I'm playing the main campaign with England on Empire:Total War at the moment, and I have reached a near impossible battle with pirates. Ive tried rerunning this battle multiple times using different strategies but to no avail.
The situation is that i have:
4x Colonial line infantry
1x General body guard (only 8 men)
1x Demi cannon
This adds up to me having 786 men, the pirates having 1578 men. I have near-superior troops, but the shear number of enemies is what is loosing the battle for me. The closest I have come to victoy is when I managed to flank them, killing 1206 of thier men, but losing 692 of mine. There are woods on both my flanks in which I can hide troops, which i have tried numerous times, and there is a hill toward sthe back of the battlefield on which i can place artillery.
On the campaign map, I cannot retreat, and autoresolve concludes in a total defeat.
A number of things which may help me are: at what range should i change to canister shot, and should be always using explosive shells? Should I be placing my Line Infantry in a straight line, or around the artillery to protect their flanks? Should I be attacking their general in order to affect their morale, or attempt to inlict maximum casualties?
Hopefully you guys can help, thanks.
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When you say pirate mob (armed), do you mean armed with firelocks (muskets) or armed with improvised melee weapons? If it's firelocks you mean then this won't help, but:
When faced with a larger, melee-based force I like to arrange my rifle/musketmen around my cannons, with my cavalry in the rear. If you have the 'fire by rank' or 'platoon firing' drill unlocked then I'd reccommend having your musketmen in 3 ranks.
Ideally you want to be on the hill or behind walls, as this provides an insane bonus against melee infantry. I'd suggest having your musketmen arranged in a 'horseshoe' shape around your cannons (to guard against flanking manouvres - if things get bad you can move the men on your flanks to the middle to help out), with the men standing just behind the cannons. This way, when the enemy are far away you can pound them with artillery without hurting your own men; when the enemy are closer you can switch to canister shot; and when they are in musket-range you can simply tell your cannons to hold fire and then advance your infantry so they can engage without hitting your artillery crews (slow motion helps in this situation as quick orders are required).
If possible, hide your cavalry in the forest and then hit the enemy in the back, or try and split them up so they are less effective (but watch out for friendly fire from cannons/infantry).
Explosive shells are definitely your best choice as they can massacre bunched-up infantry, though round shot is good if the enemy's flanks are exposed to your artillery as a lucky bounce-shot can take a whole rank down.
Sorry for the wall of text, hope this helps!
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Irregular since 2007.
Get the top military unlock in that tree: "Airstrike". Having a dirigible loaded with fifteen Gatling guns firing down onto the enemy helps immensely. Also use your king's magic powers. I believe England's king has "Fury of St. George", which is basically ultra-destructive bolts of molten tea fired at your enemy from the heavens above.