Setting Up Land Battles in Napoleon Total War
Preparing for a land battle in Napoleon Total War means getting your troop positioning right, as well as making sure you know where the opposition are hiding...
Napoleon Total War Guide to Setting Up Land Battles
Gameplay in Napoleon: Total War – as with other entries in the Total War series – centers around two forms of combat. This Napoleon Total War guide focuses on land combat, and winning land battles.
This guide covers the basics of conducting a successful military engagement in Napoleon: Total War, from deciding whether to engage in battle or let the software run the confrontation mathematically to effective distribution of your available troops, winning a skirmish with mounted opponents and making the most of your cannons.
Tips for Unit Positioning in Napoleon Total War
Optimum positioning of your units depends both on the lay of the land and the units you have at your disposal. Where possible you should never engage in battle without at least one or two mounted units, unless you’re defending a city.
Before battle begins – assuming you’re opting to engage in person rather than allowing the game to calculate the outcome – take a few moments to position your troops. In particular look out for weaknesses in your lines, and if necessary double up your units, perhaps placing weaker infantry units in front of the stronger ones. Note however that excessive use of this tactic will encourage the enemy to attempt to flank your army.
By navigating the line-up of your army with the mouse and the A, D, Q and E keys, you can decide what changes you wish to make to the positioning of your units on the battlefield. With the landscape opening up before you and either woodland or town buildings to act as cover, you can gain a substantial territorial advantage with sensible positioning.
Further Unit Positioning Tips
Moving units before battle depends on several factors, most notably their ability to move to your chosen location in time. As such your intended alteration to the formation of your army might not be possible. This shouldn’t be a problem however – some immediate changes can be made as soon as combat begins. One popular tactic is to send at least one cavalry unit wide of the battlefield, out of sight of the opposition, in order to use the unit to mount a surprise charge later in the encounter.
With artillery units ideally positioned in the highest possible position, and a few suitable infantry units either in woodland or positioned out of sight behind large buildings, you should be ready to begin battle.
Once Combat Begins
Although this Napoleon Total War guide is primarily concerned with setting up battle, there are a couple of aspects that are true to both setting up and engaging.
In particular, the position of your general in relation to the rest of your troops is vital, thanks to their abilities and commanding aura. As such they should be kept as close to your key units as possible.
You can keep an eye on this by using the minimap, particularly if your army is split across a landscape or town. On the minimap, your units are represented by a series of shapes in your colour – cavalry units are triangles, artillery a cross, infantry units are squares and your general is a star. By clicking on the map you can quickly jump to the unit you want to view, issue new orders and also use it to take a look at the enemy.
If you are playing through the single player campaign check out our Napoleon: Total War Campaign Guide.