German developer Sunflowers' previous game 1602 A.D. was a bestseller in Europe, and the developer's newest game, 1503 A.D., follows closely in its footsteps. Unfortunately, the new game is largely the same as the previous game; while it's true that 1503 A.D. does have a number of changes and improvements over the original game, it's really just more of the same, but fleshed out a bit. Then again, that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you enjoyed the original game's engaging and leisurely gameplay. One thing we will note: 1602 A.D.'s voice-overs are, in fact, a bad thing.
The game's main attraction is building up your own colony.
You could conceivably call Sunflowers' games "real-time strategy," but they aren't really traditional real-time strategy games in the vein of Starcraft and Command & Conquer. Instead, 1503 A.D. is a "culture-builder" that resembles Blue Byte's Settlers series, in which your task is to carefully nurture your civilization by building different structures and letting your little pioneers expand and grow. Most games begin with a single ship, from which you must establish your colonial empire. This can take a surprising amount of time, and considering the fact that the campaign has 12 missions, the single-player game offers quite a bit of gameplay. 1503 A.D. also includes individual missions and an open-ended sandbox mode--so the game gives you plenty to keep you busy for a while. The only problem is that, despite some improvements, you've seen most of this gameplay already in 1602 A.D..
If you haven't played 1602 A.D. for some time, you might actually think you've loaded up the old game the first time you play 1503 A.D. While the new game has somewhat improved graphics, it's still hardly state of the art and doesn't dramatically change the way the game looks. 1503 A.D. sticks to the original game's presentation in almost every way, from the recycled voice-overs to the tab-heavy interface. You might even recognize some of the musical effects that the previous game "borrowed" from Heroes of Might & Magic II. However, you might have problems with the game's lousy voiceovers.
The game's pace is best described as languid. You set things up and then tweak them as necessary. Your basic task is to start from the contents of a single sailing vessel and develop a thriving settlement (or settlements) on a variety of different terrain types. Your success comes from satisfying your colonists' needs and advancing them through four levels of social strata to the fifth level, aristocrat. This system remains unchanged from the original game, but it still provides a solid foundation for the gameplay. You need to be mindful of issues like city layout, trade relations, and economic planning, which are all influenced by the rather indirect method of placing buildings and setting up trade routes. Half the fun is watching your little colonists go about their business.
However, the previous game had a number of problems, and 1503 A.D. addresses only a few of them. One of the most annoying problems in the previous game was its interface--buildings would all of a sudden sprout giant, rotating question marks, alerting you to a problem without describing what it was. 1503 A.D. at least addresses this by including an icon indicating whether the building is being over- or underutilized, but the game remains far too opaque in terms of feedback that you can use quickly and easily. Rather than including more-comprehensive interface screens or instant pop-up windows, the game relies on tooltips that are only usable because of the game's incredibly slow pace. Until you become quite proficient with the system, figuring out what has gone wrong with your economy (or, rather, precisely how to fix it) can be frustrating and may put off less dedicated players. For extremely patient players, figuring out exactly how to fix problems in your settlements can contribute to a sense of discovery as you figure out exactly why things work the way they do. For others it will just be frustrating. At least the new game has "temperature bars" to indicate the relative desirability of building locations, but on the whole, 1503 A.D.'s interface still isn't ideal.
As you play the game, you'll probably notice the many opportunities the developers could have taken to expand on the previous game. For instance, the game lets you trade with a number of different civilizations (each with its own buildings and attitude), but you're stuck with the same single European civilization you played in 1602 A.D.. That's really unfortunate, because there were a lot of things from the original game that really should have been expanded but, for whatever reason, weren't. Instead, the main difference you'll notice in the sequel is that the combat system has been expanded. But even this isn't a huge expansion, because while there are significantly more unit types and combat formations, the whole thing still seems very primitive.
First of all, calling the game's combat controls "unwieldy" would be an understatement. Cumbersome formation commands, awful pathfinding, and the lack of simple tools such as waypoints make the combat system seem primitive; the naval combat is particularly clumsy. Secondly, while the campaign forces you to fight in certain missions, the open-ended games try to teach you some moral lessons by having the AI respond directly to your level of militarization. If you want to play without any military whatsoever, the AI will politely refrain from arming itself and will restrict itself to trade. If you decide to raise an army, the AI will too. While this lets you, to a large extent, choose whether or not to get involved in combat, it makes the whole military system seem a bit tacked on, since any military challenge by the AI seems self-inflicted.
These formations look good but are impossible to maintain because of the poor combat interface.
1503 A.D. is at its best when you play to develop your settlements, just like its predecessor. The game has a linear campaign with a predictably irrelevant story and a series of goal-oriented missions. The campaign does a decent job of giving you different objectives in each mission (you'll do everything from building a colony to rescuing a mismanaged settlement to chasing down a sailing fleet), but the game is really at its best in sandbox mode, in which you simply try to create a settlement and nurture it into a trade empire.
While there is a lot less that's new in this game than you would expect in a sequel released three years after its predecessor, the core gameplay that made the original game engaging remains intact. It may seem like a cliché for game reviews, but if you enjoyed the previous game, you'll probably enjoy 1503 A.D. The new game's slow pace and emphasis on trade and economy over military operations might not seem too exciting for fans of traditional real-time strategy, but those looking for something different may want to give it a try.
v2.00, 2 August 2004
Anno 1503/1503 AD - The New World
plus Treasures, Monsters & Pirates Expansion
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ/Strategy Guide)
- 1.1 Notes
- 1.2 Credits and Legal
- 1.3 Version
- 2.1 What is Anno 1503? What is 1503 AD?
- 2.2 Who developed the game?
- 2.3 What are the minimum requirements?
- 2.4 What has changed since Anno 1602?
- 2.5 Where can I download patches and demos?
- 2.6 What about the mobile phone game?
- 2.7 What is Treasures, Monsters & Pirates?
- 2.8 Is the expansion pack available in North America or Australia? Can I
install a United Kingdom expansion pack over a United States game?
- 2.9 Can I play multiplayer? Why is there a GameSpy logo on the box?
3. Getting Started
- 3.1.1 How do I explore?
- 3.1.2 How do I gain territory?
- 3.1.3 What are civilization levels?
- 3.1.4 How do I make money?
- 3.1.5 What operating costs are there?
- 3.1.6 How does the balance sheet work?
- 3.1.7 How do service areas work?
- 3.1.8 What is the significance of road access?
- 3.1.9 How does production occur?
- 3.1.10 Why should I colonize new islands and how?
- 3.2.1 Common mistakes
- 3.2.2 Initial colony building
- 3.2.3 Settlers and beyond
- 3.3.1 Discovery and Settlement
- 3.3.2 Trade and Diplomacy
- 3.3.3 Combat Training
- 3.3.4 What now?
- 4.1.1 What do the symbols and ratings on the initial player menu mean?
- 4.1.2 What are the differences between 'endless' level difficulties?
- 4.1.3 Can you play as native races or pirates?
- 4.1.4 Can other players be made less aggressive?
- 4.1.5 Are the endless play mode maps random?
- 4.2.1 Which way is north?
- 4.2.2 Can I see the current objectives in-game?
- 4.2.3 Can I hide trees or buildings from view?
- 4.2.4 What can hotkeys be assigned to?
- 4.2.5 Is there a list of short-cut keys?
- 4.2.6 How does scoring work?
- 4.2.7 Can I give orders while paused?
4.3 Climate and Resources
- 4.3.1 How many different climate zones are there?
- 4.3.2 What characterises each climate zone? Where can I find certain
- 4.3.3 How do I determine resources?
- 4.3.4 Why, after exploring, do no crop types show for the island?
- 4.3.5 How do you find other players and natives?
- 4.3.6 Where do I get Tools from?
- 4.3.7 How do I build and operate Quarries and Mines?
- 4.3.8 Do mines run out?
- 4.3.9 Can I turn Gold into coins?
- 4.3.10 Is Wine the same as Alcohol?
- 4.3.11 Where can I grow Hemp?
- 4.3.12 Can I change what type of trees I plant?
- 4.3.13 Do volcanoes erupt?
4.4 Roads and Storage
- 4.4.1 Is road access needed?
- 4.4.2 Are cobbled roads faster than dirt roads? What is the benefit of
- 4.4.3 Do buildings have to face onto a street?
- 4.4.4 How do I build bridges?
- 4.4.5 How do I build roads along hills and mountainsides?
- 4.4.6 Can I have more than one Warehouse on the same island?
- 4.4.7 How do I increase the storage capacity on an island?
- 4.4.8 Why can't I build a warehouse?
- 4.4.9 What is the operating cost of Main Markets and Warehouses?
- 4.4.10 Can I start an endless game without the first Warehouse placed?
- 4.4.11 Why do carts disappear when the game is reloaded?
4.5 Colony Buildings
- 4.5.1 How do can I build a ...? Why is a building 'greyed out' on the
- 4.5.2 What do wells do?
- 4.5.3 How do I determine what Small Farms grow?
- 4.5.4 Why doesn't my Whaler work?
- 4.5.5 Where should I build Fur Trappers?
- 4.5.6 What is the significance of sales stands' service areas?
- 4.5.7 Is the Tavern's service area important?
- 4.5.8 Do Churches replace Chapels? Universities replace Schools?
- 4.5.9 What are Gallows and Courthouses for?
- 4.5.10 What does the Pavilion's service area need to cover? What's a park?
- 4.5.11 What do Doctors do?
- 4.5.12 Where are the sewers?
- 4.5.13 Can I change the design of houses?
- 4.5.14 What rewards and statues are there? How do I get a Palace?
- 4.5.15 Do I need ornamentals? What do they do?
- 4.5.16 Why doesn't my Hunting Lodge work?
4.6 Colony Development and Events
- 4.6.1 What causes bankruptcy?
- 4.6.2 How do I delete buildings, roads and trees?
- 4.6.3 Is there a limit to the number of people on each island?
- 4.6.4 How do you stop your population using building materials?
- 4.6.5 Why don't Merchants upgrade to Aristocrats?
- 4.6.6 When I downgrade civilization levels, why am I told goods that are not
needed anymore are in shortage?
- 4.6.7 Why do my houses decay?
- 4.6.8 Occasionally my people die whilst walking around my city. What's
- 4.6.9 What can I do about fires?
- 4.6.10 Can I prevent the Plague?
- 4.6.11 Can I change the prices my stalls sell things for?
- 4.6.12 Are people needed to work in buildings? Do I need houses on
- 4.6.13 How much of ... will my population need?
- 4.6.14 What do the question marks over buildings mean?
- 4.6.15 What do the coloured bars that appear above farms during building
- 4.6.16 What does the "you founded an ancient graveyard" message mean?
- 4.6.17 What is the benefit of finding treasure?
- 4.6.18 Why does a riot start when I reload a game?
- 4.7.1 How do you research?
- 4.7.2 How do I research above a certain level of knowledge points?
- 4.7.3 Why can't I build cannon after researching them?
4.8 Trade and Diplomacy
- 4.8.1 How does external trade work?
- 4.8.2 Can I trade without being fired on or starting a war?
- 4.8.3 Where are the Venetians?
- 4.8.4 What do Venetians sell?
- 4.8.5 Why does my automatic trade route fail when I transport more than one
- 4.8.6 Can I set my automatic trade route to wait for a full load?
- 4.8.7 Can I edit automatic trade route paths?
- 4.8.8 How do I demand tribute from other players?
- 4.8.9 What is a moratorium?
- 4.8.10 Do trade agreements cover player empires or specific cities?
- 4.8.11 How does the trade slider work? How do you set prices and volumes?
- 4.8.12 What does a military agreement cover?
4.9 Pirates and Natives
- 4.9.1 What do native curses do?
- 4.9.2 How do I trade with natives on another island?
- 4.9.3 Do all native cultures appear in every game?
- 4.9.4 What do natives buy and sell?
- 4.9.5 How aggressive are natives? Can I ally with them? How do I attack?
- 4.9.6 Where do pirates come from?
- 4.9.7 Do pirates steal cargo?
- 4.9.8 Can I trade with pirates?
- 4.10.1 What is the capacity of ships?
- 4.10.2 Why is my ship sold each time I build a new one?
- 4.10.3 How can I build ship cannons?
- 4.10.4 Where can I load cannon on my ships? How do I arm ships?
- 4.10.5 Why can I not repair a ship?
- 4.10.6 When should I repair ships?
- 4.10.7 Why does nobody buy my ship?
- 4.10.8 How does the white flag work?
- 4.10.9 My ship got stuck on land. Why?
- 4.10.10 Why don't my ships stay in formation? Can I order ships to protect
- 4.10.11 How do I board ships?
- 4.10.12 Seagulls sank my ship. Why?
4.11 Military Units
- 4.11.1 Are there limits on the number of units I may have?
- 4.11.2 What do the yellow stars and numbers above troops mean?
- 4.11.3 Can waypoints be set for scouts and other units?
- 4.11.4 Can units be set to patrol?
- 4.11.5 Can I select certain unit types from a group of units?
- 4.11.6 How do I retire units?
- 4.11.7 How do I heal injured units?
- 4.11.8 Can I capture enemy units?
- 4.11.9 What units can attack buildings?
- 4.11.10 What is the difference between ship and land cannon?
- 4.11.11 My scout/soldier got lost/stuck/disappeared/abandoned his mule/will
not come down from the mountain/has taken up scuba diving. What can I do?
- 4.11.12 Why don't my troops go up onto the walls?
- 4.11.13 How do I add/remove units from my towers?
- 4.11.14 Do Musketeers have a ranged attack?
- 4.11.15 Can I select units that are hidden in woodland?
- 4.12.1 How do I capture an enemy settlement?
- 4.12.2 Can I steal from the enemy's warehouse?
- 4.12.3 Do cannon towers fire?
- 4.12.4 Can I unload multiple units from ships at once?
- 4.12.5 Can I accidentally kill my own units in friendly fire during battles?
- 4.12.6 Must I assign specific targets for my troops?
- 4.12.7 Can I attack trees?
- 4.12.8 Can I completely destroy monsters?
5.1 Colony Planning and Building
- 5.1.1 Island Choice
- 5.1.2 Colony territory
- 5.1.3 City design
- 5.1.4 Aristocrat cities
5.2 Industry Planning and Building
- 5.2.1 General industry/farm design strategies
- 5.2.2 Food production
- 5.2.3 Salt
- 5.2.4 Iron related production
- 5.2.5 Stone and Marble
- 5.2.6 Alcohol
- 5.2.7 Cloth
5.3 Colony Management and Research
- 5.3.1 General strategies
- 5.3.2 Balancing demands and development
- 5.3.3 Research
- 5.3.4 Automatic trade routes
- 5.3.5 Riots
5.4 Trade and Diplomacy
- 5.4.1 Mechanics of trade
- 5.4.2 Benefits of trade
- 5.4.3 Diplomacy
5.5 Pirates and Natives
- 5.5.1 Pirates
- 5.5.2 Natives
- 5.6.1 AI players' troops are stupid
- 5.6.2 Ground unit choice
- 5.6.3 War preparation
- 5.6.4 Defense
- 5.6.5 Naval
- 5.6.6 Economic warfare
- 5.6.7 Invasions
6.1 Nova Fora
- 6.1.1 Introduction
- 6.1.2 Objective: Found a city with 250+ Settlers
- 6.1.3 Why can't I settle an island?
- 6.1.4 Objective: Find Katherine von Breitenstein and return her to your city
- 6.1.5 I lost Katherine von Breitenstein after rescuing here. Is that a
- 6.1.6 Objective: Find Mongols and trade 20t Salt
- 6.1.7 Why can I not find the Mongols with my ship?
- 6.1.8 Objective: Equip a fleet with 4 Archers, 4 Swordsmen, Scout, 50t Wood,
100t Tools, 50t Food, and sail west
- 6.1.9 Suggested fleet
- 6.1.10 Why can't I train Archers and Swordsmen at my Fortress? How do I get
- 6.1.11 Where is "Westward"? How do I finish?
6.2 Barbarrossas' Throne
- 6.2.1 Introduction
- 6.2.2 Can I restart the mission from the menu?
- 6.2.3 Objectives: Build Citizen level city; Sell 25t Iron to Covana
- 6.2.4 Island choice
- 6.2.5 My Wood is in one ship and my Tools in another ship. How do I build my
- 6.2.6 How do I stop Ramirez destroying my fleet?
- 6.2.7 How do I get Merchants and Aristocrats? Where is the Marble?
- 6.2.8 I accidentally insulted or attacked Covana, and now he will not trade
with me. What can I do?
- 6.2.9 Objectives: Covana's city must not be destroyed; Destroy both of
Ramirez's main cities
- 6.2.10 Naval strategy
- 6.2.11 Invasion strategy
- 6.3.1 Introduction
- 6.3.2 Objective: Positive balance sheet and at least 100 Citizens
- 6.3.3 Colony redesign strategy
- 6.3.4 Total demolition strategy
- 6.3.5 Objective: Get 20t Furs and 20t Medicinal Herbs and sail north with
- 6.3.6 Why can't I get the Scout to leave the city?
- 6.3.7 Why don't the Mongols sell me enough Furs?
6.4 Infernal Triad
- 6.4.1 Introduction
- 6.4.2 Strategy overview
- 6.4.3 Objective: Hire O'Reilly
- 6.4.4 Objective: Hire Madrugada
- 6.4.5 Objective: Destroy Peles' fortress
- 6.4.6 Why does the mission not finish?
- 6.5.1 Introduction
- 6.5.2 Strategy overview
- 6.5.3 Objective: Fill your colony's warehouse with Food
- 6.5.4 Why can I not trade for enough Food?
- 6.5.5 Objective: Expand Ulfilla to population 80, build a ship
- 6.5.6 Objective: Trade 25t of Medicinal Herbs for Whale Blubber
6.6 Toguldur's Stone
- 6.6.1 Introduction
- 6.6.2 Objective: Find and claim Stone of Toguldur
- 6.6.3 Must I destroy the Mongols? How?
6.7 New Acquaintances
- 6.7.1 Introduction
- 6.7.2 Objective: Destroy Galerius's colonies
- 6.7.3 Defeating invaders
- 6.7.4 Economy strategies
- 6.7.5 Immediate counter-attack strategy
- 6.7.6 Defeating Galerius
- 6.8.1 Introduction
- 6.8.2 Objective: Conquer fortress and free bookkeeper
- 6.8.3 How do I capture the Fortress? Why do I fail the mission after
destroying the city?
- 6.9.1 Introduction
- 6.9.2 Objective: Build 700 Citizen city
- 6.9.3 Objective: Trade 20t Medicinal Herbs to Native Americans
- 6.9.4 Objective: Destroy all houses on the Isle of the Dead
- 6.9.5 Single-ship strategy
- 6.10.1 Introduction
- 6.10.2 Objective: Defeat de Freeren and destroy his city
6.11 Quentin's Reef
- 6.11.1 Introduction
- 6.11.2 Objective: Prevent de Freeren's flagship from escaping and save
- 6.11.3 Why does de Freeren's ship keep escaping?
- 6.12.1 Introduction
- 6.12.2 Objective: Destroy von Breitenstein's palace
6.13 Good or Bad
- 6.13.1 Introduction
- 6.13.2 Objective: Find the treasure
- 6.13.3 To be continued...
7. Original Scenarios
7.1 Hobson's Choice
- 7.1.1 Introduction
- 7.1.2 Strategy overview
7.2 Ruthless Richard
- 7.2.1 Introduction
- 7.2.2 Strategy overview
7.3 Friendly Neighbors
- 7.3.1 Introduction
- 7.3.2 Strategy overview
7.4 The Bet
- 7.4.1 Introduction
- 7.4.2 Strategy overview
7.5 Playing for Time
- 7.5.1 Introduction
- 7.5.2 Strategy overview
- 7.5.3 Objective: Build 200 Pioneer settlement within 30 minutes
- 7.5.4 Objective: Build 350 Settler town within 30 minutes
- 7.5.5 Objective: Build 600 Citizen city within 80 minutes
- 7.5.6 Objective: Build 900 Merchant city within 80 minutes
7.6 Settlement Recipe
- 7.6.1 Introduction
- 7.6.2 Strategy overview
7.7 The King of Ore
- 7.7.1 Introduction
- 7.7.2 What does the objective mean? Must I mine Ore on 6 islands?
- 7.7.3 Strategy overview
- 7.7.4 How do I stock 170t - my warehouse only holds 50t?
7.8 Many Small Islands
- 7.8.1 Introduction
- 7.8.2 Strategy overview
7.9 Negative Influence
- 7.9.1 Introduction
- 7.9.2 Strategy overview
- 7.10.1 Introduction
- 7.10.2 Strategy overview
7.11 The Marquess (Marquis/Marquise)
- 7.11.1 Introduction
- 7.11.2 Armand De'Pier's colony
- 7.11.3 The Fleet
- 7.11.4 McFarlane's Fortress
- 7.12.1 Introduction
- 7.12.2 Strategy overview
8. Treasures, Monsters & Pirates Scenarios
8.1 Scavenger Hunt
- 8.1.1 Introduction
- 8.1.2 Clue: Follow the hints on the statues...
- 8.1.3 Clue: In the East, by the four mountains divided by flood and sea...
- 8.1.4 Clue: The sea's expanse of green and blue...
- 8.1.5 Clue: The island, small and verdant...
- 8.1.6 Clue: Golden glow of roof and mountain...
- 8.1.7 Clue: A mountain black as night...
- 8.1.8 Clue: The way may not be what it seems...
- 8.1.9 Clue: An ancient holy place, behold, more near than far...
- 8.1.10 Clue: Far East, swampy and barren...
- 8.1.11 Clue: Wounded men and beasts did flee to a nearby island...
- 8.1.12 Clue: A last battle in the far North...
- 8.1.13 Clue: You have shown valor and honor where many would have failed...
8.2 Brother against Brother
- 8.2.1 Introduction
- 8.2.2 Strategy overview
- 8.2.3 When I try and capture a Main Market, the replacement building is
aligned wrongly. How can I capture the territory?
8.3 A Pirate's Life
- 8.3.1 Introduction
- 8.3.2 Erlbert Tolersa
- 8.3.3 Lorenzo Hatro
- 8.3.4 Verlarez Montague
8.4 Ore Monopoly
- 8.4.1 Introduction
- 8.4.2 Strategy overview
8.5 A Plague of Pirates
- 8.5.1 Introduction
- 8.5.2 Citizens
- 8.5.3 Hagbard and treasure
8.6 Trade with Montana
- 8.6.1 Introduction
- 8.6.2 Strategy overview
- 8.6.3 Trading
8.7 Sole Ruler
- 8.7.1 Introduction
- 8.7.2 Strategy overview
- 8.8.1 Introduction
- 8.8.2 Strategy overview
8.9 Mountains of Fire
- 8.9.1 Introduction
- 8.9.2 Getting started
- 8.9.3 Aztecs and Pirates
8.10 The Native Americans' Curse
- 8.10.1 Introduction
- 8.10.2 Strategy overview
8.11 A Small World
- 8.11.1 Introduction
- 8.11.2 Leaving the archipelago
- 8.11.3 Aristocrats
8.12 Desert Battle
- 8.12.1 Introduction
- 8.12.2 Strategy overview
9. Cheating and Editing
- 9.1.1 What are the cheat codes?
- 9.1.2 How do I edit a game?
- 9.1.3 Are there any trainers?
- 9.1.4 Can I skip campaign scenarios without completing them?
- 9.1.5 Are there other gameplay 'cheats'?
9.2 Editing and Custom Scenarios
- 9.2.1 Is there a map or scenario editor?
- 9.2.2 How do I install scenarios?
- 9.2.3 Can I change the maximum number of units or ships?
- 9.2.4 How can I extract graphics and textures?
10. Technical Issues
- 10.1 How many bugs are there?
- 10.2 How do I take a screenshot?
- 10.3 Can I stop the statue video playing?
- 10.4 Can I play without the CD?
- 10.5 Why aren't sounds played at non-normal game speed?
- 10.6 Can I turn auto-save off?
- 10.7 Can I play save-games from other language versions?
- 10.8 Can I copy or rename save games?
- 10.9 Why don't the Moors have music?
- 10.10 All ships and AI players disappeared. What happened?
A. Building and Industry Data
B. Production Links
C. Production Efficiency
D. Military and Ship Data
E. Research Trees
This FAQ/guide should be applicable to all full versions of the Anno 1503,
including 1503 AD. It also covers features and scenarios contained in the
expansion pack, "Treasures, Monsters & Pirates". Where possible, I have tried
to indicate features that vary between the original and expansion, so the FAQ
remains useful for players with either the original version or the expansion.
This FAQ does not cover the mobile phone version - see What about the mobile
phone game? below.
The game is not documented well, particularly when one considers the overall
level of complexity and steep learning curve for new players. Jochen Bauer,
one of the game's producers, wrote at the end of 2001: "Contrary to anything
you might have heard there will be a comprehensive handbook." Well, in my
opinion, the manual is just about sufficient to get you through the tutorial
before leaving you puzzled, while the in-game help is hard to digest. Although
not all versions have the same manual, as Vander comments: "The German manual
is a coloured 80 page manual. And there is a poster with the product chains
and a poster of ship on the box." I have a 44 page manual in greyscale with no
posters... Frieden adds: "The German manual contains special hints for 1602-
gamers only." I cannot find those either :-/ .
At the time of writing there are no known published strategy guides in
English, although there are two in German: an official one published by Future
Press, and an unofficial one by Katja Ti, published by X-Games. Neither has
been used directly in the creation of this FAQ.
Finally, consider the inscription on the upgraded school building in the game
(thanks to Renaud for pointing it out): "Non scholae sed vitae discimus",
which roughly translates from Latin as "not school but life we learn". It
occurred to me that this is quite close to one of the underlying design
philosophies in 1503 - not to teach players how to play, but to let them learn
by playing. Some will find such an approach enjoyable; others will find it
excessively frustrating. Maybe this FAQ/guide will help those in the later
category get more out of the game.
1.2 Credits and Legal
This FAQ was written by Tim Howgego (also known as timski), copyright 2003-
2004, unless otherwise stated. Errors and suggestions should be reported to
tim (at) capsu (dot) org. Please put "1503" somewhere in the email subject
field. If you are writing with a game query, please read and search through
this document carefully first, to check your question has not already been
answered. This FAQ includes ideas and strategies posted on forums, primarily
the forum at http://www.anno1503.com/ (including posts that have subsequently
been deleted), and fan sites including http://digilander.libero.it/anno1503/
and http://www.a-pianto.ch/Englisch/e_Anno1503/e_Index.htm - contributors are
noted with the relevant text. Particular thanks to people like BaldJim and
Hakea for 'probing' into the game, and LadyH and many of the 1602 "freaks" for
endlessly answering questions.
You may save and print this document for your own personal use only. You may
copy and repost this FAQ, but the content of the document, including the
credits, must remain unchanged. You must not charge for it, sell, rent, or
otherwise profit from it. Informing the author that you are hosting it is
appreciated, but not mandatory. Ensuring you host the most recent version is
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Anno 1503 copyright Sunflowers Interactive Entertainment Software GmbH, 2002-
2004. All rights reserved. Other trademarks and copyright are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders. This is not an official FAQ. It is
not endorsed by the game's developers or publishers. The author is not
affiliated to the game's developers or publishers.
This is version 2.00, 2 August 2004. Updated to contain features found within
the expansion pack, Treasures, Monsters & Pirates, and more generally revised
and re-written. Guides to the two official downloadable scenarios The Marquess
(Marquis/Marquise) and Metropol have been added. The original structure has
been changed, with a new section intended to help new players called Getting
Started. The old campaign and scenario section has been split in two, with a
further section covering scenarios found only in the expansion pack. The
cheating and custom scenarios sections have been combined into a single topic
called Cheating and Editing. Sorry for any confusion caused by this change in
2.1 What is Anno 1503? What is 1503 AD?
Anno 1503 and 1503 AD (or 1503 A.D.) are precisely the same game: Anno 1503 is
used in Europe, 1503 AD in North America. From the official FAQ: "Worldwide,
the game will be called 'Anno 1503', with the exception of the USA, where the
product name '1503 A.D.' will be used. The reason for this decision is that
the term A.D. is more commonly used in the USA than the term Anno." Some
versions of the game have the subtitle "The New World". Anno 1503 was first
release in German at the end of 2002. Other language versions were released in
March/April 2003. 1503 is the sequel to Anno 1602/1602 AD. Like 1602, 1503 is
a real time strategy game, set at the start of the Early Modern period of
history. The game is based around colony building and resource management on a
series of small islands. It includes aspects of exploration, combat,
diplomacy, trade and research. 1503 is primarily an economic strategy game.
2.2 Who developed the game?
The game was developed by Sunflowers Interactive Entertainment Software (
http://www.sunflowers.de/ ) subsidiary, Max Design. Programming was lead by
Wilfried Reiter, art lead by Martin Lasser. Albert Lasser wrote the AI
(artificial intelligence). The game was published by Electronic Arts.
2.3 What are the minimum requirements?
Windows 98, ME, 2000 or XP. Pentium-II 500 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM, 8 speed
CD-ROM drive, 930 MB hard drive space, 16MB DirectX 8.1 compatible video card
and compatible sound card, keyboard, and mouse. On huge, highly developed
maps, the game is capable of swallowing 2GHz worth of processing 'power' and
still running slowly. However, basic gameplay, campaign and scenarios will not
experience this, only custom maps such as Metropol and Gigapol, where the aim
is basically to push the game to its limits and build ridiculously large
2.4 What has changed since Anno 1602?
FaithRaven writes: "If you know Anno 1602, you will play 1503 very easily
until you get 200-300 settlers. Then you will begin a 'new game'." Here is a
short list of major changes:
- Income is primarily generated by selling goods to your population in 1503,
not raised via taxes as was the case in 1602. This requires slightly different
strategies to be adopted, since 'just having Citizens' (for example) probably
won't be enough to turn a profit - but you can profit when they are being sold
many goods. Why was this changed? Wilfried Reiter comments: "Because it allows
different prices to be charged for different goods in different places,
promotes trade and adds importance to new construction strategies."
- In 1503, houses have internal streets, and don't specifically need road
access. Residents actually walk between their houses and the facilities they
- 1503 is 'bigger' than 1602: Bigger maps, islands, and larger cities needed
break-even. In 1602 one could play an entire game with about 25 2x2 houses; in
1503, 50 4x4 houses are more likely to be needed.
- Greater, but not excessive, depth of commodities, production and climate,
including many historically 'accurate' items that were missing from 1602 - it
still has no slave trade or specific historic context to scenarios.
- The original 5-tier civilization level system for housing still exists, but
the requirements of higher level civilizations are quite different from 1602.
Merchants no longer upgrade to Aristocrats - Aristocrat housing needs to be
built separately. Aristocrats may no longer be the optimum population type to
aim to house.
- Service areas still exist, but there are some subtle changes: Houses need
facilities within the service area of the house, it does not matter whether
the house is within the service area of the facility, as was the case in 1602.
- Research (mostly small enhancements and new units, very Warcraft-ish), which
did not exist at all in 1602.
- Military aspects are slightly more important, particularly during the
campaign. 1503's combat AI is similar to 1602 - weak and predictable once you
understand it. 1503 is still an economic strategy game at heart ;-) .
2.5 Where can I download patches and demos?
Demo versions and patches are linked from http://www.anno1503.com/ . Non-
German versions were released with all patches up to and including 1.04.02 (12
March 2003), even though some display version 1.00 or "Unknown" where the
version number should be.
2.6 What about the mobile phone game?
A simplified version of the game is available for certain mobile phones. It
features basic seafaring, trading and colony management. You can find a guide
to the mobile game here, http://www.anno1503.com/english/support/mobile.php4 .
2.7 What is Treasures, Monsters & Pirates?
Treasures, Monsters & Pirates is an expansion pack for 1503. "Schatze, Monster
und Piraten" was released in German at the end of 2003. It was released
elsewhere in Europe in May 2004, with versions in Dutch, English, French and
Italian. It adds the following features to the game:
- 3 new continuous game levels (Brilliant Architect, Estate Owner and Master
- 12 new scenarios (see Treasures, Monsters & Pirates Scenarios below).
Scenarios include new enemies and disasters.
- Statistics screen.
- Ship changes - boarding, patrol, sales list enhancements, and speed
- Riots, robbers, and District Courthouse functionality.
- Warehouse/Main Market types can now be built as required. Total storage
capacity per island is also increased.
- Defensive tower, and various new ornamentals.
- Button that automatically plants fields around a farm.
2.8 Is the expansion pack available in North America or Australia? Can I
install a United Kingdom expansion pack over a United States game?
At the time of writing the expansion pack Treasures, Monsters & Pirates is
only available in Europe. An English language version has been released in the
United Kingdom. This version is not designed to be installed over the original
United States or Australian release.
DISCLAIMER: This it is entirely at your own risk - I'm not responsible for
wasting your dollars or corrupting your game, although you are welcome to
email me with your experiences so I can warn others. Note that the procedure
involves editing the registry, which can damage your computer's operating
system if done incorrectly.
Saltz writes: "Yes you can install the UK add-on over the US version. Just use
'regedit' from your run command in Windows and edit the registry. Look under
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMax-Design and see the data string. Change
LANGUAGE value from US to ENG. Change VERSION 1.04 to 1.0. ... It asks you to
put in your UK Anno 1503 disk; but of course you do not have it. I placed in
my US 1503 A.D. and it did not like it. Then it prompted me to place in my
original add-on disk, which it does accept and runs fine."
2.9 Can I play multiplayer? Why is there a GameSpy logo on the box?
There is no multiplayer option.
The game was originally intended to support multiple players. Unfortunately,
DirectX based multiplayer did not work, requiring the development of custom
'technology'. But as Sunflowers comment, "by the time the game was released,
there still was no [multiplayer] version that would run steadily for more than
2 hours." ( http://www.anno1503.com/english/home/show_news.php4?id=390 )
The first German release included an unsupported file, AnnoNetTool.exe. This
theoretically enabled the multiplayer game, but did not work well enough to be
widely used. Vander notes: "They said it makes only trouble, so they removed
it in version 1.04.02." At the time of the German version's release, Wilfried
Reiter wrote: "The Multi-Player Patch is currently in the beta phase. If
everything goes well it should be ready in November . There are some
specially adapted missions, but there's nothing like the long matches to give
you that real Anno feeling." It will play using a 56K modem, "but it would be
better if the host had ISDN for 8 players."
Around the time of the game's original release, Kay Bennemann wrote:
"Multiplayer will be released as a free patch. Multiplayer in 1503 A.D./Anno
1503 can be played by 2-8 players in cooperative mode or against each other.
It can be played as Continuous play or in special multiplayer scenarios. The
AI can be included into multiplayer sessions: Dependent on the chosen game
scenario, AI controlled characters will occupy all free slots not used by
human players. Multiplayer can be played via internet or local area network.
Internet games use the GameSpy matchmaking software; manual connection to a
certain IP address is also possible. You will be able to save and load your
game in multiplayer. Saved multiplayer games will continue to be playable even
if one of the human players drops out during the next session, although this
player won't be able to reconnect and continue his play once the game has been
loaded without him or her being connected. Different localized versions of the
game are compatible in multiplayer mode. Therefore, players from different
countries can connect to the same MP session. Presently the multiplayer is
still in the process of testing and finalizing - a precise release date for
the patch can not be provided yet. The total number of scenarios included in
the multiplayer patch has also not been finalized."
Sunflowers, again: "By March 2003, a number of bugs had been dealt with, but
at the same time it became more and more apparent that solving the remaining
problems was more difficult and time-consuming than envisaged. ... Problems
with data transfer were especially troublesome: The Multiplayer Technology in
ANNO 1503 / 1503 A.D. requires all participating processors to concurrently
calculate the game progress. The high complexity of the game world can lead to
so-called 'A-Syncs' during Multiplayer operation (via the Internet, but also
within a network). Despite extensive efforts to remove all bugs and errors,
these A-Syncs could not be removed in their entirety."
Multiplayer entered a closed beta phase late in August 2003. This was
restricted to a handful of German-speaking players only, although it appeared
to be available from within GameSpy Arcade. From Sunflowers: "After the first
6 months of fraught [the original says 'fraud'] development work, we still had
no intention to throw in the towel. After another 6 months of work and
considerable investments terms of time, money, and energy, we had to start new
internal discussions to establish whether the multiplayer really was a
realistic option. ... After many further long and heated debates, we
eventually came to the mutual decision to continue to face the challenge." (
The lack of multiplayer lead to threats of legal action, for example
The German release of "Schatze, Monster und Piraten" came and went, without
multiplayer. Finally at the start of March 2004, Sunflowers capitulated and
discontinued work on the multiplayer patch. "Our in-house QA team, Max Design
QA and a number of beta testers have performed extensive test runs on more
than 20 versions of the patch, but were unable to solve the considerable
technical problems that presented themselves, despite their best efforts."
Sunflowers continue: "We have learned from our mistakes, and future games -
and, as a logical consequence, gamers, too, will benefit from our unfortunate
experiences. This is also true for our information strategy [sic] which was
much criticised in the course of the development of 1503 A.D."
3. GETTING STARTED
3.1.1 How do I explore?
Agricultural resources are revealed by moving a ship close to the island.
Natives, pirates, and other players may be revealed in this way if they have
settlements close to the coast. If not, you must send a ground unit inland.
One can normally see where 'hidden' settlements are by the absence of trees or
by watching movement of shipping. Mineral resources are revealed by ordering a
Scout to walk towards mountain ranges. Mineral resources are shown as a nugget
of rock with a small pair of hammers. You need to move your Scout to the base
of each mountain to ensure all resources are revealed. Any resource that falls
within your territory (see below) will automatically be revealed. There is no
need to explore if you are prepared to gamble on the presence or absence of
3.1.2 How do I gain territory?
Territory is gained by building Warehouses and/or Main Markets. These can be
built on unoccupied territory, and immediately allow you to build on any land
within the Warehouse/Main Market's service area. The service area is the
highlighted area seen when the building is selected, explained in more detail
below. Occupied territory cannot be claimed in this way. In the case of other
players, their Warehouses/Main Markets need to be destroyed by certain
military units (Cannon, Mortars, Catapults, Archers with flaming arrows). Once
destroyed, you can *rapidly* rebuild the Warehouse/Main Market, and any
buildings and facilities exclusively in its service area are captured by you.
Alternatively, the destroyed building can be allowed to crumble completely,
which causes the land to become neutral and all the other buildings
exclusively in its service area to be destroyed. In the case of natives, Main
Markets can only be destroyed and the land turned neutral, not captured.
3.1.3 What are civilization levels?
Civilization levels restrict what can be built and researched, what goods can
be sold (and hence your ability to make money), and how densely populated your
housing can become. Housing starts at Pioneer level. To develop this housing
to Settler level, certain goods need to be sold to residents of houses, and
those houses need to have access to certain facilities. Appendix Building and
Industry Data contains a list of these requirements. In some cases, population
will demand things that are not needed for them to develop, for example
Pioneers demand Salt, but it is not needed for them to develop to Settlers.
You can of course sell Salt to increase revenue (the merits of Salt sales are
discussed under Industry Planning and Building strategies). Houses do not need
to be rebuilt from new when evolving between civilization levels, however
construction materials do need to be available to your residents. The
exception is Aristocrat housing, which is not an evolution of Merchant housing
- instead it needs to be built as new. Aristocrats are not necessarily the
ultimate aim of city building, and almost everything is available with a large
Merchant level population (the merits of Aristocrat cities are discussed in
the context of Colony Planning and Building strategies).
3.1.4 How do I make money?
Money is primarily generated by selling goods to your population. Goods are
sold via stalls, which need to be placed within the service area (see below)
of housing. Different civilization levels make different demands for goods.
Different stalls sell different types of goods. Goods must be procured by you,
and made available on the island the stalls are selling them. Goods can
sometimes be purchased from other players, natives, pirates, or Venetians
(Free Traders), but in most cases you will need to produce the goods yourself.
Production of goods, provision of facilities, and other expenses such as
military, need to be balanced carefully against revenue from sales of goods.
Further complexity is added by the fact that certain goods can only be
produced on certain islands, which means that higher level civilizations need
to be supported by multiple islands with goods shipped between them. That
balancing act requires good city design, good financial management, and robust
advanced planning, particularly when moving between civilization levels. Money
can be generated from several secondary sources - trade, demanding tribute (in
theory, there are some bugs here) and finding treasures, but these should not
normally be relied on as a source of revenue. It is important to note that,
unlike 1602, there is no taxation of your population.
3.1.5 What operating costs are there?
Production buildings that produce goods constantly, and population related
facilities, have an operating cost. Production buildings where products have
to be ordered (such as shipyards, fortresses, and certain weapons shops) do
not have a fixed operating cost - they cost nothing to maintain when they are
not producing. Houses have no operating cost - the only costs associated with
them relate to building and upgrading, and of course the supply of goods for
sale. Ships and military units also have an operating (upkeep) cost. Operating
costs are deducted at regular intervals. A full list of building operating
costs can be found in appendix Building and Industry Data. Production
buildings can often be de-activated ("turned off"), which reduces, but does
not eliminate, operating cost. Population related facilities cannot be
deactivated in this way, and operating costs can only be saved by demolishing
the building. Ships and ground units similarly cannot have their operating
cost reduced - the units can only be sunk or killed to eliminate upkeep (and
3.1.6 How does the balance sheet work?
Each island settlement has separate stocks, operating costs and revenue. Money
(coin) is pooled in a single treasury. Loses on one island may therefore be
offset against profits on another island without physically moving money or
balancing trade deficits. Goods are not automatically shared between islands -
they need to be shipped between islands. Operating costs are deducted at
regular time intervals, while sales and other revenues occur at different
times. This can cause the overall balance figure to be quite dynamic, and so
the balance needs to be considered when averaged out over a few cycles. *Very*
dynamic balance sheets are often associated with under-supply or infrequent
deliveries. For example, a ship unloads a cargo, which is in heavy demand. As
it sells it generates sales revenue. Before the ship returns with another
load, stocks have been emptied, so nothing can be sold, and the sales revenue
returns to zero.
3.1.7 How do service areas work?
Service areas are the highlighted area when the building is selected.
Buildings that produce things need to have the raw materials they require for
production within their service area. In the case of farms and plantations,
the service area needs to contain suitable land or crop fields. Stonemasons
need a Quarry within their service area. In the case of most other production
buildings, the supply of raw materials may be a Main Market or Warehouse *or*
the original producer of the raw materials. If the raw materials are available
in the island's stores, they will be simultaneously available from every Main
Market or Warehouse on that island. Population related facilities (such as
Chapels and stalls) need to be in the service area of the houses they serve.
The houses do not specifically need to be in the service area of the
facilities. So long as the facilities are in the service area of a Main Market
or Warehouse (it is almost impossible for them not to be), these facilities'
service areas are mostly meaningless. One notable exception is the Tavern,
which needs to have a supply of Alcohol within its service area.
3.1.8 What is the significance of road access?
Most buildings benefit from road access. Production buildings have specific
entrances, shown by green arrows when building. Roads must adjoin one or more
of these entrances to function. In the case of most farms and mines, road
access is optional. If the farm or mine is within the service area of the
processing industry that requires its raw material, no road is required
because the materials can be collected by a worker walking to the farm/mine.
If road access is provided, carts can be sent from Main Markets or Warehouses
to pick up goods, which will allow excess goods to be stored until needed, and
goods to be moved around the same island or made available to be shipped
elsewhere. The disadvantage is that each Main Market/Warehouse only has a
finite number of cart drivers, so complex economies can rapidly run out of
transport capacity if they rely too heavily on cart transport. Carts will be
sent out automatically to pick up finished materials or goods. Once the cart
has returned to a Main Market or Warehouse, the goods become available at
every Main Market or Warehouse owned by you on the same island. Processing
industries should have road access, since the end product will not be
transported by any other means than cart. In rare cases 'road access' can be
provided through other buildings - this is discussed within General
industry/farm design strategies below. Road access for housing is a moot
point. Housing does not require road access, because houses have small
internal walkways between them. However, these walkways can become crowded at
higher civilization levels, which can prevent residents from accessing all the
facilities they need. Consequently most players provide some level of road
access to housing, even if only a proportion of all houses are connected by
3.1.9 How does production occur?
Primary production involves growing and harvesting crops or livestock, or
mining. Secondary production is often needed to process these into useful
goods. Most production is a simple case of taking one raw material to a
processing industry, and returning with the finished product. In a few cases,
two items need to be used for production to occur. For example, Ore smelters
require Ore and Wood to produce Iron. Sometimes more than one production
process is needed. For example, after Iron is produced it is made into Tools
or weapons before it has any proper use. End products are sold to your
population, used by your military, or used in further construction. Appendix B
shows Production Links. Industries operate at a percentage efficiency,
primarily based on how well supplied they are with raw materials, although
other factors such as draught or poor supply lines can cause efficiency to
drop. Balancing the provision of different industries within your economy is
part science, part art - appendix C contains Production Efficiency data to
assist in this.
3.1.10 Why should I colonize new islands and how?
New islands will need to be colonized in order to support higher levels of
civilization. It is not possible to produce everything Citizen or higher
populations require on any one island. Specific agricultural resources are
required to produce certain goods, and no one island has all agricultural
resources. Depending on the map and objectives, further islands may be needed
to access mineral resources, or simply provide space for city building. To
colonize a new vacant island, you need to build a new warehouse on it. This is
done either by moving a ship with the required construction materials close to
the island and using the construct warehouse icon on the ship's menu; or by
landing a Scout, loading it with the required materials, and then using it to
build a Main Market. In most cases it is useful to have direct sea access to a
new colony, so the former method is more common. If the island is already
completely occupied you will need to invade first - see How do I capture an
enemy settlement? below. For warehouse troubleshooting, see Why can't I build
a warehouse? below.
3.2.1 Common mistakes
Budgie quotes "a former user", who lists five errors commonly made by new
players (I've condensed and re-written the description of each). Consider each
carefully, because some mistakes below you may not even realise you are making
- Over-production: Your economy is finely balanced, particularly at the start
of the game. You cannot afford to produce more than you need, however tempting
it may be to stock your warehouse to the rafters, 'just in case'. Also try to
keep industries running efficiently (80+% efficiency), with all buildings in
the same production chain operating at about the same efficiency. Jini writes:
"Personally I always try to have a small overproduction of food and alcohol
because the inhabitants get very grumpy if there's not enough that. With all
other consumer goods, (spice, tobacco, and so on) I'm trying to achieve a
small underproduction because this makes sure that every bit of spice or
tobacco will immediately be turned into cash."
- Retaining obsolete or outdated facilities: Some starting facilities are
inefficient and/or expensive compared to those you can build later. The most
common mistake is to retain Small Farms/Potatoes for Alcohol consumption long
after Hops/Breweries become available - the later are cheaper and more
- Meeting every demand: You don't have to give your colonists everything they
demand immediately. It is important to differentiate needs (things that will
make the colonists unhappy and leave if not provided), and demands (things
that will allow colonist to develop civilization level or contribute
additional sales revenue if provided). For example, Pioneers demand a Chapel
in order to develop to Settlers. But they can remain as happy Pioneers without
a Chapel, so only provide a Chapel when you can also meet the other needs for
advancing to Settlers, otherwise you are wasting money. Pioneers do need Food,
and if this need is not met their houses will collapse. SirGorash writes: "The
key to wealth is to build as few supply units and buildings as possible, and
to supply your people only with stuff that is absolutely required." Of course,
it is often profitable in the long run to sell goods that are demanded and not
needed, but don't feel you must meet such demands.
- Rapid expansion: When learning the game, expand slowly. Wait until you have
achieved a steady financial situation before trying to reach the next
civilisation level. New civilisation levels (such as Settler to Citizen)
require significant investments in new buildings and (often) new island
colonies, but you will not see the revenue from these investments until your
population develops to the new level - in the interim you will tend to lose
money, so ensure you start such a process from a sound financial base. As you
become more experienced, you will be able to expand much more rapidly. This
'mistake' is only a mistake for new players who don't yet instinctively know
when to add or remove buildings.
- Lack of preparation for civilisation advances: A continuation of the last
point. When your civilisation advances a level, the population will increase
dramatically (almost double). One needs to be ready to supply all the extra
Food, Alcohol, whatever, associated with such a population increase. The
reason many players come unstuck when jumping from Settlers to Citizens is
they have not anticipated the need to (in some cases) *double* the size of
their entire economy. Instead they see the jump as a simple case of supplying
one or two extra goods, which is only a small proportion of the problem.
I'd also add a caveat about military forces: Don't feel compelled to build up
a large military at the start of the game. You probably don't need them, the
buildings needed to make weapons will use resources better spent on civilian
facilities and production, and troop upkeep will drain funds. Even if the
scenario puts you at war with another player from the start, you can often
survive with only a handful of units. Once your economy is booming, then make
your military plans.
3.2.2 Initial colony building
There is no right or wrong way to build a colony, and many veteran players may
be able to play through certain stages of the game far quicker than suggested
below. This section is primarily aimed at those whose first attempts have
ended in financial disaster, and want to learn how to make any progress in the
game at all. Once you master the basics, many tweaks and changes will become
apparent to speed up and optimise colony development.
Even if you only start with a single ship, initially you will be losing money
from upkeep. Remember game speed can be changed, using F5-F8. Half speed (F8)
can be useful when laying out basic colony facilities.
When learning the game, try to find a large 'Northern' island - one that can
grow Hops, which will make Settler level easier to sustain. Acid (translated
by Gunter) writes: "The button 'Stop supplying building materials' is very
important and should be activated as soon as have built your first warehouse.
It prevents your pioneers from an uncontrolled advance to settler level."
Roughly plan where you will place your housing and where you will place
production facilities. Housing benefits from a large area of flat ground where
it can be densely packed close to public facilities. Later production
facilities will need mineral deposits, so consider opening up land towards
mountains with mineral deposits. Expand your territory with additional Main
Market(s), but don't over-expand, since each Main Market costs you building
materials, cash and upkeep. Hakea comments: "Usually it pays to try for the
maximum spacing of market buildings (which is a grid of 25x26 spaces) as
markets get progressively more expensive to build and run as you progress."
Construct 2-4 Forester's Huts, and plant forest around them. They don't need
their entire service area filled with trees to be efficient. Connect them up
to your Warehouse/Main Market with roads. Acid notes: "Be careful in the very
beginning that the road connections fit to the green arrows of the buildings,
otherwise the market wagons can't pick up the goods and a road symbol will
appear above the building." Four Foresters' Huts places quite a strain on your
finances. However, they mean basic construction materials are readily
available early in the game, so colonies can grow quicker. Place a pair of
Hunting Lodges near to the Foresters' area. Ideally give them a mix of trees
and open land, and of course a road connection. A pair of Hunting Lodges will
produce enough Food to feed about 400 people. Acid writes: "Fisherman's huts
aren't necessary and too expensive. You can do well without them." Wood, Food
and Hides are now being produced.
Hakea writes: "There are two key elements in 1503 city planning: one is the
'reach' of the markets (you can't build anything outside its radial reach) and
the other is the reach of the houses (they won't be able to get the benefit of
goods or services outside their 'area')." When building residential areas, try
to group houses in a circle around a central facilities district. The aim will
be to get as many houses as close to the same set of facilities as possible.
This maximises the population per facility, giving a better ratio of revenue
to facility operating cost. You will not build all the facilities straight
away, but you should leave enough space for them to be added later. Sample
layouts are discussed under Colony Planning and Building strategies below.
Houses do not need road access, however, you may find it beneficial to place
some roads, particularly around the central area, since this seems to help
people find their way to facilities.
Initially build 10-15 houses. Add a Food and Salt stall to your central
facilities area - make sure it is within the service area of each of your
houses. Build one Tannery to process Hides into Leather, and set up a
Cloth/Leather stall in your town. You will now be selling Food and Leather,
and will start to make some money to offset all your operating costs.
Acid suggests selling excess Food and buying some extra Tools at this stage:
"Either you do it passively via the warehouse or you look for a small flat
island where the Venetians dwell As you're also in urgent need of tools, you
can put up a trading route with the Venetian island and your trading ship. 50t
food vs 50t tools gives an approximately plus/minus zero balance. If the
island isn't to be found, purchase the tools via your warehouse. Deactivate it
after one delivery, it's too expensive." The Venetian island does not exist in
the Citizen level endless game, or in most of the campaign/scenarios. Trading
for Tools is not normally essential if you manage your initial stock of Tools
Keep on building houses as materials allow. Expect to build about 40 houses
around your central facilities district. As the number of houses rise, so does
the number of consumers for your products. This should start to balance your
Two further goods need to be supplied before your Pioneers will upgrade to
Settlers: Alcohol and Cloth. Alcohol must initially be produced by planting
Potatoes around Small Farms. Three Small Farms should be *just* about
sufficient to get to (but not sustain) 360 Settlers, at which point more
efficient Hop production can be used. Alcohol is sold from a Tavern, which is
placed in the central facilities district. The Tavern must have a source of
Alcohol within its service area - ideally the Tavern should be placed close to
a Main Market to ensure uninterrupted supply. Cloth must initially be produced
from Sheep Farms and Weaving Huts. Use a ratio of 2 Sheep Farms to 1 Weaving
Hut (commonly known as a "combine"). Each Sheep/Weaver combine will cater for
almost 300 people, so one combine is all that is needed to start with.
Once Alcohol and Cloth are being sold, and you have a moderately large number
of houses, you should find yourself in a financially stable position. Don't
expect to make much money from Pioneers - hopefully you still have enough of
your startup capital to move straight on to Settlers. Build a Chapel in the
central facilities district, make construction materials available (if you
shut them off to start with), and your people will develop to Settlers.
Although Pioneers can be sold Salt, they don't need it to upgrade to Settlers.
Mining Salt early in the game is not recommended, because the operating costs
of a Salt Mine and Works exceed the profit from selling Salt in small
quantities - one Salt Mine and Works provides for about 3000 people, and is
not a profitable venture when selling to 100-200. The Pros and Cons of Salt
mining are discussed in detail later - there are exceptions to this rule for
3.2.3 Settlers and beyond
As Settler houses start to develop, you will start to need more production
facilities to cater for the increased population. If Tools were not running
short beforehand, they will be now, since each Settler upgrade uses Tools.
Additionally, new facilities rapidly become available. This creates a
situation where it is easy to over-spend, or run out of something critical
just at the wrong moment, and the whole colony goes horribly wrong... Don't be
afraid to turn off the supply of construction materials to your colonists, so
only some upgrade to Settlers. This tactic is also useful when trying to build
new facilities with limited volumes of materials.
Early priorities for entirely new buildings, should be a Quarry and
Stonemason, to provide Bricks. These are normally followed by an Ore Mine, Ore
Smelter and Smithy (Toolmaker) to create Tools - these become available with
80 Settlers. One Ore Smelter will produce a lot of excess Iron - sometimes
this excess can be traded. Later you may wish to build a second Smithy and
increase the rate of Tool production, or shut down the mine and smelter for a
while and let the Smithy work on stockpiles of Iron.
Once 360 Settlers are achieved, build a pair of Hop Farms and a Brewery.
Destroy all the Small Farms. Hop-based alcohol production is far more cost-
effective than potato-based production. A School should also be built (again
in the centre of the town) and research started into Wells, and then the Fire
Brigade. Once this research is complete, build a Fire Brigade to deal with the
house fires that will inevitably start. Also consider researching the Weaving
Mill, which will almost double the output of Cloth compared with a Weaver's
Hut, although you will need to build an extra Sheep Farm (ratio of 3 Sheep
Farms to 1 Weaving Mill).
Hakea writes: "It's not essential to always build exact numbers of farms,
mills, etc in precise ratios to each 100 people - and in fact they rarely ever
match perfectly. Just keep a regular watch on your stock levels and make sure
that you are neither grossly overproducing (which will waste money when the
chain jams up due to lack of storage) nor running too lean (which will cause
your settlement to wither). Also check that each field and building is
producing as close to 100% efficiency as you can manage." Watch how your city
develops, including those small details that could cause problems if left