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In the Colonization games, you play the role of one of the European nations attempting to establish a successful colony in America. Most of the action takes place on a random map representing the New World, but your ships may sail back and forth between the New World map and Europe.
Europe represents a port in some unnamed city of your parent nation. You may buy and sell goods here (for gold). You may also "recruit" or "train" colonists, and purchase military units (ships or artillery). When your ships are loaded, you may sail them back to the New World.
"Recruit" lets you select a unit who is willing to emigrate for religious reasons. You must pay the balance of their transit cost. Crosses speed up the availability of recruits; the cost to you is based on how many turns remaining until the unit would be able to emigrate for free. The recruit pool always contains three units. When a unit has been recruited, it appears on the docks, ready to board your ship, and a new unit is placed in the pool.
"Training" allows you to directly buy a unit from the Royal University with a useful skill (although certain skills may not be trained in Europe). This costs between 600 and 2000 gold, depending on the skill. A trained unit appears on the docks, ready to board your ship.
In the early game, recruiting is significantly cheaper than training units, especially if you produce lots of Crosses. However, each time a unit is recruited, the cost of the next recruit increases -- eventually it will pass the cost of Training.
Indentured Servants and Petty Criminals may appear in the recruit pool, unless you have William Brewster, in which case they will be replaced by Free Colonists. When enough Crosses have been produced to recruit someone for free, one of the three recruits in the pool will be chosen at random -- again, unless you have William Brewster, who lets you select one.
The following cities represent the ports in Europe:
- English: London
- French: La Rochelle
- Dutch: Amsterdam
- Spanish: Seville