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Should I avoid siege and attack first if I have the opportunity? Should I wait to be sieged and then attack? Should I keep a small unit outside and use it as an reinforcement? Should I use the outsider unit to break the siege somehow?

What are the pros and cons of each approach in a siege?

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I just realized that if I leave the city I will lose some units (armed civilians) –  Jader Dias Sep 5 '11 at 6:41
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I haven't played Napoleon, but the same strategies from Empire should work.

I tend to allow my fort/city to be besieged if there are strong walls there - and send a relief force (typically, there is enough time for the relief to get there). I'll hold to the last possible turn before trying to break out - hoping that the besieging force will try to assault, since then you get the bonus of the fort's cannons and the fact that the attacker can't get their cavalry into play and then has to climb the walls.

If the relief force can get there in time, all the better, as then you can just hammer and anvil your opponent - I'd sally out from the fort, with your relief coming up behind the enemy.

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