Grape Shot - Developer Tip
Grape shot is generally the most effective in ship battles, eliminating opposing crew members and dealing damage at the same time.
Cover - Developer Tip
During land battles, make the most use of cover possible, especially with your ranged units. Keeping your buccaneers alive is crucial to success.
Cheap Cash - Developer Tip
Before dividing the plunder be sure to engage in a land battle and allow most of your units to be killed. This will ensure you get the largest share of the treasure possible!
Ramming - Developer Tip
Early in the game, you might find it easier to just ram a more powerfully equipped ship and take down the captain in a duel rather than fighting ship to ship.
Upgrades - Developer Tip
For the most part it isn't necessary to focus much time trying to upgrade your ship, once you start capturing notorious pirates they'll have all the upgrades you need.
Plunder - Developer Tip
Avoid dividing the plunder until absolutely necessary (mutinous crew), as dividing the plunder will shorten your lifespan and make it difficult to recruit new crew members as you grow older.
A good way to keep a happy crew is to keep a good amount of food/luxuries/goods/spices/sugar but this is hard to keep on hand. Get your good ship upgraded then get a treasure ship ( you will hear about them from bar maids or just find 'em) they carry a lot of cargo so just keep two ships permananelty. Sell the others because they are usless. Keep a battle/fun ship and your big ship that carries supplies for long voyages.
The following is a list of different types of cities and their characteristics. Note: Poor defenses and weak defenses are different. Poor defenses are worse than weak defenses.
Capital Cities: Large and wealthy with strong defenses.
Port Cities: Large and wealthy city with weak defenses.
Towns: Large and poor with strong defenses.
Colonies: Large and poor with weak defenses.
Trading Posts: Small and wealthy with strong defenses.
Strongholds: Small and poor with strong defenses.
Villages: Small and wealthy with poor defenses.
Outposts: Small and poor with poor defenses.
Alternative dancing mini-game ending
When the Governor's daughter gives you the hand signal, select the button for the hand movement right after she gives you the signal. You will do a special dancing move which will get her heart up very fast, if you do it many times in a row. If her heart is large enough when the mini-game is over, instead of kissing her hand, you will spin her around and then she will kiss you. Afterwards she will usually give you a present or extremely valuable information.
Achieve the rank of Count with any or all nations. Then, begin a ship battle with any desired ship. Damage it a lot, but not to the point where it explodes. Keep the ship and go to a port where you are at the rank of Count or higher. Talk to the shipwright; you will get free repairs. You can repair a damaged ship for free and sell it for a lot of money.
Easy Land Battles
Land battles are difficult to win, even if you have more soldiers than the enemy. A good strategy to remember is to hide in the trees. The soldiers attacking your troops in the trees will have less than a 20% chance of inflicting critical damage, and all damage is divided in half. Also, watch your troop's morale; if their morale gets low enough, they may run away from battle. Always enter battle with more than one quarter additional troops than the city guards. You can also weaken enemy ports and cities by alerting Pirate Havens and Indian Villages. The indians or pirates will assault the town, making the town lose guards, whether or not they win the battle. This also makes the city lose wealth, however. If the city was once "Prosperous" it may go down to "Poor" or "Modest". If this happens too much, alert the missionaries in the Missionary Camps. Tell them to travel to the city you want to become wealthier, then attack the city. You must attack cities at the correct moment. Waiting too long after sending in missionaries may result in more guards accumulating than before. You should wait only two to five days.
Easy Sea Battles
While battling other ships, get in front of them. Get them to chase you, and when your guns are fully loaded, turn, fire, and straighten again. Repeat this until you want to board or their sail falls and they surrender. This is best done when you use grape shot or chain shot.
Sinking Ships Easy
Use the chain shot and raise your sails to half mast.
When you travel pretty much anywhere you will begin to lose food. It is a good idea to keep at least one ship in your fleet (not counting your flagship) for the purpose of hauling cargo, in this case food. Try to bag a treasure galleon or an east indiaman (they have 140 max cargo). The French tend to sail alot of merchantman's around (they have 100 max cargo). You should always have a few extra ships because they only need a max of 16 crew members on their own and they come in handy for carrying a years worth of food.
Attack and board a smuggler's vessel to usually get a specialist (for example, Carpenter, Sailmaker, etc.).