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I play as Venice in the mid-1500s, and the goal of the game is to control the trade from the Far East and back home. Actual land control of key tradeposts and perhaps a colony would be really sweet. I need a place to build and repair ships anyhow.

So far, my plan has been to gain access to the Gulf of Aden by trying to wrestle land from the Mamluks. So far, they haven't provided me with a CB, but I'm starting to realize I don't have an idea how to progress after that.

I am beginning to discover Indonesia – no other European nations have capitalized on the region yet.

I've read of other players who extend their colony range by going all the way around Africa, but I've never been interested in Africa, and I have no colonists at the moment – and besides, my colony range is lousy.

So the question is: how do I – a small European trade nation – gain land control in the Far East?

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    The main reason for colonizing Africa is to lock out the other European nations from colonizing Asia, without Africa as a stepping stone they don't have the range till much later in the game giving you a considerable lead to take advantage of. Also for trade steering to make sure the trade from your Asian empire heads your way. By picking either Congo or Cape to lock out, you can get near 100% of the trade power in that node steering it through the gulf of Aden in your direction. – DMK Apr 23 '15 at 9:33
  • Interesting. I hadn't thought of it that way. I just figured the best and most logical way would be to go through the Middle East. Wouldn't it require a lot of adjacent colonies, or is it "enough" to create a few coastal colonies? – Nix Apr 23 '15 at 10:24
  • I usually aim to colonize the cape of Africa and the surrounding provinces and then do the same in India. Once you've colonized south of Africa it'll make it very difficult for the other major players such as Spain, Portugal and England to colonize past this point. For a while at least until they improve their range. But you have to get to the cape in the first place of course. I've never played as Venice I've played as Brittany, and Ireland so down the West coast of Africa was the logical route for me though the Middle East may suit you better due to your location. – DMK Apr 23 '15 at 11:15
  • But if you go through the Middle east Spain & Portugal will be hot on your heels unless you take South Africa – DMK Apr 23 '15 at 12:17
  • @DMK: You can not route trade from Zanzibar to Aden, only the other way around. – Richard ten Brink Apr 28 '15 at 14:45
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With all due respect for the previous answer......

You have no business in Africa or on the Cape, since there is no way to steer trade from the Cape to Venice. It always ends up in Ivory Coast and from there is distributed among the 3 main Atlantic trade nodes. Any effort you put in there will only sponsor Spain/Portugal/France/Britain.

The key point is in the Gulf of Aden, which is where trade from the far East gets routed either towards you via Alexandria and Aleppo or completely out of your grasp via Zanzibar.

How to get to the Gulf of Aden? The key here is Cyprus. You should be able to get a CB to take it and it does share a sea border with Mamluks, allowing you to create a Conquest CB on their coastal provinces. Once you have a base established, you should be able to work your way into the Arabian Peninsula and towards Basra and Aden and up towards Aleppo. Take those and you get to control the direction of all trade coming from India and further away.

The subsequent leap to India is actually quite small, as the territories on the Eastern shores of Arabia share seazones with provinces almost bordering on Indus. A couple of wars later: HELLO GOA.

disclaimer: this sounds easy but I assure you it is not. This is just the best way I know to achieve the goal you described in your original post

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  • I think the idea of colonising the Cape is not to steer trade, but to make sure other powers can't move to the Far East, since the colony/trade range will be too long. – Nix Apr 28 '15 at 15:35
  • Cyprus is ruled by my vassal, the Byzantines, whom I use for vassal feeding due to their many cores in the Ottoman Empire. I'm not ready to integrate them just yet, though. – Nix Apr 28 '15 at 15:37
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    The point is that the other powers are more than welcome to move to the East as well, as long as you can steer the trade they produce to Venice. – Richard ten Brink Apr 28 '15 at 17:26
  • Unless they gain majority control in East Asia and start to steer trade from the Philippines East to Panama in the Caribbean where you will have no influence at all. – DMK Apr 29 '15 at 12:51
  • That is not an issue for the very same reason as the Cape thing. Philppines can only have incoming trade from Canton (with Chengdu and Lhasa further down the chain) All other trade is going westwards. – Richard ten Brink Apr 29 '15 at 13:17

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