One of the most exciting challenges in Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Colonization is defeating the Royal Expeditionary Force during your Revolution. Outnumbered and outmatched, you have a select few advantages at your disposal. In order to wage a successful Revolution, you'll have to put these advantages you do have to good use.
The most common tactic used by players is to place all of their units in a single settlement and repeatedly press "End Turn" in the hope that the enemy forces will die attacking the player's fortified position. This tactic will more than likely fail since the King's units are highly trained in attacking fortified settlements and only the most fortified of settlements will actually provide your units a comparable defensive bonus. Instead, players should take the offensive wherever they can, moving their soldiers out into the wilderness and fighting the fight on their own terms.
Take the Fight to Them
The King's army is fresh off the boat and unfamiliar with the terrain of the New World. To represent this, they receive no defensive bonus when crossing mountains, forests or other types of terrain. This means it's often advantageous to attack them as they approach a settlement, rather than allowing them to attack you.
Using the Land to Your Advantage
The units of the Royal Expeditionary Force only receive combat bonuses when attacking your cities. They do not get any bonuses based on the local terrain. This means attacking the King's forces as they march through mountain passes will likely yield better results than simply waiting for them to lay siege to your city.
Cities placed inland often offer a larger variety of tactical options than coastal cities. It is usually difficult to stop the King from getting a foothold in a coastal city, but once the force begins moving inward, it becomes vulnerable. This makes spacing out your cities an important strategic choice. Keep them close to aid in trade or spread them out to give your partisans more time to attack – you decide.
Divide and Conquer
One of the greatest advantages that the King's army has is that it does not start off needing to defend anything. Therefore, it can move as one giant destructive force. But as it captures cities, it will begin dividing its force, leaving units behind to defend captured cities. While it may not always be in your best interest to lose your cities, it is in your best interest to not lose your main army in the first wave of fighting.
Imagine I have 8 cities with 10 defending units in each, and am being attacked by an army of 100 of the King's units. When the army arrives in my first city, rather than defend, I retreat, pulling my units back to another settlement. The King now must leave units to defend this location. As the King's force divides, it becomes much more manageable to fight. The calculated loss is an important skill to master in Colonization.