Events tend to start right on the hour. Unless the event has already started, choose any team and unit, and just have fun until the admins switch everyone to spectator.
Once everyone is assigned to spectator, make sure to stay as a spectator. The admins will then begin assigning each clan one at a time to keep the game balanced. If you join an event without a clan, you will likely be assigned at the very end.
Once you have been assigned, select your given team. Unless specified to be Artillery, Skirmishers, or Cavalry; you’re Line Infantry. Your commander should pick what specific regiment and company you go as. This is also when you should pick your specific weapon, if you have a preference. Some weapons are not allowed for Line Infantry, such as the Mississippi Rifle. When in doubt: take the Springfield Model 1861.
If you spawn in when the round is not “live”, everyone will probably be teamkilling each other. Stay calm and just try to find where your commander will want you to meet up during the next round. Once the round IS live, find your line. If you’re apart of a regiment, they will have specific tags in their names and flags above their heads.
If you’re still struggling to find your line, remember to use VOIP and ask around. It’s CAPSLOCK by default.
You can only move out as an independent line if you have 3 or more people. If it’s just you, or just you and one other guy, try to find a different line to merge into instead.
When not engaged in combat, your line should be moving around as a column, instead of a line. To do this, you simply line up single-file behind your commanding officer, as such:
While you’re in a column or line, try to make sure you have 1-man spacing. Keeping the line straight and orderly is more important than your specific position in it, unless you’re an officer. So make sure to use the SHIFT key to sprint if you fall too far behind, or just start tapping the W key instead of holding it down to slowly fall back if you’re too close to the man ahead of you.
Once you make contact with the enemy, your officer will likely curve your line 90 degrees, order halt, and then right or left face. This is how you transform the column into a line, just like how you see in reenactments or total war.
If one of your fellow soldiers dies, make sure to fill in the gap to keep the line compact. But wait until you have finished reloading, otherwise you might not have a shot ready.
While in a line, take care not to fire without the officer’s command. If they are not using in-game voice chat, just try to mimic them as best you can. When they fire a volley, you fire a volley.
When they fire at will, you fire at will.
And so on.
When firing, you may hear numbers rattled out such as “Enemies at 220”, “Arty at the 50”, and so on. These are compass references, and based on degrees in a circle. Your compass is located at the top center of your screen. North is 0 and 360, So East is 90, South is 180, and West is 270. These will help you identify enemies far in the distance.
In this picture, for example, there is one enemy at 345, one to the left at 340, and one to the right at the 20.
If you are unsure if those in the distance are friendlies or enemies, look for a banner above their heads. If they have one: it’s friendly. If you can’t see a banner, then check for the color of their uniform; Blue for Union, and Grey for Confederacy.
Finally, take care not to reload when outside of a line. This rule may also change from event to event, but generally it is not allowed.
When charging, all order tends to break down. Don’t worry, this is as it should be. Stay near your group as best you can for strength in numbers. It’s just as important as skill. But don’t worry about being a line. Embrace the blob.
Also, if your line falls below 3 men, you should be OK to finish your melee with the enemy before needing to find a new line.
Once the round is winding down for numbers on both sides, admins will likely call an All Charge when a specific amount of time is remaining on the clock. When All Charge is called, you MAY be able to fire on charge, but this often changes from event to event. Generally though, you can only fire once during the All Charge. So if you want another shot, you’ll need to find and pick up an unfired musket.
Once you have the basics down, you can try to follow some of the more advanced commands your officers may give you.
When ordered to “Wing”, you are basically forming a line on the move. If a “Wing left and right”, your line should resemble a big “V” with the officer in the center (like a flock of geese). If just “Wing right” or “Wing left”, it will resemble half of the letter “V”
When ordered to “Flank”, you will quickly turn 90 degrees either left or right, along with the rest of your column. By doing so, your column will quickly and immediately become a line. This is usually used when YOU get ambushed.
Finally, when ordered to “Ripple Fire”, your line will fire from side to the other in order. This is normally supposed to be used when having to lead enemy targets that are moving quickly, but more often is just used to show off.