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Absolute Noob here, would like some wisdom from veterans.

FoxstrongbowFoxstrongbow Registered Users Posts: 1
Greetings everyone, I'm brand new to this site, and to playing Total War.

I actually only have the demos of Empire and Napoleon, but that is why i have come here. I'm a big gamer, and i've known about this series for a long time, but i've never had a computer than can run it until now. I used to be a console gamer.

Anyway, i'll just cut to the chase here; this game is hard. Like i said, i'm a gamer, but... this is a totally new type of game for me.

I've only messed with the battles, and really that's all i care about in this game.. I play Europa Universalis 4 if i want a map game. I know that stuff is part of the full game itself, but im confident i'd have no trouble with that aspect.

But like i was saying about the difficulty of the battles... I'm sure it's because i'm new, but it's a pretty overwhelming ordeal for me. There are so many units on the screen, and the enemy can of course multitask and focus everywhere at once.

There's no pausing while you execute commands, it's all in real time, so things feel rushed... I also feel like the controls are pretty awkward, and i don't feel like the units respond to my commands very well. Placing your units is also not as simple as id like it to be, They just seem like complete morons, but i'm sure it's my own fault. I want to know the tricks, the tips, the little quirks to simplify things... One question i would like to know about the interface, is fire at will on when the button is black or when its white?

I've watched tons of videos of people playing, and they make it look so easy. I don't want to miss out on this series, because if there are 2 things i am it's a gamer and a military history enthusiast, especially european history. This game is so awesome and i feel like i just have to get in on the action.

Fighting Prussia was a nightmare, i got slaughtered. The battle in Empire wasnt so bad, i won as Britain, but it was sloppy as hell and their artillery really took a dump on me. I'm sure it was on easy mode too, it's really embarassing how poor i am this game, especially considering the fact that im knowledgeable in actual tactics from the time periods depicted.

Any wisdom is greatly appreciated.


  • BillyRuffianBillyRuffian Moderator UKRegistered Users, Moderators, Knights Posts: 37,374
    edited August 2016
    P button toggles pause. Then you can give orders while surveying the whole battle. A basic list of controls is available in the player manual http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/34030/manuals/NTW_GFW_ANZ_DD2.pdf?t=1447352495

    You may also find something useful here https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/263/guide-to-the-guides-napoleon-total-war
    Post edited by BillyRuffian on

    "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts - for support rather than illumination." (Andrew Lang)

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  • GoslingGosling Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,887
    Practice, practice, practice. Try playing custom battle with low funds so you don't have so many units on the field. Get comfortable with the functions then upgrade to larger battles.
    "I'm gonna stomp 'em to dust. I'm gonna grind their bones. I'm gonna burn down dere towns and cities. I'm gonna pile 'em up inna big fire and roast 'em. I'm gonna bash heads, break faces, and jump up and down on the bits that are left.

    An' den I'm gonna get really mean."

    Grimgor Ironhide, Black Orc Warboss.
  • LecourbeLecourbe Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 610
    For campaign level tips, see my post of 4 August.
    Learn to station troops behind cover/hills/building when you want them protected from direct artillery fire. Remember that howitzers can fire up & over cover, but have a much shorter range.
    As Gosling states, practise & more practice is essential. You will get there in the end.
  • cool_ladcool_lad Senior Member IndiaRegistered Users Posts: 2,276
    As Billy Ruffian said, don't hesitate to use P to pause the game and issue commands. Some other useful hotkeys are R(Run) and F(change stance to melee/ranged). You can adjust the depth and width of a unit while issuing a move order by right clicking and dragging; making getting units into formation a lot easier.

    Morale is king of the battlefield, you'll win a battle by routing the enemy, not by killing all his men; seek to create as many shocks to the enemy morale as possible. Units are affected by the morale of other units, so a too many units breaking at once will cause a chain rout making the whole army flee.

    Also, don't ignore the campaign map. You said you're only really interested in battles, but the Campaign map determines what your battles will be like. Learn to pick your fights; don't take on too many enemies unless you have to, and even then always seek to have at least some advantage you can use.

    One simple tactic/idea to keep in mind is local superiority. Check the link for a more in depth analysis by another player (It's written with Rome 1 in mind, but most of the basic concepts stay the same): http://rtw.heavengames.com/rtw/strategy/battle/local-superiority/index.shtml

    Most things are common sense TBT, just think of what would work in the real world and it'll probably work in the game too.

    Some other useful links:-
    1. http://etw.heavengames.com/articles/strategy/battle/
    2. http://ntw.heavengames.com/articles/strategy/
    3. http://rtw.heavengames.com/rtw/strategy/battle/index.shtml

  • CollingwoodCollingwood Member Registered Users Posts: 110
    This might be stating the obvious, but grouping units together is essential for me. I'm not an online player, but love all campaigns and battles, particularly Medieval II, Empire and Napoleon.

    For instance, if you have 9 sets of line infantry, press ctrl and click on 3 to highlight them. Then press the blue 'group' button to make them one set. Then press the formation blue button to choose column or line etc. Do it with the other 6 and you'll have 3 sets of 3 to control, rather than 9 individual battalions. Or one group of five, one group of four, up to you.

    I find it easier to group like units, such as above, rather than group mixed units such as columns of light infantry, line infantry, cavalry, as its easier when the grouped units all have the same special abilities, such as guard, fire and advance etc, or skirmish/light infantry behaviour for the light infantry .

    Also, get the camera down on the floor before starting the battle to make sure you're taking full advantage of the topography.

    Use cavalry to chase down routing units before they regain their morale, use infantry squares to annihilate attacking enemy cavalry.....the list is endless.

    Enjoy. If you're into your history, this is the best game series available.
    'In Peace, prepare for War. In War, prepare for more War' - Anon
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