guns and Horses to natives near other European colonists can help give the natives the willingness to fight and undermine European rivals. If you begin to saturate the natives with too many Guns, however, the amount of gold you get in return will eventually go down. What determines the nature of relations between natives and Europeans? Is war inevitable? The most important factor to be aware of is the acquisition of land and territorial expansion. That is, if you constantly settle closer and closer to the natives, they will become more agitate and less tolerant. On top of this, refusing to "purchase" the land from the natives and still founding settlements will anger them even more. Natives can also become belligerent if you declare war on fellow native tribes, and, just like in Civ4, you can see a detailed breakdown of relations modifiers by mousing over the chief's leaderhead image when in diplomacy. War, however, is not inevitable. For the French, in particular, the natives are more friendly, as both French leaders share the "Cooperative" trait. If you take a more conservative, less intrusive approach, managing the natives is not too difficult, and it is even possible to convince the natives to help you in your fight against Europe during the revolutionary war! What kinds of things will the European King ask me to do? What if I refuse? The King gets involved in trade with Europe -- he will often request that you agree to an increased tax rate, meaning the amount of profit from resource sales that goes directly to him. In the beginning of the game, the tax rate is zero. Over time, however, he may demand that you increase it by a few points; if you refuse, the tax rate does not go up, but, instead, you will become unable to trade a particular good with Europe. This feature is meant to mimic the Boston Tea Party of 1773, but it can apply to any resource (in fact, tea is not even in Colonization!). Additionally, the King may ask for a gift of a certain amount of gold. Once again, you can deny this request, but doing so will anger the King and make him less tolerant of your independence. Keep in mind that the amount of gold he requests increases as the game goes on: in the beginning, he may ask for a small amount like 50 gold, but later, the number rises dramatically. You can see a detailed list of resource requirements here. Units and Warfare What is the difference between regular colonists and "Expert" or "Master" colonists? There is a distinction between having a "profession" and being a specialized unit. Every colonist in the game has a profession, or role that is assigned to them. For example, they could be a Distiller, turning Sugar into Rum, or a Silver Miner, collecting Silver ore from mountains. However, certain units, given the prefix Expert or Master, receive a production bonus when assigned to the role of their specialty. For instance, an Expert Lumberjack, when assigned to the "Lumberjack" role (on a forest tile, say), yields twice as much Lumber as a normal Free Colonist. The difference between Expert and Master is this: Experts refer to raw resource harvesters, while Masters work in buildings, turning resources into finished goods. What are promotions, and what kinds are available? Like in Civ4, promotions are bonuses that you can give to units in order to increase their abilities. In fact, the promotion system is basically unchanged: over the course of battles, units gain experience points (XP) for victories. At certain XP thresholds, units become eligible for a promotion and will start "glowing" blue on the screen. Many promotions also have multiple levels which are cumulative: for exaple, the standard promotion is the "Veteran" line, which gives an overall bonus of 10% to a unit's strength for Veteran I, 20% total for Veteran II, and so forth. Other notable lines with their respective emphasis include Minuteman (city defense), Amphibious (no river or coastal attack penalty), Surgeon (allows faster healing of other units), and Navigation (for ships). You can see a screenshot of sample promotions here.