Very simple guys. I read a handful of posts, and it seemed a common theme was that people were crashing and burning pretty fast trying to enjoy Fighting and trading at the same time. Very very very easy to have your cake and eat it too. Alright, campaigns matter very little i've found except choosing adventure leads through the explaining the fight system. I'd suggest playing this one first, it's a bit more fun teaches you how to fight, and is easy to fund. Don't bother with Free play will you've done both campaigns, however I think anyone starting a trading campaign is lacking the basic concepts to help keep their trade routes safe, and will eventually succumb to pirates.... arg. K so anyways! My magic answer to money... Allow for a little realism. If you're a new ship's captain back in the day.... you'd start small... so start small... the campaigns will give you a free ship, there is no need to join your ships all into one massive convoy, this is stupid. you will never move enough goods to keep your armada floating. I also suggest ignoring going to new orleans at first, it is better to have a little money in your pocket first, and perhaps finding a few new cities is better. Lots. Of. Convoys. easy as that, 1 boat convoys with routes hitting 5 or more cities with a variation of goods produced at each city. take your first free ship, and set it on a profit route. campaign gives a route early of Port Royalle -> Cayman -> Nombre dios -> Havanna -> Gibara. This is a good first route to start a ship on. I suggest adding in Cancun tortuga and port au prince, in a clockwise route. then if you want, and i suggest, manually take your secondary ship and start finding yourself some new cities. the more cities you can find early the better off you are for your eco. watch the port in port royale for ships on sale once your have a bit of profit (this will honest be very quick. game time, it is easy to have a small number of 2-3 ships on routes, as well as a manually controlled ship searching for more cities to fill your map (60 cities) and 200k in the bank. Here's the general Idea guys. Buy your self some small, low upkeep boats, Pinnace Sloop are very good for this, tiny upkeeps (100/110) and enough room to easily run routes through the islands making you nice profits. When you deicde on bigger routes (also good!) try to hit general areas that don't share similar production. I like bebopping around port royale and his neighbors, hit the southern coast from cancun to vera cruz, then new orleans to the keys, some of the bahamma island cities then back around. these longer routes take mroe time as they will need to cross larger ammounts of sea, but will pay off with. also suggest barc for this route, slightly faster than pinnace and sloop after you get a miny trade empire going, that doesn't even require production. you can use this to support a group of frigates early on to enjoy your plundering. cities that have jewelery at name signify not only the leadder, but how often npc trade occurs. this is important for watching market for new ships to buy. also be wary of pirate flags, usually first pirate won't appear till mid 1562, giving you time to be prepared to go out and protect your routes. kill the pirates and u controlt he water. also find the nests. Tutorial is stupid. Max out Guns & Swords. Both are important. Seems to work like Attack / Def. careful vs overwhelming odds. make sure to use as much shotgun shot as possible before you try to borad are larger ship. lastly, i do not care to upgrade auto captains. however as you manually use your battle armada, maxing out stats is very important to finding pirate nests and ships, and winning. automation can win against overwhelming odds sometimes. however much more money in boarding and reselling ships, or setting them up as new routes/ upgrade ships in armada with more powerful ones... I do not crew my auto captains. this is more money on upkeep, and if your fleet is being runn correctly, you are taking out pirates fast enough. IMPORTANT. for map fragments and money. if you see pirates, check nearby ports on the way, you can often find a reward for killing them from a dynamic npc, this is in addition to city rewards offered. please reply, give feedback. I have also been attempting to make a production list that would show all cities production, but also function to give feedback on materials used.
Secondary Tips: Don't Manually fight except against much weaker oponents at first. Evenly matched AI will likely mess you up if you're trying to take new ships to add to your trade routing economy (by 1562, discover as many cities as possible. Have at least 7-8 trade routes. For every military frig or better, have 3 trade routes. this will cover costs, and still provide $$ for repairs ammunition. this still requires zero production. have multiple ships on same route, in opposite direction. you can find great routes that's supply demand go both ways. It helps to keep game speed to .1 at first. use to speed up ship travel of your manual craft (used to explore, manual trading, check major cities for new ships if you choose not to build warehouses (Be cautious, you need to continue your overall trading fleet or you will bankrupt yourself in early production.)
Good info, But I still have some questions. I remember a tutorial having the key Q to lower the flags. It does not work for me :( What button did u use to lower the ships speed and turn fast? I was wondering is it a bug or it has been made reallllllly hard to board a ship. Can you explain a little on boarding ships and attacking eighter towns or pirate hideouts. all in all great basic info