Gold of the Americas: The Conquest of the New World
DOS - 1989
Also available on: Amiga
Description of Gold of the Americas: The Conquest of the New World
One of the few SSG classics that are not based on World War II, Gold of the Americas is an excellent strategy/conquest game set in the Americas.
Unlike better-known games of this gene (e.g. Sid Meier's Colonization, Pirates!), GoA emphasizes strategic-level decisions and diplomacy over tactical-level colony management. The gameworld consists of North and South America, divided into 31 land and 4 sea areas. There are 7 types of units to choose from (Armies, Colonists, Trading Ships, Warships, Privateers, Slaves and Explorers), all of whom are crucial to success. You play one of the European powers vying to control the New World: Spain, Portugal, England and France.
Your mission, in game terms, is to end the game with the highest amount of Victory Points (VPs) at the end of 30 turns (equivalent to 300 years); at the end, you get 1 VP for every colony level you have. Being a strategic-level game, there is no movement of units as such in GoA: everything is "placed" on the map. Ships stay at sea unless they are moved, and all armies and warships only last 1 turn (10 years), so there is no way to build up a huge fleet or invasion force-- all your decisions must be made in the context of the current turn, and how to maximize the use of these transient units. Trading is simple: you just place your trade ships in any sea area you wish, and hope that your Competitors don't sink them or Privateers don't loot them.
The hallmark of GoA which makes it much more historically accurate than other Colonial-era games, is the taxation module. True to history, you have two coffers in the game: the main Treasury and your Secret Funds. Taxation is assessed as a percentage of your previous turn's earnings (which goes directly into Treasury). The failure to meet your tax bill results in less interest from the King, which in turn results in less resources you receive from him (armies, etc.) Trading, raids and exploration all have the potential to add funds to your Secret Fund, which you can use for whatever you want. If you let it build up too high, you will rouse suspicion form the motherland, which might mean a visit from the King's Auditing Department, which is very unpleasant :) Needless to say, careful management and allocation of the two coffers are crucial to winning the game with high VPs.
Overall, GoA is a great strategy game that is both historically accurate and addictive. Perfect for fans of SSI's No Greater Glory, and SSG fans in general. SSG's famous AI does not disappoint-- it is one of the best AIs you'll find in this type of game, bar none. Two thumbs up!
Review By HOTUD
Captures and Snapshots
Comments and reviews
The Pilgrim 2019-11-23 4 points
- Beating the Game as France/England in Historical Mode -
Those two work exactly the same, so this covers them both. They are a bit like an inverse Spain. You start weak and have to play defensively at first, but become very strong at the late game and can bully everyone. Your objective is to dominate North America, evicting the French (if you are playing the English) or the English (if you are playing the French) out of there (note that this is historically what the British did to the French) and forcing the Spanish back if they have gone North too much.
You don't get free colonists, and can only buy one. That means trying to set up a colony is very risky and will likely end in a waste of money that you can't afford. It's more lucrative to invest in traders and to use your explorers and armies to raid spanish and portuguese colonies. Pick the ones with low level and a lot of gold bars. You want to use your traders to dominate the North Atlantic sea zone, as it will become your colonization area.
Quebeq, Pennsylvania and Carolina are the three best provinces to begin your colonization later on, so make sure you get at least one of them explored. But do not explore too much, any territory explored that you are not going to colonize right away is just paving the road for your rivals to grab it before you. Better use your explorers to raid.
You start to get a free colonist, and can buy a second one if you have a solid amount of money from trade and raids. Pennsylvania will likely be the best territory to begin, then grab Carolina or Quebec next turn, before your rival english/french does. You want to get as many of the good colonies on east coast as possible. But you are still weak and very limited in colonists, and need to defend your ground from spanish advances.
You get free pirates, and can purchase more. ENG/FRA are the only ones that can deploy more than one pirate per turn. Keep them out of North Atlantic and use them to negate the other three sea zones. Try to always deploy at least one warship in North Atlantic, the other ENG/FRA player will give you a hell of a competition to dominate it, deploying his own traders and pirates there.
You get a huge rush of colonists and it becomes a crazy race with the other ENG/FRA for control of the Middle West. You need to block the other player, conquering his colonies when possible, and throw him to south america to fight for scraps with the spanish and portuguese. Otherwise you will have to fight on two fronts in the latter game.
By now you should dominate the North Atlantic sea zone and have pirates deployed in all three others, forcing the other players to give up on trade. You should have the extra money to invest in slaves now, you will need the money for the late game.
Prioritize purchasing as many armies as you can each turn. Start by brutally clearing any remaining ENG/FRA colony in North America, then defend your ground from the spanish and throw them back as much as you can. If you have done your homework (ie: evicted ENG/FRA from North America), the late game will be a cakewalk to Victory.
The Pilgrim 2019-11-23 3 points
- Beating the Game as Portugal in Historical Mode -
Your objective is to dominate Brazil and the surrounding area. You have a decent start, but your King loses interest in America very fast, leading you to stagnation and to getting encroached by the other players. Buying slaves is specially important as you don't get many colonists. At the late game your King resumes interest in you, and you need to have build up a strong economy that allows you to be very aggresive to break the encroachment and capture enough colonies to win the game.
You get some support and can set up a colony inmediately at Bahia. Use your two-star explorer in Pernambuco and the one-star in Amazon. You can't explore Mato Grosso or Campos yet. In the second turn send your explorer to Mato Grosso until you crack it, then Campos. You only have enough support to colonize two or three territories, which should be Bahia, Mato Grosso and either Campos or Pernambuco. Don't explore any further, that only helps the other players to settle in your turf. Better send your explorers to raid spanish colonies.
You need to dominate the South Atlantic sea zone with your traders, but if the competition becomes too tough you may redeploy your traders occassionally to the Pacific (you will steal a rutter very soon). But ultimately you need to dominate South Atlantic if you want to have the money to win the game. Begin purchasing slaves as soon as possible.
Support drops. Try to grab as much of south america as you can. You can now break the treaty of Tordesillas if you have adjacent colonies, try to grab Paraguay and/or Buenos Aires if the Spanish hasn't. Mato Grosso will be sistematically raided each turn, so deploy at least an army in it each turn, the troops will double down as garrison against slave uprisings.
Complete the domination of the South Atlantic sea zone, and always deploy a warship there to fight off pirates. Keep purchasing slaves and raiding foreign colonies.
By now you are probably encroached by the competition. And Portugal doesn't gets may wars, if any at all, so you can't break out.
Grab whatever crappy territories are left, if they can grow to at least level 3. Ignore Patagonia, and also Amazon Basin if it's not at least a 3.
Groom your colonies, keep control of South Atlantic, and purchase and deploy pirates to negate the other sea zones. Keep buying slaves and raiding foreign colonies, and prepare for the final showdown.
By now you should have the economy to fund an expansion campaign. Ideally you want to conquer one territory each turn. Pick the weakest enemy territory in your area, and prioritize those owned by the leading player. If you are luckly and get a 2 or 3 star explorer, go for a big one. Defend staunchly your gains and, God willing, you will win the game.
Bahia should be on the brink of rebellion, so appease and deploy always one army to ensure they remain in the herd.
The Pilgrim 2019-11-23 2 points
- Beating the Game as Spain in Historical Mode -
Spain starts very strong, which puts you in the position of King of the Hill. But your will Monarch lose all interest in supporting you very abruptly, so you need to optimize your initial build in order to mantain an economy that allows you to defend your colonial empire on your own resources. As all the other colonial powers grow uppity and come together to steal your dominant position, you need to grind your teeth and hold them off to win.
Start by colonizing West Indies, and send the explorers to Venezuela and Yucatan. In the following turns send any 3-star explorers to Peru first, so you can open the Pacific to trade, then send them to Mexico. The 2 and 1 star are too weak to crack Mexico or Peru, so use them to explore Yucatan, Venezuela, New Granada, Chile, Paraguay and Buenos Aires. By the time you have finished exploring those, there will be portuguese colonies south there for your explorers to raid. Don't explore anything else. Let the other players use their explorers to discover any land they want to settle in, instead than in raiding you.
Mexico and Peru are the two first you want to colonize, they have both gold and ore. You need also to grab Paraguay and Buenos Aires early to encroach the portuguese. Once you have those, you can move to the other provinces in the middle: Yucatan, Venezuela, New Granada and Chile, not necessary in that order.
Forget about moving north of Mexico, it's tempting to grab rich provinces like California, Vancouver or Louisiana, but that will only lead the english and french to target you even more. Better leave North America for them to fight over, so they forget about you a bit later in the game.
You need to dominate both the Caribbean and the Pacific sea zones. Don't be afraid, you have the traders and money for both.
Support from your King vanishes. You are on your own to defend all you have. The heathens will infest the Caribbean with pirates, so deploy warships there, in the worst years you will have to deploy all four warships to teach them who rules the seas. The Pacific won't be contested as much, though. Invest heavly in slaves or you will go broke. Mexico will get raided each turn, and Peru probably too, so deploy armies there to defend. Consolidate your holdings in central and south america.
You should have money now to repay the heathens with their own medicine. Deploy pirates in the North and South Atlantic to negate commerce in those sea zones, while you keep the Caribbean and the Pacific. If you feel really rich and have encroached the portuguese, send traders to grab South Atlantic from him instead of sending pirates.
Try to sweep french and english colonies in south america. Lead them to fight each other in the North. It's useful to grab Guiana and Amazon Basin to act as a buffer zone against the portuguese.
It's every man for himself. Invest in armies and defend grimly.
The French and English are rich and all out on your assets. Fortunately, you only need to garrison Mexico and West Indies to hold them off. In the south, you have to trade punches with the Portuguese. As explained before, use Guiana and Amazon Basin as buffers, then counter-attack.
Keep your colonies from going independent. Begin appeasing at loyalty three, and appease and deploy an army if possible when they drop to loyalty two.
Mind the VP tracker in the last turns. Portugal will be well under control, but it's possible that you got England or France breathing on your neck because one of them wipped out the other from North America. You may need to lead a brave incursion north to steal a colony or two from him to keep him under check.
By the way, avoid using your secret funds to meet the King's tax quota. It's not worth it, he isn't going to send you much help either way.
The Pilgrim 2019-11-19 9 points
A very challenging and well balanced strategy game, with a really challenging IA capable of actually beating the crap out of you without cheating. Easy to learn, hard to master.
A few tips for efficient colonial management:
1) It's best to have a few big colonies than a lot of small ones. Royal tax seems to care more about the number of settlements than their level. And the fewer you have the easier to defend. Big colonies are also more resilient to enemy raids and invasions.
2) You need about 7-9 colonies to win the game. Settling on a tight area will help you defend your colonies later on, as land contact is required to conquer a colony and the more enemy territories bordering the attacked territory, the better the chances of conquering. If your colonies are isolated and surrounded by enemy colonies, they will get capturer easily and quickly.
3) Commerce is divided in 4 sea zones, and your traders can only benefit from the commerce generated by either free territories or your own colonies. Therefore, colonize territories from only one or two sea zones to concentrate your traders in them and optimize your trade income later in the game (when no free territories remain).
4) Note that you can move traders and pirates placed in previous turns. Just choose the trader/pirate icon and press the button to remove a placed item. Use this to your advantage, both to remove traders from pirate-infested areas and to chase enemy traders with your pirates.
5) When you build a new colony, put it in support mode (the graph bar) until at least it reaches level III. That lowers income but also the bill from the royal tax collector, and helps develope the colony much faster. At levels I and II the colony can lose population, this is why you want to develope it to at least III ASAP. Ideally, keep it in support mode until it achieves it's full potential (the number of wheat bars in the bottom right information area).
6) Abstain from colonizing territories that can only reach level I or II. As they can grow population but can lose it, they are just a drain of colonist tokens. Level III and IV can't grow populaton, but can't lose it either, so in a pinch you may want to colonize it if they are in your area and you have already developed the better ones. It's best to have a Level VI and a Level IV close together than two Level VI spread away from each other.
7) Begin purchasing slaves as soon as possible. You will need the secret funds you get for exploiting them. There will be a point in the game where you will be unable to meet the requeriments of the Tax Collector, who will snatch all your money except your secret funds.
8) As soon as a colony reaches loyalty 2 (two flags), put it in appease mode forever. A colony with loyalty 2 will automatically fall to loyalty 1 next turn unless in appease mode, and a colony with loyalty 1 will automatically become independent next turn unless in appease mode. Even in appease mode, a colony can sometimes loss loyalty. Deploying an army in it helps avoid it further. In the latter game, avoiding your colonies from becoming independent will be one of your top priorities. You may consider begining to appease at Loyalty 3, if the colony has dropped too fast and there is too much game still remaining.
9) The enemy IA will systematically raid your richest colony and, if at war with you, to invade your richest bordering colony. Take it into account when deploying armies for defense.
10) Pirates are not an efficient income source, but they will damage the income of the enemy players. They are good at middle-later game, when you have extra money to expend. As you can only purchase one per turn, you can build up a pirate force by deploying it on an empty sea zone, then move four of them at once to any other zone, wrecking the enemy trade income even if they deploy defensive warships (a single pirate is usually innefective as the enemy tends to always deploy at least one warship). Never deploy them in sea zones where you have traders, as they might plunder your traders instead of the enemy. They are pirates after all.
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