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Anno 1404 - Ultimate Combat Guide (History Edition)

Written by tactical clapping   /   Updated: August 10, 2021    


Are you tired of guy forcas *exploiting your weakness* as you struggle to keep your economy afloat? well, dont worry! This guide is here to make a 14th century Napoleon from even the smoothest of peasant brains!

Definitive Guide to Combat



First: Survival



Every great army comes forth from a great mob of peasantry, before your able to put a sword in their hands you will need to build up their hovels to a certain standard of living. now dont be discouraged! you will have some time before your fellow players come to dispise your existance, use it wisely. dont invest in things you wont need, such as shipyard, stone roads or tournament grounds, instead give your people the bare minimum to survive.

The goal is 21 partisans. for this; two fishing huts, 3 cider farms, 2 hemp farms and a weavers hut should be enough to keep 1 marketplace semi-full of houses stocked.

Once you finaly recieve your particans, it is imperative to build a keep as quickly as possible as your fellow players will likely evolve with you within the next few minutes.

It is highly adviced to buy the glass and weapons from lord richard as building glass production your self costs precious time and money. weapons are needed in mass however, so its often worth it making a production chain for that depending if the weapon trade is lacking. in the next chapter, youll find ways to defend yourself during this most crucial stage of your game.

Second: Early Advantages



A lot can happens while you build up your forcess, luckely theres many ways to deal with unwanted suprises, heres a list of *self-defensive* measures you can use may the need arise.

Peasants Power

  • You are able to call in auxiliary fleets with honor points from 3 of the neutral harbors, these include; armed venitian trade ships (500 honor). two small oxidental warships (400honor). And one large oriental warship (600 honor). These can be upgraded later on with attainments, though the honor is better spend spamming these buttons in the diplomacy menu.
  • There are two types of neutral powers that provide soldiers regardless of population level. The rober barons castle, which sells you his slow but tanky troops for beer and gold. And the assasins fortress which sells you his hard hitting but squishy assasin encampments for hemp and coffea. Though both these troops demand advanced goods, these can be stolen from sunk ships if your lucky (perhaps making a little luck of your own with auxiliary fleets). If not, there is a small chance that corsair treasure maps give you the goods you need, though its not adviced if you are still defensless. once you have the goods you can keep buying them at your warehouse from passing ships.
  • A good fleet needs a good carpenter. al zahir and hassan sell such man for a 100 honor each, though you likely only need one, which you can swap between ships untill you have the resources to make a harbor repaire crain.

Citizen supremacy

  • Harbor towers are an exilent way to discourage the wayward pirate raid or angry imperail ships should you choose not to pay tribute, though beware! as they do add to your unit cap and enemy castles can still be build upon stone shores.
  • Boarding is an exilent way to get more ships, only costing 50 honor, hassans men will gladly bring enemy ships into the fold, the item is quite common aswell, so if you did pay off the corsairs at this point and bought an oriental warship, you might be best off expanding your fleet this way if honor is scarser then time. Just make sure you dont board any ships carrying armys across the map, as it will bug out your ships, making them easy to kill and leaving the army itself unhinderd.
  • Espionage! No war was ever one without casual villiany, if you have money to spare, a base of operations and harras your enemies with plague, riots, fire and corruption. Though AI players can easily recover from this, they can clear some unwanted houses, making space for small military camps to conquer tightly build makretplaces.

Prolonging Partisans

  • If you want to buy time, reaching a single partisan house gives you plenty! walls can not be broken down by normal armies, and need special siegeweapons unlocked by nobleman. Beware however! Ships can fire at buildings to close to the coast, and walls outside your build range will quickly deteriorate.
  • Towers and gates are usefull, but dangerous. They may be weak but with enough of them no enemy army can lay a hand upon your lands, not only that, but they can be build on the edge of conquered territory to serve as siege towers! keep in mind though that when they do fall, they will take a good chunk of your walls with them. It might be wise to build some walls infront of them aswell so normal armies cant target them for attack.
  • Repaire crains are very usefull becouse of their ability not just to repaire ships, but every unit or building in its radius, armies included! you will only realy need one, but its still a great form of respite for your armies.

Finally: Combat



Time to admit it, Anno 1404 combat is rather boring. But luckely it does get better on a larger scale.

First off, the basics: once your keep is build and you have enough weapons, gold and unit cap (which scales with your population) you are able to place an army selected from your keep. There are 8 types of armies available:

  • Small Military Camps (partisans)
  • Large Military Camps (partisans)
  • Trebuchet Positions (nobleman)
  • Robber Barons Encampment (any)
  • Assasins Encampment (any)
  • Oriental Military Camps (Envoys)
  • Oriental Miners (Envoys)
  • Oriental Cannon Positions (Envoys/Nobleman)

The names are rather self explanitory. All of these units have their own stats, namely: Upkeep Cost, Attack Power, Health and takeover speed. The latter being how fast a camp camp take over trading posts/market buildings. though they cant take over sultans mosques, cathedrals and palacess. this is afcourse how to advance your conquest on an enemy island untill all its building space belongs to you.

Each of these units will have 4 abilities: attack, move, reanforce and cancel. The first two are obvious, reanforce lets you help another encampment that is under attack and cancel makes it stop whatever its doing; if moving it stops and makes a camp, if attacking it returns to it. Both encampments and ships can be destroyed by pressing the delete button.

Now for the battle itself

This all takes an immense amount of time depending on your capture speed, the more armies are near a trading post or market, the quicker it gets captured however.

First you will have to send your armies to sea, simply select the *move* button and use it on the water near your harbor, your army will go there in the form of a ship.

Now you will need a bridgehead and there are two ways to do this: eather build a warehouse with one of your combat/trading ships or make a castle with one of your army ships. Ipersonaly prefere warehouses since they can use items that boost your armies effectiveness and also doesnt cost any unit cap (unlike the castle).

Next you will have to move your armies one by one into position. preferebly outside the range of enemy towers and inside the range of trading posts.

In the grand scheme of things it is best to have a solid line of encampment slowly encroutching upon the land, making sure everything behind it is fully captured.

Enemy troops will try to stop you, so be sure to reanforce the ranks as you see fit, just remember that troops under attack cannot move away.

Slowly your starting to reach the city walls, these are often lined with towers with their keep in the middle. First you will need to destroy the towers whilest keeping out of range of the keeps crossbowman untill it lacks the force to resist you. When you ready, send an all out assult upon the enemy keep, if you succeed (and it doesnt get destroyed by fire) it will be garrisoned by your men.

From this point the battle is likely won, the keeps firepower can be send across the city! Paving the way for your armies to capture what is left. Make sure your new keep stands however, or the AI will quickly build a new one.

Written by tactical clapping.


Game:   Anno 1404