Monday, August 29, 2011

Napoleon: That's Egypt done, can I be Emperor now please?

Following a very rocky start the remainder of the Napoleon Total War Egypt campaign was something of an anticlimax. I faced no more rebellions and by garrisoning my conquests with a couple of units of militia I found I could keep them subdued if not entirely happy. Napoleon's sojourn in the South of Egypt was time consuming but worth it in the end because one Southern Egypt was pacified neither the Bedouin's nor the Mamelukes managed to raise a significant force again. Most surprisingly the time limit was more generous than expected and by January 98 Napoleon's grande armee had worked its way from Awlad in the South West corner all the way to Tyre and was only a few turns from taking Damascus itself with a whole year to do it in. The Ottoman's proved a tougher enemy than the Mamelukes with several large combined forces well supported with artillery. By this stage though I had built the Grand Armee up to a full stack of experienced troops and the Ottoman's never had a chance. The only point of note is that after sitting quietly for most of the game the Ottomans made multiple sorties to try and recapture towns just as I approached Damascus and the end of the scenario. I am pretty sure this was scripted as they went for victory condition towns but it was too little too late.

French artillery again warrants a special mention. I never bothered upgrading Napoleon's two units 6-lber cannon  even though I was often faced with larger numbers of heavier pieces from my Ottoman adversaries. What the six pounders lacked in firepower and distance was more than compensated by their high accuracy. With veterancy bonuses I had 88% accuracy with the 6-lbers as opposed to the miserable 37% accuracy of the Ottoman's big 18-lbers. I am sure a human opponent could exploit the  limited range of the 6-lbers to punish me but it never seemed to occur to the AI.

The hardest objective in the scenario was the optional one of pushing the British from Cyprus. I put this off for most of the game because I was afraid of Nelson's massive fleet but in the end I was able to sneak and army past him using a decoy. The battle against the redcoats on the island itself was easily the most challenging of the game.

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