While you may have managed to guide Napoleon to success in the Europe campaign the reality is that the long winter and retreat from Russia did terrible damage to his army. After the campaign there was a brief peace as both sides rebuilt their forces before hostilities resumed. This time everyone joined the coalition against Napoleon and despite some stunning victories the overwhelming odds led to an inevitable long term defeat. Napoleon was forced to abdicate and cast into exile.
His ambitions could not be fulfilled on Elba and his appetite for war returned. He returned to France and was greeted as a hero by his troops. He marched on Paris and the king fled. The rest of Europe was alarmed to see their old foe rising from the ashes and once again they formed a huge coalition against him. His final battle took place at Waterloo as he faced an army of mixed nationalities under Wellington and a Prussian force under von Blucher. This time he was imprisoned and his dream of a united Europe was ended permanently.
Can you succeed where Napoleon failed? In the final chapter of this single player campaign in Napoleon: Total War you must fight the Battle of Waterloo. This guide will offer a few tips that might just help you win it.
There are undoubtedly a few different ways to win this battle but this guide is the one that worked for me. The actual battlefield and of course the troops that took part are not well represented here, this is a rough approximation as you might expect. There is a bit of cheating going on since the three buildings that the British occupy are virtually indestructible compared to buildings on a normal campaign map. You’ll also find that you have no hand in the initial troop placement and you enter facing a large coalition force under the British flag led by Wellington. In real life the arrival of the Prussians was disastrous for Napoleon and they’ll be making an appearance here too.
Attack on Left
Start by moving one unit of cannon to the left flank. Keep them behind the hill as you move to avoid attracting attention. Set them up on the left brow and focus all artillery fire on the building on the left hand side of the map. Now take two infantry units forward to kill the British hiding in the small wood. Watch out for cavalry response and get ready to form up square formations.
When the building is around 80% damaged start forming up some troops on the left flank behind the brow of the hill. Move more infantry into the woods. When the building is around 90% damaged the British will abandon it. Immediately take it over with one of your infantry units in the woods and bring the others forward in defence. You’ll definitely get a cavalry response now so form up squares and bring your own cavalry into the fray.
With a bit of luck the British infantry will charge down the hill to try and take the building back. Pile the troops in and when the British advance from their defences hit them with a cavalry charge. Just make sure your cavalry don’t charge into the spiked defences. Now you need to move the rest of your forces over to the left flank quickly and watch out for a Prussian charge from the right.
Take the British Position
Try to take up the British position on the left and use your cavalry to sweep along behind the defences and mop up the artillery while your infantry goes for the middle building. Form up your men behind the British defences and turn to face the combined British and Prussian attack. If you have any cavalry left flank back round the way you originally attacked, past the woods, and hit the Prussians from behind as soon as they get into range of your infantry on the hill.
You can now use their own defences against them and with your advantageous position their attack is doomed. Control of the two buildings is vital though, you can ignore the other one and avoid the right flank altogether except for a brief cavalry charge to clear out the artillery. However you will need the left and middle buildings. Be careful when you take the left building because they may turn the artillery on you and if you don’t silence them with your cavalry fast enough it’s over. If that happens keep your men in there long enough to support your push up the hill then take them out.
Always form up square formation against cavalry. Use your bayonets when fighting in buildings. Make sure you guide your cavalry through the spiked defences because if you hit them they’ll die alarmingly quickly. Remember they are more effective if you switch to diamond formation to charge. When you advance don’t forget to take Napoleon! Make sure you use him well. Try to keep him in the thick of it so his influence has a positive effect on your men and at key moments, such as when you storm a building, use the inspire ability.
You should be able to win the battle with this guide but the timing has to be right. If you move up too slow and the Prussians get into you from behind then it’s all over. If you do manage to win you’ll have the satisfaction of finally killing off Wellington. Sit back and enjoy the victorious cinematic cut scene and imagine how different Europe could be if Napoleon had really won.
This post is part of the series: Napoleon: Total War Campaign
This is a complete guide to the single player Napoleonic campaigns.