Just broke this game out again after years of of collecting dust. Notice there is some (but sparse) activity around here. Not sure how much reaction this will get as I'm not sure how many still play but this is one of my all time favorites (#2 after Civ2) But reading through some of the strats around here I'm suprised by a few things. 1)The number of people who build multiple cities. Its usually 2, occasionally 3 and never more than 4 for me. I find anything more to be very inefficient... takes longer for independence, more micromanagement and destroys prices. Mind you I'm not a 'for score' kind of player either. 2) The number of people who go on Indian killing sprees (atleast early)... especially aztech and Inca. Trading with them provides so much value. Trade goods, tools, tobacco, cigars and rum. Then buying cheap silver to sell at ridiculous profits (especially at an Inca capital 50 g for 100 silver... you can't even produce it that cheap). I will at times later use them to promote my dragoons with... at the same time if there is a close city and I can feed it horses and muskets late, you have a great ally against the REF. 3) No priority lists of tradeable resources. I never manufacture cotton or furs.... the natives hardly want coats or cloth. I sell the raw resources or ignore them altogether. Tobacco however is amazing (as both cigars and the excess tobacco nets a good return, rum is a decent alternative.) 4) No mention of finding Inca's or Aztechs before you settle. It takes some time off the clock no doubt... but the benifits of settling near one of these to tribes then trading with them is well worth the wait. They pay a fortune for basic and cheap goods (tobacco, tools, trade goods). And, as mentioned before, the cheap silver is such an early cash cow. Random Question: anyone ever play a game with no port cities? I find being nearly self sufficient... aside from needing settlers and specialist specifically early... to be achievable (although tough at higher levels). But I'm not sure how having no port cities to attack will effect the REF and Independence.