Title           Colonization (Second Review)
Game Type	Management Sim
Company		Microprose (1994)
Players		1
Compatibility	1 meg Amigas
HD Installable  Yes

This game is one of my favourites, so much so that I have written a Web
Site for it at:

This site is actually based on the PC Version, but I played the Amiga
Version first, and as far as I can tell they are identical.

You start off as an explorer for the English, Dutch, French, or Spanish
(like Columbus), with a small ship, a Soldier and a Pioneer. If you go
West far enough you will eventually find the new World, and can found a
Colony. There you will compete with the 3 other European Powers, and 8
Indians Tribes at varying levels of development and wealth. There are
two ways you can treat the Indians:
-Friendly: Then they will bring you gifts, and teach you skills like
growing Tobacco, and Cotton
-Hostile: Where you send Soldier, Dragoons, and Artillery against there
Cities, to gain plunder
Both methods work, but I use the former. You may also wish to fight the
other European Powers to gain more Colonies, or be dragged into a War by
your King.

The map is huge, covering all of North and South America, plus the West
Indies, Europe is not included as such, ships sail to the High Seas, and
then arrive in a European Port, where they can buy or sell goods which
are taxed, increasingly heavily as the game goes on, until trade becomes
uneconomic, and you either trade with other European Powers and the
Indians, or fight a War of Independence. Be aware the King builds an
Expeditionary Force, paid for by your taxes, which is very formidable.
Make sure you have good Colony Fortifications and plenty of Troops
before you Declare Independence, or you will lose. Another European
Power may send Troops to aid you after a time, depending on what level
of internal support your revolution has. Tory Cities, will yield few
troops for your cause.

There are also a number of Ships, including Privateers hired by European
Governments, and given a letter of Marque which allows them to prey on
enemy shipping. This is what made Britain Great, Francis Drake and his
like, intercepting Spanish plunder before it reached Cadiz. There are
Frigates which can attack Privateers, but they are not always
successful, and cost a lot. During the Revolution, the Man-O-War option
appears, these are truly formidable, and can even bombard coastal Colonies.
3 types of transport ships exist: Caravel, Merchantmen, and Galleon, each
with increasing defence, speed, cargo holds, and cost.

Each Colony produces Liberty Bells, which increase Revolutionary
Sentiment, improve production, and after a while create Founding
Fathers. Build Printing Presses and Newspapers in your Colonies to
further increase this trend, but be aware the King looks badly on
disloyalty and will increase the Tax Rate. There are 25 Founding Fathers
from a number of nations, including famous ones like Traitor Washington
and Pocahontas, and less well known ones like Simon Bolivar and Peter
Minuit. They each have a beneficial effect in the fields of War,
Politics, Trade, Religion, and Exploration. This game will increase your
knowledge of history.

One fun thing about this game is exploration. When you begin the game
the whole map is black. But you soon uncover it. Ships can quickly map
out the coastlines, but are expensive and may be needed for defence or
trade. The interior is harder to map, as you require scouts with horses.
Although the horse evolved in America, it became extinct there, so
Indians prize it for War and Hunting, so your Scouts often disappear,
and their horses are taken, they may also be ambushed as the Indians
know, once a region has been charted Europeans Colonists and Armies will
soon follow. Each tribe has different skills to teach, about half the
skills in the game can be learned from Indians, some can only be learned
from Indians, or other captured Europeans, who also learnt from Indians.

Religion plays a part in immigration, with the Catholics wanting to save
heathen souls, and the Protestants wanting to find a new home free from
Religious conflict. Missionaries can be sent to Indian Villages to make
them less hostile, or hostile to another power, and gain converts, who
will work in the fields. More Preachers, Churches, and Cathedrals means
more European Immigrants, many will be unskilled depending on game level
and which founding fathers you have, some will even be petty criminals,
debtors and such like, sent to clear out the prisons. A few will bring
valuables skills, like Lumberjack, Carpenter, and Blacksmith. They can
teach others, or work much more efficiently than other Colonists. Each
skill is represented by a little man or woman in the Colony.

There are five commodities in demand in Europe that the New World can
provide in quantity:
-Fur: Although available in Europe, the Quantity in the colder regions
of the New World is much greater due to low human population densities,
and the beaver. Colonies can convert this to Coats, historically also
Top Hats, which will fetch a much better price.
-Sugar: Available in tropical regions, can be converted to Rum.
-Cotton: Can be converted to Cloth.
-Tobacco: Can be converted to Cigars, Indians used it in the Pipe of
Peace, not that it did them much good.
-Silver: Prices vary with supply and demand, both by you and other powers.

Colonies can build a number of buildings to increase efficiency in Trade,
Lumber, Iron, Muskets, Commodities, and Education. There are three
levels of fortification, the Stockade means Colonies can not be
disbanded, a Coastal Fort can fire on ships which is great fun, fill it
with Artillery and it will decimate them. A Fortress is virtually
impregnable when properly garrisoned, of course this doesn't mean a
Colony is safe from blockade, siege and starvation. Docks increase food,
Dry-docks repair Ships, and Shipyards can build new Ships given enough
Lumber and Iron.

The European powers behave very much as they did historically:
-The Spanish Plunder Aztec and Inca Cities, taking vast quantities of
gold and building a large Army. The game also gives them military
advantages. The natives flee to Spanish Colonies, but are unskilled, so
the Colonies are very inefficient, and Latin America stays permanently
underdeveloped. The Portuguese are not included, but would behave much
like the Spanish. The two had a treaty, arbitrated by the Pope where one
got one half of the Globe, and the other got the other half. This is why
Portuguese is spoken in Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Goa, East Timor, and
Macao, and Spanish is spoken in the Philippines, Mexico, and Argentina.
-The English produce a greater number of Colonists due to Religious
unrest, each state was a Colony for a different Religion, Virginia:
Church of England, Maryland: Catholic, Pennsylvania: Society of Friends
(or Quaker a term they don't like, as it was used as an insult), New
England: Puritan. The English generally have fewer, bigger, more
developed Colonies, and usually dominate their region, but not the
entire Continent. They tend to settle in less developed regions, as
there is more free land, and the Spanish aren't interested in these
-The French maintain good relations with the Indians, having a lot of
small trading Colonies. Trade pleases the Indians.
-The Dutch have commercial advantages, this makes them a greater target
for the other powers.

To conclude, the game is highly enjoyable, with the usual Microprose
resource trade off problems. It came after Railroad Tycoon, and
Civilization, and you can see influences from these two in the game.  The
game does have a few flaws:

-There are too few powers, and one is usually forced to withdraw by a
treaty following a War, early in the game, which further unbalances it.
The Indians are no match for European Technology, they can acquire Horses
and Muskets, but too few, and too late, and are never able to use
Artillery, this however is a commentary of History.

-There are only a handful of Military Units which is constraining, but at
least you're not upgrading every 5 minutes like in Civilization, and again
it is historically accurate.

-You only need about half a dozen Colonies to Win the game, if you run an
efficient operation, which leaves a lot of space in the map, and means
you don't really have to fight anyone except the King. A bit boring

-The Computer builds Colonies in stupid places like next to each other, so
they have to share resources, and cuts down all the trees so there is no
Lumber available, also it never trains it's Colonists. This makes
conquered Colonies much less useful than they should be.

-Other powers don't have to fight Revolutionary Wars, it would be good if
they did, as you could step in and take a few Colonies when they got weak.

-Warfare is decided by probability not damage, which makes warfare less

-The replay value isn't that great, once you've mastered the
game. But never the less, I would heartily recommend this game.

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