Civilization 4: Colonization

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- Centralize production. Have one mega coastal city that all other cities send their raw materials to for processing and export. Learn to use the automated wagons and you'll spend very little time micro-managing and your economy will run itself.

- Don't start producing ANY Liberty Bells until mid to late game. The Royal Expeditionary Force gets really big really fast, you want to rush yourself to revolution all at once instead of slowly to minimize their size.

- Musketmen for defense, cannons and dragoons for attack. It might be helpful to load up the cities you expect the fighting to take place with musketmen, and hold your dragoons and cannons back to counter-attack after the enemy damages itself against your cities walls.

- The REF comes as soon as you declare independence. The Constitution choices are largely irrelevant as there is no down-time before you are invaded.

- Don't be afraid to attack other colonies in the very early game. It will permanently cripple that colony, and you can get a free Pioneer out of it usually. The AI always settles its soldier, not its pioneer, making it defenseless to your explorers.