nodes, it is advisable not to steer directly to the trade capital, but to make the money pass trough as many other nodes as possible, since it multiplies the amount of money by passing through. In most cases, it is better for a country to collect and gain 100 of their controlled Trade Value in a node than to send it downstream to somewhere that other countries will take a cut out. If a country dominates trade downstream of the node all the way to a collector, then the boost may outweigh the cut taken by other countries along the way, and steering trade may be a good idea. Trade from the Americas collects primarily on the East coast; the best node to focus on is the Caribbean. Building a manufactory is the primary method to increase the amount of trade goods produced in a province. Countries with low Trade Power share in a node benefit more from increasing their own Trade Power there than reducing the Trade Power of other countries. The Trade Efficiency penalty for embargoing without declaring a rival is only worth it if the defender is a serious enough competitor to the attacker. I do intend to colonize this game and my first goal is to take down England since I allied Spain to weaken Portugal (also, maybe I'll get a personal union with them soon). Constructing trade buildings in important centers of trade in that node. Distributing merchants edit Merchants are best sent where their country controls the most Trade Power, since the amount of income (when collecting) or steered trade (when steering) is proportional to the Trade Power controlled. Light Ships can only be sent to nodes where the country already has Trade Power; however, a country with no Trade Power in a node can send a Merchant there, then follow up with Light Ships.
Be sure to check all of the relevant trade nodes before choosing whether or not to embargo a country, as countries which have shared interests in one node may have competing interests in another. The defender has most or all of the remaining Trade Power share. Where to steer trade edit Merchants set to steer trade have two effects; these will determine whether it is worth using a merchant to steer trade at a particular node. The effect on total steered value in the desired direction from base power is then: Trade goods edit All of the value gained from improving trade good production will come from higher provincial production value income and the larger trade value in trade nodes. It is recommended that the player expands towards one of these wealthier nodes through the course of the game, and to make sure they have at least one center of trade in said node and enough light ships to be able to protect trade effectively.
Colonial and Asian trade goods edit Silk, ivory, cocoa, dyes, sugar, cotton, coffee, and tobacco are the best trade goods as they have price-increasing events that boost their prices further at different points throughout the game. Due to price events cloth gets 35 price and iron gets 50 by endgame. Embargoing other countries at that node.
Collecting versus steering edit Ultimately, Trade Value has to be collected to be of any use. If collecting, all other countries are competing. Or I should take another approach to allow my Prussia to be a colonizing power? Sending a merchant to collect in the capital merely adds an additional 10 Trade Income to that specific capital trade node, which is a bonus not granted to other nodes when collecting. I planned to colonize to America and Africa, trading strategy bot as I see that Asia is too far. Stationing a Merchant in the capital increases the income there by 10, whereas collecting with a Merchant in another node halves the Trade Power.