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Every time I finally make it to the end and beat the game, I feel like my final score is low. How do you play/score?
Athenvance: Every time I finally make it to the end and beat the game, I feel like my final score is low. How do you play/score?
Search rivals at the start and hijack their first colony which is vulnerable because of mostly soldier is working without gun.If you succeed it,keep search and hijack their next colony.This tactic make rivals like slave.
Your score depends on a large number of factors.

What difficulty level are you playing on? Higher levels give score bonuses as you move up.

One of the best things you can do is to make sure that you have as many specialist colonists as possible (i.e. not Free Colonists, Indentured Servants or Petty Criminals). Specialists are worth twice as many points each as free colonists. It doesn't matter what the specialty is, as long as they have one (they will function just as well as Free Colonists in any other job).

Grab all the founding fathers before you declare Independence.

You need a large population to get maximum points. You should have at LEAST 8 colonies by the end of the game, and I usually have 10-11. Each one should have at least 10 population, if not more.

Liberty Bells! Make sure that you are producing a TON of Liberty Bells during the War of Independence, because after you receive foreign intervention, the game starts counting any Liberty Bells you produce before the end of the war as extra points. If you can prolong the war a little bit, that can start to really add up.

Destroying native cities loses you points (more and more in higher difficulty levels) so keep that in mind.

Every 1,000 gold you have at the end of the game is worth 1 point, so keeping your economy going during the war is vital. Custom Houses are a must for this.

The sooner you declare Independence, the bigger score bonus you get, but don't let that make you declare too early! You have around 700 turns in this game, which is PLENTY of time to do everything you need to do.
For one game, it was my strategy to have as many people as possible. However, I then reached a popuation limit, so I don't know how to make that a viable option.

I only every play on the easiest setting. What's the differences between the difficulties?
Athenvance: I only every play on the easiest setting. What's the differences between the difficulties?
So far I've only played on the easiest, too, since i'm still trying to figure stuff out.

Here's a nice breakdown of what to expect for each difficulty level.

For one game, it was my strategy to have as many people as possible. However, I then reached a popuation limit, so I don't know how to make that a viable option.
No, you were on the right track.

This is my highest score ever. After capturing a couple European colonists, burning some natives villages and finding some lost cities thanks to early Hernando de Soto and Cortes, I managed to quickly settle a nice money making industry as the Dutch with the help of Stuyvesant's custom houses.

Pro-tip #1 - The founding fathers offered to you are randomly selected I believe. When the game offers founding fathers you don't want or need right now, pressing the ESC key will close the window until the next turn, you can keep doing this until you are offered the founding father you need, with no penalty as liberty bells increase even when no founding father has been selected. There is still some luck involved in getting the right founding father but you can have some control over it.

Pro-tip #2 - Money raises so much faster when your in-land colonies no longer need to carry goods to your coastal towns, then your ships and then Europe or natives villages. Custom houses FTW.

All the money went to recruiting colonists, to create more settlements and make more money, to recruit more colonists... Being as close as possible to the unit limit is a must when you aim for high scores (but try not going over as it causes bugs like making your units disappear). Colonists that are inside a colony rather than the town gates are not counted when the game calculates the unit limit, so you want as many settlements as possible so you can house as many colonists as you can.

Pro-tip #3 - The more colonists you recruit, the more expensive it becomes to recruit colonists. The cost to train an expert miner however is always six hundred gold, so when the price to recruit free colonists is higher than that, it's cheaper to train expert miners until the recruiting cost for colonists drops back below six hundred, and if experts are offered in the Recruit window, always check the Train window and your colonies' needs to see if you're having a bargain.

Being the first independent nation multiply your final score by two (1.5 for the second nation and 1.25 for the third nation.) Halfway during my game, the English and Spanish attempted to declare independence before I did, I had to send armies and galleons in their most populous settlements in order to capture their colonists and bring them back in my colonies so they would not have enough people to declare independence. I let them reconquer their towns afterward, as defending these settlements would have been difficult during the independence war.

You'll want to kill some natives, and you should (Holy crap! Politically incorrectness!), their villages tend to occupy squares next to first quality resources, they'll harass and raid your stockpiles all the time, even when content, and the loot from Aztecs and Incas cities is a good way to hire colonists and kick start your money making industry but don't overdo it on higher difficulty levels because the penalty for burnt villages is multiplied by your difficulty level (one on pioneer difficulty, five on viceroy). Annihilating these two might be a good strategy on the easier difficulties but on the harder difficulties the penalty will negate any kind of monetary or scoring advantage you would achieve by doing that. Burn some to make room to expend your empire and kick start your industry, but don't overdo it.

So, let's recap:

You want a lot of colonists, cram them in settlements and get as close to the unit limit as you can without breaking it.

When you can't have any more colonists, train them, experts and skilled colonists are worth four points, free colonists are worth two points, servants and criminals are worth one point.

When you can't train any more colonists, you want more gold. You get one point for every thousand of gold in your coffers. A good money making industry, with lot of colonies, lot of industries and lot of custom houses should generate you more than ten thousand gold per turn.

You want to be the first nation to achieve independence to double your score.

The sooner you achieve independence, the better. That concept sounds good on paper, but if you can generate crazy tons of money or find a way to overcome the unit limit and hire more colonists, it's better to wait since the bonus for these two will be higher than the bonus for early independence. I recall seeing scores from pro players which gathered a little bit under one million gold to get that nine hundred points bonus.

Each founding fathers in your congress are worth five points, get them all for 125 points.

If the rebel sentiment in all your colonies is at one hundred percent, that's another one hundred points, plus it will prevents Tories uprisings.

Liberty bells generated during the independence war are used to summon the foreign intervention. When the foreign intervention has been summoned, every one hundred liberty bells generated is worth one point. You can get a maximum of one hundred bonus points this way by generating ten thousand liberty bells. Don't generate 32768 bells this way, not only it is useless to go over ten thousand bells, but when you reach 32768, the next bell will revert the counter to -32768 and you will lose your bonus. I found that the hard way.

Don't burn too many native villages on higher difficulty levels.

And last but not least, if you're trying to see what your citizens will name in your honor, you must play on higher difficulty levels. I don't remember if your difficulty level affects your score, but I know it affects the reward, for the same score, governor and viceroy difficulties have bigger rewards than pioneer or explorer.

Good luck!


Oh yeah, my soldiers have no guns nor horses in that screenshot because as my victory over the Royal Expeditionary Force was assured, I slowly disarmed my soldiers to sell the horses and guns for extra gold.
Post edited July 11, 2013 by blueskirt42
If you are going purely for improvements in score, nothing will impact it more than your difficulty level and being first to independence. Regarding maxing your score, I would argue that razing Aztec and Incan cities is a must, even on Viceroy, as you will get hundreds of thousands in gold far outweighing the built in point loss. Just make sure you have Cortez. And if you are really pushing the min/max, make sure you have expert missions in each and Sepulveda but not yet Las Casas. This will allow you to get large amounts of converts that can immediately be converted to Free Colonists with Las Casas, whom can then be trained at any local willing native capital {unlimited training}.
Do you or anyone else knows if there's a cap to your gold score? Can you have a million or two million gold? or does the game cap at 999,999 or something similar? Similarly, if you can have one or two million gold, will it results in one or two thousand points on your final score or is there a cap somewhere?

I ask because old games, especially Microprose games, were notorious for capping the number of cities, units, vehicles or stations in games like Colonization, Civilization, Transport Tycoon or Xcom, and plenty of old games came with counters that reverted to negative values when a certain number was reached. I recall Xcom games where my super soldiers could no longer move because their Strength stat reverted to a negative value when it was too high, and let's not forget the counter error with Gandhi and nukes in the first Civilization game.

If there is no cap to gold or score given by gold, I'd argue that yes, there is value in pillaging Aztec and Inca cities on Viceroy difficulty because the loot for these cities on Viceroy difficulty is always or almost always higher than five thousand gold, which cancel the five points penalty. At worst, burning a city will net you zero point, at best, it can net you anywhere between one to eight points depending on how much extra loot there is beyond five thousands gold.

If there is a cap however, and you're aiming for a perfect score or something, I'd argue against burning those cities because, if you're going for infinite city sprawl and all of your colonies produce, transform, and sells secondary resources through custom houses, you will generate so much gold per turn that you can probably reach the gold score limit without going out of your way to burn Aztec and Inca cities, thus without getting a score penalty.

Speed would not even be an issue because like I pointed out in my previous post, the score bonus for declaring independence early is peanuts compared to the score bonus you will get if you manage to reach your city limit to house as many colonists as you can, plus the score bonus from all the gold your cities will generate.

Then again, it's almost impossible to achieve infinite city sprawl without burning native cities around your starting location, so if you are to burn native cities to make space for your cities, they may as well be Inca or Aztec cities.
Post edited February 07, 2013 by blueskirt42
Good point on the gold. I am unsure if there is a cap but I can say I have never hit it. Dont recall what my max gold was in any one game but I can safely say I would have screamed in rage if it had sent my gold pile negative and would have recalled that one.

Also, regarding breaking even on the gold for city razing, dont forget the sizable chunk of converts you will get. Each providing another potential 4 point jump. This component would not impact someone who has already maxed colony size.
blueskirt42: ... Speed would not even be an issue because like I pointed out in my previous post, the score bonus for declaring independence early is peanuts compared to the score bonus you will get if you manage to reach your city limit to house as many colonists as you can, plus the score bonus from all the gold your cities will generate.
Its not the speed that counts, its being first to declare independence. I agree that the year bonus is worthless in the grand scheme (although if you are min/maxing, knock your socks off) but you need to be first. It is the single largest impact to your "core" score available. The bonus to your score being first is 100%. It drops considerably from there.

1st - 100%
2nd - 50%
3rd - 25%
4th - Time for personal reflection...
Ah yes, but thankfully, the game warns you when the AI is about to achieve that, with a message telling how many rebellious citizens it needs to declare independence. When that happens keep them in check by sending an army and several galleons their way, kidnap their colonists and let them retake their empty cities.

The beauty is, independence works differently for the AI. If the AI attempt to declare independence while it has 80 population, the game will says something like "The English have 50 rebellious citizens and needs 60 out of its 80 citizens to declare independence". When the warning messages appear, if you raid and steal as much English colonists as you can, the game will say: "The English currently have 12 rebellious citizens, they need 60 out of 80 to be independent." At that point, the AI become a non threat, because it will take a very long time until they can raise 60 colonists again, let alone rebellious ones.

That'll net you a nice score bonus thanks to this sudden burst of population, not to mention the AIs will take less space in the unit limit, and every now and then the game will throw that warning message so you'll know precisely how many rebellious citizens the AIs have, if they become a threat again, you can go on another rampage.

Needless to say, if you don't have La Salle in your congress, you should use that opportunity to abandon as much enemy colonies without stockade as you can, those you can't abandon, you should leave crap citizens like criminals and servants behind, if colonies have muskets, horses or tools, equip them before leaving the city, and don't forget to spare a couple enemy soldiers so they can recapture their colonies. It's also a good idea to choose Coronado not too early, but not too late either, so you have an idea where to strike when AIs get their fancy ideas of independence.

Damn, you're making me want to play that game again!
With the help of the cheat menu I verified a couple days ago if there was any limit to your gold score bonus and I can confirm there is none, after cheating myself two million gold, the game had no problem giving me my two thousand points bonus. If there is a cap, I believe it's well over what one can achieve in a legit, non cheated game.

So, if you want to score yourself a place in the Colonization hall of fame you must go for infinite city sprawl (Up to 48 colonies are allowed on the map, you are allowed to build 38 of them, each can house up to 31 colonists), expending your empire as much as you can, turning all of your colonies into money making machines, preferably as the Dutch, with expert harvesters, manufacturers, factories and custom houses all over the place, and delay your declaration of independence (take your time, as long you declare before 1800 and win before 1850 you will be fine) to get a million gold or more in your coffers.

It also means that any time your army isn't busy kidnapping European colonists, they should be sent to pillage Inca and Aztec cities as the loot from those two is always higher than the points penalty from razing native cities, even on vice roy.

And last but not least, for the first time ever I've tried muttly13's trick regarding expert missionaries, and man, what a broken awesome trick. Learn to love them expert missionaries, make sure you have a mission before you attack native villages, as every successful attack will gives you a convert. If it takes five attacks before you raze a city, that means five converts. Even better, when a native city is razed, your missionary survive and can be relocated to another native city, even if they're now hostile toward you. That makes Sepulveda and Brebeuf just as useful as Cortes and De Soto to get an early development boost. But remember to wait until you're done with your pillaging before getting Las Casas so you can turn as many converts as you can into free colonists because converts cannot be trained to expert.
Post edited February 19, 2013 by blueskirt42
I am glad to see the bug has bitten you again :).

In a desperate attempt for some form of multiplayer, a group of friends who enjoyed the game started up a random map, saved and distributed the file to everyone to play out. At least we can all start with the same setup. We are soon to compare our strategies and end results. I am almost giddy...

We never really came up with victory conditions, basically we decided to just compare for the fun of it and highest civ score will have some bragging rights.
The bug bit, originally I wanted to check if there was a gold limit in a legit way, but four hours later, upon realizing just how much micromanagement it involved, I somehow lost it and used a cheat. I don't think I will replay the game anytime soon but this game, with Heroes of Might and Magic, Civ, Transport Tycoon, Xcom, Sierra and LucasArts adventure games, is a game a grew up with, a game I played non stop in my childhood, teenage and college years. I last played it two years ago, it's still too early right now, but I know at some point in the next five or ten years, the bug will bite, and it will bite hard and I will have to replay it on Vice Roy, and hopefully, reach a score in the ten thousands, so I can finally say "I've finished this game".

Good luck with your multiplayer game, and gooder luck to your friends, they will need it if you practice everything that has been thrown here.
$1000 = 1 point
1 skilled colonist = 4 points
1 expert ore miner = $600

Just make sure you spend all your cash on colonists (and get them in the new world before you declare)
I misremembered a detail it seems, it's not at 65536 that the Liberty Bell counter reset, it's at 32768.