Re: Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization Tips FAQ Help Tricks Hints Cheats Strat
i win every single time (on easy). (after a lot of failure)lol
develop only one coastal city, as closest to europe possible with mostly fish, one lumber plot and one or two farms, maybe a tobbaco or cotton field if you're lucky. it may take a dozen restarts to find this golden spot for the first city, but it's worth it. make sure you're not on some little island either. continent is best. even better is a nearby coastal village, (hopefully fishermen) but not too close as training seems to slow down as your territory expands around the village. build a dock first, then, wharehouse. i sometimes capture the other European colony if it's in my spot. its usually undefended. i alwasy make sure no other European colonies are around mine. i just go destroy the city, and take their pioneer! freebie!.
i go to Europe and hope a seasoned scout appears, if not, i convert whatever i get to a scout, or buy something, then convert. buy a fisherman too. send two scouts out. send back any treasure to your port city, but don't send to Europe. wait for you to get a galleon. i'm not giving the King half! you should get enough of the 100-300 range "gifts" from the natives to help you get the 1st 3000 dollars for the galleon.
back at the port city, put your fisherman to work, and if you got lucky, your scouts find a fisherman village, send your colonist there for training. train your first few colonist for food production. if you were lucky enough to settle near cotton or tobacco, start making cloth/cigars with colonists, upgrade to specialists later. trade with Europe.
scope out a second city farily near 1st. it'll be inland, and will serve as a "hospital" area for your dragoons at the end. i usually make it a city with lots of food and one lumber plot. i'll be cranking out colonist late in the game and horses. then i make dragoons from that. 3rd and 4th city (maybe 5th) will be for cloth/cigars/coats/silver, depending on what is available. make some wagons and start sending the goods to port, then Europe.
the last city i usually make is high in ore for tools and guns. (it make take two if you can't find enough ore in one location) buy the ironworks, arsenal, etc. to speed up high production of guns and tools.
by now you should be cranking out a lot of colonists and guns. i usually buy horses, but you can build stable and recruit ranchers if you have enough food around a city. either way, you want lots of dragoons. i don't make any cannon, or warships. there's no way i can make enough to beat the King. when i try, i have 7 and he has 32. lol occasionaly, he only makes 7 or so, then i'll build/buy a dozen and kill his ships, instead of a long land war. cannon are only usefull taking a city, so i just don't let him have a city.lol you could have some in "reserve" if he did.
i normally declare war as soon as i'm at 50%. right before i do, i convert all my specialist like cigar makers to dragoons, as i won't be needing cigars anymore. usually i have 10 or 12 soldiers in port city, and 1 or 2 in other cities. if they're way inland, i don't have any. when i declare war, i usually have 17 or so soldiers to the Kings 50, but i have 60 or so dragoons to the kings 40.
the King will always attack the port city, so i set up my dragoons a tile or so inland (so they can't be attacked from ships) keep in mind that only the Kings dragoons can land, then attack your city in the same turn. soldiers and cannon have to land, wait turn, then attack.
i attack them with dragoons, and retreat wounded to closest city for "hospitalization".
couple of things about my strategy
1) if you lose your one coastal city, game over
2) i usually start building a dock and wharehouse first, but after that it varies a lot depending on several factors. i always build a schoolhouse early in 1st colony.
3) i always take the 1st treasure money and buy lumberjacks/ carpenters.
4) some colony's i don't have enough food to support a lumberjack/carpenter (or there's no wood, so i just use a carpenter and trade wood to the colony.
i left out a lot of little things, but maybe this will help.