We could also raise an army and wipe them out the hard way, but we still needed to keep a lid on our resources and production. Fielding a fleet of ships required not only timber for hulls and masts, but cloth, steel and iron for sails, weapons and cannons.
Watching our towering warships sink rival armadas with fiery broadsides was 10 kinds of cool. However, seeing your colony expand from a few poor settlers living in shacks to a bustling society with a complex economy is actually the most satisfying part of the game.
1701 is clearly a different brand of real-time strategy than we're used to: shamelessly elaborate, filled with unexpected delights and visual splendor. The franchise looks like it will finally make a lasting settlement in the New World.
Look eastward for 1701 A.D. to sail into view this November.