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Welcome to our third preview for Napoleonic Total War 2! We're covered Infantry and Cavalry in the two previous preview, so now it is time to discuss the third branch of a Napoleonic-era army: The Artillery. In addition, we've included information about our General or "Command" units.

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Welcome to our third preview for Napoleonic Total War 2! We're covered Infantry and Cavalry in the two previous preview, so now it is time to discuss the third branch of a Napoleonic-era army: The Artillery. In addition, we've included information about our General or "Command" units.

You still can view the older previews here:

1. Infantry Preview
2. Cavalry Preview


"It is with artillery war is made"

The artillery was one of the most distinguished and celebrated arms in the Napoleonic war theatre. It truly was an intimidating, well-oiled killing organisation. Napoleon was an artillery man before he was an Emperor. He understood the power and effectiveness of cannon and their ability to pulverise defences, reduce fortresses, destroy attacks, pound the enemy lines and crush morale. By massing guns together in great batteries, artillery was capable of causing great havoc by literally carving a path through enemy lines. Guns also greatly influenced troops morale, as shells burst overhead and roundshot smashed its way through the men beside you. It can be said that artillery won many a battle for Napoleon.

[size=3]French Artillery[/size]

The French artillery has always considered among the best. Almost all improvements made in gunnery, during the last three or four centuries, originated with the French. New guns were designed for more rapid movements, on and off the roads. The new Gribeauval system, created by famed French artillery theorist Jean-Baptiste de Gribeauval, stressed mobility, hitting power and accuracy, as well as a standardisation of artillery across the army.

Napoleon expected excellence and competence from his gunners, and he got it. The French artillery became superior to every national artillery arm in Europe. French horse and guard artillery in particular enjoyed a great reputation.

During the Russian campaign the artillery suffered horrible losses in horses and equipment. After 1812 the quality of French artillery, like many other arms of the French military, began to gradually decrease.

[size=3]Russian Artillery[/size]

The Russians were fond of their artillery, convinced that theirs was one of the best in Europe. Indeed, their artillery was efficient, and up-to-date in its equipment, horses and training... and there was a lot of it. They hated losing their artillery so much that personnel leaving their pieces in battle would be executed afterwards!

The main difference between the French and Russian Allies artillery was not in the quality of gunners or guns but in the fact that Napoleon used artillery offensively, while for the Allies the main purpose of artillery was to defend cavalry and infantry. Napoleon's artillery prepared the way for the final blow that would decide the battle. The Russians saturated their battle line with numerous guns, making it difficult to break through. They also kept a strong artillery reserve in case of an emergency.

By 1814 the Russian foot artillery was considered to be one of the best in the field.

[size=3]ARTILLERY TYPES[/size]

Field artillery was divided in two categories: foot artillery and horse artillery. Foot artillery was really expected to walk. In the horse artillery, all crew were mounted and they used lighter guns that were pulled by more horses. Its main function was speed and rapid deployment.

The main guns used on the field of battle are cannons and howitzers. The cannons were longer-barrelled, low-trajectory weapons designed for a direct-fire role. The howitzers were typically shorter-barrelled. They were capable of both high- and low-angle fire, and were most often employed in a close indirect-fire role, firing over obstacles like trees, woods, buildings, villages and hills.

The field artillery during the Napoleonic Wars was distinguished by the weight of the projectile. It included 12-, 8-, 6-, 4-, and 3-pound guns. Each gun, heavy or light, had its advantages and disadvantages.

For example when firing canister, the 12-pounder cannon had almost double the effect compared with a 6-pounder cannon. The 6-pounder can, however, be fired quicker than the 12-pounder with a ratio of approximately 3 to 2. The 12-pounder has less projectiles in its ammunition waggons, and these are heavier than the ones for 6-pounder cannon. To meet the requirements for more projectiles the battery of 12-pounders needs bigger amount of ammunition waggons. The more waggons needed, the more horses and drivers were needed. The more men and horses, the more space they take on road and battlefield, becoming a bigger target for enemy's artillery. The heavier cannon requires more men to limber and unlimber it. The 12-pounder can fire its cannonball further than the lighter 6-pounder cannon and the projectile is heavier, thus causing more damage, especially to walls, buildings, trees.

Due to some modding limitations we could not make all artillery as we wanted. Sadly proper horse artillery and different speeds are not something we could implement yet. But we still found a good mix:

12 Pounder

The 12-pounder is your main heavy long range piece of field artillery. It is capable of firing both roundshot and canister. As your ammunition is not unlimited use it wisely. Its main purpose is to hammer your enemy at the right time and at the right place. Due to its longer range it will be one of the first units that will begin hostilities, so deploy them carefully.

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Historically 12-pounders were the most important and heaviest field guns, both feared and cheered. Napoleon nicknamed them "His beloved children."

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6 Pounder

The 6-pounder is your lighter field piece. It has a shorter range but a greater rate of fire to compensate. It is capable of firing both roundshot and canister. As your ammunition is not unlimited use it wisely. Use it to decimate oncoming troop formations, or to defend bridges or other strong points. If you can position and move them quickly they can be as deadly as their heavier brothers.

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Historically the 6-pounder was a very versatile gun; it was a rapid firing, lighter and easier to move cannon. 6 pound guns were used throughout the Napoleonic Wars by every nation.

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Howitzers have a short barrel and are the only field pieces capable of firing explosive shells in an high arc. It is capable of firing both common shell as well as canister. As your ammunition is not unlimited use it wisely. Use it to fire on large and grouped formations, firing over obstacles, or setting structures on fire; indeed, some commanders will use it to just bombard anything they feel needs a bit of destruction!

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Historically howitzers were normally attached to cannon batteries and came in a wide variety of calibres. One of the most typical was the Russian unicorn, which was a mix between a cannon and howitzer.

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[size=3]AMMUNITION TYPES[/size]

The effects of Napoleonic artillery fire on humans could be terrifying. While modern weapons may or may not tear and rend, artillery roundshot was virtually guaranteed to cause dramatic and gory casualties.
The cannonballs themselves were subsonic, lobbed slowly through the air, loudly whistling as they approached. Even at the end of its effective range, rolling shot would bowl men over and cause widespread injury. If flying shot hit a horse, it was not just a matter of the horse falling over; the ball might strike the saddlebags, scattering the contents in every direction as the horse went spinning, splattering pieces of the animal closely behind the chunks of leather and cloth. At close range, artillery fire would punch holes straight through entire sections of units. During the battle of Waterloo, British artillery fired "double shot" charges (one charge of cannister backed up by a round of shot) at point blank range into advancing French heavy cavalry. In one case, the entire front rank of cavalry was taken down, stopping the assault only because none of the following troops could make their way over the heaving pile of men and horses to their front!

Artillery used a wide variety of ammunition during the Napoleonic Wars (even chemical fire bombs and lightning balls were used) but the primary ammunition types are explained below.


-Roundshot was the standard ammunition. Basically it was a cast iron spherical cannonball. It has a very high velocity resulting in a virtually flat trajectory. When fired a side effect was the "ricochet firing": the cannonball began bouncing over the terrain creating huge damage to anything that lay in its path.

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It is especially effective against deep formations, because the cannonball can cut through 5 or more ranks of men, punching through them in a most destructive manner. However, the flat trajectory makes the projectile quite useless on a bumpy battlefield, especially against units stationed behind a hill or slope. If no cover is present, the best way to protect your men against roundshot is to deploy them in 2 ranks, thus minimising the casualties taken from each hit.


-Canister, or case shot, was a tin cylinder stacked full of smaller balls almost the size of musket balls and covered with an iron lid. The diameter of the balls inside the "can" or "case" could vary in diameter. There was canister designed for shorter range (light case or canister) or longer range (heavy case or canister.) When fired, the effect is that of a giant shotgun blast. Canister is essentially short-range anti-personnel ammunition.

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It has a wide area of effect and can cut through several ranks, but it's range is very short compared to roundshot. However, it is extremely deadly from close range against targets incapable of forming loose formation (= all infantry except for lights). Canister makes attacking an enemy position protected by artillery very dangerous. The best way is to try and take out the crew members with light infantry (operating in loose formation), or getting close as soon as possible, to pin down the gun crews. Leaving your men exposed to canister fire for too long will have a profound and, for your men, rather negative effect on the outcome of the battle.


-Grapeshot was smaller balls or other objects such as nails or pieces of metal packed in ropes or other material. This package of balls tied together with rope looked a lot like a bunch of grapes, that is where the name comes from. When fired it had the same effect as canister, although it had a much smaller range as the objects would spread out immediately after leaving the barrel.

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Grapeshot was the predecessor of canister and originated from the Navy, and has basically the same function as canister. It will not be available in the game, as canister does the job better.

Common Shell

-The basic shell was a fused round iron shell filled with gunpowder. The fuses could be adjusted and self ignited inside the barrel when the shell was fired. When fired the shell would explode after a certain amount of time, depending on the setting of the fuse, spreading metal shrapnel over a vast area.

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Shells are fired by howitzers. The howitzer launches the projectile in a high arc, unobstructed by hills or buildings. The shell then explodes over the heads of the enemy, showering them with shards of metal. The downside is its low accuracy, meaning it is only effective on a large mass of enemy units. Because of its high arc, the weapon is very effective against dug-in defenders. The only way to protect yourself against this threat is to spread out your forces, even if that means leaving an otherwise great defencive position, or simply prevent the howitzers from getting within range, which can be done with cannons if the terrain offers no protection for the howitzer crews.


-Shrapnel or spherical case was an invention of the British artillery officer Henry Shrapnel. It was also fused but had a much thinner shell and was filled with balls mixed with gunpowder. It was the only long-range anti-personnel ammunition and a great improvement. When fired it would explode like a shell just above or in front of troops and spray them with musket balls.

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Shrapnel was exclusively used by the British and it was truly one of their best kept secrets. It was a very versatile ammunition, able to be fired by cannon or howitzer. Logically, we hope to introduce it as a special feature for British artillery in the next Waterloo expansion.

[size=4]GENERALS & OFFICERS[/size]

Their names are legend; Ney, Bonaparte, Kutuzov, Wellington, Soult. Commanding officers were the dominant personalities in Napoleonic war. A thoughtful strategy, tactical skill, a good knowledge of terrain, careful deployment, sharp movement and capable blending of all arms of the army; a combination of these skills and abilities will eventually lead you to either victory and glory or utter defeat.

[size=3]French General[/size]

French Generals and officers differed in one significant aspect to other nations; they were chosen for their skill and did not merely take rank by right of birth. Napoleon stated: "Every soldier carries a Marshal's baton in his backpack." French Generals came from all ranks of society; the only requirement was that they were up to the job. The common soldier could identify more with him as he often was just one of their own. In general French Generals were of excellent quality. And due to the twenty years of ongoing wars against almost every European nation, most of them were hardened veterans. French officers were fighting officers, often close to the front ranks. The downside to this was that many were wounded or killed in battle. The horrendous loss of capable officers in Russia was a severe blow to the French military in later years.

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[size=3]Russian General[/size]

Russian Generals and officers were almost all of noble birth. Most came from the higher echelons of society or had direct ties to the Russian court. Typical of the Russians was the high percentage of foreigners among their commanding officers. They imported many good and capable from all across Europe. The Russian officers had absolute power over their troops and ruled with an iron fist, their authority was never questioned. They simply had to be obeyed. Quality varied from very capable fighting commanders and good administrators to officers really not worthy of any commission at all.

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[size=3]Function in Napoleonic Total War 2[/size]

Morale always plays a big role in battle. Officer units will boost the morale of nearby units, and have a "Command" special ability to strengthen morale even more. This ability only works when the officers are not moving and not engaged with the enemy. Here also lies your dilemma; place your officers too close to the front and they risk being killed, but on the other hand they will greatly enhance the fighting spirit of nearby troops. Use them with care and you will have a great advantage.


All movies require Quicktime to watch: Apple Quicktime

[size=3]Artillery Trailer[/size]

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High quality

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(right click > save target as...)

[size=3]Cavalry Trailer[/size]

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High quality

Medium quality

Low quality

(right click > save target as...)

Note: We would have loved to implement all the animations in the game that are seen in the trailers, but so far without the game developers support it was simply out of reach.


The Lordz

sickre - - 208 comments

Excellent - this mod has overtaken RTR 7.0 as the RTW mod I am most looking foward to.

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