I have at numerous occasions come back to this forum to ask advice on one of my favorite games and have always had them willingly answered by the many kind patricians that use this forum, in several cases supplying me with both save files, images and all sorts of files and information that must've taken at least some effort to compile. i have also at numerous occasions had to translate german texts, such as the "Tippsammlung" and try and decipher them using my tiny german vocabulary and a lot of google translate. Last night i did just that to a albeit small but to me useful paragraph from the Tippsammlung. I have then compiled what i managed to translate into a more easily understood english version.
As stated it is not currently much but if (or when) i translate other parts i shall post them in this thread so as to alleviate the burden of our german hosts to try and answer all these confused english speakers passing by them every week. If someone, somewhere, also deciphers other parts of this giant book feel free to put those english texts here so we can put them together and help each other spell check etc. also it would be great if one of our magnanimous german-speaking hosts could correct anything if they find that i missed something important in the paragraph below.
1.2.1 Starting Year
The player can choose to start in the year 1300-1400 or inbetween the two at an interval of 5 years. You should at least briefly consider your starting year since this has a direct impact on your starting conditions. The later the year the more advanced the Hanse is at the start of the game. In the year 1400 the towns have a much larger population than at the year 1300. This makes the game less difficult because it is easier to sell your wares (because of higher demand), but at the same time it takes a lot more resources to keep the population happy, since larger cities demand a larger array of products to keep their high population, or at least when it comes to growing it.
Furthermore the shipyards are also affected. Starting in the year 1400 Hulks are already availible for construction and the time it takes for repairs are reduced. Starting in the year 1300 you'll only be able to build Snaikkas, Crayers and Cogs and each shipyard will require a lot of repair work and/or construction orders in order to improve and allow the eventual construction of Hulks.
The strength of the AI players is also affected, being wealthier and having a larger presence in the Hanse the closer to 1400 that you choose to start.
Something else the player should consider is that for every 5 years further into the future from 1300 that you choose to start your're also adding another 7 days onto the starting date as well. If you're starting in the year 1300 that means you start in the 10th of May, 1305 means the 17th of May instead. This means that for every 5 years ahead you start you get closer and closer to the first winter, which could become quite a logistical problem for someone who wants to get a quick start.
In conclusion it can be said that the advantages of starting later is on par with the disadvantages. The main question is how much value you see in getting quick access to (and how much you plan to use) Hulks. For someone who is interested in the ”Turkish Building Technique” it should be noted that 1300 as a starting year has become the accepted standard in competitions and was used as such in the ”endless-contest” and the ”Lübeck Tournament”.