Loading Screen Advice (NTW)

Campaign advice

Click on any area of the radar map to snap the map directly to that area. The + and - buttons in the bottom left allow you to zoom to any area.

The advent of vineyards has turned wine production from a small-scale cottage industry to a major source of trade income. Develop vineyards in those regions where grapes naturally grow due to climate.

As defensive technology moves swiftly forward, many cannon lack the firepower to destroy modern fortifications. The heavier guns that are required are designated as specialist siege weapons.

The overall happiness of a population is split between the ruling class and lower orders, with different factors contributing to the happiness level of each. Rebellion becomes a risk when part of the population is so unhappy that state repression can no longer contain public disorder. Always try to ensure that public order values remain positive!

When defending your territory it is important to know how far enemy armies are able to move. Click on an enemy army to see its zone of movement. When an army is blocking your path the terrain will be highlighted at the choke point. You must fight it to pass through, or find an alternative route.

Stabbing long-standing allies in the back by suddenly attacking will have an effect on how other nations view your own. They will be cautious when dealing with you in future.

The national summary tab is used to display important information about the state of your nation in one place for ease of reference.

Gentlemen may be ordered to duel with others. However, take care of them - they are in short supply and cannot be recruited. Losing one may hamper the attainment of technological supremacy!

You can move your spy by right-clicking on any part of the highlighted area. He will move within the extent of it but no further in one turn. Right-click on a character to interact with him.

Controlling the camera on the campaign map is simple. Dragging the mouse to the edge of the screen pulls the map in that direction. Use W to move the camera forward and S to move it backward. A and D strafe sideways. Use X and Z or the mousewheel to move the camera up and down respectively.

A drop-in battle is a new feature allowing you to find a human opponent to take the place of the AI nation in a battle in your campaign, or fight a battle in another's campaign in place of the AI. This is achieved via the on-line battle mechanism.

Upgrade ports to dockyards for the ability to construct bigger and better fleets. Fleets can also be made stronger by merging them together as you would armies - simply select a fleet and then right-click on another that you wish to merge with.

Right-click to move your fleet to any part of the highlighted area. Move the fleet to a coast and right-click on land to disembark any passengers. Alternatively select the unit(s) or agent(s) you wish to disembark and right-click on the shore.

Although the age of large-scale official buccaneering is over due to bigger and better organised navies, enemy shipping is still fair game in times of war. Right-click on a trade route to draw additional income from raiding their trade fleets.

The penalty for breaking an alliance is greater the longer the agreement has been in place. Trust grows over time, so the higher an opinion of your nation is, the further it has to fall when things sour.

What one nation thinks of another is characterised by diplomatic relations - very friendly, friendly, indifferent, unfriendly, and hostile. These diplomatic relations are asymmetrical though, so be aware that what your nation thinks of another may not be the same as their views on your own!

Prestige is a measure of your reputation amongst rival nations. Compete for prestige points by completing the conquests detailed in your victory conditions, researching advances in technology, and constructing fine buildings that reflect the power and awe of a great empire. Total prestige points are calculated at the end of your campaign.

In order to gain control of a garrisoned and fortified city it is often necessary to lay siege. During a siege your troops surround the city, either attempting to starve the defenders into capitulation, or launching a heavy artillery assault.

The policies tab allows adjustment of taxation levels for every region you control. From here AI management of taxation and construction can be specified. Click on the button at the bottom of the panel to go straight to the region with the lowest public order. In most cases adjusting the tax levels should fix the problem.

Attrition is the loss of troops from a unit due to desertion, disease, etc. A unit will suffer attrition if it ends its turn in the field during the Winter months or in desert conditions. Armies native to regions in the far north or in deserts are immune to attrition when located in those regions. All elite units are immune to attrition.

Useful natural resources are present in most regions. Exploiting them increases the income available through trade. Building and improving farms, mines, etc. increases your nation's potential trade income. Work out how long it takes to earn back an investment and then exploit the resource with the best return first.

Right-click to move your army to any part of the highlighted area. Attack by right-clicking on a rival's army or city. Merge with a friendly army by moving to the same spot. Board a fleet at a coast by moving onto it.

There is value in leaving a trail of destruction in your wake, so that nothing of value to the conqueror remains. Destroying buildings as you abandon them ensures the enemy's hard-won prize is entirely worthless.

Once researched, a technology can be offered to another nation as part of a diplomatic deal. A technology can be demanded as long as the other nation has already researched it.

Mines facilitate the harvesting of the underground resources gold and iron for both manufacturing and trade purposes.

When a spy is inside a settlement, he starts to build up a spy network. A spy network gradually reveals more information about the region it is based in, dependent on how many turns the spy remains there. After the third turn the spy has a chance of seeing all units within the region, as if they belonged to his own nation. Each turn after that there is a chance that he can reveal further details about the region. The maximum amount of information available is linked to the level of his spying attribute.

Planning your construction needs is essential to a successful empire. Buildings of education further the research and acquisition of new technology; industrial buildings facilitate trade and return income; barracks increase the numbers and quality of available units; theatres, etc. keep the population happy in the short-term.

Followers are the retainers, assistants, and general hangers-on that great men accumulate during their careers. Characters will from time to time gain a follower, whose presence will affect their abilities.

Every army, fleet, or agent can reveal information about rival armies, navies, and settlements in their immediate proximity. The level of detail available depends on the type of character who is spying, so dedicated espionage agents perform better than generals in this capacity.

Armies that are not large enough to be effective could be destroyed if attacked by a superior force. Under those circumstances it is prudent to merge them together. Select one and right-click on another to walk to and merge with it.

Do not concentrate the construction of military buildings within a single region. Spread out to ensure the availability of troops during an invasion.

The ministers tab displays information about members of your government. Use this panel to fire and replace dignitaries, and, depending on your government type, hold elections. If applicable, government popularity - or the chances of the incumbent government winning an election - are displayed as a percentage at the top of the panel, along with the time in turns before the next election automatically occurs. This is not the case if your nation has an absolute monarchy - in which the ruler does not consult the people in matters of government.

The construction of colleges and universities enables the research of new technologies and ideas that could keep your nation ahead of its rivals. As well as producing gentlemen or scholars for research, these buildings also have the residual effect of educating the masses. However this might be a bad thing if not carefully managed - people with ideas above their stations can cause unrest or worse.

Your region capital is the central city for control of a region. Notice that there are slightly different buildings available for construction in the region capital than in towns, reflecting its position as the region's administrative centre.

Ports do not just facilitate overseas trade. Upgrading to a dockyard also allows naval vessels to be built. Note that ships can also be ordered directly from fleets if commanded by an admiral.

A very large army or navy spread over two or more unit stacks may not be able to fight as a single force. A nation can field a maximum of twenty units on the battlefield at one time. In this instance additional units arrive for battle piecemeal, joining the fray to reinforce units that have been routed or destroyed.

Buildings are spread throughout a region in towns and ports, rather than being concentrated solely at its capital. This means careful strategic planning and garrisoning is required in order to adequately defend your assets.

By choosing the right mix of units, some commanders are able to field highly mobile armies. Such forces can use their mobility to stage surprise attacks, seize important strategic targets and generally make a nuisance of themselves.

To place an army or character on board a ship or fleet select it and hover your mouse over the fleet. The cursor will change into an arrow with a figure - illustrating that the ship or fleet can be boarded. Right-click to board.

The treasury indicates how much money you have in your coffers. Your treasury is displayed underneath the coins icon in the bottom right-hand of the screen.

Following capture of a capital city, it is important to leave an adequate garrison behind to quell unrest until both the population level and any damaged buildings are fully restored. Exempting the region from tax may also be helpful in the short-term.

The construction of industrial centres will steer your empire from subsistence to wealth and affluence for many. However, industrialisation comes at a price - the lower orders may become unhappy with the pace of change, as the introduction of new technology quickly forces them from the land into modern manufactories.

The shadowy areas at the edges of your territory and beyond are caused by the fog of war. Whereas by now the positions of cities, borders, and geographical features are well known to all, without spies nations are nevertheless unaware of the movements of each other's forces and agents - often until it is too late! This is simulated by the fog of war. Use agents to reveal the machinations of your rivals before they act against you!

Units can now be recruited directly by a general in the field. Select the recruitment tab, then left-click on a unit to add it to the queue, and again to remove it. When ready, units will walk to the appropriate general and merge with his army. Note that units can only walk directly to the general, they are not able to cross the sea to join him.

Upgrading the road system within a region will increase its trade capability. Better quality roads also allow armies to march further within a turn.

Rival agents can be removed by assassination. Select your spy, then click on his intended target. Decide if the chance of success is worth the risk before confirming the order.

Characters within your nation will develop personality traits that affect their abilities. Some traits are present when a character enters the campaign, others are acquired as he gains experience.

Troops can be stationed inside a city to provide defence in the event of an attack. Whilst there they also act as a deterrent for any rebellious tendencies amongst the population.

The lists panel gathers together useful information about the armed forces, agents and regions in your possession. As your empire grows in size these lists will provide a useful reference and means of locating individual characters, cities, etc.

The building browser shows how successive buildings are linked, allowing you to easily plan the growth of your empire on a "per region" basis. Click on a building to see at a glance what else can be constructed from it.

Left-click on the boxes that slide down the left of the screen to view important messages. Right-click to delete them.

Your nation capital is the central hub of your empire. It is possible here to construct things that are not available anywhere else in your empire, such as high-level government buildings and military administration facilities.

Taxes are set on a theatre-wide level, not by individual region. Keeping taxes at high levels for protracted lengths of time makes people unhappy, and reduces future growth.

Up to four camera bookmarks can be set up to navigate between points on the map. Place the cursor in the desired place and press Shift + F9, F10, F11, or F12 to set a bookmark. Simply press the relevant F key to view a bookmark. Bookmarks cannot be deleted, only overwritten with new ones.

Funds are deducted from your treasury at the beginning of each turn to pay for the supplies and wages of your troops in the field. This is known as unit upkeep.

Occupying a port with an army prevents the enemy from trading through it and producing new ships. Note that a port cannot be besieged - simply right-click on the target port and your army will walk straight in. If an enemy army is garrisoned there you will have to fight them immediately.

Town wealth is a term used to represent the wealth generated by a region's urban centres. Town wealth grows or declines each turn depending on buildings and tax policy. Region wealth is essentially the sum of town wealth and income from buildings across a whole region.

When viewing user interface panels you will notice a question mark button in their top left-hand corners. This is the help button, click on it in order to get advice about the panel in question.

Note that agents cannot be recruited as a unit might be, they are automatically spawned. In the case of gentlemen, the rate of this spawning is dependent on the level of the educational buildings - such as universities, within your empire. For spies, the rate of spawning is linked to the level of buildings such as members' clubs within your empire.

Buildings that have been damaged due to sabotage or during battle can be rebuilt. To repair a building select it and click on the rebuild button to the left of the panel.

An army that has been stationary for a turn is "dug in". This means they will have had time to prepare and deploy defences on the field if attacked. If the army is moved at any point it will no longer be dug in if attacked in the same turn.

Obedience to the system of government within a nation is measured in public order. If unhappiness begins to outweigh happiness and state repression at any point then the resultant unrest can lead to rebellion, if left unchecked. Keeping taxes at reasonable levels, and leaving troops as a garrison, will in most cases keep order in a region.

Although all agents can carry out spy missions, spies can infiltrate and observe in greater detail than gentlemen. To spy, simply right-click on your desired target. Your spy will move there, revealing what he can upon his arrival.

All armies and fleets have a zone of control, represented by the circle displayed around them. Any enemy force moving into the zone of another is liable to instant interception and attack.

Research reveals new cutting-edge technologies that will assist your nation in its bid for supremacy. Order your gentleman to an educational establishment. Once arrived, he can be assigned to increase the efficiency of research for the technology of your choice.

With the advent of colonial possessions on resource-laden far away continents, sea-based trade is of great importance. Making a trade agreement automatically opens a trade route between nations. Your routes are displayed green, those of neutral nations are white, and those belonging to the enemy are red. Those trade routes that are shared with an enemy nation are yellow. Make a trade agreement by entering into diplomacy.

Spies can sabotage a rival army's ability to move during a turn, effectively sending them on a wild goose chase. Right-click on a rival army and select the sabotage option to undermine their movements.

Although turning down an invitation to duel can be socially demeaning to a gentleman, sometimes discretion is the better part of valour - especially if he is one of the leading minds of the age and a damned poor shot to boot! Perhaps the best course of action is to reject the offer and run?!

A trade post is the means by which nations within the European theatre trade with the rest of the world, who do not appear in the game. In order to begin trade, build a trade ship, sail to a trade post, and right-click on the anchor icon.

It is possible to swap between building types anywhere there is a chain of buildings. Select the building you wish to change, then click on the change building type button to the right of the review panel to convert from one to another.

A spy is also a saboteur and an assassin. Select him and right-click on a target, then select the action you wish to carry out.

You can move your gentleman by right-clicking on any part of the highlighted area. He will move within the extent of it but no further in one turn. Right-click on a character to interact with him.

An ungarrisoned city automatically generates Armed Citizenry - a sort of "watch" - to keep order. Although not as effective during an insurrection as billeted light infantry - such as Dragoons - Armed Citizenry are well able to manage day to day public order problems. They cannot leave the city in which they were spawned.

There are two ways to move an army or agent from a settlement or provincial slot onto the landscape. Select the item you wish to move, and either right-click on the point you wish to move to, or left-click and drag the item onto that point. When you release the cursor the army or agent will walk to the chosen spot. Use Ctrl + A to select all units or agents within a tab.

You can call a nation to war whenever diplomatic negotiation is taking place between two allies, or whenever an alliance is proposed between two nations and your own is at war with someone that your proposed ally is not. Note that a refusal to provide support in an existing conflict does not break an alliance, but there is a diplomatic relations penalty for doing so.

The government details panel gathers together essential statistics and information for the management of your entire empire.

It is possible to take a fort or city without risking a pitched battle. A patient general can throttle the fight out of the defenders by laying siege for several turns. This is time-consuming, but eventually hunger or an angry populace will force a surrender.

The trade tab details all resources brought to your capital from across your empire, and shows how these are exported to your trade partners - together with the profit you make from exporting to each partner nation.

Use spies to damage enemy buildings through acts of sabotage. Right-click on a city and select a building to sabotage from the list. Your spy will then move there and attempt to damage it upon his arrival.

When attacking a fort or city, a general can demand that the defenders surrender with the honours of war. If accepted, they will be allowed to leave unmolested, turning the fortifications over without a shot being fired.

It is possible to cycle back through the advice that has already been displayed by use of the back button on the advisor HUD.

When enlisting a new general or admiral you will be offered a choice of candidates, giving you the option to choose the commander who is best suited to your situation. They will be priced according to their capabilities and limited by the size of your empire.

Land battle advice

Provoke a defending enemy into unwise attacks by enraging them. Light infantry, carabiniers, and other skirmishers or missile cavalry are good troops to provoke this response.

Avoid charging your cavalry onto wooden stakes or chevaux de frise, as the weight and momentum of your horses mean they are unlikely to survive the encounter.

Placing cavalry units on your flanks gives you flexibility. They can counter any flanking move, or make a move of their own if the way is clear.

Outflanking is not the only way to get behind an enemy line. Find a weak spot, focus your missiles to weaken them, and then punch through with your most offensive troops.

Using your camel-mounted warriors to attack enemy cavalry is a good tactic. The very smell of a camel makes horses afraid and weakens cavalry combat power!

Attacking bayonet-equipped infantry in the flanks is a good way of taking them on with cavalry. You should always avoid charging onto sharp, pointy weapons that can be braced!

Light cavalry are an excellent choice for riding down light infantry and skirmishers. They often screen the main enemy force or harry isolated units, so getting rid of them is always a sound tactic, if you can catch them!

By massing your artillery, it is possible to turn a strong enemy position into a killing zone. If the enemy is hiding inside a building pound it into dust!

Cavalry are not good at defending a static line. Don't put cavalry in a defensive line unless you're expecting to charge them out. If so, have infantry ready to plug the gap they leave behind.

When troops are surrounded during hand-to-hand combat, they will fight to the death as they have nowhere left to run! Beware though, as desperate men may also be dangerous men!

Before most artillery can fire a shot, you will need to order the crews to 'unlimber' the guns from their horse teams. Do this by pressing the limber toggle button in the lower right of the screen.

When attacking across a river, try to soften up the enemy on the far bank by bombarding them with artillery. Once they are weakened, your assault has a better chance of succeeding.

When attacking an enemy with superior missile troops, generally get into melee combat as quickly as possible.

Controlling the camera on the battlefield is simple. Dragging the mouse to the edge of the screen pulls the map in that direction. Use W to move the camera forward, and S to move it backward. A and D strafe sideways. Use X and Z or the mousewheel to move the camera up and down, and the + and - buttons to tilt the view up or down.

The radar map allows you an aerial view of the battlefield detailing the position of units. Use the plus and minus buttons to zoom in or out.

The enemy will often try to flank your formation with cavalry, so it's a good idea to have infantry reserves on the ends of your line ready to intercept them.

It is important to preserve the devastating impact a cavalry unit can have. When going into combat with cavalry, always charge the last few yards by double right-clicking on the target. Beware of charging across too great a distance though, it's a tiring business!

Lower quality infantry make great targets for the enemy to waste their missiles on. They can protect high value units by drawing fire.

Lower quality infantry are useful for engaging and holding the enemy in place while you go around their side or rear. However, the lower the troop quality, the less time you have before they break and rout.

Mounted Infantry are cavalry who ride to an area of the battlefield then dismount to fight as infantry. However, they can also do a reasonable job fighting in a cavalry role. Use the dismount button in the lower right of the screen to toggle them between mounted and dismounted.

Mortars are the bane of entrenched enemies. The power of the mortar lies in the high angle of fire which its unique design allows, enabling it to lob shells on a high trajectory over fortifications and down onto troops sheltering behind.

Once unlimbered, guns can pivot but not otherwise move. To do this, you will need to limber the guns by pressing the limber toggle button again.

Where the enemy are concentrated, prepare a defensive line, where they are strong, avoid them. Attack where they are unprepared.

Maintaining a unit's courage and regimental discipline in the heat of battle is dependent on their morale, a measure of pride and self-belief in their abilities. This is boosted by training, experience, and the presence of an inspirational general. Morale is weakest when heavily outnumbered or outmatched by an enemy.

Running, fighting and doing other strenuous activities tires your troops, reducing their effectiveness and morale. Have them stand still for a while to rest. Resting is only really worthwhile though if they're very tired or exhausted.

Light cavalry make excellent bait. You can lure the enemy into ambushes, draw units out of position in their line, or just make them tire themselves out chasing you.

Line infantry equipped with bayonets can adopt a square formation to deter enemy cavalry. Be wary when adopting a square as it can't move, suffers reduced firepower, and is a good target for enemy artillery. Form a square by pressing the square formation toggle button on the right of the battle control panel.

The mobility and stamina of light cavalry makes them ideally suited to scouting the battlefield. If they stumble into a sticky situation their light mounts should be swift enough to get them clear of danger.

Often the best tactic is to encircle the enemy and shoot them from behind, or from the flanks. If they turn or chase you off, their formation will be disrupted, leaving them vulnerable to the attentions of your cavalry.

Group units together by selecting them and clicking on the unit grouping button to the left of centre on the battle control panel. Groups are useful for giving identical orders with a single command. You can reselect the group by clicking on its numbered tab, or by pressing the corresponding number key.

Round shot is the most widely-used type of ammunition, and is used by most artillery as its default ammunition type. The button on the right of the battle control panel allows you to select round shot.

If the enemy are planning to defend a river crossing, find somewhere else to cross or you will have to mount a frontal assault.

Feigning a rout by sacrificing a unit is a sure way of enticing a defender out of a strong defensive position, or luring an attacker into an ambush. Beware though, a feigned rout can quickly become a real one.

With time to prepare, line infantry units can dig trench earthworks for positioning during deployment. Infantry can use them to shelter from incoming fire - particularly conventional artillery fire - though they are still vulnerable to heavy siege guns, howitzers and mortars.

In guard mode units fight defensively, try to maintain their formation when attacked, and don't pursue the enemy if they run away. Not all units can guard. Found to the right of centre on the battle control panel, the guard mode button toggles on and off for selected troops.

If a flanking manoeuvre by cavalry is countered, for example by infantry moving to intercept, abort the move but leave them in a threatening position. You will have tied down some of his units for no cost.

There is often an advantage in ordering your infantry to counter-charge an attacking formation. The trick is to leave it until the last moment, so your own lines are not broken.

With time to prepare, artillery units can deploy behind baskets of stones and earth known as gabionades. Once in position the artillery cannot move for the remainder of the battle, but benefits from a considerable amount of shelter from small arms and direct artillery fire.

Deploying on a hill is always a good idea. Being uphill gives your troops a melee advantage, and climbing it will tire the enemy. Shooting downhill helps too.

Cavalry troops make an excellent flanking force. They can move fast around the edge of the enemy formation and strike the sides or rear, but a clever opponent will be ready for this.

When outnumbered, make sure you keep the option of withdrawing open. This will help you to reduce casualties if the battle is being lost.

Carcass shot is a type of incendiary ammunition, and can be fired from mortars - bursting into a fierce shower of flames upon hitting its target. Select this ammunition via the carcass shot button on the right of the battle control panel.

Quicklime shells are a type of incendiary ammunition. Used in mortars, they contain highly caustic quicklime that burns the flesh! Select quicklime shells using the button on the right of the battle control panel.

When targeting men with artillery, pick out the enemy's best units. They die just as easily as the rabble.

Many infantry units carry grapnels and rope ladders for use during sieges. They can assault walls using them of course, although this has always been a risky venture! Deploy the grapnels by mousing over a section of wall and right-clicking when the appropriate icon appears.

Grouped units can be set to one of several fixed group formations. Click on the group formations button to the left of centre on the battle control panel to select a formation. Clicking on the button again will dismiss the formations menu.

Generals deploy their forces according to rank. A higher ranking general deploys after lower ranking ones, giving him the ability to view the deployment of a lower ranking opponent before committing his own troops.

Wherever possible fight downhill. Whoever is higher has a great advantage.

Some units are masters of concealment, and can make themselves almost invisible in any terrain. Try putting these troops off to the side of your main force, where the enemy may well not notice them. They can launch a surprise flank attack once the battle has begun.

Some of the drawbacks of the square formation can be overcome by careful deployment of other squares nearby. Placing two or more squares a little over a musket's range apart allows them to offer each other supporting fire, creating a deadly crossfire zone between them without the risk of friendly fire.

Pressing the Ctrl + A keys on your keyboard simultaneously will select your entire army in one go. This is useful when you need to move them swiftly away from enemy artillery.

Grab the enemy by the throat and then hit them in the vitals! It is the most basic strategy and is always valid. Have one part of your army hold the enemy in place while the rest manoeuvre to kill them.

Horse artillery has an advantage in mobility over other artillery as it can be moved at speed. This speed of manoeuvre allows them quickly to take up good firing positions, often out of normal artillery's reach.

A straight line of units is not always the best formation. A kink, vee, or step will create a point in the line where two of your units can engage one of theirs. Exploit this, but remember it works both ways.

To outflank the enemy, go around the ends of their line and attack their sides and rear. You will also need to engage their centre to hold them in place and stop them turning to face you.

Howitzers are halfway between flat-firing cannons and mortars, which launch at a high trajectory. As such they can use cannister shot fired flat and drop shells on sheltered targets such as on the back slopes of hills.

Killing their general will deliver a heavy blow to the enemy army's morale in the field.

Cavalry cause extra casualties when first charging in due to the impetus of their attack. A cycle of charge, withdraw, charge causes maximum casualties for minimum losses. Repeat until done.

A cavalry unit moving quickly across the field of fire is not a sensible target for artillery. You may kill a few enemies, but better look instead for a tightly-packed target unit, one at a standstill, or coming head-on to your guns.

The pocketwatch shows how much time is left before the battle ends. The attacker must rout or destroy the defender within the time limit or lose the battle. To claim victory the defender has only to keep the attacker at bay.

Hills are good defensive positions, as being higher up a slope gives a large advantage in combat. Aim to fight the enemy on the steepest slope, not on the flatter top of the hill.

If the enemy is forming for an attack, it is often a good idea to let them come forward and tire themselves through marching.

Rather than racing the enemy to get control of high ground, try to approach it out of sight so they see no reason to hurry, while distracting them with bait they cannot resist.

When fighting in mountain passes, stay close to the valley walls. You may be able to take advantage of the slopes, or at least use them to protect one flank.

Always keep some forces in reserve behind your front line. They can fill any gaps that develop, and turn to deal with threats to either flank.

Given time to prepare, a defending army can deploy portable obstacles known as chevaux de frise - literally "Frisian horse" - a log with spikes and blades emerging from it. Positioned during deployment, they are deadly to charging cavalry.

If your line is wavering, use your general's inspiration ability to keep them in the fight a little longer. Some elite infantry types can also inspire courage in nearby comrades.

A fight between two bayonet-equipped infantry units usually comes down to troop quality and numbers. Make sure you have local superiority - or send in some supporting troops.

When defending a river crossing, if the enemy have a lot of artillery it may be best to stand back from the bridge to stay out of range. When the enemy start to cross, rush a couple of units up to the bridge to stop them.

The halt button on the left of the battle control panel cancels orders and makes selected units stop where they are. This is a quicker alternative to giving them a different order.

Heavy cavalry are best used to break formations, use your own light infantry or cavalry against their light troops.

If your army has superiority in terms of firepower you may be able to force a defender off the hill with missiles alone. Use all your ammunition before assaulting the hill.

When under fire from enemy artillery, there will be fewer casualties if you position your men where they can gain some shelter. Examples of this "dead ground" could be in a valley, on the back slope of a hill, or behind buildings or trees.

Units with white banners are routing - they have broken and are running, and won't follow any more of your orders. If positioned close by, your general may be able to rally these troops with his special ability. If successful you'll regain control of them.

Wedge and diamond formations increase the violence of a cavalry charge. Intended to drive a wedge through the enemy unit and thereby rout them, wedges are also useful for charging through narrow gaps. Select these formations using the button in the bottom right of the screen.

Canister shot is the basic anti-personnel ammunition type. Usable by both cannon and howitzers at short ranges, it fires a cone of balls lethal to tightly-packed foes. Select canister shot by clicking on the canister shot button on the right of the battle control panel.

Deploying your infantry behind walls will drastically reduce the number of casualties they suffer. To shelter a selected infantry unit right-click on the wall, then drag the cursor to the side you want your men to occupy.

Farms and outbuildings provide good cover on the battlefield and can be occupied, but remember they are vulnerable to destruction by cannon fire. Stay inside too long and your men may become sitting targets for artillery! To occupy a building simply select your unit and right-click on the building to deploy them inside.

Hiding stronger units to the rear may entice the enemy into a rash attack. They can then be brought up quickly to attack the weakest point.

The run button on the left of the battle control panel is used to toggle the selected units between running or walking. Running is useful for going somewhere in a hurry, but doing it too much will tire the men out.

Explosive shells are an evolution from standard round shot used in howitzers and mortars. Shells have an advantage over standard shot as they have a fuse lit by their firing, and should explode upon reaching their target! Select this ammunition using the explosive shell button on the right of the battle control panel.

Lancers are at their most deadly when at the charge. However, once their charge has been absorbed they are more vulnerable. Withdrawing at this point is the most sensible course, since they will then be free to deliver another devastating charge! Lancers are specialists in attacking heavy cavalry.

When using light infantry or skirmishers to force light troops to retreat behind their lines, be careful not to chase them too far. Do not risk getting dragged into a fight with their frontline units.

The fire at will button to the left of centre on the battle control panel toggles fire at will on and off for the selected troops. Toggle fire at will off if you wish to preserve ammunition.

When attacking a fort or settlement, concentrating your artillery fire against a single point on their walls will ensure a quick breach, maybe even catching the defenders off guard!

Pressing the space bar on your keyboard after orders have been issued displays the positions your units will move to as a shadow on the battlefield. Use this as a reference when deploying your forces.

Percussive shells are a type of explosive shell. They are designed to explode on impact with their target. Select this ammunition using the percussive shell button on the right of the battle control panel.

Whilst muskets are the favoured weapon of the age, do not underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned cavalry charge with sabres! Do not be afraid to show them the steel!

Always try to present a solid wall of troops to the enemy. Large gaps between units will let them flood through and behind your units. This would be disastrous.

Take the initiative in battle by making manoeuvres the enemy must respond to. Even if you don't follow it through, they'll be so busy countering your moves they'll have no time to make any of their own.

As a result of technological research, new ammunition types will become available to you over time. It is possible to change ammunition type during battle, but be aware that certain new developments will make some older types obsolete, and therefore unavailable in the future.

The presence of your general in proximity to his men has a morale-boosting influence on them.

The best way to avoid being flanked is to stop the enemy flanking force from arriving. Cavalry are useful for this, so always deploy cavalry on your flanks.

Use small mobile forces as bait for ambushes. Leave them looking vulnerable in plain view, with your main ambushing force hidden nearby.

Be wary when attacking an enemy with their backs to the hills. Expect them to withdraw to the high ground.

If you're going to make a flanking move, try to pick a route where your force won't be visible for as long as possible - behind a hill, or behind or through woods.

Infantry make a good fixing force to hold the enemy in place while cavalry outflank and kill, but any combination of cavalry, infantry, or missile troops as fixing and killing forces can be made to work.

A closely-packed mass like an infantry square is a superb target for artillery on the battlefield. Keep pounding them and they'll take casualties!

Holding some cavalry in reserve in the centre gives you flexibility. As the battle takes shape you can move them quickly to where they are needed.

Ordering the whole army to attack throws away any chance of gaining an advantage. Even if you have enough brute force to win, you will have lost many more men than you needed to.

Be wary of firing on the enemy when your own units are engaged in melee with them. You risk wiping out your own men as well!

Running everywhere with your cavalry lets them cover ground quickly, but they will get tired if you overdo it. Tired troops are less effective in combat.

Extremes of heat or cold will give a fatigue penalty to units not used to living and fighting in such conditions. Some units are naturally resistant to this penalty.

Avoid approaching places surrounded by heights, where troops can be entrapped and cut off, or where the land is sunken. Keep your distance and draw the enemy towards these areas.

A flanking force of cavalry can be a serious threat to the enemy, but a mixed force of cavalry and infantry, although slower, is more dangerous. Your infantry can engage theirs, leaving your cavalry free to kill.

If they have had time to prepare them, light infantry will carry wooden stakes to deter the attentions of enemy cavalry. Deploy them at any time using the stakes button in the bottom right of the screen.

Light dragoons can fight equally well as either light cavalry or as light infantry when dismounted. Use the dismount button in the bottom right of the screen to toggle them between mounted and dismounted status.

Clicking on the melee button on the left of the battle control panel will lock the selected melee-capable units into melee mode. All attack orders will result in a hand-to-hand attack until you click on the melee button again.

If your line infantry are about to be charged by cavalry, make sure they are stationary - and preferably in a square. That way they can brace themselves against the impact, and will take fewer losses.

Using your cavalry to attack camels is not likely to be very effective. The horrible smell of camels spooks horses!

Tire your enemy out by keeping them constantly occupied. Make them rush about by offering some advantage, for example by moving fast light troops into a vulnerable position.

When attacking an enemy that is deployed on a hill, attack up the most gentle slope, even if it takes a while to get there. Most troops will not be exhausted by the time they reach the top of the slope.

Attacking bayonet-equipped infantry from the front is a good way to kill off your cavalry units. Attack from the flank or rear - or better still, use infantry!

When preparing for a melee attack, it can sometimes work to your advantage to let the enemy have the first shot. If your men don't break under the hail of musket balls, they could engage before the enemy reloads.

Terrain has an effect on a unit's movement speed. Sticking to roads or short grass will ensure your units move at maximum speed.

The radar map now features battlefield topography to assist you in planning your attack.

Artillery is able to target an area of ground, whether or not enemy troops occupy it. In this way, it can deny areas of the battlefield to the enemy, flush out hidden units, or destroy defences. Select any unlimbered artillery and right-click on an area of ground to bombard it. Click on the halt button to cancel the bombardment.

Don't start your attack by engaging the enemy's elite troops. In a perfect battle you would rout their army without fighting them at all.

When assaulting a fort or settlement, many troop types can employ rope ladders anchored by grapnels to scale enemy walls. Selecting a unit, then right-clicking on a section of wall orders the troops to deploy their ladders.

Light cavalry beat light troops and heavy cavalry beat light cavalry. All cavalry are vulnerable to bayonets. Try to match your cavalry to the right target.

Keep your light horsemen out of hand-to-hand combat with camel troops. Camels smell, and this spooks horses and makes any cavalry less effective.

As gunpowder weapons take time to reload, take the opportunity to charge their ranks! Even if they reload in time, you could be too close for their fire to be effective. In order to charge select your infantry, press the melee button, and right-click on the enemy unit.

The group formations button to the left of centre on the battle control panel brings up a set of standard formations that can save you time and effort. Move your mouse over each formation to see what it does.

During the deployment phase you can secretly arrange your units inside the deployment zone before battle commences. The enemy general will deploy his men within the opposite area. When you are ready to fight click on the crossed swords icon in the centre of the screen.

Naval battle advice

The sloop's light guns and small crew make it unsuitable for direct confrontations. However, it is highly manoeuvrable and faster than almost any other vessel when travelling across or into the wind. Use these attributes to hit the enemy from positions outside the scope of their main batteries.

The razee is a cutdown ship of the line, having had an entire upper deck removed. It handles like a frigate, but retains the heavy lower deck guns of a larger vessel. This combination of manoeuvrability and firepower makes a razee far more dangerous than it first appears.

The fire at will button orders the selected ship to 'fire as they bear' at any target which presents itself. This is the best way of making the most of any snap-shot firing opportunities, but isn't as co-ordinated as a well-placed broadside. For most ships, fire at will is automatically on from the start of every battle. Deselecting the button causes your ship to hold its fire.

Comprising several balls wired together inside a canvas bag, grape shot is designed to break apart on firing, sending out a lethal cone of projectiles. Use it at close range to slaughter the men on deck! Grape shot is most efficient when a ship’s hull is already damaged, and increases the likelihood that fire will break out on-board.

Damaged ships can repair themselves during battle. Unless the damage is too great you can press the repair button in the bottom left of the screen to task the crew with fixing the problem. Ordering repairs to a ship will stop them from being able to carry out other tasks and leave them vulnerable to attack. Once a ship is carrying out repairs, giving an order to carry out any other actions will cancel that order.

Chain shot is intended to damage the sails, masts and rigging of the enemy. Consisting of two balls linked by a length of chain, it has less reach than round shot, but with sufficient range to hurt an enemy from a medium distance. Use chain shot to cripple enemy ships!

The brig's small guns and crew make single ship actions against larger vessels inadvisable. However, its relatively low mass gives an impressive top speed and fine handling characteristics. When handled well the brig can punch well above its weight!

Grouping ships will order them to maintain their current formation. When a group is selected, any orders given will be followed by all ships in the group, even as they hold their formation. This is the simplest way of controlling several ships at once.

The withdraw button causes your ship to leave the battle by travelling toward the edge of the map by the shortest route. You can call it back at any stage before it leaves by issuing a move or attack order. Any ship intercepted by the enemy whilst withdrawing will automatically strike its colours in surrender, so withdrawals must be carefully timed.

Knowing the direction of the wind and how your ship will perform in it is crucial. The large arrow at the top of the screen shows the prevailing wind. Learning the differences between the sails on each of your vessels and taking wind direction into account before executing an order can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

Ordering your fleet into line astern ensures ease of manoeuvre without compromising swift fire. Your ships will follow one another, all mirroring the moves of the lead ship. To remove single ships from the formation, simply issue them individual orders. To cancel the entire formation, deselect the line astern formation.

In battle, a ship of the line - such as a first rate - is a mobile battery containing scores of heavy cannon able to adopt any firing position desired by her captain. Though such heavy ships are ponderous, to tangle with one is to catch a tiger by the tail!

Clicking on your left (or port) broadside button loads your guns ready to fire. The advancing red band around the button indicates how close you are to being ready. When this is complete, click on the button again to unleash a full broadside! Be aware that for success this order relies on your own timing!

Round shot is best suited to battering the hull of an enemy ship "between wind and water", though stray shots may do damage below the waterline, or amongst the masts. Use round shot to hammer the hulls of enemy ships and put them out of action.

The best naval commanders adapt their tactics to their environment. Take advantage of fog or heavy smoke to hide small or heavily damaged ships. This makes the enemy's job more difficult, a factor which can often prove crucial in the course of a battle.

Frigates are able to outpace and outmanoeuvre the more ponderous of battle ships, yet have enough armament to hammer lighter opponents. There are few ships able to weather an encounter with a well-handled frigate!

Ships lying upwind of the enemy are said to "hold the weather gauge". This means deciding when and where an engagement will take place, which ships will join battle first, and where the first blow shall fall - therefore dictating the early pattern of the battle. Retaining the weather gauge and then correctly judging when to abandon is down to the skill of the admiral.

The galley's main strength is its banks of oars. With these it has a fair degree of independence from the prevailing wind, and can more easily position itself to fire from a position of relative safety.

The naval manoeuvre compass, used for fine-tuning ship orders, is at the centre of the battle control panel. The three arrows within its top half will cause your vessel to sail straight ahead, or turn left or right. The sail status icon in the centre of the lower half indicates whether you are in full sail, half sail, battle, or furl sail. The sails can be adjusted up or down with the plus and minus buttons to either side of the sail status icon.

Selecting the boarding button orders an attempt to board, closing with the target and sending an armed group aboard to capture it. This calls for a high degree of skill and courage in the marines or crew taking part, but depriving the enemy of a valuable ship is the prize! Boarding actions can be cancelled at any time by deselecting the button, or issuing another order.

Line abreast is the most focused method of denying an enemy room to manoeuvre. A squadron will line up side-by-side with the admiral in the centre, so enemies wishing to break the line must risk passing through a crossfire. Line abreast is best used against weaker fleets, or at the start of a larger action.

The front and rear of a ship are her most vulnerable areas. Timing a broadside well could devastate an enemy vessel as you pass its bow or stern.

Clicking on your right (or starboard) broadside button loads your guns ready to fire. The advancing red band around the button indicates how close you are to being ready. When this is complete, click on the button again to unleash a full broadside! Be aware that the success of this order relies on your own timing!

The unit review panel contains icons representing your fleet. Clicking on an icon selects a ship, double-clicking zooms the camera to that ship. Pausing the game then right-clicking on an icon opens that ship's information panel. Grouped ships are indicated by a group number and a coloured border linking them.

Naval battles are frequently a series of individual duels between ships, but there is value in maintaining formation and contact with the admiral for as long as possible. The morale-boosting effect of being close to the flagship can be passed from ship to ship, as long as they are within hailing distance of each other.

The status of a boarding action is indicated graphically via the boarding action meter floating above the ships involved.

The speed slider adjusts the speed of the battle. You can pause the game by sliding it to the bottom, and return to normal speed by sliding it up one position. The two higher positions are for double and four times speed respectively.

The formations button opens a browser from where you can select pre-set formations for the group you have selected. In the deployment phase, the selected ships will snap to their positions, whereas during battle they will take a while to sail there.

The steamship harnesses the power of steam to propel it through the water. Free of the constraints of conventional wind-powered vessels, her captain may position her in almost any way he sees fit, making her a serious contender in all but the heaviest of engagements.

The radar map in the corner of the screen shows the position of your ships, and those enemies that are visible. The plus and minus buttons allow you to zoom the map in and out.

The crescent formation is the naval equivalent of the pincer movement. Your fleet will fan out in line, with the outer ships in a progressively advanced position from the centre. Typically, larger ships form the centre, while lighter vessels position themselves on the flanks, serving to deny enemy ships room to manoeuvre. Once engaged, flanking vessels are ideally positioned to provide supporting fire.