Maximising use of General Units in Napoleon: Total War
Napoleon: Total War features a much more influential general unit than previous games, with the leader of your army equipped to inspire your men on to victory against considerable odds.
Napoleon Total War Guide to Generals
What is a general unit, and how can it be used to influence battle?
This Napoleon: Total War guide focuses on the general unit, covering all aspects of the unit from hiring the general and assessing whether or not he will be worth the cost when compared to his abilities to deploying the unit on the battlefield.
As a follow up article to Setting Up Land Battles and Winning Land Battles, this Napoleon Total War guide should be used in conjunction with each of these articles to provide you with the best information for battlefield supremacy and success in the latest installment of the Total War series.
Hiring a General in Napoleon: Total War
In Napoleon: Total War, generals play a far greater role than previous games. Hiring a general can require a certain amount of choice, and often it can be a trade-off between what you can afford to pay from the wealth you have accumulated so far and what abilities the unit has. A good general can be hired for a fair price and as long as you have a strong army and awareness of the “Target General" tactic, you should be able to keep hold of this unit.
Once hired, the general can then order the recruitment of units, whose completion will again depend upon the finances of your empire.
Inspiring and Rallying Troops
In combat, the general can be the most vital unit. Equipped with an “aura of confidence" the general can be used to turn the tide of a battle, by remaining in close quarters with your infantry and cavalry units. The general can inspire and rally troops using the dashboard, although note that these abilities have a cooling down period before they can be used again.
By rallying troops that are potentially set to be beaten, a general can ensure that their unit stays together, preventing them from routing and maintaining their position.
Remember however to keep your general unit moving between your engaged units and try not to let him engage in battle – you don’t want the death of a general to affect your troop’s morale.
Destroy Morale – Target the Enemy’s General
An early benefit can be acquired on the battlefield by targeting and destroying the enemy general unit.
This can be done by using the minimap to identify the opposition general (indicated by a star) and by focussing the attentions of one of your top units. You might choose a cannon or a mounted unit to target the opposition general, and by eliminating this unit you can gain a massive advantage in the battle.
As we’ve seen above in this Napoleon Total War guide, the general unit can inspire and rally troops – by targeting the enemy general, this boost is removed from the battlefield. The main result of this will be a much weakened opposition, missing the guiding influence of the general sphere of control.
If you are playing through the single player campaign check out our Napoleon: Total War Campaign Guide.