From Before I Play
- Abandon everything you learned in Tropico 1 as totally irrelevant.
- Remember that on their lowest price setting, Tier 1 pirate entertainment buildings charge no fees. This is to keep your poor pirates happy. As soon as all of your pirates are making money, raise the prices.
- Keep your pirate housing/entertainment neighborhood separate from your captive industry area.
- Don't be afraid to use the Black Market to equip your ships, or even to get a negative balance doing this. You'll make it back, because they'll have cruise-appropriate weapons from the get-go. Also, setting ships to harass (which requires Muskets, which you're not going to produce locally for a loooong time) keeps them out of harms way.
- Autosave is good, because losing a ship on a cruis - specially if it's a big one with your best crew and a lot of weapon - s a massive financial setback and will really piss you off. I personally don't mind replacing them realistically, but this is a game-killer for some people.
- If you're not going to be loading a previous save when your nice new Frigate dies, remember to always have a spare. Have three captains? Build four ships!
- Multiple ships cruising in the same sector at the same time will support each other in battle, but getting them to set sail at the same time can be a pain in the ass.
- Make sure every pirate has a house. This takes a lot of wood.
- You want two sawmills and 1.5-2 lumber camps per sawmill.
- Remember to scale up your entertainment facilities as your pirates gain in rank to keep them happy.
- Your biggest money-maker is cruising, your industries tied to it will generate losses (no income), and your entertainment sector will make enough money to cover its expenses/add a bit to your coffers-BUT the inputs required (beer, cigars, etc.) will offset this.
- Watch your international relations, as invasions are almost impossible to fight off. Consider being adopted by a patron to prevent invasion, but bear in mind this will reduce your cruise prey by a third. This is a good option if you have really shitty relations with one of the Great Powers and you've had a captive escape that's revealed the location of your island.