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Second Lieutenant
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There is currently a major function missing from EU4, which is factories. Throughout the EU4 period, the main form of colonial ventures and trade companies in Africa and Asia were these small outposts, instead of the equivalent of fully owning provinces which is what you get with the "charter company" action.

So I propose that the “charter company” action should be changed to give only partial control of the province, similar to the "tribal land" mechanic, as opposed to completely ceding it. This will give partial (half?) trade income and will allow the colonizer to station their fleet and army here.

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This partial ownership can be shown on the map in the same way as tribal land.

If they build the relevant investments, they will begin to receive more trade power or production or tax income from this province, progressively increasing as more investments are made, 3 buildings culminating in a core on the province and the ability to make claims on surrounding provinces.

The colonizer's institutions should spread from this province like normal, and the local state should receive a bonus in military power income. They can choose to cancel the agreement at any time, which will give the colonizer the choice of peacefully withdrawing or giving the local state a special CB, where the objective is simply to remove any forces stationed there.

A similar thing should be possible for uncolonized provinces which border either an ocean or a major river. This will work like colonization, where you only gain access to inland provinces if you take the coastal ones first. The culmination of sufficient investments will then be full ownership of the province.

This action should require a colonist (to limit it to Western Europeans) and only be available once Global Trade is embraced. The "Colonialism" CB should be extended for these factories. It should also be disabled for neighboring super-regions, in order to prevent things like Poland having a Czech trading company.

This will offer a much better way to portray multiple situations, such as the Portuguese maritime empire, New France, and European outposts in India and Africa. The important part is that it allows local states to continue existing and strategically maneuver against the Europeans, rather than simply selling off all of their land. I think the current situation is a bit unsatisfying by making things too straightforward for the Europeans. The fun should be in the challenge of it.
 
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Sete

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Just to add that Cape Verde did not have any indigenous population when discovered, just like Madeira and Azores.

I agree that Trade Companies should be built, the use of a Colonist makes no sense to construct a building. If anything you should spend 150 gold let's say to construct a Fortified trade post, that will give some measure of defence when the province is attacked, that should help the owner of the trade post and the owner of the region.
 
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Styria

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Why do we need colonists, anyway? Why can't I send a merchant instead, he's just sitting his behind in a trade node most of the game, he could definitely contribute more.

Also diplomats. Sometimes I have a free one I could sacrifice for a while, maybe he could convince people to go there. Or maybe my spare missionary could establish a mission or religious settlement.
 
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Eruth

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Why do we need colonists, anyway? Why can't I send a merchant instead, he's just sitting his behind in a trade node most of the game, he could definitely contribute more.

Also diplomats. Sometimes I have a free one I could sacrifice for a while, maybe he could convince people to go there. Or maybe my spare missionary could establish a mission or religious settlement.
It's because pre 1.3 anyone could charter a company and so you got awful set ups where fifty different random nations had single provinces along a stretch of Indian or African coastline, so the devs made it so that only nations with colonists could charter companies to prevent every European OPM from grabbing a piece of Gujarat.
 
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The Norman Yoke

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It's because pre 1.3 anyone could charter a company and so you got awful set ups where fifty different random nations had single provinces along a stretch of Indian or African coastline, so the devs made it so that only nations with colonists could charter companies to prevent every European OPM from grabbing a piece of Gujarat.
So thats how they got rid of Ethiopian india and italian africa, interesting