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Atlantic Ocean Trade

MERCHANT PRINCE

3,000,000 coins are required for the title Merchant Prince in this episode.

There are special points based on the entire population of each home region. [You could boost this artificially by creating towns around any houses on your home map in the last two or three years of the game if you are desperate for a better score.]

This is a difficult scenario mainly because it’s hard to create an initial return cargo from your homeland of London, La Rochelle or Cadiz. to the America's.

As your first merchants cross the Atlantic your coin score can go negative as you wait for the first new world cargoes to Europe. Be patient and it should turn around in your favor after the first 15-20 years. Hold your nerve and game plan. If your treasury goes negative 30,000 coins – you should probably restart. 

Silver Mining and Smelting occur just thirty years into the game. To take advantage of this important stage your initial game set up needs to be fairly effective. Furs are only available from Quebec. Look for a port location that has both Furs and a Furrier. Importing the finished product [3 or 4 coats at a time] rather than 6 Furs and 4 spares on a Carvel [cargo capacity of 10] to make 1 coat; all the way across the Atlantic, is a better strategy. Sugar and Tobacco are on the coast of the Santo Domingo map. Import Sugar as a finished product if your home port has no Refinery. Sugarcane can be imported for a good profit if your home town has a refinery-but you need to purchase it to accept bulk incoming cane. Cigars are best made abroad and imported finished.They have a slightly higher demand than Refined Sugar –so a 6/4 cargo is good. Cigars however, are also produced slower -so two locations making them is a good idea. With this initial set up you should have some coins to invest in a Smelter directly at the appearing  Silver Mines on the Veracruz map around 1560 and Centralized Coinage [Government Mints 1561-though this advance is often taken up by the AI’s].Be disciplined and set up a Silver ingot run only in Veracruz to the five Churches on the map –three Silver ingots at a time to each separate location by road– this will start your coin collection growing to purchase key changes in the game.

Cadiz is a favorable MP starting point with an Emporium sized coastal town to create demand for Sugar, Fur Coats and Cigars. Choose a location with both Wheat and Salt/Fish is the best. Though there is good early money to be made importing Salt Fish. However, your town remains dependent on that import and its ties up a merchant or more for the whole game. Only develop one centre and build it, well try to flood it with New World products. By 1660 a market will be demanding ,Cigars-Fur Coats-Wheat-Salt fish-Refined Sugar-Rum and Iron Ploughs. The game notes say Rum production starts 1565-this in an error –it starts 1625.Then a flurry of required household products appear between 1700- 1735; Coffee [1702], Dyed Cotton Cloth [1719 –this a purchased essential change] and Asian Crops [1732- Rice]. The Indiaman upgrade in the 1730’s with a cargo capacity of 18 assists here.

The rate of changes is dizzying at times though many are not town essentials; however, they are the big profit items for attaining Merchant Prince.Here are some key ones:

Silver /Silver Smelting /Mints-1560’s 

Gunpowder 1575 [3,000 coins]: a good investment.  It is slow to produce. Tip: take the Charcoal and Sulfur to the Saltpetre- have the Gunpowder factory here-to force Saltpetre production. Game tip: assign two merchants to Gunpowder deliveries-they won’t keep up with demand even at limited markets and the profits are good. After the rail upgrade release one of these merchants for Iron Products.

Hierarchical Organization 1582 [3,000 coins] Cathedrals appear or can be built, they are markets for Fur Coats/Silver/Gold. Markets that have both Churches and Cathedrals will generate excellent profits.

Military Preparedness 1586 –Arsenals [3,900 coins], Barracks appear automatically at the games start.They don’t really play a key role till Muskets and Rifles are required.  The dribble demand for Rum and Cigars is better shipped to your main home market. Arsenals create a market for both Guns and Cannons. Shipyards which are on the maps from the start , now demand Cannons as well.

Bronze Cannons 1606 -Artillery [4,000 coins]  Bronze Cannons are difficult and time consuming to make-but essential early profits  that will help finance later advances or build demand complexes where you want them: in clusters. Also merchants become increasingly expensive to hire [Starting at 100 but peaking at 6400 coins each]

Galleons 1608 [4500 coins] Let the AI purchase this one unless, you need bulk goods immediately: capacity [15] They are slow.

Rum Production 1625 [5,000 coins] Try to get this straight away otherwise town growth slows.Sometimes the AI doesn’t licence or even buy it first. If you buy it first-licence it-to get some money back. [This applies to any upgrade you purchase first; you are not going to corner any market effectively give the distances in this episode]

Barges to Canal boats:[ date unknown?]  Pause the game and upgrade immediately all your canal routes.

Multiple Harnessing 1637 [6,000 coins] an important upgrade to get quickly. Pause the game and upgrade all your routes immediately. If you used Ox carts [8] try to reduce the loads to the new faster harness [7]

Pig Iron 1658 [6500 coins] Invest and develop in this before you need the Iron, a big stockpile comes in handy making for Ploughs and the new Iron Cannons etc.

Musket 1674 and Rifles 1786 [19,000 coins] Muskets are made with 1 Pig Iron and 1 Wood, they are a sound investment. Make and sell heaps. You need Coal for Rifles [A sensible forward plan picks a site with Iron/Wood/Coal so you don’t have to change your set up] Game tip: name routes carefully- like-Muskets V to C [Muskets Virginia to Cadiz]-when it stops mid route when Muskets are obsolete-you’ll be able to find your merchant easier.

Gold Smelting,1688 [8,000 coins] dedicate one merchant to trading 3 gold ingots to the 5 Veracruz Churches. When the rail upgrade occurs; release either your gold or silver merchant to Iron Products.

Coffee 1702 –free to all players. A required essential for town growth: often located in 3 or 4 inland plantations in Santo Domingo. Use barges, transfer to a port and deliver at least 10 at a time to your urban centre.

Dyed Cotton Cloth 1719 [8500 coins] Look for locations that have both Dye and Cotton crops. usually [Santo Domingo] Build the Dye makers and Weaver on site;turn them on and force mass production.

Asian Crops-[Rice] 1732 free to all players. A required essential for town growth, it grows quickly but is demanded even quicker. Be ready for it- your town will want 20 before you blink. Keep this route simple and direct. While the profit is poor it build the market size for other more valuable products like Ploughs and additional Rum.

Iron Cannons 1740’s -a key investment as is any Iron product. The profits are high. Create a sensible delivery chain so demand is just higher than supply. You want 6000-9000 coins per Cannon-not a flooded market of 2000-4000 coins return per cannon. Aim to deliver 3 Iron Cannons separately across about 5 markets as one route. The demand market including at least three structures demanding Cannons. [Arsenal, Fortress, Shipyard, Legislative Assembly]. Purchase the additional demand buildings yourself. Clustering is a good game technique and tip. It reduces the distance between supply and demand.

Horse Drawn Railroad,1759: A key development, you get a capacity increase [10] and speed. Pause the game and build railway lines everywhere you can afford it. Change all your Merchants to Horse Drawn Rail where possible.

Railroads 1770’s,Iron rails are demanded at Shipyards and Legislative Assemblies. Great profits.

Clipper 1789 [21000 coins] Fast and important. You lose on capacity [12] but gain speed.Time is money. Pause and use the Clipper where you can.

Mobile Steam Engine 1791[23,000 coins] this gives you capacity [13] and a highly valued market product. It leads to the Adler [16].The Adler is crucial to end game profits. Pause the game and upgrade rail advances immediately on all routes.

Steamship, 1819 [30,000 coins]: capacity [20] and glorious speed. Your score grows fast. Again pause and upgrade all sea routes.

Powerful Steam Engine,1850 [35,000 coins]: “The American”, [capacity 20] - very fast. Whether there is really enough time for this to kick in [the last 30 years] –you need to decide or keep the Adler which better matches supply and demand fairly well. You don’t want to be waiting around for over ambitious cargoes to sell and clear in the 1870’s.

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