1. The people: always keep on eye the overall number of your citizens. The more houses you build, the more pioneers will come and the the faster usage of precious supplies will appear. If you won’t keep up with the chain production of the goods, the great disaster will come upon you! And, forget about buying ones – this is just temporary solution, only to “fix” minor shortage at high cost! Never grow population more then you need at the very moment. Also, manage all of them properly: if the stone is very needed – add two more workers to the Stonemason to triple the working speed. And the opposite: if you need help in other things – redeploy them as needed.
2. The land: choosing the right spot fot the first settlement is half the victory here. Try to find as flat and empty peace of land as possible (even on the desert). The rocks and mountains not far away around are a bonus but more important is nearby green land (steps or woods). After constructing the Town Hall it is good option to expand territory for 5000 gold immediately. This will bring you additional place to build and plan the city better. Also, you should gain acces to green lands, where the farms need to be placed. Not expanding territory right away will make you some trouble later on: the bandits like to camp very nearby your borders so it is very likely they will “stole” a piece of your future land by doing so. In addition, it is possible that you won’t have enough gold to make the expand after spending all of it on constructions.
3. The Natives: natives are good for one thing – TRADE. At the beginning they will treat you as a hostile and try to ride your settlement from time to time, but even so it is possible to trade with them. What is more important, the prices they offer are twice the better then you get from Town Hall. And what is even more interesting, the natives will still inrease the barter prices after you make friends with them! Funny fact is that with some time, more native villages will come around (or bandits if you unlucky – it’s random event). The worse thing you can do is to ride the natives – you will loose best way to acquire goods for far more better prices the normal “Town Hall prices”. So attack the natives ONLY if you really need to (if they are too close e.g.).
4. The balance: gold is crucial here. You start with 20k and after expanding territory you have 15k to start a basic self-sufficient village that covers all four Pioneers needs: Meat, Water, Firewood and Clothing. To make that happen you need homes for people and some production chain buildings. Beware: the trick is to make it in such away that the upkeep cost of the production buldings will be balanced by income from renting houses – so you need to focus on exactly what is needed! And how exactly the income works?
– Shack: 14 gold per pioneer on Easy Mode (max 42 gold) and 11 gold on Hard Mode (max 33 gold)
– Simple House: 16 gold per settler on Easy Mode (max 48 gold) and 12 gold on Hard Mode (max 36 gold)
– Apartment House: 18 gold per merchant on Easy Mode (max 72 gold) and 13 gold on Hard Mode (max 52 gold)
Hotels have the same incomes per citizens but they can fit up to 8 people. Try to never go into the red – below zero or you will start loosing money! Green in your color.
5. Colonization: at some point of the gameplay you should consider to found another city – or even forced to do so! The worst thing you can do is trying to fit everything within the borders of your primary city – WRONG. Try to put the second one nearby the mountains with raw ore of coal/iron/copper/gold. If not the case, try to find at least mountain with gold and coal (jewellery needs both of them and it is needed to reach merchant population level). Second village role is only to bring you supplies for the merchant population level along with other that’s missing. Like a backup city – don’t invest in the same buildings and structures like the first one, only necessary ones.