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TAC Strategy Guide (English Version)

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - Strategy & Tips' started by Windfoot, May 23, 2013.

  1. Windfoot

    Windfoot Chieftain

    Jan 23, 2012

    The Authentic Colonization (TAC) is a MOD for Civ4 Colonization. Please read this page about the MOD


    Thanks to the TAC Project team for making an awesome mod!
    Akropolis – Commander Bello - Elwood - Fankman - koma13 - melcher kürzer - Ronnar - Stöpsel - Writing Bull - xXstrikerXx

    Also, many thanks to the Civ4Col community whose feedback and support helped the TAC team!

    You can download TAC here:

    Currently there is a monthly challenge mission which you can read more about here:
  2. Windfoot

    Windfoot Chieftain

    Jan 23, 2012
    Hi! I'm Windfoot and have been playing Colonization since the first one came out (I really miss those Fountains of Youth). I'm not an expert but I do know a bit about how to play (and WIN) Civ4Col with the TAC mod. There is a German strategy guide but like most Americans I only read and write my own language (and at times even that is questionable). So, consequently, this guide is not a translation of that guide...I don't even know what's in that guide. Any mistakes in this strategy guide are mine and mine alone.

    I assume you have played Civ4Col before and have read the TAC manual which you can find here:
    I also assume you're playing the game to win by revolution!

    What this guide isn't:
    This strategy guide isn't the player's manual or the TAC manual....read the TAC manual linked above!

    What this guide is:
    This guide contains my strategies for winning the revolution in TAC. It contains strategies I've used, I've thought of or that I've read (I'll try to give credit to the originator). It is NOT all enclusive...go out and try new strategies!

    First Strategic decisions
    Your first strategic decisions are what leader to choose and what map to use.

    I recommend using a TAC designed map (a map that has "TAC" in the title) that is huge or at least large. {To choose your map rather than use a random one select "Play a Senario"} Be careful of the "TAC East Coast v.1.02". That map is a huge map that is coded as being a small map. Coding the map as small means there are only 4 native tribes...but the tribes have tons of villages. You really need to know how to get along with the natives on this one or they will wipe you out.

    Size: The map size determines the size (obviously), but also, it determines the number of european players, the size of the REF and number of native tribes. A huge map will have alot more native villages than a small map. I like huge maps. I use a variation of a scout rush (described in section #2) so the more villages the better. If you just want to focus on your civilization and want less europeans choose a smaller map. Smaller maps start with a smaller REF and larger maps start with a larger REF.

    Game speed:
    In general, changing the game speed doesn't effect the play because all costs are scaled to the change in the number of turns per year. The one thing that doesn't change is the movement of your units. So on marathon speed your scouts can explore the entire map and treasures can make it back to your cities at the end of the beginning phase. On a quick speed and huge map it won't be until the later part of the middle stage before your scouts are back. Playing with marathon speed will give you a gold advantage earlier in the game...but it will take 3x longer to play :(

    Increasing the difficulty makes the natives harder to deal with, gives the computer european players a larger advantage, increase the max tax rate and increases the size of the REF.
    Pilgrim - 40% max tax rate
    Pioneer - 50% max tax rate
    Explorer - 50 max tax rate
    Conquistador - 60% max tax rate
    Governor - 65% max tax rate
    Patriot - 70% max tax rate
    Revolutionary - 70% max tax rate

    The key is picking a leader that fits your playstyle. Lets look at the available leaders.

    Dutch (Master Carpenter, Cuirassier, Fluyt)
    Peter Stuyvesant
    - Mercantile: market prices less sensitive
    - Disciplined: -20% equipment
    - Charismatic: +100% time between tax inceases
    Adriaen Van Der Donck
    - Explorers: natives more tolerant, +30% gold on native contact
    - Libertarian: +20% bell production
    - Enterprising:+200% native conversion

    English (Firebrand Preacher, Cuirassier, Caravel)
    George Washington
    - Disciplined: -20% equipment
    - Resourceful: -50% experience for promotion
    - Industrious: +20% production
    William Penn
    - Explorers: natives more tolerant, +30% gold on native contact
    - Tolerant: +20% cross production, -33% crosses needed
    - Libertarian: +20% bell production

    French (Jesuit Missionary, Cuirassier, Caravel)
    Samuel de Champlain
    - Tolerant: +20% cross production, -33% crosses needed
    - Mercantile: market prices less sensitive
    - Enterprising:+200% native conversion
    Luois de Frontenac
    - Conquistador: +20% vs. Natives
    - Industrious: +20% production
    - Charismatic: +100% time between tax increases

    Portuguese (Expert Fisherman, Cuirassier, Caravel)
    Martim Anfonso de Sousa
    - Explorers: natives more tolerant, +30% gold on native contact
    - Mercantile: market prices less sensitive
    - Resourceful: -50% experience for promotion
    Mem de Sa
    - Conquistador: +20% vs. Natives
    - Enterprising:+200% native conversion
    - Charismatic: +100% time between tax increases

    Spanish (Expert Silver Miner, Cuirassier, Caravel)
    Simon Bolivar
    - Tolerant: +20% cross production, -33% crosses needed
    - Disciplined: -20% equipment
    - Libertarian: +20% bell production
    Hernan Cortes
    - Conquistador: +20% vs. Natives
    - Resourceful: -50% experience for promotion
    - Industrious: +20% production

    Some leader talents are better for the beginning game like "explorer" and some are good throughout the game. The leader trait used only during the revolution, "Determined" (+100% effect of bell on rebel strength), has been removed. Use the list of leaders and traits as a reference...I'll refer to them in other sections. Let's briefly examine each leader trait.

    Economy traits
    If you have a hard time trading with Europe these are the traits for you.
    - Mercantile: market prices less sensitive - For me, the markets don't seem overly sensitive. I mainly see this trait valuable if you plan on buying all your muskets/horses or if you plan on selling tons of silver. Silver is very sensitive and the price drops dramatically as you sell it on the European docks.
    - Charismatic: +100% time between tax increases - Any day you save money on taxes is a good day! This is a strong trait; however, the tax rate still rises to the same max tax rate. So this is valuable in the beginning and middle parts of the game but in the end you'll be paying the same taxes.

    Combat traits
    - Conquistador: +20% vs. Natives - This is the go to trait if you want to kill those pesky natives. It's like starting with veteran I & II. It's a strong trait vs. the natives but worthless if you plan on having peaceful relations. It is very nice if the native do a sneak attack to have a greater chance of fighting them off...but you can get a better defensive advantage (30%) by making a Chevaux de Frise
    - Resourceful: -50% experience for promotion - This is an extremely strong trait. Having stronger units means in the long run you need less units. Although this trait is strong throughout the game it really shines during your revolution. Keep in mind when you promote a unit it actually heals the unit. This healing ability can turn the tide of a war.

    Resource traits
    - Explorers: natives more tolerant, +30% gold on native contact - This is the peaceful native strategy...it also works exceptionally well with the scout rush strategy described in section 2.
    - Disciplined: -20% equipment - This is a strong trait that makes it alot easier to make the military units needed for the revolution. Since this trait applies to scouts it is also helpful getting your initial scouts (scout rush).

    Progress traits
    - Libertarian: +20% bell production - This is a strong trait. A 20% increase in bell production means you'll get 20% more Founding Fathers. This alone is very powerful. During the revolution this trait will make it easy to get more than 50% rebel sentiment which means more combat power for your units.
    - Industrious: +20% production - It's easy to underestimate this trait but it's a strong trait. The more advanced buildings are very powerful but take a long time to build. Your towns will grow alot faster than your competitors with this trait. Maximize this trait by using alot of lumberjacks and carpenters and build the carpentry shop/lumbermill line early. After you've built all the buildings you want turn your production to making points for getting FFs.

    Population growth traits
    These traits, if used properly, will dramatically increase your population. Samuel de Champlain has both of these traits.
    - Tolerant: +20% cross production, -33% crosses needed - This trait is a strong trait that increases the population you get from the docks in Europe by over 80%. To maximize the use of this trait use the church rush described in the next section. If you build and upgrade your churches and man them with firebrand preachers you can get a colonist each turn. The advantage of getting people from the docks is you can get expert colonists. Expert colonists are twice as effective as untrained colonists.
    - Enterprising: +200% native conversion - To maximize this trait use expert missionaries and put missions with tribes who have the "pupil" trait (+100 conversion rate). It's better to have missions in a larger village rather than a smaller one. The advantage of this trait is the missions also increase your relations with that native tribe. The disadvantage is double diminishing returns apply :( Each additional missionary has a decreased chance of success in forming a mission. In addition, the time it takes a mission to produce a native keeps getting longer. Even though this trait has double diminishing returns you'll get enough natives to make this a valuable trait.

    Prior to deciding which leader you want to play, read the rest of this guide and think of what strategies you want use.

    Basically you can pick a leader whose traits all support one strategy (ex. Peter Stuyvesant whose traits are focused on economy) or one with more balanced traits (ex. Mem de Sa who has a combat trait{conquistador}, an economic trait{charismatic} and a growth trait{enterprising}). If you're having problems in a game, next time try a leader who has traits that will help with that problem.
  3. Windfoot

    Windfoot Chieftain

    Jan 23, 2012
    "In the beginning..." - Bible

    When you start your game you get a false sense of peace and lack of competition. It's an illusion. What you do in your first 20 turns or so is extremely important! What you can't see is your computer opponents are building up their towns in the most efficient way they know how. So, you should strive to be as efficient as possible. The advantage you have as a human player is you can focus on an overall strategy and get ahead of your opponents. Lets discuss some beginning strategies and how to put them in action.

    Scout Rush
    The scout rush is used on a map where there is a large expanse of land with alot of native villagers. The first unit to talk with the chief of a village usually gets something good. Therefore, the goal of this strategy is to get out alot of scouts and beat your computer opponents to the villages. The leader trait "explorer" is exceptional for this strategy...it gives you 30% increased gold from the village chiefs. On a huge map I try to get 6-10 scouts exploring.

    - A huge amount of exploration points
    - large influx of gold, both directly from the chiefs and in the form of treasure
    - experience for promotions. This is a huge advantage! When those scouts have explored everything they can, they will come back to your towns. Load them with muskets to make dragoons and you have a large, experienced army. If the computer players come after you they will have a stack of cannons. Your stack of experienced dragoons can make short work of them

    - You are putting a large amount of resources into exploration early in the game. The trade-off is your towns will build up slowly until you can get more people into them
    - At higher difficulty levels the natives get angry alot easier. You may inadvertently get into a war with the natives when your colony is too weak to fight them off.

    Putting the Scout Rush into action:
    Pick a good spot and build your town with both starting units. Keep the expert unit in the town collecting lumber. Turn the colonist into a scout. Send the scout out exploring {you can explore more efficiently by controlling his movement yourself. I normally automate the exploration to add more realism.}. Return your ship back to Europe. When you have enough lumber to make a village hall put your expert unit in the carpentry shop. When you complete the village hall, move the expert unit into the village hall creating bells. Your goal is get the founding father Jacques Marquette. He adds +1 scout movement and gives you 2x the chance of getting a treasure from ancient ruins. Starting exploring from the start will give you enough exploration points very early and getting a unit into the village hall will give you the political points you need to be the first to get this founding father (FF). The second FF, Malinche, will give you a couple units to defend your town and will reveal all the "goody huts". When your ship gets to Europe either buy an expert scout if he's available or hurry a unit at the dock and turn him into a scout. If you can't get a scout wait at the docks until you get enough money to get a scout or a unit is available. If a unit appears first take him back to your colony and hurry back to Europe. Remember your scouts will be getting gold from the chiefs they talk to so you continue this pattern until you send out all the scouts you want to send. Then you save to buy a Galleon to transport those treasures you've been uncovering back to Europe. I'll actually turn down the King's request for gold if I'm close to saving up enough to buy a Galleon.

    Spoiler :
    Leaving your first muskets has a twofold benefit. It leaves you some defense for your city and there is an event later on where you can choose to give up 50 muskets for a chance to get a privateer. Privateers are expensive so a chance to get one for only 50 muskets is really cheap. Also, this privateer isn't tied with the ships you can buy at the European dock so it doesn't start the diminishing returns.

    Church Rush
    The church rush is used to get tons of colonists as soon as possible. Leaders with the trait "Tolerant" excel at this as do the English with their Firebrand Preacher (William Penn is the ultimate with the trait "Tolerant" and starts with a Firebrand Preacher). The number of crosses needed to get each subsequent colonist increase to a cap of 2,000 crosses (on normal game speed). Once you've built a church and put people in it you wont be able to bring them back to your colony fast enough. Due to diminishing returns this glut of colonists wont continue but it does give you a huge increase in population. Your main problem is how to employ all those people effectively. Getting tons of people and then have them sit around is not effective.

    - Large influx of people at the early stages of the game. Usually, you have to slowly build your colony...with the church rush strategy manpower won't be your problem.
    - Many expert colonists. Experts are twice as effective in their trade. Getting alot of experts early can give your civilization a huge jump start.

    - If you try to expand too fast you will get the natives angry and most likely they will attack before you have enough defenses.
    - If you don't know how to use all your new colonists your economy may stall for a while

    Putting the church rush into action:
    Start a colony with both starting units. Send your ship immediately to Europe to await the colonists at the dock. Be sure the starting location will give you 4 food and one square around the city will provide a good supply of lumber. Task one colonist to harvest lumber and put one in the carpenter shop to build a village hall first, then build a church. Once the church is built put both colonists into the church (another option is to put one in the church and one in the village hall). When you get some units back from the docks you'll need to send out some scouts and make pioneer(s) to develop the land. You may want to start a second colony early to have somewhere to put all your incoming colonists.

    Spoiler :
    Starting your first colony will trigger an event that gives you a choice of getting extra bells, crosses or food in that first starting city. If you pick a location that doesn't produce 4 food you'll need to choose the food to make this starting strategy work

    Economic Rush
    The economic rush is all about producing goods as fast as possible to sell in Europe (and to the natives). Leaders who are "charismatic" or "mercantile" excel at this strategy.

    - Great long term strategy
    - Very flexible. With a strong influx of gold you can flex to meet any shortfall. For example, did the English declare war on you? An influx of cannon, muskets and horses can turn the tide of a war (assuming you have the time to get the supplies back from Europe).

    - Results aren't as strong early as with scout or church rush strategies
    - Since you are dependent upon trade you can't afford to boycotts
    - You economy is dependent upon ships. Privateers and enemy frigates can shut you down extremely quickly

    Putting the Economic rush into action:
    You have a little more flexibility with this strategy. Ideally you want to place your beginning city next to a resource. You still need to send out a few scouts early. You want to identify a native village close by where you can train your colonist to be an expert harvester of the resource next to your city. Build a finished good building fairly soon. For this strategy you'll probably need to partially use the scout or church rush until your economy ramps up.

    Bell Rush
    The goal of this strategy is to stay ahead of all other players in bell production thereby having overwhelming advantages granted by the Founding Fathers (FF). "Libertarian" leaders have a large advantage with this strategy. Each subsequent FF takes more bell to produce. So, if you produce alot of bells, you can effectively shut out the other players. At the least you have the option of which FFs to get and which ones to bypass and thereby giving them to the other players.

    - Depending on which FFs you get you can have game changing advantages. Review the upcoming FFs and plan accordingly
    - high rebel sentiment increases production in your cities

    - Focusing your resources on bell production may slow your expansion. The computer players build cities in your direction which can effectively cut off your potential to grow.

    Putting the Bell rush into action:
    In your starting city put one colonist to work harvesting lumber and one in the carpenter shop producing hammers. Build a village hall. Once a village hall is built put the expert colonist in the village hall and turn the free colonist into a scout to start exploring. As your city builds and grows focus on the getting the town hall and putting elder statesmen in it. Also work toward the printing press/newspaper. If you see an elder statesman at the dock, purchase buy it. Elder statesmen produce twice the bells of a normal colonist...so using them is like having another city. Focus on improving you current cities rather than expanding (though you will need to expand).

    Combining starting strategies
    It's difficult using only one starting strategy by itself. I usually start with a combination of the scout rush and bell rush. Then, when all the scouts are out exploring, I start working on my economy in addition to producing bells. The key is to be working on something. Don't randomly assign colonists. Have a plan and work toward that goal. Also, be flexible enough to modify your strategy to the current circumstances.
  4. Windfoot

    Windfoot Chieftain

    Jan 23, 2012
    "Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning" - Benjamin Franklin

    Now that you have a colony or two and have some gold and colonists you need to expand and grow. What you do in the middle part of the game greatly depends on your unique situation. So, rather than provide some specific strategies, in this section I'll discuss general strategic concepts that you will have to apply to your unique situation.

    Goals for the middle part of the game
    1. Defend your cities
    Part of the native/european player's decision on whether to attack you is based upon how weak you are...don't be too weak. Even a seemingly strong ally will attack you if they think you are a pushover. This defense should include a mobile army that you can move to the troubled area and do a counter offensive against any attacking cannon. If I have a large mobile army I can get away with only one garrison cannon in each city. If I have a weak mobile force or I plan on my army going to another part of the map I try for 2 garrison cannon in each city. City defenses make a big difference (more of a difference against the natives who don't have cannon). If you only have a few extra defenses put the units in the cities closest to the natives or other players.
    2. Increase your economy
    Never forget your end goal is to beat the King's forces. To defeat the King you'll need alot of military units which require vast amounts of resources (horses, muskets, etc..). You can build the resources yourself, buy the resources or take them from others. Don't wait until the end of the game to focus on acquiring military resources.
    3. Build cities smartly
    Always keep the revolutionary war in mind. The King will attack from the east and will hit your coastal cities first. If you have too many coastal cities your defense will be spread out and your defending forces won't be able to defend it all. Generally, I like to have 2 coastal cities and 3 inland cities in the early middle part of the game.

    Spoiler :
    If you win the King's bet by having 3 inland cities you can get 2 expert pioneers. Therefore, I try to have three inland cities fairly early in the middle part of the game. You need to be wary of your computer rivals...they like to expand quickly but they do it in a balanced way.

    Adding cities vs. increasing the population in your current towns
    As you get more colonist you have to make the decision whether to increase the size of your current cities, make new cities or turn them into a military units. Considering the large army you'll need to fight off the king's forces, you need alot of bell production to get the rebel sentiment high enough to start the revolution (50%). This means you'll have to have a fairly large civilization. So, not only do you need to increase the bell production in your current towns but you'll need to start more towns. The problem is the more towns you have and the closer you are to the natives the more they hate you. And if you make them too angry they will attack you. If you're friendly with the natives and they don't consider you weak they will abandon a village...essentially giving you the land. When they abandon the village you will notice an immediate reduction in the effect of close proximity. This will allow you to expand with minimal hatred from the natives.

    Dealing with the natives
    Dealing with the natives can be very frustrating for a new player. It seems like whatever you do the natives hate you and try to kill you. However, in reality, your actions are the main cause of the conflict. Natives become angry with you when you steal land, are too close to their villages, grow too big, attack them, assist their enemy or don't assist them when they request help. So, if you do nothing to help your reputation with the natives, they will grow angry and attack you.
    Here are some ways to improve your reputation with the natives:
    1. Buy land from the natives...don't steal it {usually you can steal the land for the second city without any long lasting negative effects}
    2. Trade with the natives. Be very careful trading muskets or horses. Muskets and horses make the natives very powerful...if they turn on you...well, you've been warned.
    3. Give them gifts (tribute) If you're at the stage where the natives are demanding gold from you, you probably should pay it if you're not ready to battle them. You need to know the names of the indian tribes near you so you can make a good decision on giving them gifts or not.
    4. Set up missions in their villages
    5. (advanced) Allow the indians to "take their revenge". If you capture another player's town you get some of their hatred (as if you stole the land yourself). If you then clean out the town and give it back to the other player it is now weak but you lose that native hatred you just got for "stealing" their land. Get the natives to now raze that town and you get the bonus rep for razing your city. By giving the town back you gain rep with the other player as well.
    6. Don't be weak! This actually doesn't improve your reputation with the natives but it is a deterrence against them attacking you. Even if you are in excellent standing with the natives they will attack you if you're weak. Negotiate from a position of strength!
    7. Assist the natives in time of war. If you do assist the natives in their conflicts be careful. They seem to negotiate for peace at very bad times leaving you alone to fight a strong enemy.
    8. There are some events that give you an option to boost your rep with a local tribe.

    Building your empire
    For your first city you try to pick a good spot but you don't know enough about the surrounding land to have an optimal placement. For all other cities you should have explored enough around your city to make good choices. I try to pick a spot that will give me 4 food upon settling (i.e. not a marsh away from a river)...and one that has 2 or more bonus resources. In general it's not a good idea to build on top of a bonus resource since you'll get alot more from the resource with an expert harvester. Also, you normally won't see 2 bonus resources next to each other...so if you build on one you won't have another next to the town.
    Some people like to have harvesting cities and manufacturing cities. Since the best manufacturing buildings take a long time to get to, you end up with a few manufacturing towns near the coast and several harvesting cities more inland. I prefer to harvest and manufacture in the same city which reduces the need to move the raw goods.
    In a new city I plan on 4 of the squares being used to produce food and the other 4 squares used for 1 or 2 lumber and 2-3 resources. It takes a long time to build the end buildings in a city. So I like to use 2 lumberjacks and 3 master carpenters in the coastal cities. Leaders who are "industrious" make this progression alot easier.
    I don't see an advantage in spreading out my cities; so, I make a grid of my cities. Of course, I will adjust the city placement by a square to two to maximize production. A tight formation of cities decreases travel time thereby making it easier to defend.
    As stated earlier in this guide, keep the number of coastal cities to a minimum. If you have too many coastal cities you won't be able to defend them all.
  5. Windfoot

    Windfoot Chieftain

    Jan 23, 2012
    "There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others." - Niccolo Machiavelli

    The end game is all about preparing for the revolution. In this phase you need to ramp up your bell production to get 50% rebel sentiment and have a large enough army to defeat the Royal Expeditionary Force (REF).

    50% rebel sentiment
    You need 50% rebel sentiment to declare war on the king. If you have a civilization large enough to have a chance at defeating the king you'll need alot of bell production. In your larger cities you should strive for city halls/newspapers and smaller towns should have town halls/printing presses...all filled with elder statesmen. Remember rebel sentiment greater than 50% adds to the combat strength of all your units...so you can't go overboard with bell production. In addition, you keep gaining FFs during the revolution so you'll be able to get some combat advantages as well. Some FFs give you more bells for building other type of buildings (ex. Washington Irving gives you bells for school houses). If you get one of these FFs, build the appropriate buildings to boost your bell production.

    Building a large army
    How big of an army do I need? Answer: it depends. What strategy are you using? How are your cities laid out? How big is the REF? What leader traits do you have? What FFs do you have? Can you continue producing combat units after the start of the war? How experienced is your army?
    First of all, you don't need to match the size of the REF (thank goodness!). Remember, you don't have to beat the entire REF all at once. The REF comes in 4 waves each separated by 5 turns. The wave sizes are 10% then 20% then 30% then 40%. And each wave doesn't hit in the same turn...it takes a few turns to unload all those units. I use a strategy to attack them as they land so I'll need to defeat all units as they land. I only build Cuirassiers and Dragoons. My starting number is 70% of the REF's Cuirassiers and dragoons. I then modify this number depending on my leader traits, FFs and ability to produce more military units. This is the minimum number of units I have. In this case more is better :)
    You will lose some units along the way. However, your units will gain experience and promotions which make them better and give you a better chance of winning future battles. Promotions will also heal your unit. Great Generals (GG) add experience to units so you can use them at the appropriate time to "heal" your units.

    Building a large army takes alot of resources! Leaders who are "disciplined" have an easier time building their army. You'll need to produce alot of muskets/horses or goods to sell to buy muskets/horses. Save up extra muskets/horses. Once you declare independence, any worker who isn't directly providing war support should be turned into a soldier/dragoon. Keep your statesmen and preachers (if you are going to choose "separation of church and state" for your constitution) along with your ranchers, blacksmiths and gunsmiths. If you are producing cannon/ garrison cannon keep your lumberjacks and carpenters otherwise conscript them into your military. You also need to keep the appropriate number of farmers and fishermen to support the work in your cities. You can get 2 extra colonists in each city if you choose "all men are free". At this stage of the game population shouldn't be an issue. If you still have a shortage you can always buy expert colonists from Europe to turn into soldiers/dragoons.

    Teaching colonists to become veterans in your universities can also make a difference.
  6. Windfoot

    Windfoot Chieftain

    Jan 23, 2012
    "Give me liberty or give me death" - Patrick Henry

    Viva la Revolution!
    Finally the time has come to revolt and fight your war of independence!
    You first order of business is to write your constitution. You can read Wejer's analysis here: It's for the unmoded game but the analysis still applies.

    What is your stance on slavery?
    - "All men are free": +2 population per city. If you have alot of muskets/horses, free the slaves and use the extra population to make more military units.
    - "Slavery": +50% production of raw goods. A huge increase in production...but is it worth keeping slaves?

    What is your stance on elections?
    - "Monarchy": Can trade with Europe.
    - "Elections": +50% bell production. More bells mean more FFs which can help you in you revolution.

    What is your stance on natives?
    - "manifest destiny": +50% vs natives.
    - "native rights": auto peace and strengthen relations. Do you really want to fight the natives and your king at the same time? I thought not.

    What is your stance on religion?
    - "separation of church and state": converts crosses into bells. This is usually the best choice. More bells=more FFs and better rebel sentiment.
    - "theocracy": converts crosses into hammers. Situationally this can be better. If you need to build more ships or garrison cannon/cannon then this might be better.

    What is your stance on land security?
    - "right to bear arms": +2 str for colonists. If you had to start the revolution early and you aren't fully prepared this would help immensely. Colonists can't attack, but they can be stacked with your combat units to help defend.
    - "controlled arms": +50% great general emergence. This is usually the best choice.

    Spoiler :
    If you have good relations with the other players they may offer you support in your revolution. If you choose sea support you will get a man-o-war...which is the only way for you to get this unit. Only choose sea support if you are using the Armada strategy. Otherwise they will provide land support and usually give you an artillery.

    There are two ways to win the war against the king: kill all his troops or destroy all his ships. Leaders who are "resourceful" have a distinct advantage during the revolution. Increased experience gained means more promotions. And promotions mean more powerful units and some healing. I recommend saving your game prior to starting the revolution...if you aren't an experienced player you may need to reload and prepare some more before starting the revolution. There are many strategies for defeating the king's troops but lets discuss some of them:

    The Winston Churchill
    "We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender." - Winston Churchill
    Please read Blind Side's post here to see the original post about this strategy (not specifically for the TAC mod)
    The goal of this strategy is to kill the king's troops as they land on your beaches. Your army will almost exclusively be Cuirassiers and Dragoons...Cuirassiers have 4 strength and dragoons start with a 30% chance to withdraw and a +50% against siege weapons. Also, all the land around your cities should have roads. The goal is to be able to move quickly to attack them on the beaches then retreat to the city in the same turn...don't leave any artillery next to your cities. This is an all or nothing type of strategy. You can't afford very many of the king's troops to survive the landing on your beaches or you will be overwhelmed (see last section to estimate the amount of troops needed).

    The Daniel Boone
    "A zeal for the defence of their country led these heroes to the scene of action, though with a few men to attack a powerful army of experienced warriors." - Daniel Boone
    The goal with this strategy is to take away two of the king's advantages: bombardament and artillery bonuses against towns. So you attack them in the wilderness! When building your civilization leave a gap between your coastal cities and your inland cities...this wilderness will be your battleground. Try picking a location where your wilderness can be mostly the same terrain type (probably forest or light forest). Make sure your inland towns can produce muskets and grow people at a reasonably fast pace. Native mercs are good units for this strategy. Empty your coastal cities because they will be overrun. Try to get the FF, Ethan Allen, to join your cause.

    Just because a unit can be promoted doesn't mean it should be promoted. In the beginning of the game your scouts will gain promotions. You can save those promotions for when they are back in your colonies and made into soldiers. Some promotions are unique to mounted units and some are unique to infantry. At the least you can pick promotions like veteran which are useful both for mounted troops and infantry troops. When you pick promotions you should pick Ranger I-III first. Bayonet, fearless and charge are good upgrades but I prefer the veteran upgrades since I can use them against any type of troops.

    The Armada
    Here your goal is to defeat the enemy fleet. TAC dramatically increased the size of the REF fleet. In Civ4Col, the fleet shuttled troops back and forth from Europe. In TAC there are enough ships to transport the troops then stay off your coast. Considering the King's Man-o-war has a 14 strength and your ships of the line only have 9 you are at a distinct disadvantage. You need to be prepared to lose alot of ships. There are some things that will improve the odds for you
    1. Rebel sentiment in excess of 50%. At 100% rebel sentiment your ships will have an effective strength of 13.5...which is pretty close to the man-o-war's strength of 14.
    2. Add a naval port which gives your ships the upgrade of broadside...cumulative strength of 14.4
    3. The FF, Francois Joseph Paul de Grasse, adds another 10%...cumulative strength of 15.3
    4. Use Great Generals to upgrade your ships (be sure to remove all other units from your city before adding a GG to your ship or the other unit's will leach the experience).
    5. Use a leader with the "resourceful" trait. Gaining experience 50% faster is a huge benefit.

    The goal of the first three waves is to gain experience for your ships. You initial attacks should be with an inexperienced ship...that way your experienced ships can be assured of victory (some will win and increase your pool of experienced ships). The fourth wave will be very difficult and your ships will need all the experience you can give them. Coastal waters add 10% defense. So, try to attack the enemy fleet in the ocean and any ship not in a city should at least be along the coast to increase it's defense. You will also capture some Man-o-wars which, with your bonuses, are very powerful.

    Building a naval port takes a long time. In the cities where you plan to build ships you need to maximize your production. Try to have a great wheelwright workshop and fill it with 4 expert carpenters. You need alot of lumber to feed that production so 3 lumberjacks are best or you'll need to transport lumber into the city. You'll also need alot of tools, muskets and cloth. So either have a robust production line or be able to buy what you need from Europe. You might want to have a couple ports away from the king's initial landing zone. That way if you lose your starting port city you can still produce ships. In my current game I have my starting city on the east coast of Florida and 2 cities on the west side of Florida. A great tool factory and a great arsenal really help getting tools and muskets...keep in mind they have to be built near a river and they reduce the food production in the city.

    Regardless of your best efforts some troops are going to land before you can destroy their ships. So, you also need to be able to defend against the King's ground troops. On a conquistador/huge map I had 70% of the number of the REF's man-o-wars and it was overkill...you can probably do it with around 50% of the number of REF ships.

    Other combat strategies and concepts
    "War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man." - Napoleon Hill

    Going to war with the natives and other players can be profitable, but there are potential pitfalls.

    A leader who is a "conquistador" or "resourceful" will have an easier time fighting the natives. Going to war with the natives has the following advantages:
    1. Your units get experience.
    2. You can get native villagers from destroying a native village.
    3. You gain a treasure from each village you destroy (normally the amount of the treasure is small...capital villages give more as do the villages of a "prosperous" native tribe).
    4. You clear land for your settlements.
    1. You might bite off more than you can chew. Even though your units are stronger than the natives, the natives have alot more people at the beginning of the game.
    2. By attacking the native you will also piss off any of their allies...and those allies may declare war on you. You might not be able to take on multiple tribes/players all at the same time.
    3. You might lose a city. Your reputation with the natives does get better once they raze a city. However, it generally isn't worth losing a city to attack the natives.
    4. You will lose a few units. The war with the king will require all your combat power. You can't afford to lose too many units when attacking the natives.

    Fortifications work very well against the natives and reduce the chance of being successfully raided. Also, I try to clear the side of the city I think the natives will attack as well as have roads around your city. This removes the native's combat bonuses for defending in rough terrain and allows me to attack them and retreat to the town in the same turn.
    {I dare you to fight a war to extinction against any native tribe near your cities before 1600 on the map "TAC East Coast v.1.02" on explorer or higher difficulty...I double dog dare you!}

    Other players
    Other players will have a few defensive units in their towns and a stack of mobile forces. It's the mobile army you'll need to destroy. Once the mobile army is destroyed the enemy is easy to plunder or will accept your calls for peace. The mobile force will consist of a couple of cuirassiers, several cannon and maybe a couple of garrison cannon. To defeat this you'll need a couple of cuirassiers to counter their cuirassiers and enough dragoons to take out the cannons. If you fight the enemy stack at your city you'll need enough dragoons to take all the cannon out in one turn. If you fight the stack away from your cities you just need enough cuirassier to defeat their cuirassiers and a few dragoons to start taking out the cannon.
    Some advantages of attacking other players:
    1. Your military units gain experience
    2. You can capture wagons and colonists when you attack them (it's a good idea to capture the enemy units before they have a chance to retreat into the cities)
    3. You can capture cities (goods and colonists)
    4. If you beat down another player that player wont be strong enough to start a revolution.
    5. If you beat down another player that player can't get the FFs you are trying to get.
    1. You can lose combat units
    2. If you don't take out their mobile army, they will attack you and probably take over your cities.
    3. While attacking another player you are vulnerable to attack. Your enemy's friends may decide to help them and attack you. If attacked while your army is away from your cities, you'll be hard pressed to defend yourself.
    You need to be aware of the location of other payers and native tribes as well as their standing with each other (F4). This will help you determine whether it's smart to attack them and who may come to their aid.

    Spoiler :
    If the king asks you to go to war with another player he will give you the option to get units from him. If you do you will get an artillery and a hessian. This is the only way to get an artillery prior to your revolution...the artillery is extremely powerful against towns or villages.

    The Plunderer {advanced strategy}
    The Plunderer is an advanced strategy to beat down your opponents and maximize your benefits from them. If executed properly it not only gives you goods and colonists it also increases your rep with both the natives and the player you plundered!!!
    To successfully execute the Plunderer strategy you will need a mobile army strong enough to defeat the other player's mobile army and at the same time be strong enough to defend your own civilization. Sometimes you have to take a calculated risk and leave your civilization fairly weak. If I have good rep with the local natives and good rep with the other players and I don't think they will join the player I plan to attack, I will leave my cities with minimal defense.
    Executing the Plunderer strategy
    1. First locate the enemy mobile army. You will need to know it's location and strength.
    2. Don't waste any of your combat strength on the enemy towns until you destroy the enemy mobile army. You can and should capture lone colonists/pioneers and wagons.
    3. After the enemy mobile army is destroyed, capture each of his cities one by one. The goal here is to not lose any units...so heal up units between captures and use your own cannon to eliminate any fortifications. You have to watch your reputation with the local natives. Stop capturing cities if your rep gets too bad (see the explanation of the effect on native reputation explained below).
    4. Don't capture his last town. If you do there is a chance for that player to retreat from the new world and you won't be able to give the cities back to him. Leave a small inland town...you want to capture the developed cities with alot of goods and a large population.
    5. Bring in your wagons (ships if a coastal town) and remove all goods.
    6. Once the unrest settles down remove all the population except one colonist (preferable a native or criminal) and move these colonists to your civilization. I have the remaining colonist work in the town hall creating bells and have the city produce political points.
    7. Once you have captured all but one city and have fully plundered the cities turn them back over to the player you captured them from. Don't keep the cities you conquer unless they are right on your border. The REF is hard enough to beat...don't spit your civilization.
    8. Entice the local natives to attack that player and raze the cities you've previously captured
    The other players get expert colonists from the European docks just like you do. So, you'll get expert colonists with this strategy.
    The player reputation effect: After you declare peace you start getting bonus reputation with the player for each city you give back to him (it is viewed as tribute and you get a rep bonus). So when you turn over all his cities the rep bonus you get is significantly greater than the reputation hit you take from declaring war. Over time the negative war rep will fade away and leave you with a strong bonus for giving the cities back to him.
    The native reputation effect: When you capture another player's city you also get the negative native rep that city has (for "stealing" the land). When you turn the city back over to the player you lose that negative native rep but now the city is identified as being one of yours. So, now when the natives raze the city you get the bonus rep for "we have taken our revenge". You actually gain rep with the natives and you never have to attack them!
    This strategy is advanced because it manipulates the reputation you have with the natives. When you first capture the cities you get negative rep with the natives...if this negative rep is too much you may trigger a war with the natives. So this strategy is only for players who are expert at managing native reputation.

    You should promote your troops based upon how you plan to use them in the future. Lets examine a few of the key promotions:
    Veteran I: +10% strength
    Veteran II: +10% strength
    Veteran III: +10% strength
    Veteran IV: +10% strength and +10% healing in neutral lands
    Veteran V: +10% strength and +10 healing in enemy lands
    Veteran VI: +25 Strength
    Explosive I: +20% Settlement Attack
    Explosive II: +25 Settlement Attack
    Explosive III: +30 Settlement Attack
    Surgeon I: +10 Healing units in your square
    Surgeon II:+10 Healing units in adjacent square
    Surgeon III: +15% healing units in your square, +15% healing for all units in adjacent squares, can heal while moving
    Charge: +25% against siege weapons
    Fearless: +25% against mounted units
    Bayonet: +20% against gunpowder units
    Explorer I: -1 terrain movement cost
    Explorer II: +1 visibility range
    Explorer III: +1 movement and can use enemy roads
    Canister Shot I: +10% against gunpowder units
    Canister Shot II: +15% against gunpowder units
    Canister Shot III: +25% against gunpowder units
    Ranger/Mountaineer/Swampfox all give huge bonuses but only in the appropriate terrain (at level III the cumulative bonus is 75%, they can move faster in the appropriate terrain and can attack multiple times)

    - In general, if you want to increase the combat ability of a unit, you should upgrade the veteran upgrades first. Other upgrades help you in specific fights but the veteran will help you in all situations. Unless the natives are armed, the veteran promotions are the only offensive ones that affect your combat with the natives.
    - For mounted troops, if you plan on using them to counter enemy cannon get charge. If you plan on countering cuirassiers then get fearless.
    - Scouts should get Explorer I to increase their movement in the beginning of the game
    - For cannon/artillery, if you plan on attacking cities or native villages get Explosive I-III. If you will use them against enemy troops get Canister Shot I-III.
    - Any large army should have a "Surgeon"...preferably with surgeon III. The ability to heal a cumulative 25% for all units in your square and all adjacent squares while moving is significant. Try to not lose your surgeon.

    Slowing down other players
    Privateers and the shipping war
    Privateers are a great way to slow down a player's economy without having to declare war on them. You can slow down their economy, steal goods and have a chance at capturing a ship! By controlling the sea lanes you can greatly limit the other players. Be careful, privateers are expensive and if you kill too many ships the other player's king will send them a frigate to protect the shipping lanes. Some people advocate promoting the privateer's movement; however, I prefer to increase the privateer's combat strength. My privateers can and do kill frigates. I only attack when the odds are in my favor and never when damaged. Privateers are so expensive I'd rather let a few ships get through rather than lose a privateer. I also have my privateers alternate on the player he attacks so it will delay a player's king from sending a frigate. Also, coasts give your ships a 10% increased defense. So try to keep your privateers along the coast until they've gained some experience.

    Native intervention
    If there is a native tribe that isn't close to me but is close to one of my rivals I may sell that native muskets and horses. Just be sure you won't have to fight them in the future. With the new weapons the natives are more aggressive and usually will fight with the players near them. Even if they don't fight the other player, you still have the profit from the sale. You can also try to bribe the tribe into attacking the other player.
  7. Windfoot

    Windfoot Chieftain

    Jan 23, 2012
    under construction
  8. dalgo

    dalgo Emperor

    Feb 23, 2002
    Auckland, New Zealand
    A very good idea to give newcomers to TAC a guide to help them get into playing this Mod. However it might be better placed in the Strategy Articles forum. This forum is more designed for quick strategy queries and tips.
  9. Windfoot

    Windfoot Chieftain

    Jan 23, 2012
    Good idea. Hopefully, a moderator will read this and can move it in it's entirety :)

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