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Why is Napoleon so difficult?

Raven_MorpheusRaven_Morpheus Registered Users Posts: 9
edited April 2020 in Napoleon: Total War

New here, apologies.

Of the Total War series games I've played, Rome I, Medieval II, and Warhammer have been the most enjoyable and I can succeed at them (on easy, I play for fun, not a massive challenge).

I started watching the British TV series Sharpe, again, the other day, so I thought I'd fire up Napoleon and give it another go.

I started the campaign where you can play as the British (listed on the menu as allied campaign or something?)

Then I realised why I abandoned it in the first place.

I find it to be so much more obtuse/impenetrable/difficult [insert synonym here] than Rome I, Medieval II, or Warhammer!

I spent 5-10 turns (or more) just securing Gibraltar using Nelson and Wellesley, and then lost my (default starting) navies in the English channel to very highly stacked French navies!! On one attempt I think I even got kicked out of Gibraltar by the locals!!

Can't get my head around it, despite reading some "guides".

Why is it so hard to get things going?! Do any of the good/popular "overhaul" mods make getting things going a little easier (long shot I know as I found any for Rome I and Medieval II made no difference or made things exponentially more difficult)?

Also struggle to read the font at 1080p, found a font mod but it doesn't really work all that well. Any tips on fixing that?

Thanks in advance.


  • Wanderer46Wanderer46 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 51
    So, it sounds like we’re similar players. I’m not a difficulty masochist and normally play on normal or hard.

    Here’s some simple advice:

    1) Unless you're roleplaying, don't feel any need to maintain your empire as it exists when you start the game. If Gibraltar is untenable, dismiss any troops there and ignore it.
    2) Stick to this simple formula at the start of your game: Consolidate a contiguous Empire wherever your capital is -> Disband any unnecessary or expensive troops -> Maximize income per turn through all available means (building up infrastructure, trade deals, etc.)
    3) If a navy or navies has no immediate purpose, just disband them. You can protect your ports from constantly being destroyed by placing a single cheap land unit in each of your ports. Trust me, this will reduce so many headaches.
    4) If you are at peace or your empire is relatively safe, save up a surplus prior to declaring war. I usually shoot for $10,000 at minimum but usually want at least $20,000.
    5) Create a military that will keep your income per turn above at minimum $100 per turn and try to maintain the surplus for emergencies.

    I'm not giving any tactical advice because I'm assuming you somewhat know how to fight in TW games. Basically follow sun tzu's guidance for battles. If you can't win a war, make the enemy pay. If you can't win a battle, make their nose bleed. If you can't make their nose bleed, retreat your troops and just give up the province. It's fun playing around with some of the Art of War suggestions and seeing how it pans out. Usually, it works.

    Good luck!
  • Wanderer46Wanderer46 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 51
    Also, don't be put off if you lose a few early campaigns when you start. As you pointed out, it takes a little while to get acclimated to the mechanics of the game. Whenever I reinstall an older TW game, I scratch my head for a few hours trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong.
  • dge1dge1 Moderator Arkansas, USARegistered Users, Moderators, Knights Posts: 21,965
    I am going to chime in here. I played a lot of Napoleon, both SP and MP (especially, when it was active).

    I did two complete campaigns, with all factions, on Normal and hard. Started a third on Napoleon, and it started exactly the same as the first two. After a few turns I did not see much more of a challenge so I quit.

    I just could not go through the same "rote" process again. Deleted the game and moved on.

    As I said, a personal perspective only.
    "The two most common things in the universe are Hydrogen and Stupidity." - Harlan Ellison
    "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." - Hubert H. Humphrey
    "Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” - George Carlin/Mark Twain
    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”–George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905.

  • Raven_MorpheusRaven_Morpheus Registered Users Posts: 9
    Thank you gentlemen.

    I went back to Napoleon this past few weeks and gave it another go.

    Somehow it all seemed to click, even managed to find a font mod that makes reading the text a little easier. It's not as obtuse as it first seemed - managed to take the Historical campaign objective (20 regions + 7 specific ones) with 60 turns (2.5 years) to spare!
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