Object of the Game
In each scenario, the goal is to conquer your enemy's base without having your own stronghold defeated. You win a scenario if you defeat the army protecting the enemy's base. You lose if your own base is conquered by the enemy forces, or if all regiments of your army (excluding the regiment protecting your own base, since it's incapable of moving from its post) are defeated in battle.
Items on the Map
Here's an overview of the various icons that appear on the overworld map screen:
- Blue men
- It goes without saying that the soldiers dressed in blue represent regiments of the French army - the troops that you command using your mouse, er, Control Pad.
- Gray men
- Usually dressed in gray, these are the soldiers you're fighting against. If one of your regiments moves into a space occupied by an opposing regiment, you'll trigger a battle. Different opposing regiments follow different patterns. Some will hover around the enemy's base, never straying very far from the area they're defending. Others will randomly wander around the countryside. These are the least dangerous enemies, but some of these will scoop up the "items" you're trying to attain. The most dangerous battalions will head directly to your own base. Leave a regiment or two near your stronghold to discourage that sort of attack.
- White men
- The white soldiers on the world map are neutral forces. These defectors or mercenaries, which always remain stationary, can be recruited to join your army simply by touching them in any direction. While these guys will give your regiment a very nice boost, you want to meet up with them as quickly as possible - because they're just as happy joining up with the enemy army!
- The small towns on the map don't grant you any direct reward for occupying them, although the townspeople will never fight or resist your visit. However, if you park a regiment there for a while, you'll gradually recruit (conscript?) new soldiers for your army. These men will always play the role of standard foot soldiers instead of a stronger unit, but this strategy can still be very useful for replenishing a regiment that's been decimated by previous battles, or to build up your strength before attacking an enemy base. This is especially important in scenarios like the Spanish Peninsular War where there are many towns but few opportunities for recruiting neutral fighters.
- These large cities are the bases for each army. It's easy to tell which stronghold is controlled by each army - your headquarters is manned by a blue-clad officer, while the enemy base is represented by an officer wearing the apparel of the enemy (usually, gray). The strongholds are usually protected by large armies - often numbering over 100 units. That said, try not to allow the enemy to attack your base, because if they win the ensuing battle, it's all over. On the other hand, invading the enemy's base is tricky, because there are usually several regiments patrolling it. Send at least two regiments to distract them or wipe out one of the battalions shielding it, although if you're lucky, you might be able to sneak through the blockades on the world map. Stay alert and make your move when one of the guards moves away.
- Horses, cannons
- These icons will increase the cavalry or artillery forces of the regiment that touches them. These can be helpful, but it's not necessarily wise to go well out of your way to obtain these. This is especially true with the War of the Fifth Coalition, where many of these can only be collected by crossing steep mountains.
Traversing Tough Terrain
It's possible to cross any type of terrain in this game. However, traveling over forests and gentle mountains (which are light brown) will slow your progress slightly, and steep mountains (which have a darker brown hue) and water are quite difficult to cross. Worse, if you spend too much time traversing difficult terrain, you run the risk of losing soldiers because of defection, injury, or illness.
The same goes for the battle screen - you can get past any obstacle if you're patient enough, but if you're in a hurry, steer clear of trees, rocks, and so forth, unless you can blast them away with a cannon.