Well, a newb to EU3. I've played plenty of other grand strategy. (Particularly Crusader Kings and Victoria 2.)
Bucked my normal habit of trying to make my first game as hard as possible (and fought the urge to pick the Cherokee, which seems like a fairly hard way to start the game, especially since I imagine I'll be constantly fighting off Europeans before long.) I went with England in the Grand Campaign. It seems like I need to get Trade to 7 and Government to 4 before I can go colonize places. Both of those are at 4 now. I've been starting wars with France while I wait to get Trade to 7. However, I have the following question: Colonization seems to be the main point of EU3. The sooner I can colonize (and especially if I'm the first major power to be able to do so) the more of an advantage it seems like I'll have. So, here's my question: Is it worth it to just stop fighting, disband the majority (but not all. I'm not an idiot.) of my army and just put every cent I can into getting Trade to 7? Seems like it might be worth it to put myself in debt and take out loans if needed. I also got an advisor who gives me a plus to Trade and that seems to have helped quite a bit. Any opinions? I don't think I need anything else to start colonizing after Trade gets to 7.
Also, what exactly is the point of sending merchants out to trade centers? They don't seem to be doing very much. I stopped sending them out as a test, and nothing seemed to change in the game. I had initially assumed it would bring in more money, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.
If it makes a difference (and it might), I'm playing with all the expansions. Thanks!