Combat units, what to build and when, and how best to use them?

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    • Combat units, what to build and when, and how best to use them?

      I keep seeing this come up, and time and again I have mentioned it in games, or it's mentioned in chat, and in order to not have to continually repeat myself, I hope this will clarify some things.

      You start with REGULAR units on the board, 10 total, 8 Light regular Infantry, and 2 Light Regular Cavalry. But just because you start with these units, it doesn't mean that you should play with them the entire game. The thing to remember it that all Regular units cost 2 people from your available manpower, even though it's only one unit.

      Mercenaries cost 3 people from manpower. Colonials cost only 1.

      You start the game with 75 maximum on population from your available pool of manpower. So you could conceivably have 37 troops of Regulars and nothing else.

      But I would advise against this. I have found that the most flexibility in the game is your ticket to winning games. So it's really a good idea to eventually research everything. However, to survive until then, what is the best build?

      For me, when I start a game, I pretty much have a set group of things to research. To get started the quickest, you have to start with researching Light Regular Infantry and Light Regular Cavalry. The game also requires you to have the Infantry researched first, before you can research the Cavalry. So what should you be researching first, other than these two? For me it's always going to be Mercenary Camps. When that's done, I research the level one Mercenary Infantry, and when the Regular units are done, I will start researching the Colonial Office, followed by the level one Colonial Infantry.

      I will usually then have 4 or 5 provinces build troops right away, even regulars, and be building 3 Mercenary Camps, and 1 Colonial Office.

      This means by the second day, I can already build the basic units of each. Once I have 3 mercenary camps done, I build mercenary infantry non-stop, until they're done (max troops strength). Along the way I usually build a few (one or two) colonial infantry.

      Mercenary Infantry is the best combat unit to start the game.

      By day 3, I will have also researched along the way Level one unit cap from the warfare tech tree. So by day 3 I have or are built up to 85 troops strength, along these lines: 3 Light Regular Cavalry (6), 13 Light Regular Infantry (26) , 17 Mercenary Infantry (51), & 2 Colonial Infantry (2). Unless my math is off the number in the parentheses being the total number of population for each, and the total comes to 85. If I haven't already started a war before this point, I am in excellent position to do so. Most of my Regular units and Colonial units are at this point set up to become 'picket' defense in my home land, plus defend territories after being conquered, as an unguarded territory is 28% likely to revolt on you. the 17 Mercs are my offensive punch.

      Don't become enamored of the Mercs. Their entire purpose is to die in glorious service to your empire. Have them bear the brunt of all your fighting early and often. Use them to conquer enemy provinces, and follow with garrison from regulars or colonials. As you lose mercenaries, try to keep building up colonials as since they are cheaper they are a much better unit to use as garrison troops. Along the way here then, as you take territory, add more Colonial Offices to the provinces you have.

      Colonial units are the best garrison troops that you can build in Core provinces.

      The other big thing to remember is that units do not increase their tech level on their own. If you don't make it a practice to lose units in combat as you go, then the units you have will always be of a lower value. Whereas if they die, you can therefore rebuild stronger units to replace losses.

      As a rule then, I will expend mercenaries, when I can, then rebuild Colonials to replace them and Regular units.

      As time goes by in the game, keep advancing technology on all troop types. You may have to fight an opponent at some point with a lot of Mercenaries you will have to build quick and if you failed to maintain those unit's superiority in combat, rebuilding them may be the worst thing you do.

      While I have not mentioned Native units, they are like Colonials a garrison unit. Their upkeep is even less than that of a Colonial unit, and use the same manpower or 1 each. They do take more manpower when you build them however, and as such I don't usually built them until late in a game. They do have the advantage of being the cheapest unit you can use for picket duty.

      Picket duty? This is where you use a line of troops, whose only job is to effectively be a speed bump for an invading army. They are often used along one's border to just give you a heads up that someone has pierced your line. When you set up a picket, it's best to have multiple locations of massed troops in several territories, behind your lines to be able to react to one or more invading armies. At least one of these masses should be in your capital.

      So as already pointed out, maintain your technological edge of troops, and increase the number on your unit cap, to allow you to build more units.

      The last thing you will want to do, is starting in the 5th ERA of research, under the warfare tree, you are able to research being able to build a War Office. This will allow you to otherwise exceed your normal capacity of your unit cap. Research these and start building them when you can best afford to do so.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Marzohnne ().