Empire: Total War Discussion
I also noticed that the AI sometimes have merchant ships in their own port for their region. Do you get extra gold for having them in your own ports as well, or does it only apply to the trade rouite circles? I read the manual and nothing is noted about it....
Having merchant shipping in your home port or any other port for that matter provides no bonuses or other benefits beyond having merchant ships already built and ready to deploy if a trade fleet goes down, leaving 2 turns less oprotunity for someone else to grab the trade spot. Also, the spanish galleon and dutch fluyt can hang one on one with a 5th rate, so in early game they often get built as early warships before the dock upgrades are available to build ships of the line.
the first ship on each trade spot makes 20 goods. each additional ship produces 1 less goods than the ship before it, so the second ship makes 19 goods, the 3rd makes 18 goods, and so on. If you have 20 trade ships on the same dot the 20th ship will only make 1 goods, so there is a point where adding more merchant men will not increase profits further. Splitting up your trade fleets evenly over as many dots as possible will generate the maximum in trade goods, and thus profits. For example 20 ships on 1 dot = 210 goods, but 20 ships divided into groups of 4 on each of 5 dots = 370 goods...but like i said, overproduction will tank the price. Try to grab as many dots as you can early in the game with one trade ship on each. Keep an eye on the goods prices in your trade scroll, when the price starts going up its time to add another ship. Also try to establish as many trade agreements with as many large nations as fast as possible...over time a bonus accumulates to trade just because youve been trading partners for so long, so the sooner you establish the route the faster it will become super profitable. Note however that you will need to stay on top of patrolling worldwide traderoutes, when you trade 40k per turn a simple group of sloops and brigs can not only cut your income out from under you, but give the enemy a huge income boost in the process, so stay on top of your enemy's navy!
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