"He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat."
The Conquest of the New World
The French are attempting to colonise the Americas.
Napoleon began his career as an artillery officer. Here four French cannon pound an enemy fort. Artillery should never venture outside the catchment area of a supply wagon. This is especially true for the French, since their wagons will heal all friendly troops within the vicinity.
With their greatest foe eliminated, the French are now able to turn their attention to wiping out the remaining Native American tribes, since the Americans were denied their 'divine right' to achieve this genocide for themselves. Defeating the British Crown feels oddly euphoric.
Napoleon himself is to lead four regiments into battle: small formations of eight infantry types each.
The fate of a Nation may sometimes depend upon the position of a fortress. Build forts along areas you wish to defend - the narrower the better. Garrison the forts until they are at maximum strength, and then deploy your forces behind them until you are ready to attack. A fully-manned fort can do a lot of damage to enemy forces, and providing you have enough citizens on hand to effect repairs, you can slowly but surely wear down entire enemy armies. Should they bring their artillery to bear (which always outranges forts), advance your forces to where they can return fire; always keep within range of the fort otherwise the advantage is lost.
The line of battle is advanced towards the border. Make sure to keep your formations in line, lest a flank should become exposed.
Contact is made with a force of dragoons guarding the general staff. The 3rd Infantry holds fast as the 2nd, positioned on its left flank, wheels to bring their muskets into action. The 1st Infantry are far to the right of the map, and whilst the enemy is distracted with the force encountered here (and hopefully directs their reserves toward it), they will make a quick grab for an outlying city. Once a city comes under attack, the enemy will usually immediately withdraw from wherever else they are engaged, and redirect their forces towards the besieged settlement. If you can keep the enemy on their toes in this way, and make sure their forces spend as much time in transit as in combat, you will be able to bring a higher concentration of force against them.
The 1st, as aforementioned, begins bombardment. Napoleon watches over the guns, and the enemy immediately withdraws from battling the 2nd and 3rd to shuffle their forces east to meet this new threat. By the time they arrive the town will be taken.
The 1st, as you can see from the minimap, took its objective and is defending the town. Since the enemy withdrew to attempt an ill-fated relief operation, the way was opened for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Infantry, who are now laying siege to the next city. Keep pressing forward, and the enemy will find it increasingly difficult to raise fresh levies to counter you. The 4th Infantry's right flank is exposed; the enemy seems to have noticed this and is sending, rather haphazardly, their reserves into action against it.
Naval transports are extremely vulnerable to enemy shipping, so guard them well, at a distance. Keep them in line before they disembark, to prevent a disorderly rabble on the beach. Only a disciplined landing will have any effect. Amphibious assaults are a tough call to make in Rise of Nations, but as you can see on this map, sometimes they are your only option for victory.
The forces have landed and taken up defensive positions. Never attempt to maintain supply lines across an expanse of ocean. Get to work building barracks, stables and siege factories immediately. A fortress outside the town won't hurt either, since you will likely lose your naval forces in a counterattack (the AI will outbuild you). Don't worry too much if your navy is decimated - your forces are established on the ground, and your attention should never stray from them. Build forts and towers directly overlooking naval facilities, and put into docks your ships - the forts can protect them in the same way they protect ground forces.
The beachhead is being slowly extended, and the navy is able to offer much-needed support from the shore. The enemy are desperate to drive from the island the invasion force, and are attacking with such ferocity that a double line is needed to keep them at bay, despite the bombardment from the fleet.
On this map the strategy outlined above has brought us to the gates of Fort Nassau, where a line of infantry and cannon is laying siege to the Dutch colonial capital.
These forces are given defensive duties, and are healing beside a fort whilst the battle continues in other sectors. If your forces are stationed for any length of time within their own territory, never fail to entrench them. Should they encounter a suprise attack, their defensive efforts will be greatly enhanced. All you need is a general officer nearby to offer the requisite command: "Entrench!"
Here the enemy finds itself trapped between two formations, and will be destroyed in a short space of time. The forces deployed to do this need to be repositioned immediately, since they themselves are totally exposed on the flanks. Tactical victories like this can make the difference between victory and defeat. Outwitting the AI isn't difficult.
With their forces taken care of, there is no longer any resistance along the border, and the enemy's forts can be reduced quickly. Two cannons per fort are being deployed, since I am sure there is time enough to destroy them before the enemy can regroup.
Forces caught in the water, or on an uphill slope, are more vulnerable to fire. Here my forces are not only entrenched on the high ground, they also have a tower to offer protection. The enemy are dying and the river will run red with their blood. As you can see from the minimap, enemy territory has been cut in two.
This is how to guard a river. A fort is under construction as forces are entrenched, supported by the Emperor and eight batteries of cannon. The enemy will only retake this city with great loss.
An army quick on its feet can be everywhere at once. An infantry formation has quickly redeployed (generals can 'force march' units in their radius) and the enemy will now be caught in a crossfire as they attempt to halt the invasion of their territory. The trees and water offer complete protection for both flanks of each formation. The further the enemy advances, the greater the firepower they will encounter.
As you can see, each soldier is firing his musket, and the grey smoke begins to cloud the line. The enemy, foolishly sending their troops in adhoc, rather than waiting to form up in force, are dying, without making any progress whatsoever. As this is happening, I am collecting reserves in the rear.
Mayapan is surrounded, and sadly, the New World will fall under the yoke of French Imperialism.
The families of the many thousands of dead, wounded and dying will perhaps not appreciate the piles of gold the Emperor has secured in his bloody war of conquest.
This desert skirmish took place against two enemy AI. To begin my assault, I paraded six full infantry brigades.
Here my forces are positioned with great care to guard the rear of the attack on a city. The river is also used; I know the enemy will rush their troops to relieve the city, and they will use this route. When they do, they will be fired upon from the front, and from across the water.
Here is the result: enemy corpses are piling up without a single loss.
Not one for monarchy myself.
Napoleon's Imperial Guard is on the frontlines outside Wagram.
Subtle diplomacy: Corsica was gifted to the Russians in exchange for better territory. The British are conquered, again!
Napoleon leads his troops through the Arc de Triomphe as the world is conquered.