The year is 1617 AD, and the English colonial power consists of six colonies. The coastal colony of Jamestown with a drydock is the main point of contact with the European trade markets and is the capital of the developing nation. The colony of Plymouth is inland and the center of cigar manufacturing and the making of rum from raw sugar. Farther to the west is Roanoke in the midst of the cotton & tobacco fields providing much of the raw material for exporting to the colony factories and the homeland. West of here is Barbados, the site of several sugar cane fields, cotton plantations and a few tobacco fields. South of these colonies is another coastal colony called Penobscot with a silver mine to produce the precious metal and sandwiched between Penobscot and Jamestown is the rural colony of Boston. Boston is nestled in the hills and forests providing numerous pelts for the coat manufacturers of Jamestown. The nearby Indian villages are all +6 or better in their attitudes towards the English having religious missions established early on and providing close to a dozen converts to the English cause (including the first female native convert I have ever seen). I have ignored their pleas for trading guns so far, not wanting to arm the natives that surround my peaceful colonies. North of the English are a couple of small French colonies (sizes 3 5) with their capital Quebec on the eastern coast just north of Jamestown. The English have three privateers, The Falcon, Second Chance and Kings Folly. One of these was purchased in Europe and posted to interdict shipping to and from Quebec. Several French caravels were intercepted, boarded with their cargos confiscated and the vessel sunk without the French ever accusing the English of harboring privateers. Montreal (3) Quebec (5) Guadeloupe (3) Cayenne (4) Barbados(9)==Roanoke(6)==Plymouth(10)==Jamestown(12 Penobscot (12) ========== Boston (4) Building the second privateer (Second Chance) allowed it to take up station while the first one (The Falcon) was returning to Jamestown with loot and to repair any minor damages suffered in their attacks on French shipping. The English then built the third privateer (Kings Folly) and sent it north along the coast line looking for the Dutch and Spanish colonies. In 1626 AD Kings Folly has come across several Dutch colonies on a small island. New Amsterdam (size 8), Fort Nassau (size 6) and Fort Orange (size 2) are spotted and the English privateer immediately spots a Dutch caravel filled with tools and muskets. After sinking the Dutch vessel Kings Folly heads back to Jamestown with its loot and to get repaired from the skirmish. Second Chance is sent north to take up station near the Dutch coastal colonies. Upon arrival the English privateer spots the Spanish colony of San Salvador (size 6) on the same small island with Amsterdam (8), Fort Nassau (6) and Fort Orange (2). Across a short stretch of ocean to the north is another Spanish colony called Santo Domingo (2) and it is on the east coast with a very large silver mine in the nearby mountain range. A Spanish caravel is spotted just leaving port and heading for Europe. Second Chance closes in and gives the Spanish vessel a healthy broadside. Hit after hit is scored until the Spanish Captain strikes his colors and drops the badly damaged canvas sails. The English boarding parties confiscate 165 units of silver (tons? pounds?) and then sink the vessel. The privateer heads back to Jamestown with the treasure while Kings Folly has completed its repairs and is sent north to hunt in the target rich environment off the Dutch and Spanish colonies. Upon arrival Kings Folly has bad luck and twice intercepts caravels, sinks them but comes up empty handed. Very likely there were colonists on board rather then goods and they went down with the ships. After each capture the Kings Folly elected to stay pat and repair their damages without leaving the area. Once repairs are made the hunt continues. Finally a Spanish caravel is spotted just coming back from Europe. The English privateer closes in and delivers a smashing broadside with its cannons and sinks the vessel but not before seizing 100 new muskets! Heading back south to Jamestown the Kings Folly stops at an Iroquois village north of Quebec. The English Captain haggles with the village chief and scores a large number of gold pieces for the highly valued muskets. Surely these weapons will come in handy if the French try to expand into Iroquois territory. The Kings Folly returns to Jamestown and Second Chance heads north to lurk off the coast of New Amsterdam. Upon arrival the English vessel spots a Dutch merchantman. Not wanting to tangle with this target Second Chance spots a Spanish caravel and closes in for the kill. The English are successful but there is no loot and the privateer suffers serious damage. As it flounders in the ocean trying desperately to make repairs a pair of Dutch merchantman vessels slip past heading for Europe. The two Dutch Captains are heard later in the largest tavern in New Amsterdam to make light of their near brush with the damaged privateer as they drink their locally made rum and smoke their fine Dutch cigars. Post notes: This entire sequence took place interspersed with the growth of the English colonies and provided much entertainment as I began to grasp some of the basic mechanics of the game. I could see that rebel sentiment in the foreign colonies was often higher then my own and the privateers were just an instrument to interdict goods going to Europe and goods and colonists coming back. This was done in the hope of slowing down their rising rebel following. I learned to attack vessels leaving the coast and heading to Europe because they would most likely be filled with finished goods bound for the European markets. Attacking vessels returning from Europe was more likely to yield colonists then goods and thus damage the privateers for several turns with no return on their investment because the colonist units would go down with the sinking ship. Besides sinking these vessels had to be hurting their commerce, at least early on when nearly everyone was just sailing caravels. Another thought struck me later as I realized that my colonies were not on the east coast of North America. I did not recognize the mass of land I was on but it struck me that to the west must lie more unexplored territory. The French were on my island and the Spanish and Dutch were to the north. With a mounted experienced scout and a pioneer boarding an English caravel I could go west and make landfall all over again. The pioneer would establish a coastal settlement and the scout would head inland to find treasure. The carts of gold would then be dragged to the coastal settlement and await pick-up by an English colonial galleon. I would avoid letting this settlement get large so I could abandon it later when I eventually declare independence and avoid a visit by the Royal Navy on such a small tempting target. Your thoughts? Any suggestions?