Invasions are full-fledged military campaigns. A successful invasion will result in your kingdom gaining control of the province which you have invaded. The invasion and conquest of a province is in most cases a three step (three- turn) process. Example: On Turn 1 you declare intent to invade province XYZ. On turn 2 you will engage in the strategic movement phase of the invasion of XYZ province by filling out an invasion commands form. This form will allow you to designate an invasion commander, list the armies which will participate in the invasion, etc. On turn 3 you will receive the results of the strategic movement--whether your army was drawn into an open field battle, or whether it remained in ranks to fight a set piece battle. If the former, the results of the open field battle will be printed immediately after the description of the strategic movement. The winner of the open field battle on turn 2 will be in control of the province on turn 3.
If you are to fight a set piece battle against the troops currently in control of the province you have invaded, you will fill out a set piece battle form on turn 3, arraying your troops and characters in battle formation and casting fearsome battle magics. The winner of the set piece battle on turn 3 will be in control of the province on turn 4.
Preparation: Preparation for an invasion is accomplished by using the "Intent to Invade" declaration. On the turn following invasion preparations, you will issue commands for the strategic movement phase.
Strategic Movement: Strategic movement takes one turn and represents the marching of your armies into the province under attack and the consequent maneuvering of your forces prior to the onset of battle. In this phase you will make the following decisions:
1) Assign armies to the invasion. Any number of armies may participate in an invasion. At least one active imperial army or navy must invade. Imperial armies must have at least eight troops. All invading armies must be adjacent to the province under attack at the start of their turn. Provincial armies assigned must also be adjacent to, or in the same province as, and invading imperial army. Provincial armies assigned are disbanded and become part of the imperial army. Provincial troops which might put an imperial army over the 30 troop limit will detach and stay behind in their province of origin. Example: An imperial army of twenty-five troops and a provincial army of ten troops are assigned to an invasion. The provincial army disbands; five of its troops join the imperial army, bringing it up to its maximum capacity of thirty troops. The remaining five troop units return to reform as a new provincial army. You may wish to strengthen provincial armies depleted by an invading imperial army on the same turn by assigning troops to those provinces from your capital.
2) You may choose one character to be the invasion commander. The character you choose may not be engaged in battle elsewhere and if not presently with one of the invading armies, must be assigned to one of them with a separate order. Characters with strategic magic should prepare the spells on this turn.
3) Decide on stratagems. You will make a yes or no decision whether or not to attempt either HIDDEN MOVEMENT or DECLINE BATTLE.
4) Choose a terrain for your army to maneuver towards. You may list one preferred terrain.
5) Dispatch patrols. You will designate the category, type and number of troops (if any) you wish to send out on patrol.
6) Select a battle type. You may choose either OPEN FIELD, SET PIECE, or COMMANDER'S DISCRETION. Your army will attempt to engage the enemy in the type of battle you select or otherwise in the type of battle which your invasion commander decides is appropriate. The advantage of open field battle is that such battles actually take place immediately after the strategic movement phase and thus quickly resolve the campaign. Set piece battle has the advantage of maximizing your personal control over the outcome of any battle by placing troops and characters in the most advantageous position, and by allowing the use of battle magic. Commander's discretion places the primary emphasis of your maneuvers on reaching preferred terrain rather than a specific type of battle.
All other factors being equal (which is rarely the case) there is an even chance of getting an open field or a set piece battle.
Invasion Battle: On the turn in which a set piece battle is to take place, both sides will receive a report called the Battle Intelligence Summary. This report will contain numbered lists of all troops and characters which you have present on the battlefield, a notation of the terrain on which the battle will be fought, and an estimation of the number and type of troops in the army which opposes you.
Multiple Player Invasions: On any turn in which more than one player invades the same province on the same turn all non-allied armies present in the province will engage one another separately in order based upon the maneuvering effectiveness of each army until the forces of only one kingdom or group of allied kingdoms remains in the province. The kingdom whose forces are victorious in the final battle is granted control of the province. If the invading kingdoms are not formal allies, they will engage in battle with one another for control of the province. Note also that under no circumstance can the troops of one kingdom combine with the troops of another kingdom for battle. Formal allies do not battle each other; they also do not fight together. All kingdoms fight their own separate battles against individual separate opponents. If the same kingdom assigns more than one army to participate in an invasion, all of that kingdom's armies will combine to fight as a single force in the invasion battle.
For defending players: If you will be defending against more than one invasion on the same turn, your report may include a list of troops from a nearby defensive imperial army that may be able to reach more than one battle during that war season if they survive.
The special case noted above represents extreme circumstances in which a kingdom is hard-pressed to defend itself and fighting several defensive battles at once. For those battles where the defense is uncertain as to the actual troops which will be able to arrive, the defensive player will issue much abbreviated orders for the battle (loss acceptance and battle magic only). In these cases, the majority of battle decisions will be made by on- site characters, one of whom will assume responsibility as your army commander.
Aside from the special case noted above, both participants in a set piece invasion battle will make decisions for the battle as follows:
1) Troop and character dispositions. You will assign each of your individual troops and characters to positions in the battle lines. All characters must be placed with a troop unit. If you do not assign them to a unit the computer will place them in one randomly.
2) Loss Acceptance. You will decide how many routed and destroyed troops your army will accept before attempting to withdraw from the battle field. You may choose one of either LIGHT (25%), STANDARD (50%), HEAVY (75%), or TOTAL (100%) losses.
3) Commander assignments. If during strategic movement you did not assign an army commander, you will now have another opportunity to do so. You may also assign characters to any of the following command positions: Right Flank Commander, Left Flank Commander, Cavalry Commander, or Archery Commander. The Army Commander may hold a second command post (such as Cavalry Commander) if you desire.
Your army commander will use his abilities to oversee troop movements during the battle. He will order troops up from the back lines to fill gaps which appear in the front lines of the conflict. Your army commander may be assigned to any position in the battle lines. However, he will retain his effectiveness to oversee the entire battle only so long as he is not drawn into the front line.
A Flank Commander will enhance your armies' effectiveness in flanking maneuvers, (see flanking below). Flank Commanders must be placed with a troop unit on either the first or second battle line of the flank under their command.
An Archery Commander will use his abilities to enhance your army's ability to gain superiority in missile fire (see "MISSILE FIRE"). If you designate an Archery Commander, he must be placed with an archer troop unit in the second battle line.
A Cavalry Commander may only be assigned to the second battle line and must be placed with a cavalry, mammoth, or chariot troop unit. He will lead a counter-charge as the opportunity to do so arises. A Cavalry Commander greatly increases the charging ability of the troop unit he is placed with.
In addition to filling command positions, all characters will also have an inspirational effect on the troop unit which they are placed with. All characters increase the melee and morale abilities of the troop they are with in proportion to the character's heroism.
4) Select battle magic. All characters that are with your army at the site of a set piece battle will have the opportunity to use any battle magic that they posess. Characters with magic ability may cast spells in addition to any other battle assignments which you give them. You will select the spells which your characters will attempt to cast. Each character may cast a maximum of two spells. Some spells may not be cast in conjunction with other spells at the same battle by the same character. For a listing of all spell casting limitations see SPELL CHART.
5) You may, if you wish, order a special disengagement and advance. This
simply means that you can order some or all of the troops in your front battle
line to "trade places" with your second battle line at a specified point in
the battle. An example of this is the army which places archers in their
front battle line who, as the armies close on each other, fade back to the
second battle line to be replaced with heavy infantry. This does NOT move
your front line to the rear of the battle, nor is it an order to retreat.