It seems that you're using an outdated browser. Some things may not work as they should (or don't work at all).
We suggest you upgrade newer and better browser like: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Opera

I originally wrote this post about game variants for Colonization in another thread at General Discussions one year ago. I thought I'd also share it here, with added details, for those who are interested in these self-imposed rules that spice up the game. Note that all of these took place in the Americas map, the one I play the most, because I just love settling real-life locations.

One colony challenge: OK, everyone and their dog have done this... But keep in mind that in the 1990s, pre-Internet, as a kid this was an idea of my own. I found the perfect spot in North America, a tile with access to fish, wood, mineral ore and some fields to plow. Maybe, more than the challenge, I loved this location so much that I didn't want to build anywhere else. I played many games, with different nations, building only one colony in the perfect spot. For a colony to be self-sufficient you just need an access to food (farms or fish), any forested tile for wood (the timber bonus is nice) for hammers, and hills or mountains for ore (which are then turned into tools and then into muskets).

The Rum Empire: and now we arrive to my second era of playing Colonization, thanks to GOG and their ready-to-install classic games. Things will start to become more creative. For this game, as the Spanish, I claimed the Greater Antilles (Cuba and Hispaniola) and the northern coast of Colombia and Venezuela, turning the Caribbean into my own Mare Nostrum. Choosing my area of interest prior to the game made for a diverse Caribbean, with other nations settling the Lesser Antilles, and it also forced me to kick them out of the spots that were rightfully mine. Being in the middle of everything and everybody, it was a perfect opportunity to use Privateers. Also, playing next to the Arawaks is always a fun (and bloody) ride. I prioritized planting sugar and manufacturing it into rum, building a successful tycoon empire. At some point I had sold so much rum in Europe that the prices dropped too much and it was more profitable to sell the raw sugar! This game taught me to diversify my economy with backup goods (thank God Cuba had one tobacco plantation).

The railroad: I wanted to simulate the construction of an Atlantic-Pacific railroad in the United States, so the British seemed the natural choice. With only one port in the Atlantic, I started building a roads (let's imagine our trade caravans were metal horses) and some colonies in key strategic points, mainly to get ore, silver and other goods unavailable in my initial settlement. Finally, after a very careful expansion and a legendary migration to the West, I was able to found my second port, in the Pacific, with a contiguous road network joining the two coasts of the continent! In this game I had to master land transportation to move goods to my port colonies, and I actually used the Pacific route to Europe (I even had a permanent armada in California!). This also took the focus to zones that in games are usually just places to explore with a scout; for example, the Apache became one of my main allies and, eventually, my biggest enemies. The Sioux, who in he America map are usually just a tribe you visit with your scouts later in the game, were trading partners for once. In addition, the Royal Expeditionary Force landed in the West instead of the East, turning the Independence War into a unique experience.

Have you ever designed your own game variants? Any juicy stories to tell? I am open for suggestions that suit the French and the Dutch, as well as the random New World map (as much as I love the Americas map, it's always good to try new experiences every once in a while).
Post edited October 20, 2019 by ConsulCaesar
Good stuff. Sadly, I'm by no means a COL expert, and have not strayed far from the usual ways of playing or stated self-imposed rules to play. Interesting to read nevertheless.

I have to remember to upload my own Americas map (when I find it among my backups). There, I buffed up areas I believe were (or could have been, in a hypothetical parallel history) important for exploration and development. For example: Peru, the area extending from Paraguay to the River Plate, the northwestern part of the Patagonia, central Mexico, and California.

I also did a couple of "navigable rivers", in areas where they were important for the same reasons: the Parana and Saint Lawrence rivers.

I'm sure those changes were colored by my own education and nationality, but I will take suggestions to improve the map if there are any. If I can't find it, I will re-create it.

There was one issue I remember though: I had to replace the AMER2.MP file with that map's file and play directly selecting "Original Americas" instead of selecting a map editor created file; otherwise the native settlements would not appear in the proper locations. Do you know anything about that or how to correct it?
I enjoyed doing archipelago maps and making an island empire. The Americas map was far to limiting for that. The random maps werent a lot better but there are a bunch of designed island chain maps that were tremendous.

Frequently I would not use anything but a fully trained colonist for a particular job. You know, farmers for food, fisherman for fish, etc. The difficulty was always the master planters of course. Along those lines I wouldnt setup a new colony unless I had what I consider a "settler" unit. Farmer(Fisherman), Carpenter and Lumberjack. Another variation was sometimes refusing to purchase new colonist. Only what showed up on the dock. Or settle my first colony of the first block of land I hit, no exploration allowed. Religious empire pumping out crosses and native converts. None of this impacted much, just amusing to me.

Often would play "historically correct". Meaning I would be the Spanish and prosecute all out war on the natives. or the French and try and develop zillions of missions. Dutch and English didnt fit so well into this as it wasnt immediately obvious how to play them.

Sometimes I would only trade via the automated routes. No manual intervention allowed save for setting it up. Tried a Desert kingdom once with a huge global map in the middle of the Sahara. More boring than particularly difficult. Naval power, rushing to Frigates and blockading anything an everything until I ruled the waves and the globe through economic domination. Allowing the Kings troops to land and take a few cities to try and get them to build up a new colonial power (doesnt work by the way. AI refuses to do anything but pump out troops to attack)

There are more I am forgetting I am sure. God knows how many hours I have sunk into this game.
I found some pictures of my railroad game, just after winning the Revolutionary War.
railroad1.jpg (447 Kb)
railroad2.jpg (446 Kb)
railroad3.jpg (422 Kb)
Your post reminded me of looking for the map, as I happened to have my backup drives at hand today.

Here it is:

As I mentioned earlier, the file is called the same as the default Americas map, AMER2.MP, because it is the only way I found to have the natives' cities located properly. If anyone wants to use it the way I did: remember to backup the original AMER2.MP file from your install.

From the file modification date it seems like I made some change in 2017, but I can't remember what it was.
Is there any way to play Colonization with no human player? An online friend who is visually impariid wants to know. He says that if he picks zero players, it still requires keyboard inputs to proceed.
Lensman03: Is there any way to play Colonization with no human player? An online friend who is visually impariid wants to know. He says that if he picks zero players, it still requires keyboard inputs to proceed.
I think you are talking about another game. Colonization (1994) doesn't let you choose the number of players; it's a single-player only game.

--- edit ---

I just realized, shortly after the post above, that you might be talking about the cheat mode option that allows to pick None at the CHEAT \ Set Human player menu option; and then saying Yes at the question Automate the game? that appears.

If so, I really don't recommend to use it. I believe it was only included as a way to debug the game. You see only the perspective of the player that was selected at the moment of starting the automation and there is no way of stopping it (other than forcing DOSBox to close, of course)
Post edited March 08, 2020 by Links
Lensman03: Is there any way to play Colonization with no human player? An online friend who is visually impariid wants to know. He says that if he picks zero players, it still requires keyboard inputs to proceed.
You can play as the 'only' European nation by editing the gamefiles.
Open NAMES.TXT in and set the speed of caravels to 0. The line should look like this:
Caravel, 6, 0, 0, 2, 2,99, 4, 4, 0, 4, 10100010

Then pick the Dutch (they start with a merchantman instead) and you'll have the entire new world to yourself. Be warned however that the other european nations still have caravels and if you attack them, they'll get warships for free which would spoil this scenario.