Naval Battles (NTW)
Napoleon: Total War continues the tradition of playable Naval battles, originally started by it's predecessor, Empire: Total War. The battles are fought in real time instead of being automatically resolved like in previous games before Empire.
In Napoleon, the campaign map is reduced to include only Europe, on the Coalition and European Campaigns, the northern part of Italy including the Alps, on the Italian campaign and Egypt, Israel,Syria and Cyprus are on the Egyptian campaign. These maps, unlike Empires campaigns, offer reduced naval activity, for e.g. using ships for transportation across the continents that can't be accessed by land (with the notable exception of isles of Great Britain and Cyprus). The main use of navy in Napoleon Total War is for blockading enemy ports, raiding enemy sea trade and preventing the enemy fleets of doing so against your own ports/sea routes. Big naval battles, including more than 5 ships on each side are unlikely to happen in late game.
The set up for the naval battles is almost the same as the one for land battles. The player positions his/her ships on a restricted area, resembling the starting position of the ships, before the beginning of the battle. When the battle has begun, the are two important things that the player should always keep in mind: the direction and speed of the wind and the condition of his own ships. Wind plays a very important role in the outcome of the battle. Ships that sail-based will have their speed increased or reduced, according to the direction and speed of the wind. Ships that are steam powered will be less affected by changes in the wind's direction and speed. The second thing that a player should keep in mind is the condition of his/her own ships. During battle, the crew arm the ship's guns that are able to use three different kinds of ammunitions to damage enemy ships. Round shot is the default ammunition and is used to damage the enemy's ship hulk and destroy their guns. Grape shot is used to kill the enemy crew at close distance so that the player ship can send his crew can board the enemy ship and try to capture it. Finally, Chain shot is used to destroy the enemy's masts and slow them down, but is a very inaccurate shot. While the gun of the ship are firing, any boarded men that are armed with long ranged weapons will try to shoot the enemy crew when the ships are at close distance. After all that fighting, it is expectable that a ship will become damaged or even set on fire something that sometimes , if not dealt with, can cause the ship to explode.
A new feature in Napoleon Total War is the in Battle naval repairs. The crew can repair the ship while on battle restoring its hulk to a better condition while making it unable to use it's cannons or move. If a ship under repairs is given an order, the repairs will stop. The main purpose of the naval battle in Napoleon Total war is to capture or rout all of the enemy ships or make them surrender. Ships can rout or surrender if the morale of their crew is low. The crew morale is determined by many things as the what the outcome of the battle seem to be or if the admiral is alive or not. A surrendered ship will stay idle, although note that routing or surrendered ships can return in combat.
Napoleon has a variety of ships to choose from, ranging from small sloops up to overpowered Heavy First Rates. While Big ships have the most cannons and number of men aboard, small ships are faster and more easy to manoeuvre. Also different kind of ships exist with different use on the battle field, like the rocket ship and the bomb ketch.