When Napoleon returned from Egypt the situation in France was messy. He was able to play a key role in a coup to take power and found his way to the coveted First Consul position. As the most powerful man in France Napoleon was quick to make his influence felt as he set about constructing an empire worthy of the name.
His first task was to drive the Austrians back out of Italy as he had done on his earlier Italian campaign. By 1805 Napoleon had transformed the European map, rewritten the law books and crowned himself Emperor. He was surrounded by enemies, within and without, but that didn’t stop Napoleon from extending his power across the continent. Virtually the whole of Europe stood against him.
In the Europe campaign, in Napoleon: Total War, you have until 1812 to bring a lasting peace to the continent. You’ll need to defeat the coalition of Britain, Austria and Russia to reach your goal. You’ll also need to keep a wary eye on the Prussians and some of the other smaller nations in case they decide to enter the fray.
In this Napoleon: Total War Europe campaign guide we’ll offer advice and tips to help you win.
Before we dive into the campaign here are a few general tips which should serve you well. Artillery is absolutely key to success and can easily turn the tide of a battle. Choose good positions for your cannons and when the enemy is close switch to Canister Shot. If you can place artillery in a narrow spot like a street or just across a bridge then you can rout enemies with ease.
Use your cavalry to destroy enemy artillery. Flank the enemy in a wide arc and charge through their guns as quickly as you can. It is worth losing your cavalry to silence enemy cannons. If you are facing cavalry in large numbers, the Prussians are especially fond of it, then make sure you arrange your infantry in square formation. If possible put any infantry units who can’t do square formation into buildings. However remember artillery can destroy buildings and the infantry within will die if that happens.
Defending in cities or towns where you’ll have some buildings to use is always easier. If you are marching toward a target then stopping on bridges is another great tactic. All river battlefields have a bridge crossing and a place where the water is shallow enough to wade. Cover these two spots and you can fight off a far superior force with minimal losses. It is also smart to go off road when your army is about to run out of movement. Hiding in trees will give you a chance to ambush anyone who comes along and ambushes are great fun. Now let’s get on with conquering Europe.
Your first mission is to capture Vienna in order to crush the Austrians and force a peace. Before you get stuck into the warfare review your empire as it stands. You are going to need a solid economic foundation in order to fuel your invasion so spend your cash wisely. Research is a good start so build a university in Orleans and a college in Liege and send spare gentlemen there to boost the research speed. Best start with National Debt. In fact focussing on economic developments will serve you well going forward.
Next you should have a look for any undeveloped farms or mines and get building. They will increase your population and bring in some much needed cash. You should also build a Merchantman ship in your southern port so you can get some Mediterranean trade going. For the first few turns continue to spend cash on developing towns and constructing trade ships to secure those trade routes with Africa.
You start with multiple armies, three in the north and one in the south. The only really sizeable one is Napoleon’s force. Leave one of the smaller armies in France as a defensive force and march them towards Paris so you can build them up into a sizeable army. If you look to the east you’ll see the Austrians and most likely they’ll start by attacking Munich. It’s not particularly good behaviour for an ally but I’d suggest letting Austria take Munich rather than relieving it. That way you can assimilate it into the French empire by taking it the turn after. Send your spy to infiltrate Vienna.
After you take Munich from the Austrians with Napoleon you should immediately press on and hit Innsbruck to the south. You can use one of the smaller armies to move into Munich behind you. Bring the southern army north and create a new force so Napoleon can press on. Make sure both cities are reasonably well defended before you do.
You will probably encounter resistance as you push east, not just from the Austrians, from the Russians too. It is best to divert your march north and take Prague before you go for Vienna because the war will soon open up in the north. If you need to reinforce then build up Munich with a musket factory and recruit some troops from Innsbruck as well. Now hit Vienna and siege it. Let the Austrians attack you and bring a second army up from Munich if you need it. Once they run out of steam march into the city and you can silence the Austrians for a while.
The Prussian Threat
You can spend time trying diplomacy with the Prussians but I think their declaration of war is inevitable so don’t give them any technology which might help them fight you. They will generally attack a few turns into the game and you’ll find that Hannover is horribly exposed. Try to build a few extra troops there before the Prussians attack.
If you took my advice at the start then you should have an army ready to go in Paris. As soon as the Prussians declare war send them to attack Cleves. Now you have a route to get reinforcements through to Hannover and you should be able to hold it. Start building another army in Paris in case the British invade the north of France.
Bring your experienced troops from Vienna north and you can crush the Prussians in a hurry. Don’t leave Vienna vulnerable though because the people will revolt easily and Austria is very likely to go back to war with you. As soon as you have a decent force ready attack Berlin.
Assassination of Napoleon
The enemy will repeatedly try to assassinate Napoleon and it can get seriously annoying. He can’t actually be killed but if he gets wounded he’ll have to recuperate in Paris for a turn and you can find your Grand Army without a leader. The town of Regensburg in Bavaria, which you’ll get if you take Munich, is a good place to construct a Member’s Club which will spawn spies. Try to make sure you always have a spy in Napoleon’s army to decrease his chance of being assassinated.
Incidentally Napoleon cannot be killed in battle either. He can only ever be wounded and will always return after a turn recuperating in Paris. Unfortunately this applies to the leaders of the other major players as well so you can’t kill that pesky Wellington.
There are a number of small city states. Some of them are allied to you and some are hostile. They all get in the way. Before pushing on any further it is a good idea to capture Dresden and Kassel so you can consolidate your position. If any of your allies are attacked let the enemy take the city so you can strike back and assimilate it into your empire. Now that you have a good power base established you can really get some momentum going and push through the remaining Austrians and Prussians.
The Austrians will likely go back to war with you before you’ve taken Berlin. If not then attack them once the Prussians are defeated. If you swing east and grab Budapest then Zagreb is cut off and you can conquer it at your leisure. Keep Vienna strong to defend from attacks coming from Olmutz. This should be the last strong Austrian opposition you’ll have to face. When you have Olmutz it is worth finishing the Austrians off so take Klausenberg, Lemberg and Iasi to crush them once for and all.
Finish the Prussians
With the Austrians out of the picture you’ll have a front with the Russians. For now just defend it and turn your attention back to the Prussians. They’ve probably been trying to take Berlin back. Now it’s time to silence them. Go for Stettin first and then sweep through Breslaw, Danzig, Warsaw and finally Konigsberg. They’ll get weaker as you progress. When the Prussians are defeated you’re left with a huge border facing the vast Russian empire.
Britannia Rules the Waves
We haven’t discussed the British yet but there is no doubt they will have been making a nuisance of themselves. The British navy is formidable and while you can get away with setting up trade routes in the Mediterranean and protecting your interests there, you’ll find northern waters a lot more hostile. The best policy is to avoid the channel and respond to piracy in kind. Unless you want to focus all your resources on building ships just accept that Britannia rules the waves and concentrate on continental Europe.
Unfortunately Wellington will periodically drop in to annoy you. You can expect random drops, usually one full stack at a time with Wellington in charge. For this reason it is advisable to keep a force around Paris who can respond to invasion. It only really becomes a problem when the British attack at the same time as another enemy. A pesky British army wading in as you are facing down the Prussians can cause a great deal of damage. No matter how engaged you may be it is vital to deal with the British and drive them back into the sea on sight. Do not let them get a foothold in your empire.
It shouldn’t be too taxing to keep the peace with the Ottoman Empire. They tend to be at war with some of your enemies so it can be a good idea to offer them technology advances in return for peace and trade between your nations. You don’t want the hassle of fighting them once Austria is dealt with and you can do without their navy worrying your trade ships in the Mediterranean. It is best to remain on good terms and keep them from getting involved.
March to Moscow
With the Prussians and Austrians consigned to the history books and the British and Ottomans held at arms length you have one big remaining enemy. Your final target is Moscow. If you can capture and hold France, Austria, Brandenburg (Berlin), East Prussia (Konigsberg), and Moscow and you have a total of 35 regions then you are on course for victory in the Europe campaign.
Since you’ve been fighting the Austrians in the south and the Prussians in the north you should have enough for two stacks of veterans. A double pronged invasion is on the cards. To get your total number of regions higher you may as well go for some of the Russian cities on the way to Moscow. Plan your campaign carefully. The big killer beyond the Russian army is the winter. Move your armies during the summer months only and during the winter when the ice comes in make sure you are consolidating in a city. You may get impatient but the attrition of winter will seriously damage your army if you try to wage war in the snow so just bide your time and strengthen during the winter months.
In the south your first target is a short march from Lemberg. Attack Kamenets Podolsky to signal your invasion of Russia. The Russians will rally and try to retake it so be prepared to ferry in reinforcements from Lemberg. In the north take Napoleon and his army to invade Vilnius. Build a couple of troops to defend it and push on to take Minsk. Moscow is now within touching distance but there is still a lot of ground to cover. Wait out the winter in Minsk and in spring set out to grab Smolensk.
You can advance in the south from Kamenets if you feel like it but you won’t need any extra cities to complete the game. Take Smolensk and give your army a breather before you go for ultimate victory in Moscow. Advance with Napoleon and your best army and try to bring a secondary army along to replenish your main force. You will be ambushed on the road to Moscow.
If there’s anything else you want to do before winning the campaign, then now is the time. Once you take Moscow you’ll get the final victorious cinematic cut scene and your game is completed (although you can play on if you feel like it). You have guided Napoleon to mastery of Europe and the single player Napoleon: Total War game is almost over. All that remains is the Battle of Waterloo.
This post is part of the series: Napoleon: Total War Campaign
This is a complete guide to the single player Napoleonic campaigns.