Napoleon: Total War - The Peninsular Campaign Generals Guide

Originally posted 22 June 2010

The Peninsular War saw some of the 19th Century’s most formidable powers clash in an almighty fight for supremacy in the Spanish Peninsula. Yet it wasn’t a conflict noted for the dominating power of huge armies, but for the emergence of a new type of warfare.

France’s grip on the Peninsula wore thin under the constant harassment, unrest and ambushes brought on by Spanish guerrilla action in the region.

Set against a backdrop of David and Goliath battles – sometimes of individual men fighting against the machine of war – guerrilla warfare has, for the first time, arrived in a Total War title. Take arms!


Understanding the differences

Veteran Total War players will find more of the same warfare they know and love, but also a new challenge: increased unrest and harassment is par for the course in The Peninsular Campaign.

In order to best maximise your chances of victory, you must first understand and harness this new style of play. This useful guide will help you get to grips with a few of the new features.

Political alignment

War is a battle of minds as well as hearts. Understanding this is the key to victory in this campaign. As the French, you should strive to win the propaganda war by stirring up Pro-French nationalism. As the Spanish or British, you should subvert this by promoting Anti-French sentiment. This can be achieved using The Peninsular Campaign’s new agents and technologies.


There are three new types of agent in The Peninsular Campaign:

Priests are used by the Spanish and Portuguese nations and are spawned from religious buildings. They are used to convince the population to align themselves with the liberating British armies. This occurs simply by their presence in a region or inside a town or city. Priests can also spy passively when in the immediate proximity of an enemy and detect and reveal the position of foreign spies. Furthermore, placing these agents in a settlement will have a direct impact on the region’s public order. Friendly regions benefit from a boost in happiness; enemy regions suffer a penalty as these agents spread propaganda.

Provocateurs are either Spanish resistance members working for Great Britain in the Peninsula, or pro-Bonaparte Spaniards working for the Emperor. Their role is to persuade the local inhabitants to support either anti- or pro- French sentiment, depending on which faction you are playing. Placing these units in friendly or enemy settlements will also raise or lower happiness respectively.

Guerrilleros are fundamentally Spy agents. Their Harass ability allows them to disrupt an enemy unit with added attrition effects. They can also infiltrate enemy units, assassinate generals, incite unrest and passively spy.


There’s also a new type of military unit in this campaign. Guerrilla units can be obtained by liberating Spanish regions from the French. If you’re playing as France, watch out for them – they more than likely already have you surrounded…

Guerrillas are best used as harassing, mobile forces. The key to their success is their mobility and ability to undermine the best enemy plans. In battles, for instance, they can deploy outside their standard deployment zone in order to subvert the enemy. The element of surprise is yours! They can also hide in trees and scrubland.

Keep a look out for historical guerrilla units, based on legendary bands of guerrillas from the 19th century.


The British, in their unwavering fight against Napoleon, have committed considerable resources to vanquishing the French presence on the Peninsula, but supplying the front lines of a war on distant shores is no simple logistical task.

The British must ship in troops from overseas. As a result, they require supply ports.

The British can also receive new troops by liberating regions from French rule and handing them back to the Spanish. As a token of thanks and support, British armies will receive additional support from Guerrilla units to prop up their numbers.


New technologies can be found in The Peninsular Campaign to support you in your goals, enabling you to increase your income, spread propaganda, boost recruitment and more. Embracing technology will help you turn the tide of war against your enemy.


When vanquishing a French-held region, British players have the option to “liberate” the region, handing it back to the Spanish. In exchange for this, the player will receive Guerrilla units to help their cause.


Trade nodes provide a significant source of income to fuel your war efforts. The regions in the Spanish Peninsula have been war-ravaged since 1808 and wealth is low. As a result, shipping in supplies from colonies and protectorates in Europe, the Americas and the Mediterranean is critical to your success.

There are two types of trade node: high value and low value. High value trade nodes bring in more money, but can have fewer ships occupying them (4). Low value trade nodes are less lucrative, but can be crammed with more trade ships (8). It is your choice how you occupy these. Choose wisely!

Military Funding

Once per year, your faction will receive additional funding from allies or the homeland to aid your campaign. A lump-sum of cash can be just the ticket when trying to churn out an offensive force, but beware of spending everything and finding yourself in a position where you no longer have the funds to support your newly-acquired troops.


In The Peninsular Campaign, two players can play online or over a network, either working co-operatively to eliminate the French or working against each other to win supremacy in the region.

Useful tips

You’re almost ready to mount your charger. But before that, take a look at these useful tips:

  • Manage your population and keep a firm eye on unrest. Keep your own nationals happy and try to subvert the happiness of your enemy’s populace as much as you can.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of trade. Money is scarce and an essential component in the machine of war.
  • Don’t be disheartened if you lose a region, either due to invasion or unrest – 19th century warfare was a constantly-changing tumult – so if you lose a battle, there’s every chance you’ll still win the war.


Mark O’Connell

The Creative Assembly

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