Colonization - a comprehensive guide

  • Crusader Kings II Expansion Subscription

    Subscribe to the CK II Expansion and enjoy unlimited access to 13 major expansions and more!


  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

afb

Colonel
89 Badges
Dec 21, 2003
1.183
346
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Colonization 101

This is my attempt at making a thorough guide for colonization. It is based on Divine Wind, but most of the guide applies to several previous versions of the game. Most of the guide is based on playing a European country establishing overseas colonies, but it will also cover various other scenarios, such as Russians colonizing Siberia and non-Christians going at it.

Some players do not consider colonizing lucrative, and to some extent they are right. It costs a lot of resources and if not done properly can be a real money sink without much to show for it. If done right however, it can take a small country to a world power without ever going to war. Besides, who ever needed any excuse to expand but the opportunity to paint a continent in the colours of your country?

To colonize you must first discover an empty province. This mostly happens in one of two ways: 1) You select the Quest for the New World national idea, recruit an explorer, assign him to a fleet and sail out into the unknown until you discover land or 2) You let other countries explore the New World and then wait for their discoveries to spread to you. The second option is cheaper, but it also means that you have to settle for the scraps that the first wave colonizers have left behind.

Once you have discovered an empty province you send out a colonist to colonize it. If he succeeds you will now have a small colony. It will slowly grow into a city but you can speed it along by sending more colonists.

To get any significant amount of colonists, you need to either be Christian or have the Colonial Ventures national idea. You will also need gold to fund the colony, both to establish it in the first place and to sustain it until it grows to a city. Also, you need to have an unblockaded core province within you maximum colonial range. This will increase gradually with naval technology and the Quest for the New World national idea gives a 50% increase, making it even more valuable.
 
Last edited:

afb

Colonel
89 Badges
Dec 21, 2003
1.183
346
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Exploring

To start exploring you need Quest for the New World. This national idea only becomes available once you reach a trade tech level of 7 or higher. At that point you will likely already have a national idea, but you can switch it at a cost of -3 stability. If you don’t want to do that, you will get new national ideas at government tech levels 9 and 11.

Once you have QftNW go ahead and hire an explorer. Then assign him to a fleet. If the fleet is large you will lose too many ships to attrition but if you only use one ship you risk losing the explorer if you get caught in a storm, get ambushed by pirates or just push a little to aggressively into the unknown. Three ships are a good rule of thumb.

Base your fleet in the harbor that is closest to where you want to explore, or possibly get military access from someone with harbors even closer. Then send out your explorer to the terra incognita. At some point you will reach a new sea zone and maybe – if you’re lucky – discover one or more adjacent land provinces. Keep going to a new ocean square until your fleet starts taking attrition. Then turn around, go back into port and wait for the ships to repair. When they are done send them out again.

It can be useful to have two fleets of ships for each explorer. That way, when he returns to port he can immediately embark on the second fleet while the first one stays in port for repairs.

Since it’s faster to sail through sea zones that you have already discovered each expedition will be able to go a little further. Also, each expedition will likely reveal a few more adjacent land provinces, eventually uncovering an entire stretch of coast. And speaking of coasts, always try to stay near them. First of all, that’s where the potential colonies are and second, you will suffer much less attrition there.

Your exploration fleet should never include galleys as these are slow and inefficient in the waters that you will be exploring. Once you reach naval tech level 10 you will get access to barques. These are faster ships that will help you explorers sail further before suffering attrition, greatly helping along exploration.

Apart from explorers, QftNW also allows you to hire conquistadors. These function like land based explorers, leading small armies into the unknown. While you’ll probably have more use for explorers, conquistadors have two great advantages. They can explore landlocked areas like Siberia or the Ohio Valley and they have a 100% success rate, whereas explorers theoretically can sail back and forth outside the same province for years without ever discovering it.

Once a colony reaches city size it will eventually reveal any adjacent provinces, meaning that you can gradually explore inland even without ever hiring a conquistador.

If you wait long enough other nations’ discoveries will slowly be revealed to you. This can be great, but the countries that made the original discoveries will have had years to establish colonies, and once they have spread to you, they will also have spread to the rest of your tech group, increasing competition.

This mechanism also means that you might not want to discover two much all at once. With a few explorers you could probably discover most of the American coastline in a few years, but it would be very difficult to colonize all of it before other nations could start to leach on your hard earned discoveries.
 

afb

Colonel
89 Badges
Dec 21, 2003
1.183
346
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Establishing a colony

To establish a colony you will need colonists. If you’re Catholic, Orthodox or Reformed, you will get one per year, while Protestants get one every two years. Other religions don’t receive any this way. Selecting Colonial Ventures as a national idea will get you one colonist per year in addition to any your religion provides. That is a nice bonus for any colonizer but absolutely essential for any non-Christians wanting to get in on the action. Coastal Centers of Trade provide an additional 0.1 colonists per year and bordering Steppe Nomads can give you even more.

You will also need sufficient colonial range. The higher your naval tech, the farther away you can establish colonies. The range is tracked from your nearest unblockaded core province, so apart from increasing your colonial range, getting cores in strategic locations is essential. Capturing for example Iceland or the Moroccan coast early on will give you a valuable stepping stone for further colonization as well as a safe harbor for your explorers.

If you got cores on Iceland by 1460, you don’t need much colonial range to reach Labrador. Gradually your increased range will allow you to colonize more and more of Canada and after 50 years you will gain a core in Labrador. Suddenly that is where you trace your colonial range from, and all of North America, the Caribbean and the Spanish Main will be open for you.

Once you’ve established a colony you have to choose whether to use your colonists to expand it or to establish more colonies. In theory there is no limit to the amount of colonies you can have at the same time, but they can be very expensive to support, so you should strike a balance between getting more colonies and getting your colonies to city size. The ration depends on your economy.

A related concern is which national idea to pick from Colonial Ventures and Land of Opportunity. CV is obviously a must for non-Christian colonizers, but for Christians it is less obvious. CV provides 100 citizens per year for your colonies, while LoO provided 33 per colony. So if you have more than three colonies on average, LoO is better. CV gives more flexibility though, and without enough colonists there is a limit to how many colonies you can establish. A good rule of thumb is to start with CV and then go with LoO on top of it, but only if you’re making a full scale colonial effort.
 
Last edited:

afb

Colonel
89 Badges
Dec 21, 2003
1.183
346
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Choosing where to colonize

Several factors go into deciding where to colonize, both long term and short term. I will make a more detailed breakdown of different regions later but your first decision will be which general direction to go. North America? South America? Africa? The Spice Islands? Once you’ve decided it’s time to explore and make your first colony.

The number one priority for your first few colonies is strategic location. This relates strongly to the concept of colonial range. In general you will want to establish a colony as far as you can in the direction of your objective. This serves two purposes: In the short term as a base for your explorers for further exploration and in the long term you will get a core, allowing you to trace colonial range from here.

The second priority is climate. Some provinces are considered tropical. Not in the beaches and cocktail way, but in the mosquitos and typhoid way. These colonies will grow much slower than others and are best avoided at first.

The economic value of a province is also important. The problem here is that the vast majority of colonial income is based on the good produced in the province and you won’t know that until it’s reached a population of 300. There are however regional tendencies, and they are a huge part of selecting which part of the world to shoot for. What you do know however, is the tax value, so start with rich provinces.

You will encounter native population in most regions. Some are relatively peaceful while others are very hostile. If you can keep them alive until your colony reaches city status they will be added to your population, which increases income. The impact of this is limited though, and they will often be more bother than it’s worth, so it might generally be a better strategy to wipe them out, at least the aggressive ones. For your first few colonies though, mounting an expedition can be bothersome so aim for provinces with friendly natives.

Placing your colonies adjacent to each other is a good idea. It increases the rate of growth in the colonies and it makes it easier for you to defend if you should become involved in a colonial war.

Another important aspect of choosing where to colonize is to try and deny your opponents access to certain areas. If you control an entire coastline your opponents won’t be able to reach the inland provinces, you on the other hand can colonize them at your leisure. Also, you might be able to guess more or less how far certain countries’ colonial range is. Possibly you can prevent them from establishing a foothold by always colonizing a little ahead of their range.
 

afb

Colonel
89 Badges
Dec 21, 2003
1.183
346
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Colonial economy

Without this turning into an economic guise, there are basically three ways to fund your colonial expansion. Feel free to combine them for greater impact.

The first is census tax. Make sure you have a large number of rich core provinces providing you with lots of tax income. This is part of the reason countries like Spain, England and France make good colonizers.

The second is trade-and-mint. Even a small country can get a massive trade income if played right. If you mint some of this they can finance your colonies. Beware though, that this strategy works best if you can devote a few national ideas for trading and perhaps national bank, and you will have to dedicate most of your early ideas for colonizing.

The third is from plundering native nations. Countries like the Aztecs, Cherokee and Mali often end up with large amounts of cash. If you go to war with them, you can often get huge amounts of tribute from them, sometimes in several successive wars.

You will also want to conquer their provinces though, especially if your colonial range is insufficient to reach the area. Strike a balance between taking their land and exhorting money from them. A good strategy is to capture their coastline to prevent other colonizers from conquering them.

Finding out how many colonies your country can support at a time is crucial. If you start too many, your cash flow will go in the negative, forcing you to rack up inflation or reducing the upkeep of the colonies, which defies the whole purpose of spreading out. It's often better to build up a few colonies to city size before starting new ones.

Colonial income takes the form of tariffs. They are made up of the tax and production income of your provinces, but the tariff efficiency is a little special. Basically, you need one ship (not counting transports and galleys) for each overseas province. If you have less your percentage will drop accordingly.

Colonies also contribute to Centers of Trade, either back home or in their local area. Getting a CoT in your colonies is often a good idea, as there will be less competition than in Europe, and if you place it along the coast, it will give you a slight bump in colonists.

Colonial provinces often provide a plethora of valuable trade goods. Many of them however, only become truly valuable once there are marketplaces in lots of provinces worldwide. A notable exception to this is furs, which starts out quite valuable, and so is a good aim for early colonization.
 
Last edited:

afb

Colonel
89 Badges
Dec 21, 2003
1.183
346
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Other concerns

Apart from the strain on your cash flow, colonization will slow your technological gains in the short term. This is because technology costs go up when you get more provinces. Your income will likely go up as well, but even assuming that they go up in equal amounts there will be a delay. Say you were halfway towards a tech (50/100) when both your income and tech cost went up by 10 percent. Suddenly you only have 50 progress out of 110, meaning that you’re 60 short instead of 50. That means your income would have to rise by 20% to get the tech just as fast. In the long term you should be ok.

Several of your Domestic Policy sliders affects colonization directly. Centralisation is always good, but the inflation reduction can be especially valuable for colonizers. Anything that helps tech is a plus because you might otherwise fall behind in the short term. Narrowmindedness increases colonial growth, but innovativeness doesn’t decrease it, so only full narrowminded makes a big difference. Naval gives you cheaper colonists and more tariffs as well as making your navy cheaper. This is invaluable for a big time colonizer but only if you’re going overseas.

You can use spies to incite the natives against other colonizers. This can be very useful to push out your rivals from key provinces. It’s also a good reason not to eradicate all the natives in an area preemptively.

If you’re playing non-Christian colonizers you will often face some tough choices. You need Colonial Ventures but you’ll also need an explorer or two, and your reduced tech rate might mean you only have one national idea available. Get a coastal Center of Trade to slowly build up a few colonists. Select Quest for the New World, hire some explorers and send them out and then switch to Colonial Ventures.

Steppe Nomads also require colonizing, but it works a little differently. Just occupy their provinces and start sending colonists. Once your settlement reaches city size you will automatically annex the province.

As a European, the most notable stepping stones for colonizing are Iceland (for going to Labrador), Madeira, Canarias and Southern Morocco (for going to Brazil or Cape of Good Hope) and the Azores (for pretty much anywhere on the American seaboard). These can be extremely valuable in the race for colonies. Even if it is too late for you to get cores on the province, you can still deny your rival the base, which is valuable in itself.

A few notable tech levels:
Government 4: Idea #1
Government 9: Idea #2
Government 11: Idea #3
Trade 7: Allows Quest for the New World
Naval 10: Fast ships.
 
Last edited:

afb

Colonel
89 Badges
Dec 21, 2003
1.183
346
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Regional Breakdown

Here is an overview of some of the pros and cons of different regions:

Canada: Easy access from Iceland. High likelihood of fur means good early returns on your investments. Low tax values.

Eastern USA: Solid mix of tax values and colonial trade goods. Possibility to seal off American interior for leisurely conquest and colonization.

Caribbean: Very good tax values and goods. Some native aggressiveness and the island hopping can be bothersome.

Spanish Main: Mixed tax values and goods. Some native aggressiveness and some tropical climate.

Brazil: Easy access from Morocco and Atlantic Islands. Good trade goods but mediocre tax values. Good stepping stone for further expansion in America.

La Plata: Good tax values but somewhat bland trade goods. Possibility to seal off South American interior for leisurely conquest and colonization. Good stepping stone for Incan conquest.

West Africa: Easy access from Iberia and Morocco. Poor trade goods with the occasional gold in between, low tax values, bothersome natives and terrible climate makes early full scale colonization a potential money sink. Invaluable stepping stone for Indian Ocean.

South Africa: Mixed tax values and trade goods. Some non-tropical climate. Invaluable stepping stone for Indian Ocean.

Spice Islands: Mixed tax values but very rich trade goods. Some tropical climate. Often available for 2nd wave colonizers.

Oceania: Mixed tax values and poor trade goods, high native aggressiveness. Often available for 2nd wave colonizers.

California: Mixed tax values and trade goods. Often available for 2nd wave colonizers.

Siberia: Low tax values and mixed trade goods. Quite a bit of fur makes for early returns if you get there fast. Usually with a land connection to capital, which makes it more valuable.
 
Last edited:

afb

Colonel
89 Badges
Dec 21, 2003
1.183
346
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Country Breakdown

Here are a few thoughts on some different countries and their colonial potential.

Portugal: They are small and rich, making them ideal for fast technological advancement. Combined with their excellent position, missions to conquer Morocco and missions to discover Madeira and the Azores they are probably the country best suited for early colonization. They might not have quite the economic muscle to spread their colonies all over, at least not early in the game.

Spain: Has excellent location as well and by the time colonization starts they can be an economic powerhouse. They can get a foothold in Morocco or the Canarias early on and they have excellent mission to get more colonists once their colonial range starts increasing.

England: With regards to colonization, England is the northern version of Spain. Potential for huge wealth and good position for discovering North America. An early conquest of Iceland gives a good stepping stone.

France: Has a massive economy but lacks footholds closer to the New World. Also, they will likely spend their early resources consolidating their mainland powerbase, meaning that they can’t divert resources to get a foothold early on. All this applies to Burgundy as well, if they come out on top.

Netherlands: Very rich provinces makes for good techs and solid cash flow. Early on, they are vulnerable to great powers at home (ie. Burgundy) but if they can ride the storm they are excellent colonizers. Access to a special decision that increases colonial range. By the time you get it, it’s likely redundant in regards to America, but it might help you in a race for the Spice Islands.

Scandinavia: Probably easiest as Denmark, but either country will do. With a lucky inheritance you can get cores on Iceland early. That means excellent position, but your economy and manpower base can be weak.

Russia: Once you smash your way through the Steppe Nomads you can colonize your way through Siberia. You won’t face much competition there, but if you hurry you can use your Pacific ports as a base for further expansion in the Spice Islands and California.

Morocco: Can start expanding southwards as soon as you get a colonist. They will be pestered by Portugal and Spain, but they have a chance to close them out of Africa entirely. With their capital in a tropical province connected by land, no one will be able to squeeze more out of Africa than them.

Ottoman Empire: A very strong country with a great economy. If you capture a coastal province with access to the Indian Ocean early on you can cut off the Christians on their way to the Spice Islands.

And many more…
 

rustic

First Lieutenant
59 Badges
Aug 20, 2011
296
13
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Cities in Motion 2
  • Divine Wind
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • IPO Investor
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • BATTLETECH
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Stellaris
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Crusader Kings III
  • 500k Club
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Good guide, I think you have covered the subject pretty good. A bit of (possible) nit-picking: In post #3, you write "If you’re Catholic or Reformed, you will get two per year, while Orthodox or Protestants get one per year". Without having gone in-game to look it up, isn't this 1 colonist/year for catholic/reformed and 0.5 for protestant/orthodox?

[Edit: As have been pointed out later in the thread, catholic, reformed and orthodox gets 1 colonist per year, while protestants get 0.5.]

Another thing worth mentioning might be the game settings that affects colonists, i.e. colonist size and map spread.
 
Last edited:

Comradebot

On Double Secret Probation
74 Badges
Feb 13, 2012
3.928
534
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • 500k Club
As someone who has recently started their first colonization campaign (as a Pommerania that refuses to go Prussian, hehe), I have to thank you for the guide. I went the trade n' mint route (after claiming the Teutonic lands so I could control the Baltic), and I did discover that the tribal nations tend to have some riches. Unfortunately, I had to turn down the oodles of Mali gold for their land to cut off another power from sharing a border with Mali.

And yes, with a Navigator and pressing your Naval Tech up, you can reach The Canarias all the way from up in Pommerania, and once it cores you've got potential access from everything from the Hudson Bay down into the southern reaches of Africa.
 

Comradebot

On Double Secret Probation
74 Badges
Feb 13, 2012
3.928
534
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • 500k Club
Also, I have to ask... for non-Christian nations like the Ottomans and Morocco, how do you go about getting colonists?
 

afb

Colonel
89 Badges
Dec 21, 2003
1.183
346
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Also, I have to ask... for non-Christian nations like the Ottomans and Morocco, how do you go about getting colonists?

Colonial Ventures and coastal CoTs. You won't get a lot, so you will have to rely on most of your colonies reaching city size by growing there, not by colonist spam. National Focus helps with that.
 

Comradebot

On Double Secret Probation
74 Badges
Feb 13, 2012
3.928
534
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • 500k Club
Colonial Ventures and coastal CoTs. You won't get a lot, so you will have to rely on most of your colonies reaching city size by growing there, not by colonist spam. National Focus helps with that.

Awesome, thanks! Now to get good enough at this game that I can colonize Australia as Mutapa.
 

unmerged(70580)

Captain
Mar 3, 2007
475
0
Nice work. A couple of things that might bear mentioning, one, increasing your colonists by gaining coastal COTs &/or sidling up to hordes (though of course that has its consequences, probably only a good idea if you're playing WC style), & two, the value of certain islands as stepping stones (here I'm thinking above all of the race for the Azores between Castille, Protugal & England).
 

brifbates

Field Marshal
86 Badges
Mar 4, 2004
10.482
1.939
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Pride of Nations
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
A few nitpicks:

Protestants get .5/year; Orthodox, Catholic, and Reformed all get 1/year.

The colonizable areas of North Africa have poor trade goods, not mixed. The only options are grain and slaves. Central Africa is a bit better with Ivory added to the mix but still sub-par.

Siberia actually has good trade goods, not poor. Iron and copper are definitely high value and they are plentiful in Siberia. While there is still the possibility of grain, the odds are in favor of inland Siberian provinces having a valuable trade good. The Pacific coast provinces aren't so great but inland is certainly not "poor trade goods".
 

George LeS

Ruler of the Queen's Navee
8 Badges
Feb 13, 2004
4.850
16
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • 500k Club
You can get gold in W Africa, though not too often. I once got it in Cape Verde. I nice change from the flounders.
 

BritNavFan

Lt. General
87 Badges
Mar 14, 2005
1.592
146
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
More Colonizers

Mamluks
Their coastal CoT (Alexandria) gives them starting colonists, and they begin play with knowledge of the colonizable province of Majerteen and will automatically discover colonizable provinces in the modern Sudan because of land adjacency.
As the AI: In HTTT and earlier versions of the game they could and did colonize both Majerteen and Sudan. As of DW, AI countries in the Muslim tech group will no longer colonize "empty" provinces.
As a player: It's easy to colonize what is now the Sudan, but its provinces have poor trade goods, low tax value, and are all tropical (and Cairo is not a "tropical" province.) Better to use your Red Sea ports to conquer Socotra (for colonial range after it cores) and move out onto the Indian Ocean.
Historic notes: Bedouin Arabs travelled through Egypt to colonize what is now the northern part of Sudan and westward to Lake Chad. The tribes in the Nile valley were defeated and vassalized by the Funj tribe moving up from the south. Majerteen would be better treated as a part of Adal or Swahili than as a "colonizable" province.

Oman
As a player: Easy to Westernize but will need to take Colonial Ventures to get colonists. If you do get Colonial Adventures and QftNW you are in an excellent position to colonize the Indian Ocean islands, the Spice Islands, Australia, even South Africa and eastern Siberia.
As the AI: Oman is one of the few AI countries that is likely to Westernize (because of its starting sliders). However, it is unlikely to get a source of colonists (unless it conquers a coastal CoT, e.g. Zanzibar), and it won't take QftNW.
Historic notes: Oman started buying ships from the Europeans relatively early in the EU3 period and carved out its own little colonial empire including many of the Swahili cities on the east coast of Africa and areas in Baluchistan in modern Pakistan.

Byzantium
* Similar to the Ottomans, but with more colonists since they're Christian.
* Take some Red Sea ports (e.g. Sinai). Once it cores, you can build ships there, take QftNW, and start exploring the Indian Ocean. By the time this has happened, you probably have the colonial range to colonize the Island of Mahe, but if not you can conquer Socotra and use it as a colonization base when it cores. Either will put you in a strong position to colonize the Indian Ocean Islands, the Spice Islands, Australia, and even southern Africa and the eastern Siberian coast.
* If you are playing with Hordes on (as contrasted with modding the game so that Hordes don't exist but are treated as Tribal Despotisms/Federations) then you will need a lot of colonists to both colonize the Hordes and the Indian Ocean and Spice Islands.
* It's also possible for a player Byzantium to compete with western European AI's for second-tier colonies in the New World and even West Africa.
As the AI: AI Byzantium is unlikely to survive, and almost impossible to get the Red Sea ports needed to colonize the Indian Ocean or the land provinces adjacent to a Horde needed to colonize the Hordes.
Historic notes: Byzantium, of course, didn't survive.

Ming China
Ming starts with a coastal CoT and neighbouring barbarians and could easily create another coastal CoT, so they start with colonists. They also start with knowledge of an uncolonized province (Taiwan), neighbouring Horde provinces, colonization missions (e.g. Taiwan), and the potential to colonize east Siberia if they annex Manchu.
As a player: The only obstacle to colonizing as a player is the faction system. However, to get a large number of colonists, you'd need the Colonial Ventures NI.
As the AI: AI Ming won't colonize Taiwan because of AI-tech group restrictions on colonization and it won't colonize the neighbouring Hordes because of "faction" restrictions.
Historic notes:
* Historically, the early Ming (1405-1423) sent huge fleets to India and the Indian Ocean under the admiral Zheng He. It's debatable whether these fleets are best described in EU3 terms as areas that Ming had already discovered at the start of the game, and represent Zheng He as an Admiral, or whether he should be represented as an Explorer and his trips as voyages of exploration.
* IIRC the Dutch colonized Taiwan first, but Ming took their colony from them before they had a chance to develop it.
 

The-King

Professional Kangaroo Boxer
78 Badges
Nov 25, 2009
2.135
282
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Europa Universalis III
  • March of the Eagles
  • Divine Wind
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Prison Architect
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
As a non-christian nation(like morocco or oman), getting a border with a horde is a nice way to get colonists.
 

sprites

Field Marshal
76 Badges
May 1, 2008
6.564
79
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Darkest Hour
  • For The Glory
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Battle for Bosporus
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Magicka 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 200k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Magicka
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
This may be considered cheesy , but as a muslim (or east asian!) power , you can hope to gain a lot of colonists by not discovering too much land and wait for the 'discover X' mission , which gives 5 colonists ...
the horde border is very nice too , but this is nerfed into oblivion in 5.2 , from 0.33-1.65 to 0.25 flat.