Yet another mechanism that isn't obvious; at least not if you don't read the manual. Every citizen you buy off the dock resets the cross generation to get you a free citizen. At the beginning of the game, it is incredibly easy to get new citizens with crosses (at first, you only need 3 or 4 crosses to get new citizens) and it grows fairly slowly. Also, churches are pretty cheap, so it doesn't take much to rush-buy a church very early and then let the crosses generate new people rather than buying them off the docks. In particular, if you buy a colonist off the docks, you lose the opportunity to get the colonist with crosses. That is, if you have 15/19 crosses generated to buy a colonist, then once you've bought the colonist, you have 0/23 crosses towards the next colonist. I believe that the purchase price is directly related to the number of crosses left to generate to get the colonist for free. In other words, by buying colonists off the docks, you are essentially buying crosses (and ensuring that you get your pick of the three colonists there). If this is in fact the mechanic (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong), then other than spending money to guarantee that you get the jesuit missionaries and seasoned scouts on the docks (which aren't available for purchase, just recruitment), a good cross production strategy will get a fairly large number of settlers quickly, and you can save the money to buy the specific workers that you want. Of course, like the scaling is a bit odd; by midgame, one city with three preachers and a cathedral will recruit a new citizen every ten turns or so. Of course, this *does* present a useful place to stash those troops that you are trying to rebel-ify, and a nice corollary is that some of the religious founding fathers are pretty good.