Colonisation & Exploration of the New World
Whether you are following the voyage of the First Fleet, or have plans to colonise the New World, else known as the Americas, and reap the rewards of vast amounts of gold and other luxurious trade items, the voyage is wrought with danger. Depending on your financial and military skills the exploration and colonisation of the Americas could be a very costly experiment, even before you leave the shores of the Old World behind. Before factions from the Old World, during the Grand Campaign, can actually navigate to the New World there are a few prerequisites of which must be fulfilled.
The foremost prerequisite that decides whether factions are permitted to travel to the New World in the Grand Campaign is the event entitled "The World Is Round" , which is approximately expected to trigger between the years 1400-1408 A.D, which using the default time scale equates to around approximately 160-164 turns. Before this event factions will not be able to construct the Naval Dry-dock upgrade capable of building the fleets of ships capable of navigating across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World, the Portuguese and Spanish have an advantage here as the Caravel only requires the Dockyard and not a Naval Dry-dock. Should any willing leader miss the event notice for "The World Is Round" then a failsafe method to determine whether or not the event has triggered is through checking, either through the building browser or through the construction tab, whether or not building of the Naval Dry-dock port upgrade is possible yet.
As mentioned previously the fleets of ships under your command determine whether one can, or cannot, navigate the seas to the New World. Although the names of vessels worthy of navigating the seas to the New World can vary faction to faction quite often the only vessels capable of navigating to the New World require a Naval-Dry-dock, or equivalent, and the "The World Is Round" event triggered. Examples of vessels capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas are the Spanish seafaring vessels of the Caravel and the Grande Carrack. However navigating across the seas to the New World is slow and tedious, due to the fact it requires quite a few turns of blind navigation westwards to reach somewhere even remotely close to the Americas. Once you have reached the New World of the Americas then colonisation and trade become your primary goals with the New World.
Anyone interested in the colonisation and conquest of the New World should be aware of the financial and economic burden such a venture could be to your faction. Several building upgrades are required, and the natives are not to be taken lightly else you could risk failure during your initial attempts to conquer and colonise the New World. After colonising a settlement there are always chances that religious unrest and rebellions will begin, even with extermination of the native population, so always garrison more, and better quality, soldiers then usually until there is almost no chance of the natives rebelling, which can rise to become highly threatening to your attempts of conquest and colonisation quickly. The building of churches and conversion of the natives to Christianity by priests will help lessen the chances of a revolt from any religious unrest. However the conversion of the natives from their pagan religions to Christianity will require patience.
Meet the Natives
While the Aztecs may seem primitive they are a potent threat to your plans in the New World, possessing several powerful full stack armies of experienced and deadly troops with the means to always train more at a whim. The terrain does not help your cause either since the Aztecs can hide within the lush rainforests and set ambushes for unsuspecting armies on the campaign map and battle map. Even with multiple fleets transporting and supplying your armies stationed in the New World, until you manage to upgrade any captured settlements to a sufficient level for retraining soldiers, there will be long delays between troops and supplies arriving to help against the relentless Aztec onslaught if they are provoked.
Inevitably any ambitious general will desire to conquer and tame the lands of the Aztecs, considering the vast reserves of potential wealth able to be capitalized upon one could be considered a fool not to attempt such a daring plan. As mentioned before the Aztecs pose a tough challenge alone, combined with the logistical problem of resupplying armies and the margins between failure and victory can quickly turn. Since essentially you're the general in charge of the military campaigns being committed by your kingdom I cannot deny you the freedom of using historical troop compositions and such, however considering the advice given will aid you in conquering the New World. On that note you must strike a balance between having large expensive armies of experienced late troops which will often be unable to resupply their numbers without very often regular regiments of reinforcements from the Old World, or using cheaper and more readily available lower tier troops of which you have a greater chance of upgrading captured settlements to be able to resupply. Seriously, the amount of months between training regiments of troops to resupply those in the New World and those exact regiments finally sailing into port to resupply regiments stationed in the New World is often astonishing, so careful planning of logistics and constant shipping of supplies is necessary.
However do not be fooled that the Aztecs are afraid of death, strong morale throughout several Aztec troops cause them to often fight to the death, and Aztec armies will almost certainly outnumber any forces sent against them and are especially challenging for even a veteran commander if caught unprepared. Mobility and being light armoured will be the Aztec's ultimate down fall as they have no access to cavalry so can be vulnerable to flanking manoeuvres more than any other nation and high damage weapons are guaranteed to lay down the hurt. However what they lack in cavalry and armour they will make up for in numbers and elite Aztec warriors. The Aztec army can range from hordes of devastating elite Aztec warriors through to massive armies of low tier Aztec warriors.
There are three possible candidate settlements for conquest and colonisation if you wish to establish a permanent base within the New World. Depending on faction location preferences can vary on which settlement not occupied by the Aztecs, but just by Native American rebels which are of an easier difficulty to defeat then the Aztecs in a battle. These settlements are Fortaleza, located in the province of Brazil and lies approximately straight across from Lisbon in Portugal; Caribbean, located in the province of Caribbean, or otherwise the Caribbean islands, and lies in approximately a straight line from Ireland; and Miccosukee, located in the province of North America just north of the province of Caribbean, and the settlement itself located just slightly north of the Miami Keys. The Aztec settlements of Tlaxcala, Cholula and Tenochtitlan can be found south-west of the settlement Caribbean.
The New World has much new found wealth and prosperity to offer any faction who successfully navigates and colonises amongst the natives of the region. Any captured settlements should be advanced along an economic route primarily before anything else, apart from perhaps churches depending on the situation of unrest and rebellion, so as to take advantage of this new found wealth and prosperity your faction can tap into. As well as the building of economic buildings in settlements Merchants will prosper in the New World as well with resources, such as gold, fetching very good prices most times, and will face no threats of being forced off their plot by merchants of other factions unless another faction actually successfully colonised the New World, which is quite rare.
Hopefully any expeditions performed to the New World are successful and beneficial to your empire in several ways, whether it is for wealth or for personal achievement. Anyone interested in the New World and its new found riches and prosperity should not forget their holdings back in the Old World as old enemies could be lurking ready to pouch at any sign of weakness. For anyone who has not yet been to the New World in the grand campaign, or perhaps is not having much success there, hopefully this guide has been helpful and you have benefited from your time reading the advice provided.