Different strengths / styles of colonial imperialism?
(This is for a board game rather than a novel, and many apologies if that disqualifies the inquiry, but I do rather want to get the details right - even if it's the players who finalize the events of the story. A friend pointed me at this community as a possible place to get answers.)
Long version: I'm currently working on a cooperative board game in which the antagonists are, in general, colonizing Europeans.
To add variety (and boost the difficulty of the game1), players can fight against specific colonizing Europeans2 - eg, a French Agricultural Colony, or Spanish Treasure Seekers.
Ideally, I'd like these antagonists to (at least a little) reflect the strengths / weaknesses / cultures / peculiarities of the historical countries in question, which means I need to learn how those countries did their colonizing.
One friend pointed me at Civilization: The West and the Rest, which was quite helpful3, but I'm looking for more. I have been pointed at McNeill's The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community and intend to borrow that, too.
I've done a fair bit of internet searching; there's lots of compare / contrasts on the home nations themselves, and data on who conquered / explored what when, or how the battles went... but surprisingly little on methods / strengths of colonization. (Aside from a bunch of student answers on "compare/contrast Spanish and English exploration in the new world", which seems to be a popular essay question.)
Most recent search terms: methods of colonization; colonialism practices difference; (compare OR contrast) methods of colonization; Portuguese colonization; colonization of the west indies; colonization of the east indies. I don't have older search sessions saved, I'm afraid; recording failed search terms wasn't on my radar.
1 Because cooperative games need difficulty boosts to remain challenging - and the ways in which they're made harder can mix up the gameplay.
2 Or non-European colonizers - but the board-game trope I'm inverting tends to center around Europeans (Puerto Rico, Goa, Navegador, Colonial, Age of Empires, Endeavor, etc.), so I'm going there first.
3 The middle chunk of that book was exactly the sort of thing I was looking for - e.g., it did a lovely compare-contrast of English colonies with the Spanish exploration of South America. It also had some good information on French and German colonies in Africa, and how their approaches varied. But it didn't mention the Dutch or Portuguese, and all of the French/German info was from the late 1800s onward.