trying my hand at trade-route economies for the first time and I went to the war academy to try to find an article or two on the subject with no luck. Was hoping someone could point me in the right direction, or provide a few tips. I usually avoided archipelago maps, but I *slightly* cooked my first try on emperor to ensure I got both the GLH and ToA, picked william for the dike and financial, and shifted my tech priorities. The game is won now in the early 1500's and I just picked up steam power, whether I go for domination or space. But a few notes and questions: trade routes: are they capped, or do they continue to grow in value over the course of the game? How much gold can I expect with all the bonuses, modifiers in the best case scenario? I had no idea how easy it was to net 12-20 gold on trade routes, essentially free gold for nothing, offsetting virtually all my maintenance costs. (I don't ever remembering my empire turning a profit from founding a new city!) production: how can you maximize production on an archipelago map? Without the dike, I can see many of my cities struggling to produce. Am I stuck waiting until upgraded workshops before I can produce anything worthwhile? commerce: less land tiles, less rivers means less cottages and slower growing ones at that. So far, trade routes have offset the shortcomings of some water tiles [compared to mature cottages], but without the GLH, how is it possible to keep the tech rate going reasonably fast? viability of SE namely an SSE in archipelago maps: seafood rich capitals make for big populations, but reduced hammer counts make wonders more painful to build. The AI builds things slower on these maps I've found, but it doesn't mean I still don't get beaten to to colossus even when prioritizing metal casting.