Hello. I made this act just to post this msg. I'm a big fan of the original colonization, but well, let's face it - it's a dated game. I recently got my hands on this remake and really loved it at first - it's colonization with a CIV 4 interface (I love civ 4 too). Then I tried to win. I did what I remember doing in the original colonization, just being really expansion-oriented, grow grow grow, funnel everything to the factory city, and once the food and economy were up and running, start spam-training statesmen. That's when I found out that this remake has some serious issues. Now, I've won this game before, but not until facing some strange scenarios, like 400 regulars that were part of the REF that never showed up AFTER 100 TURNS OF REVOLUTION WAITING FOR IT. Because they never showed, because they were chicken and DID NOT TAKE A SINGLE ONE OF MY COLONIES, INDEED I DID NOT EVEN LOSE ONE SOLDIER AFTER KILLING THEIR ENTIRE INITIAL LANDING PARTY, I lost. Or, like getting hit with a tax hike EVERY OTHER TURN, AT TURN 30. This using the Dutchman that doubled the wait time between tax hikes. Or, like building a schoolhouse in a new settlement to train statesmen away from the university, only to find out that the first colonist to be trained there had to wait over 100 turns to graduate...this in a game that spans less than 300 turns. Or, like building 5-10 universities to train enough statesmen, only to find out that the king's taxes were so prohibitive that the 500 gold to train each of these statesmen was sucking up your entire 15-city, 4-galleon economy. I understand that they built in some new scaling to make the game a bit less formulaic than the original colonization...however, I really think they goofed up the scaling. After all, if you want the game to scale slower or faster, that's what the various difficulty levels are for, no? The way this game is designed, it highly discourages an expansive strategy of any sort, since it makes you have to train a ton of statesmen to get the % to revolution up...except you can't, because there are only a certain number of specialists maximum you can ever train in your universities NO MATTER HOW MANY YOU BUILD. And, why would you ever build more than one university in this remake? And, why is there a FF that gives you bonuses for extra universities when all of those extra universities are wholly useless? Then there's the issue with taxes, which no one seems capable of explaining. I always play with the Dutchman that doubles the wait time between tax hikes, yet still ended up with a 70-80% tax rate before revolution when I won the game. I then got the bright idea to begin tool parties and fur parties very early in the game, which led to the scenario where I was faced with a tax hike EVERY OTHER TURN. I kid you not, by turn 35, I had 6 products boycotted, two tax increases that I caved into, and 4-5 attempts at extortion (I only agreed to the small ones). Why even bother with including that option, if that option leads to something far worse than just agreeing to a 40% tax mid-game? Then there's the whole REF fiasco. On a certain level it makes a lot of sense. The monarchs are going to tax you because you are nothing but cattle to them. Once you get the idea into your head that you may be able to chart your own destiny (liberty bells) then they get antsy and raise an army to fight you. Even the concept of fast sentiment rate (i.e. surprise buttsex with your hidden statesmen) makes a lot of sense, as it gives the monarchs less time to prepare their army once your true intentions are revealed. However, there is a massive flaw in how this game executes this concept. 1) The idea is to train a lot of statesmen late-game and quickly on the back of your thriving economy and farm towns, and use them only when you are ready to revolt. However, because of the abysmal school-system dynamic, this forces you to either not use your school system for anything other than statesmen, or buy these statesmen late game. Even if you start early, say before turn 50, training these statesmen, you will not have enough time to train more than 10-15 (if you're lucky). Then you need time for these guys to go to work. 2) Or, you can buy them outright en masse, but this reveals another flaw in the game. A thriving economy requires robust trade, primarily with Europe. However, robust trade primarily with Europe seems to be the leading cause of tax increases. Refusing the king's demands accelerate the rate of his demands, which either leads to all goods being boycotted, or an exhorbitant tax rate once you trade enough with Europe. There is probably a maximal dollar amount that you can ever trade with Europe before the tax increases become prohibitive. This means that at a certain stage of the game, buying statesmen will be competing with buying military gear. You can make the gear at home, but the more effort you devote to this, the more statesmen you will need to "revolutionize" all of those extra blacksmiths and gunmen, as well as all of those extra farmers needed to support them. And we have already discussed possible ceilings between education and economy that may prevent you from getting enough statesmen, especially if you went hog wild on the economy. 3) Trading with the natives may solve this problem, but there is a definite ceiling on how much you can trade with them, in that even if you want to just dump 8 loads of tools on them, they may not even have the money to pay 100 gold for it. SOLUTIONS TO THESE BIZARRE PROBLEMS 1) The school system I liked how they made it progressively harder to train additional colonists in a school. This makes sense to prevent abuse in building 10 farming colonies to feed that one university cranking out statesmen (even though this is how it works in real life). However, where they went wrong was to make this progression global. Basically, even if you went to the trouble of building universities in all of those 10 farming colonies, you would still get slapped with the time it takes to train the Xth colonist, even if it was the first one to be trained in the new university. This concept is familiar to me because it is almost exactly the same as how the "great people" worked in civ 4. However, this isn't civ 4. You can win civ 4 without paying great heed to great people, but you absolutely need to use the school system to train statesmen in colonization. If instead you devoted early game to training farmers and fishermen in your schools, thinking that your future colleges and universities would be enough to overcome the scaling late game to train statesmen, tough luck. You can build 20 universities using all of those colonists that you trained as farmers, fishermen, lumberjacks and carpenters that trained in the schools that were replaced by the universities they built, only to find that 19 of those 20 universities are wholly useless. What this means is that all of those farmers, fishermen, lumberjacks and carpenters that you spent so much time growing and feeding are now costing you the game. You must kill them off. Yes, the only way to win a game of colonization is to kill off all of the colonists that you worked so hard to raise. The fewer the better. Just keep enough on hand that can be swayed by the 15-20 statesmen maximum that you were able to buy/train. The rest are not only useless, they are the reason you are losing. THEY ARE YOUR WORST ENEMY. The solution to this problem would be to make each school scale, i.e. not make it global. This would mean that you would be given incentive to build new schools in all of your new colonies, spend the time and lumber to build them up to colleges and universities, and then ship specialists over there to get them to mentor new colonists. Then, get enough statesmen in each of these colonies to sway them to revolution. In fact, there are a lot of FFs that help this process, like de Tocqueville and the other FF that gives you free schools in your colonies. This seems to be how the game is supposed to work. Instead, you are faced with the scenario where you build a new school, wanting to train a fishermen there, only to find out that it will take 75 turns to do so, because you have trained so many other fishermen, carpenters, and statesmen in all of those other schools in other cities that have nothing to do with this one. 2) The economy This doesn't need a fix IMHO, as long as they fix the school system. The king is out to get you, so of course he will raise an army if he thinks you're going to declare independence. However, it would be nice to have other options besides the king for your economy, say an option where you sell all of those coats and cigars to your own people at a huge discount - hey, it's better than having all of that rotting in your warehouses. Put in an option where your own people will pay 25% of what market rates are charging in Europe. This will allow your economy to function if it is big enough, if it is robust enough, and if Europe is being snobby enough. In the original colonization, there were work-arounds for European boycotts, but in this remake EUROPE IS EVERYTHING, and they WILL SHUT YOU DOWN. Even the warehouse extensions are subject to the atrocious boycotts/taxes, and this after their inherent 50% discount. There are some nice parallels with real life here. China is essentially doing what the colonists are doing in this game. They are doing all the work, making all that stuff that we buy, and we hate them for it, and we want them to "pay their fair share". (my major was east asian economics) They can't buy their own stuff because they can't afford to do so. Their only option is to dump what they make on us at any price, as long as we buy it. This price tends to by abysmally low. This is essentially a gigantic tax on their labor, like the king's tax on the colonists. The moral of this story is that there are no easy answers. Because of this, I think the economy in this game is working just fine, in that it is just as bad as real life. However, the school system sucks. Fix the schools. End of story.