- Hawker: Costs - 1 Garment, 1 Population
- Salesman: Costs - 1 Garment, 1 Ring, 1 Population
- Merchant: Costs - 1 Garment, 2 Wheels, 1 Horse, 1 Ring, 1 Population
Strategy 1 - The T-shirt Economy.
This is the simplest trade strategy which requires little work and can often be done in tandem with a bigger main strategy, with the aim of using Garments to generate a little extra gold.
1 Export Office
Build a few Hawkers, trade 4 Garments for 2 Gold.
And thats it. You can double/triple up on Shephards/Weavers/Tailors how you see fit; depending on how much extra gold you want to produce on the side. Its far from being the most powerful Trading strategy but is a nice easy way to make extra money from some spare room you might have in a few of your outlaying sectors.
Strategy 2 - The Lord of the Rings Strategy
This Trade Strat aims to create a virtually unlimited wealth of Weapons and Gold by going through Africa to Wheat-Rings, then to S.America for Gold-Swords. It is weak in Early game and subject to heavy competition from other merchantile players due to its popularity. Adjust the initial build order to what suits the map you're playing on and to your own personal preferences. For all intents and purposes of this guide, lets imagine we're playing on the perfect map where all the resources are close and where the other player is busy doing research or something.
- The second the game starts build 2 Large Prestige Objects and select "Export Office" as your upgrade.
- Dont build a Toolmaker/Blacksmith or anything that uses Iron bars. Not yet.
- Select Tools for your rewards every time.
- Send your initial army to take a nearby, open sector. Aim for a sector with Iron, Fish and/or Fertile ground.
- Build an Export Office.
- Put a Hunter on every Forest you can find. Build your Fisheries/Mines up and if theres still room in this sector
add in 2 Shephards and start up a cloth economy.
- Now while waiting for it to build, proceed building your usual stuff (Woodcutters/Quarries/etc)
- In any free space you can find, build as many Grain Farms as is sensible. 2-4 in your starting sector is nice.
- By now your Office and new sector should be about done. Queue up 6 Hawkers straightaway.
- Build a Noble residence, set to Fancy Food. Add on a Mint and a Butcher. Set Mint to "On demand".
- Add on 3 prestige thingees to your Export Office to get your next prestige point and unlock Export Office upgrade.
- Upgrade it, twice, as soon as you can. Trade 6 Gold for 5 Iron Bars just once to give you enough bars for the upgrades.
With your Hawkers, go SW towards Africa as soon as you can. Aim for Wool>Gold and continue down the west coast of Africa to the Trade Bonus. Select Rings as your reward.
- After Export Office is upgraded build a Residence. Add on a Wheelmaker and Toolmaker, set to Fancy Food and set Toolmaker to "On demand".
- Anytime you have spare Stone (20 or more) upgrade important, heavy trafficked roads speed things up.
Hopefully by now you should be ready to get that last Merchant out for Wheat > Rings. Go for it before someone else does!
By the time you have got this trading route, you should have anywhere from 70-120 Wheat built up. Make a few merchants and trade it all in.
Ok, that 120 Wheat should now be about 80 Rings. Trade them all in for Gold.
Use this Gold to buy whatever resource you need. Keep building hawks/sales/merchants and head over to Gold>Weapons in South America.
- When this trading route is acquired, build a Stronghold.
- Go to your mint, turn "On demand" to "Always". By now if you have built a goldmine/coalmine you shouldve built up a small reserve of gold ore.
- If you have Iron ore/bars leftover, do the same with a blacksmith.
- Now keep an eye on your Fancy Food. If it starts to get low build a 2 Piggeries to help keep things flowing nicely.
Establish an equilibrium with Gold and Swords until you have about an even amount of them and you're set. Now you should be able to recruit ridiculous numbers of troops at lightning speed, hopefully in just enough time before your enemies come knocking on your door.