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Empire: Total War - Campaign & General Discussion
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Empire: Total War Heaven » Forums » Empire: Total War - Campaign & General Discussion » Battles aren't my problem. Keep getting stuck in the map. Campaign Tips?
Topic Subject:Battles aren't my problem. Keep getting stuck in the map. Campaign Tips?
posted 09-27-12 07:15 PM EDT (US)         
Maybe you guys can help me out. I'm a veteran of Rome and M2, and I've usually been pretty successful on those. For some reason, I keep going bankrupt within 30 turns on my campaigns in Empire, and thusly I get stomped when my armies and fleets are worn down by swarms of pirates and enemy stacks.

I usually play on Campaign Normal/Battle Hard.

My strategy is usually something like this:

Turn 1: Reduce taxes to minimum to promote early happiness and growth. Get trade agreements with everyone I can, both major and minor nations. Identify a bordering nation to conquer first, and start building armies.

I like playing as Prussia. I try to get a colony started in either Africa (by sending an army and missionary to conquer the Barbary States) or in America (by grabbing a Pirate city like Trinidad, Hispaniola, or Leeward Islands). The idea is that this will give me some decent early income to combat Austria, since they seem to be rolling in dough and have the uncanny ability to ramp up military production on a freakin' dime. With my two starting territories separated by Poland, and the reality that everyone and their uncle will hate me if I take Gdansk and/or Dresden, and I will have no exit strategies from war with Austria and Poland, and no ability to gain allies due to the web of alliances which precludes me even asking for help... I'm kind of stuck. I've tried three times and each time (despite multiple Decisive victories against Austria) they seem to regenerate far too quickly for me to match and they overwhelm my tired armies and start sieging Berlin every time within 30 or so turns. I don't know what to do.

If I could get enough cashflow to even have a 1:2 ratio of my stacks to theirs, I know I could beat them, but it seems like a five ship anti-pirate fleet in America and a 1/2-stack army in Europe is all my economy can sustain without dropping below 1,000 gold per turn income.

Any advice? How can I match them dollar for dollar and overcome their war machine?
posted 09-27-12 10:04 PM EDT (US)     1 / 2       
Prussia can't afford overseas adventures or expeditions at the beginning of the game. You have to concentrate on Europe.

There are multiple ways of playing Prussia. Briefly, you can:

1. Go to war against Austria immediately, potentially dragging Britain and the United Provinces into war against you;
2. Go to war with Poland, bringing Saxony, Courland, Russia and Denmark into war with you;
3. Try to avoid war in the first few turns.

There are added wrinkles to each of the options above. For example, if you want to fight Poland, attack Saxony instead of Poland. Saxony is a Polish protectorate, so it will make Poland declare war on you but, since Saxony has no relationship with Denmark and Russia, it won't lead to an immediate declaration of war from those countries.

I prefer option 3. Ally with Hanover, which is allied with Britain; this will protect your western border and make it unlikely that Britain will declare war on you, even if you get into a war with Austria. Getting a trade agreement with Britain will also help, and give you revenue. You can also try to ally with Denmark, though sometimes it's difficult and it will draw you into war with Sweden (which means, if Denmark loses the opening naval battles, your overseas trade will be choked by Sweden).

If you can delay war a few turns, Poland and Austria will end up fighting each other. Even when they (probably) start fighting you soon after, it helps drain their strength.

The best way to delay is to try to get trade agreements with Austria and Poland. Sometimes Poland even asks for an alliance.

Don't reduce your taxes in the first couple of turns; you should build up a sizeable treasury to pay for war and absorb any revenue shocks if your trade is blocked.

Presumably you've shuffled your ministry and sacked incompetents?

There are a couple of guides for Prussia with some of the options you can follow.

Prussia campaign overview

Prussian campaign guide

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French." - P.G. Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkins

[This message has been edited by Pitt (edited 09-27-2012 @ 10:13 PM).]

posted 11-05-12 12:12 PM EDT (US)     2 / 2       
The problem I have found with following that campaign guide is it seems to cause a cascade of war declarations with any country that speaks German as well as making Sweden and Courland unhappy at least. So in addition to putting down rebellions in some of those newly conquered countries, I end up fighting off irate neighbours south and east of Prussia.

Life was much easier before I developed a sense of ethics.
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