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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Zardnaar

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I thought I would put pen to paper and explain how I make money in this game. Note some players are better at playing this game than I am and are very good at blobbing. I tend to play smaller nations and OPMs more than the great powers so I have not done a world conquest yet. At heart I am a builder I suppose in terms of play style and I play most of my games based on the appeal of a nations national traits. The most basic guide to expanding your income would be “blob hard, blob fast and do it ASAP”. At the most basic level that can work along with playing France. Some of my games I have had to get used to the idea my nation at game start has an income of less than 1 ducat per month.

I will divide this guide into three parts, basic tips on the economy and gold and then a bit more detail involving tariffs and trade and taxes and production with a little conclusion at the end. I will not cover the games mechanical math as such as that can be found in the EUIV wiki but more layman style common sense approach to this game. I will provide several screenshots as examples and explain some tricks of the trade so to speak.
Income is important as it lets you support a large navy/army, lets you pay for colonists if applicable, and lets you hire mercenaries and send gifts to improve diplomatic relations. You can use it to hire adviser to tech up faster. In short it makes your life easier in this game and fuels expansion.
If you are not at war one can save money by turning maintenance on your army/navy down and you may need to fire or juggle advisers around as well depending on if you want a large number for monarch points or a specific skill an adviser has.

In this game you can get income from several sources.

Gold

Gold is a resource on the map and causes inflation. Gold is rare in Europe and in 1444 Austria and Spain have a gold mine. Most gold is found in Africa and the New World in particular the Aztec and Inca lands, Mali, Mutapa and Kilwa. Gold can also be found via colonization in Brazil, the Cape area of South Africa, provinces northwest of Mexico, and in South America. It is not all of the gold of course just the most likely locations.

Production

Provinces have a goods produced number and this contributes to income. Put simply the more stuff you make the more you earn and this means buildings and manufactories. Production along with taxes and trade will likely make up a large percentage of your income.

Tariffs

Tariffs come from colonies and this means colonial nations and the America’s for the most part although technically Australasia can be a colonial nation as well. Colonial nations form when you have 5 cored provinces in a region.
Taxes

Provinces have a base tax value and the higher the number the better. The richest provinces are generally found in Europe- Isle De France, Wien, Constantinople, Venice, Lubeck, etc. Taxes are one of the main sources of your income.

Trade

If you want to get rich in this game you trade. Use merchants to collect trade income and transfer trade power. All countries want some trade although talking trade based ideas are not mandatory at all.

Vassals

Vassals pay 10% of their tax income to their overlord. Vassal income will not be covered in any great depth in this guide and usually does not contribute much to your overall income. Not much to say about vassal income at all.
And of course you can beat ducats out of an opponent via war I am looking mostly at monthly income streams.

Gold

Gold usually is not a major income source except perhaps early in the game and for nations such as the Aztecs, Inca and Mali. One usually acquires gold as a colonial power via colonisation (including invading the Aztecs/Inca) or by invading Mali as a Berber nation. The key to making a lot of money out of gold is to get it early in the game and have it on the same continent as you. This causes inflation however and you will need to spend administration points, hire masters of the mint, take the economics idea, or have an inflation reducing national idea to combat it. The higher the percentage of your income that comes from gold the higher your inflation will be.
One exploit you can do is get your capital to the North or South America or Africa and seize gold mines off someone else and keep your western tech levels as opposed to playing as Morocco, Mali, or an American nation several techs behind. In previous patches this was very exploitive as it was not hard to shift your capital to the Americas and you had no nationalism or anything. Now it is still a very good idea in some circumstances generally as a smaller nation but you need to be an OPM to move your capital overseas and maybe leave the Holy Roman Empire as well.

This is best achieved by playing an OPM and expanding a bit to fund expansion in the Americas bee lining for Mexico. Once you have 4 colonies up and running (most likely beaten out of the Aztecs ) release your conquests as vassals and transfer your capital to the new world. You will need to have the range to be able to core your conquests however unless you can take some territory off the natives, lose all your European holdings in a war and then you get a free capital transfer to the new world and then you can core your land. The downside of this however is losing a war will likely cost you all your ducats and your income will be low and you will need an army as well.
The earlier you can do this the better and you may be able to get your capital to the new world by 1470 or so although being poor and broke you may not be able to do much and will have to put up with native revolts. The safer way is to core your way over there or play as a released colonial nation and beeline for the gold. Colonial nations also get a -10% inflation reduction national idea. The goldmines can pay for your relocated colonial expansion. If you play as a released colonial Brazil for example you will am for Inca gold instead.
 
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Zardnaar

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Part 2 Tariffs and Trade.

Note the screenshots are hard to read so I put the date and revenue under them.

Tariffs

In this part I will deal with tariffs. From the forums I get the suspicion tariffs are not understood that well and they are over shadowed by trade. Myself I quite like tariffs and as a colonial nation planning on advancing in America they are an important source of early income. Even if you are planning on avoiding the America’s and aim for Asia instead one or 2 colonial nations can fund that expansion. Tariffs are completive with trade income in the 1st half of the game as you will generally lack the trade power and land to maximise your trade income. In some ways tariffs are better than trade as an extra 10 ducats per month is a lot more important in 1480 than an extra 100 ducats a month in 1720. To put things in perspective how many European nations make 10 ducats profit in 1444?

The most basic way to start tariff income rolling in early is as Portugal or Castile and go for Brazil. The downside of this is you are not aiming for the Caribbean and may have to do some pointy stick diplomacy later on. Brazil and the Caribbean are the main places to aim for along with Mexico, the Incas and the Rio De Prata area of South America. I aim for the high tax areas with base tax 5, 6 or 7 first. The richer your colonial nations the richer you are. In the early game I will usually take the “turn XYZ” into a city mission which gives them +1 base tax and build a temple in the 1st 4 provinces I colonise as well so you may end up with base tax 8 and 9 provinces in your colonial nation. In the later game I will also add in tax buildings and maybe manufactories as well.

Once you provinces become a colonial nation crank up the tariff rate and I usually turn mine up to where the colonial nation gets around 45% liberty desire to leave me a little room for random event. I will use a Portugal screen shot as an example.



The date is 1532 which is early in the colonial game. I aimed for the Caribbean first and the trade-off is Asian and Brazilian expansion. My income is as follows.
Taxes 5.36
Production 3.55
Trade 14.52
Tariffs 12. 30
Vassals 0.46.


Tariffs are worth almost as much as my trade income and provide 144+ ducats per year. That is more than northern Italy from Tariffs alone. 21 ducats a month is being spent on 4 colonies IIRC I am running 3 colonies + an extra one over my colonist limit as I can afford it. The key to rapid colonial expansion and colonial nations are exploration, expansionism and quantity ideas at least with Castile and Portugal. Quantity + expansionism gives you the Colonial Settlement Act policy which grants +1 colonist. Expansionism and Exploration grant you the Colonial Expansion Act which grants +10 global settler increase, tariffs support an extra 1-2 colonists past your limit although my record was 10 colonists after I seized some colonies off Spain and had 8000 ducats in the bank circa 1550.

By 1597 this is a tariffs based empire.


Taxes 11.08
Production 10.61
Trade 42.93
Tariffs 62.11
Vassals 0.91

Tariffs are making almost 50% more than trade. A trade based empire can beat this of course but this is still somewhat early in the game and I almost have 8000 ducats in the bank. The trick I used was to ally France and war with Castile seizing their colonies. I liked grabbing ones with 950 odd population and juggling my settlers around as if you let it grow to 1000 without a settler you get a Castilian culture province. If you put a settler in them even for the last 50 odd people you get a Portuguese culture province. I was running 2 provinces over my limit and seized 4 off Castile so I had around 10 colonies, I just redirected my settlers into colonies that would finish 1st to cut that number down as my income went into the negatives as exceeding your colonists by a large amount gets very expensive. And that is more or less it for tariffs 101 explained with a few tricks hopefully thrown in.

Trade

Trade is easily the biggest income earner in EUIV but you are not required to expend a huge amount of effort on it. I find that trading is heavily skewed towards merchant republics and colonial nations at least in human hands. The Hansa and Venice seem to be the best merchant republics to be while Portugal and Spain can easily go to Asia and transfer the trade back to the Seville trade node. I more or less rate trading in 3 ways.

Minor Network

A minor network is a nation that expands to dominate a trade node or 2 and likely only has 2 or 3 merchants for the entire game.

Local Network

A local network for trade is something like the Eastern Mediterranean or Baltic areas along with the East coast of the Americas. A nation has likely taken the trade ideas and has anywhere from 5-7 merchants and uses them to dominate a modest but very profitable area.

Global Network

This means anywhere form directing Asian trade back towards Europe do trying to get 24 merchants and dominating all trade in the Americas, Europe and Asia. In the good old days you could get 10s of thousands of ducats per month doing this, a recent screenshot on the forums seems to reveal you can get around 2000 ducats a month with 24 merchants. Most likely though you will have somewhere between 7-14 merchants though and the main goal is Asian trade and an income of 200-600 ducats a month. In general a local trade area will make more money early in the game, late game it is really about global trade and you will be swimming in ducats.

In all cases trade income usually comes online for mega ducats in the late game- 1650+ although local networks can make very nice income (relative) very early in the game. For example the Hansa can take the trade idea first even before they expand that much and get a nice boost to their income.

You can get 24 merchants in this game.

2 at game start
3 from trade ideas
1 from expansionism
1 from plutocracy
1 from East India Company
1 National Idea
1 from confirm the Thalassocracy decision
1 Merchant Republic
1 from the Merchant Shipping Act policy
12 from trading companies

For most purposes anything over 12 is excessive but if you can pull it off why not? The most basic way to gain trade power is blob into trade node areas and dominate them Late game you can build level 6 trade building and you want to get provinces with bonus trade power in them such as estuaries and centres of trade. Merchant republics can spend 50 admin points to build trade posts in provinces they control outside their home node and anyone can add provinces to trading companies that are located from the west coast of Africa to the Philippines. In Asia as a western tech nation you can ad countries as a protectorate as well granting you trade power so seizing key provinces such as Ceylon, Aceh, Malacca, Macau, Nanjing etc is key and you can add the rest to a protectorate. Ideally you want 75-100% of the trade power in nodes.

In older patches of the game spamming trade ships was the way to go and while still important the game has moved away from this to some extent. Key trading nodes are the Caribbean, Gulf of Aden, Malacca and Western Europe. Ideally you want to steer trade into an end node such as Antwerp, Seville, or Venice. Do not be afraid to steer trade to another province where you have 90+% trade power if you want to avoid contested nodes such as Western Europe. I often collet trade in the Caribbean, Ceylon, Ivory Coast, The Cape or Chesapeake Bay/Gulf of Saint Lawrence depending on who I am and the situation of the world.

This is an example of a local trade network using the Hansa into Germany. Note I have taken over the key trade power provinces in the Baltic and Russia.



My income 1731
Taxes 52.94
Production 72.81
Trade 203.99
Vassals 0.70 (told you vassal income was almost pointless)

And this game was pure 1.7, I am sure someone more aggressive than me can shatter my income levels. The main point is an example of a local trade network.
Another example of a local trade network is this screen shot as Venice. This game was 1.6.1 although so expansion will be slower and I probably need to have a play with my trade ships and merchants.



My income 1751
Taxes 86.35
Production 175.80
Trade 215.45
Gold 8.66
Vassals 0.43 (told you vassal income was almost pointless X2)
Venice has expanded it India and is directing trade through the Gulf of Aden trade node. Similar trade income to The Hansa, way higher production likely based on sheer size. So two Merchant Republics in the late game making a boat load of ducats. Now for a more global PoV on things and seeing what Asian trade looks like.



My income 1776
Taxes 32.44
Production 87.67
Trade 309.97
Tariffs 4.27

Now some of you will notice that this is Mali. I included this nation for several reasons.
1. It is not a western nation
2. I am collecting in the Gold Coast
3. I am not a Merchant Republic

Trade income is over 300 and exceeding that of my Hansa and Venice examples. This is due to expanding in Asia and locking down the area with trade power as you can see on the map. I do not need to paint Asia white to achieve this. I am an absolute monarchy using trade to fund pointy stick diplomacy vs the baddies. I think the tax and production income also provide a nice comparison to Europe.

The final example may be an odd one as my income is actually lower than my previous example. It is earlier in the time line (1716) but still a useful example IMHO because I screwed up as Castile.



My income 1716
Taxes 30.89
Production 76.41
Trade 170.01
Tariffs 47.03

This is a global trade network in the making but the screw up was I was so focused on my overseas territory France moved into Aragon and I did not secure the Gulf of Aden area early and the ottomans are lurking in the area. Because I have been focus on colonization and trade my troops are not very good and I have to wrestle another great power who outnumbers me and has better national ideas and better military ideas. I can win defensive wars vs the Ottomans but beating them don is going to take a lot of time and effort, and I will likely take a stability hit for a no CB war dec on Oman. As I said earlier the Gulf of Aden is an important trade node for Asian trade. Once I secure it I can redirect my Indian and Chinese trade around the gulf and down to Zanzibar and beyond. Spain is still somewhat rich and remember it is an earlier time frame than my other examples.

This also serves to illustrate the point that trade explodes in the 18th century and comes online somewhat late at least in terms of massive numbers. I expect someone on the forums is going to prove me wrong with some sort of 1550-1600 Asian trade based empire. Once you get enough income start spamming manufactory’s in overseas locations and level 6 trade building in estuaries and trade centres or even normal provinces if you need more trade power. For some strange reason I bleed trade power in Ragusa.


Building up trade is mostly trial and error as you experiment with merchant placements, trade companies and trade fleets. One can get creative as well in directing trade as you can steer Asian trade into Alexandria, Ragusa, Wien, Lubeck as the Hansa for example and from Lubeck you can send it to Antwerp if you want and this avoids hotly contested trade nodes such as Western Europe. Grab centres of trade power and/or blob where you need to. Trade can be a nice little earner early in in the game as well but with 1.7 truce timers and it takes time to get level 6 trade buildings it tend to dominate income in the 2nd half of the game. And in some ways it can be excessive income as you can always blob in Europe. And speaking of Europe this means it is production and taxes time.
 
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Part 3 Production and Taxes.

Production and taxes are income derived from your provinces ideally on the same continent you are on or at least linked via a land bridge if you are expanding so you do not get the overseas income penalty on your lands. At the most basic level you can get your income higher by blobbing and it helps if it is a rich part of the world which really means Western Europe, some parts of the Middle East, India and China. The Americas also works assuming you can get your capital over there in particular Brazil, the Caribbean and the eastern seaboard on the USA. You low base tax Grain Empire in the American mid-west or Siberia will likely never be that wealthy sorry.
Rich parts of Europe include France, the Netherlands region, Northern Italy and Southern Germany/Austria. A very basic expansion into these areas will pay the bills. If you really want to abuse taxes and production there are several things that stack onto your basic levels of income. Note I excluded advisers as they are temporary and random.

Governments

Administrative Monarchy’s and Republics grants a +10 production efficiency bonus, the Monarchy also grants a 5% boost to taxes. An Oligarchic Republic grants a 5% tax boost.

National Ideas.

Various countries give a boost to tax and production. Any nation with the German NI group, Bavaria, England, and Switzerland get various boost for example. The Papal States gets a 20% boost to taxes.

Religion

Protestant gives a +10% tax modifier.

Policies.
There are a lot of policies that grant mostly 5% boosts to tax and production. Most of them are not worth taking IMHO unless you are drowning in monarch points or they have another effect tied to them.

Buildings.

Temples and the tax /production buildings boost your income. It often pays to develop some of these at least in key provinces. Manufactories add +100% goods produced. You have to spend money to make money.

Ideas.

I left ideas for last as there are a few of them. It is not just boosts to taxes and income but also cost reductions as well that help. The main offenders however are.

Economics.

Economic for some strange mysterious reason focuses your economy. The main ideas are a 10% boost to taxes, 10% boost to production efficiency, and the 20% reduction in building costs which can help with manufactory and level 6 building spam. Economics +expansionism also gives you the revenue farming policy which grants a 15% reduction in build costs and Portugal gets a 25% discount national idea. A 35-60% discount in building can help a lot.

Administration.

When completed this idea gives you +0.10 goods produced nationally and has discounts on coring and mercenaries. Which is nice because it combines with Plutocracy.

Plutocracy

Plutocracy grants a 0.10 goods produced nationally idea, an extra merchant and +50% mercs are icing on the cake.

With production and taxes like most things in EUIV you just stack multiple sources together. For example you may like to try a Protestant Friesland Administrative Republic with administration, trade, plutocracy, and economic ideas 1st. Trade can still benefit anyone as a NI. If you add all of that up you get

Tax +30% (Protestant, German, Economic)

Production Efficiency +30% (Admin republic, German, economic)

Goods Produced Nationally +20% (Economic + Administration)

The idea being to expand and spam tax building s and manufactories throughout Germany/Europe. And you have the proverbial horde of mercenaries. So why would you focus on production and taxes over trade that earns more money? The obvious trading and colonial powers who are excellent at trade do not tend to be very good on land. They have few if any national ideas related to warfare, often low manpower and often do not have very many military ideas either. The trade-off for more money is less beat stick ability. Economics may not be an early pick for a national idea but it can be a decent enough idea picked 4th-7th and Brandenburg can be an administrative monarchy and doesn’t really need much in terms of a lot of military ideas. You can focus on your economy and get a decent income without having to spend a large amount of resources in trade and colonial ventures.
This is a bit of a silly example but tax+ production income is more than the trade income. And I have not developed the provinces that much as I was focused on pointy stick diplomacy.



This was a burgundy into Netherlands game. It was also 1.6.1 so it is kind of cheating but the income levels are interesting.

My income 1748
Taxes 105.78
Production 130.83
Trade 193.12
Gold 17.95
Vassals 0.57

Income of over 400 ducats a month but it is 1748 and I own most of Western Europe. For a more organic game that was a bit harder. Here is a Swiss game where I formed Germany. The ideas are a bit sub optimal as this was a 1.6.1 game but I have got to the point where I will start spamming manufactories and tax buildings in my conquests. I have not focused excessively on the economy so it is more of a contrast example and there is often a huge boost between 1718 and 1750 in terms of income. In a 1.71 game I would have taken Plutocracy instead of Aristocracy and trade/influence or diplomacy instead of espionage.



My income 1718
Taxes 69.35
Production 69.53
Trade 30.07
Gold 8.16
Tariffs 0.56 (annexed a country with colonies)
Vassals 0.33
Nothing that exciting by comparison but I have not focused on my economy or developed my empire and I am still getting close to 180 ducats a month which is enough to make yourself rich and fund my armies.
A richer and more developed nation is this one here. Unlike the others this one is Catholic but I have focused on the economy techs and are spamming manufactories.



My income 1751
Taxes 56.71
Production 117.6
Trade 158.82
Gold 35.39
Tariffs 11.45
Vassals 0.33

Note this game is getting towards the end and I started as an OPM and ran away to the Americas. All that land and I am still poorer than my Netherlands game so it gives you a decent idea of the scale of wealth in Western Europe. Still this is a rich nation and has ideas that would make a German Empire or nation owning France/Netherland/Italy proud. I still took trade and have set up a local trade network and tax and production is still high.
A final comparison will be this screen shot. It is not so much a do not do this but I have not focused on much at all and while large this is an empire of low base tax provinces. I was playing mostly for fun in this game and I am not doomed by any means. It is also 30-60 odd years earlier than the other screenshots. It was also not a 1.7 game and I can’t remember the patch.



My income 1688
Taxes 39.68
Production 59.97
Trade 19.96
Gold 11.52
Vassals 0.55
Somewhat poor by every standard I have posted.

Conclusion

There are numerous ways to get money in this game but the big ones are tariffs, trade, production and taxes and you can focus on any or all of them. Tariffs can probably outstrip the others in the first half of the game while trade dominates in the late game. A one can try to semi focus on all of them although this is easier as say Venice or the Hansa or as one of the great powers most likely France or Castile as an aggressive Castile can eat France and colonize and I would not rule out England either who can win the hundred years war.
Most of these examples I had used were various proof of concept games I played to focus on tariffs, America, Asian trade, gold, or blobbing in Europe. I suspect more aggressive players can easily beat the income I have posted but this was intended as a basic guide as to how to get your income up in various ways rather than being a super aggressive blob.
Generally focus in some way on your income and you can’t go to far wrong in EUIV as it directly leads to better technology via advisers and their skills, or more mercenaries, or a bigger army and navy. After 1700 it probably won’t matter too much regardless of what you do and who you start with. As some of the more powerful nations 1700 is probably 1600.

Avoiding the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) can also help by avoiding coalitions and you play a colonial game or you play a game outside Europe which once you know what you are doing is not as hard as it seems even with countries with really bad technology groups. As a general rule trade is always important except maybe in the early game as land locked small countries in the HRE
For the most part as long as you can blob to some extent develop your empire in some way and take some economic based ideas (trade, administration, economics, plutocracy) or blob in a rich part of the map income should take care of itself. Like most things it is a process of stacking enough things together to make it work. Trade power, economic boosts, rich provinces or all of the above.
 
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You always learn something...so buildings are preserved when CN's form? I really should try and extort more tariffs from my CN's it seems, I always try to keep it and liberty desire as low as possible, scared shitless that they'll revolt. Here is a screenshot from an achievement run I made with Venice, going for the Venetian Sea. I gifted many thousands of ducats into each CN(didn't know what to do with it), the tariff and liberty is at the lowest possible, 10% I believe. As seen the income is perhaps not all that great by having the lowest possible tariff-rate, but it is a stable region with lots of democracy and whatnot! :
 

Zardnaar

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You always learn something...so buildings are preserved when CN's form? I really should try and extort more tariffs from my CN's it seems, I always try to keep it and liberty desire as low as possible, scared shitless that they'll revolt. Here is a screenshot from an achievement run I made with Venice, going for the Venetian Sea. I gifted many thousands of ducats into each CN(didn't know what to do with it), the tariff and liberty is at the lowest possible, 10% I believe. As seen the income is perhaps not all that great by having the lowest possible tariff-rate, but it is a stable region with lots of democracy and whatnot! :
The key to tariffs is to crank that tariff rate up. A colonial Venice probably doesn't matter as much. Its just nice income in the early colonial period.
 

Scotsman_01

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If the tariff rate is high, the CN can't really build an army. Just have some troops stationed over there and kick the CN in the face when it gets uppity
 

Targor

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Haven't read it yet, but you might wanna think about some formating, for example some way of highlighting headlines and subheadlines
Also I'm not sure if it's because you made them smaller or because of the host, but it is possible to upload Screenshots in full resolution (the forum will always show them smaller, but you can enlarge them by clicking on them, normally)
 
Last edited:

Zardnaar

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Haven't read it yet, but you might wanna think about some formating, for example some way of highlighting headlines and subheadlines
Also I'm not sure if it's because you made them smaller or because of the host, but it is possible to upload Screenshots in full resolution (the forum will always show them smaller, but you can enlarge them by clicking on them, normally)
I lost the formatting in the copy and paste form MS word, I did try and tidy it up but I will go back through and tidy it up in the next 24 hours.
 

Targor

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Suggestions for addendums: How does trade value get calculated? (Very important for some strategic decisions like only owning key provinces as merchant republic to make the nodes more valuable via the goods produced modifier for other countries)
How does production value get calculated? (Above all, the dependence on base tax)
 

Incompetent

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Some comments on gold:
- There's no penalty to gold production income for being distant overseas, so e.g. African gold mines can be very lucrative for a European power.
- Production buildings all multiply your production income in some way. Since gold mines have a very high base production income, this makes production buildings in gold provinces extremely profitable.
- The chance of finding gold when you colonise a province is heavily dependent on how many gold provinces you already own: the fewer gold mines you own, the more likely you are to find gold. This can be exploited in several ways, e.g. selling gold provinces to subjects while you go gold hunting; letting someone else colonise, but repeatedly stealing all their gold provinces as soon as you can (so that they can find more gold for you); and creating CNs and letting them look for gold with their own colonies.
- You only get inflation on gold mines you own directly. This means you can use colonial nations to 'launder' your gold income. (The CN itself will suffer inflation, but that's not such a problem for you in practice.) In the current version, you can even sell your non-American gold mines (e.g. in Africa) to your American CNs.

Also, on tariffs:
- Tariff bonuses multiply the amount of money you get from a CN, effectively creating money out of thin air. So if you set 20% base tariffs and you have a tariff bonus of 50%, your CN still only pays 20% of its natural income, but you gain 30%.
- Enslave-your-own-colonists mode: Unlike vassals in CK2, you can't actually abolish your CNs in the Americas/Australia. But if you're strong enough to suppress any attempts at independence, you can push base tariffs all the way up to 100%. If you do this, your CN will basically go into deep freeze due to having no income, and you'll have to babysit their provinces. *BUT* if you have a big tariff bonus, you're getting more than 100% of the natural income of those provinces, and you're (usually) avoiding distant overseas penalties! This is particularly useful if you've created a basket-case CN to store your gold mines. Also note that there's no solidarity among CNs, so if you have some other CNs that you treat nicely, the 'light touch' CNs will happily help you to keep your cash cow in a state of bondage.
 
Last edited:

Zardnaar

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Some comments on gold:
- There's no penalty to gold production income for being distant overseas, so e.g. African gold mines can be very lucrative for a European power.
- Production buildings all multiply your production income in some way. Since gold mines have a very high base production income, this makes production buildings in gold provinces extremely profitable.
- The chance of finding gold when you colonise a province is heavily dependent on how many gold provinces you already own: the fewer gold mines you own, the more likely you are to find gold. This can be exploited in several ways, e.g. selling gold provinces to subjects while you go gold hunting; letting someone else colonise, but repeatedly stealing all their gold provinces as soon as you can (so that they can find more gold for you); and creating CNs and letting them look for gold with their own colonies.
- You only get inflation on gold mines you own directly. This means you can use colonial nations to 'launder' your gold income. (The CN itself will suffer inflation, but that's not such a problem for you in practice.) In the current version, you can even sell your non-American gold mines (e.g. in Africa) to your American CNs.

Also, on tariffs:
- Tariff bonuses multiply the amount of money you get from a CN, effectively creating money out of thin air. So if you set 20% base tariffs and you have a tariff bonus of 50%, your CN still only pays 20% of its natural income, but you gain 30%.
- Enslave-your-own-colonists mode: Unlike vassals in CK2, you can't actually abolish your CNs in the Americas/Australia. But if you're strong enough to suppress any attempts at independence, you can push base tariffs all the way up to 100%. If you do this, your CN will basically go into deep freeze due to having no income, and you'll have to babysit their provinces. *BUT* if you have a big tariff bonus, you're getting more than 100% of the natural income of those provinces, and you're (usually) avoiding distant overseas penalties! This is particularly useful if you've created a basket-case CN to store your gold mines. Also note that there's no solidarity among CNs, so if you have some other CNs that you treat nicely, the 'light touch' CNs will happily help you to keep your cash cow in a state of bondage.
That is quite amusing. I knew about the overseas gold thing but was in CN mode where you will eventually lose them to a colonial nation.
 

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Thank you for posting this. Some recommendations -- the formatting of the first post is rough and hard to read. Some detail on what buildings to build where and when would help a ton
 

Zardnaar

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Thank you for posting this. Some recommendations -- the formatting of the first post is rough and hard to read. Some detail on what buildings to build where and when would help a ton
Tweaked the formatting. What sort of building advice do you need? I just build trade buildings in estuaries, tax buildings in high tax provinces, barracks in high manpower provinces and a few ship yards in poor coastal provinces I am not using for trade buildings.