New World Empires features a roster of 24 different units (including ships) from the three branches: Warfare, Economy, and Colonization. Each unit type offers a set of unique features with regard to speed on different territories and strengths or weaknesses in combat with other units (or terrain). Also, civilian units like the Administrator or Colonist serve special purposes (like upgrading provinces and establishing colonies).
In order to decide which unit to recruit and bring to battle you will have to make yourself familiar with unit costs and requirements, their different battle properties, their state and behavior on different terrain types, and the available commands.
Depending on whether you set your focus on warfare, economy or colonization (see "The Basics"), your unit production will focus on different types of units to support your strategy.
The Warfare tree features a high number of specialized military units, which fall into three categories that can be unlocked in different eras.
Light Regular units are cheap and versatile but lack combat strength compared to other unit types.
Heavy Regular units are more robust and powerful but suffer from terrain weaknesses.
Modern units can only be researched in later eras but are among the strongest units in the game.
Royal Guards are overall the strongest infantry unit. They excel on every terrain but can only be produced in the capital.
The Economy tree features the strong but expensive Mercenary units, which can help you turn the tides of war - if you can afford it. In addition, this focus lets you improve your Civilian units used for administration, exploration and colonization.
Mercenary units are moderately powerful, but can be recruited very fast. However, they are expensive both in recruitment cost and upkeep.
The Administrator is a crucial unit - not only for players with an Economy focus. It allows you to upgrade province levels and states and thus manage your economy efficiently.
The Colonization tree features the versatile Colonial military units, the highly specialized Native unit as well as different civilian units, which help you set up your colonial empire.
Colonial units are comparatively weak (especially on low levels) but unexpensive. They excel on rough terrain and can only be built in colonial offices.
Natives are weak but extremely cheap units best used for garrison duty. They can only be recruited in colonies.
Explorers and Colonists are necessary prerequisites for building a colonial empire. They allow you to travel to unexplored parts of the map and establish settlements there.
Ships are used to escort troops, to secure coastlines or to engage in full-fledged naval warfare. Their construction requires both manpower and building materials.
While you will generally try to max out the unit type that matches your chosen focus, adding units from other branches to the mix will make you more flexible and help you respond to your opponents strategies. You can look up the unit types and costs as well as their advantages on different terrains in their respective info screen.
Unit Costs and Requirements
In order to recruit units, certain requirement must be met:
(1) Most units need to be researched first to be recruited at a certain level (see “Research”). Also, they may only be recruited in certain buildings.
(2) Each unit requires a certain amount of resources to produce. These systematically differ between unit types.
(3) Each unit takes a certain amount of time to produce. (This time can be reduced by leveling up the buildings that produce them.)
(4) Each non-civilian unit counts towards your maximum capacity of military units. (This cap can be increased through research and certain buildings.)
(5) Each unit comes with a daily upkeep that has to be afforded in order to keep the unit at full strength.
You can learn the details of each unit's costs and requirements by clicking on the unit icon in the unit info panel or the button in the research tab.
To decide which units to bring to a battle you should be aware of their respective battle properties.
In general, the different unit types (Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery) are interlocked in a rock-paper-scissors relation: Infantry is strong against Cavalry, Cavalry is strong against Artillery, Artillery is strong against Infantry.
The exact values (both for attacking and defending, see "Combat") can be found in the battle properties table in the unit info.
Hint: While all units adhere to the general rock-paper-scissors model described above, some follow it more closely than others. Make sure to check each units strengths and weaknesses to set up your army in the best possible way.
Finally, your units stats are relevantly effected by the terrain of the province in which they fight. The terrain information table in the unit info tells you on which terrain they perform best. While the number of hitpoints is stable across terrains (excluding water for land units) both speed and attack power either suffer a -25% or -50% penalty or are boosted by +25% or +50%.
When clicking on a unit you may choose between 5 different commands. These can be applied both to single units and stacks of units.
March moves your army to a chosen point.
Attack strikes against an enemy army/garrison.
Split splits up your army in separate stacks.
Add Target lets you choose additional targets.
Delay lets you set/cancel a march delay for your armies.
Forced March Increases march speed by 50% at a penalty of 5 morale points per hours.
You can issue commands by selecting a unit, clicking on the respective button and then selecting the target army or province. Alternatively, you can drag-and-drop units to issue either a movement or an attack command (depending on the target).
If your units cross paths with the army of an enemy player you are at war with (or when its way passes the main city in a hostile province) it will start fighting. If your army wins the fight, the remaining troops will execute the previously given command and resume moving into the original direction. If you and your ally attack a province, the army that fails to get the province first will cancel their attack.
See the next chapter "Combat" for details on how combat is resolved.