The Dutch Home City provides many powerful defensive and economic upgrades. The Dutch usually start off as a defensive civilization, but this changes in later Ages after the Dutch establish the Banks. After that the Dutch colony is able to expand quickly.
Dutch Settlers cost Coin so this gives them one of the slowest starts in the game. The Dutch economy, however, makes up for this with the ability to construct Banks, which generate Coin constantly, also Dutch Settlers gather coin from mines 15% faster right from the start. To compensate for the free and steady supply of gold, Dutch players only have a Settler cap of fifty (other civilizations get ninety-nine settlers, except the Japanese which have a cap of seventy-five).
The Dutch have a unique civilian unit called the Envoy. The Envoy's primary role is to scout the land. The envoy unit is extremely weak against other units, thus it is more useful as a reconnaissance unit. The Dutch cannot build the Musketeer, however the Halberdier and the Ruyter makes up for this. The Dutch are also able to build the Skirmisher in the second age rather than the third (which upgrades them automatically and without any cost to Veteran Skirmisher).
The Dutch are one of the two European civilizations which do not get a two Falconet shipment in the Fortress Age, the other being Germans.
"Holland in 1500 was a small European nation, but extremely energetic, practical, and progressive, with a strong emphasis on trade. Particularly in the northern provinces, the Dutch embraced Protestant Christianity during the sixteenth century, supplanting Catholicism. They were aggressive and dynamic traders, well-positioned to transport goods to and from the Baltic and North Atlantic, and the interior of Europe up the Rhine River. They built efficient ships that carried large cargoes with small crews. Very limited in land, they developed an intense agriculture and began reclaiming lowlands from the sea.
By accident of marriage and inheritance, control of the now largely Protestant Holland shifted to Catholic Spain in the mid-sixteenth century, and Spanish kings sought, in turn, to supplant Protestantism within their realm. This led to a revolt against Spain. Although at a great disadvantage in overall wealth and power, the Dutch proved a tough opponent and drew allies to their side. By 1609 Holland was virtually independent.
In the era of colonial expansion by great empires, the Dutch pursued business opportunities. They were soon engaged in the trade with the Americas, despite Spanish attempts to exclude non-allies. The efficiency of their ships made them attractive as low-cost carriers. They built a business carrying and processing sugar and other goods out of Portuguese Brazil. When the Spanish allied with Portugal and closed the Portuguese ports to the Dutch, the Dutch seized several islands, including Aruba and Curaçao.
In 1610 Henry Hudson explored the North American coast and rediscovered both the river now named after him and the great harbor of modern-day New York City. After several trading voyages to the area seeking furs, the Dutch planted a small trading outpost up the river near Albany in 1614 and later a more permanent settlement on Manhattan Island. The relatively few colonists were more interested in trade profits than in establishing a lasting and well-defended colony. New Amsterdam fell easily to a British fleet commanded by the Duke of York in 1664. The Dutch regained it briefly in 1673, but ceded it permanently to Britain in 1674.
The Dutch made their biggest mark in the East Indies. Following in the wake of the Portuguese around Africa in the early 1600s, agents of the Dutch East India Company took over much of the East India trade, together with England."