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Battle Tactics

01/01/09 : Page updated.

This wiki game can be played with any rules the players agree between themselves.

Information here may help to explain a few of the common ntw2 rules.

Most wiki Campaigns are now played with only TWO rules :
1 NO shooting blocks - except for Light Infantry in OPEN order, who are allowed to be more than 4 ranks deep.
2 NO embedded artillery.

No "Embedded Artillery" rule - what does this mean ?.

Due to a game engine fault, the cannon balls leave the cannons some distance in FRONT of the end of the cannon, this allows you to shoot though friendly troops, without killing them - if the cannons are placed like in the RED circle in the picture below. This also means it's impossible to attack or even fire on the cannon crew.

Placing the cannons IN FRONT of the Infantry, like in the GREEN circle, is fine, and this is what most players do.

Artillery should never be placed as per the RED circle as this is taking advantage of the game engine "cheat".


NO shooting blocks

Infantry in any formation that is MORE than 4 ranks deep is considered a SHOOTING BLOCK.
Players should make their best attempt to keep infantry shooting in THREE ranks as below.


THREE ranks deep (above) is the preferred and highly recommenced formation for Infantry in line to shoot.

Why SHOOTING INFANTRY BLOCKS is such a "big deal".

Because it gives a very unfair playing advantage to any player that uses it. A very simple, somewhat extreme example of this would be if one Infantry unit in the MAXIMUM permitted 4 deep line formation (30 wide, 4 deep, 120 total) were faced along the same frontage by 3 units that were each 10 wide by 12 deep then the SAME amount of men, 120, should be shooting at each other but in this case 120 men are "shot" at by 360.

Although a very simple view of this situation it is quite clear the men in the rear ranks of these (Green) formations would NOT be able to shoot through all their own men and hit the (Blue) line. Only those circled in red would really have any chance to shoot. Even this is generous but required for game play reasons.

The 4th rank can be used but it is only there as a safeguard to making errors during some fast and frantic game play where three ranks can be deployed as four in error as shown below left. Players wishing to play with a FULL 4 ranks as shown below right may do so.


What should not be seen is FOUR ranks deep and even ONE SINGLE MAN in a 5th rank. The object is to play with 3 rank deep formations for shooting with an "acceptable margin or error" of a 4th rank.

Please note this rule also applies to LIGHT INFANTRY units that are deployed in an "open" formation as per the picture below.

It also applies to all troops in towns. If you can't get your infantry into 3 ranks inside a town then turn please turn off the Fire At Will button.

SPECIAL RULE : In battles using the CB mod, there is NO limit to how deep lights in OPEN order may be to shoot. This was discussed on the nwg forum and it was agreed by everyone using CB that a "special" case would be made with LIGHTS in OPEN order - 4 deep does NOT apply as it does in the normal version of ntw2.[g24,21/11/08]

Please see the diagram below for a common Shooting Block (SB) problems.
This should not be allowed to happen if the rules state NO shooting Blcoks.


In the picture below there are 4 Infantry units in the woods in reserve COLUMNS. These units MUST have Fire At Will (FAW) turned off so they do NOT shoot at any attacking Cavalry that may approach along the blue lines attacking the artillery.


The picture below shows a close up of the guys above waiting in the woods - if you need them to shoot they must be in LINE formation a maximum 4 ranks deep, if they are in COLUMN please ensure that FAW is turned off.


Guard Mode (GM)

When GM is used there will be some fire in melee (FiM) take place.

Attacking units that are weaker than the defending unit, will be shot at in melee, because the defending unit has more men than the attacker, so the attacker can not engage all the defenders men in hand to hand fighting. Those men not engaged in fighting hand to hand will shoot, as they are free to do so.

If 60 Cavalry men fight 120 Infantry men hand to hand, they are out numbered 2 to 1 ?. After the charge 60 men can not engage 120 men, so the Infantry men not engaged will shoot. If they are not fighting hand to hand with the Cavalry what are they doing?. Rather than stand doing nothing, they use their muskets and shoot at the enemy.

When NO GM is used then the weaker attacking unit may win because the defender is not prepared to stand and fight as GM is off. GM on is the thing that makes your guys stand and fight - without it on, they won't. GM is designed into the game for just such events, it's for use when you want you men to carry on fighting - and not to rout early.

With GM on a charge will still work, it happens in all GM allowed games all the time, it's just that you need to be sure your attacking unit is stronger than the defending one and that the defending unit is close to breaking. GM ON games can see one or two cavalry units roll up whole lines BUT not before they have been weakened by musket and artillery fire first.

A question to ask, how many times did fresh troops with no loses ever break when charged ?.

Listed below are some of the basic's that might help new players get used to the ntw2 style of play.
  • Always ensure that Artillery batteries are well protected - they can be lost in seconds by fast Cavalry attacks if left ungaurded, they are at most danger when moving around the battlefield.
  • Keep Infantry and Cavalry formations in thin lines (2,3 or 4 ranks deep) if they are under Artillery fire, massed columns will get more damaged than thin lines.
  • Keep your General out of harms way unless your prepared to risk him being lost. The General with a Cavalry Reserve in the rear may be a good idea. Many players take great pleasure in "General hunting" with fast Light Cavalry - protect him, or lose him.
  • Attempt to get your Artillery shooting at it's target from the flank, shooting "down the line" will register more kills than firing from the front.
  • Artillery are best set up on the rear of a slope just below the top, this way they can fire and get protection from counter battery fire.
  • Save some Artillery ammo for "cannister" fire (unless against the rules) in the later stages of the battle, as cannister fire can be a game winner and most players will keep some ammo back for this reason.
  • Unless it's part of an all out charge don't allow Infantry to "stand" in front of Artillery in cannister range - they will be destroyed very quickly.
  • Generally it's best not to attack cannons head on, unless with overpowering numbers.
  • Try to attack Infantry with Cavalry from the flank (or even better the rear) and not head on.
  • To fight off Cavalry attacking your Infantry try to have the Infantry support each other so when one gets charged the other will shoot into the attacking Cavalry while they fight hand to hand.
  • When defending woods set up so that the enemy has to move though them to get to you, the slow movement through the trees will result in higher loses for that side.
  • When Light Infantry are deployed in open order take care to not let them get to far ahead of the main line - Lights in open order can be swept up by any Cavalry in moments with LoV rules and NO guard mode (GM) allowed.
  • When charging into melee ensure as many men as possible make contact at the same time, othewise Fire in Melee (FiM) may occure without any player control. This is best avoided in woods as contact is not "clean" and many case's of FiM happen in wooded area's - they are strongly in favour of the defending player who remains stationary and shooting while the other side move slowly through the trees.
  • Don't charge unless the defending unit has been weakened first - this is important with LoV rules but vital if GM is being used.

01/01/09 Small page change, re the most commom Wiki Campaign rules/top of page. [Gunner24]
10/09/08 No embedded arty rule added, with picture [Gunner24]
29/05/08 General help and advice added [Gunner24]
29/04/08 Guard Mode info added. [Gunner24]
13/11/07 Page amended to shooting blocks information ONLY. [Gunner24]
11/11/07 Page amended [Gunner24]
11/10/07 - Page changed to better explain some SB and GM issues. [Gunner24]
24/08/07 - Major change to the whole GUARD MODE subject following new information !. [Gunner24]
17/08/07 - Changes to GM comments. [Gunner24]
02/08/07 - Addition and change to GM subject. [Gunner24]
Version 2.0 31st July 2007 - Changed to a new wiki site and amended all links [Gunner24]
Change details will appear here [g24]
Version 1.0 31th July 2007 [Gunn24}